Today is the the Yahrzeit and birthday of Moshe Rabbeinu. It is a tremendously auspicious day, but few people know or honor it. This is therefore also the reason why Israel's greatest enemy, Amalek - a nation whose whole purpose was (and still is) to eradicate the Jews, suffered a severe and humiliating blow.
In the time of the Purim story, Haman, the head of Amalek at that time, and his magicians cast lots (purim) in the month of Nissan, to find a weak spot in which they can devise and forge their attack. The lot (pur) fell on Adar. Haman's advisors pointed out that this is the month in which Moshe, the great and formidable leader of Israel, died. Because, like most of those judging Israel and its shortcomings, who usually have a hold of the tail-end of the true narrative due to their own half-baked doctrines, missed the point that this was also the birthday of Moshe, G-d's chosen redeemer of Israel.
So Haman, wrapped in his arrogance and hatred for Israel, decided "let it be so", ignorantly but blissfully devising his own demise.
In short, great miscalculations and awful judgments that by design backfire, are made regarding Israel when people underestimate Moshe, the only man who knew the Creator of the world, face to face.
For many, Moshe is but another character in the Biblical narrative. Perhaps, by looking at the day of Moshe's death and the events that transpired that day, we can remedy this misconception.
When the time came for Moshe to die, he implored G-d to allow him to enter the land. His prayer was so strong that all the worlds started to shake and the angels thought that the renewal of the world has begun. The Almighty said that it was not that time yet and proclaimed at each gate of each firmament that Moshe's prayer was not to be accepted. When Moshe then started to pray, G-d told the celestial angels (we're talking the big cannons here), to quickly descend and close the gates of each firmament as Moshe's prayer was like a sharp sword that pierces and severs every obstacle.
Moreover, we are reminded that none of the angels, in fear and reverence wanted to be the one to take and escort Moshe's soul. Not Gavri'el or Micha'el. On the other hand, the chief of the Satans (whom I choose not to mention here in this article) was waiting for the opportunity. So on G-d's request, he clothed himself in anger, girded his sword, wrapped himself in cruelty, and approached Moshe. Big mistake.
The angel found Moshe writing the ineffable Divine Name on a scroll with his appearance like the radiance of the sun and the angel was immediately filled with fear. In a careful discourse, the angel asked him to submit, giving him several reasons. Each time, Moshe refused.
The angel, also holding the position of the angel of death, told Moshe that all souls are given over to his hands at the time of death. Moshe then answered that he holds greater power than anyone who comes into the world. "What is your power?' the angel asked.
And Moshe answered...
(Now keep in mind before we proceed, we are talking about the most humble man that walked the earth. There was no pride, no arrogance in Moshe, but he knew exactly who he was.)
I am the son of Amram, and I prophesied at the age of three and said, "I am destined to receive the Torah from amidst the fire." I entered the palace of the king and removed the crown from his (Pharaoh's) head. When I was eighty, I performed wonders and miracles in Egypt and I brought six hundred thousand people out before the eyes of the Egyptians. I split the sea into twelve channels. I ascended and pave a path in the Heavens. I waged war with the angels and I vanquished the Heavenly hosts and revealed their secrets to mortal man. I spoke to the Holy One, blessed be He, face to face, and received the Torah of fire from His right hand and taught it to Israel. I waged war with Sichon and Og, the two mightiest of the nations of the world, and I struck them with my staff and killed them. I caused the sun and the moon to stop at the height of their cycles - is there another among those who come into this world that can do these things? Go and flee from me, I will not give you my soul."
Needless to say that the angel fled.
In contrast to this and in line with Moshe's humility toward G-d, when he pleads his case before G-d it is a very different approach. Moshe says to G-d: "Master of the Universe, it is known to you how I strove, and how much pain I endured, for Israel, until they came to have faith in Your Name. How much anguish I suffered on their behalf until I instilled them with Torah and mitzvot.
We further know when G-d's anger flared up against Israel, He told Moshe that He would rather make a nation out of him, on which Moshe pleaded that he would rather be wiped out from The Book than ever let any one of the children of Israel be wiped out.
We see Moshe's absolute reverential fear and love for Hashem, but also his absolute patience, dedication, and love for the people of Israel and their ultimate potential. At the same time, he knew exactly who he was and the weight of his worth.
The narrative ends when G-d Himself descends from the highest heaven to come and escort Moshe's soul. Three archangels accompanied G-d to assist in Moshe's burial. G-d then calls forth Moshe's soul and promises to escort the soul Himself to the highest of Heavens. G-d then kissed Moshe and took his soul with that kiss.
ALL of Creation wept.
In honor of Moshe Rabbeinu, read Psalm 90 today. Glean from his words and speak reverently about the most humble man that ever lived.
לִמְנוֹת יָמֵינוּ, כֵּן הוֹדַע וְנָבִא, לְבַב חָכְמָה
"Teach us how to count our days so we can bring wisdom to the heart."
Sources from Our Heritage - Eliyahu Kitov, Devarim Rabbah, Yalkut Shimoni, Midrash Tanchuma