Category Archives: Va'era

Comfortable Exile (Vaera)

Comfortable Exile (Vaera)

The comfort zone takes our greatest aspirations and turns them into excuses for not bothering to aspire. -Peter McWilliams

The Jewish people were enslaved by the Egyptians for centuries. The Chidushei HaRim on Exodus 6:6 wonders not so much as to how the Jewish people endured, but how did they leave? He picks out an interesting nuance from the text.

God says to the Jewish nation in Egypt, “And I will take you out from under the labors of Egypt.” The key word in Hebrew is “sivlot” which is commonly translated in this context as “labors.” The Chidushei HaRim reads “sivlot” as bearing, as in they were bearing the pain of Egypt. The verse would then read “And I will take you out from bearing the pain of Egypt.”

The Chidushei HaRim explains that the Jewish people had adjusted to their exile and their enslavement. They had learned to bear it. In a certain sense they had even become comfortable with their slavery. We see multiple indications of that later during the desert journey, when at the first whiff of trouble or challenge or hardship, the people complain and want to go back to Egypt.

God is telling them, “I’m going to make your enslavement unbearable.” And indeed, He does, as Moses’ involvement initially ratchets up Pharoah’s crackdown on the Jewish people. Overnight, the Egyptians stop providing the Jews with straw for the brick production, whilst still demanding that the Jews keep the daily quotas intact. The Jewish people had thought that their enslavement was bearable and didn’t want to rock the boat of their relations with the Egyptians, as we see in the Jewish taskmasters’ complaint about Moses’ intervention. God sets plans in motion to make the enslavement unbearable, to make the Jewish people ready to leave their previously comfortable enslavement.

The Chidushei HaRim stresses that when Jews decide that they can endure exile, if Jews decide that they are not ready to leave the comfort of their golden exile, redemption will never come.

May we always be prepared to transition from comfort to redemption.

Shabbat Shalom,



To the Hebrew word of the year — tirlul, translated as “lunacy.”

Magic versus Miracles (Vaera)

Magic versus Miracles (Vaera)

For the truly faithful, no miracle is necessary. For those who doubt, no miracle is sufficient. -Nancy Gibbs

God sends Moses to free the Jewish people from bondage. Moses demands from Pharaoh to allow the Jewish slaves time off to go to the desert to serve God. Pharaoh condescendingly declines. Then ensues a macabre back-and-forth between Moses and Pharaoh, interspersed by the famous Ten Plagues. Moses keeps asking for the people to be freed. Pharaoh declines. A plague hits. However, we also see Pharaoh’s reactions evolve, from outright denial to conditional and grudging agreement on which he immediately reneges once the particular plague has passed.

The first and perhaps most famous plague is the plague of blood. Aaron, Moses’ brother and co-conspirator, uses Moses’ staff and strikes the water of the Nile River. All the water turns to blood. The life source of Egypt has now turned to a source of death. All the fish in the Nile die, polluting the river and making the water undrinkable.

Curiously, we are told by the Torah that Pharaoh’s sorcerers are somehow able to replicate this feat, turning water into blood as well. This capacity leads Pharaoh to believe that Moses and Aaron’s plague of blood was not of divine nature, but rather some magical ability. He refuses to free the Jewish people.

A common question that is asked about the event is that if Aaron turned all the water to blood, what water did Pharaoh’s sorcerers convert to blood? especially, given the tradition that all of the water in Egypt turned to blood, not just that of the Nile.

The Bechor Shor on Exodus 8:20 explains that the plague of blood lasted for just a short while. However, that short while was enough to kill all of the fish in the Nile and contaminate the water for an extended period, making it undrinkable. Pharaoh’s sorcerers were able to use their sorcery on the contaminated but no-longer-blood water of the Nile, transforming it again into blood. Pharaoh sees his sorcerers replicate Moses’ and Aaron’s miracle before the full extent of the plague is felt. That, combined with his sorcerers’ ability to mimic the miracle, underwhelms Pharaoh and he duly declines the request to free the Jewish slaves.

The Torah tells us that Pharaoh continues to “harden his heart” in the face of the progressive plagues and miracles, rejecting God as well as denying the Jewish people their freedom. Eventually, he and the Egyptian nation pay severely for their lack of faith and compassion.

May we appreciate the daily blessings and miracles that fill our lives.

Shabbat Shalom,



To the peaceful transfer of government power. Not to be taken for granted.

The Select Few (Vaera)

The Select Few (Vaera)

 Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory. -William Barclay

In this week’s Torah reading of Vaera, God promises that he will take the Jewish people out of the slavery of Egypt and bring them to the Promised Land of Canaan. The Meshech Chochma on Exodus 6:7 points out that while 600,000 men and their families were released from the enslavement of Egypt, only two men out of the original 600,000 actually made it to the Promised Land forty years later. All of the others died in the desert during the years of wandering, caused by the Sin of the Spies. Only Joshua and Caleb were spared from the punishment and merited leading the nation of Israel into Canaan and to the successful conquest of the land, together with the children and grandchildren of the Jewish slaves who had been freed from Egypt.

On the surface, it might seem unfair or even disingenuous that God promises the people they will be brought to the Promised Land when in the end He only fulfills that promise to two individuals while the rest of the nation dies off in the desert. However, the Meshech Chochma points out that it is indeed correct and even worthwhile if only two out of 600,000 achieve their divine purpose. That all the miracles which God performed in Egypt, the ten plagues, the splitting of the sea, all of it was worth it even if only two people managed to reach the final goal.

He states that the vast majority of people do not and will not fulfill their divine missions. Only a select few will endure. Only a handful of the myriads of people will persevere, will excel, will remain steadfast in their belief in God and His divine providence.

Nonetheless, it is worthwhile. The Meshech Chochma adds that those select individuals who are worthy of completing their divine missions have a positive effect on all those around them. When one person from a family completes his or her mission it provides merit to the entire family. And that somehow the two, Joshua and Caleb, who fulfilled their missions were a source of merit for the other 600,000. The select few who fulfill their divine missions serve as a beacon of justice and righteousness for the nation. They light up the world, with a burning divine fire, a Godly flame.

May we find those divine-mission-completers, draw from their light and nurture it within ourselves and our families.

Shabbat Shalom,



To the first flurries of snow on the Judean Hills.

The Powers of Speech (Vaera)

The Powers of Speech (Vaera)

If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use the pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time; a tremendous whack. -Sir Winston Churchill

As Moses and his brother, Aaron, prepare to meet with Pharaoh, to demand the release of the Israelite slaves, God gives them some advance notice as to what will happen and what they should do.

God advises them that Pharaoh will ask for some type of sign that they are indeed divine messengers. God indicates that at that juncture Moses shall instruct Aaron to grab his staff and perform a miracle.

The Berdichever notices that in the verse there is a seemingly extraneous word. The translation reads “give for yourselves a sign.” The normally word-efficient Torah could have easily transcribed “give a sign.” Why the superfluous “for yourselves”?

The Berdichever answers that according to the great Kabbalist, R’ Isaac Luria, God is listening to our every word. Furthermore, God gets tremendous pleasure from us when those words are words of Torah, of Mitzvot, of good deeds and kindness. Even beyond that, God, through those positive words that we utter, actually blesses us, and enables the good happenstances in our lives. Our words, the positive utterances of our mouth, have a direct impact on ourselves, on our world, on our reality.

The addition of “for yourselves” in the verse comes to highlight that Aaron and Moses, who dedicated themselves to only good and to the service of God, had the power to affect and change reality just by the power of speech. Just by the words they used and their intention, they were able to bend and contravene the laws of nature and do the miraculous. They could turn a staff into a reptile and then turn that reptile back into a staff. They could be God’s agents in bringing down the miraculous plagues upon Egypt. All just from the incredible power of their speech. They understood the power they had harnessed in devoting the words that came out of their mouths to God and Israel.

May our words ever be powerfully good – and if they can’t be, may we learn the more valuable lesson of when to be quiet.

Shabbat Shalom,



On the marriage of Elisheva and Amichai Matar. Mazal Tov!


God’s Finger (Vaera)

God’s Finger (Vaera)

When I was young, I said to God, god, tell me the mystery of the universe. But God answered, that knowledge is for me alone. So I said, god, tell me the mystery of the peanut. Then God said, well, George, that’s more nearly your size. -George Washington Carver

In the third of what would be the ten plagues to hit Egypt, Pharaoh’s sorcerers insightfully declare “this is God’s finger.” They understood from the third plague, the plague of lice, that this was not some sleight of hand or some conjurers trick. This was direct divine intervention. They would learn, to the point of destruction, that there is an active, involved God who feels free to direct matters and phenomena in a more “personal” fashion and not always leave things up to “nature” or probability.

Rabbeinu Bechaye on Exodus 8:15 (Vaera) quotes Rabbi Saadia Gaon who highlights that there are only two other events in the Hebrew Bible where the finger of God is mentioned. One is when it describes the writing of the Ten Commandments upon the tablets of the law. The second is in a description of the creation of the celestial spheres (Psalms 8:4). This limited and exclusive use of God’s Finger in the biblical text comes to teach a deeper lesson, namely that God is ultimately responsible for everything in our world, big, little, sacred or mundane.

From the largest creations known to man, the planets and the stars, to the smallest visible creature, a gnat; God is the Creator of the massive, the minuscule, and everything in between. However, He is also the scribe of the Tablets of the Law, the material of which was merely the lowly rock, but no earthly item ever possessed such divine radiance.

The reason the term Finger of God is used in all three wildly different aspects is to relay that God is capable of everything. It is all within His capacity. The infinitely large and the infinitely small are equally within His purview. God is involved behind the scenes in creating, overseeing and enabling our reality. His preference is, as with the commandments, that we use the material reality that He provides and sustains to reach for the sacred, the holy and the divine. Then we may have a chance to grasp a part of God.

May we see the finger of God in our reality and appreciate it.

Shabbat Shalom,



To the memory of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, Father of Modern Hebrew, on his 160th anniversary.


Unnatural Nation-Building

Unnatural Nation-Building 

Life begins on the other side of despair. -Jean-Paul Sartre


Abraham, God’s chosen, is promised that he will be the father of a great nation, a nation with a land and a mission. However, it isn’t until the advanced age of 100 years that Abraham and Sarah are blessed with a single child, Isaac. When Abraham dies, the only land which belongs to the family is the plot where he buried his wife Sarah.

The territorial fortunes of the family don’t improve, as grandson Jacob and his clan are forced to leave Canaan because of the famine. Jacob dies in Egypt. Though Jacob’s body is returned to the ancestral plot, the family goes back to Egypt and their descendants are systematically enslaved by the Egyptian empire.

Rabbi Hirsch on Exodus 6:3 asks why the Israelite nation and its ancestors needed to suffer so, why the long, unnatural, arduous road to nationhood. God could have blessed Abraham with children earlier. Jacob with his large family could have started off the nation in their promised land in a natural fashion. Why did the nation need to start off enslaved in a foreign land?

He answers:

“But then this nation would never have become ‘the people of God,’ the people who are to reveal God. Then this people, too, like all the other nations, would have been rooted solely in the world of things that can be seen and touched; like them, they would have had only physical foundations and would have understood their greatness and might only in terms of physical size and strength, aspiring to spiritual and moral attainments only as long as these would have been compatible with, and beneficial to, their material ambitions.”

“Men and nations had become chained to materialism…Through the emergence of the nation of Abraham… mankind would be freed from the bonds of materialism. That is why this nation had to begin where the other nations left off. It had to despair of itself, to lie prone, about to perish in its own blood, and it could rise to nationhood only through the Creator’s call.”

God needed to demonstrate to the Jewish people and to the entire world His hand in the creation and development of the nation of Israel. The miraculous, non-material nature of Israel, whose existence, survival and success defies all odds and all probability is the beginning of God’s plan of revealing Himself to humanity and bringing redemption from the chains of materialism. For better or worse, despair is part of that formula.

May we overcome despair and realize that many times it is the launching point to a new and better reality.

Shabbat Shalom,



To the memory of Winston Churchill who passed away 52 years ago, today.

Daily Exodus

 Of all the marvelous works of God, perhaps the one angels view with the most supreme astonishment, is a proud man.  -Charles Caleb Colton


One of the cornerstones of Judaism is how we relate to the Exodus from Egypt. We mention it daily in our prayers. In the Torah, God refers to Himself most often, not as the God of Creation, nor even as the God of our Forefathers, but as the God who took us out of Egypt.

The Sfat Emet in 5634 (1874) explains that the concept of Exodus is one which we experience personally on a daily basis. And it is most directly connected to pride. When a person thinks that any achievement in his life is the result of his own efforts, it will not be long before God will bring him travails to demonstrate how little he truly controls. The frequent and even daily travails are then meant to humble us, to lead us to remember God, to call to God and then to find redemption from those same travails. The God who saved us from Egypt will likewise save us from our current hardships, enslavement and anguish. The path to redemption is to lose the self-pride of success, to be humble, to remember the Almighty and to hope for divine salvation, all with the requisite healthy and reasonable efforts. And we need to repeat this daily. Hence the daily recollection of the Exodus.

May we experience successive redemptions, both small and large.

Shabbat Shalom,



To Avi Spitz and Yael Kohn on their upcoming wedding.











Faith is the Cure

First posted on The Times of Israel at:

Baal Haturim Exodus: Vaera

Faith is the Cure

The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility. -Vaclav Havel

The greatest, most powerful, most important orator in Jewish history, Moses, started off with some type of speech impediment. Commentators have a variety of opinions as to exactly what the problem was, but one thing that is abundantly clear is that Moses had no desire to speak publicly. He was so perturbed by his condition that he was willing to argue with God Himself to be spared from being the divine spokesman.

God berates Moses and asks him who he thinks gives man the capacity to speak in the first place? God seems particularly harsh with Moses on this count. The question is why does God give Moses such a hard time on an issue that anyone who has ever felt discomfort or even sheer terror in front of an audience can appreciate? Why was God so demanding, even insistent that this poor, speech-challenged man should have to speak in front of the mortal ruler of the most powerful empire on Earth? Couldn’t God have chosen a natural orator, a seasoned politician, even a classroom teacher? Why did he have to focus on a lonely desert shepherd for whom the extent of discourse up until then was probably limited to giving directions to sheep?

According to the Baal Haturim on Exodus 6:30, Moses needed to have faith that God has the power to rectify the situation. God chose Moses on purpose, knowing his limitations and perhaps even because of his limitations. God knows that Moses can and will overcome them. He just needed to be placed in the position to have the necessity to overcome his challenges. Otherwise, he may have forever remained incapacitated. What angered God about Moses’ fear and denial was his lack of faith. All that he needed to overcome was faith.

It was clearly not a simple or direct path for Moses, but eventually he acquires that faith and becomes the fundamental leader of the Jewish people.

May we each overcome our particular challenges and thereby merit to contribute in our own way to our people.

Shabbat Shalom,



To Ed Stelzer. It’s incredible where challenges and faith can lead us and how roads diverge and then intertwine.







Las bebidas en El Cocodrilo hambriento

ficción bíblica: Éxodo Vaera

Traducido del inglés y editado por Caro Cynovich

Las bebidas en El Cocodrilo hambriento

Los jeroglíficos en la pared mostraban el menú del día. Este, sin embargo, no había cambiado en más de dos meses; la mayoría de lo ofrecido en el menú no estaba disponible. Una vieja y desdentada sacerdotisa tocó una melodía melancólica en su arpa en un rincón oscuro de la sala. Corría el rumor de que su hermano mayor había sido asesinado durante el ataque de las bestias salvajes, y ella no había tocado una melodía feliz desde entonces.

Las mesas de la taberna estaban llenas de grupos de las altas esferas de la sociedad egipcia, que hablaban en voz baja entre ellos. También habían unos pocos solitarios lamentándose con sus bebidas.

Una mesa estaba llena de los musculosos eunucos negros del palacio del Faraón.

—Yo estaba allí, les digo —el gran Leras, el Eunuco Real, susurró en su tono agudo de voz al público que lo escuchaba alrededor de la mesa circular—. Yo estaba allí cuando Moisés anunció la próxima plaga.

—¿Y qué te dijo? —el voluminoso Doigo preguntó con una voz igualmente estridente—. ¿Cuál será la próxima plaga?

—El granizo —Leras entonó mientras se rascaba las costras de sus lastimaduras casi curadas—. Moisés dijo que quien sea o lo que sea que esté fuera en los campos de mañana, morirá a causa de las piedras del granizo. Si te quedas adentro, estarás protegido.

—¿Y tú le crees a este charlatán?  —preguntó Fanir, el Sacerdote de Ra, que estaba sentado con otros sacerdotes en la mesa de al lado—. ¿Tú y tus compañeros de eunucos han perdido la fe en los dioses de Egipto?

—No me di cuenta de que estabas espiando, Fanir —Leras silbó—. Además, tu fe en tus dioses te ha cegado a la realidad. El Dios de los hebreos ha demostrado ser más potente, y no hay nada que ellos o Faraón haya sido capaces de hacer para detenerlo.

—Ten cuidado, Leras —Fanir advirtió—. Estás cayendo en la blasfemia y en la traición. Ni siquiera tu posición como Eunuco Real puede salvarte del castigo.

—Eres un tonto, Fanir —Leras sonrió e hizo un movimiento de manos hacia Doigo y al resto de los eunucos de empujar y cortar—. Egipto se está desmoronando ante nuestros ojos y tengo intención de estar del lado del ganador. Este Moisés es magistral. Su sola presencia es impresionante y la forma en la que se enfrenta al Faraón es inspiradora.

—¿Qué? ¿Deseas unirte con él en su culto en el desierto? —preguntó Fanir.

—Realmente no tienes cerebro —Leras sonrió aún más—. ¿Realmente por un momento crees que su Dios está pasando todo este problema sólo por un día de adoración? Ellos quieren ser libres y dejar Egipto. Cualquier tonto puede reconocerlo. Pero tú, al parecer, ¡ni siquiera eres un tonto!

Fanir miró alrededor de la taberna con la cara roja de vergüenza. Miró significativamente a sus compañeros sacerdotes.

—No voy a permitir que tal insulto quede sin respuesta —Fanir anunció a sus compañeros de mesa. Los cinco sacerdotes se levantaron de sus sillas como si fueran uno, y se enfrentaron a la mesa del eunuco.

En ese momento, la puerta de la taberna se abrió y reinó el silencio en la sala. Incluso el viejo arpista detuvo su performance. Dos extraños entraron. ¡Dos hebreos! Sus pieles no tenían costras ni cicatrices ni forúnculos. Tenían la actitud feliz de hombres que han comido bien –algo que ningún egipcio había experimentado durante meses. Se pavonearon en la taberna trayendo en sus manos un pedazo de carne fresca

—¡Ho! ¡Posadero! —gritó el hebreo más alto, Datan—. Escuchamos que los egipcios no han tenido carne fresca durante algún tiempo.

—¿Qué es eso, esclavo? —respondió Parnet, el posadero de El Cocodrilo hambriento. Todas las miradas se centraron en el intercambio de palabras.

—Oh, simplemente pensamos que usted puede disfrutar de su paladar con algo más que el pez ensangrentado que pareces disfrutar tanto —Datan bromeó.

—Sí —agregó el hebreo más bajo, Aviram—. También escuchamos cómo las ranas se volvieron populares en tu menú. Ranas, sapos hervidos al horno, a la parrilla, pastel de ranas… ¿Cuál era nuestro favorito, Datan? ¡Oh sí, rana rellena de rana! Si las plagas no fueran suficiente, quizás tu menú mate a todos —Datan u Aviram rieron cruelmente.

—Ustedes los Hebreos creen que son divertidos —Fanir, el sacerdote, gritó desde su mesa—. Rían, pero no olviden que siguen siendo esclavos.

—¿Esclavos? —preguntó Datan burlonamente—. Estás en el pasado, sacerdote. Pronto nos desharemos de nuestros esclavizadores egipcios; en poco tiempo nuestro Dios habrá terminado contigo.

—Basta de hablar, hebreos —Parnet hervía—. ¿Cuánto quieres por la carne?

—200 shekel —Datan respondió lentamente.

—¿200 shekel? —Parnet gritó—. ¿Estás loco? Yo solía pagar no más de 20 shekel pof toda una vaca, y mucho menos por solo una parte.

—Por supuesto —respondió Aviram en voz alta—. Pero eso fue antes de que los animales salvajes asolaran los rebaños, y la pestilencia les diezmó. No es un problema. Estamos seguros de que el Hipopótamo Húmedo que está en el camino le encantaría ofrecer carne fresca a su más estimada clientela.

—Ahora, ahora, ahora, mis queridos hebreos —Parnet levantó las manos en señal de calma—. No hay necesidad de conducir un negocio tan duro. Sentémonos en el cuarto de atrás y lleguemos a un precio equitativo, sin molestar a los clientes.

—Lidera el camino, buen posadero —respondió Datan y Aviram guiñó un ojo. Siguieron a Parnet detrás del mostrador y a la cocina, todavía con su carne fresca. Los egipcios estaban salivando al verla.

—Ya ves, Finar —Leras rió, señalando a los hebreos mientras salían—. Esto es sólo el principio. Al final, Egipto podría llegar a pedirle a los hebreos algo más que un poco de carne fresca. Sacerdotes. No puedo creer que aún recen a sus dioses patéticos pidiéndoles ayuda.

—Tu intransigencia es indignante —Finar gritó, golpeando el puño sobre la mesa—. Los hebreos pueden tener la sartén por el mango en este momento, pero tu rebeldía es inexcusable. Voy a informar a Faraón personalmente y yo estaré encantado de supervisar tu ejecución.

Leras gesto a los otros eunucos. Doigo se levantó sin problemas, se dio la vuelta y de repente empujó al sacerdote más cercano a él.

—¡Hey! ¡Mira lo que haces, tonto! —Doigo le gritó.

El sacerdote le devolvió el empujón a Doigo.

—¿Qué estás haciendo ? Yo no hice nada.

—¿¡Nada!? ¿Llamas a esto nada? —el chillido de Doigo reverberó a través de la taberna. Estrelló el puño en el rostro confundido y fornido del sacerdote. El impacto hizo un sonido ‘crunch’ mientras Doigo le rompía la nariz al sacerdote. Un segundo más tarde, el sacerdote cayó sobre la mesa.

—Lucha —gritó algún cliente, y toda la taberna estaba en sus pies.

Leras recogió su mesa y tiró – platos, tazas y todo – hacia los sacerdotes. Entonces comenzaron los enfrentamientos en serio. Las sillas se rompían en las cabezas de la gente, los cuerpos salían volando por el aire. Hubo una alta concentración de blancas túnicas sacerdotes mezcladas con cuerpos negros musculares en el centro del cuerpo a cuerpo.

Emocionado por la acción y mostrando más vida de la que tenía desde la muerte de su hermano, la anciana sacerdotisa tocó una alegre melodía.

En medio del caos, Leras se centró en Finar. Lo tomó por el cuello y discretamente sacó un cuchillo.

—Di tus oraciones rápidamente, sacerdote. Ya no se puede amenazar a un hombre y esperar salirse con la suya.

—No te atrevas a hacerme mal, eunuco. Soy un sacerdote santificado del poderoso dios Ra. Tú vas a sufrir la condena eterna del mundo terrenal si me haces daño.

—Lo dudo —Leras susurró mientras tranquilamente metió la hoja entre las costillas del sacerdote.

Finar cayó al suelo uniéndose a otros sacerdotes inconscientes.

Parnet, seguido de cerca por Datan y Aviram, salió corriendo de la cocina a la sala principal.

—¿Qué está pasando aquí? —Parnet gimió.

—Es realmente agradable ver a los egipcios luchando entre sí —Datan comentó.

—Sí, deberíamos venir aquí más a menudo —aprobó Aviram—. Tal vez podamos incluso vender entradas para el espectáculo.

Leras dio un penetrante silbido. Igual de rápido que comenzó el combate, también terminó. La sacerdotisa volvió a tocar una melodía más tenue.

Uno de los sacerdotes conscientes examinó la herida.

—¡Está muerto! ¡Fanir está muerto! ¡Ha sido apuñalado!

—Tal vez sólo tropezó durante los combates —Leras explicó, al tiempo que mostraba la sangre en su mano—. Si alguien quiere hacer un problema de ello —Leras miró amenazadoramente a los sacerdotes—, puede que tropiecen también.

—N – No, Leras —el sacerdote tartamudeó y dio un paso atrás—. Esto fue sólo un accidente desafortunado. Tus argumentos teológicos son muy persuasivos.

—Ah. Así que hay algo de sabiduría en el sacerdocio después de todo —Leras asintió.

Datan y Aviram miraron con aprensión al sacerdote muerto, y al Leras de pie sobre él.

—Este Leras es peligroso —susurró Datan— Tenemos nuestro dinero. Dejemos este zoológico.

Datan y Aviram se dirigieron a la puerta, pasando por encima de los escombros de la lucha.

Leras, notando el movimiento, los llamó.


Datan y Aviram dieron la vuelta justo antes de la entrada.

—Nosotros – nosotros no queremos problemas —Datan tartamudeó—. No hemos visto nada-

—Tengo un mensaje para su Moisés.

—Y ¿cuál sería entonces —Aviram exhaló, volviéndose hacia la entrada.

—Dile a Moisés que los eunucos de palacio están con él. Apoyamos su lucha y lo seguiremos —Leras levantó la mano sangrienta—, le guste o no.

La falacia de pedigrí

Netziv Éxodo: Vaera

La falacia de pedigrí

“Las personas que no tienen nada que presumir sino sus antepasados, son como una papa; la mejor parte de ellos se encuentra bajo tierra
” – Sir Thomas Overbore


En ambientes judíos, a menudo se da a una persona un cantidad de peso por su “Ijus” – su linaje. Si la persona es descendiente de una gran línea de rabinos, somos instantáneamente impresionados por su prestigiosa ascendencia.


La Torá, a veces se esfuerza mucho para dar la genealogía de las personalidades clave. Aarón, el Gran Sacerdote se introduce a través de su bisabuelo, Levi, seguido por su abuelo, Kehat, y su padre, Amram. Para completar el cuadro, también se nos dice sobre los hijos de Aarón, y el nieto, Pinhas (un futuro Gran Sacerdote). La familia de Aarón es claramente la gran familia sacerdotal de Israel con un linaje poderoso.


El Netziv en Éxodo 06:14 sin embargo, no está impresionado por la ascendencia de gran alcance. Él irónicamente llega a su conclusión a partir de la mención del hermano mucho más famoso de Aarón, Moisés. Él explica que Moisés es mencionado en el versículo en su propio mérito – no la de sus antepasados. Moisés fue grande debido a la conexión que desarrolló con Dios y su absorción de la voluntad divina. Moisés llegó a la altura del potencial humano a causa de su íntimo apego a la Torá de Dios. El Netziv da un paso más allá y afirma que la grandeza en Torá es superior a cualquier “Ijus” – a cualquier ascendencia, tan santo y noble que podría ser.


Que podamos apreciar los grandes antepasados – pero establecer nuestros propios buenos nombres.


Shabat Shalom,




Para los descendientes de grandes personalidades.