This is not a parsha of action.  It has no stories.  It has almost no commandments.  The major commandment is to obey God’s other commandments.   The other commandments are mostly related to that big one.  They are:

  • Remember that God took you out of the land of Egypt and gave you a land filled with milk and honey.  So now, rejoice in all the good things that God has given you. 
  • Give a tenth of your produce, every third year, to the Levites who have no land, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow.
  • Say before God that you’ve followed God’s commandments, and have not done what is forbidden.
  • Set up great stones.  Plaster them and write on them all of God’s commandments

God declares the Israelites to be God’s specially treasured people.:  “This day you are becoming a people to God.  You must listen to the voice of God and observe God’s commandments and God’s laws.”  

Food for Thought:

In the midst of talking about obeying God’s commandments, God throws in a charge to feed widows, orphans and strangers.  Why do you think that mandate was put where it is?

God commands the Israelites to give to the widow and the orphan