Parshat Vaera – The Empowerment of Moshe Rabeinu

We read at the start of the Parsha : (6,9)

“Moshe spoke thus to the children of Israel, but they did not listen to him because of [their] shortness of breath and because of [their] hard labour.”

A few Pesukim later we read: (6, 12)

“But Moshe spoke with Hashem, saying, “Behold, (even) Bnei Yisrael did not listen to me. How then will Pharaoh listen to me, seeing that I am of sealed lips?”

Torah commentators ask the very simple question: Moshe has mentioned in the first Pasuk that Bnei Yisrael did not listen to him because they were basically exhausted. So why does this suggest that Pharaoh will likewise ignore him? After all, Pharaoh had not been “exhausted” by the hard work?

The illustrious Rav of Ponevezh approached a good friend for a large loan. He said he needed it for a few days. Indeed, after just 72 hours, the Rav returned the large sum to his friend. The friend – noticed that the notes were the very same notes which he gave the Rav… “Rabbi, asked the friend: I can see that you have given me the same notes, meaning that you have not used the money I lent you, and if so – why did you need this large sum at all?” 

The Rav smiled, enjoying his friend’s smart eye, and replied:  “I did not need the money at all. However, I did have an important meeting with a high ranking government official, and I had much higher self-confidence as the large sum was in my pocket…”

Moshe Rabeinu said: How do you expect me to perform well when I speak to Pharaoh, when my own people did not give me the strength I would need when I represent them“?

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Chaim Michael Biberfeld