Deuteronomy – Select a Chapter

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29:9  You stand this day, all of you, before Hashem your God—your tribal heads, your elders and your officials, all the men of Yisrael,

כט:ט  אַתֶּם נִצָּבִים הַיּוֹם כֻּלְּכֶם לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם רָאשֵׁיכֶם שִׁבְטֵיכֶם זִקְנֵיכֶם וְשֹׁטְרֵיכֶם כֹּל אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

10  your children, your wives, even the stranger within your camp, from woodchopper to water drawer

י  טַפְּכֶם נְשֵׁיכֶם וְגֵרְךָ אֲשֶׁר בְּקֶרֶב מַחֲנֶיךָ מֵחֹטֵב עֵצֶיךָ עַד שֹׁאֵב מֵימֶיךָ׃

11  to enter into the covenant of Hashem your God, which Hashem your God is concluding with you this day, with its sanctions;

l’-av-r’-KHA biv-REET a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha uv-a-la-TO a-SHER a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha ko-RAYT i-m’-KHA ha-YOM

יא  לְעָבְרְךָ בִּבְרִית יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וּבְאָלָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ כֹּרֵת עִמְּךָ הַיּוֹם׃

29:11   To enter into the covenant of Hashem your God

As the People of Israel stand at the plains of Moab, ready to enter the Promised Land, Moshe leads them in reaffirming their covenant with Hashem for all generations. The Hebrew name for ‘plains of Moab,’ Arvot Moav (ערבות מואב), has a dual meaning, as the word Arvot is related to the term areivut (ערבות), which means ‘mutual responsibility.’ Rabbi Shlomo Riskin explains the significance: “I would submit that this covenant is that of mutuality, interdependent co-signership, but not necessarily between Jew and Jew — that was already incorporated into the previous covenants — but rather between Israel and the other nations of the world. After all, when Avraham was originally elected, God commanded that (Genesis12:3) ‘through you all the families of the world will be blessed’ — through the message of ethical monotheism, the vision of a God who demands justice, compassion and peace, which Avraham’s descendants must convey to the world. This is the true mission of Israel… This third covenant is the covenant of Israel’s responsibility to the world.”1 comment

12  to the end that He may establish you this day as His people and be your God, as He promised you and as He swore to your fathers, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov.

יב  לְמַעַן הָקִים־אֹתְךָ הַיּוֹם לוֹ לְעָם וְהוּא יִהְיֶה־לְּךָ לֵאלֹהִים כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר־לָךְ וְכַאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב׃

13  I make this covenant, with its sanctions, not with you alone,

יג  וְלֹא אִתְּכֶם לְבַדְּכֶם אָנֹכִי כֹּרֵת אֶת־הַבְּרִית הַזֹּאת וְאֶת־הָאָלָה הַזֹּאת׃

14  but both with those who are standing here with us this day before Hashem our God and with those who are not with us here this day.

יד  כִּי אֶת־אֲשֶׁר יֶשְׁנוֹ פֹּה עִמָּנוּ עֹמֵד הַיּוֹם לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר אֵינֶנּוּ פֹּה עִמָּנוּ הַיּוֹם׃

15  Well you know that we dwelt in the land of Egypt and that we passed through the midst of various other nations through which you passed;

טו  כִּי־אַתֶּם יְדַעְתֶּם אֵת אֲשֶׁר־יָשַׁבְנוּ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר־עָבַרְנוּ בְּקֶרֶב הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר עֲבַרְתֶּם׃

16  and you have seen the detestable things and the fetishes of wood and stone, silver and gold, that they keep.

טז  וַתִּרְאוּ אֶת־שִׁקּוּצֵיהֶם וְאֵת גִּלֻּלֵיהֶם עֵץ וָאֶבֶן כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב אֲשֶׁר עִמָּהֶם׃

17  Perchance there is among you some man or woman, or some clan or tribe, whose heart is even now turning away from Hashem our God to go and worship the gods of those nations—perchance there is among you a stock sprouting poison weed and wormwood.

יז  פֶּן־יֵשׁ בָּכֶם אִישׁ אוֹ־אִשָּׁה אוֹ מִשְׁפָּחָה אוֹ־שֵׁבֶט אֲשֶׁר לְבָבוֹ פֹנֶה הַיּוֹם מֵעִם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ לָלֶכֶת לַעֲבֹד אֶת־אֱלֹהֵי הַגּוֹיִם הָהֵם פֶּן־יֵשׁ בָּכֶם שֹׁרֶשׁ פֹּרֶה רֹאשׁ וְלַעֲנָה׃

18  When such a one hears the words of these sanctions, he may fancy himself immune, thinking, “I shall be safe, though I follow my own willful heart”—to the utter ruin of moist and dry alike.

יח  וְהָיָה בְּשָׁמְעוֹ אֶת־דִּבְרֵי הָאָלָה הַזֹּאת וְהִתְבָּרֵךְ בִּלְבָבוֹ לֵאמֹר שָׁלוֹם יִהְיֶה־לִּי כִּי בִּשְׁרִרוּת לִבִּי אֵלֵךְ לְמַעַן סְפוֹת הָרָוָה אֶת־הַצְּמֵאָה׃

19  Hashem will never forgive him; rather will Hashem‘s anger and passion rage against that man, till every sanction recorded in this book comes down upon him, and Hashem blots out his name from under heaven.

יט  לֹא־יֹאבֶה יְהֹוָה סְלֹחַ לוֹ כִּי אָז יֶעְשַׁן אַף־יְהֹוָה וְקִנְאָתוֹ בָּאִישׁ הַהוּא וְרָבְצָה בּוֹ כָּל־הָאָלָה הַכְּתוּבָה בַּסֵּפֶר הַזֶּה וּמָחָה יְהֹוָה אֶת־שְׁמוֹ מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם׃

20  Hashem will single them out from all the tribes of Yisrael for misfortune, in accordance with all the sanctions of the covenant recorded in this book of Teaching.

כ  וְהִבְדִּילוֹ יְהֹוָה לְרָעָה מִכֹּל שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּכֹל אָלוֹת הַבְּרִית הַכְּתוּבָה בְּסֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֶּה׃

21  And later generations will ask—the children who succeed you, and foreigners who come from distant lands and see the plagues and diseases that Hashem has inflicted upon that land,

כא  וְאָמַר הַדּוֹר הָאַחֲרוֹן בְּנֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר יָקוּמוּ מֵאַחֲרֵיכֶם וְהַנָּכְרִי אֲשֶׁר יָבֹא מֵאֶרֶץ רְחוֹקָה וְרָאוּ אֶת־מַכּוֹת הָאָרֶץ הַהִוא וְאֶת־תַּחֲלֻאֶיהָ אֲשֶׁר־חִלָּה יְהֹוָה בָּהּ׃

22  all its soil devastated by sulfur and salt, beyond sowing and producing, no grass growing in it, just like the upheaval of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which Hashem overthrew in His fierce anger

כב  גָּפְרִית וָמֶלַח שְׂרֵפָה כָל־אַרְצָהּ לֹא תִזָּרַע וְלֹא תַצְמִחַ וְלֹא־יַעֲלֶה בָהּ כָּל־עֵשֶׂב כְּמַהְפֵּכַת סְדֹם וַעֲמֹרָה אַדְמָה וצביים [וּצְבוֹיִם] אֲשֶׁר הָפַךְ יְהֹוָה בְּאַפּוֹ וּבַחֲמָתוֹ׃

23  all nations will ask, “Why did Hashem do thus to this land? Wherefore that awful wrath?”

כג  וְאָמְרוּ כָּל־הַגּוֹיִם עַל־מֶה עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה כָּכָה לָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת מֶה חֳרִי הָאַף הַגָּדוֹל הַזֶּה׃

24  They will be told, “Because they forsook the covenant that Hashem, God of their fathers, made with them when He freed them from the land of Egypt;

כד  וְאָמְרוּ עַל אֲשֶׁר עָזְבוּ אֶת־בְּרִית יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתָם אֲשֶׁר כָּרַת עִמָּם בְּהוֹצִיאוֹ אֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם׃

25  they turned to the service of other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they had not experienced and whom He had not allotted to them.

כה  וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲוּוּ לָהֶם אֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יְדָעוּם וְלֹא חָלַק לָהֶם׃

26  So Hashem was incensed at that land and brought upon it all the curses recorded in this book.

כו  וַיִּחַר־אַף יְהֹוָה בָּאָרֶץ הַהִוא לְהָבִיא עָלֶיהָ אֶת־כָּל־הַקְּלָלָה הַכְּתוּבָה בַּסֵּפֶר הַזֶּה׃

27  Hashem uprooted them from their soil in anger, fury, and great wrath, and cast them into another land, as is still the case.”

כז  וַיִּתְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה מֵעַל אַדְמָתָם בְּאַף וּבְחֵמָה וּבְקֶצֶף גָּדוֹל וַיַּשְׁלִכֵם אֶל־אֶרֶץ אַחֶרֶת כַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה׃

28  Concealed acts concern Hashem our God; but with overt acts, it is for us and our children ever to apply all the provisions of this Teaching.

כח  הַנִּסְתָּרֹת לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְהַנִּגְלֹת לָנוּ וּלְבָנֵינוּ עַד־עוֹלָם לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת׃

30:1  When all these things befall you—the blessing and the curse that I have set before you—and you take them to heart amidst the various nations to which Hashem your God has banished you,

ל:א  וְהָיָה כִי־יָבֹאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה הַבְּרָכָה וְהַקְּלָלָה אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ וַהֲשֵׁבֹתָ אֶל־לְבָבֶךָ בְּכָל־הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר הִדִּיחֲךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ שָׁמָּה׃

2  and you return to Hashem your God, and you and your children heed His command with all your heart and soul, just as I enjoin upon you this day,

ב  וְשַׁבְתָּ עַד־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְשָׁמַעְתָּ בְקֹלוֹ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם אַתָּה וּבָנֶיךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶׁךָ׃

3  then Hashem your God will restore your fortunes and take you back in love. He will bring you together again from all the peoples where Hashem your God has scattered you.

v’-SHAV a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha et sh’-vu-t’-KHA v’-ri-kha-ME-kha v’-SHAV v’-ki-betz-KHA mi-kol HA-a-MEEM a-SHER he-fitz-KHA a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha SHA-mah

ג  וְשָׁב יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת־שְׁבוּתְךָ וְרִחֲמֶךָ וְשָׁב וְקִבֶּצְךָ מִכָּל־הָעַמִּים אֲשֶׁר הֱפִיצְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ שָׁמָּה׃

30:3 Then Hashem your God will restore your fortunes

In his book Meshech Chochma, Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk (1843-1926) clarifies that this verse, foretelling the ingathering of the exiles, refers to two distinct groups of people. “God will restore your fortunes” alludes to the Jews who yearn to return to the Land of Israel. This group will be brought to Eretz Yisrael first. Subsequently, “He will bring you together again,” and even those Jews who have become comfortable on foreign soil and lost their connection with Israel will be brought back. We are privileged to witness the first part of the verse being fulfilled, as thousands of Jews choose to make aliya each year. In 2015, more than 31,000 Jewish immigrants left their homes worldwide and moved to the Land of Israel. Why do so many Jews choose to make Eretz Yisrael their home? According to Natan Sharansky, former Soviet “refusenik” and chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, “The high number of immigrants, particularly from western countries, attests to the drawing power of the Zionist idea. The fact that immigrants choose to come to Israel is a sign that Israel invests their lives with meaning that they cannot find elsewhere.”Comment

4  Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the world, from there Hashem your God will gather you, from there He will fetch you.

ד  אִם־יִהְיֶה נִדַּחֲךָ בִּקְצֵה הַשָּׁמָיִם מִשָּׁם יְקַבֶּצְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וּמִשָּׁם יִקָּחֶךָ׃

5  And Hashem your God will bring you to the land that your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your fathers.

ve-he-vee-a-KHA a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha el ha-A-retz a-sher ya-r’-SHU a-vo-TE-kha vee-rish-TA v’-hay-tiv-KHA v’-hir-b’-KHA ear-be-KHA may-a-vo-TE-kha

ה  וֶהֱבִיאֲךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יָרְשׁוּ אֲבֹתֶיךָ וִירִשְׁתָּהּ וְהֵיטִבְךָ וְהִרְבְּךָ מֵאֲבֹתֶיךָ׃

 30:5   The land that your fathers possessed

Customarily, this passage is read in synagogue every year prior to Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year and the first of the High Holidays. It describes the redemption of the Jewish people and their physical return to the Land of Israel. What is the connection between the return to the land and the High Holidays? One of the central themes of Rosh Hashana is the recognition of Hashem’s dominion over the whole world. Only at the time of the complete return of the People of Israel to Eretz Yisrael will all the world recognize Hashem as the King of the world. As it says “And Hashem shall be king over all the earth; in that day there shall be one Hashem with one name” (Zechariah 14:9).6 comments

6  Then Hashem your God will open up your heart and the hearts of your offspring to love Hashem your God with all your heart and soul, in order that you may live.

ו  וּמָל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת־לְבָבְךָ וְאֶת־לְבַב זַרְעֶךָ לְאַהֲבָה אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ לְמַעַן חַיֶּיךָ׃

7  Hashem your God will inflict all those curses upon the enemies and foes who persecuted you.

ז  וְנָתַן יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֵת כָּל־הָאָלוֹת הָאֵלֶּה עַל־אֹיְבֶיךָ וְעַל־שֹׂנְאֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר רְדָפוּךָ׃

8  You, however, will again heed Hashem and obey all His commandments that I enjoin upon you this day.

ח  וְאַתָּה תָשׁוּב וְשָׁמַעְתָּ בְּקוֹל יְהֹוָה וְעָשִׂיתָ אֶת־כָּל־מִצְוׂתָיו אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם׃

9  And Hashem your God will grant you abounding prosperity in all your undertakings, in the issue of your womb, the offspring of your cattle, and the produce of your soil. For Hashem will again delight in your well-being, as He did in that of your fathers,

ט  וְהוֹתִירְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכֹל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶךָ בִּפְרִי בִטְנְךָ וּבִפְרִי בְהֶמְתְּךָ וּבִפְרִי אַדְמָתְךָ לְטוֹבָה כִּי יָשׁוּב יְהֹוָה לָשׂוּשׂ עָלֶיךָ לְטוֹב כַּאֲשֶׁר־שָׂשׂ עַל־אֲבֹתֶיךָ׃

10  since you will be heeding Hashem your God and keeping His commandments and laws that are recorded in this book of the Teaching—once you return to Hashem your God with all your heart and soul.

י  כִּי תִשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לִשְׁמֹר מִצְוׂתָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו הַכְּתוּבָה בְּסֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֶּה כִּי תָשׁוּב אֶל־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶׁךָ׃

11  Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach.

יא  כִּי הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם לֹא־נִפְלֵאת הִוא מִמְּךָ וְלֹא רְחֹקָה הִוא׃

12  It is not in the heavens, that you should say, “Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?”

יב  לֹא בַשָּׁמַיִם הִוא לֵאמֹר מִי יַעֲלֶה־לָּנוּ הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וְיִקָּחֶהָ לָּנוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵנוּ אֹתָהּ וְנַעֲשֶׂנָּה׃

13  Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who among us can cross to the other side of the sea and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?”

יג  וְלֹא־מֵעֵבֶר לַיָּם הִוא לֵאמֹר מִי יַעֲבָר־לָנוּ אֶל־עֵבֶר הַיָּם וְיִקָּחֶהָ לָּנוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵנוּ אֹתָהּ וְנַעֲשֶׂנָּה׃

14  No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it.

יד  כִּי־קָרוֹב אֵלֶיךָ הַדָּבָר מְאֹד בְּפִיךָ וּבִלְבָבְךָ לַעֲשֹׂתוֹ׃

15  See, I set before you this day life and prosperity, death and adversity.

טו  רְאֵה נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַיּוֹם אֶת־הַחַיִּים וְאֶת־הַטּוֹב וְאֶת־הַמָּוֶת וְאֶת־הָרָע׃

16  For I command you this day, to love Hashem your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His laws, and His rules, that you may thrive and increase, and that Hashem your God may bless you in the land that you are about to enter and possess.

a-SHER a-no-KHEE m’-tza-v’-KHA ha-YOM l’-a-ha-VAH et a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha la-LE-khet bid-ra-KHAV v’-lish-MOR mitz-vo-TAV v’khu-ko-TAV u-mish-pa-TAV v’-kha-YEE-ta v’-ra-VEE-ta u-vay-ra-kh’-KHA a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha ba-A-retz a-sher a-TAH va SHA-mah l’-rish-TAH

טז  אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם לְאַהֲבָה אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָלֶכֶת בִּדְרָכָיו וְלִשְׁמֹר מִצְוׂתָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו וְחָיִיתָ וְרָבִיתָ וּבֵרַכְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־אַתָּה בָא־שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ׃

17  But if your heart turns away and you give no heed, and are lured into the worship and service of other gods,

יז  וְאִם־יִפְנֶה לְבָבְךָ וְלֹא תִשְׁמָע וְנִדַּחְתָּ וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ לֵאלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וַעֲבַדְתָּם׃

18  I declare to you this day that you shall certainly perish; you shall not long endure on the soil that you are crossing the Yarden to enter and possess.

יח  הִגַּדְתִּי לָכֶם הַיּוֹם כִּי אָבֹד תֹּאבֵדוּן לֹא־תַאֲרִיכֻן יָמִים עַל־הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה עֹבֵר אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן לָבֹא שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ׃

19  I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day: I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life—if you and your offspring would live

יט  הַעִידֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם אֶת־הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת־הָאָרֶץ הַחַיִּים וְהַמָּוֶת נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַבְּרָכָה וְהַקְּלָלָה וּבָחַרְתָּ בַּחַיִּים לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה אַתָּה וְזַרְעֶךָ׃

20  by loving Hashem your God, heeding His commands, and holding fast to Him. For thereby you shall have life and shall long endure upon the soil that Hashem swore to your ancestors, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, to give to them.

l’-a-ha-VAH et a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha lish-MO-a b’-ko-LO ul-dav-kah VO KEE HU kha-YE-kha v’-O-rekh ya-ME-kha la-SHE-vet al ha-a-da-MAH a-SHER nish-BA a-do-NAI la-a-vo-TE-kha l’-av-ra-HAM l’-yitz-KHAK ul-ya-a-KOV la-TAYT la-HEM

כ  לְאַהֲבָה אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לִשְׁמֹעַ בְּקֹלוֹ וּלְדָבְקָה־בוֹ כִּי הוּא חַיֶּיךָ וְאֹרֶךְ יָמֶיךָ לָשֶׁבֶת עַל־הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְהֹוָה לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב לָתֵת לָהֶם׃

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