Thursday, January 10, 2013

Dvar Torah for Parshas Va'eira

       In this week’s parshah, Moshe and Aharon begin carrying out their mission from Hashem to Paroh and the first seven makkos are delivered on the Egyptians. In last week’s parshah, Hashem appointed Moshe to be the leader of Bnei Yisrael, when up till this time, his brother, Aharon, had filled that position. Moshe protested that Aharon should continue to fill the same position he always had and be the one sent to Paroh. So Hashem decided to make Moshe the leader but that Aharon should be his second-in-command and go to Paroh with him. We see this decision in action in this week’s parshah.
       The second aliyah in this week’s parshah gives the family genealogy of Moshe and Aharon. After this, the pasuk reads, “הוּא אַהֲרֹן וּמשֶׁה אֲשֶׁר אָמַר יְהֹוָה לָהֶם הוֹצִיאוּ אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם עַל צִבְאֹתָם“This is Aharon and Moshe to whom Hashem said: ‘Take the Children of Israel out of Egypt according to their legions” (Shemos 6:26). The very next pasuk reads, “הֵם הַמְדַבְּרִים אֶל פַּרְעֹה מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם לְהוֹצִיא אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִּצְרָיִם הוּא משֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן“They are the ones who spoke to Paroh, king of Egypt, to take the Children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; this is Moshe and Aharon” (6:27). Rashi explains that in the Torah, sometimes we see Moshe written before Aharon and sometimes Aharon before Moshe. This shows us that even though it does not always seem this way, they were both equally great and equally important.
       The Kli Yakar goes into greater detail of why they are mentioned in this specific order in each pasuk. The main mission given to Moshe from Hashem was to take Bnei Yisrael out of Egypt. It seems very clear from the pesukim that Moshe was the main figure with Aharon delegated to a secondary role. Therefore, in the pasuk which speaks about taking Bnei Yisrael out of Egypt, pasuk 26, the Torah wrote Aharon’s name first to show that he was just as vital to the mission as Moshe. The other part of the assignment from Hashem was to go to Paroh and ask for Bnei Yisrael to be freed and perform miracles in front of him. The Torah tells us several times that Aharon would be the one to actually speak to Paroh when he and Moshe went to the palace. Therefore, in the pasuk which talks about them speaking to Paroh, pasuk 27, the Torah writes Moshe’s name first, showing that even though it was technically Aharon’s responsibility, Moshe was of equal importance to Aharon in that case.
       There are so many times in life where we feel threatened by other people. Other times, we seize opportunities to get ahead even if it is not good for the people involved, but just for ourselves. How much more often do we see these things by siblings, where we so often feel the need to be better than the other! Moshe and Aharon both completely embraced each other’s success and kept trying to give the greater glory to the other, because they felt that it would be better for the entire nation if the other did what needed to be done. It was only because of this mutual respect and dedication to each other that they were able to bring the Bnei Yisrael out of Egypt. We must learn from Moshe and Aharon to be respectful of others and to always put the greater good ahead of our own interests. And it is only through this that we will merit the true redemption speedily in our times.

Shabbat Shalom!

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