25 February 2015

In Memory of Moshe Rabbeinu

7 Adar 5775

"Parashat Tetsaveh is the only parashah since Moshe's birth that does not mention his name explicitly. Every mitsvah and command mentioned in the parashah, however, is initiated with the word "you," referring to Moshe. Apparently, Moshe is the prime focus of this parashah, although his name is not recorded. Why? The Sages tell us that the curse of a tsadik, even if it is contingent upon specific conditions, takes effect despite the fact that those conditions are not met. When Moshe entreated Hashem on behalf of Klal Yisrael after they sinned with the Golden Calf, he said to Hashem, "If you do not forgive their sin, I beg You, erase my name from Your Book," a reference to the Torah. We may question why, of all the parashiot, Tetsaveh is chosen to be the one from which Moshe's name is excluded?

The commentators offer various answers to this question. Some say that since Moshe's yahrzeit is on the seventh day of Adar, which always falls out during the week of Tetsaveh, it is logical that this is the parashah from which Moshe's name is missing. This answer is enigmatic. One would think that specifically during the week in which Moshe passed away, his name would be remembered as much as possible. After all, what greater tribute is there to our great leader than remembering him on his yahrzeit?

Rav Elchanan Sorotzkin feels that the Torah's omission of Moshe's name specifically in Parashat Tetsaveh, during his yahrzeit, speaks volumes about Moshe's greatness as a leader and as a Jew. Moshe was prepared to sacrifice more than just his physical life for the Jewish people; he was prepared to relinquish his spiritual life, his neshamah, for them. The Torah is called Torat Moshe, the Torah of Moshe. For what greater appreciation can one hope? Our Torah is immutable; it will always remain Torat Moshe. Yet, Moshe was ready to relinquish the ultimate spiritual pleasure, his name engraved for all eternity in the Torah. Moshe's love for his people was so overwhelming that he gave Hashem his incredible "ultimatum" despite the consequences. Is there any greater tribute to the father of all prophets, the quintessential leader of Klal Yisrael, than to leave his name out of the parashah that falls on his yahrzeit? In this manner, everyone will acknowledge the greatness of his deed. "

(Source: Shema Yisrael Torah Network)


  1. Usually. we fail to remember that 7 Adar was also the birthdate of Moshe Rabbeinu; thus, showing how totally committed, unique, special and holy our greatest leader is.

    1. Thanks for the reminder, Raizy. And I remember reading somewhere that when he was born, light filled the house. And one of the names he was given was "Tov." From the day he stood in front of the burning bush, his life was no longer his own, but was given over completely towards bringing "tov" to Am Yisrael.