The taste of Shabbat – Hukat 5778
Rav Mordechai Elon
Five verses describe perhaps the biggest change in history. The change happens during the story of the rock that was hit at Mei Meriva. If Moshe hadn’t sinned, he would have entered Israel with the people and the whole world would have been redeemed.
At Kadesh, on the border of the Land of Israel, the people were about to enter the land , and then the big change happened. Five verses are meant to tell us what went wrong, and how Moshe, the greatest of the great, received such a harsh punishment: לֹ֤ א תָ בִ֨יאּ֙ו אֶת הַקָהָָ֣ל הַזֶֶּ֔ה אֶל הָאָָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶר נָתַַ֥ תי לָהֶֶֽם.
You will not bring these people to the land I am giving them.
He begs to change the ruling
וָאֶתְחַנַָ֖ ןַּ֖ אֶל ה' בָ עַ֥ת הַ הָ֖וא… אֶעְבְרָה נָָּ֗א וְאֶרְאֶהּ֙ אֶת הָאָָ֣רֶץ הַטּוֹבֶָּ֔ה אֲשֶָ֖ר בְ עָ֣בֶר הַיַרְ דן…
And I begged on that day…. Let me pass and see the good land over the river Jordan. According to the midrash Moshe was willing to enter the land even as an animal.