Vezot Ha'Berachah

This final portion from the Torah is called, appropriately, "And this is the Blessing."  I love how this portion begins and how Moses is identified in this, his finale.  Read the opening verse, 33:1, "Now this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the sons of Israel before his death."  Oh, that I may be so known as I approach my ending days, as "the man of G-d."

He opens with a reminder of how G-d appeared to the children of Israel throughout their wanderings in the desert and especially on Mt. Sinai, as a Holy Fire.  Then, tribe by tribe, he speaks blessings upon every person among them in a way that speaks directly to their general nature and character.  Finally, beginning in verse 27 through 29, his blessing is upon the people as a whole. "Your locks (borders) will be iron and bronze, and according to your days, so will your leisurely walk be.  There is none like the G-d of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to your help, and through the skies in His majesty.  The eternal G-d is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms; and He drove out the enemy from before you, and said, 'Destroy!'   So Israel dwells in security, The fountain of Jacob secluded, In a land of grain and new wine; His heavens also drop down dew.  Blessed are you, O Israel; Who is like you, a people saved by the L-rd, Who is the shield of your help and the sword of your majesty!  So your enemies will cringe before you, and you will tread upon their high places."    And so, the servant of G-d spoke to the people of G-d and then he ascended from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo.  There, G-d showed him the land to which he had led the people; the land which he would never enter until the Kingdom of G-d is established in the earth.  I pray that when the New Jerusalem comes, that we will sit with Moses in the City of the Great King.  There, he will walk eternally among his beloved people.

The portion, and the entire Torah closes with the rise of Joshua being described as being filled with wisdom because of the anointing of Moses.  Joshua, to whom was told, "be strong and courageous."  How very appropriate since, at the conclusion of the reading of the book of Deuteronomy, as at the conclusion of each book of Torah, we are taught to loudly proclaim, "Chazak!  Chazak!  Venischazeik!"  "Be strong!  Be strong!  And may we be strengthened!"

Because we cannot wait to begin again what we have just concluded, the tradition is to now,immediately after concluding the Torah, we begin it anew by reading the first chapter of Genesis (the beginning of next Shabbat's Torah reading) describing G-d's creation of the world in six days and His ceasing work on the seventh--which He sanctified and blessed as a day of rest.  May this Shabbat and every day be one of resting in Him.

Keep praying