Torah portion Va’yelech Deuteronomy 31:1 - 31:30
Va'yelech is Hebrew for "And he went..."
Summary of Va’yelech: Moses says that it is his 120th birthday and he no longer has the ability to be their military leader – he will not be crossing the Jordan River. YHVH will destroy the nations in Canaan and he tells the people to have strength and courage. Moses also tells Joshua to be strong and have courage – YHVH will be with him in the Promised Land to help him with his leadership. Moses writes the Torah and tells the Levitical priests that every seven years at Succoth (feast of the Tabernacles) they are to read it publicly at a place to be determined by YHVH (we understand this to be Jerusalem). YHVH speaks to Moses and tells him to bring Joshua to the Tabernacle. YHVH appears in a cloud pillar and tells Moses that he will die; that the Hebrews will fail and say that it was because YHVH abandoned them. YHVH says it was because they followed after foreign gods. YHVH tells Moses to write the words of a song to teach to the people (we assume that this is Ha’Azinu – the following Torah portion). Moses finishes writing the Torah and he tells the Levites who carry the Ark of the Covenant to place the Torah next to it. It will be a witness against the people who were rebellious while Moses was their leader – how much worse will they be after he dies? The portion ends with Moses about to sing the song that YHVH taught him.