Vaeschanan opens with Moshe Rabeinu’s recounting of how much he beseeched Hashem to at least let him enter Eretz-Yisroel. Chazal tell us that we shouldn’t think that Moshe Rabeinu wanted to come into the Land merely to taste its delicious produce. Rather, his strong yearning to enter Eretz Yisroel was motivated by his desire to fulfill the Mitzvos of Eretz-Yisroel.
Moshe Rabeinu was the greatest Chochom and Navi. All of what he was and of what he had achieved did not suffice. Moshe Rabeinu felt that he should beg Hashem to let him also fulfill Mitzvos Hatluyos baAretz.
It should be noted that Moshe Rabeinu didn’t beg to finish the conquest of the land, nor did he request to settle into Eretz-Yisroel. Moshe Rabeinu merely asked to pass through Eretz-Yisroel. If Eretz-Yisroel wasn’t yet conquered would Moshe Rabeinu even have the opportunity to fulfill the Mitzvos of Eretz-Yisroel? Who says he would have had enough time in Eretz-Yisroel for any of the Mitzvos of Eretz Yisroel to have become applicable?
It is clear that Moshe Rabeinu felt that just passing through Eretz-Yisroel, even if it wasn’t conquered was a good enough cause to beg Hashem’s indulgence. It is also clear that Moshe Rabeinu wanted to enter Eretz-Yisroel even if Eretz-Yisroel had not yet reached established status.
In short it is clear that the greatest man of perhaps all time wished to enter Eretz-Yisroel even if only flittingly, and even if Eretz-Yisroel wasn’t yet considered fully as Eretz-Yisroel.
Baruch Hashem Torah is flourishing in many places around the world – as we witnessed this week through the many Siyumei Hashas. Baruch Hashem we are able to pass through Eretz-Yisroel and even live in Eretz-Yisroel without needing to beseech Hashem before doing so. Eretz-Yisroel still lacks its full conquest, and the Mitzvos of Eretz-Yisroel are most likely only deRabbannan, but such reasons didn’t stop Moshe Rabeinu from begging to be able to enter.
A very warm Good Shabbos, Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski