portion V’Etchanan – Deu 3:23 – 7:11
”Va’Etchanan” is Hebrew for “And I supplicated myself.”
Summary: Moses concludes his first speech to the
Hebrews and starts his second. The
first ends with a few more historical events, albeit with revisionism, in
particular on why Moses cannot enter the Holy Land (YHVH was angry with him
because of the people). The second
speech begins with Moses reminding the people that YHVH made a covenant not just
with our ancestors but with us. Moses
retells the 10 Commandments, albeit with some editorial changes.
He describes G-d as fire of which the people are afraid.
He also tells them that they must observe all the laws.
Moses then expounds on the major points of Jewish theology – that we
have only one G-d and it is YHVH.
"Hear O Israel, the Lord our G-d, the Lord is One," perhaps the most
frequently quoted line in Jewish liturgy, is from this Torah portion (Deu 6:4). Moses
also tells the children that they must love G-d and to teach G-d’s words to
their children. Moses warns the Children to obey G-d by performing the
commandments; to follow after other gods would raise G-d’s wrath and they will
be destroyed. In fact, the Children of Israel are told to destroy the
pagan's worship sites.