Parsha Vayelech וַיֵּלֶךְ is the fifty-second parsha in the annual reading cycle. It is the eight reading in Deuteronomy (Devarim). As per Rabbi Sacks, this parsha is the Witness.
Vayelech וַיֵּלֶךְ is translated as “And he went”.
In English, Vayelech can be spelled 7 ways: (1) Vayelech, (2) Vayeilech, (3) VaYelech, (3) Va-yelech, (4) Vayelekh, (5) Wayyelekh, (6) Wayyelakh, or (7) Va-yelekh
Vayelech וַיֵּלֶךְ is the first word and the first distinctive word in verse 1. See the Hebrew text below.
א וַיֵּלֶךְ מֹשֶׁה וַיְדַבֵּר אֶת־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֶל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
Parsha Vayelech Readings
Torah: Deuteronomy (Devarim) 31.1-30
Halftorah: Read separately – Isaiah 55.6 – 56.8
The Sabbath before Yom Kippur – Hosea 14. 2-20, Joel 2.15-27; Joel 2.15-27, Micah 7.18 – 20
Combined with Parashat Nitzavim – Isaiah 61.10 – 63.9
Brit Hahagaddah: Ro. 10.1-17
Parsha Vayelech Aliyah:
First Reading — Deut. (Devarim) 30. 1 – 3
Second Reading — Deut. (Devarim) 30. 4 – 6
Third Reading — Deut. (Devarim) 30. 7 – 9
Fourth Reading — Deut. (Devarim) 30. 10 – 13
Fifth Reading — Deut. (Devarim) 30. 14 – 19
Sixth Reading — Deut. (Devarim) 30. 20 -24
Seventh Reading — Deut. (Devarim) 30. 25 – 30
Parsha Vayelech Stats
- Hebrew letters – 5,652
- Hebrew words – 1,4,84
- Pesukim (sentences) – 112
- Lines in a Torah Scroll- 30
- Double Count – 0
- Scribal Practices – 0
- Hebrew text for Parsha Vayelech
- Number of Mitzvot in Parsha Vayelech
- Maimonides says: 2
- Positive – 2
- Negative – 0
- Sefer ha-Chinuch says: 2
- Positive – 2
- Negative – 0
Deuteronomy (Devarim) 31.1 – 3 (Parsha Vayelech, Aliyah 1)
Deu 31:1 And Moses went and spoke these words unto all Israel.
Deu 31:2 And he said unto them: ‘I am a hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in; and the LORD hath said unto me: Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.
Deu 31:3 The LORD thy God, He will go over before thee; He will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt dispossess them; and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.
Deuteronomy (Devarim) 31.4- 6 Parsha Vayelech, Aliyah 2)
Deu 31:4 And the LORD will do unto them as He did to Sihon and to Og, the kings of the Amorites, and unto their land; whom He destroyed.
Deu 31:5 And the LORD will deliver them up before you, and ye shall do unto them according unto all the commandment which I have commanded you.
Deu 31:6 Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be affrighted at them; for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’
Deuteronomy (Devarim) 31.7 – 9 (Parsha Vayelech, Aliyah 3)
Deu 31:7 And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel: ‘Be strong and of good courage; for thou shalt go with this people into the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.
Deu 31:8 And the LORD, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee; fear not, neither be dismayed.’
The Reading of the Law
Deu 31:9 And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, that bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel.
Deuteronomy (Devarim) 31.10 – 13 (Parsha Vayelech, Aliyah 4)
Deu 31:10 And Moses commanded them, saying: ‘At the end of every seven years, in the set time of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles,
Deu 31:11 when all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which He shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing.
Deu 31:12 Assemble the people, the men and the women and the little ones, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law;
Deu 31:13 and that their children, who have not known, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over the Jordan to possess it.’
Deuteronomy (Devarim) 31.14 – 19 (Parsha Vayelech, Aliyah 5)
Deu 31:14 And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Behold, thy days approach that thou must die; call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tent of meeting, that I may give him a charge.’ And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tent of meeting.
Deu 31:15 And the LORD appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud; and the pillar of cloud stood over the door of the Tent.
Deu 31:16 And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Behold, thou art about to sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go astray after the foreign gods of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake Me, and break My covenant which I have made with them.
Deu 31:17 Then My anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall come upon them; so that they will say in that day: Are not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?
Deu 31:18 And I will surely hide My face in that day for all the evil which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.
Deu 31:19 Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach thou it the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel.
Deuteronomy (Devarim) 31.20 – 24 (Parsha Vayelech, Aliyah 6)
Deu 31:20 For when I shall have brought them into the land which I swore unto their fathers, flowing with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten their fill, and waxen fat; and turned unto other gods, and served them, and despised Me, and broken My covenant;
Deu 31:21 then it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are come upon them, that this song shall testify before them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed; for I know their imagination how they do even now, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.’
Deu 31:22 So Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.
Deu 31:23 And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said: ‘Be strong and of good courage; for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I swore unto them; and I will be with thee.’
Deu 31:24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,
Deuteronomy (Devarim) 31.25 – 30 (Parsha Vayelech, Aliyah 7)
Deu 31:25 that Moses commanded the Levites, that bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying:
Deu 31:26 ‘Take this book of the law, and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.
Deu 31:27 For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck; behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death?
Deu 31:28 Assemble unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to witness against them.
Deu 31:29 For I know that after my death ye will in any wise deal corruptly, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the end of days; because ye will do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him through the work of your hands.’
Deu 31:30 And Moses spoke in the ears of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song, until they were finished:
COMBINED WITH PARASHAT NITZAVIM
Isaiah 61.10, 11 (Parsha Vayelech, Haftarah)
Isa 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of victory, as a bridegroom putteth on a priestly diadem, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
Isa 61:11 For as the earth bringeth forth her growth, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause victory and glory to spring forth before all the nations.
Isaiah 62.1 – 12 (Parsha Vayelech, Haftarah)
Isa 62:1 For Zion’s sake will I not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her triumph go forth as brightness, and her salvation as a torch that burneth.
Isa 62:2 And the nations shall see thy triumph, and all kings thy glory; and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall mark out.
Isa 62:3 Thou shalt also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the open hand of thy God.
Isa 62:4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken, neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called, My delight is in her, and thy land, Espoused; for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be espoused.
Isa 62:5 For as a young man espouseth a virgin, so shall thy sons espouse thee; and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.
Isa 62:6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, they shall never hold their peace day nor night: ‘Ye that are the LORD’S remembrancers, take ye no rest,
Isa 62:7 And give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.’
Isa 62:8 The LORD hath sworn by His right hand, and by the arm of His strength: Surely I will no more give thy corn to be food for thine enemies; and strangers shall not drink thy wine, for which thou hast laboured;
Isa 62:9 But they that have garnered it shall eat it, and praise the LORD, and they that have gathered it shall drink it in the courts of My sanctuary.
Isa 62:10 Go through, go through the gates, clear ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway, gather out the stones; lift up an ensign over the peoples.
Isa 62:11 Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the earth: say ye to the daughter of Zion: ‘Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.’
Isa 62:12 And they shall call them The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD; and thou shalt be called Sought out, a city not forsaken.
Isaiah 63.1 – 9 (Parsha Vayelech, Haftarah)
Isa 63:1 ‘Who is this that cometh from Edom, with crimsoned garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, stately in the greatness of his strength?’ – ‘I that speak in victory, mighty to save.’ –
Isa 63:2 ‘Wherefore is Thine apparel red, and Thy garments like his that treadeth in the winevat?’ –
Isa 63:3 ‘I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the peoples there was no man with Me; yea, I trod them in Mine anger, and trampled them in My fury; and their lifeblood is dashed against My garments, and I have stained all My raiment.
Isa 63:4 For the day of vengeance that was in My heart, and My year of redemption are come.
Isa 63:5 And I looked, and there was none to help, and I beheld in astonishment, and there was none to uphold; therefore Mine own arm brought salvation unto Me, and My fury, it upheld Me.
Isa 63:6 And I trod down the peoples in Mine anger, and made them drunk with My fury, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.’
Isa 63:7 I will make mention of the mercies of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us; and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He hath bestowed on them according to His compassions, and according to the multitude of His mercies.
Isa 63:8 For He said: ‘Surely, they are My people, children that will not deal falsely’; so He was their Saviour.
Isa 63:9 In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them, and carried them all the days of old.
Isaiah 55.6 – 56.8 (Parsha Vayelech, Haftarah)
Isa 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near;
Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the man of iniquity his thoughts; and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have compassion upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
Isa 55:8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isa 55:10 For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, except it water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, and give seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
Isa 55:11 So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, except it accomplish that which I please, and make the thing whereto I sent it prosper.
Isa 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Isa 55:13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the LORD for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
Isaiah 56. 1-8 (Parsha Vayelech, Haftarah)
Isa 56:1 Thus saith the LORD: Keep ye justice, and do righteousness; for My salvation is near to come, and My favour to be revealed.
Isa 56:2 Happy is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that holdeth fast by it: that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
Isa 56:3 Neither let the alien, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying: ‘The LORD will surely separate me from His people’; neither let the eunuch say: ‘Behold, I am a dry tree.’
Isa 56:4 For thus saith the LORD concerning the eunuchs that keep My sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and hold fast by My covenant:
Isa 56:5 Even unto them will I give in My house and within My walls a monument and a memorial better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting memorial, that shall not be cut off.
Isa 56:6 Also the aliens, that join themselves to the LORD, to minister unto Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, and holdeth fast by My covenant:
Isa 56:7 Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon Mine altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
Isa 56:8 Saith the Lord GOD who gathereth the dispersed of Israel: Yet I will gather others to him, beside those of him that are gathered.
THE SABBATH BEFORE YOM KIPPUR
Joel 2.15 – 27 (Parsha Vayelech, Haftarah)
Joe 2:15 Blow the horn in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly;
Joe 2:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts; let the bridegroom go forth from his chamber, and the bride out of her pavilion.
Joe 2:17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say: ‘Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not Thy heritage to reproach, that the nations should make them a byword: wherefore should they say among the peoples: Where is their God?’
Joe 2:18 Then was the LORD jealous for His land, and had pity on His people.
Joe 2:19 And the LORD answered and said unto His people: ‘Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith; and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations;
Joe 2:20 But I will remove far off from you the northern one, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the eastern sea, and his hinder part toward the western sea; that his foulness may come up, and his ill savour may come up, because he hath done great things.’
Joe 2:21 Fear not, O land, be glad and rejoice; for the LORD hath done great things.
Joe 2:22 Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field; for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth its fruit, the fig-tree and the vine do yield their strength.
Joe 2:23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God; for He giveth you the former rain in just measure, and He causeth to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, at the first.
Joe 2:24 And the floors shall be full of corn, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
Joe 2:25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the canker-worm, and the caterpiller, and the palmer- worm, My great army which I sent among you.
Joe 2:26 And ye shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and shall praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be ashamed.
Joe 2:27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and there is none else; and My people shall never be ashamed.
Hosea 14. 1-9 (2 – 10) (Parsha Vayelech, Haftarah)
Hos 14:1 (14:2) Return, O Israel, unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast stumbled in thine iniquity.
Hos 14:2 (14:3) Take with you words, and return unto the LORD; say unto Him: ‘Forgive all iniquity, and accept that which is good; so will we render for bullocks the offering of our lips.
Hos 14:3 (14:4) Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses; neither will we call any more the work of our hands our gods; for in Thee the fatherless findeth mercy.’
Hos 14:4 (14:5) I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for Mine anger is turned away from him.
Hos 14:5 (14:6) I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall blossom as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
Hos 14:6 (14:7) His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive-tree, and his fragrance as Lebanon.
Hos 14:7 (14:8) They that dwell under his shadow shall again make corn to grow, and shall blossom as the vine; the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.
Hos 14:8 (14:9) Ephraim shall say: ‘What have I to do any more with idols?’ As for Me, I respond and look on him; I am like a leafy cypress-tree; from Me is thy fruit found.
Hos 14:9 (14:10) Whoso is wise, let him understand these things, whoso is prudent, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, and the just do walk in them; but transgressors do stumble therein.
Micah 7.18 – 20 (Parsha Vayelech, Haftarah)
Mic 7:18 Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth the iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy.
Mic 7:19 He will again have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
Mic 7:20 Thou wilt show faithfulness to Jacob, mercy to Abraham, as Thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.
Romans 10.1 – 17 (Parsha Vayelech, Renewed Covenant)
Rom 10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.
Rom 10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
Rom 10:3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Rom 10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them.
Rom 10:6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down)
Rom 10:7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
Rom 10:8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
Rom 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Rom 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
Rom 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
Rom 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Rom 10:14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
Rom 10:15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Rom 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”
Rom 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Brit Hahagaddah – The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
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Multimedia for Parsha Vayelech:
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Parsha Shoftim – 48th Parsha
Parsha Ki Tetze – 49th Parsha
Parsha Ki Tavo – 50th Parsha
Parsha Nitzavim – 51st Parsha
Covenant & Conversation Commentary – Rabbi Sacks book on Amazon. Parsha Vayelekh contains a total of five different articles on pages 290 – 308.
The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon – One of the most used Hebrew and English Lexicons among serious Bible students.
Hebrew in Israel – Torah Portion Nitzavim-Vayelech – Yoel HaLevi’s teaching series Learn Torah on Parsha Nitzavim-Vayelech
Hebrew in Israel – Haftarah Portion Vayelech – Yoel HaLevi teaching series Learn Torah on the Haftarah on Parsha Vayelech. He is teaching on Mic 7.18-20 and Hos 14.2-10.
Torah Pearls #52 – Vayelech – Nehemia Gordan’s teaching on Parsha Vayelech.
Prophet Pearls – Vayelech – Nehemia Gordan’s teaching series on the Haftarah for Parsha Vayelech. He is teaching on Isiash 55.6 – 56.8
Nitzavim Vayelech – Covenant & Conversation – Rabbi Johnathan Sacks’ YouTube teaching