BNN: Interview With Rabbi Joshua RE: Moses' 'Final Lecture'
The BNN was able to catch Rabbi Joshua, Moshe Rabbeinu’s spokesman, for a few questions:
BNN: Why did the White Tent tweet a coded message ( See A Coded Tweet) rather than spell out the topics Moshe will address?
Rabbi Joshua: Moshe wanted to catch everyone’s attention in order to ensure complete participation.
BNN: The White Tent has confirmed Rashi’s decoding of the Tweet. The “Places” named all refer to sins of our past. Is the speech going to focus on our failures?
Rabbi Joshua: The speech, or, more accurately, the series of speeches will review our history in the context of the complete Torah to better prepare us for the future.
BNN: Why did Moshe wait until his final lecture series to discuss these sensitive issues?
Rabbi Joshua: For the same reason that our patriarch Jacob waited for his deathbed words to rebuke his sons.
BNN: Why did Jacob wait?
Rabbi Joshua: Just observe what is happening in the camp even as we speak: The White Tent has learned that people have formed committees to formulate responses to the Tweet’s veiled criticisms. People are gathering just to defend themselves from Moshe’s rebuke. They are visibly upset. They know that this will be their final opportunity to argue with Moshe. In fact, Moshe wants everyone to be present so he can respond to any and all arguments. He was convinced that had he addressed this topic in any context other than a farewell lecture series, people would have walked away and severed any contact with the nation. People do not like hearing rebuke, especially if it comes long after the fact. Jacob had similar concerns about his sons: He suspected that had he rebuked Reuben for his actions toward Bilhah, that Reuben would have picked up and moved to Eisav’s family.
BNN: Are you saying that Reuben would have switched his allegiance from his father, Jacob, to Eisav, simply because of rebuke?
Rabbi Joshua: No! I am saying that Reuben’s actions were well-intended and even if they were mistaken, he did not want to face up to his mistakes every time he spoke with his father. Jacob knew that Reuben had to confront his error, but he too did not want the episode with Bilhah to permanently interfere in his relationship with his son.
BNN: Isn’t it worse to spend the rest of your life recalling that your dying father’s final words were rebuke?
Rabbi Joshua: Jacob’s final words were not rebuke. His final words were blessings immediately following the rebuke. Reuben would always remember that his father said, “You made mistakes, but I love you and bless you.” This is what the Children of Israel will recall from this lecture series.
BNN: Is this also a message to future generations?
Rabbi Joshua: I’ll let your listeners & readers figure that out.
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