July 17, 2018 ~ Shabbat EKHA. Maqam HIJAZ.

Shabbat Vaethanan


ולא שמע אלי - Moses presents an impassioned plea to God to allow him to enter the Promised Land. When his request is denied, Moses immediately continues (Deuteronomy 4:1) with the nation's preparation to enter the land by teaching them the laws (ועתה ישראל שמע אל החקים ואל המשפטים אשר אנכי מלמד אתכם לעשות). This episode teaches us that when we pray to the Almighty, we are required to accept the final outcome, whether good or bad, and should not feel discouraged by a rejection of the prayers. In addition, by continuing his role and not stepping down, Moses follows the adage from Abot 2:16 of "It is not incumbent upon one to finish the task, but neither is one absolved from it" (לא עליך המלאכה לגמור, ולא אתה בן חורין להבטל ממנה). Moses accepts that while it is not his destiny to complete the mission, nevertheless, he does not absolve himself from any leadership responsibilities of preparing the people. Beth Torah, August 5, 2017.