Midreshet Amit


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Don't Wait…

By: Lily and Ariella

Moshe, one of the Jewish nation’s greatest leaders, is introduced in this week’s parsha, Shemot. Stemming from Moshe killing the Egyptian, intervening with the two fighting Jews, to the burning bush, and Moshe and Aaron’s unsuccessful meeting with Pharaoh, we witness the development of Moshe’s character as he questions his identity as a Jew. Despite Moshe’s struggle to identify himself as part of the Jewish people, he does not let it affect his actions. Rather, he constantly follows his instinctive trait to always help the underdog even at great risk. There are four places where Moshe’s trait is clearly shown: When the Egyptian is beating the Jew, when the two Jews are fighting, when he escapes to Midyan and helps the girls at the well, and when he questions Hashem when Pharaoh gives the Jews more work at the end of the Parsha.

One of Moshe’s first stories is in pasuk 12 when he kills the Egyptian beating the Jew. He stood up and sided with the Jew even though he was raised in Pharaoh’s palace. It says that he looked around first and then struck the Egyptian, indicating that he was not acting out of pure impulsiveness. He knew what he was doing could have serious consequences, yet he still did it. In pasuk 13, Moshe is faced with another challenge when he sees two Jews fighting and yet again he decides to intervene. He had no reason to try and work out the fight, especially being the prince of Egypt. However, because of his instinct in always trying to stand up for people, he felt the need to help the two Jews.

Furthermore, we can see this distinctive altruistic trait when Moshe helps the Midyan girls water their sheep after having been chased away by the shepherds. From the past two stories, we see that Moshe always stands up for the Jew, whether it was with the Egyptian or with another fellow Jew. But in this story, we see that Moshe’s desire to help is so strongly ingrained within him that he wishes to help not only his people, but also total strangers. 

The last place where we can see Moshe help others is when he questions Hashem about letting Pharaoh increase the Jewish workload following Moshe and Aaron’s confrontation with Pharaoh. Moshe says, “My Lord, why have You done evil to this people, why have You sent me?” Moshe does not say “my” people, but rather states “this” people. Despite his constant doubt and worry at the burning bush about leading the Jewish people out of exile, Moshe clearly demonstrates his consistent care for the Jewish people in spite of his slight disconnection from the nation.

Hashem put Moshe in all these situations to emphasize the kind of leader Moshe is and would be for the Jewish nation. Because of his personality, he would constantly try to help the Jewish people through their many hardships. From Moshe’s actions in these situations we can see a clear message.  Merely possessing various traits within will not affect your life and the lives of others. One must stand up and be passionate about a particular cause, utilizing their traits from within and seizing each day. Don’t wait for life to happen, but rather make it happen.