Why me? by Akiva Fischman


            In Parshat שמות, we read of Moshe's being chosen by Hashem to lead Bnei Yisrael out of  Egypt.  However, it seems as though Hashem could have chosen a more "worthy" person to be the savior and spiritual leader of the chosen people.  Indeed, even Moshe doubts his own worthiness for this job as he says (ד:יא) מי אנכי כי אלך אל פרעה, "who am I, that I should approach Paroh to demand the release of B'nai Yisrael!"  After all, Moshe was brought up in the house of Paroh, king of Egypt, which could not have led to the best character development, as Paroh was the sole individual responsible for all the harm and suffering placed on B'nai Yisrael.  The evil, vicious way that the Egyptians acted was reflective of their king.  One who grows up in the home of an evil king and his advisors could not have developed high moral values. 

                However, Moshe is not corrupted by this king's evil ways, and he does have a strong sense of morality, and he is deeply troubled when he sees an Egyptian soldier beat nearly to death one of his Jewish brothers.  So troubled is he in fact that he risks his own career and takes the life of the Egyptian oppressor, to save his fellow Jew.  However, in doing so, he arouses Paroh's anger and flees to Midyan to escape the king's wrath.  Again Moshe finds himself in an area that is mostly devoid of the moral standards he's used to.  The pasuk states with regard to the Midyanite shepherds ב:יז() ויבאו הרעים ויגרשום that they simply shoved aside all those in front of them (including Moshe's wife-to-be) at the well, in order to be able to water their sheep first.  This was a mild example of their potential cruelty and immorality.  So here too, Moshe is in a vulnerable position in which he could be influenced and coerced into similar unethical behavior.  Yet Moshe acts heroically by saving the daughters of Yitro, jeopardizing his own life trying to help others.  One would have thought Hashem would not select such a person who lived under these conditions.  However, Moshe Rabbeinu was never, beyond mere appearances, an ordinary individual.  Hashem will always look beyond mere appearances and discover what an individual truly is.  Despite Moshe's background, he proved himself on more than one occasion to be a truly moral and holy individual, and emerged as the pure person needed to lead the suffering, semi-assimilated B'nai Yisrael to the promised land.  However, aside from his moral character, Moshe was extremely timid about becoming the sole leader of Hashem's people.  So how did he overcome this to take his place as their leader?  The answer is, because of Hashem's promise of אהיה עמך, "I will be with you".  Hashem being with him gave him everything else he would need.  Accordingly, we must strive to be the most ethical and Torah-abiding people we can be.  If we do so, then hopefully הוא יהיה עמנו, He will be with us.

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