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Dvar Torah by Jeff Katz

This Torah thought is being dedicated in honor of the yahrtzeit of my beloved father Nachman Shimon ben Yehuda Meir hakohen Katz, z"l

"...but they (Bnai Yisrael) did not heed Moshe, because of shortness of breath and hard work" (6:9)


The Torah enumerates 2 reasons why the Bnai Yisrael were not capable of listening to Moshe. Only G-d is privy to know the exact reasons, otherwise many assumptions can be made as to why they didn't listen to Moshe. As onlookers, we might assume the worst about the enslaved Jews, namely lack of faith or dullness of mind or whatever other negative possibilities.Yet the Torah gives us 2 reasons. The lesson might be that we have to realize that as human beings we lack certain pertinent facts when we perceive others in various circumstances. We think we might know the true reasons why people act as they do, and often we think the worst. By the Torah telling us the exact 2 reasons about why the Jews could not hear what Moses was saying, the Torah is telling us that only G-d knows the reasons and these are what they are. Do not fool yourselves into believing that you might know it all because you don't. We can learn a tremendous lesson from this account. One of the positive commandments of the Torah is, "You shall judge your nation with righteousness" (Leviticus 19:15). This commandment teaches us to judge even an average person with the benefit of the doubt. If we see our friend in a questionable circumstance, we should actively assume the best in his favor, not the worst, because we are only human, and thus we are limited in scope. Only G-d
knows this person's reasons; we certainly do not. Let's all be good advocates for our friends. This is true humility.

Thu, January 18 2018 2 Shevat 5778