Weekly Torah Portion: Vayelech (Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30)


Moses concludes his speech to the Israelites, blesses Joshua, and instructs the community to gather every seven years to read publicly from the Torah; God predicts the eventual straying of the Israelites. Read an extensive summary on My Jewish Learning

Related D’var Torah

A couple of past Rosh Hashana drashot: “The questions you asked that got you here may be different from those asked by those who come here year after year. I suppose some don’t really ask any questions at all anymore –you just show up when you see Rosh Hashanah appear…” – Rabbi Lisa Edwards in 2011. read the full drash

“Okay, it’s true I don’t much get compared to Ellen Degeneres. She’s a better dancer, and way funnier. But Harriet Perl loves both of us, and we both love Harriet Perl – so that’s a common ground anyway.” – Rabbi Lisa Edwards in 2005. read the full drash

Torah Verse of the Week*

He [Moses] said to them [all Israel]: “I am 120 years old today, I’m not able to go out and come in anymore. Moreover, God said to me, ‘You shall not cross this Jordan.’” (Deuteronomy 31:2)

Other Suggested Readings

Martin Kavka, says that the term gerim – often translated as strangers, converts, or resident aliens – here includes queer Jews. And as soon as queer Jews take on the status of gerim, they gain the freedom to “make something else of those [problematic] passages in the tradition and find themselves back in the tradition once more. Read from Torah Queeries


*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