Posted on March 23, 2011
by Hadar Schwartz
This Shabbat we read from the parshiot Nitzavim and Vayelekh.
In Vayelekh, God tells Moshe that he is about to die and that Joshua will soon be appointed ruler of Israel. Moshe wants to remind his people one more time that they should follow God and not sin. Moshe knows that he will no longer lead his people but he wants to remind his people of their faults. Then, the Parashah introduces the poem, Then Moses recited the words of this poem to the very end in the hearing of the whole congregation of Israel. (Deuteronomy 31:30) This is the last line of the Parashah, it just ends. This Parashah seems almost like a cliffhanger: it introduces something, gets us all hyped for this poem, that we won’t hear until next week in Parashat Haazinu.
Parashat Vayelekh seems to fit perfectly with this time of year and this coming week. We are repenting for our sins for last year, all the things we could have and should have done differently. We begin to think forward to the upcoming year, this is what will happen, and then the page goes blank! The story for next year is not yet written another cliffhanger! However, in this story, the ending is up to us.