In this week’s parasha we find that HaShem uses an interesting choice of words when describing the Promised Land to Moshe. It is said (Shemos 6:4) וְגַם הֲקִמֹתִי אֶת בְּרִיתִי אִתָּם לָתֵת לָהֶם אֶת אֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן אֵת אֶרֶץ מְגֻרֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר גָּרוּ בָהּ, moreover, I established My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their sojourning, in which they sojourned. Why does HaShem refer to the Land as the land of their sojourning? What significance does this have to HaShem’s response to Moshe for complaining about the Jewish People’s harsh conditions in Egypt?
In order to answer this question, we must first interpret the word מְגֻרֵיהֶם to mean fear (see Baal HaTurim Bereishis 37:1). With that premise we can suggest that Rav Dessler writes that the reason that Nadav and Avihu were punished entering into the Holy of Holies wa because the wished to skip the process of fearing HaShem and immediately express their love for HaShem. First, writes Rav Dessler, one must fear HaShem and only then can he love HaShem. Similarly, Moshe loved the Jewish People so much that he was concerned for their welfare, and when Pharaoh issued decrees making the workload more more difficult for the Jewish People, Moshe complained to HaShem. However, on Moshe’s level, HaShem felt that he did not demonstrate enough fear of HaShem , and for this reason HaShem criticized him.
We can now understand why HaShem refers to Eretz Canaan as מְגֻרֵיהֶם. Dovid HaMelech writes (Tehillim 105:44) וַיִּתֵּן לָהֶם אַרְצוֹת גּוֹיִם וַעֲמַל לְאֻמִּים יִירָשׁוּ: בַּעֲבוּר יִשְׁמְרוּ חֻקָּיו וְתוֹרֹתָיו יִנְצֹרוּ הַלְלוּיָהּ, and He gave them the lands of nations, and they inherited the toil of regimes. So that they may safeguard His statutes and observe His teachings, Hallelukah. While we all love Eretz Yisroel, we must first fear Eretz Yisroel, i.e. fear HaShem Who instructed us regarding His Torah and mitzvos. Then we will merit to enter the Land and love HaShem, His Torah and His Holy Land. HaShem should grant us the redemption today, with the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, Amen!
Have a Shabbos filled with fear and love of HaShem!