Pisqa’ 338

Pisqa’ 3381


Ascend these heights of Abarim” (Dt.32:49)—

 [Death is] an ascent for you, not a descent!


“These heights of Abarim2 (Dt.32:49)—

The place had four names:

The heights of Abarim, Mount Nebo,

Mount Hor, and pinnacle of Pisgah.

Now why do they call it Mount Nebo (nevo)?

Because it is the burial site of three Prophets (nevi’im)

who died without falling into the hands of transgression.

And they are:

Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.

“Which is in the land of Moab” (Dt.32:49)—

This teaches that

He showed him the dynastic kings who were

destined to arise

from Ruth, the Moabite.

“Which faces Jericho” (Dt.32:49)—

This teaches that

He showed him the series of Prophets who were

destined to arise

from Rekhab, the whore [of Jericho].


“And behold the entire land of Canaan” (Dt.32:49).

R. Eliezer says:

The finger of the Blessed Holy One

served Moses like [an angelic] guide (metatron).3

He showed him all the habitations of the Land of Israel:

Until here is the territory of Ephraim;

until there is the territory of Menassah.

R. Joshua says:

Moses saw them on his own.

How so?

[He]4 empowered Moses’ eyes to see

from one end of the world to the other.

  1. H:346-347; JN2:392.
  2. Abarim (ha`avarim) will be read as “four” (`arba’) in order to ground in midrashic assonance the claim that Abarim has four names.
  3. In many rabbinic discussions of the angelic community, Metatron appears as the arch-angel next to the throne of God, whose particular role is to disclose hidden knowledge (e.g., 3 Enoch 9-11, B. Hagigah 15a). In the present case, the reference is to an anonymous guide, rather than to the personified figure of Metatron.
  4. It is unclear whether the subject of the sentence is Metatron or God.