News From Ramaz
By Rabbi Justin Pines, MS Mashgiach Ruchani
The following is inspired by a dvar Torah I heard at my Shabbat table from Rabbi Aaron Potek. This week we enter the third week of the epic battle between Pharaoh and Moshe. Pharaoh and Moshe represent two very different types of people. Pharaoh is focused on himself and thinks he is perfect. Who is this 'God' you are talking about? I don't know him. I'm god.
Moshe is the opposite. He is focused on helping others and is worried that he is not good enough:
Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?
I know I experience both of these feelings. Sometimes we act like Pharaoh, we think we don't need any help. We are scared to ask questions, or to raise our hand and say the wrong thing. Sometimes we pretend our life is perfect - we share pictures of ourselves where we are super happy on social media.
And sometimes we act like Pharaoh. We admit we don't always know everything, and we take a learning stance, hitlamdut, as we learned last year, and suddenly the world is filled with friends and family who are ready to help us, and teach us, and love us.
When Moshe says to Hashem, at the burning bush, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh," God doesn't say, "you were born ready for this," or "you're the man," or "you're the best."
No, God says, I will be with you.
When we admit to ourselves that we are not perfect, that we can learn from others and that others can make us better versions of ourselves, not only do we let our friends, family, and teachers in, we also let Hashem in.