Parshas V’zos HaBracha
Moshe’s Last Message
“V’zos Haberacha asher bei’rach Moshe…, this is the blessing that Moshe gave the Jews before his death.” The Zohar (Tikkunim 6) takes note of the interesting word ‘zos, this,’ which opens our parsha. The words zos is used many times and connects to one principle: “b’zos yavoh Aharon,” “b’zos ani boteach,” “al zos yispalel chassid.” This refers to turning to Hashem in humble prayer, that is how one accomplishes anything in life.
After leading the Jews for 80 years and after all of the greatness that Moshe accomplished in his life, it would have been easy for him to let it get to his head. But Moshe did not. In his final address, Moshe opens with ‘v’zos’ a focus on Hashem and humility towards Hashem’s power and greatness. That is the legacy that Moshe left his beloved nation; that was how he lived his life.
It comes as no surprise that such a person was able to merit becoming our eternal leader, immortalized as Moshe Rabbeinu, and that his birth and death even made an impact. Yalkut Reuveni quotes the Midrash Rabbah:
‘Blessed are you in your coming and blessed are you in your leaving’ refers to Moshe. In your entering the world you brought close those who were distant – Basya bas Pharaoh. When you left the world you brought close those who were distant – Reuven.
What does this mean?
To Bring Down Hashem
Our goal in life is to be the conduit for the Will of Hashem. We try our best and Hashem does the rest. Moshe’s purity helped inspire Basya, who decided to convert and was surprised to find a Jewish baby in the water when she was going down to the Nile, using it as her mikvah for conversion (Sotah 12b). Her dedication to Hashem merited her to draw out Moshe and to name him Moshe, his most famous (of seven) name. Moshe was saved through her, but Moshe also helped her see Hashem’s providence in life. Indeed, she was spared from dying during makas bechoros on account of her saving Moshe. She merited Olam Haba as well.
Reuven’s soul was unable to achieve rest due to his sin of mixing the beds of Yaakov until Moshe said, “yechi Reuven v’al yamus” (see Rashi (Devarim 33:6) and see Makos 11b for an alternate version, with same idea but in relation to Yehuda). Reuven had the best of intentions as motivation for his act, but it was still a sin.
Reuven lost his right to the firstborn and it was given to Yosef. He had also lost his share in Olam Haba because of his act. Moshe brought Reuven back to Olam Haba and completed the twelve tribes of Yisrael. Throughout the Torah, Moshe always defending the Jews and made sure that they remained complete and intact as a nation.
Moshe’s trait in life was best of intentions mixed together with deep connection to Hashem. That is the way to fix any sin. When we seek to do what is right and are ready to get guidance from those above us, we will thus avert most mistakes.
Moshe’s life from beginning to end was one focused on bringing Hashem’s presence to this word. He was the greatest anav, humble person, to ever life (Bamidbar 12:3). His message was zos, always focus on humbling yourself before Hashem. That is what Torah is all about.