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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 26 May 2017 04:53 PM and ends Sat 27 May 2017 05:52 PM

Parsha and Haftorah Summary for Vaeschanan

בס׳ד
י' אב ה' אלפים תשס"ט

Parshat Vaeschanan
 
Note: The Shabbat Torah Reading is divided into 7 sections. Each section is called an Aliya [literally: Go up] since for each Aliya, one person "goes up" to make a bracha [blessing] on the Torah Reading.

Sefer Devarim is called "Mishneh Torah - The Review of the Torah" because it repeats over 100 mitzvos already mandated in the previous 4 Books. Rav S.R. Hirsch explains that of the 199 Mitzvos commanded in this book, more than 70 are new. The repeated mitzvos focus on areas that will be of greater immediate concern as they encounter the 7 Nations. For example, the prohibition against idol worship. Although already taught, it needed to be reiterated as the Jews would confront the inhabitants of Canaan, who were idolatrous. Those mitzvos whose application was the same, whether in the desert or in the Land, are not reviewed. In Parshat Vaeschanan Moshe continues his final instructions to the Bnai Yisrael.

1st & 2nd Aliyot: Moshe beseeched Hashem to enter the Land. However, he seemingly blamed the nation when his request was turned down. Moshe explained the foundation of our divine mission, which will be recognized by the other nations. Moshe stressed allegiance to Hashem and the consequences to ourselves and our children if we do not keep the law.

3rd & 4th Aliyot: Moshe designated the Cities of Refuge, and reviewed the entire experience of Revelation.

4th, 5th & 6th Aliyot: Moshe stressed the reaction of the nation after te giving of the Torah, and forewarned them not deviate from the Torah, either to the right or the to the left. The first paragraph of Shema is recorded. (6:10-15) Moshe warned the people about the dangers of prosperity, and directed them to keep the commandments and remember the Exodus. Moshe forewarned them about the dangers of assimilation and told them to always remember that they are the Chosen People.


Isaiah 40:1 - 40:26
 
This weeks Haftorah begins the 7 Haftorah of Consolation selected from the Navi Yishayah. In the aftermath of Tisha B'Av and the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash, Hashem embraces his children enveloping them in hope and love. It captures the imagery and emotion of a loving parent who after punishing a wayward child picks up the child and, with tears and hugs, kisses away the pain of distance and separation.

Yishayah paints a picture of the Creator's majesty in nature and history.
Prophesying 190 years before the Churban, he described the triumphant resurrection of Tzion and Yerushalayim. The exiled will have returned and the very hills of Jerusalem will testify to the eternity of Hashem and his chosen people. Our ultimate redemption will be far more than a return to Land and nationalism. It will herald the dawning of our greatest accomplishment as we ascend to our rightful place among the nations.

"The word of the Prophet visualizes the time when the "Jacob" nation will in truth have become "Israel", and as the nations of priests of the world, will have accomplished its mission. Then Jerusalem will have become the center, the heart from which, and to which, not only the life stream of Israel, but also that of the whole of mankind intimately connected with Israel pulsates." Rav Hirsch

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