VaYelech (Deuteronomy 31:1-30)

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Meaning of the Torah portion name


The portion is named , VaYelech, literally "and he (Moses) went", because it describes

how Moses came to speak to the Israelites.

This week's unusually short portion begins with Moses speaking to the people of Israel, explaining that at the age of 120, his days as leader are near their end, both because of his age and because of God's decree that he should not enter the Land of Canaan.

Moses promises that God will fight for the Israelites upon entering Canaan, and declares that Joshua will be their leader as God spoke. Moses calls Joshua before him in front of all the people and blesses him.

Moses then writes the Torah, the book of the laws, and gives it to the priests. He commands that it be read to the people every 7 years during the Festival of Booths. That way, obeying God's laws will pass on from generation to generation.

Since Moses is nearing the end of his life, God commands him to summon Joshua to the Tent of Meeting. God tells Joshua and Moses of the insolence towards God with which the people will behave after Moses' death and commands Joshua and Moses to write the song of Ha'Azinu, next week's portion, as a reminder of God for the people.

Moses commands the priests to take the Torah he has written and save it as a witness, because he knows the people will sin after his death.

List of dates

04 October 2008
12 September 2009 (Nitzavim-Vayelech)
04 September 2010 (Nitzavim-Vayelech)

Related phrases


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