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פרשת ראה
 Prepared by Rabbi Stephen Texon
Dear Friends,

In the past 2 Parshiot of the Torah we are commanded to HEAR/LISTEN to G-d's law, and to love and revere Him. In this week's Parasha we are commanded to SEE/LOOK at G-d's law, meaning take a cold hard look at reality at what is expected of the Jew in relation to Torah and Mitzvot, and what the consequences will be for not following these Mitzvot. This is a continuing theme throughout the book of D'varim, reward and punishment, and this week's Parasha is specific in designating Mounts Gerizim and Ebal as the locations in the promised land from where the blessings and the curses will be proclaimed respectfully. 

This Parasha is the last of 3 Parshiot which outline in detail the observance of the 3 Pilgrimage Festivals and the High Holy Days. The special Torah readings on the Festivals are taken from Emor, Pinchas and this week's Re'eh. High Holiday readings feature the dramatic narratives of Abraham and Sarah and the origins of the Jewish nation.

Finally, we are all familiar with the phrase "to see and to be seen". There are occasions when many of us want to show up at an event more with the intention of being seen than our interest in the even itself. Ideally both are important especially when it comes to "appearing" before the Lord in Jerusalem the Holy City with gifts/tributes on the 3 Festivals.

In our own day I would hope that "appearing" before the Lord in His house, the Synagogue, will become more of a priority and more frequent than just the major holidays... more to "see" and "hear" on a regular basis the glory and richness of our heritage and tradition.

Shabbat Shalom!
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