515

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From the Rebbe’s explanation:

– In the beginning of Parshat Vaetchanan, Moshe tells the Jewish people how he implored G‑d to allow him to enter Eretz Yisrael. Even after HaShem refused his request, he continued to pray until he was told:

“This is enough…. Do not speak of this matter any more” (Devarim 3:26).

It is highly unlikely that, even after this command, that Moshe actually ceased praying. Actually, it is a rule, stated in the Talmud (Masechet Psachim, 86B):

“… anything the master of the house says to you, you should do, except for an inappropriate request, such as if he says to leave (in order to fulfill some of his requests outside the house)”.

And since HaShem Himself included this principle into His Torah, Moshe Rabbeinu could use it to keep praying to be “in the True Master’s House” (the world of Geulah) instead of staying outside (in the world of ‘exile’ – Galut).

His desire — and indeed, this is the true desire of every Jew — to enter the land had no limitations and therefore he pursued it with self-sacrifice. One can assume that even as he was standing on Mount Nebo and gazing upon the whole of the Promised Land before his death, he was still praying to enter it…

The name of this week’s Torah portion – Vaetchanan (ואתחנן) – is numerically equivalent to 515. Interestingly, 515 is also the numerical value of the words Tefilah (תפלה) – “prayer” and Shirah (שירה) – “song”.

 

For whom was Moshe praying? If all that was involved was his individual self, one would assume that his prayers would have been answered. The prayers of every Jew, and surely those of a tzaddik, have great potential. Indeed, our Sages state:

“A tzaddik decrees and G‑d fulfills” (Midrash Tanchuma, Vayeira 19.).

Moshe, however, was not concerned with his own self. He is described by the Sages as a “shepherd of the Jewish people” (Midrash Rabbah, Shmot 2:2). Accordingly, he could not conceive of a future for himself without his flock. Since it had been decreed that his generation would die in the desert, Moshe neither could, nor would, consider entering Eretz Yisrael without them. How could he leave his flock behind?

We find a related concept in Torah law. When students are exiled, their teacher is required to accompany them (Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Rotzeach 7:1). Conversely, it can also be understood that the redemption of a teacher must also include his students.

So, the prayers of Moshe Rabbeinu were intended for the entire Jewish people as well, requesting that G‑d allow him to lead them into Eretz Yisrael and with that to initiate the ultimate Redemption – the era of Geulah.

There is a spark of Moshe in every Jew. The above concepts are relevant to us at present. In fact, every concept that is recorded in the Torah remains an eternally active force (see the comments of the Rogatchover Gaon on Shmos 2:21). So we can assume that in particular, this concept is true in regard to Moshe – and all of us today.

Moshe’s prayers for the Redemption are not merely past history, but rather are active forces today bringing the Redemption closer.

Furthermore, as written in “Tanya”, there is a spark of Moshe within the soul of every Jew (Tanya, ch. 42). That spark motivates every Jew to pray for the Redemption, to cry out, Ad Matai! — “How much longer must we wait in exile!”

This prayer will surely be fulfilled in the near future, and together with Moshe Rabbeinu and the entire Jewish people, together with each and every individual Jew, we will enter Eretz Yisrael in the true and complete Redemption. May this take place in the immediate future.

See more in the Rebbe’s talk on Shabbat Parshat Dvarim, 5751 (1991).

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