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Moshe describes in horrid detail the ravages of the disaster that will befall the Jewish people towards the end of their long exile from their homeland. We no longer have to accept the descriptions outlined in the words of Moshe as they appear in this week’s Torah reading on faith alone. We have eyewitnesses, testimonies, films, official documented government records, and written memoirs that describe to us in excruciating exactitude the corroboration of Moshe’s dire prediction made over three millennia earlier.  

So, there are some who somehow contend that the words of Moshe are at best superfluous in our generation. A picture it was once said is worth a thousand words. But such a view is very short sighted. It misses the very points that Moshe wishes to teach us in his awful vision of what will be the fate of the Jewish people before the beginning of our ultimate redemption.
Firstly, as Ramban points out, it is utterly astounding that a human being, prophet though he may be, can accurately describe events and emotions that will occur thousands of years later. We cannot even peer around the corner of time to know what the morrow brings. Simply put, the vindication of the prophecy and words of Moshe themselves are one of the strongest pillars of faith upon which Judaism and the Jewish people rest. It is not for naught that we shout and sing that Moshe is truth incarnate and his Torah is absolute truth. To doubt Moshe is to deny Judaism.
Secondly, if any lesson needs to be constantly repeated to the Jewish people it is that all actions, ideas, and agendas that violate Torah principles and values eventually lead to disastrous consequences. These consequences may not be initially apparent; it may take many years and even generations for them to appear and take hold. As Churchill once said, the wheels of history may grind very slowly but they grind very fine.
Moshe warns us not to repeat past errors and foolishness and to know that the God of justice will always eventually enforce justice even to the end of days. The Jewish people can only ignore this truth at their own great peril. Even a cursory glance at Jewish history will validate this conclusion quickly and impressively.
Finally, Moshe concludes this section of the Torah with a promise of hope and redemption.  As Rabbi Akiva pointed out long ago regarding the desolate ruins of the Temple, only those who have witnessed the minute accuracy of the verses of destruction and punishment will then have complete faith in the verses of consolation, redemption and eventual greatness.
The light at the end of the tunnel only appears to those who are experiencing the tunnel itself. Our generation that survived the horrors of the past century should bear witness and bring hope and faith to our view of the future of the Jewish people. Moshe sees our struggles and difficulties and nevertheless promises a bright and holy future.
Shabbat shalom
Rabbi Berel Wein

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