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Friday, July 31

The Weekly Shtikle - Va'eschanan

At the beginning of this week's parsha, after Moshe makes his plea to enter Eretz Yisroel, he is told (3:27) to go to the top of the mountain, to lift his eyes west, north, south and east and see with his eyes for he will not cross the Jordan River. Why is he told to see with his eyes? What other part of the body would he otherwise have seen with?

When Moshe delivers his plea, he begins by emphasizing that HaShem had begun to show him His Greatness and Powerful Hand. Surely, Moshe was not referring to having been shown these visually. We know that he was denied that privilege. Here, the term "re'iah" does not refer to physical seeing as it often does, but rather to an experience. Moshe had witnessed and experienced HaShem's greatness. He then asks to be allowed to cross over and "see" the good land, the good mountain and the Levanon. Surely, Moshe wanted more than to see the land. Here again, Moshe Rabbeinu is asking not to see the land but to live it and experience its greatness. HaShem denies Moshe and grants him only to climb the mountain and see the land. That is why he is told to see with his eyes, indicating that he will not be granted the "re'iah" he yearned but rather, only a physical "re'iah" with his eyes.

Have a good Shabbos

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