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Always on the Move

Friday, 30 September, 2022 - 9:34 am

Ian. Sounds like such an innocent name. Yet, caused so much destruction.

When tragedies like Hurricane Ian hit, we are reminded of the great valor of people who are concerned with others. It’s natural to be preoccupied with self-survival when faced with life-threatening and life-savings-destroying catastrophes.

I am touched at the heroic efforts of so many wonderful people that were on the front lines of the storm and put their own priorities aside to help others. Not least of them, my fellow colleagues with Chabad in Florida. One of them, a former roommate of mine, commissioned a boat to rescue a nearby family trapped in their home.

I am reminded of the lesson from this week’s Torah portion Vayelech.

It’s the very last day of Moshe’s life. He has lived 120 years. He has taken the Jews out of Egypt. He has split the sea. He has received the Torah. He has brought manna from heaven. He fought for forgiveness for his people after the sin of the Golden Calf, and other wrongdoings. He has been serving his people for over 40 years.

He is denied entry to Israel. And, he is told by G-d that his disciple Yehoshua (Joshua) is taking over the reins of leadership.

You might think that it’s finally time for Moshe to focus on his own affairs.

You would be wrong. What does Moshe do on the last day of his life? Vayelech.

Vayalech means, “And he went.” Moshe went out seeking Jews he could speak with, to inspire them one last time; to remind them of how important their mission was.

Moshe was the consummate leader. He led by example – always concerned with others.

If there is some need – big or small – we still have work to do.

To our last moment. Under all circumstances.

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