Monday, July 24, 2023

Vaetchanan - Reading #2

Va'etchanan וָאֶתְחַנַּן - Pleaded
Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11

Reading #2 - Deuteronomy 4:5–40

My Thoughts:

Verse 8 is compelling, “What great nation is there that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law which I set before you today?” And it is so true. What group of people on this planet have such righteous laws as Israel? We should acknowledge and thank Hashem that we are able to connect and unite with Israel and the Torah. It makes us a people who are set apart and worship the one true Elohim. There is only one true Elohim. The Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And He has created unique and wonderful statutes and ordinances. We praise Adonai for this.


Who or what are we looking for? Verse 39 says it all, “Know therefore today, and take it to heart, that Hashem himself is Elohim in heaven above and on the earth beneath. There is no one else.” He is the One. And He is G-d of heaven and earth. Think of that. He is the one and only G-d of the planet earth. He created and owns the earth. And if we really believe that we need to be taking better care of what He has entrusted us with. That is my challenge to you today. Make sure your house is “in order”. And see if there is anything you can do for your community. Both your religious community and the physical community you live in. If you see a piece of paper or garbage on the ground -- pick it up! Let’s start with what Hashem has given us and take care of it. This will affect the rest of the world for sure!

Reading #2 : Deuteronomy 4:5–40

4:5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and ordinances, even as Hashem our Elohim commanded me, that you should do so in the middle of the land where you go in to possess it. 6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who shall hear all these statutes and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” 7 For what great nation is there that has a god so near to them as Hashem our Elohim is whenever we call on him? 8 What great nation is there that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law which I set before you today?

9 Only be careful, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes saw, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your children and your children’s children— 10 the day that you stood before Hashem your Elohim in Horeb, when Hashem said to me, “Assemble the people to me, and I will make them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.” 11 You came near and stood under the mountain. The mountain burned with fire to the heart of the sky, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness. 12 Hashem spoke to you out of the middle of the fire: you heard the voice of words, but you saw no form; you only heard a voice. 13 He declared to you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even the ten commandments. He wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 Hashem commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances, that you might do them in the land where you go over to possess it. 15 Be very careful, for you saw no kind of form on the day that Hashem spoke to you in Horeb out of the middle of the fire, 16 lest you corrupt yourselves, and make yourself a carved image in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth; 19 and lest you lift up your eyes to the sky, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, even all the army of the sky, you are drawn away and worship them, and serve them, which Hashem your Elohiim has allotted to all the peoples under the whole sky. 20 But Hashem has taken you, and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be to him a people of inheritance, as it is today. 21 Furthermore Hashem was angry with me for your sakes, and swore that I should not go over the Jordan, and that I should not go in to that good land which Hashem your Elohim gives you for an inheritance; 22 but I must die in this land. I must not go over the Jordan, but you shall go over and possess that good land. 23 Be careful, lest you forget the covenant of Hashem your Elohim, which he made with you, and make yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which Hashem your Elohim has forbidden you. 24 For Hashem your Elohim is a devouring fire, a jealous G-d. 25 When you father children and children’s children, and you have been long in the land, and then corrupt yourselves, and make a carved image in the form of anything, and do that which is evil in Hashem your Elohim’s sight to provoke him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will soon utterly perish from off the land which you go over the Jordan to possess it. You will not prolong your days on it, but will utterly be destroyed. 27 Hashem will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where Hashem will lead you away. 28 There you will serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. 29 But from there you shall seek Hashem your Elohim, and you will find Him when you search after Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in oppression, and all these things have come on you, in the latter days you shall return to Hashem your Elohim and listen to His voice. 31 For Hashem your Elohim is a merciful Elohim. He will not fail you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them. 32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that Elohim created man on the earth, and from the one end of the sky to the other, whether there has been anything as great as this thing is, or has been heard like it? 33 Did a people ever hear the voice of Elohim speaking out of the middle of the fire, as you have heard, and live? 34 Or has Elohim tried to go and take a nation for himself from among another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand, by an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that Hashem your Elohim did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 It was shown to you so that you might know that Hashem is Elohim . There is no one else besides Him. 36 Out of heaven He made you to hear His voice, that He might instruct you. On earth He made you to see His great fire; and you heard His words out of the middle of the fire. 37 Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their offspring after them, and brought you out with His presence, with His great power, out of Egypt; 38 to drive out nations from before you greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today. 39 Know therefore today, and take it to heart, that Hashem Himself is Elohim in heaven above and on the earth beneath. There is no one else. 40 You shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which Hashem your Elohim gives you for all time.