• Leann Shamash

At The End of the Day, Bless

Updated: Oct 16

#blessings #vzothaberacha #blessing #devarim #deuteronomy #finalparsha #fullcycle


The final parsha of the Torah is Parshat V'Zot Haberacha. This Parsha is not given its own Shabbat, but is read on Simchat Torah, as we complete and then begin anew the yearly cycle of Torah reading and Torah learning. In this final Parsha Moses blesses the people. When he is finished blessing them, each according to their strengths, he goes up to the summit of Mount Nebo, sees the land promised to the people and there he dies. The Midrash says that Moses merits a death by a kiss from God. After his death, the people mourn for Moses for thirty days, and the chain continues with the leadership of Joshua.


As a learner and as the writer of this blog, I am always moved and saddened by Moses' death. Perhaps his final lesson to us, after the many lessons we have already learned, is to remember to bless each other with words of encouragement. It is to notice the good in people and not to take people or actions for granted.



To listen to this poem



At the End of the Day, Bless


At the end of the day

don’t forget the blessings.

When the room is quiet

and the light is dim,

remember blessings.

Let blessings be the last thing you think of at night.

The sweet music of a lullaby

as you close your eyes;

for a blessings are stronger than curses.

Blessing others,

finding the good in them,

and naming the goodness you found;

this is the holy work each of us can do.


At night,

before you dream

remember that you are a blessing

to yourself, to others.

And you have the power to bless;

to notice others

and the smallest actions of the everyday

and to name them;

to say the words aloud,

for the words of blessings

hold weight when they are said aloud.


Find the best in those around you.

Delight in the best of other

Bless them.

Even those with whom you find fault,

even they are deserving of a blessing.

Even if it is not easy for you to say the words;

bless them.

For the power of blessing

is the power of love

and love fuels our existence.

Hunt after blessings in your life

in the small corners,

in the big events,

in the everyday

and in the everyone.

For finding the good is better than blaming.

Pointing to the good is better than criticizing.


* * * At the end of his days,

at the sunset of his life,

Moses found the good in his people.

The curses were behind him.

Blessings were what the people heard.

Blessings filled their ears.


At the end,

before he closed his eyes

for the final time

He blessed and blessed

and blessed some more,

like honey flowing from the rocks.


As the words of blessing left his mouth,

Moses grew lighter and lighter.

He knew that he could leave this world.

He closed his eyes

gently

knowing that he had lifted others up

and with that knowledge,

Moses received one tender kiss goodnight;

one final blessing.

So, before you sleep.

As your eyes grow heavy,

and your breathing calms,

count your blessings

and tomorrow

share them,

for blessings are the language of love.





And so it is.

Another Torah cycle is complete and a new one begins.

I am most grateful to you, my readers. Wherever you are, your encouragement has inspired me. Here is my own small blessing for you.

******

May your eyes find the good in people.

May your ears hear good news.

May your hands be productive.

May your heart be full.

And may your feet always dance.


_________________________________________________________________________________

This is the blessing with which Moses, God’s agent, bade the Israelites farewell before he died.

Deuteronomy 33:1 (Translation from Sefaria)



וְזֹ֣את הַבְּרָכָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר בֵּרַ֥ךְ מֹשֶׁ֛ה אִ֥ישׁ הָאֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל לִפְנֵ֖י מוֹתֽוֹ׃



 


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