The Aftermath

Tamuz 18, 5783
July 7, 2023
Candlelighting Time 8:12 PM

Moshe did not merit to enter into the Land of Israel due to his error in striking the stone instead of learning Torah by it which would have created a stream of water flowing from within it. Ahron also was prohibited from entering on account of the same incident. However, Ahron did have the pleasure of witnessing the transmission to the next generation of his honorable position as the High Priest. When Moshe entered the cave to prepare Ahron to pass on, Eliezer his son accompanied them and the garments that Ahron donned for his service were placed on Eliezer as Ahron looked on. Certainly, Ahron was content to observe his son acceding to his post in the Mishkan. Moshe also wanted that same honor but his children were not capable of receiving his position. However, though his biological son could not arise to the occasion, Yehoshua, his prize disciple was close to him as a son and therein Moshe could also realize the same gift as Ahron had. However, there was one caveat. Ahron witnessed the transfer to his son while Moshe knew that Yehoshua would carry on but he did not observe its implementation.    

Moshe was instructed to ascend the mountain which would be his final resting place. From that vantage point he could actually see the Land of Israel. In the very next verse there seems to be repetition as again Hashem states that he will see it, meaning the Land of Israel. Why was there a need to emphasize that idea? All the commentators cite the Midrash that Moshe was shown all the future events that would transpire in the land until the coming of the Moshiach. Ba’al Haturim even explains that all the mineral deposits of gold and silver were also revealed to him. Simply put, it is possible to assume that he was made aware of the ongoing happenings because as the progenitor of the nation, he merited to witness how his leadership would develop and continue. After all, everyone wants their efforts should be successful and productive. However, Rav Shlomo Kluger presents another angle to this statement. As aforementioned, Moshe did not observe the continuity of his leadership role. However, he did have it protracted through Yehoshua although it was only in place after his death. But, when Hashem in His infinite kindness and graciousness displayed to Moshe the future of the nation that would take place in Israel which of course included when Yehoshua was at the helm, then he was able to have the nachas that Ahron had. 

Perhaps we should examine why it was so important for Moshe and Ahron as well that they should have successors to their respective posts. After all, even if their family or disciples would not have succeeded them, certainly there would have others that could have assumed their positions. Maybe we can explain this that even great people as Moshe and Ahron need the positive reinforcement of realizing that their accomplishments will have permanence. Certainly, one would assume that who is more likely to maintain one’s life work if not your own progeny or close circle of students. The thought that one’s achievements would not be significant to others to persist in that vein might lead to a lack of steadfastness since anyhow it would all be short-lived. Therefore, searching for continuity is a way to strengthen one’s determination to accomplish and achieve in this world.   


The Chofetz Chaim would advise young Rabbonim that when they assume their post the first objective must be to excel in their Torah study and performance of mitzvos. Then they can begin to work within the confines of the community to strengthen them. However, if the process is reversed, they will not be successful.