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Meditations on the Life of Moses, Our Great Legislator, Appointed for the 7th Adar, the Anniversary of his Death, by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau (1852)

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Devoted to the service of Truth, guided by a holy zeal for the good, strengthened by piety and philanthropy, lived Moses, the servant of God, and the great benefactor of mankind; listening only to the dignifying call of duty, following only the behests of his Divine Master; and thus, high greatness combined with deep humility, true dignity joined to unfeigned meekness, distinguished his divine career. The allurements to evil never shook his faith; neither the dangers of the sea, nor the disasters of the desert could daunt him; neither the ingratitude of strangers tolerated by him ערב רב, nor the rebellious band of Ḳoraḥ could dishearten him; for purity gave courage, benevolence inspired, and confidence in God strengthened him.

Not in vain did this great man sacrifice his very existence to the call appointed to him by God, for thousands of years have already passed away in the lap of time, and yet ripen the fruit of his blissful seed; yet millions walk by the light, the rays of which he diffused from Sinai’s mount by Divine Command. Who can survey the fulness of the blessings spread by Moses? Who can comprehend to its full extent the light and peace, the joy and the hope which he disseminated in the midst of Israel, and rendered happy a whole nation for time everlasting?

So much a pure and holy will is able to accomplish; so much sublime power is in man. Therefore will I thank Thee, O Eternal, for the fulness of Thy gifts; I will praise Thee for every ray of truth, for every power to exercise virtue, and for every resistance to temptation. Then only, when we shall have accomplished all, may the eve of life set in, and then our end shall be mild and serene, like that of our Legislator. Whoever, like Moses, strives upward for enlightment and virtue, he garners treasures for eternity. Whoever, like this godly man, trusts to the Father of all, feels soft repose, and walks in serenity. Whoever, like unto Moses, promotes philanthropy, and dries the tears of the sufferer, honours God; whoever follows the path of acknowledged good with sacred truth, achieves the highest diadem attainable by man.

To perform that which he taught, in the name of God, was his last prayer; to perform it be our pride; to follow the Word of God be our only striving: Amen.




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