Summary of The Weekly Torah Reading:
Note: The Shabbos Torah Reading is divided into 7 sections. Each section
is called an Aliya [literally: Go up] since for each Aliya, one person
"goes up" to make a bracha [blessing] on the Torah Reading.
1st and 2nd Aliyot: Moshe instructs the Chosen People to eradicate any remnant
of idolatry and strengthen all aspects of service to G-d. All offerings must
be brought to the "Chosen" place, the Bais Hamikdash, so that worship is an
act of humility and selflessness, rather than a self-indulging "need". An even
greater danger to our uniqueness is the innate desire to compromise and
assimilate Torah values with other forms of worship. (the Chanukah bush
3rd and 4th Aliyot: Moshe forewarned the Jews against incorporating any pagan
practices, and against the false prophet, idolatrous missionaries, and the Ir
Hanidachas - the Apostate City. These must be destroyed along with their
material belongings. When using the world in accordance with the wishes of the
Creator, we declare the existence of a Creator who has a divine purpose for
creating the material world. When we misuse the physical in the service of
"gods who are not G-d", we negate the Creator's purpose for creating the
universe. Therefore, they and all their belongings must be destroyed.
5th, 6th, and 7th Aliyot: The remainder of the Parsha, details those Mitzvos that set
us apart from all other nations: Kashrus; Maasros - Tithes; the Shmitah -
sabbatical year; the laws regarding lending money; the Eved Ivri - a Jew who
is a slave; the consecration of the first born animal, and a review of the
main Yomim Tovim - holidays: Pesach, Shavouth, and Succoth.
Rav S.R. Hirsch points out that Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are not
reviewed in Sefer Divarim because there were no changes in the practices of
those Yomim Tovim when living in the desert or living in Eretz Yisroel.
(Intro. to Divarim)
Parsha Summary by Rabbi Aron Tendler