With old age comes knowledge of life that can only be gained by experience. Thus, Jewish law insists that all elders, even non-observant or non-Jewish ones, must be given honour and respect. There is no substitute for experience. The more the person has experienced, the more they can teach us about life. Moshe Rabbeinu, as the only person to ever speak "face to face" with G-d, surely had much to impart to all of us.
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 Israel - finally.
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. Yet to imply that Sefer Devarim is no more than a divinely inspired pep talk, or even that it contains a summary of the mitzvoth of
“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).
"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.
Location, location, location are the central pillars of real estate. The same can be said for Jews throughout history. One's location often determined if one would have peace or persecution, tranquility or terror, and even life or death.
After forty years of wandering in the desert, the Jewish people were finally ready to enter the land of Israel. Their experience in the desert and the raising of a new generation would enable them to confidently enter the land. Yet the desert served not only as physical training ground for the Jewish people, but also as spiritual training for the future, much of which would be lived outside the land of Israel.
After 40 long and, with important exceptions, mostly uneventful years, the Jewish people stood poised to enter the Promised Land. Undoubtedly, they had much to feel nervous and apprehensive about. It is not by chance that the first episode Moshe mentions in his recounting of the many failings of the Jewish people in the desert is that of the meraglim ; warning the people not to repeat the mistake of their parents, further delaying entry to the Land.