Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Zos Habracha

Tough Love

The final words of Moshe to the Jewish people in this week’s Torah reading are those of blessings and prophetic hope. Moshe, who certainly had much cause to remember the Jewish people in a contrary mood, is most magnanimous in taking leave of them. After his long oration that constitutes most of chumash Dvarim, which contains many harsh words and stinging criticisms of the behavior, past and future, of the Jewish people, Moshe reverts and blesses his people with the love of a father and teacher.

In his blessings, Moshe recognizes the different talents and personalities of each of the tribes. Each one has a specific role to fulfill in Jewish life. Judaism is not a one-size-fits-all religion. Rather, it recognizes differences of attitudes and personalities and attempts to unite these different people into a whole nation under the direction and observance of Torah precepts and values. Moshe’s words are a clear example of this goal and methodology.

But the outstanding feature of Moshe’s blessings is that they are suffused with his love for Israel. Love many times is an uncontrollable emotion, perhaps even more so at the end of one’s life. V’Zot Habracha is therefore a love song of Moshe to the Jewish people. All of the preceding words of Moshe in chumash Dvarim are examples of what today is called “tough love.” V’zot Habracha is an example of emotional, passionate, almost unreasoning love. That is what makes V’Zot Habracha the most fitting Torah reading for Simchat Torah, for it is Moshe’s love for Israel that fuels Israel’s love for Torah.

V’Zot Habracha should really be the saddest of all of the parshiyot of the Torah since it records Moshe’s passing from life in this world. But the Jewish people revel in joy on the day when this parsha is read. For Moshe has stood the test of time. The whole world studies his words and deals with the value system that he taught Israel. And his blessings to his people remain as vital and encouraging today as on the day that they were first given.

Judaism measures people and ideas in a long-run view. Those that still are pertinent and necessary after many generations are seen as being truly successful in their life’s mission. Thus the celebration of Moshe’s Torah that the holiday of Simchat Torah represents and commemorates is what validates Moshe’s life work. The Torah states that Moshe’s “eye did not dim nor did his vitality disappear.”

The Netziv in his commentary to Torah states that this was true about Moshe even after his death. It is true about him as long as Jews study Torah and are faithful to Moshe’s vision and directives. Moshe remains the supreme teacher of the Jewish people, our mentor and guide in all matters. If we see him in this light then we can rejoice in celebrating his Torah and his life achievement. And therefore Moshe’s blessings are not only fulfilled regarding Israel but they rebound regarding Moshe himself.

Shabat shalom.

Chag sameach.

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 www.rabbiwein.com

Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Berel Wein and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON REEH:

View Complete List

You See?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Soldiers or Do-Gooders?
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Life Choices
Shlomo Katz - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Exchanging Gold for Copper
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757

Creating Holiness
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

Look Out!
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

No Middle Road
Shlomo Katz - 5763

The Tree Hugger
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

Tough Love
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

> Walk Behind Me
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

Even Closer to HASHEM
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Not a Mitzvah More, Not a Mitzvah Less
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

ArtScroll

See What Can Be Seen
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Today’s Choice
Shlomo Katz - 5774

What Yichus!
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

It Just Isn't So
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759



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