Thursday, August 14, 2008

Va'Eschanan: entering Eretz Yisrael

Parshat Va'eschanan

Moshe reviews the experience of the giving of the Torah, and how it happened. It raises the question - why did Hashem give the Torah in Chutz La'aretz? Why not take the Jews right into Eretz Yisrael and give the Torah there?

There can be a number of answers to this question, but I would like to suggest one. In 4:14 Moshe gives us an indication of why this was done ni chutz la'aretz. He tells the nation "וְאֹתִי צִוָּה יְהוָה, בָּעֵת הַהִוא, לְלַמֵּד אֶתְכֶם, חֻקִּים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים: לַעֲשֹׂתְכֶם אֹתָם--בָּאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם עֹבְרִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ" - "And Hashem commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances, that you might do them in the land where you go over to possess it. "

The Torah had to be given over in chutz la'aretz, because you cannot just go into Eretz Yisrael. You have to prepare yourself, you have to educate yourself, before you can go into Eretz Yisrael. The Jews, in order to be able to successfully acclimate to Eretz Yisrael, had to be taught the Torah prior to their having entered the land.

Only with proper learning, only with proper preparation, could they go into Eretz Yisrael. Only with proper knowledge of the mitzvos, only with a solid relationship with Hashem, only with that could their entry into Eretz Yisrael possibly be successful.

So had they entered Eretz Yisrael and then been given the Torah, perhaps it would have been a failure. They would have looked at the holiness of the land differently, and they would have perhaps looked at the goals of the Torah differently, and that would have led to their abandoning the Torah and the Land.

The parsha starts out with Moshe davening to Hashem to be allowed in to Eretz Yisrael, after he had been punished and banned from the land. He even davens just to be allowed to pass through quickly to see it. yet his pleas are rejected by Hashem.

Chazal ask why Moshe wanted so badly to go into Eretz Yisrael. What is the big deal? Hashem said no, so no. Was it so important that he needed to see the sights?
Chazal say that Moshe's strong desire to go in was because he wanted the opportunity to fulfill the mitzvos ha'tluyos ba'aretz. Again, it was for the relationshiup with Hashem that had been developed in Chutz La'aretz. It could be brought to new heights, but only in Eretz Yisrael could it reach the pinnacle.

It is a tremendous zchus to be able to go into Eretz Yisrael, and even more so to be able to live there. Even the great Moshe, our greatest Navi ever, could not get in, and could not get Hashem to change His mind on this one topic. Yet we can go there with ease. We have a tremendous opportunity and a tremendous zchus that Eretz Yisrael is so accessible to us. But we have to go in with the proper education and preparation.

1 comment:

aoc gold said...

The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,

Up in the air so blue?

Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing

Ever a child can do.


Up in the air and over the wall,

Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all

Over the countryside


Till I look down on the garden green

Down on the roof so brown
Up in the air I go flying again

Up in the air and down!
-----by runescape money