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Friday, July 13

The Weekly Shtikle - Pinechas

In this week's parsha, Moshe asks of HaShem to find a suitable replacement to take over the leadership of B'nei Yisroel after he passes away. Moshe sums up the qualifications in one pasuk (27:17), "who will go out in front of them and come in front of them, who will bring them out and bring them in, so that the people of HaShem shall not be like sheep without a shepherd." It seems rather startling that in this short list of qualifications, Moshe does not seem to be particular about the scholarly attributes of the new leader. Could it possibly be that Moshe was not bothered that the new leader of B'nei Yisroel be a talmid chacham?

I think the answer lies in the exact wording that Moshe used "asher yeitzei lifneihem, va'asher yavo lifneihem." In the gemara (Sotah 13b) Moshe's words at the beginning of parshas Vayeilech (Devarim 31) are analyzed. He says that he is 120 years today, "lo uchal od latzeis velavo," I can no longer go out and come in. The gemara notes that we know from the pesukim at the end of the Torah that Moshe never lost his vigour, "lo nas leicho." Rather, the meaning of the pasuk is "latzeis velavo bedivrei halachah," to come and go in halachah, teaching you that the wells of chachmah were sealed from him before he died and he could no longer learn. We see from the gemara that the terminology "latzeis velavo" can refer to Torah scholarship. Perhaps that is the meaning here as well. Moshe was in fact asking HaShem that the new leader be one who could guide B'nei Yisroel in learning as well.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Dikdukian: Keves vs. Kesev
Dikdukian:  Shabbas be'Shabbato
Al Pi Cheshbon: Probability of the Goral
Al Pi Cheshbon: Counting the Judges
AstroTorah: What's your Sign? by R' Ari Storch

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