This week’s portion focuses on changes which will take place upon the people’s entry into Israel. First, they are told to wipe out all forms of idolatry which remain from the land’s previous inhabitants. They are then told God will set aside a special place for them to serve Him. Moses tells the people how to deal with deceitful people who will try to lead the nation astray from God. He reminds the people of the laws of kosher animals and teaches them about certain tithes. He reiterates certain aspects of the shmitta year and the pilgrimage holidays.
Topic 1: The Do’s and Don’ts of Worshipping GodThe portion opens with a blessing and a curse, the former which the people will receive if they follow God’s commands and the latter which will be visited upon them should they disobey. Moses tells the people that when they enter the land, they will stand upon two mountains, Gerizim and Ebal. There they shall… Read More »
Topic 2: Traps and SnaresMoses now describes a number of circumstances in which he warns the people not to be led astray. First, he warns the people not to fall prey to a deceitful prophet. Even if the signs a prophet sets come true, if he preaches against following God’s word, he is not to be believed. Instead, he… Read More »
Topic 3: Kosher AnimalsMoses tells the people that as children of God, they may not inflict wounds upon themselves or tear out their hair as signs of mourning. Then, he reminds them of the need to eat only kosher animals. Moses lists several animals which are known to be kosher, adding that those with split hooves and chew… Read More »
Topic 4: Tithes and ShmittaSince the people will be entering the Land of Israel imminently, Moses details several laws related to farming that the people will need to observe. He begins with the laws of tithes. Moses tells the people that they must separate a tenth of their produce each year to eat in the place which God… Read More »