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    Singular & plural – Re’eh

    Re'eh ReehThe parashah opens in the singular – re’eh – “see!” – and proceeds to the plural – lifneichem.

    A similar usage occurs in the Shema – singular, shema – “hear!”, then plural – E-lo-henu – “our God”.

    The call is addressed to the individual, who is then informed that he or she is part of the people as a whole and their destiny is his or hers too.

    A child cannot escape from being part of their family. Much as some children would like a divorce from their parents or siblings, it simply cannot happen. You are who you are.

    A Scot cannot throw off their Scottish inheritance, a Spaniard cannot avoid the Spanish connection, a Jew cannot cease being a Jew.

    True, from time to time a Jew tries to merge into the scenery and pretend that they really aren’t Jewish, but in the long run it never works.

    The best way is to embrace your identity and if you are Jewish, be the best possible kind of Jew you can.

    Some of the commentators interpret our verse a little differently. They say that if the majority of the people are worthy, their righteousness works backwards and envelops even the individual who may not personally deserve the reward.

    Conversely, if the majority merit Divine punishment, that also comes upon the individual even if he or she is a good and upright person. In that case the righteous individual has to work harder to avoid the effect of the unworthy deeds of the majority.

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