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Daily Aliya for Vaetchanan, Sheni (2nd Aliya)

Aliya Summary: Moshe implores the Israelites to treasure the Torah, praising its wisdom, its righteous and just precepts, and the closeness to G‑d it affords. He admonishes them to never forget the day when G‑d gave them the Torah, and vividly describes that awesome event, enjoining them to recount that day’s events to their children and grandchildren. He then focuses on the divine revelation, reminding them that G‑d did not appear as any image or form. Worshiping graven images, Moshe warns, will result in national exile and decimation. But even when exiled, G‑d will not forsake His people, and eventually they will repent and return to G‑d. This section concludes with Moshe extolling the Israelites’ uniqueness: the only nation personally delivered by G‑d from bondage, and the only people to whom G‑d revealed Himself.

This Aliya is loaded with Pessukim (verses) that we use regularly, as well as anecdotes to overcoming temptations. The recipe for doing the right thing is: 1) hearing, 2) seeing, and 3) fearing. As Passuk 10 says, G-d gathered everyone so He can tell us the commandments, where we actually see the words, and the goal is for us to fear Him so that we continue to follow those words. The reason why only hearing or seeing doesn’t work is explained: If we only used our sight to discern what’s right, we could erroneously see the sun or moon and determine that they are the ones providing for our needs. If we only used our hearing we could similarly falter when hearing something different. It’s only a combination of these, along with fear, that will protect us from stumbling in the future. Seeing and hearing the rules are important to know what’s right, and fearing consequences help us protect those rules from potentially being broken. This important lesson is adaptable to many aspects of life, both personal and family.