This parshah comprises the 32nd chapter of the Book of Deuteronomy. 32 is numerically equivalent to the term לב, meaning “heart,” alluding to the role of Haazinu as the heart of the Book of Deuteronomy. Just as the vitality of the entire body is totally dependent on the heart, so too, the vitality of our Torah observance as a whole is dependent on this song of Haazinu.

The centrality of its message is reflected by Moses’ statement: “Focus your hearts on all the matters concerning which I will testify to you today… to be careful to observe all the words of this Torah.” Indeed, our Rabbis state that “This song includes the entire Torah. In it are included all the words of the prophets and everything that will occur to the Jewish people in their exile and their redemption.”

One of the verses of the song is “Like an eagle arousing its nest, hovering over its young… carrying them on its pinions.” The eagle is cited as the paradigm of mercy. As Rashi comments, it carries its young on its pinions so that if an arrow is shot at it, the arrow will pierce the mother and not the child. Nevertheless, the eagle presents a paradox, for it is a non-kosher fowl, a bird of prey. How can these two opposite characteristics coexist?

The resolution to this question has its source in Ezekiel’s vision of the Divine Throne. There, the eagle features in the center, flanked by the lion on the right and the ox on the left. According to Kabbalah, there are three vectors (kavvim) of Divine revelation. It is the central vector that ascends to the inner dimension of Kesser, an essential level of G‑dliness. As a result, its influence is found in all existence, even in created beings on the lowest levels, endowing even an impure fowl with the quality of mercy. (This relationship is emphasized most strongly through the eagle whose aggressive nature would seem to be totally antithetical to the expression of mercy).

Parshas Haazinu is read either in the Ten Days of Repentance or in the days directly after Yom Kippur, times when G‑d’s mercy is expressed. This verse highlights how, regardless of a Jew’s situation, even if he has descended to the extent that G‑d must “discover him in a desert region, in desolation,” He will “preserve him like the pupil of the eye.”

Looking to the Horizon

The Haftorah read this Shabbos includesthe song David composed “on the day G‑d delivered him from the hand of all his enemies.” This Haftorah is also recited on the Seventh Day of Pesach. The association with that holiday can be explained as follows: The Torah reading of that day includes the celebratory song that Moses and the Jewish people sang after the miracle of the Splitting of the Sea and their salvation from the Egyptians. Hence it is appropriate that David’s song, also a song of deliverance, be read as the Haftorah.

Nevertheless, one might ask: The Song of the Splitting of the Sea is also read in Parshas Beshalach. The Haftorah for that Shabbos, however, is the Song of Deborah. True, that song is also a song of deliverance. But why aren’t the readings consistent. Why isn’t the Song of Deborah chosen as the Haftorah for the Seventh Day of Pesach, just as it was chosen as the Haftorah for Parshas Beshalach?

In resolution, it can be explained that the Seventh Day of Pesach is associated with the revelation of Mashiach. Therefore, as an allusion to Mashiach, we read the song authored by his ancestor, King David.

Herein as well, a connection can be drawn to Parshas Haazinu, a song thatincludes “everything that will occur to the Jewish people in their exile and their redemption.” Accordingly, its Haftorah includes a song that through its association with King David, alludes to Mashiach’s coming.