Devarim: Where is the Temple?

July 20, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Each one of the five books of the Chumash has a unique central theme, be it the choosing of the Jewish nation, redemption, Torat kohanim or missed opportunities. A perusal of Sefer Devarim, both its law and narrative, will quickly reveal that the main message of this last book of Chumash is Moshe Rabbeinu preparing his beloved people for entry into the land of...
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Devarim: Heading Home

July 28, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The narrative portion of the Torah has come to an end. The last book of the Chumash, that of Devarim, concentrates on the charge that Moshe gave to the second generation of the Jewish nation as they were poised to enter the land of Israel. Though Moshe himself would be denied the opportunity to join his beloved nation in Israel, he spared no efforts warning them not to repeat the mistakes of the past....
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Devarim: Nation Building

August 12, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Eicha esa, how can I alone carry your contentiousness, your burdens and your quarrels?” (Devarim 1:12). After 40 long years, the Promised Land is finally in sight. Moshe Rabbeinu faithfully prepares the Jewish people for entry into the land, knowing full well that the more quickly he carries out his mission, the sooner he will die (Rashi, Bamidbar 31:3). Moshe spends the last five weeks of his life exhorting the people of...
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Devarim: Justice Comes First

August 01, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Sefer Devarim is the book of preparation to enter the land of Israel. Moshe Rabbeinu was to be denied the opportunity to lead - or even join - the people of Israel as they completed the mission begun forty years earlier if not, four hundred years earlier. This focus on the land leads to two major themes of Sefer Devarim. One is warning the Jewish people of the dangers that lay ahead - mainly following in the corrupt ways of those currently...
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Devarim: The Beginning of the End

July 12, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"Eleh Hadevarim, these are the words that Moshe spoke to all of Israel" (Devarim 1:1). In Biblical Hebrew, the word eleh comes to differentiate and distinguish itself from what came beforehand. In this case it serves to mark sefer Devarim as fundamentally different from the other four books of the Torah. Whereas the previous books of the Torah focus on laws and narrative—teaching a Jew the values to...
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