Parashat Vezot HaBerakhah / פרשת וזאת הברכה

Crop of Moses Viewing the Promised Land by Frederic Edwin Church


Parashat Vezot Haberakhah is the 54th and final weekly reading in the annual Torah reading cycle, and the eleventh and final reading of Devarim (“Deuteronomy”). Parashat Vezot HaBerakhah (וְזֹאת הַבְּרָכָה) means And This is the Blessing, the first words of the parashah, which begins with Mosheh (Moses) blessing the Children of Yisrael before his death.

The parashah proceeds from there with a record of the final moments of Mosheh’s life, what he did, what HaShem showed and said to him, where he died in general, his age, and his condition at his death. The parashah follows this up with how the Children of Yisrael responded to Mosheh’s death and to his successor.

Parashat Vezot Haberakhah ends in anticipation of the prophet like Mosheh, i.e. the Messiah.

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Torah Portion: Deuteronomy 33:1 – 34:12

1st Aliyah: Deuteronomy 33:1-7 (7 verses)
2nd Aliyah: Deuteronomy 33:8-12 (5 verses)
3rd Aliyah: Deuteronomy 33:13-17 (5 verses)
4th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 33:18-21 (4 verses)
5th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 33:22-26 (5 verses)
6th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 33:27-29 (3 verses)
7th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 34:1-12 (12 verses)

Reading from the Nevi’im (Prophets):

Traditional Ashkenazi Haftarah: Joshua 1:1 – 1:18
Traditional Sephardic Haftarah: Joshua 1:1 – 1:9

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Mashiakh v’Mitzvot

Messiah in the Parashah

The people of Yisrael will obey him and do as HaShem commanded Mosheh.

HaShem will know him face to face.

HaShem will send him to do signs and wonders among the oppressors of HaShem’s people.

He will perform great fear for the eyes of all Yisrael.

HaShem led Bnei Yisrael out of Mitzraim and they were conducted under His Cloud; they journeyed by His Memra (Onkelos).

The habitation of G-d is from eternity and the world was made through His Memra (Onkelos).

The habitation of G-d is from eternity; by the arm of His power beneath the world is upborne. He will scatter your adversaries before you and will say by His Memra, ‘Destroy them.’ (Yonatan)

And Mosheh, the servant of HaShem, died there in the land of Moav by the Memra of HaShem (Onkelos).

HaShem reveal Himself on Mount Sinai, and with Him ten thousands of holy angels; and Bnei Yisrael said, ‘All that the Memra of HaShem has spoken we will perform and obey.’ (Yerushalmi)

When Bnei Yisrael observed the precepts of the Torah, they were conducted at the foot of HaShem’s glorious Cloud; they rested and encamped according to the dictate of the Memra. (Yonatan)

…they were conducted and brought on at the foot of His Cloud, and went forward and encamped according to His Memra. (Yerushalmi)

And this is the benediction with which Mosheh the prophet blessed the tribe of Yehudah, and he said, ‘May the Memra of HaShem listen to the prayer of Yehudah and bring him back to his people from battle. May his hand avenge him upon his enemies and be a help and a support against his foes.’ (Yerushalmi)

The tribe of Levi go forward to the service of the Tabernacle and separate themselves from their dwellings, saying of their fathers and mothers, ‘I have not regarded them and of their brothers, ‘Since we were of thirty years we have not known them or their children’, for they remain twenty years in their charge according to HaShem’s Memra, and keep the service of the holy covenant. (Yonatan)

Happy are you, Yisrael! Who of all the nations are like you, a people saved in the name of the Memra of HaShem? (Yonatan)

And Mosheh went up from the plains of Moav to the mountain of Nevo, to the summit of the height which is over against Yerekho, and the Memra of HaShem showed him all the strong ones of the land and the mighty acts which would be done… (Yonatan)

Therefore is Mosheh, the servant of HaShem, gathered in the land of Moav, by the kiss of the Memra of HaShem. (Yonatan)

HaShem has taught us to bury the dead through Mosheh; for He revealed Himself in His Memra, and with him the companies of ministering angels. Michael and Gavriel spread forth the golden bed … the wise sages laid him upon it, and by His Memra He conducted him four miles and buried him in the valley opposite Beth Peor… (Yonatan)

Said Mosheh the prophet: ‘The Memra of HaShem said to me, ‘This is the land that I have sworn to Avraham, to Yitzhak, and to Ya’akov, saying, ‘To the children of your children I will give it. Behold it with your eyes, but you will not pass over to it.”’ And Mosheh, the servant of HaShem, died there in the land of the Moavim according to the mouth of the decree of the Memra of HaShem. And He buried him… (Yonatan)

And Yehoshua bar Nun was filled with the Spirit of Wisdom, for Mosheh had laid his hands upon him. And Bnei Yisrael listened to him and did as the Memra of HaShem had commanded Mosheh. But no prophet has arisen yet in Yisrael as Mosheh, whom the Memra of HaShem knew, speaking with him word for word, in all the miracles, and wonders, and distinguishing signs which the Memra of HaShem sent him to perform in the land of Mitzrayim… (Yerushalmi)

And no prophet has again arisen in Yisrael like Mosheh, because the Memra of HaShem had known him to speak with him word for word, in all the signs, and wonders, and manifestations which the Memra of HaShem sent him to perform in the land of Mitzrayim… (Yonatan)

Good Deeds in the Parashah

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