web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Parshat Vaeira

Hertzberg-012012

Following this setback Hashem commanded Moshe to deliver to Pharaoh that he must free the Jewish people. Aware of his own shortcomings, Moshe claimed that he was not capable of successfully speaking to Pharaoh. Employing the argument of kal vachomer Moshe argued that if he was unable to inspire Bnei Yisrael he would certainly be unable to convince Pharaoh. Moshe further argued that his speech impediment would undermine any chance he had at success. Hashem rejected Moshe’s argument and ordered him to speak with both Bnei Yisrael and Pharaoh. Regarding his speech impediment Hashem informed him that his brother Aharon would serve as his spokesman.

The commentators have offered many explanations regarding Moshe’s concerns. The common denominator between them is that Moshe looked inward and attributed the cause of the setbacks to himself. He further reasoned that if he were not able to reach Bnei Yisrael he certainly would not be able to sway Pharaoh. In response to his concerns Hashem taught Moshe some fundamental leadership lessons. The first lesson was that a leader must adapt. If his initial approach doesn’t work then he must pursue an alternate. Even an approach that worked at one time might not work again. The Meshech Chochma points out that Moshe’s original speech to Bnei Yisrael in this parsha focused on the distant future. Due to their wretched condition Bnei Yisrael couldn’t even imagine such a future let alone be inspired by it. Moshe learned that to inspire them to seek their freedom he had to limit his argument to the here and now. His new rhetoric focused on the ending of the bondage.

A second lesson Hashem taught Moshe was that his kal vachomer was flawed. His failure to inspire Bnei Yisrael did not necessarily have any bearing on his discussions with Pharaoh. The fact that Moshe thought it did demonstrated that he thought one approach was appropriate for all occasions. Hashem taught him that this was not the case. The message that would ultimately inspire Bnei Yisrael was very different from what would convince Pharaoh. Bnei Yisrael needed to hear a message of hope. Pharaoh needed to hear a message of power.

Moshe, the greatest leader and teacher we ever had, internalized these lessons. Throughout his tenure he constantly searched for the right words and message that would inspire Bnei Yisrael during their developing stages. He likewise understood that one size does not fit all. Most importantly when things did not work out perfectly Moshe accepted responsibility and looked inward to improve the situation. Leaders must follow Moshe’s example. Custer failed to do so and ended up at the Little Big Horn instead of his own Promised Land.

Rabbi Dr. David Hertzberg is the principal of the Yeshivah of Flatbush Middle Division. Comments can be emailed to him at mdrabbi@aol.com.

About the Author: Rabbi Dr. David Hertzberg is the principal of the Yeshivah of Flatbush Middle Division. Comments can be emailed to him at mdrabbi@aol.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Parshat Vaeira”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Children run into a shelter during a Code Red siren warning of incoming rockets fired from Gaza in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon.
IDF Retaliates for Ashkelon’s Morning Rocket Fire
Latest Judaism Stories
Weiss-072514

Just as the moon waxes, wanes and renews itself, so has the nation of Israel renewed itself through the millennia.

126_masei_web

Parshat Masei: Rabbi Fohrman addresses the age-old question, are we our brother’s keeper?

Hertzberg-072514

When Germany invaded neutral Belgium on August 4, England declared war on Germany. Thus, by the end of the first week of August all the major powers of Europe were at war.

Winiarz-072514

The Talmud teaches that the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed because of baseless hatred.

When taking any major step in life it is a good idea to carefully re-evaluate one’s past.

Ours is a small and intensely vulnerable people. Inspired, we rise to greatness. Uninspired, we fall

The enormity of Hiram’s accomplishments crazed him and deluded him into self-deification.

When Hashem first thought (if it could be) about creating the world, the middah of din was in operation.

Hallel On Purim?
“Its Reading Is Its Praise”
(Megillah 14a)

If the only person available to perform the milah on the eighth day is a person who is not an observant Jew, the milah should be postponed until a devout mohel is available.

It is apparent from the Maharsha that he does not see galus as atoning for killing accidentally; otherwise, this Gemara would not bother him.

It was found to be a giant deer tick living in her head – with its claws in her scalp.

While daydreaming about finding the perfect job, I never expected to be rewarded in spades for my aforementioned experience.

We are all entrusted with the mission of protecting our fellow Jews

Today, we remain Hashem’s nachal.

More Articles from Rabbi David Hertzberg
Hertzberg-072514

When Germany invaded neutral Belgium on August 4, England declared war on Germany. Thus, by the end of the first week of August all the major powers of Europe were at war.

Hertzberg-062014

Although famous for his smile, Ike Eisenhower actually harbored a volcanic temper that he worked arduously to control.

Why did we merit exiting the gas chamber alive when so many others did not?

Without a plan of action, a leader will never be able to lead his followers anywhere, no matter how important the destination or lofty the goal.

Like Dempsey and Gates, leaders must always be cognizant of the costs involved in their decisions – even when the costs are less than human life

G-d, accordingly, is encouraging Moshe to not just focus on reaching the top of the spiritual mountain but remaining there as well, thus fully capitalizing on his gains.

Moshe’s name would forever remind him of the kindness that Pharaoh’s daughter did for him by taking him out of the Nile, and serve as a lodestar to him as he interacts with his people.

Having come to the conclusion that nobody was more qualified than Yosef to lead Egypt in anticipation of and during the approaching famine, Pharaoh appointed him prime minister. This appointment made Yosef the second most powerful man in Egypt.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/parshat-vaeira-3/2012/01/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: