Torah Portion Pinchas Handout Lesson 37
Numbers 25:10 - 30:1


Sandy Kress   

God permits Moses to see the Promised Land from the heights of Abarim but reminds him that he will die before the people go in. 

Yet, in the very next verse, irrespective of the certain pain he must have felt, Moses makes a powerful appeal to God to appoint a strong leader for the people to take them forward. 

The simple act of putting aside his own personal feelings in the interest of caring for and providing for the people is moving enough. But what makes these verses so extraordinary is the power and beauty of the appeal itself. 

First, Moses addresses God as the source of the spirit of all. That is, he calls out to the Divine in a way that connects himself, the people, and God at the deepest level.  

Second, Moses asks for a leader who will go out before and come back before the people, and will take them out and bring them in. One might wonder how both are possible. 

Moses knows both truths. The leader must anticipate ahead of need and have the drive, courage, and strength to lead ahead. Yet, the leader must, at the same time, be with the people wherever they may be in the journey.  

Third, Moses wants to assure that the people are not like sheep without a shepherd. There must be a leader who cares, nurtures, prods, and, above all else, prevents straying or, at least, effects return 

How moving it must have been to God, and it is to us, that we have a teacher who put love of, and service to, God and the community above all else. 

Torah Portion Pinchas Handout Lesson 37             Numbers 25:10 - 30:1

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