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Bible-Personalities-Moshe and The Burning Bush

Moshe saw the Burning Bush on the 15th of Nisan (Rabbeinu Bachya, Bo): My wife told me that I was talking in my sleep: “Red eyed from wine (Genesis 49:12),” Rashi explains that this is an allusion to the great vision we have when we stand on a high place.


Consider the following four “visions” of motion: “It happened in those days that Moses grew up and went out to his brethren and observed their burdens; and he saw and Egyptian man striking a Hebrew man, of his brethren (Exodus 2:11).” At the Bush that Appeared to be Burning, the verse says, “He saw and behold! The Bush was burning in the fire but the Bush was not consumed (3:2).” “He said, ‘Show me now Your glory.’ He said, ‘You will not be able to see My face, for no human can see My face and live’ (to say 33:18 and 20).” “Moses ascended from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the summit of the cliff that faces Jericho, and God showed him the entire Land (Deuteronomy 34:1).”

That’s all that Debbie heard me say. She said that the rest was inaudible.

I don’t remember what I was thinking when I was dreaming, but I suspect that my dream was about the correlation between the Four Cups of Wine of the Seder and these four “visions” of Moshe.

In his first vision, Moshe went out to observe, to see, and because he went out with that intention he was able to see something happen right before his eyes. This speaks of the vision we are granted when we are determined to carefully observe everything around us. This corresponds to the first of the Four Cups, Kaddeish, when we declare our intention to sanctify the Seder, meaning to view all that we will be doing through the lens of sanctity.

Moshe’s second vision is important not because of what he saw, but as the verse says, “he turned,” to examine what he saw. This speaks of someone responding to what he sees; to understand it and to learn from it. This corresponds to the second of the For Four Cups, Maggid, when we not only lurk at every detail of the Pesach story, but we consider how to apply what we see to our lives.

Moshe’s third vision was the greatest vision ever granted to a human feeding, but still limited; God covered Moshe’s eyes just as we cover our eyes when we recite the Shema. This reflects what happens when we begin to see things we have never seen before, when we are able to see with great clarity, and yet, although we are seeing more than ever before, we sense that there is much more that we are not meriting to see. this is the third of the Four Cups, Bareich, when we are able to see eating, a physical action, as something holy, something beyond the way we normally view the physical things we do. So much of our eating at the Seder is the fulfillment of numerous mitzvot that we are able to view eating with more clarity than at any other time of the year. Yet, there is that since of there being so much more that we have yet to see. We scratch that

We send how much more there is to see, so we turn to the next stage of the Seder; Hallel. When sung properly, Hallel parallels the final vision of Moshe; when he saw the entire Land. He saw everything. He saw all of Jewish history. He was granted a vision that was a long and broad. He saw with clarity and without limitation. This is the vision of the fourth of the Four Cups of Wine.

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