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Devarim: Respectful Rebuke

In this week’s Parsha, Moshe begins recounting to Klal Yisrael the history of their sojourn in the desert including their ten sins and the places those rebellions against God occurred. The Pasuk (1:1) says, “and these are the words that Moshe spoke… between Paran and Tofel and Lavan and Chatzeros and Di Zahav.” Rashi notes that the words Moshe was about to say would be full of rebuke and list all the places in which the Jewish people sinned. For the sake of the Kavod of Klal Yisrael, the Pasuk is purposely vague about the exact nature of these words. Furthermore, the Sichos Mussar explains that the names of the actual places where the Jewish people sinned are not the ones in the above list; rather, Moshe was alluding to the sins thinly veiled through his words, in order to protect the honor of the Jewish people.