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Parshat Va'etchanan


5760 This week’s section contains one of the most important sentences in the Torah, one that even most unobservant Jews know: (6:4) ‘Shma Yisroel’; ‘Listen Jews, G-d is our G-d, G-d is one!’ What does this strange statement mean, and why is it so central to Judaism?
5761 In this week's section, Moshe Rabbeinu continues his talk to the Jewish Nation before their entrance into the Holy Land. But he seems to be repetitive. In one sentence (4:35) he says: "You have been shown to know that Hashem is G-D THERE IS NOTHING BESIDE HIM".
5762 The entire book of Deuteronomy (D'vorim) are the last orders of Moses to the Jews just as they are about to enter the land of Israel. In this book there are many new commandments but there are also repetitions of what they heard earlier. For instance here in this week's Torah portion Moses repeats what the Jews heard 40 years earlier at Sinai; the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-14).
5763 This week's section is named after a very discouraging event. Moses begged (Vaetchanan) G-d to let him enter Israel; he prayed five hundred and fifteen prayers (the numerical value of the letters of 'Vatchanan), and G-d refused! Why does the Torah even tell us this depressing message no less than an entire weekly portion after it?
5764 This week's section contains the well known statement: "Your eyes saw that...G-d destroyed everyone that went after [the idol] Baal P'or. And you who are clinging to G-d your L-rd, all are alive today." (4:3,4) This second sentence about being alive today is said aloud by everyone in the synagogue just before the Torah about to be read in public (four times a week).
5765 This week's section contains a paragraph with two of the most central ideas of Judaism: The giving of the Torah and the Oneness of G-d (4:32 - 35) "Ask if from the beginning of time....has there ever been such a great thing or even heard like it: That a nation would hear G-d speak from the fire like you did and live or that G-d took one nation from another with miracles....You have been shown to know that G-d is L-rd… there is nothing beside Him.
5766 This week's Torah portion contains twelve commandments, among them: 1) Not to desire the possessions of others; 2) To unify G-d and know He is One; 3) To love G-d; 4) To learn and teach Torah; 5) To say the "Shema Yisroel" prayer twice daily; 6) To put tefillin on the arm and 7) on the head; and 8) To affix mezuzot on all of one's doors.
5767 This week's Torah reading begins with Moses unsuccessfully trying to convince G-d to let him enter Israel and contains twelve commandments. Among them:
5768 This week's Torah portion is named after Moses' unsuccessful beseeching (Eschanan) of G-d to let him enter the Holy Land.
5769 This week's Torah portion contains 12 commandments. One of them is saying 'Shma Yisrael', another is to believe that G-d is 'one', and another is to love G-d with all your heart, soul and might.
5770 This week’s Torah portion comes immediately after the worst ‘holiday’ (see Lam. 1:15) in the Jewish year,TishaB’Av, when we ‘celebrated’ the fact that G-d destroyed the First and Second Temples (and not the Jewish people), and we pleaded with G-d to bringMoshiachto build the Third Temple and return the Jews to The Holy Land for good.
5771 This week's Torah portion contains the 'motto' of Judaism said twice every day; once in the morning and once in the evening, by every Jew:
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