אָכְלוּ וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ, כָּל-דִּשְׁנֵי-אֶרֶץ לְפָנָיו יִכְרְעוּ, כָּל-יוֹרְדֵי עָפָר וְנַפְשׁוֹ, לֹא חִיָּה.
To see The Face of God - Is it to Die For?
Rashi on Tehillim 22:30 states: When people die, at the time of the taking of their Neshama, they merit to see the Face of the Shechina, as this verse relates to the moment of death. [Nidda 30b]
With this said, who was perhaps the Greatest Man to ever die?
[as opposed to not die; as people of Torah are often judged by the degree of which that they did not die, sin, etc.]
Moshe was quite possibly the greatest Man who ever died, as he tragically did not earn the right of existing eternally as an angelic man [Arizal].
Now think to Moses' life as we know it in Torah: Hashem wished to "show Moses His face" - and Moses emotionally turns aside so as to not see God. Later in the Chumash, Moses practically begs God for Moses to be able to perceive God, as Hashem responds: no man shall see me and Live.
As no Man shall and Live, this equates to our Tehillim verse that on one hand suggests seeing the Shechina; yet the pshat of the verse says: Hashem shall not liven the Nefesh. Thus this verse seems as if it could explain Moses' quest to perceive God - to see while "not live."
Moses thus is quite peculiar: he does not want to see, he does want to see, etc...
Was Moses however destined for God?
Everyone asks of Moses: why did he hit the rock, causing denial of The Land, and thus ultimately death. Perhaps Moses was on a collision course with death, even against his cognitive will. As Rashi says: we see the Face of the Shechina at the time of the taking of our Neshama.
One could say, it was the Nefesh [as opposed to Neshama] of Moses that wished at all cost to see the Shechinah!
Who knows what the reality would have been had |Moses lived, entered the Land etc. What we do see is that he died, and thus he saw the Face of the Shechinah. Moses may have been one step away of being as perfect as Man can be; but maybe what drove the Man even more, was an insatiable desire to behold the Almighty in the highest revelation possible. Moses was given practically every key to every door.
In Devarim, the Shechinah spoke through Moses, and as we all know, Moses had the face that shined as the sun. Had he entered the Land, would the Shechinah radiate of off Moses? Would this be a dangerous level to be on, if not for Moses, but the Jewish People and the Noahides who would behold him? The Land would have been an aliyah of the highest order, especially with the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem.
Perhaps this madreiga would have been too uneasy for Moses, and thus even on a subconscious level: death would be the answer! It would guarantee victory [as Moses himself would not be an impediment], satisfaction, completion, and allow Moses the Man [of Moses] to truly express himself.
Moses was the Man of God; maybe Moses wanted to go out as the man of Moses, with a kiss of death, and the ability to see the Face of the Shechinah - from his point of view.
Moses was exceedingly humble, and in the future Moses- Moshiach will be the absolute vessel in the Hand of God. Moses' death was the last hurrah for Moses to be Moses.
As Rashi explains, it is Moses who will get Techias Hametim, and lead the Geulah. Through Moses, the Jewish People and Torah have survived, and Moses has remained the faithful Man. Angelic Moses never came, and perhaps this was not only for Moses' benefit, but for Mankind.
Moses did not enter the Land, but maybe this was between him and God - and maybe this fight Moses did win! - he was able to do what avoided him his whole life. Moses may have been selfless, yet there would always remain some sense of identity. Death would be his; once delivered, Moses the Man of God would never again need to die, thus ushering in the messianic age, of which it is said:
Death shall be swallowed up forever.
Until then most will or have died; Moses was the exception. He always was. He always will be.
Moses is a Man also, one who was after God; and unlike most Men - He got there.
Sometimes matters of the heart run on a different track, and don't always equate through our decisions as some would think.
The point taken: when there is Love of God - Nothing will stand between you and God.
Moses sealed the Torah with Ashrei / אשרי
King David explained Moses' message with utter clarity, as he began where Moses left off: אשרי
Moses was אשרי unlike any other - and his message to David was simple:
Be a Man who goes after the Heart of God.
Was there ever a Chasid greater than David?
...and in the end, the two come together, in the great secret of: משיח בן דוד וגואל אחרון