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    Reaching the end – Vayelech

    At the end of his life Moses put his teachings into a book ad tummam, “until they were finished” (Deut. 31:24).

    Obviously every book has an end. Obviously Moses’ message eventually came to a “finis”! But how was Moses to know when he had reached the end?

    The teaching of Pir’kei Avot is that no-one can ever claim, “My life’s message is finished”. Pir’kei Avot says, “It is not your duty to finish the task” – lo alecha ham’lachah lig’mor. When you finish a task you have never finished it. You always leave something unfinished for other people to take up and continue.

    In the case of Moses we, his descendants, can and must say, “It is our responsibility to add to our teacher’s work… but the task will never be completely finished.”

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