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    Time for a successor – Va’et’channan

    death of mosesWhen God told Moses his days were numbered, the decree was not accepted without protest.

    The rabbis say that the numerical value of Va’et’channan is 515, indicating that Moses uttered this number of pleas to God to allow him to enter the Promised Land.

    We are reminded of Abraham, who tried so hard to make a deal with God to save the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah; eventually, Abraham gave up arguing.

    In our case, it is obvious that Moses’ pleas were rebuffed, or else he would not have needed to voice so many.

    God might have been tempted to give in to Moses – after all, He owed Moses something – but, according to the Midrash, He decided that the welfare of the whole people of Israel required a new age, a new leader, a new type of leadership, and a new policy. That’s why he told Moses to appoint Joshua and to accept his fate.

    There comes a time for a leader to leave his post and let someone else take over. Hopefully, the people will remember the old leader and realise what he did for them. Hopefully, the old leader will be proud of his successor, and the successor will honour the predecessor.

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