Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 8, v. 4: "V'zeh maa'sei ham'noroh" - And this is the creation of the candelabrum - Rashi (Sifri 5:7) says that Hashem showed Moshe the details of the menorah by pointing with His finger, as per the dictum "zeh ma'reh v'etzba" (see Rashi on Shmos 15:2). Moshe was already given a vision of the Mishkon and its vessels, as the verse states, "K'chole asher ani ma'reh os'cho eis tavnis haMishkon v'eis kol keilov" (Shmos 25:9). Why did Moshe need so much coaching specifically by the menorah, having both visual and pointing guidance? Perhaps this is because the menorah represents the oral Torah, as is well documented. The basis of the oral Torah is the acceptance and guidance of our Rabbis. This is why Moshe needed extra guidance, a lesson for all generations. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 11, v. 5: "Eis hakishuim v'eis ho'avatichim" - Rashi says that the manna did not have the taste of the items listed in this verse because they are bad for a nursing mother. Why indeed did Hashem not allow for the taste of these items in manna to be safe for the nursing baby? Had a mother been able to have the choice of any flavour in her manna she would not be giving up anything in bringing up her child. Hashem did not want to have parents lose touch with the concept of sacrificing for our children's well being even in the desert, when almost all the bnei Yisroel's needs were catered to by Hashem. (Rabbi Moshe Rosen)

Ch. 11, v. 10: "Bocheh l'mish'p'chosov ish l'fesach oholo" - The verse goes on to say that Hashem was very angry. Had the people not cried, but only had a lust for the forbidden, that would have been bad enough. Now that they took it so to heart that they cried, and only cried for their own plight, "ish l'fesach oholo," and did not concern themselves with their neighbours who had the same difficulty, Hashem became very angry. (Chasam Sofer)

Ch. 11, v. 10: "Va'yichar af Hashem m'ode uv'einei Moshe ro" - Although Hashem was very angry Moshe only viewed their act as being bad. This is because Moshe had trained himself to be a protagonist and defendant of the bnei Yisroel. (Kedushas Levi)

Perhaps we can add that this is all the more astounding if we take into account that Moshe in his personal life had separated himself even from his wife and did not complain and here the bnei Yisroel were allowed to marry just about anyone, and by being restricted to not marry only close relatives they cried and complained bitterly. Nevertheless, Moshe only viewed this as bad and did not become exceedingly angry with them. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 12, v. 3: "V'ho'ish Moshe onov m'ode mikole ho'odom asher al pnei ho'adomoh" - Although Moshe was fully aware of his being an "ish," an accomplished person of stature, nevertheless, he was the most humble being on earth. Thinking of oneself that he is worthless is not true humility. In the words of the Holy Baal Shem Tov, "A humble person is one who would even ride in the fanciest coach but be unmoved by this."

Another thought on the trait of humility: "If I am a somebody than I am a nobody. If I am a nobody then I am a somebody." (Rabbi Aharon Hagodol of Karlin)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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