V’Zot HaBerachah: “And this is the blessing”
Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12

With like heart as he had in times before

Moses relayed G-d’s words to his people
assuring them these were the lyrics of life

Penned to be adhered
in the following of G-d’s echoing path

And then the L-rd spoke to Moses
coaxing him to ascend Mount Nebo

Viewing from its vast heights
the finally discovered and nearing land

G-d charted upon unfolding maps
discovered with a compass of heart

And there Moses beheld its beauty

The wonder

Spreading below him both far and wide

But Moses was not to enter the land of Jordan
to bathe in its trickling and caressing stream

The Creator who had so often spoken to Moses
almost in a familiar tone

That of Father and Mother

Teacher and guide

Simply explained that Moses’ striking the stone twice
in looking for water one parched afternoon

Was to be perhaps his unknown
yet always nearing thirst

An error not in judgment or reason
as in it simply being Heaven’s will

Moses lowered his head to revisit a moment

A lesson

With the growing understanding of a child

He was not being punished

No

Having his inner eyes open
to perhaps his greatest lesson

What it was to be an ordinary man

And Moses thought
of the sweet dates he tenderly would not taste

Sunsets in the valley of Promise never to touch his brow

And upon a mountain high the people’s prophet stood
traversing once again in prayerful encounter

Where the Holy One caressed his heart
calling Moses to relax in acceptance

In willingness’ rest

Praying as a babe flowing in a basket
along the gentle rivers of life

Moses looked back at the beauty the L-rd had shared
and rested his tiring heart

Filled with the promise of land eternal

And in his humble death

The shepherd

The servant

HaShem’s earthly creature

Prayerfully wandered home

Rabbi Tad Campbell


Rabbi Tad Campbell is a published writer and poet who holds an MA from the University of Oxford, England, the MTS from Duke, and his rabbinical ordination from the Rabbinical Seminary. He is a board certified chaplain and pastoral counselor and currently serves with Suncoast Hospice in Clearwater, Florida.)


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CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL OF THE PALISADES