Deuteronomy 34
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1  Moshe went up from the steppes of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the summit of Pisgah, opposite Yericho, and Hashem showed him the whole land: Gilad as far as Dan;

va-YA-al mo-SHEH may-ar-VOT mo-AV el HAR n’-VO ROSH ha-pis-GAH a-SHER al p’-NAY y’-ray-KHO va-yar-AY-hu a-do-NAI et kol ha-A-retz et ha-gil-AD ad DAN

א  וַיַּעַל מֹשֶׁה מֵעַרְבֹת מוֹאָב אֶל־הַר נְבוֹ רֹאשׁ הַפִּסְגָּה אֲשֶׁר עַל־פְּנֵי יְרֵחוֹ וַיַּרְאֵהוּ יְהֹוָה אֶת־כָּל־הָאָרֶץ אֶת־הַגִּלְעָד עַד־דָּן׃

 34:1   And Hashem showed him the whole land

As the leader of the Jewish people, Moshe involved himself with all matters of concern to the nation. Yet, his final activity in this world was devoted to one area alone: Moshe ascends the mountain of Nevo and gazes upon the Land of Israel. The Talmud (Sotah 14a) asks: Why did Moshe desire to enter Eretz Yisrael? Was it to enjoy its fruits or to satiate himself of its bounty? The Talmud answers that Moshe’s desire was a spiritual one; he craved an opportunity to keep the commandments unique to the Land of Israel. While he was not permitted to enter, being allowed to view the land was a comfort to Moshe, as he understood that even just seeing it propels a person to new spiritual heights. Similarly, there are people today who access high balconies in the Old City of Yerushalayim in order to view Har Habayit, the Temple Mount. They appreciate the spiritual benefit they can get just from seeing this holy sight.2 comments

2  all Naftali; the land of Efraim and Menashe; the whole land of Yehuda as far as the Western Sea;

ב  וְאֵת כָּל־נַפְתָּלִי וְאֶת־אֶרֶץ אֶפְרַיִם וּמְנַשֶּׁה וְאֵת כָּל־אֶרֶץ יְהוּדָה עַד הַיָּם הָאַחֲרוֹן׃

3  the Negev; and the Plain—the Valley of Yericho, the city of palm trees—as far as Zoar.

ג  וְאֶת־הַנֶּגֶב וְאֶת־הַכִּכָּר בִּקְעַת יְרֵחוֹ עִיר הַתְּמָרִים עַד־צֹעַר׃

4  And Hashem said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, ‘I will assign it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you shall not cross there.”

ד  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֵלָיו זֹאת הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב לֵאמֹר לְזַרְעֲךָ אֶתְּנֶנָּה הֶרְאִיתִיךָ בְעֵינֶיךָ וְשָׁמָּה לֹא תַעֲבֹר׃

5  So Moshe the servant of Hashem died there, in the land of Moab, at the command of Hashem.

ה  וַיָּמָת שָׁם מֹשֶׁה עֶבֶד־יְהֹוָה בְּאֶרֶץ מוֹאָב עַל־פִּי יְהֹוָה׃

6  He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, near Beth-peor; and no one knows his burial place to this day.

ו  וַיִּקְבֹּר אֹתוֹ בַגַּיְ בְּאֶרֶץ מוֹאָב מוּל בֵּית פְּעוֹר וְלֹא־יָדַע אִישׁ אֶת־קְבֻרָתוֹ עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה׃

7  Moshe was a hundred and twenty years old when he died; his eyes were undimmed and his vigor unabated.

ז  וּמֹשֶׁה בֶּן־מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה בְּמֹתוֹ לֹא־כָהֲתָה עֵינוֹ וְלֹא־נָס לֵחֹה׃

8  And the Israelites bewailed Moshe in the steppes of Moab for thirty days. The period of wailing and mourning for Moshe came to an end.

ח  וַיִּבְכּוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־מֹשֶׁה בְּעַרְבֹת מוֹאָב שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם וַיִּתְּמוּ יְמֵי בְכִי אֵבֶל מֹשֶׁה׃

9  Now Yehoshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moshe had laid his hands upon him; and the Israelites heeded him, doing as Hashem had commanded Moshe.

ט  וִיהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן־נוּן מָלֵא רוּחַ חָכְמָה כִּי־סָמַךְ מֹשֶׁה אֶת־יָדָיו עָלָיו וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ אֵלָיו בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּעֲשׂוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה אֶת־מֹשֶׁה׃

10  Never again did there arise in Yisrael a navi like Moshe—whom Hashem singled out, face to face,

י  וְלֹא־קָם נָבִיא עוֹד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל כְּמֹשֶׁה אֲשֶׁר יְדָעוֹ יְהֹוָה פָּנִים אֶל־פָּנִים׃

11  for the various signs and portents that Hashem sent him to display in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his courtiers and his whole country,

יא  לְכָל־הָאֹתוֹת וְהַמּוֹפְתִים אֲשֶׁר שְׁלָחוֹ יְהֹוָה לַעֲשׂוֹת בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם לְפַרְעֹה וּלְכָל־עֲבָדָיו וּלְכָל־אַרְצוֹ׃

12  and for all the great might and awesome power that Moshe displayed before all Yisrael.

יב  וּלְכֹל הַיָּד הַחֲזָקָה וּלְכֹל הַמּוֹרָא הַגָּדוֹל אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה מֹשֶׁה לְעֵינֵי כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

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Deuteronomy 33

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  • John voulgaris

    Why was Moshe so special that he was the only one to see Hashem face to face? Was it just circumstantial, that Hashem needed to show himself to Moshe, to show his might and power and fulfil his promise of returning his people to Yisrael?

Deuteronomy 34

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