Va’etchanan – Shlishi

Or “Laws, Laws and Laws”

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Moshe designated the three cities of refuge in Trans-Jordan. (See parshas Masei, Numbers chapter 35, for full details.) He then laid out God’s laws for the people. (Verse 45 uses the words eidos, chukim and mishpatim – “testimonies, decrees and ordinances.” These refer, respectively, to mitzvos that “testify” to God’s deeds, like Shabbos testifies to Creation, mitzvos we can’t fully understand, like shaatnez, and mitzvos that any just society should figure out for themselves, like not to cheat one another in business.)

The end of this aliyah is also the end of Moshe’s first speech.

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