Parashat VaYelech describes G‑d's final admonitions to Moses before his death. Amongst these is the following:

"G‑d said to Moses: 'Behold, you [now go to] lie with your ancestors, and this people will rise up and go astray after the strange gods of the land into which it is entering, and they will forsake Me and abrogate My covenant that I made with them. Then My anger will flare up against them, and I will abandon them and hide My face from them. They shall be ready prey; and many evils and troubles shall befall them. And they shall say on that day, "Surely it is because our G‑d is not in our midst that these evils have befallen us." Yet I will keep My face hidden on that day, because of all the evil they have done in turning to other gods.'" (Deut. 31:16-18)

You already know what our Sages said concerning the verse: "and there did not arise in Israel another prophet like Moses" (Deut. 34:10) - that in Israel no such prophet arose, [but there did arise a comparable prophet amongst the gentiles, i.e. Balaam]. (Bamidbar Rabba 14:20)

Moses…is the spiritual force that grants us divine consciousness….

According to the Sages, G‑d granted Balaam the gift of prophecy in order to test the gentile nations. Had they not had a prophet similar to Moses, they could argue that they did not accept G‑d's sovereignty the way the Jews did because they had no leader of the stature the Jews did. G‑d therefore gave them a prophet of similar stature to Moses, but the gentile nations still did not take advantage of this, and chose instead to remain distant from G‑d.

Both Moses and Balaam personified daat - the former in holiness, and the latter in evil.

As we know, daat is the sefira of consciousness. Chochma and bina refer to abstract intellect, while daat is the faculty of intellect that interprets Chochma and bina vis-a-vis their relevance to the individual. Moses, the transmitter of the Torah, our glimpse into G‑d's mind, is the spiritual force that grants us divine consciousness, and thus personifies holy daat.

Evil daat is simply all types of consciousness that are not G‑d-oriented, from the simply self-centered to the overtly antagonistic.

At first, the good [daat] and the evil [daat] were intermixed because of the sins of Adam and Abel, but afterwards this was rectified and Moses was born embodying the good and holy [daat] alone. This is the mystical meaning of the verse [describing Moses' birth:] "And she [Moses' mother] saw him, that he was good." (Ex. 2:2)

[As a result of this] Balaam was separated from him, counterbalancing him as [the embodiment of] evil daat. This is the mystical meaning of the phrase [Balaam uses to describe himself:] "knowing the supernal knowledge". (Num. 24:16)

Indeed, Moses' generation is called "the generation of knowledge", for their consciousness was defined by their knowledge of G‑d. Counterbalancing them was the Mixed Multitude, whose consciousness was defined by evil knowledge.

As we know, a "mixed multitude" of gentiles left Egypt together with the Jews. Moses converted these converts to Judaism on his own, without consulting G‑d on this. Oral tradition tells us that this multitude was in fact not ready for this spiritual leap, and caused much trouble during the forty-year trek in the desert. Specifically, we see here that they did not make the change from worldly/self-oriented consciousness to divine consciousness.

To explain: [the Mixed Multitude embodied] the sparks of [holiness present in] the seminal emissions that issued from Adam during the 130 years [he abstained from marital relations with Eve] as explained elsewhere, and were not yet rectified.

Wasted seminal emission is the archetypal form of self-indulgence and self-orientation….

Wasted seminal emission is the archetypal form of self-indulgence and self-orientation. Although Adam separated from his wife because he did not wish to bring children into the world that would suffer the fate of death that his sin had introduced, his misplaced altruism was in fact selfish in motivation. He did not want to experience the suffering brought about by his sin; his actions were not motivated by concern for what G‑d wanted in the world: a world of human beings that - it is true - were not on the same level as mankind had been intended to be at, but who would rise to the challenge of rectifying the world nonetheless.

The result of Adam's selfish self-imposed estrangement from his wife was the proliferation of selfish, non-G‑d-directed energy in the world.

Moses desired to take them out [of the realm of evil] before their time and rectify them then [i.e. in his time]. The Egyptian exile was for both of them [i.e. the Jews and the Mixed Multitude] for it was spiritually [the exile of] supernal daat, as we have explained previously regarding the mystical meaning of the verse "descend there" (Gen. 42:2), and Israel and the Mixed Multitude were both manifestations of daat. Thus, the numerical value of the words for "mixed multitude" is the same for that of daat.

"Mixed multitude" in Hebrew is "Erev Rav", spelled ayin-reish-beit reish-beit = 70 + 200 + 2 + 200 + 2 = 474.

"Daat" is spelled dalet-ayin-tav = 4 + 70 + 400 = 474.

With this, you will understand the meaning of the verse, "Behold, you [now go to] lay with your ancestors, and the people will rise up…." This is one of those verses open to alternative interpretations, for the verb "and will rise up" can apply to what comes before it [i.e. Moses] or what follows it [i.e. the people]. Both interpretations are true. Moses will arise again, meaning that he will be reincarnated in the last generation, and so will the Mixed Multitude. With this meaning, the verse reads, "And the people will rise up…," referring to the Mixed Multitude.

This is alluded to in the phrase, "into which they are entering [there]", the word for "there" being a permutation of the name "Moses", indicating that Moses will be reincarnated amongst them, inasmuch as they all are a manifestation of daat, [as is Moses].

"There" in Hebrew is "shamah", spelled shin-men-hei.

"Moses" in Hebrew is "Moshe", spelled mem-shin-hei.

In most cases the women of this generation dominate the men - especially the wives of Torah scholars….

Indeed, this reincarnation is a very mysterious thing. The explanation is that there is no generation without some manifestation of Moses [who returns] in order to complete the generation of the desert, for the generation of the desert will also return and be reincarnated in our last generation.

This is why in most cases the women of this generation dominate the men - especially the wives of Torah scholars. The reason is that [the men of our generation lived previously and] were present at the incident of the Golden Calf and did not resist the Mixed Multitude. Since their wives did not want to contribute their gold jewelry [toward the making of the calf], the women therefore dominate them.

The women, not tainted by the sin of the Golden Calf, are thus on a superior spiritual level than the men.

In any case, we see that our generation is a reincarnation of the Generation of the Desert, and that the Mixed Multitude has also been reincarnated, and Moses is together with both of them.

The continuation of this passage can be similarly interpreted:

In the following passages, the standard translation takes the object of G‑d's scorn in the plural, referring to the people. In the Hebrew, however, the people are sometimes referred to in the plural and at other times collectively, in the singular (as "the people" is a singular noun). This allows for the interpretations we are about to see.

"Then My anger will flare up against them, and I will abandon them and hide My face from them": This refers to the Mixed Multitude, since it is couched in the plural.

"They shall be ready prey; and many evils and troubles shall befall them": This is [in the original Hebrew] couched in the singular, and thus refers to Moses. [His suffering as depicted here] is similar to [that of Israel's redeemer, as described in the verse:] "For he has suffered our sickness, and G‑d has visited upon him the sins of us all." (Isaiah 53:46)

"…because of all the evil they have done…": This [being in the singular] again refers to Moses, [the evil he did being] that he accepted the Mixed Multitude. As it is said, "for your people have corrupted…" (Ex. 32:7)

When speaking to Moses of the incident of the Golden Calf, G‑d refers to the Mixed Multitude, who instigated the sin, as "your people, who corrupted" the Jews.

"And they shall say on that day, 'Surely it is because our G‑d is not in our midst…'": [This, too is in the singular, and thus refers to Moses. G‑d "not being in his midst"] means that his return is not a result of his soul being impregnated with another soul [ibur] but is a result of reincarnation. When a person is reincarnated, the soul that enters the new body originates in his own soul-root. In the case of impregnation [ibur], in contrast, a soul from a different, soul-root is grafted onto the original soul. This happens with righteous individuals; since they possess a great amount of holiness, and are aware of their various incarnations, they cling to [this other soul] in their thought, aligning their animating soul [Nefesh] with his soul, their spirit [Ruach] with his spirit, and their intellectual soul [Neshama] with his, [drawing his into theirs].

This grafting of soul to soul does not occur with the ongoing reincarnation of Moses' soul; his own soul is all that is reincarnated as the leader of every generation. He continues to suffer from generation to generation as he progressively accomplishes the task of rectifying the world's consciousness, reorienting the minds of both the Jewish people the Mixed Multitude from self-centeredness to G‑d-centeredness.

Translated and adapted by Moshe-Yaakov Wisnefsky from Sefer HaLikutim and Likutei Torah, parashat VaYeilech; subsequently published in "Apples From the Orchard."

Reprinted with permission from Chabad of California. Copyright 2004 by Chabad of California, Inc. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, without permission, in writing, from Chabad of California, Inc.