Moshe encouraged the Israelites to keep God’s commandments. This will allow them to prosper in the Land and to be the most blessed of peoples. In the same way that God took them out of Egypt, so too He will allow them to defeat the Cana’anite nations. The nation must destroy the Cana’anites’ idols. Moshe entreated the Israelites to remember the 40 years in the desert, including the eating of the manna. God will bring them into a Land with abundant resources, where they will lack nothing.

Moshe warned the Israelites not to forget God once they enter the Land. They should not fall into the trap of thinking that they inherited the Land thanks to their own efforts and merits; rather it was God who guided and protected them during the years in the desert. Failure to heed this lesson will result in exile from the Land.

The Israelites should remember that they are a “stiff-necked people” and they are not inheriting the Land because of their own righteousness. In fact, since leaving Egypt, they repeatedly provoked God, initially with the sin of the golden calf, which Moshe now recalls in detail. He also reminded them of the sin of the spies.

Moshe described how he carved two new stone tablets, having broken the first set upon seeing the worship of the golden calf when descending Mount Sinai. In the aftermath of the golden calf, the tribe of Levi was set apart for its special functions of guarding the Ark and serving God.

Moshe urged the Israelites to fear and love God and to open their hearts to Him. Moshe recalled the miraculous Exodus from Egypt, the splitting of the Sea of Reeds and the earth swallowing Korach and his rebels.

Moshe went on to say that God always has “His eyes” on the Land of Cana’an. He then told them a passage which we recite twice daily as the second paragraph of the Shema. It spells out the benefits of fulfilling the commandments and the consequences of neglecting them. The mitzvot of tefilin, mezuzah and studying Torah are stated.

Moshe urged the people to remember their Torah learning and to have a connection with Torah scholars.

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