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The Weekly eDrash

Gain new understanding from the ancient writings! Learn messianic insight from the Torah every week through the Weekly eDrash.

Extended details on this Torah Portion: Devarim »

These are the Words

Thought for the Week:

A famous rebbe once stated that the opening phrase of the parashah, "These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel," is meant to teach that words of Torah should always be regarded as something new and exciting. "They should be new in your eyes every day," says Rashi. Ben Bag Bag says, "Turn it over, turn it over again, for everything is within it. Look into it and become gray haired and old in it." (m.Avot 5:22)


The book of Deuteronomy begins saying, "These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel..." (Deuteronomy 1:1) The Hebrew for "words" is devarim (דברים), hence the traditional Hebrew name of the book. The words of Deuteronomy are, in many ways, simply Moses' recapitulation of the Torah, hence the common name Deuteronomy, which derives from the Greek words for repetition of the law.

A famous rebbe once stated that the opening phrase of the parashah, "These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel," is meant to teach that words of Torah should always be regarded as something new and exciting. "They should be new in your eyes every day," says Rashi.1 This means that one should never consider himself to be beyond learning Torah. If the Torah is really the words of the living God, then it continues to impart revelation regardless of how many times a person has read it. It is always new. So it is when Moses recapitulated the Torah in the words of Deuteronomy, it was the same Torah, and yet it was also new and fresh.

Yeshua is the prophet like Moses. He is also the teacher like Moses. When Yeshua taught Torah, He did so effortlessly. Torah rolled out of Him. Yeshua taught Torah so naturally that Bible readers unfamiliar with the Torah scarcely ever realize that He was doing it. He never formally announced to His disciples, "Gather around, we are going to learn some Torah now." Instead, all of His words and teachings were pure Torah, insights into Torah, interpretations on Torah and implications of Torah. It was the same Torah Moses received at Sinai and spoke at the Jordan, but it was ever new in the mouth of the Master. The words of Yeshua are pure Torah, like the words of Moses beside the Jordan. They are the words of life, living water springing forth. Turn them over and turn them over again. Everything is in them.

Yeshua's disciples knew the Torah, too. They had grown up with the Torah. Yet they did not always see it as He saw it. It was not always new in their eyes every day. After His resurrection, "He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures." (Luke 24:45)

The Spirit of Yeshua is still with His disciples. He still opens our minds and makes the Torah new in our eyes. He told His disciples, "Every scribe [of Torah] who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old." (Matthew 13:52)


1. Rashi on Deuteronomy 26:16.



Torah Portions from previous weeks

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The Land of Israel

Tags: Land of Israel, presence of God

Numbers 34 sketches out the borders for the land of Israel, which Joshua was to distribute among the nine and a half tribes that remained to be settled. The tribes of Reuben and Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh had already made claim to territories east of the Jordan. The Levites were not to receive tribal territory. Joshua and Eleazar were to cast lots to parcel out the land...
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Parasha: Mattot

The Sin of Triangulation

In an effort to ensnare the Israelites, the Midianites and Moabites had sent their daughters to use sexual seduction to entice the men of Israel into worshipping Baal of Peor. The plan worked. Many Israelite men were led away by the seductive allure of the Moabite and Midianite women. They committed fornication with them and worshipped idols. Their wickedness incited the wrath of the LORD, who struck Israel with a...
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Parasha: Pinchas

Religion is a Two-edged Sword

Tags: flesh, fundamentalists, ruthlessness, terrorism, vigilance, violence, zeal

Parashat Pinchas is named for Pinchas (Phinehas), the zealous grandson of Aaron the priest who turned aside the LORD’s wrath by publicly skewering two flagrant transgressors of Torah. Without trial and without due process, Phinehas rose up as a court of one—the witness, the judge, and the executioner. The commentary in Torah Club Volume Oneaddresses the troubling ramifications of the story. For our purposes, we simply note that the Almighty...
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Parasha: Balak

Life's Little Interruptions

The angel of the LORD appeared on the road with a drawn sword to stop him. To Balaam the angel was invisible, but the donkey on which Balaam was riding could see the angel. To avoid the angel with the drawn sword, the donkey veered from the road into a field. Irritated with his steed, Balaam struck the donkey to force her back onto the road. A second time the...
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Parasha: Chukat

Aaron the Peacemaker

Tags: peacemakers, reconciliation, relationship, shalom, shalom bayit, unity

When all the congregation saw that Aaron had died, all the house of Israel wept for Aaron thirty days. (Numbers 20:29) Why did Israel weep for Aaron thirty days? Aaron was 123 years old when he died, a ripe old age, full of years, yet all Israel wept for Aaron thirty days. Thirty days is the customary term of mourning for a close relative, and Aaron, as high priest over...
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Parasha: Korach

Three Offices of Messiah

Tags: ark of the covenant, king, kingship, manna, priest, prophet, rod

The LORD commanded Moses to keep Aaron’s rod before the ark to be kept as a sign for future generations. The writer of the book of Hebrews claims that three things were kept inside the Ark of the Covenant: … the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the...
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