THOUGHTS ON VEZOT HABERACHAH
“Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands upon him” (Deuteronomy 34:9)
Moses had placed both hands on Joshua even though he had been instructed “and lay your hand upon him. (Numbers 27:18) The generosity of spirit which led Moses to give over his authority to Joshua with both hands, is expressed by an aphorism in the Talmud, “the wine is a gift from G-d; the thanks belong to the pourer.” (Bava Kamma 92b.) This is explained to mean that the pourer gives with a generous eye to the recipient who thanks him for the gesture. In our passage, the ‘pourer’ is Moses who ‘pours’ the wine of power to Joshua. He transferred his authority wholeheartedly with both hands so that the Children of Israel would thenceforth obey Joshua.
Adapted by Dayan Binstock from “The Call of the Torah” by Rabbi E. Munk