Torah Portion Summary

From Torah Sparks by Rabbi Joyce Newmark
a product of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism

Parashat Nitzavim


According to tradition, Moses is speaking on the last day of his life. He reminds the people that they are entering into a covenant with God and that those who violate that covenant will be punished severely. Moses also tells the people that even as God punishes their disobedience He will not abandon them. When they learn from what

has happened to them and return to God in repentance, God will welcome them lovingly and bring them back from their exile.


Moses encourages the people, telling them that God’s commandments are not too difficult or beyond reach. Rather, they are very close, so that every Jew has the ability to observe them. Moses concludes: “I have put before you life and death, blessing and

curse. Choose life – if you and your offspring would live.”

Parashat Vayeilech


On the last day of his life, Moses tells the people that it is now time for Joshua to succeed him. They should not be afraid, because God will continue to be with them as they conquer the Canaanites as they already conquered the Amorites. Moses then charges Joshua in the sight of all Israel.


Moses writes down the Torah (or, perhaps, parts of Sefer Devarim) and gives it to the priests and the elders. He tells them that every seventh year, at Sukkot, they are to assemble the people and read the Torah to them.


God now calls Moses and tells him it is almost time for him to die. He instructs him to bring Joshua to the tent of meeting to hear God’s instructions. God tells Moses that in the future the people will break the covenant and turn to alien gods, so that God will become angry and “hide His countenance” from them.


Therefore, Moses is to write down a poem (found in Ha-azinu) and teach it to the people. It will remind them of God’s promise and their disloyalty and prompt them to repent.

September 11 - 12

23 Elul 5780

Parashat Nitzavim-Vayelekh

Shabbat Begins (Candles) – 6:37 p.m. Friday
Shabbat Ends (Havdalah) – 7:35 p.m. Saturday


Deuteronomy 29:9—31:30 (Etz Hayim p. 1165)


Triennial (1st Cycle)

Deuteronomy 29:9—30:14 (Etz Hayim p. 1165

1) Deuteronomy 29:9 — 11(Etz Hayim p. 1165)

2) Deuteronomy 29:12 — 14 (Etz Hayim p. 1165)

3) Deuteronomy 29:15 — 28 (Etz Hayim p. 1166)

4) Deuteronomy 30:1 — 3 (Etz Hayim p. 1169)

5) Deuteronomy 30:4 — 6 (Etz Hayim p. 1169)

6) Deuteronomy 30:7 — 10 (Etz Hayim p. 1170)

7) Deuteronomy 30:11 — 14 (Etz Hayim p. 1170)


Deuteronomy 30:11 — 14 (Etz Hayim p. 1170)


Isaiah 61:10 — 63:9 (Etz Hayim p. 1180)

7th of 7 haftarot of Consolation following Tisha B’av

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