From the Rabbi:
On Moses' last day, he passes the reins of leadership on to Yehoshua. In our second of two parshas, VaYeilech, we read "Moshe called to Yehoshua and said to him as all of Yisrael watched, 'Be courageous and bold, for you shall enter with this people (tavo et ha'am hazeh) into the land that God swore to their forefathers to give them, and you will apportion it to them'" (Devarim 31:7).
A few verses later, we read almost the same verse with a slight variation. "He commanded Yehoshua bin Nun and said, 'Be courageous and bold, for you will bring B'nai Yisrael (tavi et B'nai Yisrael) to the land that I swore to them, and I will be with you'" (Devarim 31:23).
The Gemara in Sanhedrin 8a notes the similarity and points out that in the first verse, Yehoshua is just considered a member of the people (you will enter with), while in the second verse Yehoshua is described as a leader of the people (you will bring). Rabbi Yochanan states that in the first verse Moshe is instructing Yehoshua to lead the people in partnership with the Zkenim (sages). In the second verse, God is telling Yehoshua to make sure that he is in charge and that the sages are subordinate to him. There can only be only one leader of a generation and not two.
So on one hand, Yehoshua is to lead with others, while on the other hand, he is to be the leader of all others. This is similar to an idea of Rav Ze'ev Soloveitchik who cites Maimonides in saying that Moshe served a dual role. He was considered a king (appointed by God and leader of all others) as well as the head of the Sanhedrin (appointed by the people and of the people). When Moshe passed on his leadership, he only passed on the aspect of head of the Sanhedrin (as the leader with the elders). When God spoke to Yehoshua, he appointed him as king as well (leader above the people).
Let us hope and pray that we will merit leaders of our people like Moshe and Yehoshua.
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