Va'et'hanan: A Summary of the Parsha

Moses stresses to the Israelites the importance of keeping God's commandments when they enter the land of Israel; Moses repeats the Ten Commandments and utters the Sh'ma and V'ahavta.

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"This is not a covenant with our ancestors, but with us, each of us that God commands:

'I am God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

'You shall not recognize the gods of others in My Presence. Do not make yourself a representation in the form of an image, nor in the form of any other likeness that which is in heaven above or that which is in the water far below the earth. Do not bow down before these idols and do not serve them, for I, your God am a God Who demands exclusive right. I remember the sin of parents for their children and for the third and fourth generations for those who hate Me, and I practice loving-kindness to the thousandth generation of those who love Me and those who keep My commandments.

'Do not take upon yourself the Name, your God, in vain, for God will not hold guiltless one who takes God's Name in vain.

'Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as God has commanded you. Six days you shall serve and do all your creating work and the seventh day is a Sabbath to God. On it you shall not perform any kind of creating work, neither you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your handmaid, nor our ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates, so that your manservant and your handmaid may rest just like you. And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt when God, your God, brought you out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm; therefore, did God, your God, command you to observe the Sabbath in practice.

'Honor your father and your mother, as God, your God, has commanded you, so that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you upon the soil that God, your God, is giving you.

'You shall not murder.

'You shall not commit adultery.

'You shall not steal.

'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

'You shall not covet the wife of your neighbor and you shall not desire our neighbor's house, his field, his manservant, his handmaid, his ox, his donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.'

"Be careful to do just as God has commanded. Do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in the way that God, has commanded you, so that you may live, and it may go well with you, and you will long remain in the land which flows with milk and honey.

"Hear O Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is One. You shall love God, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your resources. These words which I command you today shall be upon your heart and teach them diligently to your children, and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk upon the way; when you lie down, and when you get up. And bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be frontlets between your eyes. And write them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates."

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Nancy Reuben Greenfield

Nancy Reuben Greenfield has written three adaptations of the Torah, including an
interactive family version at www.TiptoeThroughTheTorah.com, and an engaging
Jewish immigrant novel, The Golden Medina, available on itunes and Amazon.