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Two Minutes of Torah: Vayeilech - Making our Peace

I'm a big fan of the Dr Who T.V. series and for those of you watch you'll know that one of the key features of the series is the fact that the Doctor, a Gallifrean, has a unique ability that he is able to regenerate when he dies.  In this way while there is a sort of death a new Doctor emerges from the old one.  When David Tennant the Tenth Doctor came towards the end of his life he had been given a prophecy that he would die.  And yet when it came to fruition he rages against his fate, complaining of the unfairness of the situation.  And after shouting and expressing his upset and anger he then peacefully did what he had to do to save Wilfred and condemn himself to death, essentially accepting the prophecy.

In this week's Torah portion we see that Moses may finally have made peace with the fact that he will die and will not be the one to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.  It begins with Moses speaking all of these things to the Israelites; he says to them: "I am now 120 years old and I can no longer be active. Moreover Adonai said to me you shall not go across the Jordan.  Adonai your God will cross over before you and God will wipe out those nations from your path, and you shall possess them".  

At this time Moses does not say, as he has done on previous occasions in the book of Deuteronomy, Adonai was angry with me for your sakes.  He accepts the responsibility for his fate.  He appears to have made his peace with his fate and in this way he no longer feels the need to blame the people for what they might or might not have done that caused God to be angry with him and decree that he will not enter the Promised Land.  

Moses then goes on to say that Joshua will be the one who will cross over before the people and Moses declares to all of them Chazak ve'amatz - be strong and have courage; preparing them for the journey that lies ahead.  

This is the Moses of one hundred twenty years.  Who has finally come to understand that he must die.  And that he will not be leading them over into the Promised Land.  Having read the pain in his voice each time he talked about his death in the book of Devarim, at this moment we understand that Moses has finally made his peace with his fate.  And for all of us, sometimes it's important to recognize that there are things that we can change and things that are worth fighting; but sometimes we simply have to make our peace with our fate and with the decision that has already been passed down.  This week we see just how Moses made his peace with dignity and honor.  In a way that allowed him not just to be comfortable with the fact that he would die.  But also to then bless the Israelites.  And to charge them in such a way that they could continue the journey without him.

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