• August 28th, 2022
  • Elul 1st, 5782

V’Zot HaBerachah

The Final Blessing

Presented By
Torah Contributor

Final Blessing

VeZot HaBrach is the final chapter of the Five Book of Moses and the final story in the Torah scroll.  As the final story, it is the manifestation of everything that came before it and we can connect to the energy of the entire Torah encapsulated within this portion.

Simchat Torah & Shabbat

The portion is read on Simchat Torah each year and is the only Torah portion that is not read on Shabbat.  Accordingly, we have the opportunity to elevate the holiday of Simchat Torah to the even higher level of Shabbat through the reading.  Simchat Torah is a gift, a day following of the prior holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret, where we receive "surrounding" or encircling Light (Or Makif) for the entire year., This surrounding Light provides us wth the potential to reveal Light in the coming months. The Zohar says the day is like a wedding ceremony where the spiritual realm or Zeir Anpin is connected or married to our physical world, Malchut.  It is through this union on Simchat Torah that anyone and everyone is able to connect to the higher realm and remove chaos from their lives simply by singing, dancing and being joyous.  The reading of VeZot HaBracha is part of this special day.

Beginning in the End

It is beautiful to see how reaching the end of the Torah scroll and the reading of VeZot HaBracha is immediately followed by the reading of the first portion, Bereshit. This conclusion and commencement of a new cycle shows us the continuity in the Torah and is a reflection of our life. Whenever there is an end, there is alway a new beginning. It is interesting to note that the Torah ends with the letter Lamed from the word Yisrael, and commences with the letter Bet, from the word Bereshit. These two letters, Lamed Bet, spell the word "heart".  It is only by having an open heart that we are able to connect to the potential Light available to us during the reading on Simchat Torah and the regular Torah readings throughout the year. If the teachings of the Torah do not penetrate your heart, and only become an intellectual exercise of the mind, then you have missed the point. Also, Lamed Bet has the numerical value of 32. These numbers have a connection to the Sefer Yetzirah, the Book of Formation, where it says "with 32 mystical paths of wisdom engraved Yah...." This connection is based on the number of times Elohim is mentioned in Genesis, Chapter 1 and reflects the 32 pathways along the tree of life diagram represented by the 22 letters of the Hebrew Alephbet and 10 sephirot.

Unity

The portion describes how Moses provides blessings to the heads of the tribes individually based on the specific characteristics and energy of each tribe. After the individual blessings, however, he blesses the entire Israelite nation collectively. We learn from this the power of unity - individual blessings are important and are custom-tailored as applicable, but the secret to the strength of the nation is found in unity.  When we can achieve unity as a person through certainty of our thoughts, or as a family unit, a business, a city, community or a nation, we are unstoppable and are able to achieve greatness. It is only through division and focus on our personal gain, separate and apart from the overall goals of the unit that we become weak and can be challenged. An old Chasidic story and Aesop's fable communicates this message as follows: a group of quarreling people are told to bring sticks from the forest. They are told that each stick is representative of themselves. When the sticks are bound together, no one can break the bundle, however the sticks are easily snapped when separate and individual. Try to maintain unity in all aspects of your life. We see that unity is especially relevant on Simchat Torah when Jews are united, not by their level of knowledge or understanding, but rather through dancing and joy, showing unity and equality in their connection to Torah.

Inspiration from Moses’ Passing

After Moses blessed the nation, he went up to Mount Nebo where G-d showed him the land and his vision for the Jewish people. He passed away on Mount Nebo when he was 120 years old. The commentators suggest that the energy of a Holy soul, specifically Moses, remains with us in every generation and we can connect to his energy and the positive actions taken throughout his lifetime through the reading.  Following his passing, we also have an opportunity to be inspired by his vision to fulfill the divine mission, using the Torah as a guide, to transform our physical world into a Holy environment for G-d's home.

Connection to Healing

When we complete any of the Five Books of the Torah we say "Chazak, Chazak, V'Nitchazek (be strong, be strong, and may we be strengthened). The word Chazak has the same numerical value (115) as Pei Hei Lamed, one of the 72 Names of God used by Kabbalists to connect to strength and healing. Mem, Hei, Shin, another important sequence for healing, has the numerical value of 345 or 3x Chazak and also has the same numerical value as the name Moshe. So while we are concluding the book and Torah scroll, seemingly coming to an end, we are also connecting to the energy of healing and leadership for a successful new beginning.

Have a great week and Simchat Torah celebration!