Our Sidra continues the address to the people by Moses that began in last week's portion. Moses recounts how God denied his request to be allowed to enter the land of Israel; Moses must view the country from atop Mount Pisgah. He pleads with the nation to adhere to God's laws scrupulously - especially the laws regarding idolatry. Failure to conform to these laws will inevitably result in expulsion from the land.
Moses apportions three cities on the eastern side of the Jordan River to serve as Cities of Refuge.
In an effort to stress the importance of maintaining all the commandments, Moses recalls how awe-struck the people were at the time of the Revelation when they assembled at the foot of Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. A slightly altered version of the Ten Commandments from the one found in the Book of Exodus is restated.
The most prominent of our prayers is found here: the first paragraph of the Sh'ma, asserting the exclusive relationship between God and Israel, and Israel's duty to study and observe the Torah at all times.
Future generations should be trained, not only in the observance of the Torah, but in the account of the deliverance from Egypt. A strict warning against intermarriage and idolatry is issued. The special relationship between God and Israel is stressed again: in love, God redeemed the Israelites from slavery; it is, therefore, their duty to observe the commandments