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The Systems of the Jewish Year

"What happened to Moshe’s Children?" - Comments

1 Elliot Pasik, Esq. on 2008 01 25

I hadn’t read Rabbi Haber’s divrei Torah in a while, and I now have charata.

The limits of daas Torah and rabbinic fallibility seem to be the topics of the day, and Rabbi Haber delivers a timely message.

2 Micha on 2008 01 25

I’m not sure I understand the difference between “ends” and “means”. We do things in order to change ourselves and the world around us. We don’t move just to move, we move in order to get something accomplished. (Even if that “something” happens to be exercise.)

And so, every action, has moral weight based upon its consequences. Some of those consequences are more immediate, such as “making a deal with avodah zarah”, and some may be more removed “the deal won’t be enforced by anyone and so all will be well”.

The expression “the ends does not justify the means” does not imply that it’s wrong to cost someone a penny in order to get to the other side of the street to save someone’s life. Consequences that are later in time than others can still outweigh those others.

Moshe Rabbeinu’s choice was wrong because he thought the long view was the more important factor when it wasn’t.

Or, “the ends are not inherently more important than the means just because they are the ends.” But they could at times justify them—given sufficiently important ends. Just as any other moral decision that involves the least of evils can we choose to live with committing the lesser evil.


3 Rav Hindel Tzeitzberg on 2012 02 28

What a beautiful dvar torah. I will be sure to share it with my family this shabbos. 

May Hashem bless you.

4 Questor on 2015 05 30

At the time that Moshe made that promise to his Father-in-law to be, he had not yet come to terms with his identity as a Hebrew, and had been groomed in Pharoah’s palace with a polytheistic viewpoint. G-d had not yet called Moshe either.  The promise was made honestly, and Moshe could not foresee that as he attempted to keep his promise to Jetho that Zipporah would circumcise her son Gershon to the Covenant, no doubt by the working of Hashem..

Moshe would have kept his promise to his Father-in-law had G-d not intervened, and moved Zipporah to enter her son Gershon into the Covenant, because Moshe was worthy of G-d’s personal interest, having been born to G-d’s own purposes.  And HaShem would not have so ordered Gershon’s family to the highest order of Levites serving the Tabernacle, had He not wished to show Moshe honor.

That a son of Gershon entered into idolatry is not the point, although it came to be within the workings of the hand of HaShem.  But all the other grandchildren of Moshe stayed in the covenant, and provided mighty service to the Tabernacle, and their sons, and grandsons.  Moshe was not left without an inheritance amongst the Levites, but his son’s family had the highest honor of those Levites who served the Son’s of Aaron.

Yehonasan ben Gershon became an Idolator, no doubt to the sorrow of Gershon, and was probably sought out by Michiyahu because of his relationship to Moshe.  I see Yehonason as one grieviously misled by promises of power to renounce the covenant, and worship idols, but not a result of anything that Moshe promised, but could not fulfill, as it was Jethro’s daughter who prevented the promise from being carried out, to the ever-spreading heritage of Moshe, as he justly deserved. deserved

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