dvar for parasha Vayeira (Exodus 6:2 – 9:35) 5783
Moses was not content with the status quo at the time that he was growing up in Pharaoh’s court. Having known of his lineage, that he was indeed a Hebrew, raised up by Pharaoh’s daughter, Batya, he commiserated with his brethren. In all likelihood, he sought solace apart from the court activities, solitude away from the regal distractions of luxury, and took early morning walks prompted by his soul-stirrings.
On one of these walks, he encountered one of his brethren being beaten by an Egyptian taskmaster. He defended his brother against the Egyptian, and buried the Egyptian in the sand. Perhaps, he thought that this would motivate the Israelites to rise up against their captors. Yet, when he learned the next morning that his reprisal against the Egyptian was known, he was compelled to flee for his life.
He became a shepherd in Midian, and once, while searching for a stray sheep, encountered G-d at the burning bush. So, it wasn’t until forty years after leaving Egypt, that he was given his mission from G-d to serve as the redeemer of his people Israel, alongside his brother, Aaron. And, through G-d’s intervention for the sake of His people, the plagues were sent upon the Egyptian people, as mentioned in parasha Vayeira, wherein the first seven plagues are noted.
It is human nature to be drawn toward some higher purpose in life, unique to the calling of ourselves as individuals. Yet, too easily, without the proper soul-searching necessary in order to find one’s purpose in life, people may get caught up in the most convenient way to find ready-made meaning, such as a movement that promises some type of liberation for self and others. This is not the way to discover one’s true purpose in life, and the implications are far-reaching.
On the one hand, if we bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich was mistakenly thought to do, then we will perceive nothing like we should, within the framework of truth, values, and responsibility. Moses knew who he was; his identity was secure in his association with his kindred people, the Israelites. Today, many in the West suffer from identity confusion at the core of our beings, if our roots have been severed.
And, in such a climate of dissociation from heritage, not anchored in past traditions, beliefs, and practices, lost in doubt about their purpose, people can be easily swayed. Consequently, riding on the wake of the false promises of progressivism, the masses will eagerly receive the promise of a utopia.
Moses was chosen as the redeemer, to bring the message of freedom, along with Aaron to Pharaoh. Moses served as a conduit for G-d’s power, expressed through the plagues and the miracle at the Sea of Reeds. We look to the Final Redeemer, who will serve as a beacon of light in this world of darkness.