Vezot Ha-Berakhah: Language and Translation

Several translators/commentators note Moses’ use of the expression “Presence in the Bush” — or as Fox has it “Seneh-bush dweller” — to bless Joseph. “Seneh” — samech nun hey — appears in the story of Moses meeting God in the “thorn bush” in Exodus/Shemot 3:1-6. It’s next use is here in verse 33:16:

With the bounty of earth and its fullness
And the favor of the Presence in the Bush [shochni s’neh]

This way of naming God is unique to this verse. The Torah: A Women’s Commentary adds a note that “the later concept of God’s Presence as the Shechinah comes from the same root as the expression “shochni.” For example, God promises, “And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them [v’shachanti b’tocham] in Exodus/Shemot 25:8.

Vezot Ha-Berakhah: A Path to Follow

“So Moses the servant of the LORD died there…” 34:5

Did Moses record this and the final eight lines of the Torah?

This question has engendered an intense, millenia-long conversation on the nature of Torah and prophecy. It is one of the topics covered in depth in Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Heavenly Torah: As Refracted through the Generations. And his text is a great place to begin exploring this concept.
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