Insight and commentary on the Torah and Gospels every week, adapted from Torah Club resources.
The high holidays of the Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur foreshadow the last days and the final judgment. Yom Kippur comes just ten days after Rosh HaShanah, the day on which the Torah commands the blowing of the shofar. The blowing of the shofar on Rosh HaShanah warns the congregation to repent because the days of judgment have begun. The fanfare of Rosh HaShanah sets the scene for the Day of Judgment in the heavenly courtroom.
Moses compared the people of Israel to the grass and the Torah that he had taught them to life-giving water. Moses prayed that his teaching would be to Israel like rain and dew, which water the grass and vegetation: "Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, as the droplets on the fresh grass and as the showers on the herb" (Deuteronomy 32:2).
Moses faced his own garden of Gethsemane. In the legends and midrashim about the death of Moses, he does not go passively or willingly to his death. It seems strange that the traditional stories would paint Moses—the hero of heroes—as reluctant to accept death. Why would Moses resist striding boldly into that dark night?
The commandment to imitate God is the fundamental principle of godliness. The Master expresses the idea, encouraging us to imitate God, “That you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:45). A classic passage of the Talmud explains the mitzvah of walking in His ways.