Midreshet Amit


Back to Main Page

Be All That You Can Be

By: Rabbi Rafi Rosenblum

This week’s Parsha has a seemingly simple pasuk. In Perek 6, pasuk 26 it says:

הוא אהרן ומשה אשר אמר ה' להם הוציאו את בני ישראל מארץ מצרים על צבאתם. -  This was Aharon and Moshe to whom Hashem said “Take the Children of Israel out of Egypt according to their legions.”

Rashi picks up on the fact that sometimes that Torah writes Aharon first and sometimes the Torah lists Moshe first. Rashiexplains that the reason the Torah does this is לומר לך ששקולין הן - to tell us that they were equal. Rav Moshe Feinstein was bothered. We all know how great Aharon was, and this isn’t an insult to him, but was he really on Moshe Rabbeinu’s level? Don’t we all assume that Moshe Rabbeinu was the greatest person to ever live? Aharon might have been as close to Moshe as anyone else, but how can we say that they were equal?

Rav Moshe Feinstein gives the following answer. It is true that Moshe Rabbeinu reached a higher level of spirituality on this world. However, that isn’t what Hashem looks at when determining a person’s holiness. Hashem looks at what we had the ability to achieve and how close we were to reaching our potential. Hashem doesn’t expect us all to become the next Moshe Rabbeinu. We don’t have that in us. However, Hashem does expect us to be the best us that we can be. That is what Rashi was saying when he wrote that Moshe and Aharon were equal. Moshe might have reached a higher level, but that was because he had the ability to get there, which Aharon didn’t. In terms of fulfilling their potential, both Moshe and Aharon did all they could with the gifts and strengths they were given.

I was once speaking with a student of mine and they were telling me about a friend of theirs who is in the Israeli army. The friend was doing basic training and during one of the runs, she turned to her mifaked and said that she was dying of thirst and that she couldn’t finish the run. The mifaked responded that she should first finish the run and then she can die of thirst. After hearing that she had no other choice, the friend was forced to push herself to finish the run and that is what she did. I was thinking that this is similar to our lives. Sometimes we have something that we think is too hard for us. We turn to our Mifaked(Hashem) and say, it’s too hard and I can’t do it. Hashem responds, it might seem like it is too hard, but you can do if you push yourself a little harder. This is why we sometimes are given tests from Hashem. The purpose of those tests is to help us reach the latent potential inside of us, and we should embrace those challenges.

Until the year 2006, when it was replaced with “army strong”, the U.S. army had the following slogan: Be all you can be. That is what it means to be in the army; to push yourself to the point that you realize your full potential. As members of Hashem’s army, we need to remember that we are trying to be all that we can be. I hope everyone has a wonderful Shabbos.