Vayelech: Naming Rights

We tend to think that the names of the weekly parshiot have little intrinsic meaning; they are just taken from the opening word or two of the parsha. Thus, breisheet, being the first word of the Bible, becomes the name for both the first book and the weekly parsha. Upon closer examination we begin to realize that it might not be quite that simple. For example, two of the parshiot in sefer Breisheet begin eleh toldot Noach and eleh toldot Yitzchak, these are the generations of Noach and Yitzchak.

VaYelech: The Last Message

The time has come for new leadership. “I am no longer able to come and go, and G-d has told me you will not cross the Jordan” (Devarim 31:2). While the people complained plenty about Moshe's leadership, clearly they were very nervous about him leaving the scene. Moshe reassured the people that all will be fine with Yehoshua, and that he, too, will have Divine assistance in his mission.

Vayelech: 1…613

“Today I [Moshe] am 120 years old, and I can no longer come and go." (Devarim 31:2). After 40 years of dedicated leadership, it was time to turn the reins over to Yehoshua, who would be the one to lead during the conquest of the land of Israel. Despite the constant complaining that Moshe faced, the people were nervous about such a leadership transition at this crucial point in their history.

Vayelech: Looking Ahead

Imagine being told on your deathbed that your life’s work may be for naught. Moshe Rabbeinu put heart and soul into forming a nation that would set up a model state serving G-d in the land of Israel. He literally gave his life for his people, and yet because of them, was denied his greatest wish. “G-d was angry at me because of you, saying you, too, shall not come there [to the land of Israel]" (Devarim 1:37).

Vayelech: Time for a Change

"And G-d said, 'My spirit shall not continue to judge him forever; he is nothing but flesh, and his days will be 120 years'" (Breisheet 6:3). Man had gone from the Garden of Eden to the depths of depravity, and the days of lifespans of hundreds of years was over. Yet it took 26 generations - well over 2,000 years--until the Bible actually records that someone lived to 120; "And Moshe was 120 years when he died" (34:7).
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