Weekly Torah Portion: Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11)


In this Torah portion, Moses stresses to the Israelites the importance of keeping God’s commandments when they enter the Land of Israel. Moses repeats the Ten Commandments and utters the Sh’ma and V’ahavta. Read an extensive summary on My Jewish Learning

Related D’var Torah

“Listen to our own voices and the voices of others, learn to hear one another so that together we can become a stronger community and let’s create a place where all words are heard.” – Davi Cheng in 2019. Read the full drash

“Underneath all that separates us, there is a love so great that it binds each and every creation…” – Rabbi Heather Miller in 2016. Read the drash

“May we always remember to call to one another, to read to each other, to comfort one another and encourage each other – as individuals and as a community…” – Rabbi Lisa in 2015. Read the full drash

“The Sh’ma is the oldest and most essential part of the Jewish liturgy and yet these two lines made up of just six words actually have the same format as Haiku. The Sh’ma looks like a tweet, and it is not even a prayer. It is actually a declaration of Jewish faith in the oneness of God.” – Ilene Cohen in 2013. Read the full drash

“Sharing stories, is a way of getting to know oneself, and one another better. Hopefully, we can share our GBLT stories, and bring the larger community closer to us, and be our allies…” – Davi Cheng in 2010. Read the full drash

“This week of extraordinary events, let’s spend this Shabbat Nachamu, this Shabbat of Comfort, remembering what we have witness with our own eyes…” – Rabbi Lisa Edwards in 2000. Read the full drash

Torah Verse of the Week*

“…but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Eternal your God; you shall not do any work – you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your ox or your ass, or any of your cattle, or the stranger in your settlements, so that your male and female slave may rest as you do.” (Parashat Vaet’chanan; Deuteronomy 5:14)

Other Suggested Readings

“A tension: We are commanded, in Parashat Vaetchanan, to love God with all our heart, soul, and might – v’ahavta et adonai elohecha b’chol levavcha, b’chol nafshecha, u’vchol me’odecha. But what about everyone else? Do we love our families and God “in different ways”? At different times? Do we love other people as God, in a pantheistic sense – as incarnations of the One? And if so, what of their particularity?” Continue reading on Keshet Online


*Torah Verse of the Week is chosen by the Torah class during Tuesdays’ studies with Rabbi Lisa Edwards. Check out when our next Torah Study takes place