In Song: Re’eh
Each week The Arty Semite connects the Torah reading — however tenuously — with a classic work of rock and roll.
This week’s parsha, Re’eh, begins with instructions on how the Israelites must behave in order to keep the land of Canaan and bond with it successfully. God informs us that He will choose a place as the center of religious worship, and that we are allowed to eat meat elsewhere, but only outside of the sacrificial framework. Then we are reminded which animals we are allowed to eat.
We are warned to beware of false prophets or other people that may lead us astray into idol worship and we learn the foundations of social justice and how to treat a Hebrew “slave.”
Finally, the parsha recounts the three “foot festivals” emphasizing that they are to be celebrated in God’s chosen place.
Later on, after the conquest of Canaan, the place chosen by God is revealed to be the city of Jerusalem, a place previously frequented by the Forefathers.
The heavy metal Israeli band Orphaned Land wrote a lovely song about Jerusealem, with their own vision for its future: