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The Words

These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel on the other side of the Jordan. - Deuteronomy 1:1

  • Moses begins his final words of instruction to the Children of Israel, focusing first on recounting their physical journey. (1:1–21)
  • Moses reviews the people’s reactions to the negative reports of the spies and the appointment of Joshua to succeed him. (1:22–45)
  • Moses recounts that all of the Israelite warriors who left Egypt died, as God had intended, and the people continued their wanderings and defeated their enemies. (2:14–3:11)
  • Moses reiterates that the Land of Israel was allocated to the Israelite tribes. (3:12–22)

When do we read D'varim?

2014 Aug 2 /6 Av, 5774
2015 Jul 25 /9 Av, 5775
2016 Aug 13 /9 Av, 5776


  • By Jonathan Cohen

    Among the Book of Deuteronomy's many distinctions, the emergence of a Mosaic voice conveying a personal, synoptic narration of events, struggles, successes, and failures renders this last Book of Torah especially compelling. As it progresses, Moses's character develops into that of a more complex, nuanced figure of a leader who must face his failings and limitations, and prepare for his final departure. The book opens with a review that explains the Israelites' long journey in the desert through the recollection of certain moments and dynamics, and offers a framework for a new iteration of the covenant. For example, as the first portion of this book, Parashat D'varim, unfolds, we recall the appointment of judges and leaders that we read about in Exodus 18. The focus of this passage (Deuteronomy 1:9-17) is Moses's interaction with the Israelites.

For youth and families

Torah for Tots

Introduce young children to the lessons we can learn from Torah each week. These guides feature questions and ideas for both parents and children.

Torah for Tweens

Bring each week’s Torah portion alive for 6-12 year old children at the Shabbat table with these handy guides, including suggested questions to inspire conversation.

Torah for Teens

Torah commentary, Jewish learning, questions, and practical suggestions to help teens relate Torah to their daily lives.

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