Vaetchanan, Siman 6 ואתחנן, ו׳
1 א

אַל תּוֹסֶף. זֶה שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב: אִיּוֹב, אִם יַעֲלֶה לַשָּׂמַיִם שִׂיאוֹ וְגוֹ', כְּגֶלְלוֹ לָנֶצַח יֹאבֵד וְגוֹ' (שם כ, ו-ז). כְּנֶגֶד מִי אָמַר אִיּוֹב מִקְרָא זֶה. לֹא אֲמָרוֹ אֶלָּא כְּנֶגֶד יוֹם הַמִּיתָה, שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ אִם יַעֲלֶה אָדָם לַשָּׁמַיִם וְיַעֲשֶׂה כְּנָפַיִם כַּנֶּשֶׁר, כֵּיוָן שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ קִצּוֹ לָמוּת, נִשְׁתַּבְּרוּ כְּנָפָיו וְנוֹפֵל לִפְנֵי מַלְאַךְ הַמָּוֶת כִּבְהֵמָה לִפְנֵי הַטַּבָּח. וְכֵן דָּוִד אוֹמֵר, תֵּצֵא רוּחוֹ יָשׁוּב לְאַדְמָתוֹ (תהלים קמו, ד). וְכֵן אָמַר אִיּוֹב, קָטָן וְגָדוֹל שָׁם הוּא וְעֶבֶד חָפְשִׁי מֵאֲדוֹנָיו. שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ לְקָחוֹ רַבּוֹ בְּאֶלֶף אַלְפֵי דִּינְרֵי זָהָב, כֵּיוָן שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ קִצּוֹ לָמוּת, אֵינוֹ יָכֹל לוֹמַר עַבְדִּי אַתָּה, אֶלָּא נַעֲשֶׂה חָפְשִׁי מֵאֲדוֹנָיו. דָּבָר אַחֵר, אִם יַעֲלֶה לַשָּׁמַיִם שִׂיאוֹ, זֶה מֹשֶׁה שֶׁעָלָה לָרָקִיעַ וְנִגַּשׁ אֶל הָעֲרָפֶל וְהָיָה כְּמַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת וְדִבֵּר עִמּוֹ פָּנִים בְּפָנִים וְקִבֵּל תּוֹרָה מִיָּדוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא. כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִגִּיעַ קִצּוֹ לָמוּת, אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, הֵן קָרְבוּ יָמֶיךָ לָמוּת. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, לַשָּׁוְא דָּשׁוּ רַגְלַי עֲרָפֶל, וְלַשָּׁוְא רַצְתִּי לִפְנֵי בָּנֶיךָ כְּסוּס, שֶׁיְּהֵא סוֹפִי לְתוֹלֵעָה. אָמַר רַבִּי אַבָּהוּ, מָשָׁל לְמָה הַדָּבָר דּוֹמֶה. לְאֶחָד מִגְּדוֹלֵי מַלְכוּת שֶׁמָּצָא חֶרֶב הִנְדִּיִי שֶׁאֵין אַחֵר כְּמוֹתוֹ בָּעוֹלָם, וְאָמַר, אֵין זֶה רָאוּי אֶלָּא לַמֶּלֶךְ. מֶה עָשָׂה, הֵבִיאָהּ דּוֹרוֹן לַמֶּלֶךְ. אָמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ, חִתְכוּ בָּהּ רֹאשׁוֹ. כָּךְ אָמַר מֹשֶׁה לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, בַּדָּבָר שֶׁקִּלַּסְתִּיךָ וְאָמַרְתִּי, הֵן לַה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ הַשָּׂמַיִם וְגוֹ' (דברים י, יד). בּוֹ בַּלָּשׁוֹן אַתָּה גּוֹזֵר עָלַי מִיתָה, וְאוֹמֵר: הֵן קָרְבוּ יָמֶיךָ לָמוּת. אָמַר לוֹ: מֹשֶׁה, כְּבָר קָנַסְתִּי מִיתָה עַל אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, אֲדוֹנָי, אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן הָיָה רָאוּי לָמוּת, שֶׁמִּצְוָה קַלָּה שֶׁצִּוִּיתָ אוֹתוֹ, עָבַר עָלֶיהָ, וּלְכָךְ נָאֶה שֶׁיָּמוּת. אָמַר לוֹ: הֲרֵי אַבְרָהָם קִדֵּשׁ אֶת שְׁמִי בְּעוֹלָמִי. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, אַבְרָהָם יָצָא מִמֶּנּוּ יִשְׁמָעֵאל, שֶׁגִּזְעוֹ מַכְעִיסִין לְפָנֶיךָ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: יִשְׁלָיוּ אֹהָלִים לְשֹׁדְדִים וְגוֹ' (איוב יב, ו). אָמַר לוֹ: הֲרֵי יִצְחָק שֶׁפָּשַׁט צַוָּארוֹ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, יִצְחָק יָצָא מִמֶּנּוּ עֵשָׂו שֶׁעָתִיד לְהַחְרִיב בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וְלִשְׂרֹף אֶת הֵיכָלֶךָ. אָמַר לֵיהּ: הֲרֵי יַעֲקֹב שֶׁיָּצָא מִמֶּנּוּ שְׁנֵים עָשָׁר שְׁבָטִים וְלֹא הָיָה בָּהֶם שׁוּם דֹּפִי אָמַר לְפָנָיו, יַעֲקֹב לֹא עָלָה לָרָקִיעַ, וְלֹא דָּשׁוּ רַגְלָיו עֲרָפֶל, וְלֹא הָיָה כְּמַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת, וְלֹא דִּבַּרְתָּ עִמּוֹ פָּנִים בְּפָנִים, וְלֹא קִבֵּל אֶת הַתּוֹרָה מִיָּדְךָ. אָמַר לֵיהּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, רַב לָךְ אֶל תּוֹסֶף דַּבֵּר. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, שֶׁמָּא יֹאמְרוּ הַדּוֹרוֹת, אִלְמָלֵא לֹא מָצָא בְּמֹשֶׁה דְּבָרִים רָעִים, לֹא הָיָה מְסַלְּקוֹ מִן הָעוֹלָם. אָמַר לוֹ: כְּבָר כָּתַבְתִּי בְּתוֹרָתִי, וְלֹא קָם נָבִיא וְגוֹ'. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, שֶׁמָּא יֹאמְרוּ הַדּוֹרוֹת, בְּקַטְנוּתִי עָשִׂיתִי רְצוֹנְךָ, וּבְזִקְנוּתִי לֹא עָשִׂיתִי רְצוֹנְךָ. אָמַר לֵיהּ: כְּבָר כָּתַבְתִּי בְּתוֹרָתִי, עַל אֲשֶׁר מְעַלְתֶּם בִּי. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, אִם רְצוֹנְךָ אֶכָּנֵס לָאָרֶץ וְאֶהֱיֶה שָׁם שְׁנַיִם וְשָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים וְאַחֲרֵי כֵן אָמוּת. אָמַר לוֹ: וְשָׁמָּה לֹא תָּבֹא. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, אִם לֹא אֶכָּנֵס בְּחַיַּי, אֶכָּנֵס לְאַחַר מוֹתִי. אָמַר לוֹ: לֹא בְּחַיֶּיךָ וְלֹא לְאַחַר מוֹתְךָ. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, כָּל הַכַּעַס הַזֶּה עָלַי לָמָּה. אָמַר לוֹ: עַל אֲשֶׁר לֹא קִדַּשְׁתֶּם אוֹתִי. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, עִם כָּל הַבְּרִיּוֹת אַתָּה מִתְנַהֵג בְּמִדַּת רַחֲמִים שָׁנִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה פְּעָמִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: הֵן כָּל אֵלֶּה יִפְעַל אֵל, פַּעֲמַיִם שָׁלֹש עִם גָּבֶר (שם לג, כט). וַאֲנִי, עָוֹן אֶחָד אֵין אַתָּה מוֹחֵל לִי. אָמַר לֵיהּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, מֹשֶׁה, הֲרֵי אַתָּה עָשִׂיתָ שִׁשָּׁה עֲוֹנוֹת וְלֹא גִּלִיתִי לְךָ אֶחָד מֵהֶם. בִּתְחִלָּה אָמַרְתָּ, שְׁלַח נָא בְּיַד תִּשְׁלַח (שמות ד, יג). שְׁנִיָּה, וְהַצֵּל לֹא הִצַּלְתָּ (שם ה, כג). שְׁלִישִׁית, הַצֹּאן וּבָקָר יִשָּׁחֵט לָהֶם וּמָצָא לָהֶם (במדבר יא, כב). רְבִיעִית, לֹא ה' שְׁלָחַנִי (שם טז, כט). חֲמִישִׁית, שִׁמְעוּ נָא הַמּוֹרִים (שם כ, י). שִׁשִּׁית, וְהִנֵּה קַמְתֶּם תַּחַת אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם תַּרְבּוּת אֲנָשִׁים חֲטָאִים (שם לב, יד). וְכִי אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב חֲטָאִים הָיוּ שֶׁאָמַרְתָּ לִבְנֵיהֶם כָּךְ. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָמִים, מִמְּךָ לָמַדְתִּי, שֶׁאָמַרְתָּ, אֶת מַחְתּוֹת הַחֲטָאִים הָאֵלֶּה (שם יז, ג). אָמַר לֵיהּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, אֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי, בְּנַפְשׁוֹתָם (שם), וְלֹא בַּאֲבוֹתָם. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, אֲנִי יָחִיד, וְיִשְׂרָאֵל שִׁשִּׁים רִבּוֹא. הַרְבֵּה פְּעָמִים חָטְאוּ לְפָנֶיךָ וּבִקַּשְׁתִּי עֲלֵיהֶם רַחֲמִים וּמָחַלְתָּ לָהֶם. עַל שִׁשִּׁים רִבּוֹא הִשְׁגַּחְתָּ, וְעָלַי אֵין אַתָּה מַשְׁגִּיחַ. אָמַר לֵיהּ: מֹשֶׁה, אֵין דּוֹמֶה גְּזֵרַת צִבּוּר לִגְזֵרַת יָחִיד. וְעוֹד, עַד עַכְשָׁו הָיְתָה שָׁעָה מְסוּרָה בְּיָדְךָ, וּמֵעַכְשָׁו אֵין שָׁעָה מְסוּרָה בְּיָדְךָ. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָמִים, עֲמֹד מִכִּסֵּא דִּין וְשֵׁב בְּכִסֵּא רַחֲמִים עָלַי וְלֹא אָמוּת, וַעֲוֹנוֹתַי יִהְיוּ נִמְחָלִים בְּיִסּוּרִין שֶׁתָּבִיא בְּגוּפִי, וְאֶל תִּתְּנֵנִי בְּחֶבְלוֹ שֶׁל מַלְאַךְ הַמָּוֶת. אִם אַתָּה עוֹשֶׂה כָּךְ, אַגִּיד שִׁבְחֲךָ לְכָל בָּאֵי עוֹלָם, כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאָמַר דָּוִד, לֹא אָמוּת כִּי אֶחְיֶה וְגוֹ' (תהלים קיח, יז). אָמַר לוֹ: זֶה הַשַּׁעַר לַה' צַדִּיקִים יָבֹאוּ בוֹ (שם פסוק כ), מוּכָן הוּא לַצַּדִּיקִים וּלְכָל הַבְּרִיּוֹת, מָוֶת מְתֻקָּן מִיְּמוֹת עוֹלָם. כֵּיוָן שֶׁרָאָה מֹשֶׁה שֶׁאֵין מַשְׁגִּיחִין בּוֹ, הָלַךְ אֵצֶל שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ, אָמַר לָהֶם: בַּקְּשׁוּ עָלַי רַחֲמִים. אָמְרוּ לֵיהּ, עַד שֶׁנְּבַקֵּשׁ רַחֲמִים עָלֶיךָ, נְבַקֵּשׁ רַחֲמִים עַל עַצְמֵנוּ, שֶׁכָּתוּב, כִּי שָׁמַיִם כֶּעָשָׁן נִמְלָחוּ וְהָאָרֶץ כַּבֶּגֶד תִּבְלֶה (ישעיה נא, ו). הָלַךְ אֵצֶל כּוֹכָבִים וּמַזָּלוֹת, אָמַר לָהֶם: בַּקְּשׁוּ עָלַי רַחֲמִים. אָמְרוּ לוֹ: עַד שֶׁנְּבַקֵּשׁ רַחֲמִים עָלֶיךָ, נְבַקֵּשׁ רַחֲמִים עַל עַצְמֵנוּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְנָמַקּוּ כָּל צְבָא הַשָּׁמַיִם וְגוֹ' (שם לד, ד). הָלַךְ אֵצֶל הָרִים וּגְבָעוֹת, אָמַר לָהֶם: בַּקְּשׁוּ עָלַי רַחֲמִים. אָמְרוּ לוֹ כוּ' נְבַקֵּשׁ עַל עַצְמֵנוּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: כִּי הֶהָרִים יָמוּשׁוּ וְהַגְּבָעוֹת תְּמוּטֶינָה (שם נד, י). הָלַךְ אֵצֶל הַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל, אָמַר לוֹ: בַּקֵּשׁ עָלַי רַחֲמִים. אָמַר לוֹ: בֶּן עַמְרָם, מָה הַיּוֹם מִיּוֹמַיִם. הַלֹּא אַתָּה בֶּן עַמְרָם, שֶׁבָּאתָ עָלַי בְּמַטְּךָ וְהִכִּיתַנִי וְחִלַּקְתָּ לִשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר שְׁבִילִים, וְלֹא יָכֹלְתִּי לַעֲמֹד לְפָנֶיךָ מִפְּנֵי שְׁכִינָה, שֶׁמְּהַלֶּכֶת לְפָנֶיךָ לִימִינְךָ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: מוֹלִיךְ לִימִין מֹשֶׁה זְרוֹעַ תִּפְאַרְתּוֹ, בָּקַע מַיִם מִפְּנֵיהֶם לַעֲשׂוֹת לוֹ שֵׁם עוֹלָם (שם סג, יב). וְהַיּוֹם מֶה עָלְתָה לְךָ. כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִזְכִּיר לוֹ הַיָּם, מַה שֶּׁעָשָׂה בְּנַעֲרוּתוֹ, צָעַק וּבָכָה וְאָמַר, מִי יִתְּנֵנִי כְּיַרְחֵי קֶדֶם כִּימֵי אֱלוֹהַּ יִשְׁמְרֵנִי (איוב כט, ב). בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁעָבַרְתִּי עָלֶיךָ, הָיִיתִי מֶלֶךְ עוֹלָם, וְעַכְשָׁו אֲנִי מִשְׁתַּטֵּחַ וְאֵין מַשְׁגִּיחִין בִּי. מִיָּד הָלַךְ לוֹ אֵצֶל שַׂר הַפְּנִים, אָמַר לוֹ: בַּקֵּשׁ עָלַי רַחֲמִים שֶׁלֹּא אָמוּת. אָמַר לוֹ: מֹשֶׁה רַבִּי, טֹרַח זֶה לָמָּה. כָּךְ שָׁמַעְתִּי מֵאֲחוֹרֵי הַפַּרְגּוֹד, שֶׁאֵין תְּפִלָּתְךָ נִשְׁמְעָה בַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה. הִנִּיחַ מֹשֶׁה יָדָיו עַל רֹאשׁוֹ וְהָיָה צוֹעֵק וּבוֹכֶה, וְאוֹמֵר: אֵצֶל מִי אֵלֵךְ לְבַקֵּשׁ עָלַי רַחֲמִים. אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְּלַאי, בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה נִתְמַלֵּא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בְּעֶבְרָה עָלָיו, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיִּתְעַבֵּר ה' בִּי לְמַעְנְכֶם וְגוֹ', עַד שֶׁפָּתַח מֹשֶׁה מִקְרָא זֶה, וַיַּעֲבֹר ה' עַל פָּנָיו וַיִּקְרָא (שמות לד, ו). בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה נִתְקָרְרָה רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ. וְאָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמֹשֶׁה, מֹשֶׁה, שְׁתֵּי שְׁבוּעוֹת נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי, אַחַת שֶׁתָּמוּת, וְאַחַת שֶׁלֹּא לְאַבֵּד אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל. לְבַטֵּל אֶת שְׁתֵּיהֶן אִי אֶפְשָׁר, אִם תִּרְצֶה לִחְיוֹת וְיֹאבְדוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל, מוּטָב. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, רִבּוֹנִי, בַּעֲלִילָה אַתָּה בָּא עָלַי. אַתָּה תּוֹפֵשׂ הַחֶבֶל בִּשְׁנֵי רָאשִׁים. יֹאבַד מֹשֶׁה וְאֶלֶף כָּמוֹהוּ, וְאֶל יֹאבַד אֶחָד מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָמִים, רַגְלַיִם שֶׁעָלוּ לָרָקִיעַ, וּפָנִים שֶׁקִּבְּלוּ פְּנֵי הַשְּׁכִינָה, וְיָדַיִם שֶׁקִּבְּלוּ תּוֹרָה מִיָּדֶךָ, יְלַחֲכוּ עָפָר. וַוי, יֹאמְרוּ כָּל הַבְּרִיּוֹת, וּמַה מּשֶׁה שֶׁעָלָה לַמָּרוֹם, וְהָיָה כְּמַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת וְדִבֵּר עִמּוֹ פָּנִים בְּפָנִים וְקִבֵּל תּוֹרָה מִיָּדוֹ, לֹא הָיְתָה לוֹ תְּשׁוּבָה לְהָשִׁיב לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא. בָּשָׂר וָדָם עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה שֶׁיֵּלֵךְ בְּלֹא תּוֹרָה וּבְלֹא מִצְוֹת. אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, כָּל זֶה שֶׁאַתָּה מִצְטַעֵר לָמָּה. אָמַר, רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָם מִתְיָרֵא אֲנִי מֵחֶבְלוֹ שֶׁל מַלְאַךְ הַמָּוֶת. אָמַר לוֹ: אֵינִי מוֹסֶרְךָ בְּיָדוֹ. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָמִים, יֹכֶבֶד אִמִּי שֶׁהֻקְהוּ שִׁנֶּיהָ בְּחַיֶּיהָ בִּשְׁנֵי בָּנֶיהָ, יִקְהוּ עוֹד שִׁנֶּיהָ בְּמִיתָתִי. אָמַר לוֹ: כָּךְ עָלְתָה בַּמַּחְשָׁבָה וְכֵן מִנְהָגוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, דּוֹר דּוֹר וְדוֹרְשָׁיו, דּוֹר דּוֹר וּפַרְנָסָיו, דּוֹר דּוֹר וּמַנְהִיגָיו. עַד עַכְשָׁו הָיָה חֶלְקְךָ לְשָׁרֵת לְפָנַי, וְעַכְשָׁו אָבַד חֶלְקְךָ וְהִגִּיעַ שָׁעָה שֶׁל יְהוֹשֻׁעַ תַּלְמִידְךָ לְשָׁרֵת. אָמַר לְפָנָיו, רִבּוֹנִי, אִם מִפְּנֵי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֲנִי מֵת, אֵלֵךְ וְאֶהְיֶה לוֹ תַּלְמִיד. אָמַר לוֹ: אִם אַתָּה רוֹצֶה לַעֲשׂוֹת כָּךְ, לֵךְ עֲשֵׂה. עָמַד מֹשֶׁה וְהִשְׁכִּים לְפִתְחוֹ שֶׁל יְהוֹשֻׁעַ. הָיָה יְהוֹשֻׁעַ יוֹשֵׁב וְדוֹרֵשׁ, וְעָמַד מֹשֶׁה וְכָפַף קוֹמָתוֹ וְהֵנִיחַ יָדוֹ עַל פִּיו, וְנִתְעַלְּמוּ עֵינָיו שֶׁל יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וְלֹא רָאָה אוֹתוֹ, כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּצְטַעֵר וְיַשְׁלִים עַצְמוֹ לְמִיתָה. וְהָלְכוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵצֶל מֹשֶׁה לְפִתְחוֹ לִלְמֹד תּוֹרָה, וְשָׁאֲלוּ וְאָמְרוּ, מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ הֵיכָן הוּא. אָמְרוּ לָהֶם, הִשְׁכִּים וְהָלַךְ לְפִתְחוֹ שֶׁל יְהוֹשֻׁעַ. הָלְכוּ וּמְצָאוּהוּ בְּפִתְחוֹ שֶׁל יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, וְהָיָה יְהוֹשֻׁעַ יוֹשֵׁב וּמֹשֶׁה עוֹמֵד. אָמְרוּ לוֹ לִיהוֹשֻׁעַ, מֶה עָלְתָה עַל לִבְּךָ שֶׁמּשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ עוֹמֵד וְאַתָּה יוֹשֵׁב. כֵּיוָן שֶׁתָּלָה עֵינָיו וְרָאָהוּ, מִיָּד קָרַע בְּגָדָיו וְצָעַק וּבָכָה וְאָמַר, רַבִּי רַבִּי, אָבִי אָבִי וַאֲדוֹנִי. אָמְרוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמֹשֶׁה, מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ, לַמְּדֵנוּ תּוֹרָה. אָמַר לָהֶם: אֵין לִי רְשׁוּת. אָמְרוּ לוֹ: אֵין אָנוּ מַנִּיחִין אוֹתְךָ. יָצְתָה בַּת קוֹל וְאָמְרָה לָהֶם, לִמְדוּ מִיְּהוֹשֻׁעַ, וְקַבְּלוּ עֲלֵיכֶם לֵישֵׁב וְלִלְמֹד מִיְּהוֹשֻׁעַ. יָשַׁב יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בָּרֹאשׁ, וּמֹשֶׁה בִּימִינוֹ, וּבְנֵי אַהֲרֹן מִשְּׂמֹאלוֹ, וְהָיָה יְהוֹשֻׁעַ יוֹשֵׁב וְדוֹרֵשׁ בִּפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה. אוֹמֵר רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחְמָנִי אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹנָתָן, בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁאָמַר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, בָּרוּךְ אֲשֶׁר בָּחַר בַּצַּדִּיקִים, נִטְלוּ מְסוֹרוֹת חָכְמָה מִמּשֶׁה וְנִתְּנוּ לִיהוֹשֻׁעַ, וְלֹא הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ מֹשֶׁה מֶה הָיָה יְהוֹשֻׁעַ דּוֹרֵשׁ. אַחַר שֶׁעָמְדוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיְּשִׁיבָה, אָמְרוּ לְמֹשֶׁה, פָּרֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶת הַתּוֹרָה. אָמַר לָהֶם: אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ מָה אָשִׁיב לָכֶם. וְהָיָה מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ נִכְשָׁל וְנֹפֵל. בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה אָמַר מֹשֶׁה, רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָמִים, עַד עַכְשָׁו בִּקַּשְׁתִּי חַיִּים, וְעַכְשָׁו הֲרֵי נַפְשִׁי נְתוּנָה לְךָ. כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִשְׁלִים עַצְמוֹ לְמִיתָה, פָּתַח הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא וְאָמַר, מִי יָקוּם לִי עִם מְרֵעִים (תהלים צד, טז). מִי יַעֲמֹד לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בִּשְׁעַת כַּעֲסִי, וּמִי יַעֲמֹד בְּמִלְחַמְתָּן שֶׁל בָּנַי, מִי יְבַקֵּשׁ רַחֲמִים עֲלֵיהֶם בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁחוֹטְאִין לְפָנַי. בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה בָּא מְטַטְרוֹן וְנָפַל עַל פָּנָיו, וְאָמַר לְפָנָיו, רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, מֹשֶׁה בְּחַיָּיו שֶׁלְּךָ וּבְמוֹתוֹ שֶׁלְּךָ הוּא. אָמַר לֵיהּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, אֶמְשֹׁל לְךָ מָשָׁל לְמָה הַדָּבָר דּוֹמֶה. לְמֶלֶךְ שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ בֵּן, וּבְכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם כּוֹעֵס עָלָיו וּמְבַקֵּשׁ לְהָרְגוֹ, שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה מִתְנַהֵג בִּכְבוֹד אָבִיו, וְהָיְתָה אִמּוֹ מַצִּילָתוֹ מִיָּדוֹ. לְיָמִים מֵתָה אִמּוֹ, וְהָיָה הַמֶּלֶךְ בּוֹכֶה. אָמְרוּ לוֹ עֲבָדָיו, אֲדוֹנֵינוּ הַמֶּלֶךְ, מִפְּנֵי מָה אַתָּה בּוֹכֶה. אָמַר לָהֶם: לֹא עַל אִשְׁתִּי בִּלְבַד אֲנִי בּוֹכֶה, אֶלָּא עָלֶיהָ וְעַל בְּנִי, שֶׁהֲרֵי כַּמָּה פְּעָמִים כָּעַסְתִּי עָלָיו וּבִקַּשְׁתִּי לְהָרְגוֹ וּמַצִּילָתוֹ מִיָּדִי. אַף כָּךְ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אָמַר לִמְטַטְרוֹן, לֹא אֲנִי מִתְאוֹנֵן עַל מֹשֶׁה בִּלְבַד, אֶלָּא עָלָיו וְעַל יִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁהַרְבֵּה פְּעָמִים הִכְעִיסוּנִי וְכָעַסְתִּי עֲלֵיהֶם, וְעָמַד בַּפֶּרֶץ לְפָנַי לְהָשִׁיב חֲמָתִי מֵהַשְׁחִיתָם. בָּאוּ וְאָמְרוּ לְמֹשֶׁה, הִגִּיעָה שָׁעָה שֶׁאַתָּה נִפְטָר מִן הָעוֹלָם. אָמַר לָהֶם: הַמְתִּינוּ לִי עַד שֶׁאֲבָרֵךְ אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁלֹּא מָצְאוּ מִמֶּנִּי קוֹרַת רוּחַ בָּעוֹלָם, מִפְּנֵי אַזְהָרוֹת וְתוֹכָחוֹת שֶׁהָיִיתִי מוֹכִיחָן. הִתְחִיל לְבָרֵךְ כָּל שֵׁבֶט וְשֵׁבֶט בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ. כֵּיוָן שֶׁרָאָה שֶׁנִּתְקַצְּרָה הַשָּׁעָה, כְּלָלָן כֻּלָּן בִּבְרָכָה אַחַת. בָּאוּ וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ: הִגִּיעָה הַשָּׁעָה שֶׁאַתָּה נִפְטָר מִן הָעוֹלָם. אָמַר לָהֶם לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, הַרְבֵּה צִעַרְתִּי אֶתְכֶם עַל הַתּוֹרָה וְעַל הַמִּצְוֹת, וְעַכְשָׁו מַחֲלוּ לִי. אָמְרוּ לֵיהּ, רַבֵּנוּ אֲדוֹנֵנוּ מָחוּל הוּא לָךְ. אַף יִשְׂרָאֵל עָמְדוּ עָלָיו וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ: מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ, הַרְבֵּה הִכְעַסְנוּךָ וְהִרְבֵּינוּ עָלֶיךָ טֹרַח, מְחֹל לָנוּ. אָמַר לָהֶם: מָחוּל לָכֶם. בָּאוּ וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ: הִגִּיעַ רֶגַע שֶׁאַתָּה נִפְטָר מִן הָעוֹלָם. אָמַר, בָּרוּךְ שְׁמוֹ חַי וְקַיָּם לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. אָמַר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּבַקָּשָׁה מִכֶּם כְּשֶׁתִּכָּנְסוּ לָאָרֶץ זִכְרוּ אוֹתִי וְאֶת עַצְמוֹתַי, וְתֹאמְרוּ אוֹי לְבֶן עַמְרָם שֶׁרָץ לְפָנֵינוּ כְּסוּס וְנָפְלוּ עַצְמוֹתָיו בַּמִּדְבָּר. בָּאוּ וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ: הִגִּיעַ חֲצִי רֶגַע. נָטַל שְׁתֵּי יָדָיו וְהִנִּיחָן עַל לִבּוֹ, וְאָמַר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, רְאוּ אַחֲרִיתוֹ שֶׁל בָּשָׂר וָדָם עָנוּ וְאָמְרוּ יָדַיִם שֶׁקִּבְּלוּ אֶת הַתּוֹרָה מִפִּי הַגְּבוּרָה, יִפְּלוּ בַּקֶּבֶר. בְּאוֹתוֹ רֶגַע, יָצָאת נִשְׁמָתוֹ בִּנְשִׁיקָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיָּמָת שָׁם מֹשֶׁה וְגוֹ' (דברים לד, ה). וְלֹא נִתְעַסְּקוּ בִּקְבוּרָתוֹ לֹא יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא הַמַּלְאָכִים, אֶלָּא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיִּקְבֹּר אוֹתוֹ בַּגַּי וְגוֹ' (שם פסוק ו). וּמִפְּנֵי מָה נִקְבַּר בְּחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ. כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הַמֵּתִים שֶׁבְּחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ חַיִּין בִּזְכוּתוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיַּרְא רֵאשִׁית לוֹ וְגוֹ' (שם לג, כא). וְאֵימָתַי מֵת מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ. בְּשִׁבְעָה בַּאֲדָר, דִּכְתִיב: וַיָּמָת שָׁם מֹשֶׁה (שם לד, ה). וּכְתִיב: וַיִּבְכּוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת מֹשֶׁה וְגוֹ' (שם פסוק ח). וּכְתִיב: וַיְהִי אַחֲרֵי מוֹת מֹשֶׁה וְגוֹ' (יהושע א, א). וּכְתִיב: וְהָעָם עָלוּ מִן הַיַּרְדֵּן בֶּעָשׂוֹר לַחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן (שם ד, יט). הוֹצֵא שְׁלֹשִׁים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה לְמַפְרֵעַ, הֲרֵי בְּשִׁבְעָה בַּאֲדָר מֵת מֹשֶׁה. וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁבְּשִׁבְעָה בַּאֲדָר נוֹלַד מֹשֶׁה. דִּכְתִיב: בֶּן מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה אָנֹכִי הַיּוֹם (דברים לא, ב), שֶׁאֵין תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר: הַיּוֹם. מַה תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר: הַיּוֹם. הַיּוֹם מָלְאוּ יָמַי וּשְׁנוֹתַי. לְלַמֶּדְךָ, שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מְמַלֵּא יְמֵיהֶן שֶׁל צַדִּיקִים מִיּוֹם לְיוֹם וּמֵחֹדֶשׁ לְחֹדֶשׁ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: אֶת מִסְפַּר יָמֶיךָ אֲמַלֵּא (שמות כג, כו).

(Deut. 3:26), “Do not [ever] speak [unto me on this matter] again.]” This is related to what Job said (in Job 20:6-7), “Even though one's height ascends to the heavens, [and his head reaches the clouds]. He perishes forever, like his dung….” With reference to whom did Job say this verse? It only speaks with reference to the day of death. So even though one ascends to the heavens and makes himself wings like a bird; when his time to die arrives, his wings are broken, and he falls before the angel of death like an animal before the butcher. So also has David said (in Ps. 146:4), “His spirit departs; he returns to the ground.” And Job has already stated (in Job 3:19), “The small and the great are there, and the slave ('eved) is free from his master.” As even if his master bought him for thousands and thousands of gold coins, once [the slave’s] time to die has come, he cannot say, “He is my slave,” but rather he becomes free from his master. Another interpretation (of Job 20:6), “Even though one's height ascends to the heavens.” This refers to Moses, who ascended to the firmament and who came to the Araphel (the lower sky). Moreover, he was like the ministering angels in that he spoke with Him (i.e., with the Holy One, blessed be He,) face to face and received the Torah from His hand. When his time to die arrived, He said to him (in Deut. 31:14), “Behold the days are drawing near for you to die.” [Moses] said to Him, “Master of the world, is it for nothing that my feet have trodden Araphel? Is it for nothing that I have run before Your children like a horse, that my end be for the worm? R. Abbahu said, “To what is the matter comparable? To one of the nobles of the kingdom, who found a certain Hindu sword, which was unmatched [in the world] and who said, ‘This is suitable only for the king.’ What did he do? He brought it to the king as a gift.15Gk.: doron. The king said, ‘Cut off his head with it.’ So also Moses said to the Holy One, blessed be He, ‘By the word that I [used to] praise16Rt.: KLS. Cf. Gk.: kalos. you, when I said (in Deut. 10:14), “Behold (hen), the heavens [and the heavens of the heavens, the earth and all that is in it] belong to the Lord your God!’ By that [very] word (i.e., hen) You are decreeing death over me, when you say (in Deut. 31:14), “Behold (hen), the days are drawing near for you to die.”’”17Below, Deut. 11:6. He said to him, “Moses, I have already decreed18Rt.: QLS. Cf. Lat.: census; Gk.: kensos. death over the first Adam.” He said to him, “My master, the first Adam deserved to die. You decreed an easy commandment for him, and he transgressed it. Hence it is fitting for him to die. [God] said to him, “Consider Abraham, [who] sanctified My name in My world [but still died].” He said to him, “Master of the world, From Abraham there came out Ishmael, whose race provoked You to anger, as stated (in Job 12:6) ‘The tents of robbers prosper, [and those who provoke God have security, the ones whom God brought forth in His hand].’” He said to him, “Consider Isaac, who stretched out his neck upon the altar.” He said to him, “From Isaac there came out Esau, who in the future will destroy the Temple and burn Your sanctuary.” He said to him, “Consider Jacob, out of whom there came twelve tribes without any flaw.” He said to him “Jacob did not ascend into the firmament, his feet did not trod Araphel, he was not like the ministering angels, he did not receive Torah from Your hand and he did not speak with you face to face.” The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him (in Deut. 3:26), “Enough from you; do not [ever] speak [unto Me on this matter] again.” He said to Him, “Perhaps [future] generations will say, ‘If He had not found bad things in Moses, He would not have removed him from the world.” He said to him, “I have already written in my Torah (in Deut. 34:10), “Never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses.” He said in front of Him, “The people will say] I did your will in my youth, but I did not do your will in my old age.” He said to him, “I have already written (in Deut. 32:51), “Because you acted faithlessly with me.”19Cf. Numb. 20:12. He said to Him, “Please let me enter the land [and spend] two or three years there, and after that let me die.” He said to him (in Deut. 32:52), “And there you shall not go.” He said to Him, “If I am not to enter while alive, let me enter after my death.” He said to him, “Not while you are alive, and not when you are dead.” He said in front of Him, “Why all this anger against me?” He said to him (according to Deut. 32:51), “Because you did not sanctify Me.” He said to him, “With all mortals you are guided two or three times by the principle of mercy, as stated (in Job 33:29), ‘Behold, God does all these things two or three times to a man’; yet in my case, when a single sin is found in me, you do not forgive me.” The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, “See here, Moses, you have committed six sins, and I have not disclosed one of them. First you said, (in Exod. 4:13) ‘Please make someone else your agent’; secondly (in Exod. 5:23), ‘For ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, [he has dealt worse with this people, and You have still not delivered Your people]’; thirdly (in Numb. 11:22) ‘If the sheep and cattle would be slaughtered for them , would it be [enough] for them’; fourthly (in Numb. 16:29), ‘The Lord did not send me’; fifthly (in Numb. 20:10), ‘Listen, you rebels, [shall we bring forth water for you from this rock]’;20See above, the note at the end of Exod. 1:20. sixth (in Numb. 32:14), ‘And now you brood of sinners have arisen in place of your ancestors.’ But were Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sinners, for you to say this to their children?” He said to Him, “I have learned so from You, when you said (in Numb. 17:3), ‘The censers of these who have sinned [at the cost of their lives].’ He said to him, “I said (ibid.), ‘At the cost of their lives,’ and not, ‘at the cost of their ancestors.’” He said in front of Him, “I am an individual, while Israel numbers sixty myriads (i.e., 600,000). They have sinned before You a lot of times; and when I sought mercy on their behalf, You forgave them. You took care of sixty myriads [because of me], yet You are not taking care of me.” He said to him, “Moses, a decree over a community is not like a decree over an individual. Furthermore, up to now [the] time was delivered into your hands, but from now [the] time is not delivered into your hands.” He said to Him, “Master of the universe, rise up from the seat of judgment and sit down upon the seat of mercy for me, so that I do not die. Then my sins shall be forgiven through torments which You shall bring on my body. So do not deliver me to the pangs of the angel of death. Moreover, if You do this, I will proclaim Your praise to all who come into the world, just as David has said (in Ps. 118:17), ‘I shall not die, but live [and recount the works of the Lord].’” He said to him (in vs. 20), “This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall come through it.” [From this it follows that] death has been ordained from time immemorial for the righteous and for all mortals. When Moses saw that they paid no attention to him, he went to the heaven and earth, where he said to them, “Seek mercy for me.” They said to him, “Before seeking mercy for you, we should seek mercy for ourselves, since it is stated (in Is. 51:6), ‘for the heavens shall vanish like smoke, and the earth shall wear out like a garment.’”21See ‘AZ 17a, for this verse applied to Eleazar ben Dordia in a similar way. He went to the stars and planets. He said to them, “Seek mercy for me.” They said to him, “Before seeking mercy for you, we should seek mercy for ourselves, since it is stated (in Is. 34:4), ‘All the host of heaven shall rot away….’” He went to the mountains and hills. He said to them, “Seek mercy for me.” They said to him, “[Before seeking mercy for you,] we should seek mercy for ourselves, since it is stated (in Is. 54:10), ‘For the mountains shall move, and the hills shall be shaken.’”22The translation of the verb tenses here differs from some biblical translations but fits the sense of the midrash. He went to the Great Sea. He said to it, “Seek mercy for me.” [The sea] said to him, “Son of Amram, how is today different from a couple of [other] days? Are you not the son of Amram, who came upon me with your rod, smote me, and divided me into twelve parts? For I was unable to stand before you because the Divine Presence was walking at your right hand. It is so stated (in Is. 63:12), ‘Who had His glorious arm walk at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them […].’ So what has happened to you today?” When the sea reminded him what he had done in his youth, he cried out and said (in Job 29:2), “’O that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me!’ When I passed through you, I was a world king; but now I am prostrate, and they pay no attention to me.” Immediately he betook himself to the arch[angel] of the [Divine] Presence and said to him, “Seek mercy for me, that I not die.” He said to him, “My master, Moses, why the exertion? This is what I have heard from behind the curtain:23Pargod. Cf. Lat.: paragauda or [paragaudis] (a garment with a lace border); Gk.: Paragaudes (a garment with a purple border). That your prayer is not heard on this matter.” Putting his hands on his head, Moses sobbed and wept, as he said, “With whom shall I seek mercy for myself?” R. Simlay said, “At that time the Holy One, blessed be He, was full of anger over him, as stated (in Deut. 3:26), ‘But the Lord was angry with me […],’ until Moses began by uttering this Scripture (Exod. 34:6): ‘Then the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “the Lord, the Lord is a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger…].’” Immediately the holy spirit was cooled off.” The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses, “Moses, I have sworn two oaths, one that you should die and one to destroy Israel. To repeal both of them is impossible; so if you want to live, Israel will be destroyed.” He said before Him, “You are coming to me with a plot. You are seizing the rope at both ends. Let Moses and a thousand like him be destroyed, but do not let one person in Israel be destroyed.” He said to him, “Master of the Universe, should feet that have climbed up to the firmament, should a face that has greeted the Divine Presence, should hands that have received Torah from Your hands lick the dust? Woe!24Vay. All mortals will say, “If Moses, who ascended on high, became like the ministering angels, spoke with Him face to face, and received Torah from His hand, had no reply for responding to the Holy One, blessed be He, how much the worse it will be for [mere] flesh and blood, who comes with no [merit from] Torah and with no [merit from the] commandments?” The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses, “Why all this anguish that you are experiencing?” He said, “Master of the world, I am afraid of the pangs of the angel of death.” He said to him, “I am not delivering you into his hands.” He said in front of Him, “Master of the universe, my mother Jochebed, who was distressed (literally, whose teeth were blunted) during her lifetime by two of her sons, will be distressed by my death.” He said to him, “So has it come up in [My] mind, and so is it the way of the world: every generation with its expositors, every generation with its administrators,25Gk.: pronoi (“prudent ones”). every generation with its leaders. Up to now it has been your lot to serve in front of Me, but now your lot is over and the time of your disciple Joshua for him to serve [Me] has arrived.” He said to him, “My Master, if I am dying because of Joshua, let me go and become his disciple!” He said to him, “If you want to do that, go and do it.” Moses arose and went early to Joshua's door.26Cf. the somewhat different account in Deut. R. 9:9. Now Joshua was seated expounding [Torah], so Moses stopped to bend his stature and put his hand on his mouth. But Joshua's eyes were hidden, and he did not see him, so that he (Moses) would be sorrowful and resign himself to death. When Israel came to Moses' door to study Torah, they asked and said, “Where did Moshe our master [go]?” [Others] said to them, “He got up early and went to the door of Joshua.” [So] they went and found him at the door of Joshua, with Joshua sitting and Moses standing. They said to Joshua, “What has come over you that Moses our master stands, while you sit?” When he raised his eyes and saw him, he immediately rent his clothes. Then sobbing and weeping, he said, “O my master, my master! My father, my father and lord!” Israel said to Moses, “Moses our master, teach us Torah.” He said to them, “I am not allowed.” They said to him, “We are not leaving you.” A heavenly voice (bat qol) came forth and said to them, “Learn from Joshua.” [So] they took upon themselves to sit and learn from the mouth of Joshua. Joshua sat at the head with Moses to his right and with [Elazar and Ithamar] to his left. So he sat and expounded in the presence of Moses. R. Samuel bar Nahmani said that R. Johanan said, “When Joshua opened by saying, ‘Blessed be the One who has chosen the righteous,” they took the traditions of wisdom from Moses and gave them to Joshua. Now Moses did not know what Joshua was expounding. After Israel arose [from the session], they said to Moses, “[Explain] the Torah [we have just heard] to us.” He said to them, “I do not know what to answer you.” So Moses our master was stumbling and falling. It was at that time that he said, “Master of the universe, up to now I requested life, but now here is my soul given over to You.” Then when he had resigned himself to death, the Holy One, blessed be He, opened by saying (in Ps. 94:16), “’Who will stand for Me27In context, the word, me, here is self-referential to the author of Psalms, and not referring to God. against evildoers?’ Who will stand for Israel in the time of My wrath? Who will stand in the battle of My children? And who will stand and seek mercy for them, when they sin before Me?” At that time Metatron28Lat.: metator (“measurer,” “one who marks out boundaries”). came and fell on his face. He said to Him, “Master of the world, [as] in Moses' life he belonged to You, so in his death he belongs to You.” The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, “Let me give you a parable. To what is the matter comparable? To a king who had a son. Now on each and every day, his father was angry with him and sought to kill him because he did not maintain respect for the father; but his mother rescued him from his hand. One day his mother died and the king wept. His servants said to him, ‘Our lord king, why are you weeping?’ He said to them, ‘It is not over my wife alone that I am weeping, but for my son; for many times when I was angry with him and wanted to kill him, did she rescue him from my hand?’” So also did the Holy One, blessed be He, say to Metatron, “It is not over Moses alone that I am weeping, but over him and over Israel, for look at how many times that they angered Me, and I was angry with them; but he stood in the breach before Me to turn back My anger from destroying them.” They came and said to Moses, “The hour has arrived for you to depart from the world.” He said to them, “Wait for me until I bless Israel, for they have not found contentment from me all my days, because of the rebukes and warnings with which I rebuked them.” He began to bless each tribe separately. When he saw that the time was growing short, he included all of them in a single blessing. They came and said, “The hour has arrived for your soul to depart from the world.” He said to Israel, “I have caused you a lot of grief over the Torah and over the commandments, but now forgive me.” They said to him, “Our lord master, you are forgiven.” Israel also arose before him and said to him, “O Moses our master, we have angered you a lot and increased the burden upon you. Forgive us.” He said to them, “You are forgiven.” They came and said to him, “The moment has arrived for you to depart from the world.” He said, “Blessed be the name of the One who lives and abides forever.” He said to Israel, “If you please, when you enter the land, remember me and my bones, and you shall say, ‘Woe (oy) to the son of Amram, who ran before us like a horse but whose bones have fallen in the wilderness.’” They came and said to him, “The half moment has arrived.” He took his two arms and placed them on his heart. Then he said to Israel, “See the final end of flesh and blood.” They answered and said, “The hands which received the Torah from the mouth of the Almighty shall fall to the grave.” At that moment his soul departed with a kiss (from the Holy One, blessed be He),29See MQ 28a. as stated (in Deut. 34:5), “Then Moses [the servant of the Lord] died there [in the Land of Moab at the command of the Lord (literally, by the mouth of the Lord)].”30BB 17a; ARN, A 12:2; Cant. R. 1:2:5; Petirat Mosheh Rabbenu, recension A, in A. Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrasch (Leipzig: Vollrath, 1853-57), vol. I, p. 129; ibid., recension B, in Jellinek, vol. VI, p. 77. Now [the ones who] took care of his burial were neither Israel nor the angels but the Holy One, blessed be He, [Himself], as stated (in vs. 6), “Then He (the Holy One, blessed be He,) buried him (Moses) in the valley [in the Land of Moab].” And for what reason was he buried outside the land? So that those who die when outside the land might live [again] through his merit,31The translation here follows the traditional Tanhuma. Deut. 2:6. So also Codex Vaticanus Ebr. 34. The Buber text omits “might live again” and reads “through their merit.” as stated (in Deut. 33:21), “He has chosen the best for himself, [for there is an honored lawgiver's portion].” But when did Moses our master die? On the seventh of Adar,32Seder ‘Olam Rabbah, 10; TSot. 11:7; Qid. 38a; see Meg. 13b; Sot. 12b. as stated (in Deut. 34:5), “Then Moses the servant of the Lord died there [in the Land of Moab].” It is also written (in vs. 8), “And the children of Israel mourned Moses [on the Plains of Moab for thirty days.]” And it is written (in Josh. 1:1), “And it came to pass after the death of Moses, [the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke unto Joshua]”; (Josh. 4:19) “Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month (i.e., Nisan).” Reckon back thirty-three days [from then]. Ergo, he died on the seventh of Adar. And where is it shown that he was born on the seventh of Adar? Where it is stated (in Deut. 31:2), “He said to them, ‘I am one hundred twenty years old today.’”33Since Moses spoke these words on the day of his death, his birthday must have been the same as the day of his death. What is the text teaching with, “today?” Today, I have fulfilled my days and any years. [It is there] to teach you that the Holy One, blessed be He, fulfills the years for the righteous from day to day and from month to month, as stated (in Exod. 23:26), “I will fulfill the number of your days.”