Friday, October 3, 2008

Parshas Vayeilech - "Grabbing a Helping Hand"


QUICKIE/FUNFACT: The Parsha begins by relating AND MOSHE WENT before speaking to the Jewish people. Where did Moshe go and why?

The Ibn Ezra teaches that Moshe went to each tribe to inform them about his upcoming death. He too this extra step to provide them with the extra level of strength and courage he knew they would need to carry on with Yehoshua as their leader and without Moshe's presence.

*Courtesy of Rabbi Dov Lipman Shlita - http://www.rabbilipman.com/

(Devarim 32:7) "...Ki Atah Tavoh Es HaAm HaZeh... - ...for you shall come with this people..."

The above verse is contextually referring to Moshe's directions to Yehoshua. Soon Moshe is to expire and it will be Yehoshua's responsibility to go with them into Eretz Yisrael. Thus the Torah makes it clear that the role of Yehoshua when he enters into Israel will not be as a leader but as a civilian.

Shortly after in Pasuk 23 however, Hashem tells Yehoshua, "for you shall bring the Bnei Yisrael to the land." This Pasuk seems to be emphasizing that Yehoshua will be responsible for taking Klal Yisrael into the land as a guiding figure.

This begs the obvious question was Yehoshua's job description that of a regular citizen or one of leadership?

Rav Moshe Feinstein answers that it was Yehoshua's job to lead Klal Yisrael into the land of Israel but "one leader must seek advice in every matter from other leaders of the generation, the elders and the Sanhedrin."

Hashem in fact taught us this lesson in (Breishis 1:26) when He says, "Let us make man." Rashi explains that Hashem consulted other celestial beings about the making of man.

Hashem was telling Yehoshua that it is his responsibility to consult others in his legislative doings but as the Gemara in Sanhedrin (8a*) says, only one man can speak with authority in each generation, not two.

Often times we are stuck in situations when important decisions have to be made. Unfortunately we do not hold an objective point of view on the matter which sometimes will draw us to take the wrong steps. Hashem's guidance to Yehoshua was in fact one for the generations. In a time of need it is essential that we grab a helping hand and accept an objective point of view so that we can make the appropriate decisions for our futures.

* Maareh Makom from Mein Bes Hashoeva by Rav Schwab

HAVE A FANTASTIC SHABBOS!

As an aside, I saw in Rabbi Lipman's "Parsha Pointers to Ponder" that the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh gives a different answer to our question by saying that Hashem was telling Yehoshua that he was simply the human leader and that it was entirely Hashems doing that they would make it into Eretz Yisrael.

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