B’ha’alot’cha 5769-2009

"Would a Human Author Have Written this?"

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch points out in his commentary that Moses' request to his father-in-law Jethro to remain with the Jewish people and to serve as a guide for them, underscores the lack of even the most elementary leadership and organizational skills on the part of Moses. On the other hand, the fact that these and other unflattering portions are included in the Bible, clearly establishes that the Torah could not possibly be the work of any human author.

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Shemot 5769-2009

"Does Moses Contradict G-d?"

In parashat Shemot, Moses seems to disagree with, indeed contradict, G-d. Despite G-d's explicit statement that, "They shall harken to thy voice," Moses responds that "They will not believe me, nor harken to my voice." Our rabbis struggle over whether Moses spoke to G-d unbefittingly, or whether G-d and Moses were simply referring to different issues when they each spoke.

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Tetzaveh 5766-2006

"Drawing Close to G-d"

In parashat Tetzaveh, G-d announces that He will "dwell among the children of Israel and be their G-d." This statement seems to be asserting that G-d's presence among the people of Israel will be so overwhelming that they will perforce recognize Him as G-d. And yet, many people today are afraid of drawing too close to G-d, afraid of losing independence, and afraid of losing their individual identity.

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