Pearls of Rashi – Ha’azinu

Our Parshah, Ha’azinu, tells us of Moshe addressing the Jews. The Torah tells us that he was accompanied by his prize pupil, Yehoshua[1]. “And Moshe came and spoke all the words of this song into the ears of the people, he and Hoshea bin Nun.”

The surprising thing here, is that the Torah refers to Yehoshua as Hoshea. That was his name until the incident with the spies occurred. When they left on their mission, we are told that[2] “… Moshe called Hoshea bin Nun, Yehoshua.” Why does the Torah revert to his former name, by which he was not known for the past forty years? Rashi explains this as follows. “… Why does the Torah call him Hoshea here? This is in order to imply that Yehoshua did not become haughty. Despite the fact that he was given high status, he humbled himself as he was at the beginning (when he was still called Hoshea).

Why does the Torah choose to tell us of Yehoshua’s humility here? Here he was chosen to take Moshe’s place as leader of the Jewish Nation after his teacher’s passing. He was truly attaining greatness, as the one who would lead the Jews into the promised land. Nevertheless, he remained as humble as always.

Anyone who merits a position of leadership receives Divine assistance to help him fulfil his mission. Hashem never gives one a job which he is incapable of handling. Leading Jews is certainly a most difficult task, as we saw throughout Moshe’s forty years of leadership in the wilderness. Together with the position, comes the Divine power which aids one in handling it.

What lesson can we derive from this? As a result of attaining a position of leadership, and receiving this Divine aid, one may believe that he truly deserves it. This may cause a feeling of haughtiness. Nonetheless, we must all learn from Yehoshua, that no matter what the position, we must always retain the necessary feeling of humility.

May we all have a good, sweet year both in spiritual and physical matters. The year should be sweet in a revealed manner. We should merit the ultimate blessing of Moshiach Now!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 29, Page 201

Mrs. Brocha bas Reb Tzvi Nechemiah Hacohen O.B.M. Cohen
Passed away on 8 Shevat, 5778
May Her Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
מרת ברכה בת ר’ צבי נחמי’ הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטרה ביום ח ‘שבט, ה’תשע”ח
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
א לאור ע”י בני משפחתה שיחיו

[1]. Our Parshah, Devorim 32:44.

[2]. Parshas Shelach, Bamidbar 13:16.

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