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  Friday, August 23, 2019 - 22 Av 5779
 
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The Name of the Parsha
Parshas Vezos Habracha (“And this is the blessing”) is the concluding Parsha of the entire Torah. It is not read on Shabbos, but on the festival of Simchas Torah. This has the following significance:
 
  • The Torah begins with Parshas Bereishis (“In the beginning”), which teaches us the general principle that, “G-d created the world for the sake of the Torah which is called, ‘the beginning of His way,’” (Rashi to Bereishis 1:1). The subsequent parshiyos continue to discuss various details concerning how the Torah’s plan is to be enacted, but on reaching the end of the Torah we return again to the general theme and purpose of the Torah: “This is the blessing,” i.e. that G-d’s blessings are brought into the world via the observance of Torah.
 
  • The blessings mentioned here by Moshe in this parsha are considerably greater than any of the blessings given earlier in the Torah, such as those given by Yitzchak and Ya’akov. And yet, in contrast to all the other parshyiyos of the Torah, this parsha is not read amidst the spiritually uplifting atmosphere of shabbos, but on a weekday. (and while it is a festival day, it is nevertheless of a lower sanctity than Shabbos, as evidenced by the fact that many acts that are forbidden on Shabbos are permitted on a festival). So with Parshas Vezos Habrachah we witness two extremes: It is the parsha which contains the most blessings, and yet it is read on a day which is of lesser holiness. This indicates that the blessings read here are very powerful, for the ability to penetrate through to a lower sphere (a weekday, as opposed to Shabbos) indicates that the blessings come from a higher source.
 
  • Furthermore, the Parsha is called, “And this is (vezos) the blessing,” indicating that we are speaking here about blessings whose benefit are visible and apparent, to the extent that one can actually “point to it with one’s finger” (cf. Rashi to Shemos 15:2), and say, “This is the blessing!”
 
(Based on Sichas Shabbos Parshas Balak 5740, Sicha of 6th  of Tishrei 5734 and Sicha of 6th night of Succos 5742)
   
 

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