Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Shemos

He May Be Heavy, but He's My Brother

by Rabbi Chaim Dovid Green

In this week's parsha we are introduced to one of the most revolutionary people ever to live - Moshe Rabbainu (Moses, our teacher). Three major world religions are based on the Torah which Moshe Rabbainu brought down for us. The rise of monotheism and a sharp drop in polytheism is a result of Torah coming into the world. Much of judicial law has its source in the Bible. What did Moshe do which made him such a pivotal person in Jewish and World history?

The Torah states: "And Moshe grew, and he went out to his brethren, and he saw their burdens" (Exodus 2:11). On this verse the Midrash Rabah writes: What is the deeper meaning of "he saw (their burdens)"? He saw their burdens and cried, and said "a pity on you, I could die over you. Working with mortar is such a difficult form of work." Moshe would personally help each one in his work.

G-d (saw this and) said (to Himself) "You (Moshe), left your own concerns to occupy yourself with the concerns of Yisrael (the Jews), (for that) I will leave (My concerns) the upper and lower (worlds), and come down to speak to you." That is the meaning of the verse (which is later stated), "and G-d saw that he (Moshe) turned to see, and He called to him from the midst of the (burning) bush" (Exodus 3:4)

G-d saw that Moshe diverted from his way to see the sight of the burning bush, so He called to Moshe. On a deeper level, the Midrash understands that the reason that G-d called to Moshe was because he "turned" to see. It means that while he was in Egypt, when he went out to his brethren, he "turned" from his own important matters to "see," that is, to share, and to feel the pain of their troubles. The verse is hinting to us that for that reason he merited that G-d spoke to him. This character trait is termed "carrying the load with one's fellow," when one experiences another's pain and suffering as if it was his own.

The "Alter" from Kelm praises this character trait very highly. He notes that all of the wonderful things which Moshe Rabbainu accomplished, namely, bringing them close to G-d, bringing them to Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, preparing them to inherit the Land of Israel, and building the Holy Temple, all were ultimately because of this character trait which he possessed.

Moshe's concern for his brethren is what led him to slay the Egyptian who was mercilessly oppressing another Jew. This is what caused him to leave Egypt and go to Midyan where he would come close to the Mountain of G-d, and the vision of the burning bush.

We see, then, that this trait of sharing actively in another's pain and troubles has unlimited positive implications. This is not a mere story of a hero. There is an important life-lesson which the Torah is conveying to us. We too can achieve greatness through our own acquisition of this trait. We should all see what we can to to put this into practice. Anyone who lives among people has countless opportunities to empathize with others and lighten their load by carrying it together with them. Let us all put it on the top of our priority list, so we can reap the benefits together.

Good Shabbos!


Text Copyright © 1998 Rabbi Dovid Green and Project Genesis, Inc.



 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON PESACH AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

And You Shall Tell Your Son
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5774

Giving Thanks for Doors Opened
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

"HaKol B'Seder!"
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Liberate Yourself!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

What's an Omer?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

“Letter to my Son Akiva”
Jon Erlbaum - 5773

ArtScroll

Why Four Cups?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Pesach
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

A Count of Anticipation
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Physical Song
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

The Servants of G-d
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Last Days of Pesach
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

> The Fifth Son
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Introduction to Maggid
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

15 Steps To Freedom
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Parshas Acharei Mos and Pesach
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information