On the last day of his life, Moshe gathered every member of the nation, from the heads of the tribes and the elders to the very young children.

Moshe entered them into a covenant with God, that they will be “a people to Him and He will be a God to them”, which He promised to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. This covenant is binding for future generations.

Moshe warned them against idolatry, which they had seen during the Egyptian exile. Forsaking the covenant will provoke God’s wrath and result in the Land being destroyed and the nation exiled.

Moshe said to the people: “If you do stray and are exiled, you will return to God with all your heart and all your soul”. God will have mercy upon the people, releasing them from their captivity and bringing them in from wherever they have been dispersed. He will open the hearts of the nation to love Him unequivocally.

After Israel’s return to God, His wrath will be unleashed upon those enemies who persecuted her. God will bless the nation like He blessed their forefathers, in “the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your animals and the fruit of your Land”.

The Torah is not hidden, nor is it so far away that it is inaccessible – it is not “in the heavens”, nor is it “across the sea”; rather it is “very close” to us.

God has placed “life and good, death and evil” in front of the people, who are urged to “choose life”. That means loving God and walking in His ways. Heaven and Earth are called to bear witness to this responsibility and its consequences.

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