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Parashat Vayelech



Deuteronomy 31:1 – 31:30


Hebrew Vocabulary




Hebrew Parsha

Preparation for New Leadership

Moses went and spoke the following words to all Israel, saying to them: Today I am 120 years old and I can no longer come and go. HaShem has also told me that I would not cross the Jordan.

HaShem will be the One who will go across before you. It is He who will destroy these nations before you, so that you will expel them. Joshua will be the one who will lead you across, as HaShem has promised.

HaShem will do the same to these nations that He did to the Amorite kings, Sichon and Og. As you know, He annihilated them and their land. When HaShem gives you power over these nations, you must do to them everything required by this mandate that I have prescribed to you. Be strong and brave. Do not be afraid or feel insecure before them. HaShem is the One who is going with you, and He will not fail you or forsake you.

Joshua: The Torah

Moses summoned Joshua, and in the presence of all Israel, said to him, “Be strong and brave, since you will be the one to bring this nation to the land that HaShem swore to their fathers that He would give it to them. You will be the one to parcel it out to them. But HaShem will be the One who will go before you, and He will be with you. He will never forsake you or abandon you, so do not be afraid and do not let your spirit be broken.”

Moses then wrote down this Torah. He gave it to Levi’s descendants, the priests in charge of the ark of HaShem’s covenant, and to the elders of Israel.

Moses then gave them the following commandment: “At the end of each seven years, at a fixed time on the festival of Sukkoth, after the year of release, when all Israel comes to present themselves before HaShem your Lord, in the place that He will choose, you must read from this Torah before all Israel, so that they will be able to hear it. You must gather together the people, the men, women, children and proselytes from your settlements, and let them hear it. They will thus learn to be in awe of HaShem your Lord, carefully keeping all the words of this Torah. Their children, who do not know, will listen and learn to be in awe of HaShem your Lord, as long as you live in the land which you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.”

Final Preparations

HaShem said to Moses, “The time is coming for you to die. Summon Joshua and let him stand in meditation in the Communion Tent, where I shall give him orders.”

Moses and Joshua went, and they stood in meditation in the Communion Tent.

HaShem appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud. The pillar of cloud stood at the Tent entrance.

HaShem said to Moses, “When you go and lie with your ancestors, this nation shall rise up and stray after the alien gods of the land into which they are coming. They will thus abandon Me and violate the covenant that I have made with them. I will then display anger against them and abandon them. I will hide My face from them and they will be their enemies’ prey. Beset by many evils and troubles, they will say, ‘It is because my HaShem is no longer with me that these evils have befallen us.’ On that day I will utterly hide My face because of all the evil that they have done in turning to alien gods.

Now write for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites. Make them memorize it, so that this song will be a witness for the Israelites. When I bring them to the land flowing with milk and honey that I promised their ancestors, they will eat, be satisfied, and live in luxury. They will then turn to foreign gods and worship them, despising Me and violating My covenant. When they are then beset by many evils and troubles, this song shall testify for them like a witness, since it will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know their inclinations through what they are doing right now, even before I have brought them to the promised land.”

On that day, Moses wrote down this song, and he taught it to the Israelites. HaShem also gave Joshua orders, saying, “Be strong and brave, since you will bring the Israelites to the land that I promised them, and I will be with you.” Moses finished writing the words of this Torah in a scroll to the very end. Moses then gave orders to the Levites who carried the Ark of HaShem’s covenant, saying, “Take this Torah scroll and place it to the side of the ark of HaShem your Lord’s covenant, leaving it there as a witness. I am aware of your rebellious spirit and your stubbornness. Even while I am here alive with you, you are rebelling against HaShem. What will you do after I am dead? Gather to me all the elders of your tribes and your law enforcers, and I will proclaim these words to them. I will bring heaven and earth as witnesses for them. I know that after I die, you will become corrupt, and turn away from the path that I have prescribed to you. You will eventually be beset with evil, since you will have done evil in HaShem’s eyes, angering Him with the work of your hands.”

Moses then proclaimed the words of this song to the entire assembly of Israel until it was completed.


Haftarah Connection

Haftarah Study

Hosea 14:2-10; Joel 2:11-27; Micha 7:18-20

This Haftara is read on Shabbat Shuva (“The Shabbat of Repentance”).

The prophet Hosea asks the people of Israel to return to HaShem because they have sinned a great deal.


Sidra Stats

Sidra Stats

  • Fifty-Second of 54 Sedras in the Torah
  • Written on 30 lines in the Sefer Torah
  • 112 P’sukim (verses)
  • 1,484 words
  • 5,652 letters

Next week’s Parashat: HaAzinu