This week’s parsha is V'Zot HaBerachah: Deuteronomy 33:1 – 34:12, Joshua 1:1-18
V'Zot HaBerachah is Hebrew for "and this is the blessing"
This week’s portion is the last reading before we start over in Genesis.
There are things in my life that I would like to not have to start over and just be done with. Like my struggle with compulsive eating, or having to repeat the same conflicts over and over because I did not change my thinking and related behavior the first or fifth time through.
I’d like to automatically remember G-d from the minute I get up until I go to bed instead of having to continually remember to pause and think of Him. I’d like to always remember to be helpful and available to everyone that I touch instead of being heads down to get through my task list.
G-d seems to have made me a slow learner and fast forgetter. It seems He made the Israelites the same way.
We see in Deut 34:12, “For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.”
I believe that this is, in part, an allusion to Moses smashing the Tablets of the Covenant when he beheld the terrible sight of his friends and relatives worshiping the Golden Calf.
But that was the start of a new cycle of repentance and G-d’s forgiveness as a new set of tablets was fashioned.
Death and resurrection, sin and repentance, forgiveness and restoration, these are all cycles that play continuously in the Bible.
All of these cycles are rooted in the idea that we are never “done”. My recovery from food is never done. My spiritual growth is never done. My relationships, skills, wisdom (assuming I have any) never reach such a state of perfection that they are done and I can move on.
We are reminded that the Tablets of the Covenant were once destroyed and had to be remade. We are reminded again as we immediately start over in Genius.
There is never completion, only the reminder that we always start again. So it is with our spiritual journey.
We also see in Deut 34:7 “Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.”
I believe this is more than a reference to his physical condition. I believe that his strength was not gone because his eyes were not weak. In other words, he never lost his commitment to the L-rd and the related ideals and vision.
He was as passionate now as at the beginning at the burning bush. He was committed to compassion, justice, and responsibility, even in the face of the trials and disappointments as a leader over the last 40 years.
To be a transformative leader requires passion and vision. You cannot give to others what you do not have.
If our efforts do not meet with success, we need to keep trying. This typically requires learning something new. And more often than not, success comes just when we are about to believe that we are a failure.
Moses never stopped learning, growing, teaching, leading. And the Bible invites us to do the same. This too is a cycle and a blessing.
May you be blessed this week as you learn something new amongst the routine of your life.
I hope that if you are able, you will join the 9:00 am Shabbat Teva Tefillah. We pray for the Temple, for Israel and our government.
Blessings to you and yours. May this week be G-d filled and peaceful within the storm.
Your brother in Yeshua in the TEVA TEFILLAH (Ark of Prayer),
Posted on Fri, October 17, 2014
by Kurt Wilson