Shortly before he passed away. Moses blessed the Tribes of Israel individually. Moses prefaced his blessings with praise for God — how He descended from Heaven amidst myriads of angels to give His people the Torah on Mount Sinai — and praise for the Israelites — how they lovingly and unconditionally accepted God’s gift. Reuven and Yehudah were the first two tribes to be blessed: Reuben with life in this world and the next one; Yehudah with success and victory in the course of his battles.

The holy tribe of Levi was next in line to be blessed. Moses extolled their virtues, the only tribe to remain faithful to God throughout the various trials and tests the Israelites encountered during their desert sojourn. Therefore, Moses declared, “They will teach Your laws to Jacob and Your Torah to Israel; they will place incense before You, and burnt-offerings upon Your altar.” Benjamin, then, was acknowledged as “God’s beloved,” the tribe which will be graced by the Holy Temple which will be situated in its portion of Israel.

The next section was devoted to the blessing given to the Tribe of Joseph. Moses blessed Yosef with a bountiful portion that will be blessed with ample rain, dew, produce, and delicacies. Yosef was also blessed with unusual ox-like strength which he would use to vanquish his enemies.

Zevulun was blessed with success in his business endeavours and Yissachar in his Torah studies. Gad was blessed with the strength of a lion — who tears off the arm and head of his enemy with one blow — and an expanding portion in the Holy Land. Gad was then praised for choosing a portion on the eastern bank of the Jordan River, opting to settle in the proximity of Moses’ final resting place, and for leading the troops in battle in the conquest of Canaan.

Dan, too, was blessed with the strength of a lion cub. Naftali’s portion in Israel was lauded as one that “brings satisfaction to all its inhabitants, and is filled with God’s blessing.” Asher was blessed with sons and with an abundance of olive oil, to the extent that he will “immerse his feet in oil”! Moses concluded the individual blessings, and addressed the nation as a whole: “Your locks on your border towns are as strong as iron and copper, and the days of your old age will be like the days of your youth…”

Moses continues blessing/praising the Israelites. He noted that the God who dwells in the heavens is always ready to come to their assistance. “Fortunate are you, O Israel! Who is like you, O people saved by God!”

As per God’s instructions, Moses ascended Mount Nebo. Once on top of the mountain, God showed him all of the Land of Israel. Moses then died, at the age of one hundred and twenty. Until his last moment, his eye never dimmed and his skin never dried. The Israelites mourned Moses for thirty days, and Joshua immediately assumed the mantle of leadership. The Torah concludes with a eulogy for Moses. He was the greatest prophet to ever live, and he performed incredible and awesome miracles before the eyes of all of Israel.

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