Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Vaera

Dare Not Be Fooled

By Rabbi Label Lam

And G-d spoke to Moshe and Aaron and commanded them concerning the Children of Israel and concerning Pharaoh King of Egypt to bring Israel out of Egypt. These are the heads of their fathers' houses... And Amram took Yocheved his aunt to him for a wife and she bore to him Aaron and Moses...These are Aaron and Moses, to whom G-d had said; "Bring out the Children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their hosts. These are they that spoke to Pharaoh, King of Egypt, these are Moshe and Aaron.... (Shemos 6:13...27)

Right before Moses is to speak to Pharaoh, the Torah seemingly switches subjects and we are treated to a lesson in lineage. Since every word is crucial and holy, why is there such a deviation from the narrative to tell us about Moshe and Aaron’s family tree, and why specifically at that moment immediately prior to their negotiations with Pharaoh?

Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch, in his commentary on the Torah writes the following: "Right from the earliest times it occurred that men who have shown themselves quite strikingly to be benefactors to their people on account of their "godlike" deeds, have been invested after their passing away from this world, with a "godly" origin. We know well enough how in later times, a Jew whose genealogical table was not available, and because it was not available, and because he brought the world a few sparks of light borrowed from the man Moses, came to be considered by nations as begotten by God, and to doubt his divinity became a capital crime. Our Moses was a man, remained a man, and is to remain a man..."

For the very same reason the burial place of Moses remains forever obscure, as it states at the very end of the Torah, "And Moses, the servant of God, died there in the land of Moab...and no man knows his grave until this very day." (Devarim 34:5-6) Moshe’s name is mentioned only once in the Haggadah on Pesach and even then he is referred to as a servant of HASHEM.

It’s not about Moshe. It was never about Moshe. The idea is not to be distracted by “who” but rather to remain forever with the“what”. The Torah’s message would otherwise be at risk of being eclipsed and distorted by a focus on the one “who” happened to be chosen to deliver the Torah. Since there is strong human tendency to deify the messenger, the Torah goes way out of its way, in anticipation of such a deviant movement, so we all dare not be fooled.


DvarTorah, Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Label Lam and Torah.org.


 

ARTICLES ON EIKEV:

View Complete List

The Beginning of Wisdom
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

The Ante-Room
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Loosening That Stiff Neck
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

> Just One Request
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

All will be Set Right
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Thinking Inside The Box
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

ArtScroll

Royalty in Training
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Humility: On the Shoulders of Our Father
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

Healing and Sensitivity
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

No Easy Matter
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

The Healing of the Heel
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

Unreal
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Limitations of Man's Understanding
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5762

When Serving Dinner
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Building on Our Blessings
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5761

The Small Things
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773



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