Parashat Re’eh / פרשת ראה

Crop of Jesus Wept by Joseph James Jacques Tissot


Parashat Re’eh is the 47th weekly reading in the annual Torah reading cycle and the fourth reading of Devarim (“Deuteronomy”). Re’eh (רְאֵה) means See and is the first word of the parashah, in which Mosheh (Moses) begins by pointing us to see that he is setting before us a blessing and a curse; a blessing that comes through faithfulness to the Way of HaShem, but a curse if we refuse to obey.

Mosheh begins by providing us with instructions pertaining to the removal of idolatry from the Promised Land, and continues with instructions as to how we are to worship HaShem our Elokim (G-d) in the Land. His instructions further address tithes and offerings at the place HaShem chooses to establish His Temple; the dwelling place for His Name.

We are warned not to learn the ways of the nations we are dispossessing, to worship HaShem as they worship their idols. Instructions about what may eaten within our towns, what may not be, and what must instead be eaten before HaShem in the place that He has chosen are given, that it may go well with us and our children until the World to Come.

Parashat Re’eh continues from there with Mosheh’s instructions regarding rebellion against HaShem and His Way, including the severe consequences that must result. Mosheh first addresses individual rebellion and then proceeds to address city-wide rebellion, providing the appropriate response in each case.

Mosheh describes the people of Yisrael (Israel) as the Children of HaShem our Elokim. As such we must behave differently from the nations that surround us, even as HaShem is unlike the idols to which the nations have given themselves over to. Mosheh therefore reiterates a number of matters of holiness required by HaShem for His people, including instructions pertaining to food, the tithe (i.e. tenth), and the Shmita year (the Year of Release) every seven years, when debts are forgiven and the Hebrew slaves are freed. He also provides instructions for the firstborn males of our herds and flocks.

Parashat Re’eh concludes with instructions pertaining to the three festivals of HaShem, for which the men of Yisrael must go up every year to the place in the Promise Land which HaShem has chosen.

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Torah Portion: Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17

1st Aliyah: Deuteronomy 11:26-12:10 (17 verses)
2nd Aliyah: Deuteronomy 12:11-28 (18 verses)
3rd Aliyah: Deuteronomy 12:29-13:19 (22 verses)
4th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 14:1-21 (21 verses)
5th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 14:22-29 (8 verses)
6th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 15:1-18 (18 verses)
7th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 15:19-16:17 (22 verses)
Maftir: Deuteronomy 16:13-17 (5 verses)

Special Maftir
On Shabbat Rosh Chodesh: Numbers 28:9-15 (7 verses)

Reading from the Nevi’im (Prophets):
Isaiah 54:11 – 55:5

When Parashat Re’eh coincides with a special Shabbat, a different Haftarah is traditionally read:
Shabbat Rosh Chodesh: Isaiah 66:1 – 66:24
Shabbat Machar Chodesh: I Samuel 20:18 – 20:42

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Mashiakh v’Mitzvot

Messiah in the Parashah

He will magnify the Torah; He will not annul it.

Freedom from the curse of the Torah.

All peoples, nations, and languages will serve him.

He will own slaves, even of his brothers.

The Firstborn of the Flock; unblemished, sacrificed, and eaten.

Messiah and HaShem’s Passover.

Messiah, our Matzah.

Messiah and Shavuot.

Messiah and the Festival of Sukkot.

The Memra of HaShem your G-d will choose the place for HaShem’s Shekhinah to dwell.

You shall walk after HaShem your G-d; you will fear Him, and keep His commandments, and be obedient to His Memra, and serve him, and keep close to his fear.

HaShem will bless you in the land that HaShem your G-d will give you for a possession to inherit, if only you will obey the Memra of HaShem your G-d and observe to do all the precepts commanded by Mosheh.

Good Deeds in the Parashah

Set the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Eival.

Be careful to do all the statutes and the judgements Mosheh put in front of us in that day.

Utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you will dispossess served their gods.

Do worship HaShem like the nations worship their gods, but go to the place that HaShem your G-d will choose from all your tribes, to put His Name there, to His dwelling you will resort, and there you will go.

Rejoice in the presence of HaShem, your G-d.

Cross over the Yarden, and dwell in the land which HaShem, your G-d, causes you to inherit.

Do not do whatever is right in your own eyes.

You may slaughter and eat meat from clean animals in your cities as you desire, according to the blessing which HaShem, your G-d, has given you.

Do not eat the blood, but pour it out on the ground like water.

Do not eat what is to be eaten in HaShem’s presence within your gates.

Do not forsake the Levi all your days on your land.

Preserve and hear all the words that Mosheh has commanded.

Do not learn the way of the nations, to do for HaShem as they did for their gods.

Be careful to do all the word which Mosheh commands; do not add to it and do not take away from it.

Do not listen to the words of the false prophet or dreamer of dreams.

Walk after HaShem, fear Him, Keep His commandments, and listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.

Put the false prophet or dreamer of dreams to death.

Stone the one who attempts to allure you away from HaShem, your G-d, to serve other gods.

Do not consent to him, do not listen to him, do not look on him with compassion, do not spare, and do not conceal him.

Investigate, examine, and inquire thoroughly when you hear the inhabitants of one of your cities have been driven to idolatry.

If it is certainly true, attack and destroy that city and all that is in it; and leave it a ruinous heap permanently.

Do not cut yourselves and do not make a bald spot between your eyes for the dead.

Do not eat any abomination.

Do not touch their carcasses.

Do not eat of any animal which dies of itself.

Do not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.

Give a tenth of all the produce of your seed coming from the field every year.

Eat of your tenth in the presence of HaShem, your G-d.

Bring all the tenth of your produce for the year and deposit it within your gates for the Levi, and the sojourner, and the fatherless, and the widow, who will come and eat and be satisfied.

Lend to many nations, and do not borrow.

Open your hand to your poor and needy brother in your land.

Grant a release from the end of seven years for your neighbour and brother.

Beware lest there be a word in your heart of worthlessness, that the loan might not be repaid.

Your heart will not be troubled when you give to him.

Let the Hebrew slave go free from you in the Seventh Year, and do not let him go empty.

Put an awl through the ear of the Hebrew slave and into the door if they do not want to go free from you in the release.

Set apart the firstborn males of your flock and heard for HaShem.

Do not work with a firstborn of your ox, and do not shear a firstborn of your flock.

Eat year by year in the presence of HaShem, your G-d, in the place that HaShem will choose; you and your household.

Do not slaughter a blemished firstborn for HaShem, your G-d, but eat him within your gates.

Observe the month of the aviv, and prepare a Pesakh for HaShem, your G-d.

Slaughter a Pesakh to HaShem, your G-d, of flock and herd, in the place that HaShem will choose.

Slaughter the Pesakh in the evening, as the sun sets.

Do not eat anything leavened with him.

Eat matzot during Khag HaMatzot for seven days.

Remember the day you came out from the land of Mitzrayim all the days of your life.

No leaven is to be seen with you in all your territory seven days.

Nothing from the flesh that you slaughtered in the evening on the first day will remain all night until the morning.

Roast and eat in the place which HaShem, your G-d, will choose.

Turn in the morning and go to your tents.

Six days you will eat matzot, and on the seventh day is a sacred assembly to HaShem, your G-d; you will do no work.

Count seven weeks from the start of the sickle among the standing grain.

Make the Festival of Shavuot to HaShem, your G-d.

Make the Festival of Sukkot seven days.

Three times in the year all your males will present themselves before HaShem.

They will not appear in HaShem’s presence empty.

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