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The weekly Torah portion of Vaeschanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11)

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Significance of "Shema Yisrael"

The verse Shema Yisrael (Devarim 6:4) is highly significant. It is Biblically required to be recited twice daily, it is to be said at the end of one's life, and appears in the liturgy at the end of ...
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How far do I have to go to take care of myself?

The mitzvah of V'nishmartem (Devarim 4:15) requires a person to take care of their health (Shulchan Aruch C.M. 427:8, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 32:1). How far does this go? Do I have to exercise daily? ...
Y     e     z's user avatar
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Why does the weekday Torah reading for Va'etchanan end in the middle of the Shabbat's 2nd aliyah?

While reading Va'etchanan last Thursday, I notice that the weekday reading ends in the middle of an aliyah (spec. the Sheni aliyah.) I am unaware of any minhag that ends the reading of Va'etchanan at ...
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Ramban and Shituf. What is his position?

The Ramban on Devarim 7:6 says: בך בחר ה' אלהיך להיות לו לעם סגלה שאין לך קצין שוטר ומושל בכל מלאכי מעלה אבל אתה סגולת ה' תחת ידו ולכך לא תטעה לעבוד ע"ז מאלהי העמים וכבר הזכרתי זה פעמים רבות ...
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Why are some sons' answers different from what's written in the Torah?

In the Hagada, the 4 sons ask questions (except, of course, for the son who doesn't know how to ask…), and they get answers. In most cases, both the questions and the answers are put in the form of ...
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What is the difference between the following words referring to commandments?

What is the difference between the following words? Commandments Law Testimonies Precepts Judgements Statutes Ordinances Deut 26:16 - 19 reads 16: This day, the Lord, ...
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Lo Sachmod Prat U'klal

Don't covet your friend's house. Don't covet the wife of your friend, nor his slave, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is to your friend (Shemos 20:14). Once the ...
DonielF's user avatar
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Use of the singular word 'Mitzvah' in Devarim 7:11

The last verse in Parshas Vaeschanan (Devarim 7:11) says: וְשָֽׁמַרְתָּ֨ אֶת־הַמִּצְוָ֜ה וְאֶת־הַֽחֻקִּ֣ים וְאֶת־הַמִּשְׁפָּטִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָֽנֹכִ֧י מְצַוְּךָ֛ הַיּ֖וֹם לַֽעֲשׂתָֽם: You shall ...
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Does the Torah ever allude to Earth being a spherical celestial body in space?

Taken at face value, the instances in which the Heavens and Earth are mentioned in the Torah, it is the Heavens above and Earth below. From what I gather, many secular scholars take from this that the ...
Echad-Ani-Yodeya's user avatar
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Only arm tefillin are a sign?

The four parshas of tefillin appear slightly differently each time when the Torah describes the mitzvah. Shemos 13:9 וְהָיָה֩ לְךָ֨ לְא֜וֹת עַל־יָדְךָ֗ וּלְזִכָּרוֹן֙ בֵּ֣ין עֵינֶ֔יךָ לְמַ֗עַן ...
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Why did Ahron Hakohen not daven to be allowed to Enter E"Y?

How come Ahron Hakohen didn't pray to enter E"Y like moshe did? Did he have less of a desire to enter?
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How does the oral Torah not contradict Dvarim 4:2?

If God intended there to be an oral Torah, why would He say not to add anything? Shouldn't He have at least mention this exception in the Torah, so we know the Talmud is divine? Devarim 4:2 ב לֹא ...
Jay's user avatar
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Discrepancy in number of Pesukim in Va'eschanan

At the end of Parshas Va'eschanan all the Chumashim I have seen (example 1) (example 2) (example 3) mention that there are 118 verses - Uziel Siman - as Uziel = 118. Artscroll Chumash has the same ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why are the words "mezuzos" written differently in the Torah (Rashi)?

There are two paragraphs in the Torah where the word mezuzos appears. The first, in Vaeschanan (6:9), is written with a kubutz (no vav)- מְזֻזוֹת . The second, in Eikev (11:20), it is written with a ...
YDK's user avatar
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Why is the wording "הערים האל" used? (Deut 4:42)

Devarim 4:42: לָנֻס שָׁמָּה רוֹצֵחַ אֲשֶׁר יִרְצַח אֶת רֵעֵהוּ בִּבְלִי דַעַת וְהוּא לֹא שֹׂנֵא לוֹ מִתְּמוֹל שִׁלְשׁוֹם וְנָס אֶל אַחַת מִן הֶעָרִים הָאֵל וָחָי so that a murderer might ...
MTL's user avatar
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In Devarim 5:5 why does Moshe connect the people's fear with not going up Mt. Sinai?

In Devarim 5:5 Moshe says: "Because you were afraid of the fire and you didn't go up the mountain..." It seems that Moshe is saying that the fear of the fire coming from the mountain was why B'nai ...
DanF's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
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Why did Hashem tell Moshe to look behind him when looking into Eretz Yisroel?

The Posuk says: וְשָׂא עֵינֶיךָ יָמָּה וְצָפֹנָה וְתֵימָנָה וּמִזְרָחָה וּרְאֵה בְעֵינֶיךָ The question is Moshe is standing in Chutz Laretz why look back thats not Eretz Yisroel that is also Chutz ...
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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Moshe davening 515 times to enter Eretz Yisrael

I have recently heard that since the gematria of Va'etchanan is 515, Moshe davened 515 times to enter Eretz Yisrael before Hashem told him he couldn't daven anymore. The reason is that if he would ...
Ploni Almoni's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
190 views

What was actually written on the two tablets?

The two versions of the 10 Commandments (one in Yitro and the 2nd in Va'etchanan) have different phrasing, most notably in commandments 4, 5 and 10. What was actually written on the two tablets? ...
DanF's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
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שקר and שוא The difference between

What's the difference between these 'falses' (שקר and שוא?), how does one distinguish them from one another? Exodus 20:16: עד שקר Exodus 23:1: שמע שוא Exodus 23:7: שקר Deuteronomium 5:20: עד שוא ...
Levi's user avatar
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4 votes
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Rashi's commentary on Deut. 4:19

I'm having trouble understanding how Rashi is reading Tehillim 36:3 in his commentary on Deut. 4:19. In Rashi's commentary on Deut. 4:19, he puts forward two possible interpretations of "asher ...
Reuven F.'s user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
349 views

How is it permissible for a Jewish slave to marry a Canaanite slavewoman?

In Shemot, chapter 21 verse 4, we learn that a master can give his Jewish slave a Canaanite slavewoman to bear the master slave children: If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or ...
Ani Yodea's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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What type of theft does Lo Signov refer to?

One of the Aseres Hadevarim (more commonly referred to as "Dibros") is "לא תגנוב". I can think of different types of theft / Geneivah such as stealing money/possesions, Geneivas Daas, and kidnapping. ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
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2 answers
433 views

Channukah and Bal Tosif

There are questions on the site which deal with saying Hallel on Channukah but my question seeks a more fundamental insight: The Ramban writes on Devarim 4:2 that a violation of Bal Tosif is creating ...
Bochur613's user avatar
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2 answers
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Different words for "desire"

In the (second presentation of the) tenth commandment (Deut 5:17), why does the Torah use two different words in Hebrew (תחמד and תתאוה) that mean almost the same thing is English ("covet" or "desire")...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why didn't Rashi mention lo sechanem includes gifts

Devarim 7:2 says: וּנְתָנָ֞ם יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ לְפָנֶ֖יךָ וְהִכִּיתָ֑ם הַחֲרֵ֤ם תַּחֲרִים֙ אֹתָ֔ם לֹא־תִכְרֹ֥ת לָהֶ֛ם בְּרִ֖ית וְלֹ֥א תְחָנֵּֽם׃ and the LORD your God delivers them to you and ...
robev's user avatar
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River flowing from the southern end of the Dead Sea?

A footnote on page 966 of the Artscroll chumash (this week's reading) has a map that includes the dead sea. The map shows a river flowing from the southern tip of the sea. According to a Duke U site: ...
Yehuda W's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why did G-d get angry with Moses' prayers?

In Parshas Va'etchanan, Moses tells that he begged to enter the Land of Israel until G-d got angry: וַיִּתְעַבֵּר ה' בִּי לְמַעַנְכֶם וְלֹא שָׁמַע אֵלָי וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֵלַי רַב־לָךְ אַל־תּוֹסֶף ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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Choshech, Anan v'Araphel? What does this mean?

I have a question regards Devarim 4:11 which in Hebrew reads: "עַד-לֵב הַשָּׁמַיִם חֹשֶׁךְ, עָנָן וַעֲרָפֶל". Transliteration reads the words 'choshech, anan and araphel'. It seems to me that there ...
Levi's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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UvLechtecha VaDerech? With Kavanah?

How can one maintain Kavanah reciting Keriath Shema' while walking along the way? Or is the requirement waived in this case?
Seth J's user avatar
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How tall was Chava?

Rashi here brings a Midrash that Adam Harishon's height was from earth until the Heavens. Based on the Midrash, was Chava that tall as well? Otherwise it would have been quite difficult to be married ...
Earl's user avatar
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0 answers
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How do we know where the Dibros start and end?

Each of the Aseres HaDibros, generally speaking, begin and end at consecutive Parshah breaks. Nevertheless, the first and second are combined into one parshah, while the last one is split into two. ...
DonielF's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
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Esnachta in taam elyon

Except in Tehillim, Mishlei, and most of Iyov, the esnachta indicates the biggest break in a pasuk. In the taam elyon in both Yisro and Vaetchanan, the second dibra is one pasuk, with the esnachta ...
Heshy's user avatar
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What constitutes an "Enemy of God"?

(I'm not referring here to Tenokim Shenishbu.) Devarim 7: "And he repays his enemies in his lifetime to make him perish, he shall noy delay for his enemy, in his lifetime shall he pay him". Who are ...
thegoon2013's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
124 views

Why did Moshe ask for a "free gift?" (Rashi on Parashas Va'eschanan)

Parshas Va'eschanan starts off with Moshe's Prayer to Hashem. Rashi comments that he asked for a free gift. Why was he asking for a free gift?
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
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Are there contradictory verses describing G-d's uniqueness?

My own translation of verses. Devarim (Deut.) 4:39 - "You should now, today, and return it to your heart that the Lord is G-d in the heavens and the earth below. There is no other" Devarim (Deut.) 10:...
DanF's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Source of the claim that Moshe's tefillah could change Hashem's mind

I heard once that what is meant in the passuk: "ויתעבר יהוה בי למענכם ולא שמע אלי ויאמר יהוה אלי רב־לך אל־תוסף דבר אלי עוד בדבר הזה" But the LORD was wrathful with me on your account and ...
Yishai De Costa's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
144 views

Mercy and Strict Judgment are both mercy

In Parsha In Pink on Parshas Va'eschanan, the author cites a Ramchal that gives a beautiful insight into the Passuk of Shema Yisrael (Devarim 6:4). שמע ישראל יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד YKVK represents ...
Eliyahu's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Were the Jews so few in number?

Please see Devarim 7:7. How can Moshe say the Jews were the fewest? There were 601730 men between 20 and 60. That’s quite a large population. For the Jews to be smaller than all the other nations ...
AlHal's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Swear by His Name, what the real meaning of this command?

Could someone explain to me the meaning of the phrase: וּבִשְׁמוֹ, תִּשָּׁבֵעַ in Devarim 6:13? It seems to be the positive command of the prohebition mentioned in Vayikra 19:12... I know that the ...
Levi's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Sun, Moon, Stars and all the host of heaven are allotted to all the people

"פֶן-תִּשָּׂא עֵינֶיךָ הַשָּׁמַיְמָה, וְרָאִיתָ אֶת-הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְאֶת-הַיָּרֵחַ וְאֶת-הַכּוֹכָבִים כֹּל צְבָא הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְנִדַּחְתָּ וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ לָהֶם, וַעֲבַדְתָּם--אֲשֶׁר חָלַק ה' ...
Levi's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Why does the pasuk describing idols leave out "speaking?"

In Parshas Vaeschanan the Posuk says: עֲבַדְתֶּם שָׁם אֱ־לֹהִים מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי אָדָם עֵץ וָאֶבֶן אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִרְאוּן וְלֹא יִשְׁמְעוּן וְלֹא יֹאכְלוּן וְלֹא יְרִיחֻן Translated as: And there ...
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Why does the wise son ask "eidus, chukim and {then} mishpatim"?

The wise son in the hagadah says "What are the eidus, chukim and mishpatim that Hashem, our G-d, commanded you {or "us" according to another version}?" The question is: It's known {...
B''H Bi'ezras -- Boruch Hashem's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
294 views

Are Devarim 4:32-33 an argument from ignorance? If so, why are they often used as a rational basis that Judaism is true?

I have read/heard myriad Rabbis1 cite Devarim 4:32-33: הֲשָׁמַע עָם קוֹל אֱלֹהִים מְדַבֵּר מִתּוֹךְ־הָאֵשׁ כַּאֲשֶׁר־שָׁמַעְתָּ אַתָּה וַיֶּחִי׃ Has any people heard the voice of God ...
Lee's user avatar
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2 answers
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Onkelos on Deut. 4:19

In Devarim 4:19, Onkelos translates ונדחת as ותטעי and והשתחוית as ותסגוד. First, what exactly is he trying to convey with ותטעי? I think of טעות as "whoops", and hopefully there's no serious damage, ...
Seth J's user avatar
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Why do we lein past sheini during the week of Parshas Vaeschanan? [duplicate]

There was a Takanah instituted by Moshe Rabbeinu to read from the Torah on Monday & Thursday from that week's Parshah. See SA סימן קלה for more details on these halachos. On almost all weeks this ...
Earl's user avatar
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0 answers
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Pesuchah and Setumah between Third and Fourth Dibros [duplicate]

In Parshas Yisro, between the third and fourth commandments (20:7-8), there is a pesuchah, not found anywhere else in the Aseres HaDibros. In Parshas Va'Eschanan, in fact, this Pesuchah is a Setumah,...
DonielF's user avatar
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Singular and plural language in Deut. 4:25

Why does the Pasuk (Deut. 4:25) switch between singular and plural when building up to the consequences of what "you will [do]"? "When you (sing.) will have children and grandchildren, and you (pl.) ...
Seth J's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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Why are there two different versions of the Decalogue?

Why are there two different versions of the Shabbat commandment in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5? In Exodus 20 the Shabbat recalls the cosmogony in six days, but in Deuteronomy 5 the Shabbat ...
Clifford Durousseau's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
96 views

What is the explanation of this Medrash about Moshe entering Eretz Yisroel?

The Medrash says that Moshe tells Hashem "it says in your Torah that if a slave says 'I love my master and children and I do not wish to go free' then he stays in his servitude, and I do both". Hashem ...
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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