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Torah Discussion Starter: August 2022

This month’s Torah portions commence the beginning of the end. We begin Devarim (also known as Deuteronomy), the fifth and final book of the Torah, with its namesake parasha, and continue with Vaetchanan, Eikev, and Re’eh. Most of Devarim is a summary of the journey from Egypt and the lessons learned along the way, but of course, there’s always more to the story. Much of these first four parshaot are Moses speaking to the Israelites in preparation to finally entering the Promised Land of Israel. First, in Devarim, Moses recounts the appointing of chiefs, the spies from the twelve tribes, and more encounters from the wandering. In Vaetchanan, Moses reminds the Israelites the importance of keeping God’s commandments once they enter Israel. These are reiterated, and the Shema and V’ahavta appear for the first time. In Eikev, Moses reminds the Israelites yet again to follow the ten commandments, among other things. In Re'eh, Moses continues his reminders and lessons with information about the consequences of idolatry and laws of Kashrut. 

There’s a very common thread here: Moses’s legacy. He retells his story, which is that of the Israelites, but also helps direct them on how to behave, knowing full well that he will not be joining the Israelites as they finally enter the Promised Land. Moses is ensuring that history and lessons will not be forgotten after he's gone. 

What kind of history do you want to leave? What stories do you hope your family and communities remember? What lessons do you hope to impart on generations to come? 

For more about this month's Torah portions, check out these links! 

Parashat Devarim

Parashat Vaetchanan

Parashat Eikev

Parashat Re'eh


Tue, October 3 2023 18 Tishrei 5784