12 February 2008

Remembering Moshe Rabbeinu on 7 Adar

"Parashat Tesaveh is the only perashah since Moshe's birth that does not mention his name explicitly. Every misvah and command mentioned in the perashah, however, is initiated with the word "you," referring to Moshe. Apparently, Moshe is the prime focus of this perashah, although his name is not recorded. Why? The Sages tell us that the curse of a sadik, even if it is contingent upon specific conditions, takes effect despite the fact that those conditions are not met. When Moshe entreated Hashem on behalf of Klal Yisrael after they sinned with the Golden Calf, he said to Hashem, "If you do not forgive their sin, I beg You, erase my name from Your Book," a reference to the Torah. We may question why, of all the parashiot, Tesaveh is chosen to be the one from which Moshe's name is excluded?

The commentators offer various answers to this question. Some say that since Moshe's yahrzeit is on the seventh day of Adar, which always falls out during the week of Tesaveh, it is logical that this is the perashah from which Moshe's name is missing. This answer is enigmatic. One would think that specifically during the week in which Moshe passed away, his name would be remembered as much as possible. After all, what greater tribute is there to our great leader than remembering him on his yahrzeit?

Rav Elchanan Sorotzkin feels that the Torah's omission of Moshe's name specifically in Parashat Tesaveh, during his yahrzeit, speaks volumes about Moshe's greatness as a leader and as a Jew. Moshe was prepared to sacrifice more than just his physical life for the Jewish people; he was prepared to relinquish his spiritual life, his neshamah, for them. The Torah is called Torat Moshe, the Torah of Moshe. For what greater appreciation can one hope? Our Torah is immutable; it will always remain Torat Moshe. Yet, Moshe was ready to relinquish the ultimate spiritual pleasure, his name engraved for all eternity in the Torah. Moshe's love for his people was so overwhelming that he gave Hashem his incredible "ultimatum" despite the consequences. Is there any greater tribute to the father of all prophets, the quintessential leader of Klal Yisrael, than to leave his name out of the perashah that falls on his yahrzeit? In this manner, everyone will acknowledge the greatness of his deed. " (Shema Yisrael Torah Network)