Parshat Vayelech

Vayelech is the shortest of all parshiyot, a mere thirty verses long. Poignantly, Moses tells the people, “I am now a hundred and twenty years old, and I can no longer go forth and come in” (Deut. 31:2). He will not lead them across the Jordan into the Promised Land. He summons his successor Joshua and, in the presence of the people, gives him words of encouragement. He instructs the people to gather every seven years to hear a public reading of the Torah. God appears to Moses and Joshua, warning them that the Israelites may eventually stray from the covenant. He instructs them to write down the Torah and teach it to the people, as permanent testimony of the covenant itself. He then encourages Joshua, assuring him that He will be with him as he leads the people.

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