Torah Portion

Vayeilech

וילך

Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30
Isaiah 55:6-56:8

Did the Exodus Generation Die in the Wilderness or Enter Canaan?

Did the Exodus Generation Die in the Wilderness or Enter Canaan?

In the context of the Pentateuch, Deuteronomy is read as a continuation of Numbers, in which God decrees that the exodus generation must wander in the wilderness until they have all died, and that only their children may enter the land. Yet Deuteronomy's core narrative presents Moses addressing the same Israelites who left Egypt and wandered forty years in the wilderness on the eve of their entry into the Promised Land.

Dr.
Gili Kugler
TheGemara.com
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When Did the Bible Become Monotheistic?

When Did the Bible Become Monotheistic?

It is often said that monotheism is one of Judaism’s greatest contributions to Western culture; however, it is far from clear that the Hebrew Bible is monotheistic. What is monotheism and when did it first develop?

Prof.
Kenneth Seeskin
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com
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The Origins of Torah Study

The Origins of Torah Study

A Post-Destruction model of Jewish Identity: Reading and studying Torah as if our life depended on it.

Dr.
Jacob L. Wright
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com
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Joshua Is Appointed Leader Three Times: But Is He in Charge?

Joshua Is Appointed Leader Three Times: But Is He in Charge?

Before Moses dies, he requests a leader who will “come and go” before the people. God’s response is clear: appoint Joshua. However, as the narrative continues, God says that Joshua himself will “come and go” at the word of Elazar the priest. And this is only one of three accounts in the Torah in which Joshua is appointed leader. 

Dr. Rabbi
Zev Farber
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com
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Was Moses our Teacher a Good Teacher?

Was Moses our Teacher a Good Teacher?

Evaluating Deuteronomy’s angst about Israel’s future in light of the story of Ahiqar and modern educational research into student resistance.

Prof.
Steven Weitzman
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com

Moses Wrote Down this Song, Deuteronomy 31:22 - Which Song?

Moses Wrote Down this Song, Deuteronomy 31:22 - Which Song?

It seems obvious that the song referred to in God’s speech in Deuteronomy 31 is Ha’azinu, though some verses in this chapter imply that it might be the Torah itself. A redaction critical look at God’s speech suggests that neither of these was the original referent.

Dr.
Tzemah Yoreh
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com

Trusting in the Process of Torah Mi-Sinai

Trusting in the Process of Torah Mi-Sinai

Contemporary Jewish polemics use the term “Torah mi-Sinai” to mean a doctrinal belief in the Mosaic authorship of the Torah. The Sages, however, use the term differently, to claim that all of Torah, written and oral, including their very own words, come from Sinai. But is this claim meant to be taken literally?  

Rabbi
Yoseif Bloch
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Historical Hakhel Ceremonies and the Origin of Public Torah Reading

Historical Hakhel Ceremonies and the Origin of Public Torah Reading

Deuteronomy’s mitzvah of publicly reading the Torah on Sukkot every seven years appears in various forms in stories about King Josiah, King Agrippa, and Ezra the Scribe. The latter’s innovative ceremony served as the model for what became synagogue Torah-reading. 

Prof.
Aaron Demsky
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com
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Vayeilech

וילך

Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30

וַיִּכְתֹּב מֹשֶׁה אֶת הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת וַיִּתְּנָהּ אֶל הַכֹּהֲנִים בְּנֵי לֵוִי הַנֹּשְׂאִים אֶת אֲרוֹן בְּרִית יְ־הוָה וְאֶל כָּל זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

דברים לא:ט

Moses wrote down this Teaching and gave it to the priests, sons of Levi, who carried the Ark of YHWH’s Covenant, and to all the elders of Israel.

Deut 31:9

Deuteronomy

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