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Q&A

Ha-Yarden ha-zeh -- what does the torah mean by this Jordan as opposed to the Jordan?

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In Devarim 3:27, when Moshe pleads with God to be allowed to go into the land, God says to him:

עֲלֵ֣ה ׀ רֹ֣אשׁ הַפִּסְגָּ֗ה וְשָׂ֥א עֵינֶ֛יךָ יָ֧מָּה וְצָפֹ֛נָה וְתֵימָ֥נָה וּמִזְרָ֖חָה וּרְאֵ֣ה בְעֵינֶ֑יךָ כִּי־לֹ֥א תַעֲבֹ֖ר אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֥ן הַזֶּֽה׃

Go up to the summit of Pisgah and gaze about, to the west, the north, the south, and the east. Look at it well, for you shall not go across this Jordan.

Most of the time, including earlier in this chapter, references are just to הַיַּרְדֵּ֑ן, "the Jordan". There's only one Jordan river (river is implied here); "the Jordan" is clear.

In this verse, though, it says הַיַּרְדֵּ֥ן הַזֶּֽה, "this Jordan". What is the torah telling us here? What's the significance of הַזֶּֽה?

I didn't find any commentaries (in English) that address this, on Sefaria or in the chumashim I have available. (I once (a long time ago) speculated that perhaps it's meant as a comfort to Moshe -- you didn't pass this barrier but you've faced and passed others -- but I have no source for such an idea.)

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https://jewishlink.news/divrei-torah/39721-the-deja-vu-of-rivers-starting-a-new-year-with-covid-19 (2 comments)

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