In this parashat Moses pleads with G-d to be permitted to enter the promised land and he is told no. This no has no room for error, according to story, it is the people’s disobedience that prohibits Moses who has come so far from entering the promised land. He is only to see it from the mountaintop. Despite the fact that he is a most humble and G-dly man, one who has a face to face personal relationship with G-d, he cannot change G-d’s mind.
The Gematria, the numeric associated with Torah portions, for this portion is 515. It means that Moses prayed 515 times for G-d to allow him to enter the promised land and yet – NO. The Ba’al Shem Tov tells us that in Deuteronomy says “Lord you have begun to show me your greatness….” If this most holy man with 120 years and a personal relationship to G-d has only just begun to develop closeness to G-d, where are we? This shows us the very vastness of G-d, tells us it can take many lifetimes to know G-d.
When Moses ascended to heaven, the Angels balked and argued with G-d, why give the Torah to a mere human, someone fallible “what is man that you are mindful of them?” The Lord told Moses to answer the Angels, despite his fear, the Lord says take hold of the throne of glory and speak. And Moses said “I am Adonai who brought out of the land of Egypt….” Are you Angels those who were brought out? Were you enslave? Do you have the failings of humans that require G-d’s help? And the Angels were so impressed that they shared their secrets with Moses.
So in the end, Moses is a hero but human and fallible. This tells us we can have a close relationship with G-d if we choose. Are you willing to pray for something over five hundred times, and accept what G-d gives you as a result even if it isn’t what you thought you wanted? This week I pray that you have the closeness to G-d that it would be as if you were face to face.