Torah Commentary

Torah Commentary

Fearing Death and Finding Life

In Va-et'chanan, Moses stands before God, pleading for his life. With misty eyes and tears of supplication dotted with desert sand, Moses asks God for just one more thing to enter the Promised Land with the Israelites, and to allow his body and heartto touch the earth on the other side of the Jordan.

The Oneness of Diversity

This week's Torah portion, va-et'chanan, can give us a helpful frame as we consider what it means to truly recognize the diversity we have in our community.

Not Only About the Ten Commandments

This week’s Torah portion, Va-et’chanan, usually focuses on the Ten Commandments, but as I sat down to write my commentary, I was reminded of  my teacher Rabbi Nehemia Polen, who taught us that there would be times in our lives when the “text

What Torah Requires of Us

If we had to choose only one Torah portion to summarize the entire Torah, which would it be? We'd have to consider >Parashat Va-et’chanan a strong contender; in it, we find a compilation of Torah’s “greatest hits,” both in law and narrative.

The Necessary Steps to Ready Ourselves for Repentance

In the realm of profound and fruitful parshiyot, Va-et’chanan looms large. In one stream of chapters, we both relive Revelation — the Ten Commandments — and receive the most succinct summary of our emerging theology — the Sh’ma. And yet, even before we reach these transformational texts, Va-et’chanan captures our attention.