RAV DOVID FEINSTEIN, ZT”L, ON THE PARSHA
(as heard and adapted by Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman)
לָמָ֤ה הֲרֵעֹ֙תָה֙ לָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֔ה לָ֥מָּה זֶּ֖ה שְׁלַחְתָּֽנִי.... וְהַצֵּ֥ל לֹא־הִצַּ֖לְתָּ אֶת־עַמֶּֽךָ
Moshe Rabbeinu appeared surprised when Pharaoh refused to allow Klal Yisroel to escape their bondage and leave Mitzrayim.
We may ask, why the disbelief?
From the beginning, Hashem informed Moshe He would ‘harden Pharaoh’s heart’ in order to rain down plagues on Egypt.
If this master plan was previously shared with Moshe, why did he express astonishment when Hashem’s will was realized?
Moshe was undoubtedly aware of Hashem’s intentions, however, when Pharoah worsened the living conditions of the Jews, Moshe protested and felt this wasn’t what he bargained for; he didn’t volunteer for this!
Moshe expected delays in the exodus but did not anticipate the added pain and suffering of his brethren so when he observed Egypt’s stifling new decrees and intensified Jewish misery, he expressed rightful indignation and regret.
וְאֵיךְ֙ יִשְׁמָעֵ֣נִי פַרְעֹ֔ה וַאֲנִ֖י עֲרַ֥ל שְׂפָתָֽיִם…. וְאַהֲרֹ֤ן אָחִ֙יךָ֙ יְדַבֵּ֣ר אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֔ה
What was Moshe Rabbeinu trying to tell Hashem? What was he insinuating?
Was it was not apparent to Moshe that the spectacular plagues came directly from Hashem and no intermediary was necessary? Why would a speech impediment derail the Almighty’s objectives?
Of course, Moshe understood the implementation of the plagues did not require his intervention.
However, the requisite accompanying divine warnings and cautionary advice to Pharoah did necessitate sound messaging and clear articulation. And for this, he wasn’t qualified!
When Hashem appointed Aharon to be Moshe’s spokesperson, He was signaling to Moshe the reality that even the most eloquent orator wouldn’t sway the wickedness of the regime or have a meaningful influence on the depravity and immorality of Pharaoh’s failure to see the Hand of G-d.
Chodesh Tov and have a wonderful shabbos,
I’ll see you in shul!
Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman
מרא דאתרא קנג. אוהב שׁלום
Rosh Chodesh Shevat, erev shabbos kodesh parshas vayera 5781