that they were losing out. They understood the technicalities of the Halacha, but they were pleading in desperation "...but what about our spiritual welfare? What is going to be with us? How are we going to manage without being able to bring a Korban Pesach?" They were not challenging the halacha. They were sharing their pain.
The people who brought the make-up Pesach in that second year expressed their anguish at being told that they could not bring the Korban Pesach. Even if one is unable to fulfill a commandment for valid reasons, he should at least feel bad about it.
This was the indictment of the Jewish People. True, for the balance of the 40 years, they could not bring the sacrifice due to halachic technicalities. However, it should have bothered them! It should hurt! The status quo should feel intolerable!
There are many situations in life like this. Nothing can in fact be done, but we can at least feel the pain and anguish at the loss.
When a person wakes up in the middle of the night and stubs his toe while walking around in the dark, he screams. How does screaming help? Clearly, it does not help. But when something hurts, we cry out in pain.
Even if we cannot do anything about our inability to bring a Korban Pesach, we should at least cry about it. We should at least we should have the sensitivity to feel the pain. We should at least say the word 'ouch!'
The Faithful Servant of G-d Was A Faithful Husband To His Wife
The end of the parsha contains the incident in which Miriam spoke lashon hara [gossip] about her brother Moshe concerning the "Kushite woman that he married" [Bamidbar 12:1]. G-d became angry with Miriam and defended Moshe Rabbeinu with accolades, the likes of which have never been written about any human being in the history of mankind.
There are many varying interpretations regarding the exact nature of Miriam's complaint concerning the "Kushite woman who Moshe married". The Moshav Zekeinim m'Baalei HaTosfos has a truly unique way of explaining Miriam's complaint. He interprets that Miriam argued "it was beneath Moshe's dignity that he should be married, at this point in his life, to a Midianite woman".
Moshe was almost 80 years old, was running away, and was stuck in Midian as a 'fugitive of the law' when he married Tzipporah. Miriam could understand that under those circumstances he married such a woman. But now he is the greatest person of his generation. Now he must have a better, more worthy, wife for himself. It is simply inappropriate for the leader of the generation to have a foreign woman of unimpressive lineage as his soul-mate.
The Moshav Zekeinim interpolates into the incident that Miriam had told this to Moshe, but he refused to divorce Tzipporah. Moshe told Miriam that he would not divorce his wife for precisely for the factors that Miriam was calling to his attention. "When I was a fugitive and I was a poor penniless shepherd, this woman married me. She stuck by me when I was a nobody. Now that I am the 'Gadol HaDor,' the teacher of all Israel, and the master of all prophets, I will not abandon her.
This interpretation, the Moshav Zekeinim suggests, is buttressed by G-d's testimonial for Moshe "In all My house, he is the most faithful" [Bamidbar 12:7]. Moshe felt a loyalty to the wife of his youth. He possessed the attribute of Hakaras HaTov [recognition the favors done to him] and is unwilling to discard an old wife who might now, in fact, be a less prestigious companion than he could find elsewhere.
We must preface this next remark with a tremendous "L'havdil" (distinguishing between two incomparable situations). Such phenomena do occur many times in the secular world. A person gets married early in life and then becomes very wealthy. He is now a CEO and earns a 7 figure salary. His "old wife" is no longer worthy according to his station in life. So what does he do? He divorces her! It is scandalous. He pays her off, alimony. But that is part of his attitude: "It is OK what I'm doing. I can afford it! I am so rich that I can
afford to pay $100,000 a month in alimony." We hear of this - in one form or another - all too often.
This Moshav Zekeinim is saying that the meaning of G-d's unprecedented praise for Moshe that "in all My house, he is the most faithful" is that he did not abandon the Midianite wife of his youth, when he "surpassed" her in terms of his station in life. Moshe simply did not think in such terms.
Source For Using "G-d Willing" In Conversation
The Shalo"h (1560-1630) mentions that this week's parsha contains a source for the custom of using the expressions "G-d willing" (im Yirtzeh HaShem) or "With G-d's help" (b'Ezras HaShem) in our conversation.
Where do we find such a source? The pasuk says, "Based on the utterance of G-d (al pi HaShem) they camped and based on the utterance of G-d (al pi HaShem) they traveled" [Bamidbar 9:23].
The Shalo"h also states regarding the pasuk "The plan of G-d it will come to pass" (Atzas HaShem He Sakum) [Mishlei 19:21] that the word 'He' (hay yud aleph) is an acronym (in reverse) for the words "Im Yirtzeh HaShem".
Of course, everything can be overdone or done to a fault. One can say "Im Yirtzeh HaShem" so much that it loses its effect and can even be said in situations where it sounds ridiculous. But the point that the Shalo"h is making is that one's conversation can have an effect on a person. If a person uses these expressions and thinks about what he is saying, it helps him realize that ultimately everything is in G-d's Hands. Verbalizing this and articulating it and making it a mode of regular speech causes a person to recognize the role of G-d in every day life.
Transcribed by David Twersky; Seattle, WA DavidATwersky@ aol.com Technical Assistance by Dovid Hoffman; Baltimore, MD firstname.lastname@example.org These divrei Torah were adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi Yissocher Frand's Commuter Chavrusah Tapes on the weekly portion: Tape # 332, Tefilas Tashlumim: Making Up a Missed Davening. Tapes or a complete catalogue can be ordered from the Yad Yechiel Institute, PO Box 511, Owings Mills MD 21117-0511. Call (410) 358-0416 or e-mail email@example.com or visit http://www.yadyechiel.org/ for further information. RavFrand, Copyright © 2002 by Rabbi Yissocher Frand and Torah.org.
RABBI MORDECHAI WILLIG
HUMILITY: THE KEY TO TORAH
The uniqueness of Moshe Rabbeinu’s vision is described, "Peh el peh adaber bo u’mareh v’lo b’chidos," (Bamidbar 12:8) ("Mouth to mouth I speak to him, in a clear vision and not in riddles"), while in reference to other prophets we are told, "Bamarra eilav esvada bachalom adaber bo," (12:6) ("See only in reflections or in dreams").
Rav Chaim Volozhin (Ruach Chaim 1:1) links this distinction to Moshe’s unique humility, "V’haish Moshe anav m’od mikol adam" – "And the man Moshe was more modest than any other person," (Bamidbar 12:3). This quality of self-negation enabled him to see directly and clearly (Yevamos 49b), to the point that Hashem spoke through him ("bo" Bamidbar 12:8), not just to him.
Moshe’s siblings mistakenly thought that other prophets were also on this level ("gam banu 12:2) but in reality they only communicated with Hashem via mirrors, dreams and riddles. Their sense of self, however small, distorted the picture that they saw through the lens of their personal bias. Only Moshe, who had absolutely no sense of self, and was the uniquely humble servant of Hashem, saw clearly and directly in a wakened state.
Therefore, only Moshe could receive the Torah and say this is what Hashem commanded. All other prophets merely approximated, i.e. "So said Hashem," (Rashi 30:2). Only Moshe received the Torah