by Rabbi Yisrael Kaniel – September 30, 2012

In the Torah section of Vzot HaBracha, Moses offers a parting blessing to the nation he led through the desert.  As a preface to his series of blessings to each of the tribes, we are reminded (Devarim 33:4), “The Torah that Moses commanded us is the heritage of the community of Jacob.”

In commenting on the aforementioned verse, R. Moshe Chaim of Pieterkov (1600 – 1685) suggests an intriguing insight (V’Karata L’Shabbat Oneg II, p. 474).  He opines that the manner of behavior in the community of Jacob, our Jewish brethren, should be likened to that of the writing of a Torah scroll.

All the sections of parchment of a Torah scroll must be sewn together, and only then can the Torah scroll receive its full sanctity.  Similarly, the community of Jacob, the Jewish community, can only be fully sanctified when all its members are united without undo discord.

A Torah scroll is also unable to receive its sanctity when one letter is touching or “running into” another letter.  Similarly, our community must be careful not to collide with each other.  We should not step on each other’s toes.

Although one letter in the Torah scroll should not collide with another, nevertheless, one letter should not be too far from the other.  Similarly, in our community, we are not to distance anyone.

May we all learn to be united, regarding each other with caring and concern, without distancing any of our brethren, and may we, thereby, be worthy of all the blessings offered us by our great leader Moses.