Meir Tzvi Berman

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Parshas Chukas


Shimu Na HaMorim
"Listen, please (you) the Morim."

Rashi offers two interpretations for the word Morim 1) Morim is a Greek word that means fools. 2) Morim is a Hebrew word that means teachers. In this instance, Moshe (Moses) the Great Teacher, is talking to those who are trying to teach their teacher The two interpretations reflect a common idea. Proverbs (26:12) states "(Have) you seen a man who is wise in his own eyes? (There is) more hope for a fool than for him." A man who believes that he is wise is more hopeless than a fool because he will not take counsel from anyone. Those who try to teach their teacher are acting as the ultimate "one who is wise in his own eyes."

(R' Avrohom Mordechai of Gur - Ma'ayana Shel Torah)


VaYach Ess HaSela B'Matehu ... VaYomer Hashem El Moshe V'El Aharon Ya'an Lo He'emantem Bi L'Hakdisheni L'Einay B'nei Yisroel... "And he hit the stone with his staff... And G-d said to Moshe and to Aharon 'Since you did not have faith in Me to sanctify Me in the eyes of the Children of Israel...'

G-d commanded Moshe and Aharon to obtain water in the desert for the Jews by speaking to a stone. Instead, they made the stone produce water by striking it.

This verse is saying that, according to their great level of spirituality, they fell short of their duty in sanctifying G-dís name. We must now try to understand how what they did was a lesser degree of sanctifying G-d's name. Whether the stone produced water by speaking to it or by hitting it, either method of obtaining the water would have been a miraculous wonder. For what reason is hitting considered any less a glorification of G-d's name than speaking to the stone? There is a side benefit from obtaining water by talking to the stone. This would demonstrate that even a stone obeys G-d's word as it is transmitted through Moshe. Because Moshe hit the rock rather than speaking to it, this important lesson was not illustrated.

(Darash Moshe)

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Jerusalem, Israel