Thu, 4 August 2022
This week, Jews around the world will begin reading from the Book of Deuteronomy each Shabbat. Sefer Devarim, as it is known in Hebrew, is a remarkable work; consisting almost entirely of an address Moses delivered to the Israelites in his final weeks of life, it touches on history, politics, prophecy, and much more. Two years ago, Jonathan Silver sat down with Israeli thinker and scholar Micah Goodman to uncover meaning of Moses's final speech. As we begin again this last book of the Torah, we are pleased to rebroadcast that conversation.
The book of Deuteronomy, which Jews around the globe read in synagogue in the period leading up to the High Holy Days, consists primarily of Moses’s final oration to the people of Israel. With the nation on the cusp of conquering Canaan and establishing its own sovereign government, the prophet presents Israel with a set of laws and regulations surrounding power and kingship—what some scholars call the “Mosaic Constitution.”
In his best-selling Hebrew book, ha-N’um ha-Aharon shel Moshe (Moses’s Last Speech), the Israeli writer and philosopher Micah Goodman offers a thought-provoking and original interpretation of Deuteronomy, presenting profound insights about the Torah’s revolutionary political teachings. Though the book has not yet been translated into English, Dr. Goodman recently taught an eight-episode online course for the Tikvah Fund on “Deuteronomy: The Last Speech of Moses,” in which he explores and expands upon the themes and ideas of his earlier work. In this podcast, he speaks with Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver about Deuteronomy’s laws regarding the monarchy and what political and philosophical wisdom they hold for us today.
If you enjoy this podcast, you can enroll in Dr. Goodman’s free Tikvah online course at Courses.TikvahFund.org.
Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.