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Daily Aliya for Devarim, Chamishi (5th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: Moshe fast-forwards 38 years. The generation which left Egypt had perished. Now their children were ready to enter Canaan. But first G‑d instructs the Israelites regarding three nations whose land was off-limits for them: Seir (Edom), Moab and Amon. These lands were the rightful inheritance of the descendants of Esav and Lot. Instead, the Israelites circled these lands and approached the land of Sichon, king of the Emorites, and requested passageway through his land. Sichon refused the Israelites’ request.

While recapping the events of the generation that died in the desert, the Passuk refers to them as “men of war”, which Rashi explains to mean that they were eligible to fight because they were between the ages of 20 and 60. But just because they were eligible to fight didn’t necessarily entitle them “men of war”, unless it’s a vague hint at the personalities of those people, choosing to be confrontational, argumentative, and generally controversial, qualities that often gets people into trouble, and elicits labels people don’t always deserve.