Parshas Vaera - Buy Low, Sell High
In this week's parsha, G-d instructs Moshe and Aharon to go to Pharaoh. G-d
tells them how Pharaoh will react, and what will occur step by step.
"And G-d said to Moshe 'see that I have made you a master over
Pharaoh...and (ultimately) he will send The Children of Israel from his
land. I will strengthen Pharaoh's heart...and Pharaoh will not listen to
you (at first), and I will place My hand on Egypt, and (then) I will bring
out My legions, My people, from the land of Egypt...'And Moshe and Aharon
did just as G-d commanded them...and Moshe was eighty years old, and Aharon
was eighty three years old when they spoke with Pharaoh." (Exodus 7:1-7)
Everything in these seven short verses seem to make perfect sense together
except the last one regarding the ages of Moshe and Aharon. This verse is
seemingly out of place.
Rabbi Shimon Schwab, in his work Mayan Beis HaShoaiva, notes the
inconsistency, an offers the following solution.
If we would stop to think about the era in which Moshe and Aharon were
born, we would be reminded of an astounding thing. The decree of "if it is
a male child you shall kill it" (Exodus 1:16) which Pharaoh ordered to the
Jewish midwives, was at the time that Aharon was born. When Moshe was born,
the decree of "every male child born should be thrown into the river."
(Exodus 1:22). The root of the name Aharon means "conception," as in
conceiving a child. This is most likely because it was so amazing that
Aharon managed to see the light of day.
Rav Schwab says that there is an undercurrent being conveyed here in the
Torah. Here are Moshe and Aharon, living and breathing manifestations of
Pharaoh's decrees made null and void!
I find this an encouraging message. "There are many thoughts in the heart
of man, but the counsel of G-d, it (alone) sustains." (Proverbs 19:21 )
Pharaoh did everything he could to annul the astrological prediction that
the Children of Israel's redeemer would come from a child born in that time
of vicious decrees. Nevertheless here stand Moshe and Aharon who somehow
managed to make it through. As Rabbi Berel Wein always says "G-d has a
sense of humor."
The message is clear. Things are never as bad as they look. Never despair
because out of the darkest of situations came the brightest of lights.
Text Copyright © 2000 Rabbi Dovid Green and
Project Genesis, Inc.