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Parshas Zos HaBracha (V'Zot HaBracha)
Moshe's Mighty Flame Flickers
The torah tells us "Vzos HaBracha Asher Tziva Moshe Ish Ha'Elokim"; This is the bracha that Moshe the Man of Hashem.... Why does the Torah call Moshe at this late stage Ish HaElokim? If we don't know it yet will we ever?
The Netziv answers that Moshe as the leader of Bnei Yisroel never spoke for himself. It was always Hashem speaking through his throat. Once Moshe turned over the leadership of Bnei Yisroel to Yehoshua, Hashem no longer spoke through him and it was Moshe himself speaking. One would think that the Bracos of Zos HaBracha are Moshe's own brachos and not from Hashem so the pasuk tells us that for the last time Moshe acted as Ish Ha"Elokim.
The Netziv compares this to a candle that is about to extinguish. As the flame dies down right before it is snuffed out forever, it flickers one more mighty flicker as it fights off the end. This flicker is greater that the flame at its normal strength. As Hashem leaves Moshe and his neshama is about to depart this world he give "the bracha", the powerful bracha even greater than the brachos of Yaakov, to each Shevet in his last hurrah as Ish HaElokim.
Similarly, explains the Netziv, this phenomenon is how Eliyahu was able to grant Elisha's request to give him double the Nevuah that Eliyahu had as he departed for Shamayim.
Davening To Tzaddikim or To Hashem?
In Zos HaBracha, the Torah teaches that the burial place of Moshe Rabbeinu is not known. [Devorim 34:6] Why was Moshe Rabanu's Kever hidden from mankind? Rav Shamshon Rafael Hirsch explains that the Torah saw the potential that Moshe Rabbeinu's grave could become a deity. It is important for all of us to remember that when we visit the graves of Tzadikim, we do not pray TO the Tzadikim that they should bless us. We are forbidden to daven TO a human being - dead or alive! We visit the graves of Tzadikim to ask that they petition on our behalf to the Ribono shel Olam. We are not allowed to daven TO the Tzadik.
The Torah saw the potential of such a thing happening with Moshe Rabbeinu. Moshe was a person of such monumental stature that the Torah feared lest his burial place would become a shrine.
In The Early 1900's American Boys Travelled To Europe!
The Chofetz Chaim used to praise the American students who left their familes to come halfway across the world in a very difficult trip to Europe to learn in the great Yeshivos of Mir, Telshe, Radin, etc. In those days it meant being almost completely cuttoff from your family in a totally foreign and strange land.
He said, this is what the Mishnah means, "Hevey Golah LiMakom Torah" - "You shall go in to exile to a place of Torah study". He said, this is hinted in the words of Zos HaBracha in the Bracha to Shevet Levi who carry the flag of torah. "Who said of his father, and of his mother: 'I have not seen him'; neither did he acknowledge his brother, nor knew he his own children; - these students left their parents, brothers and children - therefore they will be Zocheh to be "Yoiru Mishpatecha LiYaakov" - Teacher of Torah to Klal Yisroel.
Left to Right, Right To Left - The Big Difference
The Medrash says that before Hashem gave the Torah to Bnei Yisroel he asked the other nations if they wanted it. Each one asked what it says inside. Eisav couldn't live with Lo Sirtzach, Amon and Moav couldn't deal with Lo Sinaf, Yishmael couldn't abide by Lo Signov. Then He came to the Bnei Yisroel and said Anochi Hashem Elokecha. The Vilna Gaon points out that there were 2 luchos a left one and right one. To the other nations who inquired about the contents Hashem started with the left side of the Luchos since they read from left to right. With the Bnei Yisroel he started with the right side since we read from right to left. This is why the pasuk (33:2) says Hashem came from the nations of Sai'Ir and Paran to give us the Torah "Mi'Yimenoi" from the right side.
Rav Aharon Kotler - I Am Worried About Your Olam HaZeh!
A talmid of Rav Aharon told his Rebbe he was planning to go out to work. When Rav Aharon expressed disappointment the talmid said that since he was going to support Talmidei Chachomim with his money he would have a cheilek of their Torah in Olam Habah so there was no reason for concern. Rav Aharon answered him that it was his Olam Hazeh he was worried about not his Olam Habah. He may get his reward for Torah but what Geshmack would he have from a life devoid of torah?
While Yisachar got his geshmack out of life toiling over his gemara, Zevulun sweated his way through the crooked ways of the business world and suffered nothing but aggravation. This is the meaning of Moshe's Bracha, "Smach Zevulun B'Tzeisecha" Zevulun will be happy when he exits the world and finally reaps his eternal rewards. "V'Yisachar B'Ohalecha", Yissachar on the hand enjoyed every second sitting in his tent toiling no less than Zevulun, but toiling the sweet toil of Torah.
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