Speaking Softly by Aryeh Kaplan


            Moshe addressed the heavens with דבור, a forceful command, האזינו...ואדברה listen closely to what I am about to relate to you.  When Moshe spoke to the earth he used term אמירה a much softer type of language- ותשמע הארץ אמרי פי, "let the earth hear the saying of my mouth."  Why did Moshe use strong language when speaking to Heavens and soft words when speaking to the earth?  Rabbi David Feinstein answers that because the heavens are a spiritual entity, they do exactly as they are commanded, even if they do not understand why.  And since they are being asked to do something they don't understand and vice is not self evident, they must listen carefully in order to remember well.  The earth on the other hand, being entirely physical, must understand what it is doing.  This is why Moshe speaks to it in a different tone.  Physical beings are less responsive than the spiritual heavens and must be taught in a receptive frame of mind to understand what they are told to do.  It is difficult for them to be responsive unless they are given logical and easy instructions.  Once they understand, they will remember.  Therefore Moshe addresses the earth in a softer, more easy terms than the ones he used with the heavens

Clean Yourself First by Rafi Gasner

Trusting God's Judgement by Barry Buckman