In Loving Memory of our Dear Parents

Benjamin Assa & Rebeca Assa z"L

Parashiot Nitzavim - Vayelech


This Parasha, Nitzavim, is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashana.

Moshe continues to speak to The People, emphasizing Hashem´s Goodness which will soon permit them to enter The Promised Land, safe and well.

Moshe exhorted the people that the Covenant (from the Parasha before) which they have just entered with Hashem will last throughout all of the generations to come.

Then Moshe warns the People about idol worshipping, the iniquities, and the perversions the other nations practice, which the Jewish have witnessed throughout their years int he wilderness.

Moshe continues by warning them that if they yield to this evil inclination, he will be drawn to worse sins, and know that Hashem will not forgive this hideous attitude. The Divine anger will be rekindled against him and the curses written in the Torah will be fulfilled.

And if you then ask, “Why does Hashem punish His Chosen People this way?” they will be answered: “This happened, because you have transgressed Hashem´s covenant. You swayed from His ways and walked amongst idol worshippers. And that is why He has exiled you from the Land .”

In the last chapter Moshe promises that if the Jewish People do Teshuva in exile, Hashem will redeem them. “All of the People will return to Hashem and fulfill of the mitzvot and the Laws of the Torah with all their heart and soul, and so Hashem will return all of His People from exile and guide them to the Land which was promised to our Forefathers, to reside in it with greater prosperity and welfare than their ancestors enjoyed.”

Moshe continues saying: “This Law is not difficult to understand, ´For the word is very near to you in your heart and in your mouth that you may do it.´"

The principle of free choice.


“See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil . . .You shall choose life, so that you may live, you and your seed.

To love the L rd your G d, to obey His voice and to cleave to Him, for He is your life . . .




This Parasha narrates what Moshe did and said the last day of his life: “Today I am one hundred and twenty years old. I can no longer go or come, and Hashem said to me, ´You shall not cross this Jordan...Yehoshua will cross with you.´”

Moshe writes the complete Torah and hands it to the Tribe of Levy. And tells them that every 7 years, in Succot, after the conclusion of Shemitah, Sabbatical year, the leader of the People must read the entire Torah before the entire congregation of Israel, this commandment is known as Hakhel.

Hashem tells Moshe: “Call Yehoshua so you can hand him the leadership.”

And Hashem transmits the last prophecy: “Behold, you are about to lie with your forefathers, and this nation will rise up and stray after the deities of the nations of the land, into which they are coming. And they will forsake Me and violate My covenant which I made with them.

And My fury will rage against them on that day, and I will abandon them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will befall them, and they will say on that day, 'Is it not because Hashem is no longer among us, that these evils have befallen us?'

Hashem commands Moshe to write the entire and to teach it to the Children of Israel.

Moshe finished writing the words of this Torah in a scroll, and then commands the Levites, who carried the ark:

…. “And take this Torah scroll and place it along side the ark of covenant of the Lord, your God, and it will be there as a witness.”


Parasha Ki Tavo

This parasha is considered the harshest of all parashiot, since it contains the Kelalot (curses) which Hashem sentenced Am Israel to, in case they would disobey His Laws. But the beautiful and precious Berachot (blessings) which Hashem will send if we fulfill His Will, are also mentioned.

The parasha begins speaking about the Mitzva of bringing the first fruits (Bikurim) to the Beit Hamikdash, specifically the 7 fruits which grow in Eretz Israel. Every Israelite farmer who cultivated one of these fruits, should choose the first of the season and bring it to Yerushalayim to offer it in the Beit Hamikdash. Every farmer, with his basket of fruits, would approach the Kohen and say a tefilla thanking Hashem for his harvest.


Moshe teaches the Mitzva of Maaser (Tithe): the deadlines, forms and conditions when giving the maaser.

Moshe then orders the leaders of The People to build 12 large stones in which they would write the entire Torah, after crossing the Jordan to enter the Promised Land.

This is where, very clearly and directly the terrible curses and the precious blessings ,are expressed! 

The Parasha continues by Moshe saying “Hashem has not given you a heart to know, eyes to see and ears to hear, until this very day” ... 40 years after we were born as A people.

The Parasha concludes by saying:

with the words Moshe said to the People, reminding them about the great miracles Hashem had performed for them: “....Keep the words of this covenant and do them, so that you may prosper in all that you do.”


Parasha Ki Tetze

This Parasha is the parasha that contains the most laws!!


-The laws concerning a captive gentile women:

-A father may not deprive his first-born son of the double portion due to him

-The “rebellious” son

-the prisoner sentenced to death

-the mitzva of returning lost property to its owner

-to help a Jew load and unload a burden

-mitzva of burying a dead on the day of his execution

-not to dress clothing of the opposite sex

-to send away the mother bird before taking the fledglings

-mitzva to fence in a roof or porch

-not to dress wool and linen together

-to use tzitzit

-different kinds of animals may not be harnessed together

-prohibition of adultery, infidelity, rape and incest

-forbidden marriages

-laws regarding a servant who escapes from his master

-laws on loans and interests

-laws on divorces and remarriages

-concessions of farmworker.

-laws for the one who takes a new woman

-the death sentence of a kidnapper

-laws of “Tzaraat” (leprosy)

-payment and collection laws

-to have consideration for an orphan and a widow

-prohibition against false weights and measures

-the mitzva of Yibum, commandment to marry his widowed sister-in-law if she is childless.

-to pay compensation for shaming someone

-and last:the mitzva to remember the evil which Amalek did to Us and to wipe him out




Perasha Shoftim

As its name indicates, this Parasha speaks about the Judges (Shoftim) and the importance of justice in any society.

“.... and they will Judge the People according to The Law, without corruption or preferences...”

The Parasha continues by mentioning the prohibition of planting trees in the Beit Hamikdash and building statues.

It then goes on to explain the Judicial process:

1. The inquiry 2. testimony of the two witnesses 3. determining veracity of testimony 4. the trial 5. the sentence

The Torah warns: “Don´t depart from what they (the judges of the Great Sanhedrin) tell you, to the right or to the left!”

Then the Torah mentions, that once settled in the Land, the Jewish people are commanded to appoint a Jewish king, who will be chosen by Hashem´s prophet and by the Sanhedrin. It was the King´s obligation to carry a Sefer Torah at all times, and constantly read it, to respect Hashem and His Torah and to avoid feeling superior to others and not stray from the ways of Hashem and His mitzvot.

The Torah assures us that we do not need to consult diviners regarding our future, for we must trust that Hashem has prepared it in the best possible way for us.

The Parasha continues with laws regarding the Kohanim and the Leviim, “officials” dedicated to the Divine Service in the Beit Hamikdash.

Moshe warns the People against assimilating with the nations who will live side by side in Eretz Israel.

The next chapter discusses the prohibition against invading the rights of others. It also explains the rule of judicial testimony, which is only valid when there are 2 WITNESSES.


At the end of the Parasha, Moshe encourages the Yehudim by telling them: “Do not fear anything or anyone, because Hashem will be with you and will always lead you to victory !!


And certain laws concerning warfare are mentioned, for example: a person who has things pending, concerns, or is afraid to go to war, should return home. Hashem who loves peace, commands Bnei Israel not to wage war before making a peace offer to the enemy. The Torah mentions that we may not destroy the enemies´fruit trees, or anything useful, and that they must respect the victims.


The Parasha ends by mentioning “The Calf Whose Neck is Broken” Egla Arufa,which was sacrificed in order to atone for a murder who´s murderer´s identity was unknown, and so the judges and the sages of the closest city to the murder bring a one-year-old calf that never performed labor to sacrifice it so it could atone for the sin.

Parasha Ree

This Parasha begins as Moshe explains that a Jew brings blessings upon himself by fulfilling Hashem´s will and incurs a curse for a transgression, thereby exercising the “free will” Hashem gave each one of us.

Then Moshe warns The People against 3 transgressions:

1. When a false prophet predicts without Divine inspiration.

2. When a person incites another into idol worship.

3. When a nation practices idolatry. 

Moshe continues reminding The People that we are children of Hashem, and that we should take care of our body, without

disfiguring ourselves and by consuming forbidden foods.

The Kosher animals are mentioned, as well as the laws of “Shechita” and the mitzva of not “mixing meat and milk.”

Then the laws of “Maaser” (to set aside your tithe) are mentioned. And every three years you should settle your outstanding Maaser debts.

The Parasha continues mentioning the mitzva of Shemitta (Sabbatical year) in which all debts due to a loan expire.

“If there will be among you a needy person, from one of your brothers in one of your cities... you shall not harden your heart, and you shall not close your hand from your needy brother. Rather, open, open your hand to him, and you shall lend him sufficient for his needs, which he is lacking...

You shall surely give him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him; for because of this thing Hashem will bless you in all your work and in all your endeavors.”

The Mitzvot to provide for his Hebrew Slave and the offerings of first born animals (which were offered to the Kohen).

The Parasha concludes with the laws regarding the festivities of Pesach, Shavuot and Succot, in which each male needed to bring his sacrifice to the Beit Hamikdash.

Both men and women are commanded by the Torah to be in happy spirits on all the yamim tovim.


Parasha Ekeb

Eikev means “because.” Moshe promises that for fulfilling the Mitzvot, Am Israel will prosper.

Moshe speaks to the People and asks them not to fear the other nations they will be conquering since Hashem will be on their side.

Moshe warns Bnei Israel not to forget Hashem, His Torah and Mitzvot, even when living in prosperity, in beautiful homes, with flourishing businesses, Never forget Hashem, Who took you out of slavery.

Moshe reminds them about the mann that was given to them in the wilderness and tells them “By means of the mann Hashem trained you to trust him...” and he continues “the giving of the mann taught you a life long lesson:”

“Man does not live by bread alone, but by each saying that emanates from Hashem´s mouth does man live.” 

Moshe tells them that they will enter the Promised Land because Hashem promised our forefathers He would do so, and NOT because of our merits since we are a disobedient People.

Moshe reminds them about the terrible episodes that occurred in the wilderness: The sin of the golden calf, the rebellion upon the disappearance of Miriam´s well, the complaints when you wanted to eat more meat, and the sad and shameful incident of the unfaithful spies who spoke Lashon Hara about the Promised Land.

Moshe also reminds them about the destruction of the 1st set of tablets and the receiving of two new Tablets mande of stone to be placed in the Ark.

Immediately the following verse of the Shema Israel appears:

"Veahaya im Shamoa" where all the consequences of the future are mentioned. 

In the Parashah's closing verses, Moshe once again calls upon the people to love Hashem, to fulfill His commandments and to "walk in all His ways, and to cleave to Him."


Parasha Vaetchanan

In this Parasha Moshe insistently implores (Vaetchanan) Hashem to let him enter the Promised Land.

But Hashem demands him not to beseech not one more time and orders him to ascend to the top of the summit to observe the Land which the Yehudim will enter with his successor Yehoshua ben Nun as their leader.

Then Moshe warns The People to keep and practice the just and perfect laws they received at Har Sinai, which govern our Great People.

Moshe asks the People not to forget their years in the wilderness and to transmit it to their descendants.

Then Moshe reminds them of the great success of the giving of the Torah, when Hashem revealed HimSelf at Har Sinai. And here the 10 Commandments are repeated.

Moshe warns, "and if you abandon the Torah, you will be expelled from the Holy Land, and G-D will scatter you, and you will live in a minority, discriminated against and secluded ... and you will deteriorate morally and assimilate ... But there will come a day that you will react and will seek Hashem, and you will find Him, and you will return to Him with all your heart and soul, because G-D is Pious and will not abandon you !!”

And here appears the verse of Our outmost faith and loyalty to Hashem, the SHEMA ISRAEL!!!

….and these words...You shall teach them to your children, you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for a reminder between your eyes.. and you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house....”

The Parsha concludes reminding The People of the prohibition of mixed marriages, as this will ignite Hashem´s wrath forfeiting their right to exist.


Parasha Devarim

This is the first Parasha of the Sefer Devarim. Devarim means “words,” since Moshe explains and resumes all that occurred during their stay in the wilderness, and reviews the laws and precepts Hashem has commanded to Bnei Israel.

Moshe then details how he had appointed judges and the leaders of the Tribes.

Then Moshe mentions the sad and terrible episode of the “Meraglim,” the spies that went to the Promised Land only to return with a slanderous report, disillusioning The People with their words, causing the terrible consequence in which an entire generation of adults was condemned to die in the desert.

The Parasha continues recalling the failed attempt of The People to cross the territory of Eisav to shorten their travels, and being denied passage by their inhabitants, and so Bnei Israel had to travel through the land of Moab to complete their remaining 38 year sentence.

The Parasha ends with the summary of the confrontation with Sichon and Og, in which Israel managed to be victorious thanks to Hashem´s assistance!!

And Moshe tells Yehoshua: “Your eyes have seen all that G-d your G-d has done to these two kings; so shall G-d do to all the kingdoms into which you will pass. You shall not fear them: for G-d your G-d, He shall fight for you."


Parashiot Matot - Maase






Parasha Mattot: 




This Parasha begins with the laws related to vows and promises: "According to all that proceeds out of his mouth, shall he do.”


 Before passing away, Moshe is told by Hashem, “Take revenge for the children of Israel against the Midianites,” after the account with Bilaam the Rasha. 


Moshe immediately gathers 1000 men from each tribe to form an army to attack Midian. 


And Israel was triumphant, they defeated Midian by killing the 5 kings and the evil prophet Bilaam. 


And Moshe was angry with the leaders of each battalion upon their return, because they did not kill the women of Midian, for they were the ones who caused the terrible sin.


…. “and the soldiers obeyed Moshe!”


 Moshe also tells them to undergo the seven-day purification process for one who comes in contact with the dead, they needed to remain outside the camp for 7 days. 



Elazar instructs them on the laws of hagalah (“koshering”—the cleansing of utensils of the non-kosher food absorbed in them), by which to cleanse the “gold, silver, copper, iron, tin and lead” utensils captured in the war


Then Hashem orders a tally of the spoils taken from the war in Midian and it is then divided in equal parts among the soldiers and the rest of the People.


But the soldiers, thankful with Hashem for not having lost not one man in the war, decide to donate all the gold they were given to the Sanctuary.  The donated gold totaled 16,750 shekels.


The tribes of Reuben and Gad (later joined by half of the tribe of Manashe) ask for the lands east of the Jordan as their portion in the Promised Land, these being prime pastureland for their cattle.


Initially Moshe is angered by their request, to which they explain that they will help the rest of the People in the conquest of the Promised Land, and it will be only afterwards that they will return to those territories to dedicate themselves to their cattle.  



Moshe agrees on the condition that they fulfill their promise, and that is how the Tribes of Reuven and Gad, and half the Tribe of Menashe establish on the other side of the Jordan River.




Parasha Maase



With this Parasha we conclude the Book of Bamidbar, it recounts the 42 stations from the Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land, throughout our 40 years in the wilderness.


Then Hashem explains the geographic boundaries of The Land we are about to inherit and its division.


Hashem shows Moshe All of The Promised Land (the land, its rivers, oceans and mountains).  Our chachamim assure us that Moshe, although he did not enter The Land, knew it better than Yeoshua who conquered it with his own feet.



The Parasha mentions the future representative of each Tribe. Each tribe was allotted a portion of land, the Leviim were given 48 cities in which to dwell. 



The Parasha concludes with the daughters of Tzelofjad, who receive the order from Hashem to marry men from their same tribe (Menashe) to avoid having to transfer the inheritance from one tribe to the other, and so they each married their cousin from their father´s side.








Parasha Pinchas

Hashem praises Pinchas ben Elazar, grandson of Aharon, for his courageous act that stopped Hashem´s wrath in the previous parasha.

He is appointed Kohen on his own merit and Hashem promises him a covenant of shalom, peace.

Hashem instructs Moshe to attack Midyan for plotting against Am Israel and having caused the people of Israel to sin. 

Then Hashem orders the last counting of Bnei Israel in the desert, all men over the age of 20 were counted, and the total account was 601,730 people.

 The Tribe of Levy was counted separately, the men from one month old were counted, and the total was 23,000 people.

 They were the new generation of the People of Israel, shortly before entering the Promised Land.

Hashem tells Moshe that the Promised Land will be distributed according to the number of people from each tribe.

But the daughters of Tzelafchad ( a man from the tribe of Menashe) present themselves before Moshe requesting a share in the Land, since their father had died leaving no male offspring.

 The daughters of Tzelafchad argued correctly and received a double portion, their father´s portion and their grandfather´s portion as well (since their father was first-born).

Here Hashem commanded Moshe to teach Bnei Israel the laws of inheritance.  

Then Hashem announces to Moshe that the time of his death has arrived.

Moshe prayed to Hashem for Him to appoint a capable successor to lead the people into the Promised Land before his passing.

And Hashem orders Moshe to take Yehoshua ben Nun and present him to the Kohen and to all of the congregation and to announce his leadership.

And that is how Yehoshua was assigned as Moshe´s successor.


At the end of the Parasha the laws of the Korbanot (sacrifices) for Shabbat, Rosh Jodesh, Pesaj, Shavuot, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Succot are explained.

Parasha Balak


Balak was king over Moav. After seeing that the Jews had just defeated 2 powerful giants Sichon and Og (in the previous parasha),  the Moavim were seized with fright as Am Israel approached them.


Balak sends for Bilam, a prophet and sorcerer, to curse Am Israel so they could be defeated.


Hashem appears to Bilam in a dream and allows him to go with Balak with the condition not to curse the Jews.


On his way with Balak, Bilam was riding on his she-ass when an angel appears. The she-ass saw that the angel had his sword drawn and turned from the path, but Bilam, who did not perceive the angel, hit the animal and drove it back on to the road.


And this happened 3 times, that the she-ass saw the angel, and on the 3rd time that Bilam hits the animal, this one says to Bilam:

“What have I done that I deserved to be beaten 3 times?”


That´s when Hashem reveals the angel so Bilam can see it and the angel tells him that he will only say what Hashem allows him to say.


Bilam arrives with Balak and is ready to curse the Jews and erase their memory from the face of the earth. (chas ve shalom).



As Bilam was formulating a curse in his heart, Hashem twisted his tongue and out of his mouth came out the best BLESSINGS!!! And this occurred 3 times.


When Bilam sees Balak getting angry, he tells him that he will ONLY be able to say what Hashem allows him to say.


And so Bilam ( who knew which sin is the one that most damages the relationship between Hashem and Am Israel) advises Balak to set up at trap and seduce the Jewish men to sin.


And that´s what Balak did, the Midyanite girls seduced the Jewish men, and the people of Israel denigrated themselves!!!


And the anger of Hashem was kindled against Israel and a plague attacks killing many.


Following Hashem´s orders, Moshe executes all those involved in this disgraceful act.


And Pinchas, grandson of Aharon, appears and kills Zimri (corrupt leader from the tribe of Shimon), who is caught in the middle of an atrocious with a Midyanite woman, and in front of everyone, he executes them by thrusting his spear through both Zimri and Kozbi.


Pinchas´s zealous act stopped Hashem´s fury and the plague came to an end.


24,000 Jews died in the plague (all from the Tribe of Shimon!)




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