Bnei Yisrael were camped in the land of Moav, just outside of Eretz Yisrael. On the first day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, in the year 2488, almost 40 years after the Great Exodus. Moshe called the people to gather together – Kol Yisrael, “all Bnei Yisrael” – men, women and children. Miraculously, everyone (over two million people!) was able to hear everything their leader had to say.
Standing before the entire congregation, Moshe spoke in a loud and clear voice, as HaShem describes in His Torah, “his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.”
Moshe waited until just the right moment to give his final set of speeches before passing from this world. It came after a lifetime of doing so much for his people.
“Let us listen carefully to our great and wise leader, Moshe,” they said to each other, as they moved closer to him, soaking in every word he said.
“Great leader is not the word! He is an INCREDIBLE leader!”
“Incredible? He’s courageous! Not like your typical leaders who are only good at giving orders…. Moshe himself leads the way!”
“And what do you say about Moshe’s single-handed victory over the mighty giant, King Og of Bashan? He tsooshmettered him!”
“Tsooshmettered? What’s that?”
“Crushed, crumpled, destroyed, demolished, shattered, and totally wiped him out. That king is history!”
Bnei Yisrael took Moshe’s words the right way – not as criticism, but as words of wisdom from their faithful leader. They had witnessed the great things that Moshe had done for Bnei Yisrael, and they understood how much he wanted them to “scrub themselves clean from the past” and enter the Holy Land as holy people.
Imagine someone addressing a crowd of tens of thousands of people. Without an amazing super strong sound system only a handful of people would be able to hear.
So how was Moshe’s heard in front of the entire Jewish nation, before the age of technology?
Well, every single Jew heard his voice loud and clear and it was thanks to HaShem’s miraculous sound system. Indeed, every single member of the Jewish nation, that’s over 2 million people, were able to hear every single word!
Why was it so important that everybody hear?
Simple! It’s because Moshe didn’t want anyone to say afterwards, “If I would have heard “the son of Amram’s” criticism, I would have answered him…!” (“The son of Amram” was not a very nice way of referring to Moshe Rabbeinu.)
Now that everyone heard the words of Moshe loud and clear, nobody could have that claim.
Rebuke… admonition… reprimanding… scolding… Sounds tough, but Bnei Yisrael took it very well. They knew that Moshe loved them and always had their best interests at heart.
That’s why our sages called the generation that entered Eretz Yisrael, Dor De’ah, a “wise generation.”