Is there any significance to the fact that our great teacher, Moshe Rabeinu, passed away on the same day that he was born?
The Gemara (Rosh Hashana 11a) says it has great significance. It comes to teach us that he completely filled out his allotment of years. And that’s a demonstration that הקב”ה יושב וממלא שנותיהם של צדיקים מיום ליום, that Hashem makes sure that a tzadik lives the full days of his life” (ibid.). Moshe Rabeinu was decreed one hundred and twenty years. Some of us are decreed seventy, some are decreed eighty, some are decreed fifty. Shmuel Hanavi was decreed fifty-two years and no more. Those were his years. Unfortunately, most people don’t fill out their years. It’s a blessing to fill out all your years like Moshe Rabeinu did. את מספר ימיך אמלא – “I’ll fill out the number of your years,” said Hashem.
I’ll explain that. You went to the vice president of the bank and you asked him for a loan. And you told him a sob story, that you need it, that you would like to do a certain kind of business, that it’s good for the community, that it will build up the neighborhood; you told him that the bank will have a lot of new people moving in and they’ll do business with this bank. So you convince him and he gives you a loan. Let’s say he gives you fifty thousand dollars. And he gives it to you for five years, and you’re going to pay him back in small allotments.
Now suppose he hears that you are ruining yourself with the money. You are making very unwise investments and you are getting more and more deeply involved in debts. And he sees that if you are going to have the money for a longer time, you are going to ruin yourself completely. So therefore, he calls you in and he says, “I want the money back. If you won’t give it back to me, I’ll have to crack down on you.” He’s doing you a favor; that’s really what he’s doing. Hakodosh Boruch Hu sees that a man is not utilizing his years properly, and that the longer he lives, the more he is doing sins, the more he is crawling deeper and deeper into the mire, into the mud, and soon his nose will sink beneath the quicksand and he’ll be ruined. So Hakodosh Boruch Hu tries to recall him while there is still time. He saves him by cutting short his life. And so if Moshe Rabeinu was given the full number of his days, it’s because he was utilizing his life to the utmost.
TAPE # 114 (February 1976)