Torah Portion: Va’Zot Habracha (And This is the Blessing) D’Varim/Deut. 33-34
HafTorah: Joshua 1:1-9
Tonight we finish the Torah reading cycle for this year. Next week we will be going back to Genesis/B’resheet to begin again. I pray each year as we come to this time you will experience new insights into G-d’s word for it truly is new every morning. It waits for us to go deeper than before. However, tonight we will concentrate on our portion that ends with the death of Moshe up on the mountain.
In D’Varim/Deut. 34:7 we read where Moshe was 120 years old yet his eyes were not dimmed and his natural energy unabated. My question for each of us this week was, what does this say to us about our own life? Let us consider Moshe for a moment. His life, especially his latter years, was anything but easy. At the moment of these verses the children of Israel were about to cross over the Jordan. We read last week about his warnings and challenges to them. Affluence would be one of their greatest trials not poverty. They would not experience a hut in the desert but a comfortable home instead. He spoke with them then and now in this portion with passion. Until the very end he continued to challenge them. His drive to do G-d’s will did not diminish with age or physical conditions. It reminds us of the lines from Dylan Thomas’ poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night.”
Moshe never gave up and neither should we. As long s we have breath there is a mission for us in G-d’s Kingdom. However there will, in all our lives, like Moshe, be a river we will not cross or a destination we will not reach. Our task is to help others along the way and prepare them to go further than we will go. None of us are sinless. We all come to that time of death. However we are able to come to the Father and have our sins forgiven and our minds put at ease like Moshe here in our portion. Tonight we read of him spending his last moments on this earth blessing the people.
I think our holiday of Succoth reminds us that like the Succah we are fragile and therefore we do all we can that the Father has given us to do. We rejoice in Him and His glory, His blessings. We are joyful because of what He has done for us. His provision never fails us.
The greatest compliment G-d can give us is that we are “Eved Hashem” or a servant of G-d. G-d will surely provide us with all we need to fulfill His call on our lives. When our lives are poured out for Him a force far greater than ourselves flows through us.
I encourage each of you, as we finish the Torah tonight to carry on with the good work G-d has given you. Let Him flow through you, as the waters of Succoth reminds us. Let Him fill you to overflowing with His living water.
Now I would like to talk about the holiday that we are in now. Water plays a large part in Succoth. Why? Where in the Messianic scriptures do we read about the place where Yeshua used water to restore a person? John 9:7 Also in John 7:37-38 Yeshua talked about being the living water. This pool, where the person was restored, was the same pool that the priests used to take water each morning of Succoth for the water libation ceremony. As they brought the water back to the Temple the way would be lined with people singing and dancing. Remember, this would have occurred each morning of the holiday just as the sun would be rising in the sky. As the priests ascended the steps, going up to the Temple proper, they would stop on each of the steps and sing the Songs of Ascent found in Psalms 120-134. You might consider reading these as your imagination pictures the scene around the Temple. According to ancient Jewish writing this holiday was known as the holiday of joy. It was said that if you had not experienced Succoth in Jerusalem you had never experienced unbridled joy. May it be that for you.