Moshe the Leader by Yitzi Rothschild


Sefer Devarim is Moshe Rabbeinu’s final speech to Bnei Yisrael. One of the last sections of Moshe’s speech is a song that contains pessimism, doom, hope, and optimism.

Many of the punishments and curses that Moshe sets forth warn Bnei Yisrael about what could happen if they sin in the future. Despite warning Bnei Yisrael about the consequences of sinning, Moshe remains, for the most part, positive. In Parashat VaYeilech, Hashem tells Moshe that no matter what Moshe tells Bnei Yisrael, they will eventually sin (Devarim 31:16). Moshe Rabbeinu’s reaction isn’t one of frustration or sadness; rather, he does everything he possibly can to convey to Bnei Yisrael that no matter how far away they drift from Hashem, they can always return to Him. Moshe Rabbeinu’s Shirah begins by discussing what happens when the Jews sin and ends on a hopeful note – that the Jewish people can always turn to Hashem no matter what happens.

Moshe was a great leader. He had to make a decision on how he would end his life. Moshe continued to mentor the Jews even after he was told that he would not be able to enter Israel. This is especially remarkable because Moshe was punished as a result of Bnei Yisrael’s Aveirot (1:37). Despite this, Moshe held no grudges. From here we should learn that a great leader is one who never gives up hope in his nation and remains loyal until the end of his life.

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