For Shabbat August 17th, 2019
Va’etchanan (וָאֶתְחַנַּן)— Hebrew for “and I pleaded,” the first word in the parashah and is the 45th weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual cycle of Torah reading and the second in the Book of Deuteronomy. It constitutes Deuteronomy 3:23–7:11
Torah Teacher Isaac’s PaRDeS whiteboard Breakdown:
The Relationship Process seen in Deuteronomy 4,5 & 6…
Torah Parsha Va’etchanan Summary
Moses tells the people of Israel how he implored God to allow him to enter the Land of Israel, but God refused, instructing him instead to ascend a mountain and see the Promised Land.
Continuing his “review of the Torah,” Moses describes the Exodus from Egypt and the Giving of the Torah, declaring them unprecedented events in human history. “Has there ever occurred this great thing, or has the likes of it ever been heard? Did ever a people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire . . . and live? . . . You were shown, to know, that the L‑rd is God . . . there is none else beside Him.”
Moses predicts that in future generations the people will turn away from God, worship idols, and be exiled from their land and scattered amongst the nations; but from there they will seek God, and return to obey His commandments.
Our Parshah also includes a repetition of the Ten Commandments, and the verses of the Shema, which declare the fundamentals of the Jewish faith: the unity of God (“Hear O Israel: the L‑rd our God, the L‑rd is one”); the mitzvot to love God, to study His Torah, and to bind “these words” as tefillin on our arms and heads, and inscribe them in the mezuzot affixed on the doorposts of our homes.
In the Shema, there is an interesting anomaly of an enlarged ayin and dalet at the beginning and at the end of the Shema in the words shema and echad respectively in Deut 6:4
‘Hear O Israel the Lord is our God, the Lord is one’
ע – Ayin is the eye, meaning “something to see”
ד – Dalet is a door, meaning “something to enter into to”
– Ayin and Dalet together spell the word עד meaning “witness”!
As we “enter” the covenant, others “see” us, and we become a “witness”!
“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. ” – Isaiah 43:10
This week’s haftorah is the first of a series of seven “haftarot of Consolation.” These seven haftarot commence on the Shabbat following Tisha B’Av and continue until Rosh Hashanah.
This section of Isaiah begins with God’s exhortation to the prophets: “Console, O console My people . . . Announce to Jerusalem that her period of exile has been fulfilled and that her sins have been forgiven.”
Isaiah’s prophecy describes some of the miraculous events that will unfold with the onset of the messianic era, such as the return of the exiles to Jerusalem, the revelation of God’s glory, and the rewards and retribution that will then be meted out.
The prophet then goes on to comfort the people, describing God’s power and might, and reassuring them of His care for His people.
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Torah Parashah teaching with video and audio and illustrations by Rabbi Isaac. © 2019 Assembly of Called-Out Believers. Use by Permission.