Persistence by Ephraim Tauber


 In the beginning of Parshat VaEtchanan, Moshe says (3:24), “VaEtchanan El Hashem BaEit HaHi,” “And I prayed to Hashem at that time.”  Chazal say that Moshe was very persistent about praying for entry into the Holy Land, and even prayed 515 times to be allowed into Eretz Yisrael.  This can be derived from the Gematria, numerical value, of the word “VaEtchanan,” which equals 515.

 From Moshe we can see the love and desire one should have for the Land of Israel.  Indeed, the Ibn Ezra comments on the next verse that the purpose of this entire section is to enable us to cherish the Land – only those who cherish the holy land of Israel can truly keep the commandments of Hashem.

 The number of times Moshe prayed to get into Israel demonstrates how much he cherished the Land and wished to observe all of Hashem’s commandments.  May we be able to show our love for Israel to be as strong as Moshe’s, and to observe the commandments on it accordingly.

--Adapted from a Dvar Torah in Growth Through Torah


Anywhere But Here by Tzvi Zuckier

The Fusion of Civil and Spiritual Practice by Ms. Rochi Lerner