Batya Hefter – Rosh Beit Midrash
“And these are the words”(Dvarim 1:1)  says Rashi, ‘these are words of rebuke’
Parshat Dvarim is always read the Shabbat before Tisha B’av.
The linguistic parallel between Moshe words “איכהאשא לבדי טרחכם” and  איכה ישבה בדד’ ‘ the words of  Yirmiyahu, invite us to compare Dvarim and the book of Eicha.
Rashi teaches us that the opening words of Moshe in sefer Dvarim are words of rebuke.
“These are the words (dvarim) that Moshe spoke” (dvarim 1:1), (rashi), ‘these are words of rebuke’.
“And these are the words which Moshe spoke…” yesterday you said “I am not a man of many words”, (Shmot 4:10)  and today you say,  “And these are the words which Moshe spoke!”  (Midrash dvarim rabbah 7)
How does Moshe go from being a man who is unable to speak, to becoming a forceful orator?
Moreover, we just learned from Rashi that the words that are finally spoken are words of rebuke.    A brief look at Moshe can teach us something about the nature of rebuke.  The connection of course is that Tisha B’av is a mo’ed of rebuke.
For a sensitive individual, it is not easy to give rebuke, all the more so it is not easy to accept rebuke.
When God first came to Moshe at the burning bush, Moshe said,  ‘I am not a man of words.’  (Shmot 4:10).  God tries to convince Moshe to accept his leadership to free the Israelites and Moshe resists with five excuses for why he is not the one to go.  Moshe seems indifferent to the fate of his brethren in Egypt.
To balance out that impression, let’s remember that this is the same Moshe who, when confronted by the Egyptian abusing the Israelite,  was enraged by the injustice, killed the Egyptian and then fled to Midian.
Moshe now resists returning to the terrible and painful reality of Egypt.  The point is that Moshe refuses to return, not because he does not care; the reality of the injustice of Egypt is too much for him to bear.   Therefore he was “לא איש דברים אנכי”.
Now, forty years later, forty years in which Moshe cared for Israel’s  daily needs, for their food, water, security, their faith, he has expectations of them and he is frustrated.
His describes himself as a nursing mother.    Who could be more engaged in the needs of another human being than a mother?
Bamidbar 11:12  “Did I conceive this people? Did I give them birth, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing child,’ to the land that you swore to give their fathers?”…14 “I am not able to carry all of these people alone, the burden is too great for me.”
So when Moshe comes to the end of his days, in sefer Dvarim he rebukes the people.
Moshe’s rebuke in Sefer Dvarim is an expression of anger and frustration, but he speaks  to them so  because he is engaged, committed.  And because he loves them.
After all of the hard work that Moshe put in to the children of Israel, he has justified expectations.
“And these are the words (rebuke) of Moshe” – There are words of rebuke.
It is never easy to accept rebuke.  Rebuke is certainly not popular in today’s world.
Nonetheless, Tisha B’av is the time of rebuke.
Moshe rebukes the people because he loves them.  He is invested in their welfare, he has justified expectations.
Ironically, because he has overcome ambivalence towards their plight at the outset of his carreer, he now cares about them deeply – to the extent that he will rebuke them.  Rebuke here means to care, to care deeply and in detail about their future.
He moves from one who cannot rebuke –‘I am not a man of words’  – to one who has words, as Rashi says, words of rebuke.
Can we receive rebuke?
The ability to receive rebuke depends on feeling that beneath the anger or frustration rests a person who cares deeply for you.
On this day of tochecha – rebuke, if and when it is necessary, we should be able to give rebuke  anchored in a place of profound caring and know how to give rebuke so that it can be accepted.  On the other hand, on this day of tochecha – rebuke – may we be able to accept the rebuke when it comes from a place of love and caring.