Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Vayeilech

Moshe Went, but Never Left

Moshe's last day on earth is at hand. His leadership of Israel is about to end. His physical strength has not failed him but he is unable any longer to come and to go. The Talmud explains that the time of a ruler can in no way infringe not even a hairs breadth on the time of the next ruler It is no longer the time of Moshe. It is the time of Yehoshua. As in the life of almost all humans, Moshe leaves the world with some regrets and unrealized hopes. He will not lead the people of Israel into the Land of Israel and he himself will not be buried there. His two sons will not succeed him in leadership and special prominence. And, he has seen into the dark tunnel of future Jewish history and is therefore acutely aware of the tragedies, difficulties, struggles and challenges that face his beloved people and their descendants throughout the coming ages.

Yet he is comforted by the fact that his beloved Yehoshua will take his place and bring Israel into its homeland and guide them in settling it. He is also comforted by the promise of God that Israel will survive all of the vicissitudes of its history and eventually be redeemed and strengthened physically and spiritually. The Midrash has Moshe attended to in his final hours by God Himself, so to speak. Thus death itself has no terrors for him, only the sadness of leaving a world where so much can be accomplished for a world that is eternal but poses no further challenge.

The title word of the parsha vayelech Moshe went is itself interesting and yet puzzlesome. Where is Moshe going? If it is to speak to the Jewish people, he always did so from the confines of the camp of holiness surrounding the mishkan/tabernacle. The Midrash provides us insight into the word vayelech he went. It states that Moshe now went from tribe to tribe, from tent to tent of the families of Israel to take leave of them. He showed them that his love for them knew no bounds and that even though he ruled over them with a strong hand and an uncompromising demeanor, everything that he did in his forty-year stewardship of Israel was done with Divine blessing and enormous care and love. To confirm all of this in the minds of the Jews, he now visited them all he went to them to say goodbye and as we will read in a few short weeks, to bless them and strengthen them.

Even on the last day of his life, the welfare of the Jewish people is Moshes main concern and preoccupation. Is there any wonder therefore, that there arose none like Moshe in all of human history? Moshe is the paradigm of leadership, of selfless concern and wise guidance for an often contentious and fractious society. Moshe went in this weeks parsha but his influence and teachings remain with Israel and in fact all of humanity on a continuing and eternal basis.

Shabat Shalom.
Shana Tova.

Rabbi Berel Wein


Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Berel Wein and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON HAAZINU AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Molded Future
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757

Listen to the Music!
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5755

Leave it Up to the King
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Beethoven's Fifth Symphony
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Everything Depends on Our Teshuvah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

In A Theatre Near You
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

ArtScroll

Elul
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5755

The Focus of Rosh HaShana
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Reversing the Chain Reaction
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Lessons on Prayer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

The Art of the Deal and It's Impact
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

It's a Nice Soft Suicide…
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

> Ideas for Inspiration
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

To Crown a King
Shlomo Katz - 5767

The Judgment
Shlomo Katz - 5759

A Time for Fear, A Time for Joy
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information