Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Behaaloscha

Our Awesome Power

By Rabbi Pinchas Avruch

G-d chastised Miriam and Aaron for discussing Moshe's refraining from personal intimacy to facilitate his service of G-d, a discussion that was not disparaging, as their goal was to correct conduct they viewed as improper (see Rashi on Bamidbar/Numbers 12:1). He made it clear that His relationship with Moshe was unique, one they were in no position to analyze. "If there shall be prophets among you...in a dream I shall speak with him. Not so my servant Moshe; in my entire house he is trusted. Mouth to mouth do I speak to him...at the image of G-d does he gaze. Why did you not fear to speak about my servant about Moshe?" (Bamidbar/Numbers 12:6-8) Given the maxim that the Torah contains no extra letters, no less extra words, would not the simpler verbiage be "about my servant Moshe"? Why does "about" appear twice, as if "my servant" and "Moshe" are two different references?

Rashi (1) explains that the deference should be given for any such servant, not only Moshe, and to Moshe, even if he were not G-d's servant. Moshe, given his righteous deeds and unparalleled humility, deserved such reverence; and any servant of the King is accorded the respect of royalty, for it is not without good cause that the King loves him.

Chofetz Chaim (2) expounds further based on the Talmudic narrative (Brachos 34b) of Chanina ben Dosa praying for the recovery of the son of his mentor, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai. When Chanina's prayers were answered, Rabbi Yochanan explained that although he himself was a greater Torah scholar, a "minister of the King" (Rabbi Yochanan) must request permission to enter the Royal Chambers, but a "servant of the King" (Chanina), while of lesser stature, is permitted unfettered access. Consequently, his prayers were answered.

Thus, elucidates Rabbi Kagan, whether Moshe is considered on his own accord, because of his greatness, as a minister of G-d; or as a servant of G-d, with all the access to the King that position allows, such comments were inexcusable.

The awesome destructive power of lashon hara (slanderous speech) is astonishing. This scourge was the cause of the Jewish nation's forty year trek in the Wilderness following the critical report of the Spies, as well as the cause our current two-millennium exile, with all its persecution. While the great prophet Moshe was and forever will be without parallel, we all strive to develop our G-d consciousness and fulfill our mandate as a "kingdom of ministers and a holy nation" (Shemos/Exodus 19:6). Some of us may be ministers, some not, but at the very least, we are all amongst His servants. By contemplating and appreciating the holiness inherent in all the members of our nation, we can find the strength to excise from our beings this abhorrent behavior and utilize our awesome power to end our exile and usher in the ultimate era of world peace and perfection with the arrival of the Messiah.

Have a Good Shabbos!

(1) Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki; 1040-1105; commentator par excellence, whose commentary is considered basic to the understanding of the text

(2) Rabbi Yisrael Meir HaKohen Kagan of Radin; 1838-1933; author of basic works in Jewish law, philosophy and ethics and renowned for his saintly qualities


Text Copyright 2004 by Rabbi Pinchas Avruch and Torah.org.

Kol HaKollel is a publication of The Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies 5007 West Keefe Avenue Milwaukee, Wisconsin 414-447-7999


 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

Not Better or Worse, Just Different
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Flooded With Real Ecstasy
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

Positive Speech Builds a Brighter World
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Worlds Apart
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5764

New Beginnings
Shlomo Katz - 5762

Priorities Define A Person
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

ArtScroll

Procreation: Creating Worlds
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Never Underestimate the Power of Prayer
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

Great In His Own Times
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein - 5768

> A Wasted Tragedy
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5762

Understanding the Faith of Noach
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

In Man's Diminished Image
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Looking for a Chavrusah?

One for the Birds
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

The Perfect Storm
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Resilience is Key
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

Love versus Fear
Shlomo Katz - 5763



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information