A year or two ago, we shared a different “Like a Rope” post for Parsha Haazinu, where the verse compares Jacob’s Heritage to a Rope. See our past post here: “Like a Rope – Crimping a Cable” This time we asked students around the table at Shabbat Lunch: Why a rope? What’s to be learned from a rope? Why does this verse in Haazinu use it as a metaphor? What insights can be learned from a rope?
In no particular order, and to the extent that I can remember, here’s some of what students shared:
A rope is intertwined of many strings or threads. So, too, the Jewish people are intertwined and interconnected with each other. – Victoria R.
A rope symbolizes our connectedness with our past, with our history, we are holding onto the rope of previous generations and carrying it onward.
There’s tensile strength vs. compressed strength. Some things get stronger when they are pushed together, and other things when they are pulled and tensed. A rope loses all its strength when pushed – it goes slack, weak and limp, but it gains its greatest strength when pulled tight and taut. So, too, with the Jewish people. It’s when we pull the rope closest to us, not push it away, that it has its greatest strength. – Eliran R.
You can cross a chasm with a tight rope, if you are careful and focused, keep your balance and don’t lose your footing. So, too, we can overcome great barriers with these important life qualities. – Jonathan K.
When a rope tears and you tie the torn ends together, it makes the total rope just a little shorter and the ends closer. So, too, when we do Teshuvah, repairing the torn connections in our Judaism, it makes our total connection to G-d a little closer. – Raizy R.
The increased strength of the intertwined single strands reminds me of that scene from “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes” where its easy to break one stick at a time, but once a bunch of a sticks are in a bundle it becomes very difficult to break. A rope’s strength is a lesson about Jewish unity. – Jacob W.