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		                                    Word Of Torah		                                </span>

Word of Torah

Written by: Jason Schnissel

Parasha Va’et’chanan

Of the fifty-four portions in the Torah it is safe to say that perhaps one of the most recognizable phrases in the entire Torah comes from this week’s portion. Parashat Va’et’chanan, the second in the book of Deuteronomy, contains the phrase that became the opening words of the Sh’ma prayer. “Hear, O Israel! The Eternal is our God, the Eternal alone.” Deuteronomy 6:4
The Sh’ma continues to describe “Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you today. Impress them upon your children.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And indeed this is a task which generations of our people have taken on. As a modern Jewish congregation the Sh’ma remains a core lesson for our Hebrew School students. It is one of the first prayers that is taught.
Parashat Va’et’chanan provides a glimpse into a turning point in the narrative of the Israelites wandering in the desert. In the portion the Israelites are on the precipice entering the Land of Israel. While Moses is able to see into the land from a mountain top, he is forced to further accept that he will not enter the land. Further, Joshua is provided with instructions to be the next leader of the Israelites. Of note, the portion includes the word “children” seventeen times. It is clear that as the generational shift between Moses and Joshua progresses the Torah seeks to fully emphasize the importance of the future of the Jewish people.
Mon, August 3 2020 13 Av 5780