The Leadership Is Transferred to Yehoshua
The pasuk states (Devarim 31:7), “Moshe summoned Yehoshua and said to him before the eyes of all Israel, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you shall come with the people to the Land that Hashem swore to their forefathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it.” Rashi expounds that Moshe was telling Yehoshua that the elders of the generation would be with him, and he should follow their opinion and advice. But Hashem told Yehoshua that he would bring Bnei Yisrael into the Promised Land, even against their will. This act would be according to Yehoshua’s opinion. How could Moshe differ from the word of Hashem?
Hashem told Yehoshua that he could bring the nation into the Land without the help of the elders, on one condition. That is, if he had the same level of faith in Hashem as Moshe before him. Moshe knew his disciple well. He knew that Yehoshua was exceedingly humble and did not have the authority to lead the nation on his own. Therefore, Moshe suggested that Yehoshua should take along the elders for added support.
We previously asked how Moshe could have written the Sifrei Torah on the day he died, since it was Shabbat. In truth, he committed the words to writing not on the day of his actual death, but the day he realized that his death was imminent. Part of his preparation for death included writing these Sifrei Torah. Until then, he did not believe he would be taken.
With full realization of the fantastic powers which he had, Moshe believed he would remain alive. But when he saw that his prayers were not accepted on High, it dawned on him that he would soon die. He prepared himself properly, day by day. This is in fulfillment of our Sages’ injunction (Avot 2:10), “Repent one day before you die.” With supernatural strength, he wrote thirteen Sifrei Torah before Shabbat descended.
Everything comes from Hashem. Every step of our lives is pre-ordained on High, possible only with siyata di’Shemaya. One must feel this in all areas of life. Waking up in the morning, once again given the gift of sight, is nothing short of a miracle. All is in the hands of Heaven, except fear of Heaven (Berachot 33b). And when a person aspires to greater spirituality, exerting himself to do a mitzvah, he receives assistance (see Shabbat 104a). For this reason, we are told not to postpone doing a mitzvah (see Yalkut Shimoni, Shemot 201). Although one’s level of yirat Shamayim is in his hands, there is an element of siyata di’Shemaya at play, as well. But one must make the first move. Moshe taught the nation, prior to his death, that those who are involved in Torah are above the laws of nature.