Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Chukat
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicated in the memory of

Asher Ben Haim

Parashat Chukat

The Power of Moses

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Rabbi David Magence

5764
Among the wars dealt with in the later part of the Parasha is the battle against Og, the giant king of the Bashan.

Our Sages tell us that this battle was lead by Moses himself, and it was Moses who killed Og in battle.

It seems strange, that this was the only battle in which Moses actually fought. In previous wars, Moses did not participate as a combatant. For example, when Israel was attacked by Amalek, Moses instructed his disciple Joshua to choose soldiers and lead them into battle.

My father explained that our Sages wish to teach us an important lesson. Joshua was the one destined to lead the People of Israel into the Promised Land, whereas Moses was the one who brought God’s Torah to the People. In order to fight the Amaleks, the anti-Semitic forces massed against us, we need the Land of Israel. When the Jews possess a land of their own and are independent, they can defeat the anti-Semitic forces. When the Jews live in exile, the most they can do is minimize the destructive power of Amalek, they cannot hope to destroy Amalek completely. The destruction of Amalek can be accomplished only in Israel. (Indeed, the mitzva to wipe out Amalek applied only after the Tribes of Israel conquered the Land and appointed their king.) Ultimately, it is little Israel which stands in defense of the Jew everywhere.

Against the giants, we need the power of Moses, the strength of the Torah. As long as the People of Israel follow the Torah, they need not fear even the giants.

The ideal, of course is the combination of Eretz Yisrael and Torat Yisrael. May we be privileged to achieve this combination and have it bring the ultimate redemption.

את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר yeshiva.org.il