This week’s parasha tells us of the sin of Moshe Rabbeinu, where HaShem commanded him to speak to the rock and instead he hit the rock. HaShem was displeased with this contradiction of His instructions and HaShem informed Moshe and Aharon that they would not be allowed entry into Eretz Yisroel.
It is noteworthy that when Yaakov fled from his brother Esav, after fourteen years of studying in the Beis Medrash of Ever, he lay down to sleep. Prior to laying down to sleep, Yaakov gathered twelve stones and during the night, the stones began quarrelling with each other, as each stone wanted the honor to have the Tzaddik lay his head on him. HaShem performed a miracle and all the stones united. The Mesilas Yesharim derives from this incident that when one is righteous, he can elevate the entire world , even the inanimate.
HaShem desired that Moshe, the most exalted human being, who reflected purity of speech and whose mouth presented a danger to the surrounding nations (see Rashi Bamidbar 22:4) elevate even the inanimate stone that would allow it to pour forth water. Moshe mistakenly hit the stone and this caused the מי מריבה, water of strife. Yaakov, on the other hand, broke up the discord amongst the stones with his righteousness. Moshe, unfortunately, caused strife by not following HaShem’s instructions regarding the stone.
It is said (Bereishis 49:24) וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּאֵיתָן קַשְׁתּוֹ וַיָּפֹזּוּ זְרֹעֵי יָדָיו מִידֵי אֲבִיר יַעֲקֹב מִשָּׁם רֹעֶה אֶבֶן יִשְׂרָאֵל, but his bow was firmly emplaced and his arms were gilded, from the hands of the Mighty Power of Yaakov – from there, he shepherded the stone of Israel. The Targum renders the words מִשָּׁם רֹעֶה אֶבֶן יִשְׂרָאֵל to mean דִּי בְמֵימְרֵהּ זַן אֲבָהָן וּבְנִין זַרְעָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל, with his (Yosef’s) word he sustained a father and his sons, the progeny of Israel. Thus, we see that the stone reflects unity, a passing of the torch from one generation to the next. The Medrash (Shemos Rabbah 1:32) states that Yaakov and Moshe were similar in that they both found their mate by the well. Yaakov met Rachel and with her and his three other wives, he built up the Jewish Nation for eternity. Moshe met his wife Tzipporah but ultimately separated from her. Moshe was not fortunate to have the Jewish People send from him. While Moshe was certainly the greatest man who ever lived, there was something in his psyche that did not allow for him to perpetuate the continuity of the Jewish People.
We have been learning in the past few weeks the power of discord and strife, from the Jewish People’s complaints about the lack of food to Korach’s struggle for power and this week’s unfortunate incident at Mei Merivah.
Let us strengthen ourselves in marital harmony, peace between brothers and sisters, and most importantly, peace between us and our Father in Heaven, and then we will merit the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, and the time of which it is said (Zachariah 2:15) וְנִלְווּ גוֹיִם רַבִּים אֶל יְ-ה-וָ-ה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וְהָיוּ לִי לְעָם, many nations will join themselves to HaShem on that day, and they will become a people unto Me.
Have a PEACEFUL Shabbos!
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