Those who live in Israel or are able to visit should appreciate the magnitude of this blessing.
This week’s Torah portion, Ha’azinu, describes one of the most moving scenes in the Bible. Moses was punished and not allowed to even enter the Land of Israel. Moses pleaded with God to permit him to enter the land, but this request was rejected. However, God did allow Moses to see the glorious Land of Israel:
“Ascend to this mount Avarim…and see the Land of Canaan that I give to the Children of Israel as an inheritance, and die on the mountain…For you shall see the Land from a distance, but you shall not go there into the Land that I give the Children of Israel.” (Deuteronomy 32:49-52)
There are times in life when we have the most precious of gifts sitting right before our eyes and we fail to see it. We live in a generation in which visiting and living in the land of Israel is easier than at any other time in history. A person can fly to Israel while being fed hot meals and even watching a movie or two. Hotels throughout the country are prepared to provide guests with the most comfortable accommodations and tour groups and equipped to provide inspirational and enjoyable experiences. One can move to Israel with the help of the Israeli government, the Jewish Agency, and organizations such as Nefesh B’Nefesh.
Take a moment and picture Moses standing on top of that mountain LOOKING at the land he loved so much but not being allowed to enter the land. Then internalize the remarkable blessing we have in our time, when we can visit and live in this land. Think about what Moses would have given up – limbs of his body, no doubt – to be able to experience what we can experience.
And, then, take it one more step: Those who live in Israel should appreciate the magnitude of this blessing. Those who cannot move to Israel should immediately plan their next trip. And those who can make the move should begin exploring aliyah and setting things in motion to make this dream come true.
Shabbat Shalom from Israel!
Rabbi Dov Lipman is a former Member of Knesset and director of Public Diplomacy in the vice-chairman’s office of the World Zionist Organization.
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