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November 22, 2014 / 29 Heshvan, 5775
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Home » Judaism » Parsha »

The Sin of Moshe Rabbeinu


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The Rambam writes that when a father chastises a child, he should “fake anger” in order to instill discipline into him. The notion of “faking” anger is precisely the point. No one should ever depart from the middle path. But a child has to be trained to behave correctly. Therefore, like God Himself, Who, according to the Rambam, led Bnei Yisrael slowly but surely to the right path, the father leads the child to the right path of Torah and mitzvot. When a father, a teacher, or any one has successfully extirpated his passions, and any anger that he possesses is only “fake anger,” he can be said to be truly imitating God.

About the Author: Rabbi Dr. David Horwitz holds the David Lifshitz Chair in Talmud and is Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.


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The Rambam, therefore, adds a second component: by getting angry, Moshe misled the people as to the nature of God. The masses felt that Moshe’s anger was reflective of God’s anger.

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