Manny Fekete’s Dvar Torah

In chapter 32 verse 48, Hashem tells Moshe to go up onto the mountain to die. Why are we ending off the Torah with something so sad?

The answer can be found in these words:

וַיְדַבֵּ֤ר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה בְּעֶ֛צֶם הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּ֖ה לֵאמֹֽר׃

That very day the LORD spoke to Moses.

Rashi says that this phrase is only found in three other places: In the description of the people who went onto Noach’s Ark, when Avraham had his bris, and when the Jews left Mitzrayim.

The link between these 4 moments is that they all end one chapter in Jewish history and start another. We could translate “בְּעֶ֛צֶם הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּ֖ה” as “on that momentous day” or “on that fateful day”. The phrase is used to tell us about moshe dying because it’s the end of one chapter, but at the same time the beginning of something incredible, we’re going into the Land of Israel! It is the perfect way to finish the torah.

We’re coming to the end of the torah, but we’re also celebrating the start of a new Jewish year and a new school year, so we have a new opportunity for learning torah, and working hard.