Peekaboo: Ha’azinu 2022

by Adam J. Rosenbaum

Pre-Game Chatter: Do you believe that the world still has secrets waiting to be revealed? If so, do you believe that they will be revealed sometime soon?

In Moses’s farewell song, God threatens disobeying Israelites with hiding God’s presence:

The Pitch: “[God] said: I will hide My countenance from them, and see how they fare in the end. For they are a treacherous breed, children with no loyalty in them.” – Deuteronomy 32:20

Swing #1: “Sometimes God’s punishment takes the form of the withdrawal of His protective concern over Israel, leaving the community vulnerable of the oft-repeated reference to God’s ‘hiding His face’ … in most cases, God’s hiding of His face is understood as punishment.” – Neil Gillman, Sacred Fragments

Swing #2: “The words indicate not only anger, but also sorrow, for a loving Father finds it hard to look on while his children invite disaster by their sinful behavior. Although God was faithful, the unfaithfulness of his sons separated him from them.” – Peter C. Craigie, The Book of Deuteronomy

Swing #3: “[The generation of the Exodus] had considered the beneficial acts I had performed for them as harmful for them. As a result they became disloyal to Me.” – Daat Zkenim

Late-Inning Questions: How do our commentators characterize God’s feelings at the prospect of the Israelites disobeying? Does God seem to believe that the Israelites might fear being left alone? Why do so many of us fear the prospect of loneliness?

On-Deck at TBT: I was gratified to feel the opposite of lonely during the High Holidays. Thanks to everyone who helped to fill our sanctuary on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as well as the tent for our Young Family service.

The Big Inning at the End: Speaking of loneliness, I was glad that Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of the 2022 season. It must have felt lonely for him in the waning days chasing the American League record, just as it was lonely for Roger Maris on the way to hitting 61 home runs in 1961. I’m happy that he finally got to celebrate.

Shabbat Shalom!