Monday, February 18, 2008

Will the real Moshe please stand up

Arguably the most talked about aspect of this past week’s Parsha was Moshe Rabbeinu’s name not being mentioned.

The Baal HaTurim explained that Moshe Rabbeinu was so humble and selfless that he told Hashem to take his name out of a Parsha in hopes that Hashem would save Klal Yisrael after the sin of the Golden Calf. Although Hashem made the “decision” to spare the lives of Klal Yisrael some aspects of Moshe’s condition were ever lasting and his name was erased eternally from Parshas Tetzaveh.

The Rav who spoke in the Romanisha shul (in the Lower East side) commented that of all of the Parshiyos in the Torah for Moshe not be mentioned this Parsha was the absolute worst. Parshas Tetzaveh talks about the Kehuna (Moshe was a Kohen for 8 days) and the listing of responsibilities which were to be handed over to his dear brothers and nephews. Hashem should have removed him from Parshas Balak! Why was he specifically removed from Parshas Tetzaveh?

The Romanisha Rov suggested that contrary to the Baal Haturim’s insight, perhaps Moshe Rabbeinu’s name is mentioned in this past week’s Parsha.

A person has two aspects to his name. There is the name which is given to a person by a guardian (Moshe,Aaron,Dovid, Shlomo, Aryeh, Zev…)and there is the actual essence of a person which a person is most familiar with as “himself/herself”. (See Aryeh Kaplan’s, "If you were G-d")

In this past week’s Parsha, by “removing” Moshe’s pretentious name (which was given to him by Batya – Pharaohs’ Daughter), we see the true essence of Moshe Rabbeinu. The first word of the Parsha truly illustrates this idea. The Parsha begins, “V’Ata Titzaveh Es Bnei Yisrael.” Who is the V’Ata that Hashem is commanding? It is Moshe Rabbeinu!

The only one who was truly responsible enough to handle this important revelation from G-d about the protocols of the Priestly garb was Moshe. Instead of Moshe being removed, Parshas Tetzaveh is the only Parsha were the real Moshe is beings mentioned.

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