The Portion of Va’etchanan

Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11

In this week’s portion, Moses continues his farewell speech to the people. Here, he repeatedly warns the people against falling into the trap of idolatry. He reminds them of the incident at Ba’al Pe’or, in which the people sinned and a plague wiped out thousands, as well as the revelation at Mount Sinai. He tells the people they must teach their children God’s laws because He took them out of the bondage of Egypt to serve Him.

 

 

Topic 1: A Warning Against Idolatry

The portion opens with Moses recounting how he beseeched God to allow him to enter the land of Israel, but was denied. The Israel Bible points out that Moses was motivated not by arrogance or a desire to continue leading the people, but rather by a desire to step into the Holy Land and breathe… Read More »

 

 

Topic 2: The Ten Commandments Reviewed

Next, Moses reminds the people of the events that took place at Mount Sinai. He begins by telling the people it was an event which happened, not to their forefathers, but to they themselves. Although in reality the generation standing before him was not that which left Egypt, Jewish tradition teaches that all Jewish souls… Read More »

 

 

Topic 3: A Credo to Live By

This portion contains one of the most significant passages in all the Torah: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord in One.” (6:4) This declaration of faith, known as the Shema, has served as the deathbed statement of many a persecuted Jew throughout the centuries. The entire passage emphasizes the importance of our… Read More »

 

 

Topic 4: 'When God Brings You into the Land...'

When the Israelites enter the land, Moses continues, they will find nations who have been living there for many years. Moses instructs the people to drive those nations out of the land without mercy, not to make treaties with them and not to intermarry with them, lest they influence the Children of Israel to stray… Read More »
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