Va-et'chanan

וָאֶתְחַנַּן
[Moses] Pleaded with the Eternal

When Is Va-et'chanan Read?

/ 15 Av 5781
/ 16 Av 5782
/ 11 Av 5783

Summary

  • Moses pleads with God to let him enter the Land of Israel with the people, but God once more refuses his request. (3:23–28)
  • Moses orders the Children of Israel to pay attention and follow the laws given by God in order to be worthy of the land they are about to receive. (4:1–40)
  • Specific areas of the land are set aside to serve as cities of refuge. (4:41–43)
  • The covenant at Sinai and the Ten Commandments are recalled. Once again, the people are exhorted to heed God’s commandments. (5:1–30)
  • Moses speaks the words of the Sh’ma, the credo of Judaism, and commands Israel to show their love for Adonai and keep God’s laws and ordinances. (6:1–25)
  • Moses warns the people not to commit idolatry by worshiping the gods of the nations they will conquer in Israel. (7:1–11)

Ten Minutes of Torah: Va-et'chanan Commentary

What Torah Requires of Us

By: Rabbi Max Chaiken

Our tradition holds that God gave Moses 613 mitzvot at Sinai. Yet in several texts our prophets or sages try to simplify and distill our tradition into core principles or values.

The prophet Micah taught that the Torah was built on just three commandments: “Do justly, love mercy, and walk...

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