This week’s portion discusses the following topics: rewards for listening to the laws, empowering the Jewish people that all will be well, the blessing of Israel, warning against idolatry, warning against becoming haughty, first and second tablets, mention about tefillin and mezuzah and the geographical location of Israel.
What would the Jewish people’s reward be if they listen to the laws?
If the Jewish people love G-d with all of their heart and soul than
1. The fall and spring rains will come in their proper time.
2. G-d will bless the fruit of the land, wine, oil, calves of your herds, and the lambs of your flocks.
3. He will take all sickness from you.
4. We will be blessed above all the nations.
5. G-d will make us numerous.
6. Food will be enough for both your animals and yourself. (You will eat and be satisfied).
How will the Jewish people be able to drive out the heavily populated nations that dwell in Israel?
The Jewish people were told to recall the great miracles that they had seen with their own eyes. They had seen signs, wonders, a mighty hand and an outstretched arm with which G-d your Lord brought you out of Egypt.
How will the war be fought?
G-d will send hornets to attack the nations. G-d will uproot these nations before you little by little. They will be thrown into utter panic.
Why were these nations destroyed?
It was because of two reasons.
(One)Because, of the wickedness of these nations.
(Two) because G-d is keeping HIS word that he swore to your ancestors (forefathers)
What must the Jewish people do when entering the land?
They must burn the idolatrous statues in fire.
Do not bring the offensive idol into your house since you may become like it!
What did the Jewish people remember about the forty years in the dessert?
G-d sent hardships to test them and determine what was in their hearts. They were hungry and than he fed them manna. The dessert was terrifying: there were snakes, vipers, scorpions and thirst. When there was no water it was G-d who provided it for them.
The clothing you wore did not become tattered and your feet did not become bruised.
Why does G-d remind the Jewish people of their past?
Because, much prosperity will be present in the land of Israel. The Jewish People may say to themselves it is “my own strength and personal power that has brought me all of this”! You must remember that it is G-d your lord who gives you the power to become prosperous.
Why were we given the opportunity to become prosperous?
The covenant that he made with our forefathers (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob).
It is not the virtues of the Jewish people that led them into the land of Israel. The Jewish people were a stubborn nation and provoked G-d in the desert. Even at Mount Sinai (the giving of the Torah) the Jewish people were suppose to wait and receive the tablets (commandments) after 40 days and nights. The people didn’t see Moses come down from the mountain. They became scared and decided it was the end of the 40 days. (They had miscounted) They immediately made an idol of a golden calf. It was the absolute worst thing that could have been made.
What did G-d want to do after the idol was made?
G-d was ready to destroy and obliterate the Jewish people. Moses came down the mountain and dropped the first tablets of stone which contained the commandments.
What kind of land is Israel?
It is a land flowing with streams, and underground springs gushing out in valley and mountain. It is a land of wheat, barley, grapes, figs and pomegranates a land of oil olives and honey dates. A land where you will not lack anything. A land whose stones are iron and from whose mountains you will quarry copper.
What does a Jew do when he finishes eating?
When a Jewish person eats and is satisfied s/he must therefore bless God your lord for the good land that he gave you. (Blessings after the meal/snack) Read more about prayers
How is Israel not like Egypt?
In Egypt the Jewish people could plant their seeds and irrigate it by themselves in Israel it can be irrigated only by the rain. It is a land constantly under G-d’s scrutiny.
G-d said that a Jewish person should be reminded daily of these words. Where are these daily reminders?
On a Jewish person’s door a Mezuzah is placed. This is a box containing these words written on parchment. They are also written on the parchment enclosed in black boxes (Tefillin) a man places on his head and arm every day in the mourning prayers.
A person known as a Sofer writes the words on parchment. He is a holy man that is trained on how to write these holy words onto parchment.
What were the boundaries?
Every area upon which your feet tread shall belong to you. These boundaries will extend from the desert to the Lebanon. From the tributary of the Euphrates River and as far as the Mediterranean Sea.