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The reason is given in Numbers ch.20. Moses struck the rock which was, by a miracle of God, made into a source of water (Numbers ch.20). He was supposed to speak to the rock instead (ibid). Striking the rock served to slightly diminish the miracle. Aaron shared responsibility for this, because he was standing right there and could have reminded Moses what to do or not do, as he had done on a different occasion (Leviticus ch.9).

It should be self-understood that this criticism of Moses and Aaron is only in proportion to their greatness.

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Q: Why did Aaron not get to go into the promised land?
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