Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Haazinu

Humble Beginnings

Volume 2 Issue 49

by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky

This week, Moshe composes the song of Ha'azinu. It is a hauntingly prophetic piece replete with predictions and admonitions. It extols the virtues of Israel and forewarns them of a perilous future, if they disobey the Torah. He finishes the song, standing side by side with his disciple Yehoshua, as he prepares to transfer the mantle of leadership. Deuteronomy 32:34: "Moshe came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he and Hoshea the son of Nun."

Moshe equates his own stature with that of his student in order to show the world his high regard for the future leader to whom he had entrusted his people. Yet there is something strange. Yehoshua is not referred to by the regal name that Moshe had long since given him; rather he is called Hoshea. Before the hazardous mission of the spies forty years prior, Moshe added the Hebrew letter yud to Hoshea's name. The yud represented the name of Hashem and served to protect Hoshea from the malicious intent of the slanderous spies. From that day on, Hoshea is always referred to as Yehoshua.

Why then at the height of Yehoshua's career, on the day he is to take over the reign of power, does the Torah refer to him as Hoshea? Is the Torah surreptitiously diminishing his stature? Isn't that exactly what the Torah would like to avoid?

On April 12, 1945, Vice-President Harry S. Truman was summoned to the White House. He was shown to the sitting room of the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. Gently, she told him that President Roosevelt was dead.

After a few moments of stunned silence, Mr. Truman composed himself and asked, "Is there anything I can do for you, Mrs. Roosevelt?"

The First Lady shook her head. "Is there anything we can do for you? For you are the one who is in trouble now."

Perhaps Yehoshua's crowning moment was also meant to be quite sobering. He was made to realize that the force behind his greatness would no longer be with him. The man who had crowned him with the glory of G-d's name was joining the Creator, leaving Yehoshua alone and diminished. He was now just, Hoshea.

It was now up to Yehoshua to remember from whence his greatness came. Often we bask in the spotlight of greatness and expect to glow when the radiance is turned off.

Unfortunately, we are not made of phosphorous. The time comes when our light must shine from within our own selves. Sure enough from that moment on, Hoshea shines as Yehoshua. Given the task we will shine too.

Dedicated by Dr. & Mrs. Dwight Herschman & Dr. & Mrs. Ronnie Herschman
In memory of Paula and George Herschman

Mordechai Kamenetzky - Yeshiva of South Shore

Good Shabbos

Text Copyright © 1997 by Rabbi M. Kamenetzky and Project Genesis, Inc.

The author is the Associate Dean of the Yeshiva of South Shore.

Drasha is the e-mail edition of FaxHomily, a weekly torah facsimile on the weekly portion
which is sponsored by The Henry and Myrtle Hirsch Foundation


 

ARTICLES ON VAESCHANAN AND TU BEAV:

View Complete List

Living Proof
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

Basic Tenet of Jewish Life
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

We Need Backdrops
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Mi Casa Es Su Casa
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

No Disappointments
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

The Laws of Relaxation
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

ArtScroll

Even Closer to HASHEM
Rabbi Label Lam - 5775

Who Serves "I"dols?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

Harpstrings of the Heart
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

Looking for a Chavrusah?

How Wise We Would Be
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Yearning for Eretz Yirsroel
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

The Best Kept Secret
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

> Seeing the Blessing
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

Military Tactics
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5763

The True Consolation Prize
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Making Connections
Shlomo Katz - 5772



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