Rabbi David Shaw
Parashat Va’etchanan: A Summary
Moshe pleads with G-d to enter the Holy Land but is turned down. (Remember, G-d always answers your prayers – sometimes with a “yes,” sometimes with a “no” … and sometimes with a “not yet”.) Moshe commands the Children of Israel not to add or subtract from the words of the Torah and to keep all of the Commandments. He then reminds them that G-d has no shape or form and that we should not make or worship idols of any kind.
The cities of Bezer, Ramot and Golan are designated as Cities of Refuge east of the Jordan river. Accidental murderers can escape there to avoid revengeful relatives. They then await there until tried.
The Ten Commandments are repeated to the whole Jewish people. Moshe then expounds the Shema, affirming the unity of G-d, Whom all should love and transmit His commandments to the next generation. A man should wear Tefillin upon the arm and head. All Jews should put a Mezuzah (the scroll is the essential part) upon each doorpost of their home (except the bathroom).
Moshe then relays the Almighty’s command not to intermarry “for they will lead your children away from Me” (Deut. 7:3-4).