Belief Comes from Within
Moshe faces a crisis of faith at the onset of this week’s parsha. He
apparently has made no headway with and little impression on the Pharaoh of
Egypt. The situation of the Jewish slaves has worsened considerably and the
leaders of the people place blame upon Moshe for that situation.
So, Moshe is apparently unsuccessful with the Pharaoh and unsuccessful with
the Jewish people all at one and the same time. Is it any wonder that Moshe
complains to the Lord about this mission which, he now reiterates, he wishes
to abandon? And even though the Torah does not state so in so many specific
words, it is obvious that Moshe, so to speak, is disappointed in God as well.
The Lord patiently sends him back to his task and reassures him that all
will yet turn out well for him and his people. And by the end of the parsha,
we find Moshe in full strength and confidence delivering his message of
redemption to Pharaoh and to the Jewish people.
This crisis of faith has somehow passed, though we do not find that Moshe’s
earlier concerns have been addressed. The Lord merely reiterates the message
that Moshe has already heard from Him a number of times. Yet Moshe is
revitalized now that he hears God’s promise once again, of Jewish redemption
from Egyptian bondage.
Repeated promises rarely if ever inspire. So what causes this change of
spirit and attitude within Moshe’s thoughts and actions? What is the
catalyst for his new found optimism and boldness of speech and purpose?
I have often felt that it was the very crisis of faith that Moshe endured
that was the main contributing factor to his future steadfastness and
strength of purpose. Only someone who has experienced doubt can truly come
The Lord created a world that tests our faith in Him daily. Life
automatically introduces doubt into our existence. It is in dealing with our
omnipresent doubts, with the unfairness of life itself and with the illogic
and irrationality of it all that one achieves the plateau of faith and
spiritual strength. Only the doubter can become a strong believer.
It is Moshe’s crisis of faith that now anneals and strengthens his belief in
his mission as the savior of Israel from Egyptian bondage. The rabbis stated
that, “All things are in the hand of Heaven, except for fear and belief in
Heaven itself.” Therefore the Lord, so to speak, does not respond to Moshe’s
complaints directly. He does not explain to Moshe why the process of
redemption has seemingly taken on such a difficult and negative turn. The
Lord makes no excuses for what has occurred. He only tells Moshe to keep on
persevering and redemption will eventually arrive.
Moshe has to overcome his crisis of faith on his own. There is no one that
can help make one believe except for the person himself. This is probably
the most important message that one can derive from the study of this week’s
Rabbi Berel Wein