Moshe & Purim Part Five
Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: Some things are very difficult to understand, but ultimately God says to a human being whatever you want to do with your life, and whatever choices you are going to make in your life, I created you with a purpose. I will get out of you what I want from you, the only question is the role that you will play in it. You are really no different than a rock in terms of getting out of you what I want from you. The only real question is whether you will be an active partner with me or not. Had Moshe accepted that God had everything totally under control even though there’s all this random movement of peoples choices and the Jewish people laughing and ridiculing Moshe for speaking to the wrong rock and not getting out the water, but had Moshe truly beloved that absolutely everything was under God’s control to one degree or another he wouldn’t have gotten upset, he would’ve accepted that this is what had to happen and he wouldn’t have hit the rock and the people would have made that kal ve chomer and they never would have really made it anyway, they couldn’t.
Moshe was lacking in that. How do we know that? Because this is the third time Moshe was told he wouldn’t be going into Israel. What was the second time? At the end of parshat beshaleach– the war with Amalek. Amalek attacked and Moshe goes up to the mountain and says to Yehoshua you go down and fight and ill go up to the top and hold up my hands. Why did he do that? Moshe doesn’t like to fight? Since when is he worried about confrontation? Worried about battle? But obviously Moshe’s role has changed. He’s the teacher, the rabbi, the one who leads them to believe in God. So when the time came to do battle, he’s going to send Yehoshua to be the general. So what happens: Vayomer Hashem el moshe– so Hashem says to Moshe after the battle, ketov zot zikaron ba sefer– write this memory in a book- vasim b’zneh yehoshua- and put it in the ears of Yehoshua.
So Rashi quoting the Gemara says why does God say: put it into the ears of Yehoshua? Because Yehoshua is going to be the one to lead them into Israel not you. Because you when up to the mountain to be a holy Jew holding up your hands to make sure people looked up to shamayim and davened. Because that is the role you saw for yourself? You’re not the right person to lead them to Eretz Yisrael. If someone attacks you go and lead them into battle, what are you making chashbonots all types of calculations you should be praying and doing holy things, lead them into battle what’s the matter with you. You don’t think I can take care of this thing? You go and fight. You’re obviously not the right man.
What made him think he could go do that? Because of the way he perceived himself. The minute we lock ourselves in to the way we perceive ourselves then we begin to put on masks so to speak, and that’s the reason we wear masks on Purim. Its making fun of ourselves, not on Purim but the rest of the year. That we define ourselves, we see ourselves in specific way, we have roles, we have roles we play with this group and others with another. We wear suits with one person, and wear jeans with another person, or could be a person with many hats. The way we interact with people: do I act as an adult or as a child, do I have to interact with someone who needs or someone who gives. We all play a million roles. And there’s nothing wrong with playing a million roles except when we lock ourselves into those roles, because then you can make the mistake that Moshe Rabbeinu made. And that mistake is that when you begin to see yourself in a certain ways that when circumstances demand an entirely different expression of self, because its not one of the roles were used to or the role I would normally use in this place, I don’t really respond in the most productive way possible.