Asking the Right Question — Parshas Ha’azinu

So ask yourselves:  Is this how you would repay G-d?  O withered people who lack wisdom.

Deuteronomy 32:6

This is the question Moses places before the Jewish people, alluding to the future when they will turn away from the path of righteousness and then blame the Almighty for the misfortunes that follow.

The verse is written with an oversized letter, the “hei” that changes the meaning from a statement to a question.  Rav Hirsch explains this as a hint, admonishing the people for asking the wrong question.  Instead of asking why G-d has changed in His behavior toward them, they should be asking themselves how they have changed to elicit such unpleasant consequences.

Is there a better message for after Yom Kippur?  Have we changed?  Will those changes endure?  What changes must we seek to make next?

Or perhaps, if our fortunes seem to have stayed the same, we need to ask ourselves if we have changed at all.  If not, it’s past time to start.

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