Parshas Devarim – The Book of Devarim

This week in the Torah:

Moses speaks to the Jews, beginning his recap of the Torah as well as his reprove of the Jews’ wrongdoings, thereby starting the Book of Deuteronomy.

Tractate Megillah (31b; Tosafos, ibid):

“Deuteronomy was spoken by Moses himself,” although, at the same time, “Divinely inspired.”

Question:

How does this differ from the first four Books of Moses? All five are the word of G-d as well as transmitted by Moses.

Preface:

Torah is much higher than creation. Therefore it requires a “funnel” to make it reach and be effective down here. Moses is that intermediary – “Moses received the Torah at Sinai and transmitted it…” (Ethics of the Fathers, 1:1).

Dual Transmission:

Moses employs two ways to transmit the Torah: a) like a funnel, wherein the influence is not changed but the recipient must conform, b) like an interpreter, who adapts the influence but does not change its essential nature (and the listener need not conform).

Hence:

The first four books are direct flows of G-dliness. But in order for them to be properly absorbed by creation, a fifth book, that was first absorbed by Moses and adapted by him for the world, was added. It too is Divinely inspired – it is just transmitted differently.

Lesson:

The Torah was transmitted to all Jews. Twenty percent of the Pentateuch was adjusted for this purpose. Thereby, each and every Jew can learn the Torah and it always retains its G‑dly character. This thought, too, can bolster our respect and love for each and any of our fellow Jews.

(Based on Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 19, Devarim)

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