Moses' complaint

Moses complained, our forefathers did not.

Danny Ginsbourg, | updated: 07:19

Judaism Danny Ginsbourg
Danny Ginsbourg

Our Sages (Sanhedrin 111) see in the opening psukim (verses) of our parsha an implied rebuke to Moshe Rabenu, for saying to Hashem:(Shemot 5:22-23)’My Lord למה הרעותה לעם הזה: "Why have You done evil to this people, why have You sent me? From the time I came to Pharoah to speak in Your Name he did evil to this people, but You did not rescue Your people."

Continues the Gemara:Hashem lamented to Moshe: Woe for those who are gone, the like of whom can no longer be found! The Avot, unlike you, did not question My attributes; I said to Avraham:(Lech Lecha 13:17)traverse this land, for I will give it to you; but when he sought a burial plot for Sarah, he had to purchase it for four hundred silver shekels; yet he did not question My attributes.

Asks Rav Matityahu Solomon: What grievance could Avraham have had? The promise of the gift of the Land, was (Lech Lecha 15:16)that the fourth generation would return there; but until then it would continue to be inhabited by its present occupants.

And he answers: Would Avraham Avinu not be entitled to think:I have devoted my whole life, as did my beloved Sarah, to spread Hashem’s name and his never-ending chasadim (kindness) to the world; yet, now that I need to bury my righteous Sarah, could I not have been spared having to plead to Ephron, to purchase a burial plot for her?

Yet, comments Rav Solomon: Not only that no such thought enter Avraham’s mind, but, when Ephron consented to sell him a burial, Avraham saw it as a great chesed from Hashem; and (Chayei Sarah 23:12)he thanked Hashem, prostrating himself, in gratitude, before Him.

And our Sages note (Baba Batra 15:),that the ‘great adversary’, השטן, was so ‘moved’ by this act of אמונה by Avraham, that he reported to Hashem:’I have travelled the whole world, and I did not find anyone as נאמן:faithful as Your servant, Avraham; you said to him: traverse the land, because I will give it to you, yet when he needed to bury Sarah, he could not find a plot to bury her, yet he did not question Your attributes!’.

And if Hashem, כביכול, laments the departure of the Avot, they have nevertheless left us, their descendants, a lasting legacy.

The Chatam Sofer expounds the pasuk:(Lech Lecha 15:6)’And he (Avraham) האמין בה׳: he trusted in Hashem, and He reckoned it to him, as צדקה’, as:Avraham Avinu instilled his unwavering אמונה into our DNA; and this was deemed by Hashem as a צדקה by Avraham, to Him!

And, in this merit, we are lauded by our Sages (Shabbat 96.)as: מאמינים בני מאמינים:’Believers, the sons of Believers’- the sons of ‘the’ believer:Avraham Avinu!

May we always be worthy of this plaudit!