The history of storytelling as an essential part of moral education begins in this week’s parsha. The Israelites are still slaves, Yet already Moses is directing their minds to the far horizon of the future.
After the plague of hail Paroh exclaimed: “I have sinned this time. Hashem is righteous, and I and my nation are the wicked ones” That is quite a change from Paroh’s normal approach, but is it what it seems to be?
Since every word of our holy Torah carries with it many layers of significance, it is incumbent upon us to understand why this particular word, Bo, is employed by the Torah to describe a certain situation.
The yahrzeit of Rav Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg, often referred to by the name of his seforim, Seridei Eish, occurs this week. Since a teshuvah by him on the subject of kosher animals is the basis for much of this article, I thought it appropriate to discuss this topic.
Humility – A Basic Character Trait of a Jewish Leader
Moshe Rabbeinu, who grew up as a prince in Paroh’s house, as the adopted son of the king’s daughter, and engaged in negotiations with Paroh, reached a new high in our parasha. The Torah describes him as having a lofty perch, both among his Jewish brethren and among the Egyptian nobility (see Shemot 11:3). Despite this, Moshe remained the most humble of men, as the following gemara highlights: “The pasuk says: ‘Not due to your great numbers amongst the nations did Hashem desire you…’ – Hashem said to Israel: ‘I have desired you because even when I bestow greatness upon you, you make yourselves small before Me; I gave greatness to Moshe and Aharon, and they said “What are we?”’” (Chulin 89a). Moshe did not consider himself a “gadol.”