February 26, 2016
I had to share this beautiful idea from Rav Eli Mansour. I hope you enjoy. Have a great Shabbos!
After the sin of the golden calf, G-d informed Moshe of His decision to eradicate Beneh Yisrael and produce a new nation from Moshe. But Moshe intervened on the nation’s behalf, and pleaded to G-d to forgive the people. G-d accepted Moshe’s plea and rescinded the decree.
Moshe began his prayer for the people by saying, “Why should G-d be incensed at Your nation, which You took from the land Egypt with great strength and with a mighty hand?” (32:11). Surprisingly, Moshe here emphasizes the great miracles of the Exodus, the fact that G-d brought Beneh Yisrael out of Egypt “with great strength and with a mighty hand.” Why would Moshe emphasize this point when pleading on the nation’s behalf? Seemingly, the miracles G-d had performed for the people made their betrayal more severe. After all He did for them, bringing supernatural plagues upon the Egyptians and splitting the sea to rescue them, they now bowed down to a graven image and proclaimed, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you from the land of Egypt.” This was a grave act of betrayal. Why would Moshe emphasize the “great strength” of the Exodus in attempting to defend the people and obtain G-d’s forgiveness?
The Maggid of Duvna explains that as our Sages teach, the period of Egyptian bondage was to have endured for 400 years, but G-d brought the redemption sooner, after just 210 years, 190 years before the suffering was to have ended. Moshe thus reminded G-d, so-to-speak, of His great love for Beneh Yisrael. He “rushed” to release them from bondage and to bring them to Mount Sinai, where the “wedding” between G-d and Beneh Yisrael took place. G-d could not wait, as it were, to make a special covenant with our nation. And it was on account of this unique unbridled love that G-d has for Beneh Yisrael that Moshe asked for forgiveness.
G-d’s love for us is unconditional and everlasting, and He is therefore prepared to forgive us for our wrongdoing when return to Him with sincere remorse and heartfelt prayer.