The Portion of V’Zot Habracha

Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12

V’Zot Habracha is the final portion of the Torah. In it, Moses blesses each of the tribes, as is customary in the Bible for parents to bless their children before dying. When Moses is done, God instructs him to ascend the mountain where he will survey the land before being “gathered to his fathers”. Finally, the portion — and the Torah — ends with a reckoning of what it was that made Moses so unique.


It should be noted that this portion is not read on the Sabbath. Rather, it is read on the holiday of Simchat Torah, in which the Torah reading cycle is completed and restarted, amid much joyous celebration.

Comments ( 8 )

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  • Yael

    Thank you all for your comments and explanations. I am learning so much! I also believe that Moshe’s tomb would become a place of idol worship, and so his burial place is known only by HaShem.

    • Lisa Gauger

      I agree 100%.

  • Kimberly Scott

    Because he belonged to the Lord and the Lord did not chose to share that information about his Prophet. After all, He is the creator of the universe and is not required to share the information.

  • 1. A sign:As he lived so he died humble and therefore an unknown grave
    2. To prevent idolatry and worship of dead.
    3. as a sign our Rebbes say opposite Beth Peor (the sinning place) as a guarding sign
    4. So that the people of the diasporah should more easily can come into the land together with Moshe (also from the outside of the country)

  • I agree with you all. To add, Moshe's body just like for all saints died, but his spirit lives on.

  • Sheila

    Agree with your thoughts Herman, and thank you Ahuva for you explanation. Moses did not have a normal death and burial —- the greatest prophet, his mighty miracles and writings — I sense that as he is linked with Elijah in the Book of Mark 9:4 that perhaps he ,too may have been taken up by the Lord —- as you mentioned Ahuva about Moses’s presence outside the land.

  • Herman

    Moshe ‘s burial place is unknown, I think, because otherwise his grave might have become, at that time and in this, a place of worship, a place of idolatry. It ‘s the wisdom of HaShem and maybe even also a prophetic thing that performed this. Isn’t Moshe a shadow of the coming of Messiach and Messiach has no burial place but will live on l’olam? He will lead us in paths of righteousness and free us ? I hope you will comment on this….

    • Herman, that is indeed the traditional explanation for the secret nature of Moshe’s tomb. Being the greatest prophet to ever have lived, there is a significant risk that people would worship him inappropriately. It is also said that Moshe’s presence outside the land will help ease the dead coming from the diaspora to reach Israel when Moshiach (the Messiah) arrives and revives the dead. Additionally, the Talmud (Sotah 13a) considers it a mark of Moshe’s humble nature that his grave be unknown.

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