Vayelech: We Are All Israelis

Moshe was an Israeli, too.

Rabbi Yehuda HaKohen,

 Rabbi Yehuda HaKohen
Rabbi Yehuda HaKohen

"Moshe went and spoke these words to all of Israel. He said to them, 'I am a hundred and twenty years old today; I can no longer go out and come in, for HaShem has said to me, "You shall not cross the Jordan." HaShem, your G-d, He will cross before you, and you shall possess them; Yehoshua, he shall cross over before you, as HaShem has spoken.' " (Devarim 31:1-3)

Moshe, who taught, guided and nurtured the Hebrew Nation for forty years in the wilderness, was not to be permitted into Eretz Canaan. The great prophet who received the Torah on Israel's behalf would have to take leave of his people just before the liberation of our homeland and the establishment of G-d's Divine Kingdom therein.

The most well known explanation for why Moshe was forbidden from crossing the Jordan is that he had once lost his patience with Israel and struck a rock in anger. The Midrash, however, explains that this incident was only
We must be careful not to refer to ourselves as German, French, American or anything else other than Israeli.
when the punishment took effect. In truth, it had been decreed decades earlier that Moshe would be prohibited from entering the western portion of Eretz Yisrael.

"G-d said to Moshe, 'Whoever acknowledges his homeland is buried in his homeland. Yosef acknowledged his homeland, as it is written, "For indeed I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews...." (Bereishit 40:15) You did not acknowledge your homeland.... How? The daughters of Yitro said, "An Egyptian man saved us from the shepherds...." (Shemot 2:19) You heard them and remained silent. Therefore you will not be buried in your homeland.' " (Devarim Rabbah 2:8)

Although he had been raised as royalty in Pharaoh's palace and had never in his life actually seen the Land of Israel, Moshe was held accountable for allowing himself to be called "an Egyptian".

Jews should be careful never to view ourselves as belonging to any nation or country other than our own. Moshe, the paradigm of Hebrew unity and responsibility - who killed an Egyptian on the spot for merely striking a Hebrew slave - was severely punished for not protesting when being referred to as an Egyptian man. This episode teaches us that we must be careful not to refer to ourselves as German, French, American or anything else other than Israeli.

It must be understood that Israel is one national entity with one common destiny, and that there are no legitimate national agendas outside of the Torah's blueprint for Redemption. And it is only through the Redemption of Israel that history's goal will be achieved and the world will reach perfection according to HaShem's Divine plan for Creation.

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