Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Pinchas - 5771
YEARNING FOR THE PROMISED LAND
With Moshe’s life nearing its end, Hashem tells the leader of the Jewish people to climb up Mount Avarim and “See the land that I am giving to the Jewish people. When you have seen it, you will be gathered to your people.” Moshe seeing -and not entering- the land is repeated several times in the Torah and commentators wonder what its significance is.
Each of the Avot, the Patriarchs, is associated with a specific quality: Avraham with Chesed, Kindness; Yitzchak with Gevurah, Self-control; and Yaakov with Emet, Truth. The quality associated with Moshe is Netzach — Eternity. Everything that Moshe did was forever and bears the quality of perpetuation and timelessness.
Although exile is a difficult reality in Jewish history, Hashem wanted that every Jew be endowed with the intrinsic desire and passion to return to the Promised Land. No matter how far removed a Jew may become, Hashem wanted to ensure that his yearning for the Holy land would never be extinguished and that ultimately through this yearning, he would return to his Jewish roots. Since Moshe had the special gift of generating “Netzach”, Eternity, Hashem commanded him to see the land. By seeing Eretz Yisrael, Moshe’s longing for it undoubtedly deepened to the highest extent. It was this powerful and burning desire that Hashem wanted Moshe to cultivate for the land of Israel in order to transfer it to the entire Jewish nation forever.