Friday, April 14, 2017

Paroh Was A Slave Too

Shaaallooom sweeetest friends!!!

This dvar Torah is li-ilui nishmas R' Mordechai Tzvi ben Aharon Menachem whose yahrtziet is on the 7th day of Pesach, the father of my beloved friend, a pillar of Torah, tzedkah, chesed and middos tovos and an excellent chavrusa R' Chaim Schreck. May R' Chaim, his special Rebbtezin and their sweet children see only bracha and chesed all the days of their lives and may we all see tchiyas hameisim very soon. [Pesach is the holiday of tchiyas hameisim - pay careful attention to the Haftorah this Shabbos].

Moshe doesn't want to redeem the Jewish people because Paroh won't listen to him. He argues

וַיְדַבֵּר מֹשֶׁה לִפְנֵי יְהוָה לֵאמֹר הֵן בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא שָׁמְעוּ אֵלַי וְאֵיךְ יִשְׁמָעֵנִי פַרְעֹה וַאֲנִי עֲרַל שְׂפָתָיִם.

If the Jews didn't listen to me then how will Paroh?? 

This is a classic kal va-chomer! 

Problem is that it is seemingly a faulty one. The Jews didn't listen to Moshe מקוצר רוח ומעבודה קשה - from short breath and hard work. But Paroh? He wasn't enslaved so he is more likely to listen??!! So what was Moshe talking about??

Here is a HUUUUGE lesson for life. 

Paroh WAS enslaved. He said לי יאורי ואני עשיתיני - The Nile is mine and I created myself. He had to put up a facade of being a god!! He had to go to relieve himself early in the morning so that noboy would know that he has basic human needs. How hard is THAT? To have to show the whole world that you are a superpower!! That is a TRUE form of servitude. So Moshe was correct - if the enslaved Jews can't listen but they are too focused on their problems - well then Paroh is in the same boat! He also is SOO troubled from his need to be someone he isn't that he also won't be able to listen [Birkas Mordechai]. 


How many of us often find ourselves trying to prove ourselves to others. Trying to show that we were RIGHT and s/he is WRONG. That we are smart or knowledgeable or successful. If we want to be freed we can just let our defenses down. We don't always have to be right. We can admit error, loudly and publicly, when we were wrong. We can say "I am sorry for hurting your feelings! How can I make it up to you, I was so wrong", instead of constantly defending ourselves. We can admit to our spouses and children that we are less than perfect. That sometimes when we blame or criticize them it is really due to our own personal inadequacies. We can start saying when people are discussing a topic we know little about "I don't know. I am ignorant in this - and most - areas. So I have no opinion". 

THAT is freedom. Just letting go of all of all of our pretension!!

Have a sweet delicious Shabbos Chol Ha-moed!

Bi-ahava rabba,