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Parashat Vaetchanan - 5774

My friends,

This Shabbat we read the portion of Vaetchanah, the second portion in the Book of Devarim. It begins with these words:

"I pleaded with the L-rd at that time, saying, 'O L-rd G-d, You who let Your servant see the first works of Your greatness and Your mighty hand, You whose powerful deeds no god in heaven or on earth can equal! Let me, I pray, cross over and see the good land on the other side of the Jordan, that good hill country, and the Lebanon.'" (Deuteronomy, 3:23-25)

This is not the first time that Moses prays to G-d for the opportunity to enter the Promised Land. Vaetchanan emphasizes how he again pleaded with G-d to allow him to enter the Promised Land. But G-d refused, and in fact told Moses not to raise the subject again, that he will not enter the Promised Land, but instead G-d advised Moses to go up to the summit of Pisgah, and from there view the entire Land of Israel.

What is meant when G-d says to Moses, "do not pray for this again"? The Midrash explains that had Moses raised the subject again, G-d would not have refused him and his request would have been granted.

I believe that there is an important message for us. As humans beings we all could use G-d's help in many areas. Healing for us and others, discernment, success, happiness, peace, etc. etc. Some of our wishes get accomplished while prayers for other things seem to be unanswered and in vain. Moses teaches us not to give up. A sincere prayer that comes from the heart, accompanied by our own efforts, will sooner or later open the door and be answered.

May all your good wishes and worthy endeavors be fulfilled.

Shabbat Shalom,