Ve’Zot Habracha- Israel Shall Dwell in Safety

This last blessing of Moshe concludes with the statement that the people of Israel should know that there is none like G-d, “He rides across heaven to help you, and in His majesty through the upper heights”.   The metaphor of the human rider in control of his mount directing it to wherever he wishes, compares    with G-d, the moving force of the heavens, but not part of them.

 

Moshe continues with the idea of G-d above and the mighty below, and “He drove the enemy away from before you and He said “destroy”. This reminded the Israelites of the strength they would have if they had faith in G-d.

 

Moshe then states that “Israel shall dwell in safety, solitary in the likeness of Yaacov, in the land of corn and wine, and the heavens shall drop down dew”. Nechama Leibowitz found three shades of meaning for the expression “solitary” or alone. The implication in the Talmud was that Israel will not be troubled by aggressors and will dwell within its own territory. She quoted Rashi who commented that the implication was that each Israelite could live alone in peace and security without having to crowd into fortified cities for protection. Rashi referred to Psalm 4 stating that Israel would be able to forgo the protection of allies, especially military ones and deal independently with any emergency. Leibowitz quoted the Neziv who wrote that the safety represents the tranquillity of the soul, and the solitariness, the absence of assimilation. R’ Munk interpreted the verse as meaning that the condition for Israel’s security was to live alone and in isolation.It would protect against assimilation and problems of identity.

 

Moshe’s final blessing ended with “you have been delivered by   G-d, the Shield of your help…your foes will try to deceive you,but you will trample their haughty ones”. He then climbed Mt Nebo, where G-d showed him the promised land before he died.

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