Thursday, August 11, 2016
D’varim (Deuteronomy) 1:1 – 3:22 “Words” parashah / portion #1 (1:1 – 11)
This week we begin the fifth book of Torah, the book of D’varim. Most of this book, we will find, are words of Moshe as he reiterates to the people what Adonai Elohim has said previously. Why? Moshe is nearing the end of his life, Y’hoshua (Joshua) is about to take over, and it is right and proper to remind the people from whence they came and to where they were going.
As this reading commences, it is the first day of the eleventh month in the 40th year following the exodus of the people from Egypt. Because they had refused to enter the land of promise, almost forty years have been spent in the wilderness. More than 2-1/2 months remain in their “wandering”; all the generation of men who were capable of war have died at the time of Moshe’s speech (cp. 1:1-5 w/ 2:16).
HaShem had directed them to leave Mt. Horev eleven days prior and head northward in preparation for entry into His land. In a way of emphasizing this, Moshe told the people that they were going to take possession of the land that HaShem had promised to Avraham, Yitz’chak, and Ya’akov…and their descendants – who we recognize as this horde of people being addressed.
He tells them that HaShem has multiplied their numbers, but let us realize that this multiplication came during the 200+ years they were in Egypt. Regardless, the multiplication was a proof of the promise made to Father Abraham back in B’resheit (Genesis) 15:4 – 6. Moshe then blesses the people by desiring the Holy One to increase them another thousand-fold and to bless them as He promised. I look forward to that day when there are the 600,000,000 men (plus women and children) Moshe has “seen” in the future.