Parashat Ha’Azinu sets out the Song of Moses — an indictment of the Israelites’ sins, a prophecy of their punishment, and a promise of G-d’s ultimate redemption of them.
In the Haftorah, David praises the Most High for rescuing him and speaks of the future victory and glory that will come to his line through HaShem’s Might.
In the Apostolic Writings, the Corinthians are exhorted to heed the example from Israel’s history and hold fast to the Most High, and strengthen themselves to overcome temptation, which is within their power.
The tenth portion of the book of Devarim/Deuteronomy is Ha’Azinu, which means “Hear.” This is the 53rd Torah Portion.
Torah Portion: Devarim 32:1-52
Haftorah: 2 Samuel 22: 1-51
Apostolic Writings: 1 Corinthians 10:1-20
You can read or listen to the portions below:
2 Samuel 22: 1-51
David said the words of this song to HaShem on the day HaShem delivered him from the power of all his enemies and from the power of Sha’ul. He said:
“HaShem is my Rock, my fortress and deliverer,
the G-d who is my Rock, in whom I find shelter,
my shield, the power that saves me,
my stronghold and my refuge.
My savior, you have saved me from violence.
I call on HaShem, who is worthy of praise;
and I am saved from my enemies.
“For death’s breakers were closing over me,
the floods of B’liya‘al terrified me,
the ropes of Sh’ol were wrapped around me,
the snares of death lay there before me.
In my distress I called to HaShem;
yes, I called to my G-d.
Out of his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry entered his ears.
“Then the earth quaked and shook,
the foundations of heaven trembled.
They were shaken because he was angry.
Smoke arose in his nostrils;
and from his mouth, devouring fire,
with coals blazing from it.
He lowered heaven and came down
with thick darkness under his feet.
He rode on a keruv and flew,
he was seen on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his canopy around him,
thick clouds in the skies dense with water.
From the brightness before him,
fiery coals flamed out.
“HaShem thundered from heaven,
Ha‘Elyon sounded his voice.
He sent out arrows and scattered them;
with lightning he routed them.
The channels of the sea appeared,
the foundations of the world were exposed
at HaShem’s rebuke,
at the blast of breath from his nostrils.
“He sent from on high, he took me
and pulled me out of deep water;
he rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from those who hated me, for they were stronger than I.
They came against me on my day of calamity,
but HaShem was my support.
“He brought me out to an open place;
he rescued me, because he took pleasure in me.
HaShem rewarded me for my uprightness,
he repaid me because my hands were clean.
“For I have kept the ways of HaShem,
I have not done evil by leaving my G-d;
for all his rulings were before me,
I did not depart from his regulations.
I was pure-hearted toward him
and kept myself from my sin.
“Hence HaShem repaid me for my uprightness,
according to my purity in his view.
With the merciful, you are merciful;
with the champion of purity, you are pure;
with the honest, you are honest;
but with the crooked you are cunning.
People afflicted, you save;
but when your eyes are on the haughty, you humble them.
“For you, HaShem, are my lamp;
HaShem lights up my darkness.
With you I can run through a whole troop of men,
with my G-d I can leap a wall.
“As for G-d, his way is perfect,
the word of HaShem has been tested by fire;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
For who is G-d but HaShem,
and who is a Rock but our G-d?
“G-d is my strength and protection;
he makes my way go straight.
He makes me swift and sure-footed as a deer
and enables me to stand on my high places.
He trains my hands for war
until my arms can bend a bow of bronze;
You give me your shield, which is salvation;
your answers make me great.
You lengthen the steps I can take,
yet my ankles do not turn.
“I pursued my enemies and wiped them out,
without turning back until they were destroyed.
I destroyed them, crushed them; they can’t get up;
they have fallen under my feet.
“For you braced me with strength for the battle
and bent down my adversaries beneath me.
You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
so that I could destroy those who hate me.
“They looked, but there was no one to help,
even to HaShem, but he didn’t answer.
I pulverized them like dust on the ground,
pounded and stamped on them like mud in the streets.
“You also freed me from the quarrels of my people.
You kept me to be the head of the nations;
a people I did not know now serve me.
Foreigners come cringing to me;
the moment they hear of me, they obey me.
Foreigners lose heart as they stagger from their fortresses.
“HaShem is alive! Blessed is my Rock!
Exalted be G-d, the Rock of my salvation,
the G-d who gives me vengeance
and makes peoples submit to me.
He brings me out from my enemies.
You raise me over those who rebel against me,
you rescue me from violent men.
“So I give thanks to you, HaShem, among the nations;
I sing praises to your name.
He is a tower of salvation for his king;
he displays grace to his anointed,
to David and his descendants forever.”
1 Corinthians 10:1-20
For, brothers, I don’t want you to miss the significance of what happened to our fathers. All of them were guided by the pillar of cloud, and they all passed through the sea, and in connection with the cloud and with the sea they all immersed themselves into Moshe, also they all ate the same food from the Spirit, and they all drank the same drink from the Spirit — for they drank from a Spirit-sent Rock which followed them, and that Rock was the Messiah. Yet with the majority of them G-d was not pleased, so their bodies were strewn across the desert.
Now these things took place as prefigurative historical events, warning us not to set our hearts on evil things as they did. Don’t be idolaters, as some of them were — as the Tanakh puts it, “The people sat down to eat and drink, then got up to indulge in revelry.” And let us not engage in sexual immorality, as some of them did, with the consequence that 23,000 died in a single day. And let us not put the Messiah to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by snakes. And don’t grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the Destroying Angel.
These things happened to them as prefigurative historical events, and they were written down as a warning to us who are living in the acharit-hayamim. Therefore, let anyone who thinks he is standing up be careful not to fall! No temptation has seized you beyond what people normally experience, and G-d can be trusted not to allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. On the contrary, along with the temptation he will also provide the way out, so that you will be able to endure.Therefore, my dear friends, run from idolatry! I speak to you as sensible people; judge for yourselves what I am saying. The “cup of blessing” over which we make the b’rakhah — isn’t it a sharing in the bloody sacrificial death of the Messiah? The bread we break, isn’t it a sharing in the body of the Messiah? Because there is one loaf of bread, we who are many constitute one body, since we all partake of the one loaf of bread. Look at physical Isra’el: don’t those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? So, what am I saying? That food sacrificed to idols has any significance in itself? or that an idol has significance in itself? No, what I am saying is that the things which pagans sacrifice, they sacrifice not to G-d but to demons; and I don’t want you to become sharers of the demons!