Parshat Vezot Habracha (Simchat Torah)
This is the last parshah of the year. V’zot HaBracha is the concluding chapters of the Five Books.
Devarim 34:1 - 4 “Moshe went up from the plains of Mo’av to Mount Nevo, (to the) top of the summit facing Jericho. God showed him the Land, the Gilead as far as Dan… God said to him “This is the Land I swore to Avraham, to Yitzchak, and to Ya’akov, saying, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you should not cross over there.”
Moshe is at the top of the mountain and he is able to survey the Land, in past, present and the future. Because Moshe could not enter the Land he therefore had to encompass the land through his gaze. By virtue of his gaze, all generations were seen before him and moreover enabled the Children of Israel the ability to dwell in and possess it.
On top of the mountain, it is just Moshe, God and the people. In his solitude, his gaze is serious. It is an affectionate salute to his journeys, the story of Bnei Yisrael and a flashback to his encounter with Hashem at the Burning Bush.
“Moshe the servant of God, died there, in the land of Mo’av by (a kiss from) the mouth of God… Moshe was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eye never dimmed, and his energy unabated.”
His vision is our destiny. We are a people forever indebted to his selfless leadership.
No other prophet ever arose in Israel like Moshe, whom God knew face to face
Debbie Masel writes in her book In the Cleft of the Rock “now, if they are to cross over, they (Bnei Yisrael) will have to bear the unfilled emptiness that is his imprint, to carry it, and be carried by it, until the end of time.
A gmar chasimah tova! A moadim le’simcha, a joyful Shmini Atzeret/ Simchat Torah and..
Chazak, Chazak ve-nis’chazek (Be strong!, be strong! And may we be strengthened)