ואתחנן אל ה, בעת ההיא לאמר. ה, ה, אתה החלות להראות את עבדך את גדלך ואת ידך החזקה אשר מי א-ל בשמים ובארץ אשר יעשה כמעשיך וכגבורתך. אעברה נא ואראה את הארץ הטובה אשר בעבר הירדן ההר הטוב הזה והלבנן.
I entreat the Lord at that time, saying: “O Lord G-d, You have begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand…Please let me cross over and see the good land that is on the other side of the Jordan, this good mountain and Lebanon” (3:23-25)As is well known, the book of devarim recounts Moses’ last speech to the Jews before they actually enter Israel. It is full of rebuke for past misdeeds and messages for the future. He tells the Jews that Hashem has rejected his plea to enter Israel. The question is, what does Moses’ not being allowed to enter have anything to do with the future?
The Ramban writes, “He did this to inform them that he loved that land so much yet it was their fault that he wasn’t allowed to enter. The Ibn Ezra (yet another commentary) says that Moses wanted to teach the Jews a lesson for the future, “This was to make them cherish the land of Israel. For if they love the land, they will keep G-ds commandments and not be exiled from it.”
This is very appropriate as it is only a few days after Tisha B’Av.We, the Jews, have gotten so used to exile that we have forgotten that we are princes and princesses. Instead of asking to return to the kings palace (Israel), we are more concerned about our mundane, daily affairs. We don’t appreciate how truly vital Israel is to our national and individual existence. We need to heighten our appreciation for G-ds chosen land and understand that Israel is where we belong.
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