Even though parshat V'zot Ha'bracha is read over and over again during Simchat Torah it is one of the least understood and least studied parshiot of the Chumash. With all the hustle and bustle of the Yamim Tovim in general, and with the atmosphere of Simchat Torah in particular, serious study of this parsha tends to be neglected. Compounding the problem is the generally obscure and complex nature of the parsha , making the deciphering of the blessings that Moshe bestowed upon the Jewish people most difficult.
"This is the blessing that Moshe, the man of G-d, bestowed upon the Israelites just before his death" (33:1). This appellation, man of G-d, is used nowhere else to describe Moshe Rabbeinu. Furthermore, in describing the death of Moshe, the Torah tells us (again for the first time) that Moshe was the "servant of G-d" (34:5). Apparently, being a man of G-d means being a servant of G-d; and there was no greater servant than Moshe Rabbeinu. Moshe's entire career was devoted to bringing G-d's message to the Jewish people. In all of human history there is no one who toiled harder and more faithfully than he. "No other prophet arose in Israel like Moshe, who knew G-d face to face" (34:10).
While each and every human being is created btzelem Elokim, in the image of G-d, it is up to us to convert the tzelem, the image, into an ish Elokim , a man of G-d. In Biblical Hebrew the word ish implies importance, dignity and accomplishment. However, it was only after forty years that Moshe reached this level of ish haElokim .
When we first meet Moshe, we meet a person who, though he comes to the aid of his fellow Jew under attack, is not quite sure if he is primarily an Egyptian or a Jew. As he arrives in Midian, he witnesses a group of young women who are being harassed by a group of male shepherds. Moshe forcefully intervenes, enabling the women to quickly water their sheep. When the daughters arrive home early they tell their father that "An ish Mitzri, Egyptian man, saved us from the shepherds" (Exodus 2:19). The Midrash notes that unlike Yosef, who never hid his identity from his Egyptian hosts, Moshe tried to hide his Jewish identity. After all, why create unnecessary problems? Thus, the Midrash claims, Yosef merited to be buried in the land of Israel whereas Moshe did not.
Moshe the Egyptian hesitates and even refuses to assume the mission that G-d has set for him. When he does finally relent and his task proves to be a difficult one he complains bitterly, "my Lord, why have You done evil to this people, why have You sent me? From the time I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name he did evil to this people, but You did not rescue your people" (Exodus 5:22-23). The Midrash cites G-d's response, and I paraphrase: "Where are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Even though their lives were fraught with many difficulties they never questioned My promise to them. Why Moshe, do you lack this emunah, faith in Me?"
With some Divine prodding, Moshe rose to the challenge of leadership. For forty years he devoted every fibre in his body to carrying out G-d's will and bringing G-d's message to man. The Egyptian man transformed into the man of G-d.
Rav Sa'adya Gaon explains that being a man of G-d means being the messenger of G-d. As we continue maturing throughout our lives, we must realize that we are all messengers of G-d. We must carry that message with joy and dignity, as we each in our own way become ish haElokim , people of G-d.