Chapter 27

1Moshe and the elders of Yisrael charged the people, saying: Observe all the Instruction that I enjoin upon you this day.

אוַיְצַו מֹשֶׁה וְזִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הָעָם לֵאמֹר שָׁמֹר אֶת־כָּל־הַמִּצְוָה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם הַיּוֹם׃

2As soon as you have crossed the Yarden into the land that Hashem your God is giving you, you shall set up large stones. Coat them with plaster

בוְהָיָה בַּיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר תַּעַבְרוּ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ וַהֲקֵמֹתָ לְךָ אֲבָנִים גְּדֹלוֹת וְשַׂדְתָּ אֹתָם בַּשִּׂיד׃

3and inscribe upon them all the words of this Teaching. When you cross over to enter the land that Hashem your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as Hashem, the God of your fathers, promised you

גוְכָתַבְתָּ עֲלֵיהֶן אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת בְּעָבְרֶךָ לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר תָּבֹא אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲ‍שֶׁר־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ אֶרֶץ זָבַת חָלָב וּדְבַשׁ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי־אֲבֹתֶיךָ לָךְ׃

4upon crossing the Yarden, you shall set up these stones, about which I charge you this day, on HarEival, and coat them with plaster.

דוְהָיָה בְּעָבְרְכֶם אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן תָּקִימוּ אֶת־הָאֲבָנִים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם הַיּוֹם בְּהַר עֵיבָל וְשַׂדְתָּ אוֹתָם בַּשִּׂיד׃

5There, too, you shall build a mizbayach to Hashem your God, a mizbayach of stones. Do not wield an iron tool over them;

u-va-NEE-ta SHAM miz-BAY-akh la-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha miz-BAKH a-va-NEEM lo ta-NEEF a-lay-HEM bar-ZEL

הוּבָנִיתָ שָּׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מִזְבַּח אֲבָנִים לֹא־תָנִיף עֲלֵיהֶם בַּרְזֶל׃

 27:5   There, too, you shall build a mizbayach

Moshe commands the Israelites that upon entry into the land, they are to perform a ceremony recommitting themselves to Hashem and His Torah. This ceremony is to take place on Mount Gerizim and Mount Eival, located near the city of Shechem, also known today as Nablus. Indeed, the fulfilment of this command is documented in Sefer Yehoshua (8:30-35). In addition to the ceremony, the Jewish people are commanded to build an altar on Mount Eival. They are to inscribe the Torah on its stones and, according to the Sages, then dismantle the altar and place the stones in Gilgal, their first station in the Land of Israel (Sotah 36a). According to Rabbi Yitzchak Abrabanel, these stones inscribed with the Torah text, placed at the entry to the land, indicated to all that this is the land of the Torah. They served as a reminder that the purpose of living in Eretz Yisrael is to practice the Torah’s commandments, and that all success in the land comes from Hashem. In the modern State of Israel, Bible studies are a mandatory part of the curriculum in the state’s educational system. As Zalman Shazar, third president of the State of Israel and then minister of education, said in his address to Knesset after the passing of the Compulsory Education Law in 1949, “Rich or poor, only children or large families, single or married — we must all carry the burden of Torah study.” This quote, as well as a portrait of President Shazar, are featured on the 200 shekel bill first printed in 1999.

200 New Israeli Shekel banknote featuring Zalman Shazar

President Zalman Shazar (1889-1974)

6you must build the mizbayach of Hashem your God of unhewn stones. You shall offer on it burnt offerings to Hashem your God,

ואֲבָנִים שְׁלֵמוֹת תִּבְנֶה אֶת־מִזְבַּח יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְהַעֲלִיתָ עָלָיו עוֹלֹת לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ׃

7and you shall sacrifice there offerings of well-being and eat them, rejoicing before Hashem your God.

זוְזָבַחְתָּ שְׁלָמִים וְאָכַלְתָּ שָּׁם וְשָׂמַחְתָּ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ׃

8And on those stones you shall inscribe every word of this Teaching most distinctly.

חוְכָתַבְתָּ עַל־הָאֲבָנִים אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת בַּאֵר הֵיטֵב׃

9Moshe and the levitical Kohanim spoke to all Yisrael, saying: Silence! Hear, O Yisrael! Today you have become the people of Hashem your God:

טוַיְדַבֵּר מֹשֶׁה וְהַכֹּהֲנִים הַלְוִיִּם אֶל כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר הַסְכֵּת וּשְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה נִהְיֵיתָ לְעָם לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ׃

10Heed Hashem your God and observe His commandments and His laws, which I enjoin upon you this day.

יוְשָׁמַעְתָּ בְּקוֹל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְעָשִׂיתָ אֶת־מִצְוׂתָו וְאֶת־חֻקָּיו אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם׃

11Thereupon Moshe charged the people, saying:

יאוַיְצַו מֹשֶׁה אֶת־הָעָם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמֹר׃

12After you have crossed the Yarden, the following shall stand on Mount Gerizim when the blessing for the people is spoken: Shimon, Levi, Yehuda, Yissachar, Yosef, and Binyamin.

יבאֵלֶּה יַעַמְדוּ לְבָרֵךְ אֶת־הָעָם עַל־הַר גְּרִזִים בְּעָבְרְכֶם אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן שִׁמְעוֹן וְלֵוִי וִיהוּדָה וְיִשָּׂשכָר וְיוֹסֵף וּבִנְיָמִן׃

13And for the curse, the following shall stand on HarEival: Reuven, Gad, Asher, Zevulun, Dan, and Naftali.

יגוְאֵלֶּה יַעַמְדוּ עַל־הַקְּלָלָה בְּהַר עֵיבָל רְאוּבֵן גָּד וְאָשֵׁר וּזְבוּלֻן דָּן וְנַפְתָּלִי׃

14The Leviim shall then proclaim in a loud voice to all the people of Yisrael:

ידוְעָנוּ הַלְוִיִּם וְאָמְרוּ אֶל־כָּל־אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל קוֹל רָם׃

15Cursed be anyone who makes a sculptured or molten image, abhorred by Hashem, a craftsman's handiwork, and sets it up in secret.—And all the people shall respond, Amen.

טואָרוּר הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה פֶסֶל וּמַסֵּכָה תּוֹעֲבַת יְהֹוָה מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי חָרָשׁ וְשָׂם בַּסָּתֶר וְעָנוּ כָל־הָעָם וְאָמְרוּ אָמֵן׃

16Cursed be he who insults his father or mother.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

טזאָרוּר מַקְלֶה אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ וְאָמַר כָּל־הָעָם אָמֵן׃

17Cursed be he who moves his fellow countryman's landmark.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

יזאָרוּר מַסִּיג גְּבוּל רֵעֵהוּ וְאָמַר כָּל־הָעָם אָמֵן׃

18Cursed be he who misdirects a blind person on his way.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

יחאָרוּר מַשְׁגֶּה עִוֵּר בַּדָּרֶךְ וְאָמַר כָּל־הָעָם אָמֵן׃

19Cursed be he who subverts the rights of the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

יטאָרוּר מַטֶּה מִשְׁפַּט גֵּר־יָתוֹם וְאַלְמָנָה וְאָמַר כָּל־הָעָם אָמֵן׃

20Cursed be he who lies with his father's wife, for he has removed his father's garment.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

כאָרוּר שֹׁכֵב עִם־אֵשֶׁת אָבִיו כִּי גִלָּה כְּנַף אָבִיו וְאָמַר כָּל־הָעָם אָמֵן׃

21Cursed be he who lies with any beast.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

כאאָרוּר שֹׁכֵב עִם־כָּל־בְּהֵמָה וְאָמַר כָּל־הָעָם אָמֵן׃

22Cursed be he who lies with his sister, whether daughter of his father or of his mother.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

כבאָרוּר שֹׁכֵב עִם־אֲחֹתוֹ בַּת־אָבִיו אוֹ בַת־אִמּוֹ וְאָמַר כָּל־הָעָם אָמֵן׃

23Cursed be he who lies with his mother-in-law.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

כגאָרוּר שֹׁכֵב עִם־חֹתַנְתּוֹ וְאָמַר כָּל־הָעָם אָמֵן׃

24Cursed be he who strikes down his fellow countryman in secret.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

כדאָרוּר מַכֵּה רֵעֵהוּ בַּסָּתֶר וְאָמַר כָּל־הָעָם אָמֵן׃

25Cursed be he who accepts a bribe in the case of the murder of an innocent person.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

כהאָרוּר לֹקֵחַ שֹׁחַד לְהַכּוֹת נֶפֶשׁ דָּם נָקִי וְאָמַר כָּל־הָעָם אָמֵן׃

26Cursed be he who will not uphold the terms of this Teaching and observe them.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

כואָרוּר אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָקִים אֶת־דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה־הַזֹּאת לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹתָם וְאָמַר כָּל־הָעָם אָמֵן׃