V'zot HaBracha

V'zot Habracha: From G-d to Man

When writing a book, a good author will introduce the major themes of the book in the opening chapters, develop these and other secondary themes throughout the story, and conclude with a recap highlighting the major themes of the book. 

The 31 verses that comprise the creation story tell us little about the origins of life on this planet. They do, however, tell us something much more important; all human beings contain within them the image of G-d. 

V'zot Habracha: A Man of G-d

Even though Parshat Vezot Ha'beracha is read over and over again during Simchat Torah it is probably one of the least understood and studied parshiot of the Chumash. With all the hustle and bustle of the Yamim Tovim in general, and with the atmosphere of Simchat Torah in particular, serious study of the parsha tends to be neglected. Compounding the problem is the generally obscure nature of the parsha, with its difficult wording and opaque nature of the blessings that Moshe bestowed upon the Jewish people.

Vzot Habracha: It too is a Blessing

In one of the great mistakes in history, Alfred Nobel was lucky enough to read his own obituary—a result of an error of an editor who printed Alfred’s obituary instead of that of his recently deceased brother. Reading himself described as the “merchant of death” led him to donate his vast estate to charity and create the Nobel prizes. Many today are not even aware that Nobel was the inventor of dynamite.

V'zot HaBracha: Four Giants

“And Moshe was one hundred and twenty years when he died” (Devarim 34:7). It is a beautiful, if somewhat unrealistic, custom to offer blessings to those celebrating a birthday that they should live to be 120. While this quantity of life is (usually) unrealistic, the blessing to live to 120 relates not only to quantity, but to the quality of life; “his eyesight did not diminish and his strength did not wane” (ibid). 

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