Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8

Deuteronomy chapter 26, verse 1 to chapter 29, verse 8


Moses is giving his last speech to the Children of Israel before they enter the Promised Land.  he tells them that when they enter the land they should bring their first fruits as a sacrifice to God as a way of remembering how God saved them from slavery and helped them in the wilderness.  The details of the sacrifice is described in this portion.

Moses tells the people that they will be grateful to God and give a tenth of their harvest to care for widows, strangers , orphans and Levites (Priests).   Moses tells the Israelites that they will be a people that belong to God, a holy people.

He tells them that when they enter the Land, they will make an altar and set up 12 stones.  Inscribed upon them will be the laws which Israel is to obey.

The portion continues with Moses describing  the blessings and curses that will be recited by the priests when they first cross the Jordan river.  The tribes will be divided up into two groups. One of these groups will say “Amen” after each blessing is recited, and the the group will say “Amen” when the curses are recited.  These blessings and curses include:

‘Cursed is the man who makes a graven or molten image which is an abomination to God.’ “‘Cursed is he who moves the boundary marker of his neighbor.’ ‘Cursed is he who misleads a blind man, or twists what is rightfully due to an orphan or stranger or widow.’ ‘Cursed is he who commits incest, with parent or step-parent or sibling. Cursed is he who lies with any animal.’ ‘Cursed is he who strikes down his neighbor in secret or a takes a bribe to strike down a man in innocent blood. Cursed is he who does not uphold the Teaching to carry them out.’

The people are told that if they obey the commandments, they will be blessed by God, and their land will be fruitful.  God will help them defeat their enemies. However, if the people do not obey the laws, God will punish them and they will be cursed.  Their enemies will defeat them and they will expelled from their homes.

The portion ends with Moses reminding the people how God helped them in their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.

Torah Portion in English

1) When you enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you as a heritage, and you possess it and settle in it, 2) you shall take some of every first fruit of the soil, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God is giving you, put it in a basket and go to the place where the Lord your God will choose to establish His name. 3) You shall go to the priest in charge at that time and say to him, “I acknowledge this day before the Lord your God that I have entered the land that the Lord swore to our fathers to assign us.”

4) The priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down in front of the altar of the Lord your God.

5) You shall then recite as follows before the Lord your God: “My father was a fugitive Aramean. He went down to Egypt with meager numbers and sojourned there; but there he became a great and very populous nation. 6) The Egyptians dealt harshly with us and oppressed us; they imposed heavy labor upon us. 7) We cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our plea and saw our plight, our misery, and our oppression. 8) The Lord freed us from Egypt by a mighty hand, by an outstretched arm and awesome power, and by signs and portents. 9) He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10) Wherefore I now bring the first fruits of the soil which You, O Lord, have given me.” You shall leave it before the Lord your God and bow low before the Lord your God. 11) And you shall enjoy, together with the Levite and the stranger in your midst, all the bounty that the Lord your God has bestowed upon you and your household.

12) When you have set aside in full the tenth part of your yield—in the third year, the year of the tithe—and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat their fill in your settlements, 13) you shall declare before the Lord your God: “I have cleared out the consecrated portion from the house; and I have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, just as You commanded me; I have neither transgressed nor neglected any of Your commandments: 14) I have not eaten of it while in mourning, I have not cleared out any of it while I was unclean, and I have not deposited any of it with the dead. I have obeyed the Lord my God; I have done just as You commanded me. 15) Look down from Your holy abode, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel and the soil You have given us, a land flowing with milk and honey, as You swore to our fathers.”

Getting to Know my Parasha

What Does my Parasha Say?

  1. How much are we commanded to donate?
  2. Who benefits from these donations?
  3. What is the first thing the Israelites must do when they enter the Promised Land?
  4. What is the history that the priests retell?
  5. What was supposed to be written on the 12 stones?
  6. What was the name of the mountains the tribes were to stand on during the recitation of the blessings and curses?
  7. If the people don’t follow God what happens to them?  Do they still belong to God?