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D'var Torah:
Weekly Torah Portion Commentary


At the end of this week’s parasha, which is primarily made up of a song that Moses composed and sang to the people, we learn that Joshua, called here Hoshea, sang it with him. (Deut 32:44). This image is striking: Just as the great leader of the Exodus and 40 years in the wilderness is about to die, he brings in his successor to recite a message along with him. This moment gives Joshua the imprimatur that he needs in order to be accepted by the people as the new leader. Moses’ endorsement is solidified for the people by hearing them sing together and witnessing that Joshua “knows the words.”

They can now feel assured that their new leader has all of the tools and capabilities to lead them forward. Perhaps he would have been able to convince the people of this without the Ha’azinu sing-along, but this moment surely sealed the deal in advance of Moses’ death in the last Torah portion of Deuteronomy.

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