Sefer Devarim is essentially Moshe Rabbeinu’s farewell address to the Children of Israel. Overlooking the Promised Land to which he will never enter, just over a month before his death, Moshe looks back at the miracles and hardships of the nation’s journey through the desert and recaps the laws handed down to them on Mount Sinai.
One can imagine that throughout this process, Moshe is also looking back on his own epic life story; how a newborn baby is thrown into a river with nothing more than a mother’s prayer, only to rise to become the Prince of Egypt, and ultimately, the leader of the Israelite nation.
Have you ever taken a moment out of your busy life to pause and reflect on how you ended up where you are? I am willing to bet that anyone who takes a good look at their own personal journey will be shocked to find that they reached tremendous milestones that once seemed far beyond their boldest dreams.
When we first met Moshe in Parshat Shemot, all we saw was a timid man trying to squirm out of his divine duties:
“וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל-ה’, בִּי אֲדֹנָי, לֹא אִישׁ דְּבָרִים אָנֹכִי”
“And Moses said unto the LORD: ‘Oh Lord, I am not a man of words” (Shemot 4:10)
We are introduced to the last of the five Books of the Torah with an entirely different image:
“אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים, אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר מֹשֶׁה אֶל-כָּל-יִשְׂרָאֵל”
“These are the words which Moses spoke unto all Israel” (Devarim 1:1)
How could it be that an insecure young man with a debilitating speech impediment became the mouthpiece of God on Earth?
Throughout all of the ups and downs of leadership, Moshe always remained in a committed relationship with the Master of the World. Between military victories and devastating plagues, periods of blissful unity and horrific infighting, moments of purity and piety alongside sin and betrayal, Moshe never stopped talking to God.
Throughout our own lives, each of us experiences stretches of faith, where we feel God’s hand moving the pieces into place, as well as dark periods of doubt, where we are sure we’ve been abandoned by our Father in Heaven. With these two little words, Moshe is reminding us that the impossible can become possible.
With God’s help, we have the capacity to overcome every obstacle in our way, actualizing our true selves in the deepest of ways. As long as we never stop conversing with G-d, blessings that we never could have imagined are just waiting for the right time to reveal themselves in our lives.