Shabbat Shalom Chaverim!

This week’s parsha in V’Zot HaBeracha, “and this is the blessing”, and is the final parsha in the Torah. This parsha recounts the blessings that Moses gave to each of the twelve tribes of Israel before his death. This echoes Jacob’s blessings to his twelve sons five generations earlier; Moses assigns and empowers each tribe with its individual role within the community of Israel. The parsha concludes with Moses’ eventual death and a eulogy in his name.

In the parsha the Tribes are blessed with the following; Reuven is blessed with life, Judah with success in battle, Levi with serving in the Temple and being teachers of Torah, Benjamin is “beloved” by G-d, Joseph is blessed with sweet fruits on his land, Zebulun with success in trade, Issachar with success in Torah study, Gad with a lot of land, Dan with the might of a lion, Naftali with fertile land and sea, and Asher with sons and olive oil.

One of the main questions that arise from these individual blessings is as follows: Why were all the Tribes blessed individually and with different things, as opposed to them all receiving a blessing for all of the aforementioned things?

For me this is answered by the realization that in all aspects of our lives (be that at school, work, home, within a youth movement) we play different roles. In any situation, let’s take a work team as an example; people need to play differing roles if the team is to function. For example, in any team we can’t all be the leader; if we tried nothing would ever get done as we would all be fighting for power. In Habo, we couldn’t all be the logistics master/organizer because then who would sit at night with the crying kid. We all play various roles! Now this isn’t saying that those two roles are mutually exclusive, I am simply stating that if we were all Camp Rakazim (co-coordinators) then there would be no Roshim, or Madrichim, or cooks; and camp would simply not function.  This is effective delegation. This is the realization that people have different strengths and that in order for things to be amazing we have to play on everyone’s strengths skills. This is what makes a good tzevet (team).

This fact is why I think Moses blessed them all differently. This was a delegation of roles amongst the Tribes, with the hope of them using their various strengths in forging the best society that they could. It was done with the hope that the Kingdom of Israel would be built in the best possible way. It was done with the hope that the brothers and sisters of Israel would come together and cooperate, to work together and to rely on each (just as a family does).

It’s a short one this week but I hope that it gave you something to think about; about the various roles that you play in your life. As I was researching about this parsha I came across an article written by Rochel Holtzkenner, a writer for, which speaks about the differences between Moses and his brother Aaron in their leadership and the way that they relate to others. Below is the link to this article and I highly recommend it as is it a very good and interesting read.


Shabbat Shalom and Aleh V’Hagshem!