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Mystery Of The Almighty

Feb 26, 2021


וַיְדַבֵּ֨ר יְהֹוָ֤ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה֙ לֵ֣ךְ עֲלֵ֣ה מִזֶּ֔ה אַתָּ֣ה וְהָעָ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר הֶֽעֱלִ֖יתָ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם אֶל־הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֣ר נִ֠שְׁבַּ֠עְתִּי לְאַבְרָהָ֨ם לְיִצְחָ֤ק וּֽלְיַעֲקֹב֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר לְזַרְעֲךָ֖ אֶתְּנֶֽנָּה׃

Then Hashem said to Moshe, “Set out from here, you and the people that you have brought up from the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, saying, ‘To your offspring will I give it'

vai-da-BAYR a-do-NAI el mo-SHEH LAYKH a-LAY mi-ZEH a-TAH v'-ha-AM a-SHER he-e-LEE-ta may-E-retz mitz-RA-yim el ha-A-retz a-SHER nish-BA-tee l'-av-ra-HAM l'-yitz-KHAK ul-ya-a-KOV lay-MOR l'-zar-a-KHA e-t'-NE-nah

Exodus 33:1

וַ֭יַּעַן צֹפַ֥ר הַֽנַּעֲמָתִ֗י וַיֹּאמַֽר׃

Then Zophar the Naamathite said in reply:

vai-YA-an tzo-FAR ha-na-a-MA-tee va-YO-mer

Job 11:1

וַיַּ֣רְא הָעָ֔ם כִּֽי־בֹשֵׁ֥שׁ מֹשֶׁ֖ה לָרֶ֣דֶת מִן־הָהָ֑ר וַיִּקָּהֵ֨ל הָעָ֜ם עַֽל־אַהֲרֹ֗ן וַיֹּאמְר֤וּ אֵלָיו֙ ק֣וּם ׀ עֲשֵׂה־לָ֣נוּ אֱלֹהִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֤ר יֵֽלְכוּ֙ לְפָנֵ֔ינוּ כִּי־זֶ֣ה ׀ מֹשֶׁ֣ה הָאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר הֶֽעֱלָ֙נוּ֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם לֹ֥א יָדַ֖עְנוּ מֶה־הָ֥יָה לֽוֹ׃

When the people saw that Moshe was so long in coming down from the mountain, the people gathered against Aharon and said to him, “Come, make us a god who shall go before us, for that man Moshe, who brought us from the land of Egypt—we do not know what has happened to him.”

vai-YAR ha-AM, kee-vo-SHAYSH mo-SHEH la-RE-det min ha-HAR, vai-yi-KA-hel ha-AM al a-ha-RON, vai-YO-meru ay-LAV: KUM a-SEH-la-NU e-lo-HEEM a-SHER ye-le-KHU le-fa-NE-nu, kee-ZEH mo-SHEH ha-EESH a-SHER he-a-LA-nu me-E-retz mitz-RA-yim, lo ya-DA-nu meh-ha-YAH lo.

Exodus 32:1


“Would you discover the mystery of Hashem? Would you discover the limit of the Almighty?” – Job 11:7

Zophar questions Iyov’s insistence that he is innocent, suggesting that Iyov is perhaps not as pure as he thinks he is, since man cannot comprehend Hashem’s mind nor his desires of us. Even Moshe, the greatest prophet of all time, was denied his request to fully comprehend the ways of Hashem.

After the sin of the golden calf, Moshe prays for the people and seeks closeness to God. Sensing that this was a time of mercy, he pleads with Hashem to let him understand His ways, and requests of Him: “Let me behold Your presence” (Exodus 33:18). God’s response, however, is, “You cannot see My face, for man may not see Me and live” (ibid. verse 20). The Sages understand this request to see God’s face as a metaphor for Moshe’s plea to understand Hashem. In fact, the Sages of the Talmud (Berachot 7a) suggest that Moshe was specifically seeking the answer to the question of theodicy, wondering why bad things happen to good people and vice versa.

This is indeed the question that bothers Iyov throughout his book, and continues to trouble us for eternity. However, as Moshe is told, we cannot comprehend the ways of God and might never understand the answer to this question as long as we are living. Today as we struggle with both a pandemic and social unrest – both on scales never seen before – we must understand that through all the struggles and pains that we go through, we are only growing stronger and more worthy of Godly blessing!

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Relate Bible Verses: Chapter 11, Chapter 32, Chapter 33

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