General Overview: This week’s reading begins the Book of Deuteronomy, the fifth and final book of the Five Books of Moshe. Moshe begins his final monologue, five weeks before his passing. He recounts the story of the Israelite’s travel through the desert, placing emphasis on, and rebuking them for, the story of the spies. He describes Israel’s conquest of the Emorites and the Bashanites.
Aliya Summary: The Israelites are situated on the eastern bank of the Jordan River, on the verge of entering the land of Canaan, and Moshe’s death is imminent. This is the setting for Moshe’s final statements to the nation he lovingly tended for four decades. After delivering a veiled rebuke to the nation for their many past misdeeds, Moshe revisits the period, some 39 years earlier, before the Israelites left Mount Sinai at G‑d’s behest, with the intention of immediately invading and entering Canaan. At that time, Moshe expressed to the Jews his inability to single-handedly bear the burden of leadership, because “G‑d, has multiplied you, and behold, you are today as the stars of the heavens in abundance.”