Moshe’s Dillema

This week we begin the second book of the Torah, שמות. The highlight of this Parsha is the scene at the burning bush, where Moshe learns that he is chosen to be the redeemer of the Jewish people.

There is some controversy among the Rabbis as to whether Moshe acted correctly by hiding his face and not wanting to look directly at this amazing phenomenon as the burning bush.

Some felt that he was being stubborn and it showed a general lack of faith to question Hashem. After all, it took seven days of dialogue between Hashem and Moshe before he agreed to the task he was given.

Rabbi Soloveitchik has an interesting take on this incident. He felt that Moshe was justified in distancing himself from the burning bush. Moshe realized that by seeing G-d face to face, he would certainly be shown that Hashem is the G-d of true justice.

Moshe was afraid that having this knowledge would take away from him the מידה of חסד, the attribute of kindness. For example, if he saw a poor man, he knew that it was just that this man be poor and it would be difficult to pray for him. He was afraid he would lose his sympathy.

This certainly could be a justifiable reason to back away from this amazing sight, until Hashem taught Moshe more about His true essence. Shabbat Shalom