Parashat Chukat

פרשת חקת

What did Moshe (Really!)  do wrong?

So why was moses not allowed to enter the land of Israel?

Let’s start from the end:  “And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron: ‘Because ye believed not in Me, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

Now this is the most severe punishment Moshe could get; He devoted his whole life to taking the people of Israel From Egypt to the promised land…  So what did he REALLY do to anger God so much?

The accepted interpretation, by ALL sources, is that he did not speak to the rock, as instructed, but hit it twice with his staff instead; here is what Rashi says:

to sanctify Me: For had you spoken to the rock and it had given forth [water], I would have been sanctified in the eyes of the congregation. They would have said,”If this rock, which neither speaks nor hears, and does not require sustenance, fulfills the word of the Omnipresent, how much more should we! –

Well, let me ask a question. The people had no idea what God instructed Moshe to do, and the miracle would have been as significant wether he hit the rock or spoke to it. (look at the source, not the Rashi comments) besides, if Moshe, being only human, got confused, since G told him to take the staff,  and in addition on a previous occasion was instructed to hit the rock, would G punish BOTH of them so severely??  Not in my opinion.

The problem is completely different, and was NEVER presented that way. Let’s read this together: “Moshe and Aaron assembled the congregation in front of the rock, and he said to them, “Now listen, you rebels, can we draw water for you from this rock?”

Here lies the BIG sin.  Can WE draw water for you from this rock?

Moshe is implying that WE, meaning Aaron and Moshe, are to draw water from the rock… It is NOT God. And this is the real reason God gets so angry.