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  • September 27, 2014

    Shabbat Shuva; Ha-azinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-52

    By Rabbi Amy R. Perlin in

    Haazinu: Don’t Forget to Remember

    We will gather on Yom Kippur to recite Yizkor, our prayer of memory for our loved ones who have died. The Jewish value of "memory" pervades our lives, our sacred story, and this time in our Jewish calendar year. Many of us were raised on the phrase "Never forget." We have spent our lives being taught that a Jew is obligated to remember those who came before us, from our ancestors in the Torah, to the martyrs of our history, to the loved ones who made our lives possible.

    And so we read in our portion this week:
    "Remember the days of old,
    Consider the years of ages past;" (Deuteronomy 32:7).

    But, the opposite of remembering, forgetting, is also a part of our Jewish legacy. Though we are commanded to remember, we fail and forget. As Moses speaks his final words at the end of Deuteronomy, he reminds his listeners that we do not always remember the God who gave us the Torah, the Guardian who guided us through our journey in the wilderness.

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