Parashat Vayeilech

Saturday 5th October 2019 6th Tishri 5779

PARASHAT VAYEILECH - Shabbat Shuva by H.Raysman

Deuteronomy 31:1-30; Isaiah 55:6-56:8; Matt 18:21 – 35

Parashat VaYelech is the shortest of all the 54 Torah portions that are read throughout the Jewish year. It is only one chapter long! The ten-day period between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur is called Aseret Y’mei Teshuva – The Ten Days of Repentance. It is also known as Yomim Noraim – The Days of Awe. And therefore, the Shabbat that falls within this 10-day period is appropriately called Shabbat Shuva – the Sabbath of Turning or the Sabbath of Repentance.

Now, the portion commences with Moses encouraging both Israel and her new leader, Joshua.

Deut 31:3-4,

Adonai your God—He will cross over before you. He will destroy these nations from before you, and you will dispossess them. Joshua will cross over before you, just as Adonai has promised. "Adonai will do to them just as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. Adonai will give them over to you,

Chazak! Be courageous! Do not be afraid or tremble before them. For Adonai your God—He is the One who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you."

But, immediately after urging to be courageous and free of fear, Moshe them prophesies that God’s people will fall into apostasy and break the terms of the covenant, with the resultant consequences.