In the Torah reading of Shemini Atzeret (the portion of Zot haBerachah) we read about Moses’ passing, and the haftorah, which thematically recalls the Torah reading, is “It was after the death of Moses, G‑d’s servant.”

This raises the question: isn’t this contrary to the joy of the holiday? With the death of Moses the Jewish people lost their great captain, the faithful shepherd. Moreover, in the wilderness the clouds of glory accompanied them, they ate the manna, and they drank from the well of Miriam (all in the merit of Moses); however, now they were ready to leave the wilderness and enter the land of Canaan, where they were to begin a life of plowing and sowing, according to the laws of nature. Does this add to the rejoicing of the holiday?

An answer to this question can be found in the haftorah itself: G‑d says to Joshua “Moses my servant has died . . . be strong and very courageous to observe and to do according to the whole Torah that I commanded Moses my servant.” That is, precisely such a period reqires great strengthening and encouragement. This is also the theme of Simchat Torah

This day gives us the ability and the motivation to overcome all difficulties and fears and to serve G‑d with joy during the coming year.

(Sichat Leil Simchat Torah 5715)