November 20, 2018

Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Vayelech with Rabbi Robert Haas

Our guest this week is Rabbi Robert Haas, leader of the Mickve Israel congregation in Savannah Georgia, America’s third-oldest Jewish congregation. Rabbi Haas was born in McAllen, Texas, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, and taught in Houston’s public schools. He then attended Hebrew Union College, receiving his rabbinic ordination in 2002, and has since studied in Jerusalem at the PARDES Institute of Jewish Studies and Shalom Hartman Institute. After serving as a rabbi in Dallas and Houston, Rabbi Haas went to Africa in 2011 as a volunteer with the American Jewish World Service. He has been serving Mickve Israel since 2012.

This week’s portion – Parashat Vayelech (Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30) – recounts the last day in the life of Moses and tells us about the passing on of his leadership to Joshua. The parasha concludes with the prediction that the people of Israel will turn away from their covenant with God, but also with the promise that the words of the Torah will not be forgotten among their descendent. Our discussion focuses on the passing down of the “Torah,” on the meaning of the word and on its importance to the Jewish people.

If you would like to learn some more about parashat Vayelech, check out our conversation with Rabbi Galia Sadan.