KEEP ON PRAYING!
“Va’eschanan el H-shem Ba’ais Ha’hee Laymar”, “I pleaded to H-shem at that time, saying:”
Rav Moshe Shternbuch in Taam Vodaas quotes the The Midrash that explains the term “saying”; “what is meant by the word “saying”? “Say” to the future generations that they should pray in times of trouble. Since [we see] that Moshe, although H-shem had told him that he would not be permitted to enter the Land of Canaan as we see from the verse, “Go up to the peak of the Pisgah and look around---west, north, south, and east--- see with your own eyes; for you will not cross this Yardein.” he began to entreat.” (Devarim Rabbah 2)
It seems that this Midrash is teaching that one should not despair from H-shem’s compassion. Even if one sees that his initial requests go unanswered, he should return and importune yet again for this is how Moshe conducted himself; he pleaded and pleaded again and did not give up. For even if he would not be successful by entitlement, H-shem may have pity on him and grant the request as a “free gift”; totally out of mercy.
Moshe Rabbeinu was about to attempt the “free gift” approach, but when H-shem told him, "Enough for you! Do not go on speaking to Me any more about this matter”. He yielded to H-shem’s command and withdrew his request. Now, we, who are not commanded by H-shem to cease our entreaties and on the contrary [we know that]
H-shem desires the prayers of his children, the Jewish nation to the point at times He will put us in a situation of dread and worry by sending us challenges for the purpose of bringing us to prayer, we should certainly press on unrelentingly with our entreaties to arouse H-shem’s compassion.
Now, the decree not to be allowed to enter the Land of Canaan was also pronounced on Aharon, Moshe’s brother (both as a result of not sanctifying H-shem’s name when the Children of Israel demanded water and Moshe and Aharon were commanded by H-shem to speak to a certain rock and Moshe hit a rock with his staff instead) as well. Yet we do not find any reference to Ahron praying for clemency for his inability to enter the Land. There is no question that Aharon had yearned to dwell in the Land of Canaan also. So why didn’t Aharon beseech H-shem as Moshe did?
Rav Shternbuch suggests that since [we know] that Moshe’s only desire to dwell in the Land of Canaan was to perform the specific Mitzvahs associated with the Land that the Jews would be commanded to perform once they settled the land and to continue to lead them in their service of H-shem. Moshe had no interest in enjoying the fruits and vineyards of Canaan; he was a totally spiritual person. He wanted to be able to teach them the new laws they would need to know upon entering the land and how to live spiritually in the Holy Land. This is why Moshe was so obstinate and prayed so strongly to annul the decree that he would not be able to enter the land. It was for the benefit of the Jewish people! Aharon did not have the same agenda as he was not the leader of the people and the influence of their spiritual journey was not dependant on Aharon so he was able to accept H-shem’s decree as an obedient servant.
What we learn from this parsha then is the importance of never giving up on davening and how to daven. As suggested in the beginning, this Midrash is teaching that one should not despair from H-shem’s compassion. Even if one sees that his initial requests go unanswered, he should return and importune yet again” and this is how we are to conduct ourselves.
Moshe Rabbeinu, whose mission in life was to lead the people in becoming the Nation of H-shem needed to be obstinate and to “put the pressure on H-shem” yet when H-shem said Enough! Your era to lead the people is coming to an end and as we saw in the last parshios of Bamidbar that it was time for Yehoshua to take over, and as H-shem’s command directed, “Al Tosef!” "Enough for you! Do not go on speaking to Me any more about this matter”. Moshe Rabbeinu accepted H-shem’s final word on the matter.
Aharon as well, since he knew that his hashpa’ah, influence, was not needed any more, that the Jewish Nation were beginning a new chapter in their history, did not “push the issue” and also surrendered his will to the Will of H-shem.
The Gemara says, “What should one do, when he sees his prayers go unanswered? He should pray…and pray again! As it says, “Kavei el H-shem Chazak V’Ameitz Libecha; V’kavei el H-shem”! [Mesechta Berachos 22b]