Vzos Haberachah
Chanukas Hatorah - Parshas Vzos Haberachah

Why do we tend to forget the Torah that we learn?

(33,4) “Moshe commanded us the Torah; it is an inheritance (מורשה) of the congregation of Ya’akov.”

Chazal teach us that had Yisrael heard the Torah directly from the mouth of Hashem they would not have forgotten any of it, because just as He exists forever so too what we learn from Him exists forever. But because they heard it from Moshe they tend to forget it.

Now, it says in the gemora Yerushalmi that the word מורשה implies something which is deficient. The gemora asks that if this is true, how are we to understand our posuk which says that the Torah is “an inheritance (מורשה) of the congregation of Ya’akov”? It answered that there is no greater deficiency than this, to forget the Torah which they have wearied themselves to learn.

Thus we can explain our posuk: “Moshe taught us the Torah”, and we did not hear it from Hashem Himself; therefore “it is a מורשה of the congregation of Ya’akov”, and we forget what we learn.

How could Hashem bury Moshe in a place of idol worship?

(34,6) “And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moav, opposite Beis Peor.”

Rashi explains that his grave had been prepared there since the six days of creation to atone for the deed of Peor, and this was one of the things that were created at twilight on the eve of the first Shabbos. What problem in this posuk is Rashi answering with this explanation, and what difference does it make whether or not the grave had been prepared from much earlier times?

We can resolve these questions with the gemora in Avodah Zorah 44b, where it says in the Mishnah that Proclos the son of a philosopher put a question to Rabban Gamliel who was bathing in a bath that was situated in the courtyard of the idol of Aphrodite. He said to him: Is it not written in your Torah (Devarim 13:18) “Nothing that is doomed to destruction shall not cling to your hand”? Rabban Gamliel replied: I did not come into its domain, it came into mine. The bathhouse existed before the idol was placed there.

The same question can be asked here - how could Moshe be buried opposite Beis Peor where there was there an idol? For this reason Rashi explained that the grave had been prepared there since the six days of creation, and so it was just like the case of the bathhouse. But still, since Hashem knew that there would be there an idol in the future why did He prepare the grave of Moshe opposite it? To answer this Rashi explained that this was to atone for the deed of Peor.

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