“Don’t you see?” we insist when the person we’re arguing with won’t recognize the shining truth that’s staring us both in the face. “Oh, I see . . .” we concede when yet another comfortable fallacy is debunked. We may have five senses with which to apprehend our world, but somehow, “I smelled it with my own nose” or even “I felt it with my own hands” doesn’t carry the authority of “I saw it with my own eyes.” What we “see”—whether literally or figuratively—is unequivocally, incontestably real.

“Let me cross over,” Moses implored G‑d as the people of Israel camped on the eastern bank of the Jordan, “and let me see the good Land.” But G‑d refused. We all know the tragic tale. Moses, who had taken the people out of Egypt, who had climbed Mount Sinai to receive the Torah for them and returned to teach them the word of G‑d, who for forty years tended to their hungers and thirsts, their doubts and complaints and rebellions—Moses was to die and be buried in the plains of Moab, and his disciple, Joshua, was to lead a new generation of Jews into the Promised Land.

But upon closer examination, Moses’ prayer was at least partially answered. Moses asked to cross over and to see the Land; G‑d refused the first part of the request and granted the second. “Ascend to the top of the summit,” G‑d said to Moses, “. . . and see it with your eyes; for you shall not cross this Jordan.”

Our sages note that all of Moses’ achievements are eternal and everlasting. Moses liberated us from slavery, and from that moment we have been inherently, irrevocably free: nations may subjugate us physically, but no force on earth can subdue the Jewish soul. Moses gave us the Torah, and never shall the Torah depart from Israel. Even the Mishkan, the “temporary” sanctuary built by Moses in the desert, was never destroyed (as were the permanent divine abodes built by Solomon and Ezra in Jerusalem), but mysteriously hidden away in an undisclosed place, where it remains intact to this very day.

Chassidic teaching explains that this is the deeper reason why Moses was not allowed to enter the Land of Israel. If Moses would have settled us in the Land, we could never have been exiled from it. If Moses would have built the Holy Temple, it could never had been destroyed. If Moses would have established the people of Israel in their homeland as a “light unto the nations,” that light could never have been dimmed.

If Moses would have crossed the Jordan, that would have been the end: the end of the struggle, the end of history.

G‑d wasn’t ready for the end yet. So He decreed that Moses remain in the desert. But He did allow him to see the Land. And because Moses saw it, and because the effect of everything Moses did is everlasting, we too can see it.

At all times, and under all conditions, we have the power to ascend a summit within us and see the Promised Land. No matter how distant the end-goal of creation may seem, we have the power to see its reality, to know its truth with absolute clarity and absolute conviction.

We are still in the midst of the struggle. It is a difficult, oftentimes painful struggle; but it is not a blind struggle. Moses has seen to that.