This week’s parsha, Ve’etchanan, continues to show us the end of Moses’ time with the people of Israel. Moses tells the Israelites that G-d is punishing him, and he will not be leading them into the Land of Israel; instead, he will only be able to look out over the land from a mountaintop.
Moses must train Joshua as the successor of leader of the Jewish people, and takes the time to remind the people, as a whole, of the significance of their time in the wilderness. He speaks to them of their relationship to G-d, the statutes and laws G-d has given them, and the importance of the Ten Commandments.
By speaking of these things, yet again, with the people of Israel before they begin their transition out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land, Moses ensures that the people remember the relationships and structures that guided them while they wandered.
In Deuteronomy, 4:9, we read: “But beware and watch yourself very well, lest you forget the things that your eyes saw, and lest these things depart from your heart, all the days of your life…”
By remembering what empowered us on our life-journeys, we can, like the Israelites, find the strength to enter into our own Promised Lands every day and make greater change in the world around us.