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5 Facts About Parshat Vayelech that You (Maybe) Didn’t Know

Published on Friday November 12th, 2021

Discover and learn every week, "5 Facts" written on the weekly Parshah that you can share at your Shabbos table.


וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ מֹשֶׁ֑ה וַיְדַבֵּ֛ר אֶת־הַדְּבָרִ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה אֶל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃(31:1)


Moses went and spoke these things to all Israel.

1.     Who hid Moshe’s trumpets on that day?

  • Every time Moshe wanted to gather the nation he would blow trumpets specifically made for this purpose. On that day, however, Hashem hid the trumpets from him, leading to the expression  “There is no authority on the day of one’s death”.[1]


וַיִּכְתֹּ֣ב מֹשֶׁה֮ אֶת־הַתּוֹרָ֣ה הַזֹּאת֒ וַֽיִּתְּנָ֗הּ אֶל־הַכֹּהֲנִים֙ בְּנֵ֣י לֵוִ֔י הַנֹּ֣שְׂאִ֔ים אֶת־אֲר֖וֹן בְּרִ֣ית ה' וְאֶל־כָּל־זִקְנֵ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃(31:9)

Moses wrote down this Teaching and gave it to the priests, sons of Levi, who carried the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant, and to all the elders of Israel.

2.     What monumental feat did Moshe miraculously accomplish on the day of his death?

  • On that day Moshe wrote 13 Torah scrolls, one  for each tribe and one to be stored in the Ark. The latter would  be consulted in any situation of dispute.[2]


וַיְצַ֥ו מֹשֶׁ֖ה אוֹתָ֣ם לֵאמֹ֑ר מִקֵּ֣ץ ׀ שֶׁ֣בַע שָׁנִ֗ים בְּמֹעֵ֛ד שְׁנַ֥ת הַשְּׁמִטָּ֖ה בְּחַ֥ג הַסֻּכּֽוֹת׃(31:10)

And Moses instructed them as follows: Every seventh year, the year set for remission, at the Feast of Booths.

3.     What was the most profitable business during Chol Hamoed Sukkot?

  • This verse refers to the mitzvah of Hakhel. Hakhel was an exciting event that took place every seven years, on the first day of Chol Hamoed Sukkot, when the entire nation would gather together. The priests would announce the gathering by standing together and blowing golden shofars. The lineage of any priest seen without a shofar would called into question. Renting out shofars for this event was considered to be a very profitable business venture![3]


בְּב֣וֹא כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל לֵרָאוֹת֙ אֶת־פְּנֵי֙ ה' אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ בַּמָּק֖וֹם אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִבְחָ֑ר תִּקְרָ֞א אֶת־הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּ֛את נֶ֥גֶד כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בְּאָזְנֵיהֶֽם׃(31:11)

When all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God in the place that He will choose, you shall read this Teaching aloud in the presence of all Israel.

4.     How many people attended Hakhel?

  • The Talmud says that more than 12 million people would come to visit the Temple during the 3 Festivals and there was miraculously room for everyone.[4]


וַיֹּ֨אמֶר ה' אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֗ה הֵ֣ן קָרְב֣וּ יָמֶיךָ֮ לָמוּת֒ קְרָ֣א אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁ֗עַ וְהִֽתְיַצְּב֛וּ בְּאֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵ֖ד וַאֲצַוֶּ֑נּוּ וַיֵּ֤לֶךְ מֹשֶׁה֙ וִֽיהוֹשֻׁ֔עַ וַיִּֽתְיַצְּב֖וּ בְּאֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵֽד׃(31:14)

The LORD said to Moses: The time is drawing near for you to die. Call Joshua and present yourselves in the Tent of Meeting, that I may instruct him. Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves in the Tent of Meeting.

5.     Who were the only other 2 people along with Moshe, who were warned of their imminent deaths?

  • Moshe was one of only 3 people who were warned that they were about to die The other 2 were Yaakov[5] and King David[6]. It is taught that these three leaders  never truly died.[7]

[1] Meam Loez

[2] Devarim Rabbah

[3] Tosefta Sotah: 7:8

[4] Pesachim 64b

[5] Bereshit 47:29

[6] Kings I, 2:1

[7] Meam Loez, Targum Yonathan

Eytan Yéhouda DZIKOWSKI - © Torah-Box Account

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