“And it shall be on the day you shall pass over the Jordan to the land which the L-RD your G-d gives you.” – Deuteronomy 27:2
Upon crossing the Jordan into the Promised land, at that time, the children of Israel, under the leadership of Joshua, would set up great stones, plaster them, and write the commandments on them. They were instructed by Moses to to do so, before he passed away. Thus, as a permanent reminder of the commandments, this act would help to preserve the commandments as a testimony for the B’nei Yisrael.
Moreover, Moses instructed the Levites to call out the blessings and curses from atop two mountains, as the Children would pass through on their journey into the land. Taking into consideration as well, the five weeks of admonitions and cautionary statements, in an attempt to compel the new generation to abide in the Torah presented at Sinai, it seems that every measure was being taken to safeguard the covenant upon their transition into the land.
The covenant made by Moses with the Children of Israel at Sinai was renewed by Moses shortly before the people entered the land. Moses knew that without the very present help of G-d who accompanied the B’nei Yisrael in the wilderness, as well as the manna, and other miracles that they witnessed, the people would be prone to forget Him.
Thus, a bulwark of impressions was designed to foster a remembrance of the covenant, throughout their lives, especially during the immediate challenges ahead. Yet, after Joshua the nation fell into disarray, during the period of the judges, until the unification of Israel under David’s reign.
The crossing into the Promised Land may be compared historically to the expectations of European Jews, who looked for a brighter future in America. Yet, the land of golden opportunity was also a place of allurement and distractions from the truths of Torah. I myself grew up as a Conservative Jew; however, Judaism was a small part of my life, and never found its way into my daily mindset until many later years. Rediscovering the rich heritage of my ancestors has been a great blessing to me. And, I look forward to entering the Promised Land, when Malchus Elokim (the Kingdom of G-d) is established on earth.