Did Moses really get punished for the sin of the rock?

Lori here. Hashem asked me to do it again and I’m going into new territory. Something that I don’t usually do is Torah commentary but He has asked me to comment on this week’s Parsha which is about the sin of the rock. It’s a favorite of mine because it’s a Parsha that I read many years ago after my spiritual awakening where I heard Hashem. I read it in Shul and I sat up at attention and read the commentary in the Torah and I said, “This doesn’t make sense Hashem!” and He laughed at me. He said, “Lori, what do you think happened?” I said, “I think that it’s a concealment. I don’t think you were punishing Moshe at all. I think you were punishing the children of Israel.” He smiled and He said, “You’re right.”

Years later I coyly said something to someone who knows about Torah and who studies Torah and I said, “Is this possibly another alternate commentary on the Torah? Is this possibly in the Talmud that perhaps Moshe wasn’t being punished at all but maybe the children of Israel didn’t deserve to have him come into Israel with them?” The answer was yes. There is actually an alternate opinion and that is the correct opinion, that the children of Israel had given Moshe problems for years, time and time again. In the sin of the rock it was no different. Problem after problem, complaining they wanted to go back to Egypt and so after the sin of the rock the edict was done. Moshe wasn’t allowed to go into Israel with the children of Israel.

So why was Aaron also included in the punishment? I looked up that commentary yesterday and I saw there was a lot of confusion. Why was Aaron included in the punishment? There are a lot of different opinions. Here is the one straight from the top from Hashem God. He said that Aaron did not go into Israel and died before they went into Israel because of the sin of the golden calf. That’s what He said. He said that Aaron would have been viewed as the leader, as Moshe’s brother and they would have looked to Aaron for all their decisions. He said that because of the sin of the golden calf, he was not qualified to go into Israel as their leader. Joshua was chosen because he was an excellent choice as a leader and proved himself to be a leader when he didn’t sin with the other ten spies.

I’m not going to go any deeper. This is really not my forte. I’m not a rabbi. I am just sharing what He says was behind it all, that Moshe wasn’t being punished — the children of Israel were being punished. But also it’s deeper than that. It was time for the children of Israel to stand on their own two feet and go into Israel and live their life and obey the commandments which everyone knew was destined to fall apart, unravel and they would sin. It was predicted and prophesied by Moshe himself.

I hope you enjoyed this. As I said, this is not my bailiwick. In a time to come I am advised that rabbis will pull up their Torahs and we will have a pow-wow and He will shed light just like He did on this Torah portion about the sin of the rock.

Good Shabbos. May there be peace on earth in our time. God bless you.

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