Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1


Ratings: (0)|Views: 74|Likes:
Published by outdash2

More info:

Published by: outdash2 on Feb 06, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





 Va’era 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
The Marcos and Adina Katz
 Vaera 5774
 xodus 7:1-3 saes: Te L-RD replied o Moses, “See, I make you an oracle o Pharaoh, and your  broher Aaron shall be your spokesman. You shall repea all ha I command you, and your broher Aaron shall speak o Pharaoh, o le he Israelies depar rom his land. Bu I will harden Pharaohs hear, ha I may muliply My signs and marvels in he land o Egyp (JPS ranslaion).Prima acie (a firs blush), his las verse is predesinarian. I implies ha God predesined ha Pharaoh would harden his hear. Now, an aninomy exiss beween he docrine o human ree will and he scripural verses ha imply predesinaion. How can one uphold boh proposiions? How does one resolve he conradicion? Hazal, in Shemo Rabbah (13:3) declare ha Pharaoh was an excepional sinner, and hereore he did no meri he human gif o ree will.wo o he earlier medieval Jewish philosophers, R. Sa‘adiah Gaon and R. Abraham ibn Ezra, however, reahe mater differenly. (Te ollowing exposiion is aken largely rom Harry A. Wolson, Repercussions o he Kalam in Jewish Philosophy [Cambridge, Mass. And London, 1979], pp. 204-08.)R. Sa‘adiah (882-942), wihou menioning he rabbinic explanaion, saes ha he biblical saemens abou God’s “hardening” or “making srong” or “making heavy” Pharaoh’s hear does no mean ha God caused him o disobey Him; raher, God gave Pharaoh srengh and oriude so ha he could wihsand he plagues and “remain alive unil he res o he punishmen had been compleely visied upon him” In his choice o acion, however, Pharaoh was a ree agen. R. Sa‘adiah says he same hing wih regard o similar verses concerning Sihon he king o he Bashan.) R. Sa‘adiah similarly reinerpres a verse in he book o Isaiah (63:17) ha implies ha God causes men o go asray. In his view, i really means only ha God ound he wicked o have gone asray (due o heir own ree will). (See Emuno ve-De‘o, Book IV, Chaper 6.)R. Abraham ibn Ezra (1089 or 1092/3–1164 or 1167), gives hree explanaions o he hardening o he hear o Pharaoh. In his longer commenary o Exodus 7:3 he quoes he explanaion ha R. Sa‘adiah gave, bu atribued i o he “Rabbi Jeshua” (he Karaie). He adds, however, “Bu he has no spoken wha is righ.” In his Shorer Commenary o Exodus 7; 3, he atribues he same explanaion o “men o balanced judgmen,” (anshe shiqqul ha-da‘a) ha is, raionaliss, and elsewhere he includes R. Sa‘adiah Gaon under ha rubric. He hen adds ha his own personal view will be gleaned rom his commenary o Deueronomy 5:26 (May hey [he people o Israel] always be o such mind, o revere Me and o ollow My commandmens, ha i may go well wih hem and wih heir children orever!). He says in his commens o ha  verse ha as God has singled ou all human beings and given hem he aculy o reason, he has also given hem ree will. Pharaoh hus really hardened his hear by his own ree will. Bu inasmuch as i is God who has given him ha reedom o will by which he could choose o harden his hear, God is spoken o in Scripure as he One who has hardened he hear o Pharaoh.In his longer commenary o Exodus 10:20 (Bu he L-RD siffened Pharaohs hear, and he would no le he Israelies go), R. Abraham ibn Ezra hins a ye a hird explanaion. He wries here ha he verse is in accordance  wih wha our sages have said, “o him who desires o conaminae himsel, doors are open [o go and ac according o one’s ree choice].”
Te Aninomy of Free Will and God’s Predesinaion
Rabbi David Horwitz
 Va’era 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
 Wha does his enigmaic senence mean? Pro. Wolson explained ha firs o all, he ibn Ezra undersands ha he verse mus no be aken lierally. Raher, i means ha  because o his own ree will, Pharaoh chose o disobey God, and God in urn le him ollow he inclinaions o his own hear. I is only in his sense ha God hardened Pharaohs hear. God simply did no hink o Pharaoh as meriing auxiliary grace ha would help him urn away rom his reely chosen bad conduc. R. Abraham ibn Daud, he Spanish-Jewish asronomer, hisorian, and philosopher rom oledo, Spain (ca. 1110-ca.1180); auhor o he chronicle iled Seer ha-Qabbalah, and auhor as well o a philosophical work called Emunah Ramah, ollows R.  Abraham ibn Ezras hird explanaion.Remarkably, R. obiah ben Eliezer, a naive o Greece, and an auhor wih a syle vasly differen han ha o he ibn Ezra, in his case (in his commen o Exodus 10:20) gives he same explanaion ha he ibn Ezra does. (obiah ben Eliezer was a almudis and poe o he 11h cenury. His work Leqah ov, a midrashic commenary on he Penaeuch and he Five Megillo, is also called Pesiqa Zuraa. ) From he Leqah ov one sees ha he Spanish-Jewish philosophers were no he only ones who sough o resolve aninomy beween ree will and divine predesinaion expressed in he biblical verses regarding he hardening o Pharaoh’s hear wih a maximalis asserion o human ree will.
Belaed Inroducions
Rabbi Shmuel Goldin
hen Moshe’s birh was chronicled in Parsha Shmo, he ex deliberaely omited any descripion o his lineage, choosing insead o preace his birh wih he myserious senence “And a man  wen rom he House o Levi and he ook a daugher o Levi.”Tis omission o Moshe’s bona fides is now addressed in Parsha Va’eira.God commands Moshe o reurn o Pharaoh and again demand he release o he Israelie slaves. When Moshe objecs, ciing his speech impedimen, God repeas he direcive, his ime o boh Moshe and Aharon.Te orah hen abruply digresses o presen a genealogical able lising he descendens o Yaakov’s oldes sons, Reuven, Shimon and Levi. Te lising concludes wih a deailed descripion o he lineage o Moshe and Aharon’s amily wihin he ribe o Levi.Upon compleion o his genealogical record, he orah reurns o he narraive o he Exodus wih he words “Tis  was Aharon and Moshe…. Tey were he ones who spoke o Pharaoh…. Tis was Moshe and Aharon.”
Once again we are conroned wih a srange and abrup digression wihin he orah ex. Why does he orah specifically choose his dramaic momen o deail he lineage o Moshe and Aharon?  Why inerrup he hisorical narraive midsream? Tis genealogical able would clearly have been more appropriae a he beginning o he sory, when Moshe is firs inroduced. Amram and Yocheved, he parens o Aharon and Moshe, are menioned here or he firs ime by name. Given he reasons or he omission o heir ideniies when Moshe is born, why does he orah see fi o reveal hose ideniies now?
 Approaches: A.
Mos o he classical commenaries are srangely silen concerning he mos perplexing aspecs o his passage, choosing o commen only briefly.Rashi, or example, saes ha because he orah menions Aharon and Moshe a his ime, he ex eels compelled o ell us more ully o heir birh and lineage. He ails o explain, however, why his inormaion was no given in conjuncion wih he earlier appearances o Moshe and Aharon in he ex.Te Sorno and Abravanel boh mainain ha he genealogical able is presened o show ha he choice o Aharon and Moshe was no arbirary. God begins His search or worhy leadership wih he descendens o  Yaakov’s firs- and second-born, Reuven and Shimon. Only  when He proceeds o Levi, he hird ribe, does God find
 Va’era 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
he qualiy He is searching or in Moshe and Aharon.Once again, however, neiher o hese scholars explains  why his inormaion mus be shared wih us abruply, a his poin in he ex.Te Malbim, in conras, does offer a soluion concerning he placemen o he genealogical record. He explains ha he passage in Va’eira marks he firs ime ha Moshe and Aharon are clearly appoined by God as ull parners concerning all aspecs o he Exodus. Only once his parnership o brohers is firmly esablished does he orah digress o chronicle heir amilial credenials.Rashi finally noes ha, as he orah closes he genealogical able and reurns o he hisorical narraive, he ex idenifies Moshe and Aharon wice and reverses he order o heir names: “Tis was Aharon and Moshe…. Tey were he ones who spoke o Pharaoh…. Tis was Moshe and Aharon.”Quoing he Mechila, Rashi explains ha, hroughou he ex, he orah will variably lis each broher firs in order o demonsrae ha Aharon and Moshe were equivalen o each oher in greaness.Te premier halachic auhoriy o he wenieh cenury, Rabbi Moshe Feinsein (Reb Moshe), objecs, however, o he Mechila’s explanaion: “Moshe was he greaes o he prophes, he eacher o he world, and he orah was given by his hand. How can i be claimed ha Aharon was his equal?”Reb Moshe answers ha a his juncure in he ex, even as he public leadership o Moshe and Aharon is firmly esablished, he orah conveys an essenial ruh concerning he worh o every human lie. Moshe and  Aharon each ulfilled his personal role o he greaes exen possible. Tey are, hereore, in he eyes o God, considered equal. God judges each o us agains ourselves and no agains anyone else. Someone o lesser abiliy,  who reaches his ull lie poenial, owers over someone o greaer alen who does no – even i, on an objecive scale, he later’s accomplishmens seem grander.
 Te mos exensive reamen o he genealogical passage a he beginning o Parsha Va’eira, however, is offered by Rabbi Shimshon Raphael Hirsch. Hirsch insiss ha he placemen o his secion specifically conveys a criical lesson concerning he naure o leadership hroughou he orah. A his momen in he ex, says Hirsch, we conron a major urning poin in he careers o Moshe and Aharon. Unil now, heir effors have been marked by rusraion and ailure. From his poin onward, however, heir riumphal mission – marked by powerul miracles and supernaural evens – begins. Te orah, hereore, eels compelled a his juncure o make one ac abundanly clear or all ime. Moshe and Aharon are o “absoluely human origin and he absolue ordinary human naure o heir beings should be firmly esablished.” So imporan is his message ha he orah abruply inerrups he hisorical narraive midsream o clearly delineae he ancesry o Moshe and Aharon. As we have noed beore, whereas pagans deified heir heroes, and Chrisians reurned o such deificaion,  Judaism insiss upon seeing is heroes as human beings.  When your heroes are gods you can worship hem, bu you canno emulae hem. As long as we see he characers o our orah as human beings, heir greaness may be beyond our reach, bu we can, noneheless, aspire o ha greaness.On he oher hand, Hirsch coninues, a criical balance is sruck in he passage beore us. While he genealogical record clearly esablishes he moral origins o Moshe and  Aharon, i also serves o couner he noion ha every human being is suiable o prophecy. God’s choices are ar rom arbirary. Aharon and Moshe were men, bu hey  were “picked, chosen men.” God could have chosen rom any ribe and any amily. His specific selecion o Aharon and Moshe serves o underscore ha one who serves in a divinely ordained leadership role meris he appoinmen  because o his own innae characer.Te ex hus capures he exquisie ension beween he moral origins o our biblical heroes and heir overarching characer and accomplishmens.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->