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Moshe Rabbenu’s Failures
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Eight Nisan Pointing out others’ failures can be an act of smugness. Or, as I hope it will be for us, it can be a reminder that it’s never easy, for any of us. Especially since we’ve just seen the greatness Moshe had at birth and then developed, seeing that he did not always manage […]
Moshe’s Successes in Egypt
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Seven Nisan The Exodus from Egypt gives us central questions to ask ourselves in life in general—how good are we at submitting to Hashem, when that’s what’s called for, and how good are we at contributing to Hashem’s plan for the world, in creative ways, when that’s what’s needed. Those questions also offer a convenient […]
The Needle to Thread in the Human/Divine Partnership
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Six Nisan It’s important not to exaggerate. For all that we’ve shown Hashem inviting our creative engagement with His world, for all that we will watch human players succeed or fail in the Exodus, there were other times when Hashem told us exactly how to act, and we had to obey exactly. To find the […]
The Human/Divine Partnership in the Exodus Story
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Four Nisan The more we see Hashem hide the supernatural, perhaps to leave room for freewill, good and bad, the more we are called to rethink our role in world events. Were there ever to be naked Divine intervention, there would be little room for human input; that Hashem left room even within the Exodus […]
Natural and Supernatural in the Rest of the Exodus
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Three Nisan We want the supernatural to declare itself, but our commentators see Hashem as hiding His presence sufficiently that even the most blatant miracles can be seen as natural. Looking outside the plagues for examples of that will remind us that part of the greatness of our forefathers and Patriarchs was their wisdom in […]
Would We Have Seen Hashem in the Plagues?
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Two Nisan The Torah emphasizes the supernatural in the Exodus, especially the plagues and Splitting of the Sea. Hashem is quoted frequently to the effect that these wonders were to make clear to the Egyptians and the world Who was making this happen. Taken at face value, it makes us wonder how the Egyptians denied […]
23. Dreams and Visions
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As we have already discussed, all the prophets other than Moshe received their prophecies in dreams and visions. We understand what dreams are but what are visions? The Rambam describes a vision as an intense, dreadful feeling that washes over a prophet while awake. [II, 41] To support this, the Rambam cites the Book of […]