There are times when your love for another is so strong that it supersedes even your greatest dreams.

This week’s Torah portion, Va’etchanan, means “I beseeched.” Moses beseeches G‑d for what he wished would be the climax of his life’s mission—entering the Holy Land of Israel.

Moses says: “I beseeched G‑d at the time saying … pray let me cross over and see the good land … ” (Deuteronomy 3:23-25)

Prayer is called by 10 names: cry, howl, groan, song, encounter, stricture, prostration, judgment and beseeching—the last of which is the name of prayer learned from Moses in this verse, va’etchanan.

The Hebrew word va’etchanan is numerically equivalent to 515, which was the number of times that Moses prayed to be allowed to enter the Land of Israel.

The Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni) relates that when Moses saw that the decree against him entering the Land had been sealed, he drew a circle and sat inside it, and said: “I am not moving from here until You nullify the decree.”

He wrapped himself in sackcloth and covered himself with ashes, and stood in prayer before G‑d until the heaven and the earth and the very laws of creation began to tremble.

What did G‑d do at that moment? He announced at every gate of every heaven that Moses’s prayer should not be admitted, for the voice of Moses’s prayer was like a sword that slices and rips and which nothing can stop.

Moses said to G‑d: “If You will not allow me to enter the land, allow me to enter as a beast of the field that grazes on the grass … let my soul be as one of those!”

G‑d said: “Enough!”

Moses continued beseeching: “If You will not allow me to enter the Land, allow me to enter as a bird that flies in the air … let my soul be as one of those!”

G‑d answered: “Enough!”

Moses then recited the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy. G‑d was appeased, but nevertheless refused his request, saying, “I cannot listen to you for I took two oaths—either you die here in the desert, or I destroy the Jewish people. Do you wish to live at the expense of your people’s annihilation?”

Moses represented the quality of truth, which is steadfast and unchanging. Had Moses entered the Land of Israel, he would have built a Temple that would have had such great sanctity that it could never have been destroyed. Had the Jews subsequently sinned, the nation—instead of the Temple—would have been destroyed.

When Moses heard this, he proclaimed: “May Moses die, and a hundred like him, and not a fingernail of one of them be harmed!” (Midrash Rabbah)

Moses was a true Jewish leader. Though entering the Land was his life’s goal, his nation took precedence. He taught us how to love the Jewish people, no matter what.