web analytics
July 3, 2015 / 16 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Present, Yet Anonymous

YU-Torah-logo

Rav Copperman noted that this low-key approach was meant to highlight that the focus for Moshe Rabbeinu was purely on the mission he was called to perform and the degree to which he succeeded or failed in that mission. The Torah doesn’t necessarily care about his lineage, but rather, ultimately, whether Moshe’s talents and potential would be actualized in service to the Jewish people.  Perhaps it was important to Moshe to feel as though he was playing a role in facilitating the Geula, or in Kabbalas HaTorah or in the Mesorah, but it was never about Moshe being front and center and dominating the narrative. Moshe’s somewhat anonymous beginning highlights the demand on us to never overly focus on any one individual’s accomplishments, but on the larger themes of contributions to a cause that transcends the individual.

If this is the case then we can resolve some of the issues we have raised previously. We understand that if Moshe were to enter the Mishkan at the very moment that it was completed, when the Shechinah had descended, then the Mishkan and the Shechinas haMishkan would become associated with Moshe Rabbeinu. Moshe inherently knew that he could help build and facilitate the Mishkan, but that at the most significant moment, when the Shechinah had descended, he needed to take a step back.YU-020714-Shin

This perhaps is what took place in Menachos as well. Initially, when Moshe was unfamiliar with the Talmudic discourse he became somewhat despondent by his lack of knowledge of some of the specific mechanisms of Torah Sh’Baal Peh. Once he heard the reference to halacha l’Moshe M’Sinai he was assuaged by the knowledge that he was able to help facilitate the Mesorah even if the halachic and Talmudic process had extended well beyond his vast contributions.

This brings us back to our original question:  Why is Moshe Rabbeinu’s name omitted specifically from Parshas Tetzaveh? Rav Zalman Sorotzkin in his Oznaim LaTorah suggests that when Chazal established the cycle of Krias haTorah they specifically arranged that Tetzaveh would fall out either the week before or after the seventh of Adar, the day of Moshe’s birth and death. Rav Sorotzkin notes that leaders of other religions invariably become the focal point of the religion’s beliefs and practices, and the leader’s day of birth or death becomes a critical day on the calendar. Not so with Moshe Rabbeinu, who understood that while he played a critical role in helping to facilitate the birth of the nation he was never the focal point – it was always about playing a role in a larger scheme.  Specifically during the period of time when Moshe Rabbeinu might become lionized and even deified, the Torah excludes his name from the parsha.

Moshe Rabbeinu‘s life continues to inspire us thousands of years after his death. The integrated characteristics of modesty and strength that allowed Moshe to become the paradigm of a strong leader, but one whose ego did not rule the day, is an eternal model that still resonates for anyone in a leadership role. Moshe’s life demonstrates that an individual of strength, confidence and conviction is able to step back, content to just try to fulfill ratzon Hashem. May we continue to strive, in every area of our life, to integrate the messages of Toras Moshe.

About the Author: Rabbi Josh Blass serves as Mashgiach Ruchani at YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.


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.

One Response to “Present, Yet Anonymous”

  1. I never saw it like this before. Judaism could have easily have become a cult, like most other religions, if it weren't for his humility. After all he did, he wouldn't enter the city for a minor infraction, while most leaders (secular or religious) tend to think so highly of themselves that they spend their entire lives trying to leave a legacy so that their names are not forgotten, even when they commit worse infractions than he ever did. Good read, Rabbi. Most of it went over my head, but what little I get, I'm glad.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference in Be'er Sheba.
Netanyahu: Israel Faces Double Threat, From ISIS and Iran
Latest Judaism Stories
Neihaus-070315

Without a foundation, one cannot hope to build a structure.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Why do we have a parsha in Sefer Shemos named after Yisro who was not only a former idolater, but actually served as a priest for Avodah Zarah!

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Daf-Yomi-logo

This Land Is ‘My’ Land
‘[If The Vow Was Imposed] In The Seventh Year…’
(Nedarim 42b)

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

Attempts to interpret the message of Hashem in the absence of divine prophecy ultimately may twist that message in unintended ways that can lead to calamitous events.

Suddenly, the pilot’s voice could be heard. He explained that this was a special day for those passengers on board who lived in Israel.

If the sick person is thrust into a situation where he is compelled to face his sickness head on, we who are not yet sick can encourage him by facing it with him.

All agree that Jews ARE different. How? Why? The Bible’s answer is surprising and profound.

What’s the nation of Israel’s purpose in the world? How we can bring God’s blessings into the world?

“Is there a difference between rescuing and other services?” asked Ploni.

To my dismay, I’ve seen that shidduch candidates with money become ALL desirable traits for marriage

Bil’am’s character is complex and nuanced; neither purely good nor purely evil.

Amalek, our ultimate foe, understood that when unified, we are invincible and indestructible.

Perhaps on a deeper level, the mitzvah of parah adumah at this junction was not just to purify the body, but the spirit as well.

More Articles from Rabbi Yehoshua Blass
YU-Torah-logo

One of the most striking features of this week’s parsha is the absence of Moshe Rabbeinu’s name, an omission which occurs only once from the beginning of Sefer Shemos until Moshe’s death at the end of Sefer Devraim.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/present-yet-anonymous/2014/02/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: