Moshe Rabbenu reaches the border of Eretz Yisrael and yearns with all his heart to enter "the good land that is beyond the Yarden" (Devarim iii, 25). There are those who think that Moshe's entire desire to enter Eretz Yisrael is because the land is good from a material aspect, as the spies said, "and they brought us back word, and said, 'Good is the land that Hashem our G-d is giving to us'" (i, 25). However, the continuation of Moshe's words proves otherwise, for Moshe proceeds to say, "the good land…this good mountain and Lebanon." The mountain refers to the mount of the house of Hashem, which is the place where the Shechina is revealed to the world, and it is called Lebanon, as it whitens (malbin) Israel's sins and atones for them. We learn from this that Moshe's definition of a "good land" is a spiritual one. Eretz Yisrael is unlike other lands, for it is the land of Hashem and is therefore holier than other lands. The pinnacle of its sanctity is the Bet Mikdash from which all Eretz Yisrael draws its value. The atonement of the Bet Mikdash results from its separation from the usual materialism and its connection to the loftier roots of life. Therefore a person who makes a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary has the ability to overcome his material chains and return to his Divine roots, which constitutes true teshuva. This is Moshe's important teaching concerning the value of Eretz Yisrael.
Chazal teach us that Israel sinned in a double-measure, were punished with a double-measure and are comforted by a double-measure, as we read in the Haftara, "Take comfort, take comfort My people, says your G-d" (Yishayahu xl, 1). Moshe Rabbenu, when speaking to the people, informs them that they will sin in a double-measure, "and make a graven image, the form of any thing, and do that which is evil in the sight of the Hashem your G-d, to provoke Him." Likewise regarding the punishment Moshe says, "you shall utterly perish," and afterwards, "you shall be utterly destroyed" (iv, 26).
Moshe Rabbenu says to Israel, "But Hashem was wroth with me on your account [also: for your sake], and did not listen to me; and Hashem said to me: 'Let it suffice you; speak no more to Me of this matter'" (iii, 26).
(Moshe provides them with a similar statement in Parshat Devarim, "Hashem was also angry with me because of you" (i, 37), and likewise later on - "and Hashem was angry with me for your words" (iv, 21).)
In our case, it can be explained that Hashem was angry with Moshe and did not listen to his pleas for our sake, meaning we must learn an important lesson from this situation for all times. Throughout our history we will be disconnected from Eretz Yisrael on the practical level and we will have to preserve an inner and spiritual connection with the land, so that we will be worthy when the time comes to return there, build it, and reach our lives' perfection in the building of the Bet Mikdash. Yet because of the lengthy time period, despair from redemption is always round the corner, for we pray and pray generation after generation and yet still remain in the same state of exile without obvious change. Therefore Moshe teaches us that he also prayed, and while he did not merit entering the land his deeds and spiritual actions were beneficial, as his student Yehoshua merited entering Israel into the land. And thus Hashem says to him "But charge Yehoshua, and encourage him and strengthen him; for he shall pass before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which you will see: (3, 28).
Today, when we have already merited returning to the land, there are those who are impatient, for whom the redemption processes are too slow for their tastes, and at times it also seems that there are retreats. They despair to the extent that they wonder whether this is indeed the beginning of the flourishing of our redemption (reishit tzemichat geulateinu). However we are commanded to learn from Moshe Rabbenu and remain faithful to our inner vision of faith, and we and our children will merit, G-d willing, the arrival of the redeemer.
"And you shall love Hashem your G-d with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength" (vi, 5). Love is an inner emotion. We are commanded to raise up this wonderful force, love, to Hakadosh Boruch Hu. But emotions alone are insufficient and must be expressed through actions: "with all your heart" = with both of your inclinations; "with all your soul" = even if He takes your soul; "and with all your strength" = with all your money.
G-d willing, when we merit living a complete and comprehensive life we will also merit "Take comfort, take comfort My people."
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