The upside to this week’s Torah portion is Moses’ continued sermon reiterating the commandments Hashem has revealed to the Jewish people. Va’etchanan reminds us to never add or subtract from the Torah, never bow to other gods, the Big Ten are repeated, and the importance of marrying other Jews is stressed. Deuteronomy or Devarim is a book whose biggest contribution, in my opinion, is presenting all of the commandments given throughout the Torah in one book. For the ancient Hebrews this is Moses’ way of reminding a people who can generally be assumed as largely illiterate Hashem’s divine commandments, for the current day Jew Deuteronomy makes everything easy to find and convenient. Talk about a timeless win win.
For every upside there is undoubtedly a downside and Va’etchanan has a downside of biblical proportions (pun intended). This week’s portion translates as “and I pleaded.” Moses and the ancient Hebrews are encamped along [Read more…]