Parashat VeZot HaBerakhah
Today, we live in a Jewish world that is commonly bifurcated into the observant and the non-observant, the halakhic and the non-halakhic, a world in which perhaps the greatest spiritual deficits that we face are those of trust and respect. Most rabbis engaged with halakhah don’t trust the average contemporary Jew, seeing emptiness, worthlessness, laziness, and a lack of commitment. And most contemporary Jews don’t deeply value and engage the halakhic tradition they have inherited and, whether for reasons of ignorance or ideology. This was not always so. How did we take leave of that world, where rabbinic figures felt responsible for the wider Jewish community, who trusted and respected the people as a part of the halakhic conversation, and end up in our present moment? And is there any way for us to get back to that world of trust and respect?