Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Parsha Shemos – Why are we still in exile?
In the Torah portion of Shemos we get introduced and get to see the development of Moses our teacher (Moshe Rabeinu.)
One of his first interactions as an adult was to witness the harshness of the exile and how the Egyptians abuse his brethren. The Torah tells us that as he was walking about the Jewish people he came upon and Egyptian man beating a Jew, whose name was Dathan, with lashes and screaming at him.
This the moment where Moses took his first step towards leadership of the Jewish people. Moses killed the Egyptian man and saved the life of his fellow Jew. He buried the body in the sand and left the scene.
The next day, Moses went out again and saw the man that he had saved, Dathan, fighting with another man named Abiram. Moses was in shock. He tried to stop them by asking, why would you fight with each other? We’re enslaved by wicked non-Jews. The beat us. They abuse us. They rape our wives. They murder our children. Why would you possibly fight among ourselves when we’re surrounded by such a powerful, evil enemy?
Instead of recognizing the truth in his words, the two men mocked Moses… You’re still a young man, what do you know? Who made you ruler over us? Are you going to kill us like you killed the Egyptian? They even went to Pharaoh and informed him that Moses had killed an Egyptian.
The Middrash tells us that prior to this event, Moses was very troubled by why G-d had allowed the Jewish people to suffer such an exile. He searched for an answer. Witnessing these two Jews fight amongst themselves and how they reacted to him, he said to himself…. Now, I know why we’re in exile.
According to our tradition, this even happened roughly 3,500 years ago… and it was as true then as it is today.