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Dvar for Vaetchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11)

Parshat Vaetchanan begins with Moshe pleading to be able to enter Israel. The Gemara (tractate) brings a question posed by Rav Simlai, who wonders why Moshe needed to go into Israel so much that he had to beg for it. He answers that there are many Mitzvot (commandments) that can only be performed in Israel, and Moshe needed to perform them. The Chassam Sofer, however, questions the wording of Rav Simlai. Who said Moshe needed to go into Israel? Couldn’t it be that he simply wanted to?

The Chassam Sofer answers that Moshe saw an opportunity to do more Mitzvot, and although they weren’t in front of him (he had to go into Israel to perform them), he still felt the need to perform them, and did what he could to be able to complete them. In contrast, when was the last time we begged anyone to be able to do a Mitzvah? In fact, do we perform all the Mitzvot that we can? We should strive to be like Moshe, and work to appreciate, take advantage of, and especially learn about all the opportunities we are given, to do something good both for G-d, for each other, and ultimately for ourselves.