Intro to Religious Studies
Intro to Religious Studies RS 0010
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carlie Ullrich on Sunday October 11, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to RS 0010 at Fairfield University taught by Hugh Humphrey in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see /class/221513/rs-0010-fairfield-university in Religious Studies at Fairfield University.
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Date Created: 10/11/15
Deuteronomy31 130 The VaYelech constitutes Deuteronomy 31 130 This is anarrative of Moses last days his preparation for death the appointment of Joshua as his successor and the nal instructions he issues to Joshua in the end The main focus is on Deuteronomy 31 113 Moses tells the Israelites that he is 120 years old that day and could no longer go out and come in God has informed him that he could cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land TheIsraelites are unable to enter the Promised Land and Moses assures the people of success and appoints Joshua to take the lead Moses is aware that he is about to die He will not be able to cross over the Jordon and enter the land instead God and J oshuawill cross before the Israelites to ensure victory as they settle the land God will go before them and destroy the nations ahead of then as he had destroyed Sihon and 0g and the kings of the Amorites Since Joshua assumes the role Israel should accept his equally important function as the one who divides the land among the tribes Then Moses reassures the Israelites that Joshua and God will not forsake or abandon them Moses tells Joshua to be strong and courageous as he will be leading the people into the land that God ad sworn to their fathers He told him that God would not forsake him Moses then wrote the law and delivered it to the priests the sons of Levi He commanded them to read the Ark of the Covenant before all of Israel at the end of every seven years during Sukkot He informed them to gather everyonemen women children and strangers so that they may hear lea1n and fear God Also so that they observe the law as long as the Israelites lived in the Promise land This portion of the text could relate to us in real life really well It is never easy to let go Whether it is letting go of a bad relationship getting fired from a job or walking Kaushik 1 away from a lifetime of meaningful work to retire Letting go is difficult So we could imagine how Moses must have felt in this portion of the text He was the one who had led the children of Israel from the slavery of Egypt to the very borders of the Promised Land With the land stretching out right in front of him he is told by God that his time is up he can go no further and he must turn the reigns of leadership over to someone else to finish the task of taking the people across the Jordan river to the land of milk and honey That must have been quite frustrating for Moses who is shown as such a powerful assertive and unique leader No one in the historical text thus far had accomplished what he had done He had literally walked out right under the nose of the most powerful ruler in the known world at the time the Pharaoh of Egypt and taken with him 600 workers 7 slaves of the Egyptian ruler that had been forced to do his every bidding for hundreds of years The Hebrew slaves had built the great cities of Pithom and Ramses toiled day and night in the service of the pharaoh and suddenly Moses the son of a slave had risen up and snatched them out of the very jaws of death to lead them in the first known nonviolent slave rebellion in history It was Moses alone who stood at the top of Mt Sinai face to face with the Creator of the universe and brought down to the people the word of God written by God s own hand He was the only one who had accomplished such a remarkable and inspiring feats of spiritual power Moses who had been the top man thus far is told that he is relieved of leadership and hand it on to his successor Joshua And not only that but he is commanded to do so in front of the entire community 7 to physically place his hands and his blessing and the power of his position on the head of Joshua so that his ascendance to leadership over all Kaushik 2 the Jewish people would be undeniable and irrefutable For Moses there would be no turning back It s never easy to let go It s never easy for a powerful leader to retire without a ght 7 witness the bloody experiences of nearly every European King in history This demonstrated the true grace of power He teaches us what real power actually looks like 7 it is found in the ability of Moses to declare Iiazak ve amatz 7 be strong and of courage Plaut to Joshua and to give him the strength and the inspiration to lead the people to their destiny ahead Moses fate is painful even tragic Standing before the people who he had so steadfastly led he now prepared to not bring them to the Promised Land for which this was all done This is like doing the work but receiving the fruits of ones labor It is a point for enormous loss for Moses Moses demonstrates his true greatness perhaps more than in any other portion of the Torah He teaches by his example what it truly means to be a leader 7 to put the welfare of those you lead above your own feelings above your own ego above your own need for personal power and acknowledgment and accolades Moses is very admirable at this point as the man who lets go He tells Joshua in front of the entire community that from now on God will be with him will walk beside him on his way just as God has always been with Moses so that both he and the people he leads will have no fear of the future but will face it with resolve strength and faith Today we are free to make our own choices we live in a time when every level of leadership and career is open to us Moses ability to choose his density ended when God made the divine decree Kaushik 3 I would say that the take home message from this text is that we should also like Moses have the courage of our convictions We should have the strength to give ourselves to those we serve so that they too will have courage strength and faith to cross into their own promised land and be able to embrace the things that the future hold for them Bibliography 1P1aut W Gunther ed The Torah a Modern Commentary New York Union of American Hebrew Congregations 1981 pp264 277 Kau shik 4