Parshat ha Shavuah Verses Vaetchanan / ואתחנן

Fittingly, after the 9 of AV, we are reminded by Moshe Rabbeinu what we have to do in order to stay alive on the “good land”.



ו  וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם, וַעֲשִׂיתֶם–כִּי הִוא חָכְמַתְכֶם וּבִינַתְכֶם, לְעֵינֵי הָעַמִּים:  אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁמְעוּן, אֵת כָּל-הַחֻקִּים הָאֵלֶּה, וְאָמְרוּ רַק עַם-חָכָם וְנָבוֹן, הַגּוֹי הַגָּדוֹל הַזֶּה.

6 Observe therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, that, when they hear all these statutes, shall say: ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’

ז  כִּי מִי-גוֹי גָּדוֹל, אֲשֶׁר-לוֹ אֱלֹהִים קְרֹבִים אֵלָיו, כַּיהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ, בְּכָל-קָרְאֵנוּ אֵלָיו.

7 For what great nation is there, that hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is whensoever we call upon Him?

ח  וּמִי גּוֹי גָּדוֹל, אֲשֶׁר-לוֹ חֻקִּים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים צַדִּיקִם, כְּכֹל הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי נֹתֵן לִפְנֵיכֶם הַיּוֹם.

8 And what great nation is there, that hath statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

ט  רַק הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ וּשְׁמֹר נַפְשְׁךָ מְאֹד, פֶּן-תִּשְׁכַּח אֶת-הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר-רָאוּ עֵינֶיךָ וּפֶן-יָסוּרוּ מִלְּבָבְךָ, כֹּל, יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ; וְהוֹדַעְתָּם לְבָנֶיךָ, וְלִבְנֵי בָנֶיךָ.

9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes saw, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life; but make them known unto thy children and thy children’s children


Are we really Your children, o Lord?!

Why did You choose us? To get scorned? To get killed?

Despite all the travails, we have to attest to Your greatness forever.


כב  כִּי אָנֹכִי מֵת בָּאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת, אֵינֶנִּי עֹבֵר אֶת-הַיַּרְדֵּן; וְאַתֶּם, עֹבְרִים, וִירִשְׁתֶּם, אֶת-הָאָרֶץ הַטּוֹבָה הַזֹּאת.

22 but I must die in this land, I must not go over the Jordan; but ye are to go over, and possess that good land.

כג  הִשָּׁמְרוּ לָכֶם, פֶּן-תִּשְׁכְּחוּ אֶת-בְּרִית יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם, אֲשֶׁר כָּרַת, עִמָּכֶם; וַעֲשִׂיתֶם לָכֶם פֶּסֶל תְּמוּנַת כֹּל, אֲשֶׁר צִוְּךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ.

23 Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which He made with you, and make you a graven image, even the likeness of any thing which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee.

כד  כִּי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֵשׁ אֹכְלָה הוּא:  אֵל, קַנָּא.

24 For the LORD thy God is a devouring fire, a jealous God.

When we do not-so-nice things quietly because no one sees us, do we forget that H-Shem sees us always? When we cry for His help, what do we say? Do we suffer from the sins we committed not because of punishment, but because of shame? When we say “in the time of Moshiach”, do we really mean it, or do we just push it off as a childish dream? And who or what exactly are we waiting for?

Every time another 9 of Av comes on the calendar, we hope that it should be the last. In every generation with all the troubles the people endured, someone inevitably would say  – Rabbi, we’ve been waiting for the Messiah all our lives, wouldn’t this be a good time for him to come?


Even today, when we have Israel, B’H, Jews are killed there as well as anywhere else. Blood and tears are following us every day. Ad Matai – עד מתי we cry not knowing when the rest would finally come.

And yet:

א  נַחֲמוּ נַחֲמוּ, עַמִּי–יֹאמַר, אֱלֹהֵיכֶם.

1 Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God.

ב  דַּבְּרוּ עַל-לֵב יְרוּשָׁלִַם, וְקִרְאוּ אֵלֶיהָ–כִּי מָלְאָה צְבָאָהּ, כִּי נִרְצָה עֲו‍ֹנָהּ:  כִּי לָקְחָה מִיַּד יְהוָה, כִּפְלַיִם בְּכָל-חַטֹּאתֶיהָ.

2 Bid Jerusalem take heart, and proclaim unto her, that her time of service is accomplished, that her guilt is paid off; that she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.

From this week’s Haftarah Isaiah 40 יְשַׁעְיָהוּ

Despite our inequities and our constant failure to “walk with Gd”, we are promised to receive a pardon from the Almighty, which for me means – be gathered in the City of  Gold being a free people in our own land.

May we merit to see this happen in our days.

Shabbat Shalom!






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