Friday, January 25, 2008

Parshas Yisro - "Seeing it in a Different Light"

QUICKIE/FUNFACT: 18:7 "Moshe went out to greet his father-in-law, and he bowed and he kissed him, and they inquired, one man to the other, about the other's well-being; then they came to the tent."

Rashi commenting on this verse asks, "I do not know who is bowing to whom?" Rashi finally comes to the conclusion that it must have been Moshe who was bowing to Yisro. Still, we are left puzzled and perplexed as to the true identity of the bower!

Rav Shlomo HaKohen MeiVilna says in the name of his father that it indeed must be that it was Moshe who was bowing to his father in-law. His reasoning is because Moshe was ten amos tall. Yisro however, was the height of a normal man (now taller than three amos).

Therefore when Moshe wanted to embrace Yisro, he was forced to bow to him in order to carry out his kiss. For this reason the pasuk does not go through the trouble to specify who bowed to who, it was obvious.

19:9 "Hashem said to Moshe, "Behold! I come to you in the thick of the cloud, so that the people will hear as I speak to you, and they will believe in you, also forever."

An obvious question on this verse however is, why did the Ribbono Shel Olam give the Torah in the midst of a cloud?! Wouldn't it have made more sense for Hashem to give us the Torah in a "great light"?!

Rav Yaakov Kapil Margolis rebuts that in fact it makes perfect sense that Hashem gave us the Torah in a dim cloud. G-d gave man the gift of having five senses. Two of these senses are both hearing and seeing. It is well known, that the moment that one of these senses is stunted the other one becomes dominant or stronger. This is the exact reason as to why a deaf person can see better than a regular person. Or that a blind person can hear better than a regular person.

Therefore, in hope that Klal Yisrael would wholehearted and enthusiastically accept the Torah, Hashem made it possible for them to hear everything unmistakably and clearly. For this reason Hashem said to Moshe, "Behold! I come to you in the thick of the cloud", for once one's eyesight is obscured their ability to hear is enhanced.

(Hadrashas HaRan)There are times when Hakadosh Baruch Hu works in mysterious ways, not allowing us to have an inkling of an idea as to when or where he will help us. It is then, in the darkest of times, when we can have the brightest epiphanies and realizations about Hashem's willingness to help and save his nation.


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