Israel Drazin

Two witnesses prove God exists

The weekly portion of Haazinu (chapter 32), the penultimate Torah’s ending, is “The Song.” In it, because he realizes the significance of his message, Moses reemphasizes the benefits and consequences derived from observing and disobeying the divine law. 

  • Jewish law generally requires, with few exceptions, two witnesses to produce evidence in a court hearing. Here, Moses summons heaven and earth as his two witnesses.
  • I understand him saying, “In my long life of 120 years, I realized that the solar system and natural law on earth testify to the benefits and consequences of observing and disobeying divine law.”
  • Moses compares the benefits of the divine law to what we see. It is like raindrops that cause growth
  • He reminds them of their and their ancestors’ history.
  • God is like an eagle hovering over and protecting its young.
  • Yet the Israelites forsook God and suffered for it.
  • Moses concludes his song by saying the divine law prolongs life.
  • When he concludes, God tells Moses to ascend Mount Nebo. He can see Canaan but not enter it. God gives the reason, “Because you trespassed against Me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh [in] the wilderness of Zin; because you did not sanctify Me among the Israelites.”
  • As occurs in the Bible generally, God’s explanation is obscure. Readers offer different ideas concerning what Moses did wrong. Rather than speaking to it, Rashi contends that Moses hit the rock, diminishing the miracle. Hitting the rock to produce water could be seen as natural rather than divine. Is he correct? Does hitting the rock merit such a harsh punishment of disallowing Moses to finish his leadership into Canaan?
  • I think God recognized that when Moses lost control and criticized the Israelites, he showed he was no longer competent to lead them. God did the same to the prophet Elijah, who also criticized the people. When the Bible states God took him to heaven in a fiery chariot, it is telling us metaphorically that God killed him.
About the Author
Dr. Israel Drazin served for 31 years in the US military and attained the rank of brigadier general. He is an attorney and a rabbi, with master’s degrees in both psychology and Hebrew literature and a PhD in Judaic studies. As a lawyer, he developed the legal strategy that saved the military chaplaincy when its constitutionality was attacked in court, and he received the Legion of Merit for his service. Dr. Drazin is the author of more than 50 books on the Bible, philosophy, and other subjects.
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