Parashat Devarim

We begin the book of Devarim, in which Moses, before his death, tells his disciple Yehoshua that he must lead Bnei Yisrael to the Promised Land with courage: “Do not be afraid, for Hashem will fight for you”, for just as He annihilated the two “Amorite” kings, He will also destroy the other peoples. But if Am Yisrael had witnessed the miracles during the 40 years in the wilderness, why was it necessary for Moshe to tell them to trust in Hashem? Many think that trusting in Hashem means recognizing that He has a plan for the world. But that is only the beginning, since trust should not be passive, i.e., “no matter what happens, everything will happen according to His plan”. When Am Israel crossed the sea, they did not just think that everything would turn out for the best, or that God would save them from the Egyptians, but: “If we go into the water with complete confidence, God will perform a miracle and open the sea”. That level of confidence that they had altered the reality when everyone was united in that thought, and that was the message that Moshe transmitted to Yehoshua before entering Eretz Israel: God will fight for you, do not be afraid, you only need to be united, if you see someone crestfallen, or afraid, encourage him, because the union of Am Israel has the strength to perform miracles.