PARASHAT VA’ETCHANAN

Saturday 24th July 2021 15th Av 5781

PARASHAT VA’ETCHANAN

Deuteronomy 3:23 – 7:11; Isaiah 40:1 – 26; Luke 3:2 - 15

Summary:

Moses pleads (va’etchanan)with God to enter the Holy Land, but is turned down. (Remember, God always answers your prayers -- sometimes with a “yes,” sometimes with a “no” ... and sometimes with a “not yet”.) Moses commands the Children of Israel not to add or subtract from the words of the Torah and to keep all of the Commandments. He then reminds them that God has no shape or form and that we should not make or worship idols of any kind.

The cities of Bezer, Ramot, and Golan are designated as Cities of Refuge east of the Jordan river. Accidental murderers can escape there to avoid revengeful relatives. They then wait there until tried.


The Ten Commandments are repeated to the whole Jewish people. Moses expounds the Shema, affirming the unity of God, Whom all should love and transmit His commandments to the next generation. A man should wear tefillin upon the arm and head. All Jews should put a mezuzah (the scroll is the essential part) upon each doorpost of their home (except the bathroom).

Moses then relays the Almighty’s command not to intermarry, “for they will lead your children away from Me” (Deuteronomy 7:3-4).

The Mezzuzah (Devarim 6:9)

The legal concept of the inviolability of one’s home has been known in Western civilization since the age of the Roman Republic. In English common law this maxim is derived from the dictum that “an Englishman’s home is his castle.”