This week’s Torah portion is about accepting change. And I’m not talking about loose change.
A guy named Zelophehad dies…and unlucky for him, Zelophehad had no sons, no one to pass his inheritance to. But he did have daughters. And these daughters were angry that their father’s lot would not be given to them. So they protest to Moses and Moses talks to G-d. The result: G-d agrees that sexism is unfair, and the law of inheritance is passed so that women would be included.
Another change happens: Moses knows that his time is running out on this Earth. The Hebrews are about to enter the Promised Land and Moses does not get to go with them. So G-d tells Moses that Joshua will be the new leader. Moses is commanded to lay his hands upon Joshua in front of the Hebrews showing his status as the future Jewish Commander In Chief.
Change is tough: it forces people to confront their boundaries and limits. It’s easier to keep life as static and simple as possible, so you’ll never experience growing paints. But change is a part of life. Get over it. Move on.
So Moses hands the keys to the kingdom over to Joshua. Here’s this guy, hand picked by G-d out of all of the Israelites, to be the new leader. Even with how Moses must have felt about turning things over to “the new guy”, there had to be some sense of trust there. I mean, G-d chose Joshua!
G-d told Moses who would be the next leader. I know that if I were retiring from a company that I started if G-d told me who would be my successor I would trust His judgment. So in this there is some comfort to Moses, that the guy taking his place was at least good enough to be selected by the Divine. And that is important.
G-d knew Joshua wasn’t Moses, and he never would be. G-d knew the time for Moses was over, it was time for a fresh perspective, some new leadership. Was Joshua going to screw up? Of course! Obviously even Moses messed up. But that’s okay.
What that says to me is that Hashem knows that things change (He made them that way!) so sometimes new leadership is necessary. And even Moses had to learn that, to trust in the way that things were going and that G-d wouldn’t let things get out of hand.