Really Short Rashi: Mattot-Masei


This week’s parashah, Mattot Masei begins: “Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of the children of Israel, saying ‘This is the word that God commanded.’”


Rashi picks up on the fact that the phrase “this is the word” is unusual for the Torah. Why is it here? He writes, “Moses prophesied with the phrase Ko Amar Adonai, thus says God, and all of the prophets prophesied with the phrase Ko Amar Adonai, thus says God. But Moses surpasses them because he also prophesied with the phrase Zeh Hadavar, this is the word.

Greek Orthodox icon of Moses.


So Moses is extra special; truly there never arose another prophet quite like him. I find it interesting that Rashi suggests these phrases, which could be simple introductions, are actually a tool for sharing divine wisdom. Which phrases prepare you to recognize transformative words? What language authenticates new teachings? What is your mantra, your ritual formula that unlocks your subconscious and allows you to tap into the sacred?