Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshios Netzavim & Vayeilech

Unending Continuity

This is the final Shabat of the year 5766. It has been a difficult year for the Jewish people, for the State of Israel and for me personally. This year of war, death, scandal, disappointment, and an overwhelming feeling of uncertainty - which is really the natural human state of being - leaves us somewhat bewildered and downcast. We pray that the new year that now comes upon us will be one of comfort and healing, of good tidings and new and fruitful beginnings, with peace and confidence in our future.

On his final day, Moshe gathers all of Israel to bid them goodbye. He speaks not only to those who stand before him in life but also to those who are no longer here but whose memory and influence are still present amongst the living. He also speaks to the generations of Israel still unborn who are yet to come and shoulder the responsibilities and duties of Jewish achievement and survival. He repeats the unbending and inexorable terms of the covenant between God and Israel. But he promises them that in the end all will be right somehow and that the blessings of God’s covenant with us will descend upon us to comfort and refresh us.

There probably cannot be any more fitting introduction to our supplications and prayers for the new year than these words of Moshe’s that appear in this week’s parsha. The parsha places the events of our life into a Godly perspective so that even our tragedies and disappointments take on meaning and purpose. God’s covenant with us as individuals and as a people is still operative. We really cannot ask for more.

Moshe goes to his death with faith but also with regret. He is not privileged to enter the Land of Israel, being denied his life’s dream and his children will not succeed him in the leadership of the Jewish people. As is the case with human beings, even Moshe, no one passes away having accomplished all that was desired. Yet Moshe dies peacefully, with God’s kiss, so to speak, on his face, knowing that the Torah that he taught Israel will guarantee its survival as a people and will be a human force for all eternity. He is comforted in the knowledge that all of his efforts and travails, all of his disappointments and frustrations will, somehow, not be for naught.

The Torah will remain within the Jewish people and will eventually restore them to their land and their faith. No matter how distant they may stray from their faith and mission, the Torah will not abandon them. God will employ many different means to keep the covenant effective between Him and Israel. Moshe can therefore say confidently “It [the Torah] is not an empty thing as far as you are concerned but rather it is within your mouths and hearts to fulfill its demands and promises.” It is this sense of unending continuity that is the greatest comfort to Moshe on his departure from this earth. It should also be the greatest source of comfort and hope for us as we depart from this year and enter into better and more blessed times.

Shabat shalom.

Rabbi Berel Wein

Rabbi Berel Wein - Jewish historian, author and international lecturer offers a complete selection of CDs, audio tapes, video tapes, DVDs, and books on Jewish history at

Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Berel Wein and



View Complete List

Love and Sacrifice
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Better A Second Time Around
Shlomo Katz - 5767

Don't Doubt My G-d
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5775

> Priorities Confused
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

Big Potential
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Lech-Lecha #1 or Lech-Lecha #2 – Which is the harder test?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Reaching Greatness: Living in the Land of Israel
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5775

The Beginning & End of the Journey
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

No Pain, No Gain
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Lesson of Avraham
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

Lot’s and Lots of Opportunities
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

Bless You!
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766


The Perfect Covenant
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Why The Land of Israel?
- 5768

Once a Jew, Always a Jew
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

That Fire Within
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information