<i>Vaetchanan</I>: A Source of Blessing

The Gemara in Sota explains that Moshe Rabbeinu wanted to go into Eretz Yisrael in order to do the mitzvot that can only be done here.

Aloh Naaleh,

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Arutz 7
The Gemara in Sota explains that Moshe Rabbeinu wanted to go into Eretz Yisrael in order to do the mitzvot that can only be done here. In other words, Moshe was not willing to accept the fact that since he had not yet arrived in the promised land, he was excused from doing those mitzvot, and he begged for a way to obligate himself by entering the land.

He did not think that the transfer of leadership from himself to Yehoshua was problematic, or that he needed more honor than he had received in his life, but that the lack of mitzvot was an essential lack in his life that he wanted to fix before he died. In other words, even the mitzvot connected to the land are not optional or conditional, in the view of Moshe Rabbeinu, but present a challenge that should be attained if at all possible.

For Moshe, who knew the Torah better than any other Jew it was not sufficient to be able to learn the laws of Eretz Yisrael, he also had to participate in doing the mitzvot as directed by the Torah. In fact, one might argue that going to Eretz Yisrael (called Aliyah), is entirely connected to fulfilling the various mitzvot connected to the land.

In our own time, Rabbi Avraham Borenstein of Sochachov (1830-1910) dealt with the question of Aliyah, and came to the following conclusions (Avnei Nezer, 2, 454). Dwelling in the land enables the execution of the mitzvot connected to the land. Further, if people live in the land and do the mitzvot, this will enhance the sanctity of the land. This will ensure that the land becomes a source of blessing, which in the case of Eretz Yisrael is always the result of divine will.

For the Sochachover, living in the land was as great an imperative for him and those in his time as it was for Moshe Rabbeinu. Perhaps Moshe's cry to be allowed to enter the land was the ultimate rationale for the Sochachover in modern times.
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Rabbi Chaim Brovender is the Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshivat Hamivtar-Orot Lev.

The foregoing commentary was distributed by the Aloh Naaleh organization.



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