Judaism: Spirituality in the Parsha: Chukat
Rabbi Dr. Yakov NagenThe writer, a musmach of YU and Ph.d. from the Heb. Univ. of Jerusalem, is head of the Otniel hesder yeshiva kollel..His books (Hebrew) include “Nishmat HaMishna”, “Water, Creation and Divinity: Sukkot in the Philosophy of Halacha” and “Awaking to a New Day: Stories and Insights from Life”.
Is what Moshe did an unforgivable sin?
The end is in sight.
After forty years of Moshe waiting inthe desert, his dream of entering the land seems about to be realized.
Suddenly, Moshe does one misstep and all is lost forever.
Instead of speaking to the rock to make water flow from it, he strikes it and a result he is denied entry to the land of Israel.
Moshe’s punishment seems extreme, and even more puzzling is G-d’s refusal to revoke the punishment, despite Moshe’s heart wrenching entreaties, despite all that Moshe has done in the service of G-d.
How can we understand it?