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Strength + Courage = Pride

Pride Shabbat Sermon / Parashat V’etchannan Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz
Strength + Courage = Pride
V’chazakehu v’am’tzehu ki hu ya’vor lifnei ha’am hazeh’– ‘And strengthen him and give him courage for he shall cross and go before this people’. (Deut. 3.28)
These are the words that God commands Moses to take to his brave general, Joshua. They have come to the boundary of the Promised Land and Moses is not allowed to enter after his anger flaring up when striking the rock. The people wait anxiously for further instruction. Their journey has been long and arduous, filled with peril and despair. And Joshua bin Nun must reach beyond his own fears and lead this desert generation on.
V’chazakehu v’am’tzehu’ – ‘strengthen him and give him courage’.
Joshua is bound to feel ambivalent. He’s come this far but it’s been a struggle. He is so close; all he needs to do is to cross the Jordan River, into the Promised Land, flowing with milk and honey. He will lead his people home to truest selves. Joshua has…