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Tisha B'Av

5760 Parshat Devorim is always read on the Shabbos before the 9th of Av - the date that both Holy Temples were destroyed. The story is told that when Napoleon saw Jews mourning on Tisha B'Av, he was so deeply impressed that he said, "A people that can mourn for a building that was destroyed over 1,500 years ago must be eternal".
5764 This week's section contains the commandment to appoint proper, honest Judges (1:17) At first glance this seems to be a bit superfluous. Obviously judges must be honest; in fact every human being must be honest! What is the need for a special commandment?
5766 This Shabbat, the Shabbat before Tisha B'Av, Jews all over the world begin the book of Devarim (Deuteronomy), the last of the Five Books of Moses. This book has special importance for us because it contains the latest, precise words of G-d spoken on earth.
5767 This week begins the last and perhaps the most unusual book of the Pentateuch. Moses is giving his final directions to the Jews before he dies and they enter Israel with Joshua at their head. But he does it in a strange, seemingly confusing way.
5768 This week's Torah portion begins the last of the Five Books of Moses. This book, unlike the other four where Moses quotes G-d and tells the people what G-d told him, was spoken directly by Moses himself. We just understand that it was 'The Shechina (G-d) speaking through the throat of Moses".
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