Pinchas | Numbers 25:10−30:1

One might imagine, given his long history of leadership and thin pretext for not entering the Promised Land, overwhelming malevolence between Moses and his successor. It would be natural for a lifelong leader to be reluctant to relinquish the mantle, to fight even harder to maintain power as imposed transition approached. A careful reading of this week’s Torah portion, however, paints for us a different picture. God commanded Moses to offer charge and lay hand (singular) upon Joshua, yet Moses went above and beyond, providing even greater conference of status by using two hands in blessing.

This distinction might seem like our Sages are making a mountain out of a molehill, but in reality they highlight an important point: we all have to do things that are disagreeable on their face, day in and day out. Moses’ choice is one we all face. How we choose to respond is entirely up to us. We will do so petulantly or by embracing the task? Will we do so half-heartedly or with gusto? May we learn from the greatest prophet who ever lived!

– Rabbi Aaron Meyer