To see the Promised Land, without understanding what it is

Like Moshe, we have yet to ascend the mountain and there to gain a broader perspective of our destiny and days to come.

Phil Chernofsky,

Hiking the Land of Israel
Hiking the Land of Israel
Arutz Sheva

To see the Promised Land, without understanding what it is


In Parshat Ha'azinu, Moshe completed his song which impressed upon the people the need to observe the words of the Torah so that through their obedience to Hashem their days would be prolonged upon the land they were about to possess.

How poignant and how sad for Moshe who was now praying to ascend Mount Nevo, where he was to view the Land, only to pass from the world (Devarim 32: 48-50).


Later, the narrative continues: "Moshe ascended from the plain of Mo'av to Mount Nevo, to the summit of the cliff that faces Yericho" (ibid 34: 1). From the top of the mount, Moshe would observe vistas of the entire land that included "the Gilad as far as Dan." For we know that Moshe never entered Eretz Yisrael - yet that very Gilad where he was standing was part of the inheritance of the children of Gad and Reuven who were to settle on the east bank of the Yarden.

Indeed, that area of ​​land was part of the broader conception of Eretz Yisrael, as recorded in the divine promise to Avraham, namely, "To your descendants I have given this land, from the River of Egypt to the Great River, the Euphrates" (Acts 15:18). Standing within that territory, Moshe was free, as it were, to explore it at random. Thus, while Moshe was privy to retaining Eretz Yisrael, in a manner of speaking, he also “entered” Eretz Yisrael, even if, in reality, the Kedushah attached to that piece of land would apply only after the conquest of the western side of the Yarden by all the tribes in the times of Yehoshua.

In a way, Moshe was Eretz Yisrael, but never a part of it. Even though Moshe was standing in the Gilad, Hashem, nevertheless, had to show him that territory which was, at that time, in a state of latent potential. Likewise, we today can but dream of the Promised Land in all its Kedushah and glory. Like Moshe, we have yet to ascend the mountain and there to gain a broader perspective of our destiny and days to come.




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