Vezot HaBrachah (“And This is the Blessing”) is the final Portion in the Torah Cycle, which recounts the blessings that Moses gave to each of the twelve tribes of Israel before his death. Echoing Jacob’s blessings to his twelve sons five generations earlier, Moses assigns and empowers each tribe with its individual role within the community of Israel.
Vezot HaBrachah then relates how Moses ascended Mount Nebo from whose summit he saw the Promised Land. “And Moses the servant of G-d died there in the Land of Moab by the mouth of G-d… and no man knows his burial place to this day.” The Torah concludes by attesting that “There arose not a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom G-d knew face to face… and in all the mighty hand and the great awesome things which Moses did before the eyes of all Israel.”
Immediately after reading this final Torah Portion, we begin it anew by reading the first chapter of Genesis (the beginning of next Shabbat’s Torah reading) describing G-d’s creation of the world in six days and His ceasing work on the seventh–which He sanctified and blessed as a day of rest.