Va’eira – Use Your Head And Bare Your Heart

Moshe Rabbeinu, is the central character in the whole of the Book of Exodus. And he is considered the true ‘Shepherd of Israel’. Yet we also extol the virtues of Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov. Indeed the opening verses of this week’s Parsha draw this comparison. It is interesting to note that of all these greats, only Moshe had the seeming audacity to challenge G-d, questioning His oppression of His people. The forefathers did not challenge G-d and accepted G-d’s decisions on faith. Even the seeming challenge by Abraham questioning G-d’s imminent destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was not a challenge in principle. He knew and understood the depravity that these inhabitants had descended into. Abraham was inquiring as to what would be the tipping point to prevent destruction – what number of Tzaddikim would have to live there for G-d to forebear? This was not questioning G-d as such. The differential between the forefathers and Moshe Rabbeinu lies in their personality types. Moshe’s personality was intellectual. We know that the mind questions and seeks contradictions. The forefathers’ personality were emotion-based, leading to the acceptance of a faith and belief without questions. Hence G-d displays different features of Himself to Moshe than to Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov. To the latter G-d reveals only a degree of His true self – E-l Shad-dai – sufficient for emotional attachment. But for Moshe Rabbeinu, the supernal truth of Havaye was revealed, one that could impress the higher powers of intellect. The ideal is to serve G-d with both mind and heart. Do you study spiritual Judaism? Do you feel the G-dliness around you? You need both dimensions for Jewish completion.