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Table Talk Shemot Series III Print E-mail

Table Talk“My Lord, why have You done evil to this people?” (Exodus 5:22) Rabbi Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandel told a story about an interaction he had with his great father-in-law, the Nitra Rav zt”l. The Nitra Rav had been invited to address a group of Jews in a desperate situation, however, he was ill, and asked Rav Weissmandel to speak in his place. When his son-in-law returned from the gathering, the Nitra Rav asked him about what he spoke. “I spoke about the verse, ‘My Lord, why have You done evil to this people?’ and compared it to our current situation and used it to inspire them to pray from the depths of their hearts.” “Had I known,” said the father-in-law, “that you would speak like that, I would have spoken instead of asking you to speak, no matter how sick I was! That verse can only be between the leader of the Jewish people and God. He should never speak thus to the people. It is disrespectful to God!” How would the Nitra Rav explain why Moshe’s cry to God is written in the Torah for all to see?

From the Beginning
(Sotah 12a) “And when she saw him that he was good.” (Exodus 2:2)  It has been taught: R. Meir says: His name was Tov [good]; R. Judah says: His name was Toviah; R. Nehemiah says: [She foresaw that he would be] worthy of the prophetic gift; others say: He was born circumcised; and the Sages declare, At the time when Moses was born, the whole house was filled with light — it is written here, “And when she saw
him that he was good,” and elsewhere it is written: “And God saw the light that it was good.” (Genesis 1:4) Was Moshe destined for greatness from the moment he was born? How much of his greatness resulted from his efforts? How much was only his destiny? How do these ideas apply to each one of us, who are not “destined” for the greatness of Moshe?

According to The Ways of The World

“Let us now go for a three-day journey.” (5:3) Why did Moshe request leave for a short journey rather than full freedom? See Job 37:23: “We do not find the Almighty to be overbearing in His strength.” Were the Ten Plagues not “overbearing”? Was Moshe taking the approach of gradually manifesting God’s absolute power? How did Moshe know that he should take this approach with Pharaoh? Is this reflected in the way we should teach our children to observe God’s commandments?
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