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Browse Torah Articles: Sefer Devarim: Parashat Devarim: Gaon Me'Vilna: The Introduction to Devarim

Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi

Within the first five verses in this week's parasha, we see three different phrases describing Moshe's speaking and instruction to the nation.

Phrase 1: "Asher Diber Moshe"
Phrase 2: "Diber Moshe El Bnei Yisrael...Asher Siva Hashem Otoh Alehem"
Phrase 3: "Ho'eel Moshe Be'er"

The Gaon Me'Vilna write that the first five pesukim serve as an introduction to the entire book of Devarim, and that these three repetitive phrases represent the 3 different section of the book of Devarim.

The three sections you can divide Devarim correspond to the other books of the Torah, Shemot, Vayikra, and Bimidbar (Bereshit is excluded).

Three sections of the book of Devarim:

Section 1: From the beginning of the book until parashat Va'ethanan Perek 5.
This section deals with words of musar and rebuke that Moshe gave to Bnei Yisrael. Corresponding to this section is the first phrase- that only tell us what Moshe told Bnei Yisrael, meaning what he said from himself, as personal advice and musar. This is why this section contains hints of previous sins and pitfalls that the nation must strive to learn from and grow.

Section 2: From perek 5, starting with the Ten Commandments until perek 27 pasuk 9 in Ki Tabo.
This section deals with the misvot of the Torah. Corresponding to this section is the second phrase, which highlights what Moshe told Bnei Yisrael from what Hashem commanded that he say, meaning the misvot.\

Section 3: The rest of the book of Devarim.
This section deals with the various blessings and curses that will result from one following the misvot or choosing a life apart from the misvot. Corresponding to this section is our last and final phrase, specifying the word "Be'er" or "further explanation"- this means that Moshe told the nation the upshot or result of the misvot, which are either blessings or curses.

3 phrases- a world of knowledge..

Back to Sefer Devarim
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