Community Development
 

R'eih

Deuteronomy 11:26 - 16:17

This translation was taken from the JPS Tanakh

26 See, this day I set before you blessing and curse: 27 blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I enjoin upon you this day; 28 and curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn away from the path that I enjoin upon you this day and follow other gods, whom you have not experienced. 29 When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are about to enter and possess, you shall pronounce the blessing at Mount Gerizim and the curse at Mount Ebal. — 30 Both are on the other side of the Jordan, beyond the west road that is in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the Arabah — near Gilgal, by the terebinths of Moreh.

31 For you are about to cross the Jordan to enter and possess the land that the Lord your God is assigning to you. When you have occupied it and are settled in it, 32 take care to observe all the laws and rules that I have set before you this day.

Chapter 12
1 These are the laws and rules that you must carefully observe in the land that the Lord, God of your fathers, is giving you to possess, as long as you live on earth.

2 You must destroy all the sites at which the nations you are to dispossess worshiped their gods, whether on lofty mountains and on hills or under any luxuriant tree. 3 Tear down their altars, smash their pillars, put their sacred posts to the fire, and cut down the images of their gods, obliterating their name from that site.

4 Do not worship the Lord your God in like manner, 5 but look only to the site that the Lord your God will choose amidst all your tribes as His habitation, to establish His name there. There you are to go, 6 and there you are to bring your burnt offerings and other sacrifices, your tithes and contributions, your votive and freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and flocks. 7 Together with your households, you shall feast there before the Lord your God, happy in all the undertakings in which the Lord your God has blessed you.

8 You shall not act at all as we now act here, every man as he pleases, 9 because you have not yet come to the allotted haven that the Lord your God is giving you. 10 When you cross the Jordan and settle in the land that the Lord your God is allotting to you, and He grants you safety from all your enemies around you and you live in security, 11 then you must bring everything that I command you to the site where the Lord your God will choose to establish His name: your burnt offerings and other sacrifices, your tithes and contributions, and all the choice votive offerings that you vow to the Lord. 12 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God with your sons and daughters and with your male and female slaves, along with the Levite in your settlements, for he has no territorial allotment among you.

13 Take care not to sacrifice your burnt offerings in any place you like, 14 but only in the place that the Lord will choose in one of your tribal territories. There you shall sacrifice your burnt offerings and there you shall observe all that I enjoin upon you. 15 But whenever you desire, you may slaughter and eat meat in any of your settlements, according to the blessing that the Lord your God has granted you. The unclean and the clean alike may partake of it, as of the gazelle and the deer. 16 But you must not partake of the blood; you shall pour it out on the ground like water.

17 You may not partake in your settlements of the tithes of your new grain or wine or oil, or of the firstlings of your herds and flocks, or of any of the votive offerings that you vow, or of your freewill offerings, or of your contributions. 18 These you must consume before the Lord your God in the place that the Lord your God will choose — you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female slaves, and the Levite in your settlements — happy before the Lord your God in all your undertakings. 19 Be sure not to neglect the Levite as long as you live in your land.

20 When the Lord enlarges your territory, as He has promised you, and you say, "I shall eat some meat," for you have the urge to eat meat, you may eat meat whenever you wish. 21 If the place where the Lord has chosen to establish His name is too far from you, you may slaughter any of the cattle or sheep that the Lord gives you, as I have instructed you; and you may eat to your heart's content in your settlements. 22 Eat it, however, as the gazelle and the deer are eaten: the unclean may eat it together with the clean. 23 But make sure that you do not partake of the blood; for the blood is the life, and you must not consume the life with the flesh. 24 You must not partake of it; you must pour it out on the ground like water: 25 you must not partake of it, in order that it may go well with you and with your descendants to come, for you will be doing what is right in the sight of the Lord.

26 But such sacred and votive donations as you may have shall be taken by you to the site that the Lord will choose. 27 You shall offer your burnt offerings, both the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the Lord your God; and of your other sacrifices, the blood shall be poured out on the altar of the Lord your God, and you shall eat the flesh.

28 Be careful to heed all these commandments that I enjoin upon you; thus it will go well with you and with your descendants after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.

29 When the Lord your God has cut down before you the nations that you are about to enter and dispossess, and you have dispossessed them and settled in their land, 30 beware of being lured into their ways after they have been wiped out before you! Do not inquire about their gods, saying, "How did those nations worship their gods? I too will follow those practices." 31 You shall not act thus toward the Lord your God, for they perform for their gods every abhorrent act that the Lord detests; they even offer up their sons and daughters in fire to their gods.

Chapter 13
1 Be careful to observe only that which I enjoin upon you: neither add to it nor take away from it.

2 If there appears among you a prophet or a dream-diviner and he gives you a sign or a portent, 3 saying, "Let us follow and worship another god" — whom you have not experienced — even if the sign or portent that he named to you comes true, 4 do not heed the words of that prophet or that dream-diviner. For the Lord your God is testing you to see whether you really love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. 5 Follow none but the Lord your God, and revere none but Him; observe His commandments alone, and heed only His orders; worship none but Him, and hold fast to Him. 6 As for that prophet or dream-diviner, he shall be put to death; for he urged disloyalty to the Lord your God — who freed you from the land of Egypt and who redeemed you from the house of bondage — to make you stray from the path that the Lord your God commanded you to follow. Thus you will sweep out evil from your midst.

7 If your brother, your own mother's son, or your son or daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your closest friend entices you in secret, saying, "Come let us worship other gods" — whom neither you nor your fathers have experienced — 8 from among the gods of the peoples around you, either near to you or distant, anywhere from one end of the earth to the other: 9 do not assent or give heed to him. Show him no pity or compassion, and do not shield him; 10 but take his life. Let your hand be the first against him to put him to death, and the hand of the rest of the people thereafter. 11 Stone him to death, for he sought to make you stray from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 12 Thus all Israel will hear and be afraid, and such evil things will not be done again in your midst.

13 If you hear it said, of one of the towns that the Lord your God is giving you to dwell in, 14 that some scoundrels from among you have gone and subverted the inhabitants of their town, saying, "Come let us worship other gods" — whom you have not experienced — 15 you shall investigate and inquire and interrogate thoroughly. If it is true, the fact is established — that abhorrent thing was perpetrated in your midst — 16 put the inhabitants of that town to the sword and put its cattle to the sword. Doom it and all that is in it to destruction: 17 gather all its spoil into the open square, and burn the town and all its spoil as a holocaust to the Lord your God. And it shall remain an everlasting ruin, never to be rebuilt. 18 Let nothing that has been doomed stick to your hand, in order that the Lord may turn from His blazing anger and show you compassion, and in His compassion increase you as He promised your fathers on oath — 19 for you will be heeding the Lord your God, obeying all His commandments that I enjoin upon you this day, doing what is right in the sight of the Lord your God.

Chapter 14
1 You are children of the Lord your God. You shall not gash yourselves or shave the front of your heads because of the dead. 2 For you are a people consecrated to the Lord your God: the Lord your God chose you from among all other peoples on earth to be His treasured people.

3 You shall not eat anything abhorrent. 4 These are the animals that you may eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat; 5 the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope, the mountain sheep, 6 and any other animal that has true hoofs which are cleft in two and brings up the cud — such you may eat. 7 But the following, which do bring up the cud or have true hoofs which are cleft through, you may not eat: the camel, the hare, and the daman — for although they bring up the cud, they have no true hoofs — they are unclean for you; 8 also the swine — for although it has true hoofs, it does not bring up the cud — is unclean for you. You shall not eat of their flesh or touch their carcasses.

9 These you may eat of all that live in water: you may eat anything that has fins and scales. 10 But you may not eat anything that has no fins and scales: it is unclean for you.

11 You may eat any clean bird. 12 The following you may not eat: the eagle, the vulture, and the black vulture; 13 the kite, the falcon, and the buzzard of any variety; 14 every variety of raven; 15 the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, and the hawk of any variety; 16 the little owl, the great owl, and the white owl; 17 the pelican, the bustard, and the cormorant; 18 the stork, any variety of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat.

19 All winged swarming things are unclean for you: they may not be eaten. 20 You may eat only clean winged creatures.

21 You shall not eat anything that has died a natural death; give it to the stranger in your community to eat, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a people consecrated to the Lord your God.

You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk.

22 You shall set aside every year a tenth part of all the yield of your sowing that is brought from the field. 23 You shall consume the tithes of your new grain and wine and oil, and the firstlings of your herds and flocks, in the presence of the Lord your God, in the place where He will choose to establish His name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God forever. 24 Should the distance be too great for you, should you be unable to transport them, because the place where the Lord your God has chosen to establish His name is far from you and because the Lord your God has blessed you, 25 you may convert them into money. Wrap up the money and take it with you to the place that the Lord your God has chosen, 26 and spend the money on anything you want — cattle, sheep, wine, or other intoxicant, or anything you may desire. And you shall feast there, in the presence of the Lord your God, and rejoice with your household.

27 But do not neglect the Levite in your community, for he has no hereditary portion as you have. 28 Every third year you shall bring out the full tithe of your yield of that year, but leave it within your settlements. 29 Then the Levite, who has no hereditary portion as you have, and the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow in your settlements shall come and eat their fill, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the enterprises you undertake.

Chapter 15
1 Every seventh year you shall practice remission of debts. 2 This shall be the nature of the remission: every creditor shall remit the due that he claims from his fellow; he shall not dun his fellow or kinsman, for the remission proclaimed is of the Lord. 3 You may dun the foreigner; but you must remit whatever is due you from your kinsmen.

4 There shall be no needy among you — since the Lord your God will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you as a hereditary portion — 5 if only you heed the Lord your God and take care to keep all this Instruction that I enjoin upon you this day. 6 For the Lord your God will bless you as He has promised you: you will extend loans to many nations, but require none yourself; you will dominate many nations, but they will not dominate you.

7 If, however, there is a needy person among you, one of your kinsmen in any of your settlements in the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy kinsman. 8 Rather, you must open your hand and lend him sufficient for whatever he needs. 9 Beware lest you harbor the base thought, "The seventh year, the year of remission, is approaching," so that you are mean to your needy kinsman and give him nothing. He will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will incur guilt. 10 Give to him readily and have no regrets when you do so, for in return the Lord your God will bless you in all your efforts and in all your undertakings. 11 For there will never cease to be needy ones in your land, which is why I command you: open your hand to the poor and needy kinsman in your land.

12 If a fellow Hebrew, man or woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall set him free. 13 When you set him free, do not let him go empty-handed: 14 Furnish him out of the flock, threshing floor, and vat, with which the Lord your God has blessed you. 15 Bear in mind that you were slaves in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I enjoin this commandment upon you today.

16 But should he say to you, "I do not want to leave you" — for he loves you and your household and is happy with you — 17 you shall take an awl and put it through his ear into the door, and he shall become your slave in perpetuity. Do the same with your female slave. 18 When you do set him free, do not feel aggrieved; for in the six years he has given you double the service of a hired man. Moreover, the Lord your God will bless you in all you do.

19 You shall consecrate to the Lord your God all male firstlings that are born in your herd and in your flock: you must not work your firstling ox or shear your firstling sheep. 20 You and your household shall eat it annually before the Lord your God in the place that the Lord will choose. 21 But if it has a defect, lameness or blindness, any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. 22 Eat it in your settlements, the unclean among you no less than the clean, just like the gazelle and the deer. 23 Only you must not partake of its blood; you shall pour it out on the ground like water.

Chapter 16
1 Observe the month of Abib and offer a passover sacrifice to the Lord your God, for it was in the month of Abib, at night, that the Lord your God freed you from Egypt. 2 You shall slaughter the passover sacrifice for the Lord your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place where the Lord will choose to establish His name. 3 You shall not eat anything leavened with it; for seven days thereafter you shall eat unleavened bread, bread of distress — for you departed from the land of Egypt hurriedly — so that you may remember the day of your departure from the land of Egypt as long as you live. 4 For seven days no leaven shall be found with you in all your territory, and none of the flesh of what you slaughter on the evening of the first day shall be left until morning.

5 You are not permitted to slaughter the passover sacrifice in any of the settlements that the Lord your God is giving you; 6 but at the place where the Lord your God will choose to establish His name, there alone shall you slaughter the passover sacrifice, in the evening, at sundown, the time of day when you departed from Egypt. 7 You shall cook and eat it at the place that the Lord your God will choose; and in the morning you may start back on your journey home. 8 After eating unleavened bread six days, you shall hold a solemn gathering for the Lord your God on the seventh day: you shall do no work.

9 You shall count off seven weeks; start to count the seven weeks when the sickle is first put to the standing grain. 10 Then you shall observe the Feast of Weeks for the Lord your God, offering your freewill contribution according as the Lord your God has blessed you. 11 You shall rejoice before the Lord your God with your son and daughter, your male and female slave, the Levite in your communities, and the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow in your midst, at the place where the Lord your God will choose to establish His name. 12 Bear in mind that you were slaves in Egypt, and take care to obey these laws.

13 After the ingathering from your threshing floor and your vat, you shall hold the Feast of Booths for seven days. 14 You shall rejoice in your festival, with your son and daughter, your male and female slave, the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow in your communities. 15 You shall hold a festival for the Lord your God seven days, in the place that the Lord will choose; for the Lord your God will bless all your crops and all your undertakings, and you shall have nothing but joy.

16 Three times a year — on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on the Feast of Weeks, and on the Feast of Booths — all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place that He will choose. They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed, 17 but each with his own gift, according to the blessing that the Lord your God has bestowed upon you.

Taken from Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society) 1985.
Used by permission of The Jewish Publication Society. Copyright ©1962, 1992
Third Edition by the Jewish Publication Society. No part of this text can be reproduced or forwarded without written permission.
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