In one of his final addresses to the Jewish nation Moses introduces a ‘covenant’ that will be binding on the nation then, and for all time.
Why was there a need for a new covenant? Was it not sufficient that the nation entered into a covenant with God at Sinai forty years earlier? And how could this covenant, or any covenant, be binding for all time? What gave any of those present the right to bind their unborn descendants into a covenant that required them to perform Torah commandments or face dire consequences?
Many of the commentaries puzzle over this startling episode, trying to understand what lies behind it. Rabbi Dunner explores the new covenant phenomenon with the help of Abarbanel’s commentary, which beautifully illuminates this incredibly powerful moment in the last days of Moses’ life.
Photo: Replica of Michelangelo’s Moses. Copyright: jgaunion / 123RF Stock Photo