וַיֹּ֤אמֶר ה' אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה עֲלֵ֛ה אֶל־הַ֥ר הָעֲבָרִ֖ים הַזֶּ֑ה וּרְאֵה֙ אֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָתַ֖תִּי לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ וְרָאִ֣יתָה אֹתָ֔הּ וְנֶאֱסַפְתָּ֥
אֶל־עַמֶּ֖יךָ גַּם־אָ֑תָּה כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר נֶאֱסַ֖ף אַהֲרֹ֥ן אָחִֽיךָ׃
written by Eviatar Lerer, Judaic Studies
In this week's Parasha, Hashem orders Moshe to climb up to Mt. Nevo, and look upon the land of Israel to just look, not to enter the promised land.
This seems like an added punishment for Moshe. Not only can't he enter the land but he also is teased by seeing it. This is like a child who has a treat dangled in front of him, only to be told he can't have it because he behaved inappropriately.
Anyone else that in that situation may have gotten angry - isn’t it enough to get the punishment? Why does Moshe need to see the land he will not enter? Isn't just seeing the land increasing the pain and the suffering?
Now let's look back at the pesukim – look at Moshe's reaction.
Moshe is concerned about who will be their next leader, and is asking who will lead and support Am Israel once they enter the promised land.
That is true leadership and the greatness of Moshe. In every phase he is looking after Am Israel, even when he hears his sentence. He does not express his pain, does not complain, he fully accepts his punishment and now he is back to the role of the leader that is looking after his nation.
R. Akiva Yosef Schlessinger says in his book "Torat Yechiel" that going to Har Nevo is not to increase Moshe's sentence but the contrary, Moshe is the one that asks to see Eretz Yisrael. He continues to be the great leader and before he steps down Moshe wants to make sure that the promised land is a wealthy land of "ארץ זבת חלב ודבש ", flowing with milk and honey.
After Moshe sees that, he can leave his beloved people peacefully. He is happy to get Am Israel to the point where they enter their land and continue to build as a nation in their own land.
May it be Hashem's will that we all merit to see the returning of Am Yisrael to Eretz Yisrael.