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Sunday, October 4

The Weekly Shtikle - Simchas Torah

First, a belated Weekly Shtikle mazal tov to my nephew Nochum Aharon Shonek on his Bar Mitzvah a little over a week ago. Mazal tov as well to the Mandelbaums of Yerushalayim and Seligers of Manchester on a girl and boy, before and on yom tov, respectively.

On Simchas Torah we conclude one Torah cycle and begin another. V'zos HaBerachah is not only the culmination of the Torah but also marks the end of Moshe Rabbeinu's life. This final pesukim focus on his death and his great accomplishments. The final words are, "asher asa Moshe l'eini kol Yisrael." Rashi writes that this phrase is a reference to the breaking of the luchos. It seems odd, that of all the praises of Moshe Rabbeinu, that this would be the ultimate praise with which to end the Torah.

I offer the following explanation which I have later heard in the name of others as well: All the other missions on which Moshe was sent, one can argue that he simply did what he was told, with the instruction and the aid of HaShem. Surely, it was Moshe's greatness that earned him such a role. But the outsider or onlooker might have room to reason that Moshe was put in that position. This is not the case, however, with the breaking of the luchos. The breaking of the luchos was Moshe's own decision which he, in his greatness, calculated was the will of HaShem. But HaShem did not tell him directly to do it. However, Rashi stresses that after he did it, HaShem said, "yiyasher kochacha sheshibarta."  HaShem congratulated Moshe on his decision. This episode proves that Moshe was at the level to make his own decision that was in accordance with the retzon HaShem. This, therefore, makes this, as sad a time as it was in our history, his ultimate accomplishment.

Have a good Yom Tov.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Al Pi Cheshbon: How many bakashos in Ya'aleh v'Yavo
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Dikdukian: Come on, people!

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