Parshas Ha'azinu

Deutronomy 32:1-52

Captive to Instincts, Conditioning and Conditions! ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of the weekly parsha is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Michael and Mrs. Channah Sakash, may they rest in peace.

In Parshas Ha'azinu Moshe states to Kal Yisroel essentially, 'You are the problem! Your feelings are the problem. Your emotions are the problem. Your insecurity is the problem. Your lack of self confidence is the problem. Your lack of ownership is the problem. Your reactionist lifestyle is the problem!!' He said this in these words, "Destructiveness does not affect Him, it is His children's defect, a warped and twisted generation {Kal Yisroel}. It is to Hashem that you {Kal Yisroel} do this,{you} stupid people lacking wisdom!..." Deuteronomy 32:5,6

Holy reader, it is not my position to be critical or destructive. It is one thing to expose our weaknesses and an entirely different thing to nag, belittle, degrade and humiliate. So most of us already know our failures. We know our weaknesses. Reminding us of our weaknesses is of little help! How do we overcome these problems? How do we rise above them?

In the past we have spoken about view. How we view our problem is very important. In this instance how we view our problem has a great deal to do with how we will overcome our problem! For example are we willing to acknowledge that our feelings support our insecurity? Our physical environment is a good area to begin with. Even though the conditions surrounding us may be quite unpleasant we can do something about them. There are many possibilities in this area that affect us besides hot, cold, weather, sun, rain and snow. It could be the neighborhood we live in, the neighbors we have, relatives and even members of our immediate family. Our business environment may be unpleasant. Each of these areas we can do something about if we choose to.

I'm not referring to a positive mental attitude here, I am referring to making choices! I am referring to a conscious, informed decision. Many years ago as I was studying for my master's degree, it was often necessary to work all night long. I drove a large truck along the coast in Southern California, making pickups and deliveries and returning to the base plant, usually after daybreak. Sometimes it was necessary to struggle through morning traffic, sunrise and sun glare being extremely tired and sleepy. Then preparing breakfast before retiring was difficult.. After eating breakfast it was necessary to wait several hours before retiring. I might be attracted to work in the yard for awhile or tinker in the garage. Before long it was noon and I wasn't tired any longer ...

Sometimes it was necessary to retire immediately because of exhaustion. In either instance, neighborhood children would awaken me. If I stayed up they would keep me awake in the afternoon. If I went to bed they would wake me on their way to school. Car doors would slam, neighbors would honk, dogs would bark, the phone would ring, the sun would be too bright in the room ... there was always something interfering with my sleep.

Now I could have allowed these instances to defeat me. There were enough of them! Instead, I unplugged the phone, or put in earplugs, covered the window, put a sign on the front door, ate after rising and informed friends and relatives not to disturb me during certain hours. This did not work every time but it was a very clear and distinct conscious decision to alter my physical environment!

There are many challenges to conquering one's physical environment but it is a good place to begin. Much has been written about mental expansion, about relief beyond one's physical / environmental limitations, whether it be a
human handicap, prison walls, stifling conditions or other such constraints. One can escape through mental extension. Mentally we can project ourselves to an outdoor area, relaxing by a waterfall or peak of an enormous mountain slope, viewing valleys of grandeur!

The area of spiritual experience can be contacted with knowledge. Frequently we receive correspondence from people who struggle with spiritual experience. People that live solely by spiritual experience are not anchored well. One day they're up and the next day they're down! The big hole in their lives is the lack of consistency!! Learning the Torah helps to provide consistency. The Torah teaches us boundaries for consistent living. It restrains certain activities and expands other activities. The Torah is an instruction book. The Torah is a book of practical guidance for living.

The final area, that being popularity, is quite tricky and very difficult to conquer without supporting accomplishments from the physical environment and spiritual experience. Popularity deals with a person's insecurities. Any person who learns theTorah has a degree of understanding of what G-d expects. When that person begins conducting their life in observance of what G-d expects they are more secure. They have fought small battles. They have been victorious in many areas of Torah observance. This provides a supporting foundation for combating popularity deficiencies. As one learns the Torah they begin to arrive at a level of observance. In other words, one replaces insecurity with Torah observance. Now observance combined with a dramatic change in physical environment resulting from community support assists a person in conquering their weakness!

An important side note:
Unfortunately, not every Jewish community understands the absolute importance of supporting those who struggle with issues of insecurity, feelings, emotions, etc. This is most definitely a problem!! When the majority of a community is sick it cannot assist anyone!! That is why one should be very cautious when making plans to move into a new community. Religious, seemingly observant communities are not always the answer! I consider these types of communities nothing more than SHOWTIME COMMUNITIES that fall extremely short of Torah teachings and Torah values. They are saturated with false pretenses that can only have a negative effect on the one struggling to overcome a reactionist lifestyle!

The proper community is not filled with a bag of do's and don'ts that cram, force and drive home how one is expected to live in that community!! This approach to Judaism is extremely anti productive because it uses methods of intimidation and control. This modus operandi is exactly the opposite of what a person struggling with a reactionist lifestyle needs!! ONE SHOULD AVOID AT ALL COSTS ANY COMMUNITY OR RABBI WHO IS PUSHY,OBNOXIOUS, AGGRESSIVE AND DEMANDING! This feeds the very problem that a reactionist is trying to conquer.

The Torah has established many principles for correct living. Any community or rabbi that feels the need to use control and intimidation has greatly overstepped their boundaries and has shown an incredible lack of faith in Torah principles. On the one hand we speak of how humane the Torah commandments are for servants and for the ritual slaughter of kosher animals. On the other hand we approve of inhumane treatment of Jews who violate the Torah.

So again I caution anyone moving into a new community... BE CAREFUL!!

Dear reader, we return to our theme, that being how do we overcome a reactionist lifestyle? One parsha lesson will not super inject us with what it takes to be completely victorious. Yet these points will help us to begin dealing with unchallenged feelings. It will assist us in making carefully thought out choices. No more rubber stamping in our automated subconscious! It will also help us to avoid certain types of problems, personalities and communities.

In a few days we will, G-d willing, observe Yom Kippur. As we pray and fast to the best of our ability, our theme should focus on not just confessing our sins but in SIN PREVENTION. One part of Yom Kippur that seems to get lost in all the prayer and in all the fasting and in all the shofar blowing is the absolute need for a plan not to repeat our mistakes again. The second thing that gets lost is dealing with our failures. In this coming year we will fail but our failures can either be stepping stones to achievement or anchors dragging us to the bottom of the ocean, G-d forbid! We can make them stepping stones by properly empowering ourselves with correct Torah principles!

I wish you the best of everything this year including physical health, mental health, stability, Torah study with great learning advancements and financial prosperity!!

Wishing you the besr!

Dr. Akiva G. BelkWeekly Studies

JewishPath is a sponsor of B'nai Noach Torah Institute. As a sponsor we are permitted to offer one FREE E-Mail course on a limited basis per individual from BNTI's Introduction Courses. We invite you to visit and choose an E - Mail Intro Course. BNTI offers Intro Courses in Judaism and Spirituality {7 Noaich Laws}. BNTI Responses are NOT AUTO!!

B'nai Noach Torah Institute offers dozens of tuition e - mail courses. Please visit BNTI's Tuition Courses page.
For Jewish Classmates: Gematria, Parsha, Tehillim, Medos, High Holidays and many more...
For Spiritualist Classmates: Bereishis, Torah, Blessings, Intro. Hebrew and many more...

B'nai Noach Torah Institute

Colorado Jewish Community Directory

  Study The Seven Noach Commandments

The Learning Store 
Weekly Parsha 


  High Holy Days

Messianic Refute


 Other Links

 Jewish Links



  Torah Or Bust!

 Membership at J P

  Support J P

 About J P

  E - Mail J P


Search JewishPath

JewishPath Search is for Active JewishPath Membership and Tuition Classmates at BNTI only.