Pinchas

Moses senses his death. He alternates between despair, frustration and pragmatic preparation. “O Lord, source of all spirit and flesh, appoint a leader!” A successor is essential, and Moses sets about the delicate process of preparing Joshua to accept the role of leader, and preparing the people to accept Joshua. He teaches Joshua, listens, explains; he holds him close, trying to project the best of himself onto his protégé. To train a disciple – and all education is the training of disciples – is to recognise the limits of one body and one life, and to yearn to transcend these. What does such a teacher need? Recognition of one’s own worth, a belief in others, and the strength to ultimately let go.

 

 

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[Inspired by: Numbers 27; Baal Haturim on 27:15 and Rashi on 27:23; and Portrait of Michaelangelo as Moses by Federico Zuccari.]

 

 

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