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Netzaviim

On the last day of his life, Moshe gathers together all the people, both young and old, lowly and exalted, men and women in a final initiation. The covenant includes not only those who are present, but even those generations yet unborn. Moshe admonishes the people again to be extremely vigilant against idol worship, because in spite of having witnessed the abominations of Egypt, there will always be the temptation to experiment with foreign philosophies as a pretext for immorality. Moshe describes the desolation of the Land of Israel which will be a result of the failure to heed HaShem's mitsvot. Both their descendants and foreigners alike will remark on the singular desolation of the Land and its apparent inability to be sown or to produce crops. The conclusion will be apparent to all -- the Jewish People have forsaken the One who protects them, in favour of idols which can do nothing. Moshe promises, however, that the people will eventually repent after both the blessings and the curses have been fulfilled. However assimilated they will have become among the nations, eventually HaShem will bring them back to Erets Yisrael. Moshe tells the people to remember that the Torah is not a remote impossibility; rather its fulfilment is within the grasp of every Jew. The Parashah concludes with a dramatic choice between life and death. Moshe exhorts the people to choose life.


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