Parashat VaYelekh / פרשת וילך
Parashat VaYelekh is the 52nd weekly reading in the annual Torah reading cycle and the ninth reading of Devarim (“Deuteronomy”). VaYelekh (וַיֵּלֶךְ) means And He Went and is the first word of the parashah.
Mosheh (Moses) speaks of our crossing of the Yarden (the Jordan River) into the Promised Land. He reiterates who is to succeed him and why we will succeed in taking the Land. Mosheh then summons his successor and encourages him in the sight of all Yisrael (Israel).
Parashat VaYelekh then records Mosheh’s writing of the Torah and giving it to the Kohanim (Priests), the sons of Levi, and to Ziknei Yisrael (the Elders of Israel), with special instructions for Shanat HaShmita (the Year of Release). HaShem then instructs Mosheh to call his successor and to appear with him before Ohel Moed (the Tent of Meeting) in order for HaShem to commission him.
HaShem appears at the entrance of Ohel Moed in a pillar of cloud and speaks to Mosheh about his death and the events that are to follow. HaShem instructs Mosheh to teach us a song, that it may confront us regarding our transgressions in later forsaking Him. Mosheh writes the words of the song and HaShem commissions Mosheh’s successor, encourages him, promises him success, and promises to be with him.
Parashat VaYelekh concludes with Mosheh’s giving of the Sefer Torah (Scroll/Book of the Torah) to the Levi’im (Levites) and his related instructions. The people are then assembled together so that Mosheh may speak the words of the song in their hearing.
Torah Portion: Deuteronomy 31:1-30
1st Aliyah: Deuteronomy 31:1-3 (3 verses)
2nd Aliyah: Deuteronomy 31:4-6 (3 verses)
3rd Aliyah: Deuteronomy 31:7-9 (3 verses)
4th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 31:10-13 (4 verses)
5th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 31:14-19 (6 verses)
6th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 31:20-24 (5 verses)
7th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 31:25-30 (6 verses)
Maftir: Deuteronomy 31:28-30 (3 verses)
Reading from the Nevi’im (Prophets):
Isaiah 55:6 – 56:8
When Parashat VaYelekh coincides with a special Shabbat, a different Haftarah is traditionally read:
Shabbat Shuva: Hosea 14:2-10, Micah 7:18-20, Joel 2:15-27
Messiah in the Parashah
The Head of the Assembly.
He will put the people in possession of the land.
HaShem will be with him and will go before him.
HaShem Himself will commission him.
The Memra of HaShem told Mosheh that he would not go over the Yarden.
Bnei Yisrael should be strong and of good courage, and not fear, nor be broken before the nations of Kena’an because the Memra of HaShem our G-d will go before us [into battle]; he will not forsake us, nor be far from us.
It was the Memra of HaShem who delivered up the nations of Kena’an before Bnei Yisrael.
The Memra of HaShem swore to give Kena’an to the Patriarchs.
The Shekhinah of the Memra of HaShem went before Yehoshua, and HaShem’s Memra was his helper.
Be reverent before the Memra of HaShem your G-d and observe to do all the words of the Torah.
Good Deeds in the Parashah
From the end of seven years, in the appointed time, in the year of release, at the Festival of the Booths, in the coming of all Yisrael to appear in HaShem’s presence at the place He will choose, you will read this Torah in front of all Yisrael; in their ears.
Write the song of Mosheh, teach it, put it in the mouths of the people of Yisrael.
Levi’im are to put the Sefer Torah by the side of the ark of the covenant of HaShem’s as a witness against the people.