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Four Directions

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Four Directions


From: Seru

Dear Rabbi,
When G-d showed Moses the land of Israel, G-d told him: "Look west, north, south and east." (Deuteronomy 3:27) If Moshe was standing outside Israel (to the east) looking in, then only three directions would apply, because if he looked in back of him it would be a position outside of Israel; so why is he told to look in 4 directions?


Dear Seru,
Moshe was told to look not only at the land of Israel, but at the lands of Sichon and Og as well (which Moshe had just conquered) and which were part of the greater Eretz Yisrael. These were behind Moshe, to the east. Another answer is that when Moshe was told to look "east," this meant that he should look to the east of the Land of Israel; he would be looking west when he did so.


 
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