End of The Desert Journey

When the children of Israel arrived at the Jordan, facing the city of Jericho, G‑d ordered them to be counted. There were more than 600,000 men over twenty years, besides the members of the families of Levi. Among the adults there was not one, except Joshua and Caleb, who had been older than twenty years at the time of the exodus from Egypt. All the older generation had died in the desert, during the forty years' wandering, as G‑d had decreed, in punishment for their rebellion.

Installation of Joshua

At that time, G‑d told Moses to go up to the mountain of Abarim and see the Promised Land, for like his brother Aaron, he was not to enter the Promised Land, because they had disobeyed G‑d's order in the Desert of Zin.

Moses then asked for a successor to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land, and G‑d pointed to his disciple Joshua. G‑d ordered Moses to put his hands on Joshua's head to invest him with full authority of leadership, and to present him to Elazar and the entire community. Moses could now die in peace, satisfied that his beloved flock would have a worthy shepherd.

Moses’ Farewell

On the first day of the eleventh month in the fortieth year after the exodus from Egypt, Moses began to review the entire Torah with the children of Israel. He reprimanded them for their sins against G‑d, and exhorted them to observe His holy commands for all time to come. Calling upon heaven and earth to bear witness, Moses warned the people of Israel of the inevitable doom that would befall them in the event that they forsook the Torah and disregarded G‑d's commands. They would then lose their land, their homes, their independence, and would be hunted and persecuted by a cruel world. But never would G‑d forsake them entirely. At the height of their sufferings, they would turn to G‑d again, and He would save them from extinction and return them to a glory greater than before.

Moses wrote down the entire five books of the Pentateuch, word for word, as dictated to him by G‑d. This scroll of the Torah was put into the Holy Ark, next to the Tables of Testimony.

Moses’ Death

Moses blessed the people of Israel for the last: time and ascended the mountain of Nebo on the seventh day of Adar in the year 2488. He stood on top of Pisgah across Jericho and looked upon the Holy Land, for which he had longed all his life, but which by G‑d's order, he was never to enter. Thus died Moses, G‑d's faithful servant and Israel's loyal shepherd, in the land of Moab, in full view of the Holy land, towards which he had led the children of Israel during forty years of wandering through the desert. Moses was 120 years old when he died.

Moses was the greatest of men. His prophecy was of a higher order than that of all other prophets. He was closer to G‑d than any human being ever was. G‑d Himself took his holy soul to heaven and buried his body in a cave, hidden from all human eyes.

For thirty days, the children of Israel mourned the death of their greatest leader. But they did not fall into despair, for left to lead them was a worthy successor to Moses, his devout disciple-Joshua.