September 24, 2007

Breadcrumb: Where's Moses?

In the last chapter of Deuteronomy, Deut. 34, Moses dies and is buried in Moab. The only problem: no one today knows where his grave lies, other than "over against Bethpeor." (Deut. 34:6) There is, in fact, a highly practical reason that no one knows the site of Moses' grave: it must not be allowed to become a place of worship. In Christianity, the graves of martyrs for the faith (ie: saints) became pilgrimage sites, where the faithful go in order to pray to the saints as intermediaries between the seeker and God. In Judaism, there is no intermediary: anyone is thought to be able to pray directly to God. Therefore, there is no need, and in fact great danger, in having pilgrims seek Moses' tomb: they may start worshipping him instead of God, which is the last thing he would want.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Possible exception: Alharam Alibrahimi (Cave of the Patriarchs)?

- Marc