This week we read Parashat Vaetchanan, and the Israelites are ready to enter Canaan. Moses speaks at length with his people, instructing them on his legacy.
Moses asks God to reconsider his decision. God has forbidden Moses’ entry into the Promised Land because of his prior acts of impatience and disobedience. Moses pleads with God, but God does not listen. The law is the law. The punishment will stand.
Moses can see the Promised Land from afar, but he shall never enter it. Moses has an opportunity to speak to the Children of Israel and offer them advice, and tell them to follow God’s laws faithfully. He tells them not to repeat his mistakes, so that they may live a full life, and thrive in the Promised Land.
How will we, as a society, learn from our mistakes?
Many of us heard the verdict of the George Zimmerman Trial this past weekend. We cannot change the verdict. But, there is more that we can do as a society so that future generations have a better chance of living a full life. President Obama said:
“And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin”. In addition to Gun Control, will Florida finally review the Stand Your Ground Laws, so lawlessness can be prevented, rather than encouraged?
Vaetchanan….I implore you. We must join together, so that the mistakes are NOT repeated.