Reading: Deuteronomy 3:23 – 7:11
Haftarah: Isaiah 40:1 – 40:26
Parsha Summary – Vaetchanan
Moses Continues his Final Speech
Overlooking the Rover Jordan, Moses continues his final speech to the Israelites. He tells them that he begged God to allow him to see the promised land, but that in His anger, He refused, and that Joshua will take over as their leader.
He tells the Israelites to follow what he says exactly, without adding or subtracting anything, and reminds them that only those who listened to God are still alive today. He reminds them that God spoke to the whole nation at Mount Sinai from a cloud of fire, and that God gave them the Ten Commandments carved into tablets of stone. Moses reminds the people not to make idols or worship anything other than God.
He warns them that in future generations, when the land is long theirs, they will become corrupt and do evil in God’s eyes. When this happens, God will scatter them among the nations where they will serve other gods. Eventually, they will find their way back to God, who will not forget the covenant He made with their fathers.
Moses then repeats the Ten Commandments to his nation, and says the Shema prayer. He tells the Israelites that they must obey God because He chose them above all the other nations, and destroyed other people in order to make the Israelites his.