In the beginning of this week’s parsha the Hebrew word which Moshe uses to describe an encounter he had with GOD regarding him entering the land of Eretz Yisrael is “ Vaetchanan” (the name of this week’ s parsha) (see Devarim 3:23).
While there are different ways which commentators translate this word both Onkelos and Rashi translate it as “ to daven” or pray (see Onkelos and Rashi on this verse). It is brought down that this was not the first time that Moshe had asked GOD to let him into the land of Israel. In fact, if Moshe would have asked one more time than GOD would have needed to listen to him and let him enter the land of Israel. This was despite the decree that Moshe was never to enter the land of Israel in his lifetime, GOD would have still let Moshe in if he would have prayed to have GOD let him in the land one more time. In fact, GOD HIMSELF stops Moshe from praying one more time in order so the decree can stay intact.
From the example of Moshe we see just how powerful prayer truly is that it can even remove very strong decrees.
Sometimes in life we feel that GOD does not answer our prayers right away or not at all. Unfortunately, over the past month, this was the feeling of many people who felt that their prayers were not being answered due to the countless rockets being fired across Eretz Yisrael, Nafali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach found murdered, and the countless other murders which occurred. However, like Moshe we must not give up. While although it may seem that our prayers will we be answered eventually (maybe not for what we prayed for originally but something else) and we just need to keep on praying.
This weeks Haftorah is the first of the seven Hafotorot of conciliation which we read on the Shabatot during the seven weeks between Tisha’bav and Rosh Hashana. The prophet Yeshayahu (Yeshayahu 40:1) tells the Jewish people at the beginning of this week’s Haftorah that GOD wants the Jewish people to be comforted because redemption is just around the corner.
May we use the messages of this week’s parsha and haforah as reminders to us that GOD is with us, and that we should keep on praying and eventually we will merit the coming of the Moschiach may he come speedily in our days.
Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom, Gut Shabbes-Gidon Herschander