ipt" src="../static/js/analytics.js?v=1492726049.0" charset="utf-8"> Va' Ethannan

Va'Ethannan

Although Moshe is content that Yehoshua will lead the nation, Moshe nevertheless prays to enter the Land of Israel in order to fulfill its special mitzvot.  G-d refuses.

Moshe reminds Bnai Yisrael of the gathering at Sinai when they received the Torah, that they saw no visual representation of the Divine, but only the sound of words.  Moshe impresses on Bnai Yisrael that the Sinai revelation took place before an entire nation, not to a select elite, and that only the Jews will ever claim that G-d spoke to their entire nation.  Moshe specifically enjoins Bnai Yisrael to "pass over" the Sinai event to their children throughout all generations.

Moshe predicts, accurately, that when Bnai Yisrael dwell in Eretz Yisrael they will sin and be scattered among all the peoples. They will stay few in number but will eventually return to G-d.

Moshe designates three "refuge cities" to which an inadvertent killer may flee. Moshe repeats the 10 Commandments and then teaches the Shema, the central credo of Judaism, that there is only One G-d.  Moshe warns the people not to succumb to materialism and thus forget their purpose as a spiritual nation.  The parsha ends with Moshe exhorting Bnai Yisrael not to intermarry when they enter Eretz Yisrael, as they cannot be a treasured and holy nation if they intermarry, and they will become indistinguishable from the other nations.