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Parasha 45: Va’etchanan (And I Pleaded) Devarim/Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11
*All Scripture References from The Orthodox Jewish Bible- Referred to as OJB- unless otherwise noted
Joe Snipes (Torah Teacher) Gates To Zion Ministries
We now come to our second parasha of our sefer/book Devarim/Deuteronomy. It is entitled Va’etchanan meaning ‘And I Pleaded’. As we will see in the opening verse there is another very interesting use of the Hebrew word structure that is not seen in our English translations. We have seen this in other places in our studies through the Torah, but here in our sefer/book of Devarim/Deuteronomy we seem to be encountering these anomalies more often. But, before we do, let us take a moment to review from our previous Torah parasha so we may keep up with where we are in Moshe’s last speech to Am Yisrael. In our previous Torah parasha Devarim, we discussed the fact that the sefer/book of Devarim/Deuteronomy is in actuality a speech that Moshe was giving to Am Yisrael as they were poised on the eastern banks of the Yarden/Jordan River in the land of Moab. We gave an outline of the order of this speech and I want to give it again here.
1) The Introduction- Chapters 1-4
2) The Main Body- Chapters 5-26
3) The Covenant- Chapters 27-28
4) The Call to Repentance- Chapters 29-30
As you can see from the above list, our present parasha picks up in the midst of the Introduction of Moshe’s speech, and continues on into the first portion thereof, the Main Body. It helps to keep our focus as to what is being discussed, so we can be aware of where we are as Moshe moves along.
This parasha contains two of the most recognizable parts of the Torah: The Asaret HaDevarim/The Ten Words and the Sh’mah/Hear O Yisrael. We will look briefly into both to get an overview, and continue to examine other important points that need to be repeated for us today, even as it was needed for Yisrael then.