Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Va'etchanan
קטגוריה משנית
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicatedin the memory of

Amram son of Sultana

The Parashah begins with Moshe Rabbenu’s prayer that he be permitted :
"to cross over and see the good land on the other side of the Jordan River, the good hill country and the Levanon."
The Or Hahayyim (R. Hayyim Ibn Atar) raises two questions concerning this pasuk. First, why did Moshe use the expression "na" ("Eebra na")? Rashi states that na denotes "a request." The Siftei Hakhamim comments, however, that na usually means "now." Why, asks the Or Hahayyim, does Moshe request that he go to Eretz Yisrael "now"? And second, why "cross over and see"? Is it not obvious that when Moshe would enter Eretz Yisrael, he would see it?

To answer these questions, the Or Hahayyim quotes Hazal that Moshe was barred from entering Eretz Yisrael for two reasons.
First , the time had come for Yehoshua to assume leadership, and it is well known that the rule of two leaders cannot overlap for even a second.
And second , Bnei Yisrael were destined to sin and turn away from Hashem, and He would have to punish them for their transgressions. It would be preferable that Hashem destroy the Beit Hamikdash, and not Bnei Yisrael. But, as Hazal say, had Moshe led Bnei Yisrael into Eretz Yisrael and built the Beit Hamikdash, it could never have been destroyed by any nation or people (see Or Hahayyim on Devarim 1:37).

We now understand the use of the terms "na" and "see." Moshe says to Hashem, "Ebrah na ve’er’eh" - let me enter Eretz Yisrael, not as the leader of Bnei Yisrael, but as an ordinary person. I wish only to see the land, not to build anything in it.
Moshe’s love for Eretz Yisrael was so great that he was prepared to forego his position of leadership and forfeit the privilege of building the Beit Hamikdash just for the opportunity of being in Eretz Yisrael.

Certainly the consideration that Jews in the Diaspara give to the difficulties of Aliyah and the sacrifices that must be made for its sake - in many cases exaggerated or perhaps even imagined - pale in comparison with the sacrifice that Moshe Rabbenu was prepared to make for the privilege of entering Eretz Yisrael.

This is a weekly column contributed by Aloh Naaleh an organization devoted to motivating Jews to make Aliya.
Aloh Na'aleh
POB 4337, Jerusalem 91042
Tel: 972-2-566-1181 ext. 320 ~ Fax: 972-2-566-1186
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