Dvar Torah for Parshat VaEra
Based on Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom #232
“The Israelites didn’t listen to me, how will Pharaoh? And my lips are sealed” (Exodus 6:12, see Rashi).
Even Moshe Rabbeinu, who knew how to daven (pray) very well (as evidenced by the results of his prayers following the sin of the Golden Calf and the sin of Miriam), felt that he didn’t have the words to overcome Pharaoh. He felt that way despite the fact that it was God Who was sending him to speak! The lack of immediate success in liberating the Israelites and the worsening of their condition, discouraged him so much.
Sometimes you and I might also feel that way. The “Pharaoh” of food or money, or some other “Pharaoh,” doesn’t let the “Israelite” within you go free so fast. In fact, despite your hitbodedut (speaking to God in your own words), your spiritual feelings and progress are making negative progress. So although you have something convincing to say that will actually free you from your bondage, you feel too discouraged. You’re trapped at the gates of your lips.
Rebbe Nachman likens this to a warrior, armed to the hilt, who comes to the gates and finding them covered by spiderwebs, turns back from his mission. How silly! says the Rebbe. On account of some defeat and for the lack of a bit of courage should you give up the mission you set out on and for which you are so thoroughly equipped?! Absolutely not.
God sent Aharon to assist Moshe Rabbeinu. We also have tzaddikim, their works and other good teachers who can (and will) accompany us on our mission to overcome Pharaoh. Let’s not be bashful in asking God for help to find them, and in asking them to teach us what to say and to daven on our behalf.
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