Israel Forever

For the week ending 16 July 2011 / 13 Tammuz 5771

Two Views of the Land

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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"Go up to this mountain of Abarim and see the land that I have given to the Children of Israel." (Bamidbar 27:12)

"And you shall see it…" (Ibid. 27:13)

In this week's Torah portion Moshe is reminded by G-d that he will not enter Eretz Yisrael, and he is invited to ascend a mountain to see the land. But why is the invitation to see it repeated in the very next passage?

The commentaries see this as a reference to two different ways of seeing Eretz Yisrael. There is a physical look at the land and a spiritual one. Moshe was privileged just before his death to miraculously view all of Eretz Yisrael and to also probe its spiritual depth.

To see Eretz Yisrael today in only a physical way is a serious case of short-sightedness. Only by appreciating the land's spiritual qualities and attaching ourselves to those values can we gain the privilege of truly seeing our Promised Land forever.

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