In this Parsha Moshe warns the people that when they enter the Land of Israel and conquer the various idolatrous nations living there, all of their sacrificial offerings were to take place only in the place designated by
Between this section and the next section which deals with a lengthy discussion of what defines and how to deal with a false prophet from among the Jewish People, a single line is somewhat incongruously inserted: “The entire word that I command you, that shall you observe to do; you shall not add to it and you shall not subtract from it.”(Devarim 13:1) This indicates that whatever is commanded is sufficient. By adding to the Torah on our own we would essentially be ‘weakening’ it and subtracting from it. The fact that this line immediately follows the previous paragraph dealing with sacrificial offerings teaches us that the sacrificial aspect of service to
However, from this one-line admonition alone one could reason that it would be permitted to add additional commandments and means of serving
The Rambam (Maimonides) uses the verse in Parshat Re’eh as a proof of the eternal, permanent and irrevocable nature of the Torah’s commandments. Sefer Haikkrim (Rabbi Yosef Albo) argues with the Rambam and says that the purpose of the verse in Re’eh is not to offer proof of the eternity of the Torah’s commandments, but rather to admonish us not to add or subtract from the commandments of the Torah by adapting formerly idolatrous Canaanite practices.
Abarbanel, however, agrees with the Rambam. The essential foundation of Jewish faith is that the Torah is eternal. When