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Daily Aliya for Vaetchanan, Chamishi (5th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: Moshe describes the fright which gripped the nation following the revelation on Sinai. The leaders of the tribes approached Moshe and pleaded that he be the intermediary to transmit G-d’s words to them, and G‑d agreed.

Twice in this Aliya it mentions the Mitzvah (singular commandment), statutes and ordinances (plural) that Moshe will convey to the people, rather than them hearing it from G-d Himself (Passuk 5:28 and 6:1). The discrepancy between singular and plural references can be explained by Passuk 5:25, which also contains anomalies. Verse 25 says that G-d heard the sound of the words of the people when they asked Moshe to act as intermediary between them and G-d, and G-d was pleased. Why the strange phrasing of “sound of the words”? Why the discrepancy in noun grammar?

I believe one way to understand this is that G-d heard in the Jews’ voice that they really wanted to hear the Torah and all its commandments, but truly felt they couldn’t hear it directly from G-d. Rather than give up, the found a solution by having Moshe as the conduit. This now creates an extra layer of education and instruction that needs to exist in order to learn the many ordinances and statutes of the Torah. This new layer is the one Mitzvah added: the commandment to learn and teach, which incidentally is what is based on, and what our lives should be filled with.