Parshat Re’eh!

9 years ago Leighest 0

By Yasmine Shahar

B”H This Shabbat we read Parshat Re’eh! Here’s a summary of the action:

In this Parsha, Moshe places before the people of Israel a blessing and a curse. He says, “You will receive the blessing when you fulfill Hashem’s commandments, and the curse will befall you if you neglect to follow the commandments.”

The blessing and the curse will be imposed on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal when the Jewish people enter the holy land.

It is said that a Temple will be erected in “the place that G-d will choose to make dwell his name” In the Temple, we are commanded to bring forth animal sacrifices for Hashem. Why aren’t we making animal sacrifices today if it was such a holy act long ago? The answer is quite simple. It is forbidden to produce animal sacrifices to Hashem in any place other than the Holy Temple.

Today, we don’t have a holy temple, for both of our previous ones were destroyed. We do, however, have other mitzvot to fulfill! Each one accomplished by us brings Moshiach (the messiah) and the third Holy Temple (Beit Hamikdash Hashlishi) closer to being delivered.

We aren’t slaughtering animals for sacrifice, but we are permitted to slaughter animals outside of the temple to eat. All laws of kashrut still apply, so before you slaughter a deer or cow for dinner, please consult your friendly neighborhood Rabbi.

Parshat Re’eh also states that any “false prophet”, someone who entices others to worship idols, must be put to death. It is also stated that any city whose population worships idols must also be destroyed.

The identifying signs for kosher animals and fish, and the list of non-kosher birds are again reiterated.

It is also stated that one tenth of all produce must be tithed and consumed in Jerusalem. Alternately, the produce could be exchanged for money if the currency is used to purchase food to be eaten in Jerusalem. During specific years, the tithe is given to the poor.

Firstborn cattle, and sheep are to be offered to G-d in the temple, and eaten by the Kohanim or high priests.

The mitzvah of giving tzedakah is a very important and righteous one, a mitzvah in which every Jew should partake. Parshat Re’eh obligates every Jew to help someone in need with either a loan or a gift. Every seventh year the loans are forgiven and indentured servants are set free after 6 years of service.

In light of the ALS ice bucket challenge, we see that the mitzvah of giving tzedakah has become quite prevalent these past few weeks. What’s more fun than pouring water on your head? Even more important than the thrill, your donation, no matter how small, can potentially save thousands of lives! I challenge you to dump some ice over your head! I challenge you to make a donation today! Here’s one place where you can give!

Remember, tzedakah is not simply being charitable when you feel like it. The true mitzvah is to give and be just in every situation!

On that note, Shabbat Shalom!