It’s Simchat Torah!

Once again, we read the same parsha for each year of the three-year cycle.

Like Jacob, whom he mentions, Moses blesses each of the tribes by name.  For example, to Asher he says:

         Most blessed of sons, Asher!
         May he be the favored one of his brothers,
         Dipping his foot in oil.
         Iron and bronze your bolts,
         And as your days, your strength.

And so, this poetic blessing is Moses’ last gift to the people of Israel.  After the blessing, Moses goes up to Mount Nevo.  God shows him all the land: the land of Gilead, all of Naftali, the land of Efrayim and Menasha, the land of Yehuda, the cleft of Jericho, and the Negev.

And on the top of Mount Nebo, Moses dies.  No one knows where he is buried.

The Children of Israel weep for Moses for thirty days.  Then they turn to Joshua.

         “But there arose no further prophet in Israel like Moshe,
         whom God knew face to face.”

This being Simchat Torah, we move right away to the beginning again, and read the first chapter of Genesis:

“At the beginning of God’s creating of the
Heavens and the earth,
When the earth was wild and waste,
Darkness over the face of Ocean,
Rushing spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters —
God said: Let there be light!”

Food for Thought

“The earth was wild and waste”  What do you picture when you read that phrase?

Moses views the Promised Land from Mount Nebo