This week's Torah Portion: 


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הַאֲזִינוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וַאֲדַבֵּרָה וְתִשְׁמַע הָאָרֶץ אִמְרֵי־פִֽי

Ha'azinu hashamayim va'adaberah vetishma ha'arets imrey-fi

"Hear, oh heavens, as I speak! Listen, earth, to the words from my mouth!"

This portion, like the previous portion, is only one chapter long. Scholars have noticed that the format of this particular parashah follows a peculiar structure, not similar to most passages. In modern writing, it could be likened to a legal agreement that a master and a servant would make. It details the stipulations of what will happen to the servant if he fails to obey his master’s commands. In ancient, extra-biblical writings, we would call this type of relationship “suzerain” (master) and “vassal” (servant). It is not entirely unlike the blessings and curses that we read about earlier in the book of Deuteronomy, chapters 27-30. Sadly, like the previous mentioned chapters, the bulk of material provided for us is in the form of chastisement and punishment.
— Parashat Ha'azinu