Since the moment Moses is introduced in the Torah at the beginning of the book of Exodus, his name appears in almost every Torah portion. The only exception is in this week’s reading, Tetzaveh.
There are lots of theories as to why that is the case, but I would like to think that it teaches us a similar lesson that we learned about God in Megillat Esther that we read just this morning and last night.
In Megillat Esther, it is surprising to note that there is no direct reference to God in the entire text, a fact that was just as troubling to the Rabbis as Moses’s absence in this week’s Torah portion. How could it be that there is an entire biblical book with no reference to God, or a post-Genesis Torah portion with no reference to Moses? But what the Rabbis point out, is that while God is not directly mentioned in Megillat Esther, God is there. Whether we see it or not, God is ever present, pulling the strings behind the scenes every step of the way. The same is true for Moses in our portion. While Moses does not take center stage in this week’s Torah portion, Moses’s leadership and guidance is ever present in everything that is happening, as the Israelites continue to march toward their promised land, and into the future.
Whether it is God’s presence in our lives, or the impact of members of our family and friends who guided us or taught us in some way, whether we explicitly see it or not, their presence is always there, and can always be found.
And as we celebrate Shabbat together this week, may we all recognize and pay special tribute to all those who often play behind-the-scenes roles in our lives, and thank them for their impact, and the blessings that they bestow on us each and every day.
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Josh Dorsch