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UNDERSTANDING THE FIFTH BOOK OF THE TORAH

July 22nd, 2015

Sefer Devarim is quite different from the first four books of the Torah. In classic sources it is referred to as ‘Mishneh Torah’, roughly translated as a ‘recap of the Torah’.

The initial chapters are framed as a monologue delivered by Moshe, featuring his musings on his time as leader of the Jews, and his observations and instructions for them before they cross the Jordan into the Promised Land.

But the idea that any part of the Torah is not the word of God is problematic, referred to as heresy in the Talmud and the Rambam. So what is Devarim? Is it the words of Moshe, a transcript of his final speeches before his death? Or is it the unadulterated word of God?

Rabbi Dunner looks at the Ramban, Sefer HaChinuch, Abarbanel, and Malbim, and discusses a number of solutions to this complex theological conundrum.

PARSHAT DEVARIM 2015 – SOURCE SHEET

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