“For it is no minor (or trifling, or empty) thing for you — and if it seems that way, it is your fault” we read in the Jerusalem Talmud (Peah 1:1). At the conclusion of Moses’ great song or speech to the Israelite people that is Parashat Ha’azinu, we read that:
Deuteronomy 32:44-47 Moses came, together with Hosea son of Nun, and recited ALL the words of this poem in the hearing of the people. And when Moses finished reciting ALL these words to Israel, he said to them: Take to heart ALL the words with which I have warned you this day. Enjoin them upon your children, that they may observe faithfully ALL the terms of this Teaching. For this is not a trifling thing for you: it is your very life.
Why the emphasis on “all” — four times in three verses? To remind us that each and every word is significant. There is so much to be gleaned from our sacred text. “Turn it and turn it again, for all is in it; see through it; grow old and worn in it; do not budge from it” Rabbi Ben Bag Bag says in Pirkei Avot (5:22).
As we prepare to conclude the cycle of reading Torah on Simchat Torah, and as we prepare to immediately begin again, I invite you to think about how to make this a year of greater learning. With our Torah study group, in Beit Midrash sessions at Temple, through personal study or chevruta discussion. Open yourself to words of Torah, and Torah becomes open to you. It is our very life as Jews and I am excited to begin a new year of study together!