The Book of Deuteronomy is radical in every way. Initially, it seems that it’s “just” a review of key events, lots of criticism of the Israelites, and repetition of the core values encountered in previous books through the lens of Moses. But in fact it is wildly radical--different from all the other books of the Torah in both form and function.... Much of the book, especially its first Torah portion, D'varim, highlights the major events that have formed the Jewish people, from Moses' view point.
It’s no accident that Deuteronomy, meaning “second law” in Greek, is a name given to the Book of D’varim. For centuries, commentators have regarded the Deuteronomy as different from the other books of Torah in that it is Moses’ repetition of the law. No other book of Torah begins by clearly asserting, “These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel on the other side of the Jordan” (Deuteronomy 1:1). And, as Rabbi Sabath teaches above, Deuteronomy differs from the other books in another significant way: as he retells the story, Moses becomes the first commentator.