The passuk states, “עד הנהר הגדול נהר פרת, until the big river, the Euphrates River.” The Euphrates River was mentioned last in the count of the 4 rivers (in Sefer Bereishis), which indicates that it was the smallest, yet it is called “Gadol, big.” Rashi explains the reason for this is because it is mentioned together with Eretz Yisrael, as it borders Eretz Yisrael. This can be explained simply: the Euphrates is associated with Eretz Yisrael so it is called big. Rashi infers another explanation: he brings a mashal with the servant of a king who goes together with the king; when people bow down to honor the king, they also bow down to honor the servant simultaneously; he is treated as the king. So too is the saying, “come close to an anointed place you too will be smeared with oil.” We see, just as the servant of the king is honored and the person is smeared with oil, so too the Euphrates River is affected by Eretz Yisrael since it is next to it. HaRav Chaim Shmulevitz zatzal adds, the Euphrates River is outside Eretz Yisrael and not part of Eretz Yisrael, yet the Torah gives it importance by calling it Gadol. It follows that Eretz Yisrael will certainly make great the people who dwell in the land itself. One will merit growth in ruchniyos by merely being inside the Holy Land.
Rav Chaim says, it is a wonderous thing, many of us live in Eretz Yisrael, yet we do not feel the unbelievable shefa that comes into it. Why is this? He answers based on the Devarim Raba: Moshe said before Hashem, “The bones of Yosef are able to enter Eretz Yisrael and I can’t?” Hashem responded, “That who admits to the land will be buried in the land, and that who does not admit to the land will not be buried in the land.” Yosef admitted to the land as it states, ‘ראו הביא לנו איש עברי, see, he brought for us an Ivri man.’ Yosef did not deny that he was an Ivri, as he said, ‘כי גנב גנבתי מארץ העברים, since indeed I was stolen from the land of the Ivrim.’ Whereas you, Moshe, did not admit to the land, as the Bnos Yisro said, ‘איש מצרי הצלנו מיד הרועים, a Mitzri-man saved us from the hand of the shepherds.’ You heard what they said and were silent.” Rav Chaim explains, this which one does not admit to the land won’t be buried in the land, is not a punishment, rather a מציאות; he does not have a connection to the land. No reasons or excuses will help for this, the land does not want him.
The passuk states, “תמיד עיני ה’ אלקיך בה מרשית השנה ועד אחרית שנה, the eyes of Hashem your G-d are constantly on it, from the beginning of the year until the end of the year.” Rav Chaim says, in order to receive Hashem’s constant shefa from above, on Eretz Yisrael and its inhabitants, there is a condition for this; one has to have a connection to the land and admit to the land. He must to recognize its special attributes and importance, and only then will he be able to attain the unique hashpaah of the land.
To add, at the beginning of Parshas Va’eira it states, “ולא שמעו אל משה מקצר רוח ומעבודה קשה, and they did not accept from Moshe, because of their short spirit and difficult labor.” The Seforno says, since they did not trust in Hashem and believe He will save them, due to their difficult labor, it was not fulfilled by them “ונתתי אותה לכם, and I will give it to them,” only to their children. We see, that which we don’t believe in we don’t have a connection to it. If we believe and admit to the special attributes of the land, it will inspire us to improve.
Let us believe and admit to the special attributes of Eretz Yisrael, and may it make us great spiritually.