August 3, 2012 Vaetchanan
S.T.A.R. News & Events
Here are S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:
September 9, 2012
Join STAR as we kick off the new year for kids at Rosh Hashana Live!
Shabbat Parashat: Vaetchanan
Candle Lighting: 7:34pm
Shabbat Ends: 8:322pm
“Ascend to the top of the cliff, and raise your eyes westward, northward, and see with your eyes, for you shall not cross this Jordan.” (3:27)
Picture the feelings of longing that Moshe must have had as he stood on top of the cliff, gazing out over the land that he given so much to enter.
There it was stretched out in front of him like a map. The Land of Israel. So close and yet so far. G-d knew how much Moshe wanted to go into Eretz Yisrael, so why did He ‘tantalize’ Moshe by telling him to go up and gaze at this land that he knew he was never going to enter?
Furthermore, our Sages tell us that by prophetic insight G-d showed Moshe every single square inch of Eretz Yisrael – which only must have increased his longing!
What was G-d’s purpose?
Each of the Avot, the Patriarchs, are associated with a specific quality: Avraham with Chesed, Kindness; Yitchak with Gevurah, Self-control; etc. The quality that is associated with Moshe isNetzach – Eternity.
Everything that Moshe did was forever.
If Moshe had gone into the land of Israel with the Jewish People, then their entry would have been an â€˜eternal entry’. Everything that Moshe did had the touch of eternity. After such an entry, the Jewish People could never again leave the Land. G-d knew that the Jewish People would have to go into exile, for they would not be able to maintain the high spiritual standards that the Land requires. If they could not leave, and they could not stay, they would be caught, as it were, in a spiritual vise and they would be in the very real danger of annihilation.
Thus, Moshe could not enter the Land of Israel.
However, G-d made Moshe’s non-entry into the Land serve a positive purpose. G-d wanted to sear the memory of the Land of Israel into the collective psyche of the Jewish People. By showing Moshe every blade of grass, by taking him and showing him every corner of the land he was never to enter, G-d planted in Moshe’s heart a longing for the Land of Israel which would be eternal.
Look at our daily prayers. Look at the blessings after eating a meal. Our petitions to G-dare saturated with the name of the Land which we long to return to as a Holy People.
Throughout the long, long night of exile, the Jewish People have never lost that same longing forEretz Yisrael that Moshe felt when he stood on the top of the cliff and gazed into the Land he would never enter.
Rabbi M. Weiss Rabbi Y. Sakhai
Em Habanim Congregation
Weekly Parashat Hashavua class with Rabbi Joshua Bittan on Wednesdays at 8:30pm for more info. visit www.emhabanim.com
Em Habanim Sephardic Congregation is pleased to make available its elegant venue for your celebration. Excellent location with easy access to freeways. For more info. visit emhabanim.com