Sept. 12 2011
Within the Tanach, there are countless stories about influential characters that shaped Jewish history in one way or another. Many tell a story about a particular hero, and others simply relay different rules that make up halacha, Jewish law. The passage I chose has to do with one of the most famous Jewish heroes Moses, in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 6. It is a very meaningful point in the lives of the Jewish people. Moses is listing off commandments that G-d has just given to him on Mount Sinai, thus preaching his affirmation for G-d and convincing the Jewish population to follow his beliefs as well. This is an emotional and ...view middle of the document...
People fear G-d because of His remarkable power, but one should love Him for the miracles that He has given the Jewish people since the beginning of time. Starting with creation, leading up to the miracle of Passover, and the giving of Eretz Yisrael to the Jewish people. Besides the themes in this chapter of the book of Deuteronomy, we also must ask ourselves, who is the real so-called “hero” in the chapter? Gaining a larger perspective, it is difficult to distinguish which character can be called the hero, G-d or Moses.
I feel that God and Moses are the heroes in this passage. God has given the people of Israel a decree to believe in Him and that He will watch over and protect the Jews, and Moses was the messenger of God telling the Jewish people what God has commanded of them. Moses was chosen by G-d to convey such an important message, which makes him just as much of a hero as G-d is. Above all, this shows God’s greatness and compassion for the Jewish people. In chapter 6.10-12 the narrator writes, “When the Lord your God has brought you into the land that he swore to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you- a land with fine, large cities that you did not build,” and that you should, “take care that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of “Mimitzrayim” (Egypt), out of the house of slavery.” This explains that God was compassionate enough to take the Hebrews out of oppression and millennia of slavery and into freedom. Although this is a legal passage, I chose to write about it because I feel that it paved the way for many stories in the bible to come such as the story of Ruth, and many other influential characters that shaped Jewish history. This is the story where Judaism really begins. The giving of the Torah to the Jews is one of the many actions that dignifies G-d as a true “hero/heroine,” which is why this passage stood out to me.
The literary techniques the narrator uses in the Torah, are some that give this passage the true dramatic affect that it strives to convey. The narrator uses language such as “you” and “your” to depict the Jewish people. In the book of Deuteronomy the narrator writes “so that you and your children and your children’s children may fear the Lord your God all the days of your life, and keep all his (God) decrees and his commandments that I (Moses) am commanding you, so that your days may be long”(6.2). Moses uses this type of language because in correspondence to...