Ki Tisa: What the World Will Say

Moshe's argument before G-d on behalf of Israel.

Aloh Naaleh,

Arutz 7

Mah yomru hagoyim? - "What will the nations of the world say?" Throughout our history and our personal lives this has often been an injunction, both for good and sometimes, perhaps, for less than good, in order to see our
Since when are G-d's decisions susceptible to public opinion?
actions from the perspective of others. In the case of potential chilul HaShem ("desecration of G-d's Name"), it is obviously most necessary. But in the political arena, for example, often the right thing to do is overshadowed by the need for approbation from others.

Yet, it is this very same thought that Moshe Rabbeinu uses to convince HaKadosh Baruch Hu, after chet ha'egel ("the sin of the golden calf"), that Am Yisrael should be judged with compassion: Lamah yomru Mitzrayim.... (Shmot 32:12)

A little disconcerting. Since when are G-d's decisions susceptible to public opinion?

I think that an answer can be found in the following pasuk, wherein Moshe states his second argument on behalf of Bnei Yisrael - the promise of Eretz Yisrael to Am Yisrael: ...eten l'zarachem v'nachalu l'olam.

As Rashi teaches us in the first pasuk of the Torah, this promise will be contested over and over again. This promise is not a private convenant. It is a public, irrevocable statement that affects all the nations of the world. It is therefore most appropriate that Moshe pleads with HaShem to consider world opinion. They are the ones who must know that the promise is permanent.

May we merit that the nations of the world finally understand the Divine nature of our connection to this Land.
Tova Rhein is the director of the Overseas Program at Midreshet Lindenbaum. She and her husband, Danny, live in Efrat and are proud parents and grandparents.

The foregoing commentary was distributed by the Aloh Naaleh organization.