web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



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 and is an adjunct assistant professor of History at Touro College.


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
The Iron Dome was called on for the first time in 2013 to intercept a missile fired by terrorists in Sinai at Eilat.
National Lawyers Guild seeks to indict Obama for helping Israel build Iron Dome
Latest Judaism Stories
Jonah and the Whale (2012) 23 x 23, bronze relief by Lynda Caspe.

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

15th century Book of the Torah

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

Leff-091214

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

Torah isn’t a theological treatise or a metaphysical system but a series of stories linked over time

In contrast to her Eicha-like lamentations of the previous hour or more, however, my youngest was now grinning from ear-to-ear.

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

e are in a time of serious crisis and must go beyond our present levels of chesed.

According to Ibn Ezra, the Torah was stressing through this covenant that hypocrisy was forbidden.

“Tony said that the code in most places in the U.S. is at least 36 inches for a residential guardrail,” replied Mr. Braun. “Some make it higher, 42, or even 52 inches for high porches. What is the required height according to halacha?”

Simcha is total; sahs is God’s joy in protecting us even when we are most vulnerable.

Not only do we accept You as our King, it is our greatest desire that the name of Your Kingdom be spread throughout the entire universe.

More Articles from Rabbi David Hertzberg
Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Eisenhower understood that motivated men will fight much harder and longer than unmotivated men.

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.

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.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: