Hukat; Numbers 20:17 521.
(photo credit: Israel Weiss)
Why was Moses, the greatest prophet who ever lived and who sacrificed a
princedom in Egypt to take the Hebrews out of Egypt, denied entry into the Land
of Israel? Was it because he struck the rock with his staff rather than having
spoken to it? But it was God, after all, who commanded him to “take the staff,
gather together the witness-congregation, and speak to the rock” (Numbers 20:8).
And previously, shortly after the splitting of the Red (Reed) Sea but before the
Revelation at Sinai, God had commanded him to strike the rock with his staff to
bring forth water for the nation. Apparently, striking the rock could not have
been such a heinous crime.I believe that the key to our understanding of
the incident of the rock lies in a curious contrast between Moses and Aaron
hinted at in our text, which highlights the profound tragedy – as well as the
exalted majesty – within the unique persona of Moshe rabbenu, Moses our
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>