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    Mourning for Moses

    Moses speaking to the Israelites, illustration from a 1907 Bible card

    A link between Simchat Torah and the final chapter of the Torah is provided by a piyyut which says, Moshe met – Mi lo yamut?, “Moses died – Who does not die?”

    The death of Moses is described – some say, by the hand of Joshua; others think God dictated the words to Moses himself – in interesting fashion: “The Children of Israel wept for Moses… but the days of weeping in mourning for Moses came to an end” (Deut. 34:8).

    Note that the weeping came to an end but the mourning didn’t. The loss of the great leader was always felt and still is. The immediate outpouring of grief and weeping for any loved and respected dear one inevitably wanes, but the world is never the same again.

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