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Dvar for Haazinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52)

Moshe’s final song begins with the famous proclamation that “when I call out Hashem’s name, ascribe greatness to our G-d” (32:3). Is it only proper to ascribe greatness to G-d when mentioning His name? Wouldn’t every moment be appropriate to consider G-d’s greatness?

Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetsky explains that it is not that greatness is only assigned when G-d’s name is declared, but that the mention of G-d should inspire contemplating His greatness. This can be achieved by regularly considering the source of all the good that we have in our lives, leading to a natural association of our gifts with their source. Being thankful for what we have leads to happiness, and being mindful of the source of those gifts leads to gratitude.