Today is called Shabbat Hazon, the Saturday of the Vision, because we Jews are studying the portion of the Bible called "Dvarim" (Words) that deals with Mozes' vision or send away speech to the Israelites about to cross the Jordan river and enter the Land. This Saturday precedes the fast of Tisha B'Av, the ninth day of the month Av, the saddest day of the Jewish calendar. It was in this date that the first and the second temples were destroyed.
Moshe's words consist in the recapitulation of the forty years spent in the wilderness. He names the sites they visited, all of them familiar to Israelis like me who toured Sinai while it was ours. Moshe's speech plants in the our minds the question how on Earth a trip that should have lasted about two or three weeks (walking with cattle and families) - one that can be completed in eight hours of driving - took forty terrible years. The answer is that the "mixed multitude" he took out of the Egyptian house of slaves or construction workers subsidized housing neighborhoods, was extreemely badly disposed towards the Egyptian Prince Moshe's program of re-forming as a holy nation, the people of G-d, and they resisted in every way they could. I suspect they knew why they didn't like Moshe and his program and 3,000 years of subsequent history proved them right. A standby luminous column showed them the way, each morning sweet manna and fat chickens fell into hands from the sky, and in the driest of the dessert cool water was made to flow for them from the rocks, miracle after useless miracle for these obstinate people, as they obsessively persisted in disbelieving and sabotaging Moshe hoping he will fail. We can see old Moshe teaching the new generation about their laborious progress till they reached the place they were standing on that day, formed in compact battalions waiting for his order to cross the Jordan river and take over the Land. All in all is quite a despairing story, by then Moshe was tired and his forces spent, he knew he was about to die, and now, recapitulating, he does not very optimistic about his project's outcome. It is a sad speech and this is a sad week of mourning and fasting for us Jews.