Double Mitzvah – Devarim

Double Mitzvah Jewrotica Parsha

Written by Tamar Fox. Check out last week’s post in this series, Double Mitzvah – Matot Masei.

Rated PGThis week we begin the book of Devarim, or Deuteronomy. It’s the final book of the Torah, and it begins with Moses rehashing the events since the Exodus, and adding his own color: moralizing, summarizing, and otherwise trying to guide the Israelites’ future ventures by making it clear where they veered off of God’s preferred path.

Though the parashah doesn’t directly address sex, it made me think a lot about the ways we may retell the stories of our relationships after the fact. How do we frame them? What lessons do we take away from them?

When I look back on relationships, it’s always hard to know how to cast myself–was I the victim of a bad partner, or was I responsible for the destruction of the relationship? Both? Neither? Moses does not seem to suffer from this particular fault–he’s confident and strident in his condemnations of the people for their desire to return to Egypt, and their seeking out other gods to worship.

It’s easy to use one brush to paint all of our past relationships, but it’s harder, and more important, to seriously examine our pasts, and the places where we have failed our partners, ourselves, and our communities.

Shabbat shalom!

Author of Jewrotica's Double Mitzvah column, Tamar Fox is a writer and editor in Philadelphia. She will try anything once, including open relationships, dating someone who is chalav yisrael, and going to Suriname.
  • Ayo Oppenheimer

    Yes. We all tell ourselves stories, and this week’s Double Mitzvah is a good reminder that we get to choose how to frame those stories and grow with them or move past them. Thank you, Tamar.

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