Friday, March 23, 2007

An Unheeded Call

(Picture courtesy of

A teaching from Degel Machaneh Ephraim, Parshas Vayikra in this week's Parsha Parts :

And He called to Moshe. And Hashem spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting saying. (Vayikra 1:1)

Rashi explains, "To him the voice came. Only he head it and the rest of Bnei Yisroel did not hear it.

There is an allusion here based on what I heard from my grandfather of blessed memory on the Mishna (Avos 6:2), "Each day a Heavenly voice emanates from Har Chorev and says, 'Woe to those people because of the shame suffered by the Torah.'" The question is asked that if no one hears the voice, why does it emanate? And if they do hear it, why don't they heed it? This has already been printed in the holy sefer Toldos Yaakov Yosef. My grandfather explained that the Heavenly voice is the inspiration to do teshuva that one feels in his own heart each day. One who has knowledge reacts immediately when he feels this inspiration. He then understands that this is one of the announcements of "Return My backsliding children!" He immediately analyzes his actions and does complete teshuva. However someone who lacks this knowledge doesn't feel this inspiration at all and there is nothing for him to heed.

This is the allusion in this posuk. And He called - the call that is made each day from Hashem, the inspiration to do teshuva. To Moshe - only by him is the voice heard, only to someone who is in the realm of "Moshe" - the realm of knowledge represented by Moshe. However the rest of Bnei Yisroel that have not entered this realm don't hear anything. They have not let the inspiration to do teshuva be placed within their hearts.


At March 23, 2007 at 4:36:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Similarly, Rabbi Yissocher Frand wrote,

"Rashi explains that the voice of G-d reached Moshe's ears, but other people did not hear it. The voice stopped at the walls of the Tent. One might think that it stopped because it was soft and faint, but Rashi assures us that it was powerful voice, a voice that "breaks cedar trees". And yet, it came to a sudden stop and was not heard outside the Tent. Had someone placed his ear right up against the wall of the Tent, he could not have heard G-d's voice.

We all know that different ears are set for different audio frequencies and that sounds heard by one species may not always be heard by another. In order to hear G-d's voice, a person's ears would have to be set to a high spiritual frequency. Moshe was attuned to that frequency, and he heard G-d's voice. The rest of the people were not, so they did not."

At March 26, 2007 at 4:34:00 PM EDT, Blogger Moshe David Tokayer said...

Very similar to the Sfas Emes's vort that the Rebono shel Olam is always calling each one of us. Moshe Rabbeinu heard the call and came. He was always ready to hear the Aibeshder's call. See here: The second ma'amar also makes the point.

It's encouraging for me because it means that we all have the ability to "tune in" and hear the call of the Rebono shel Olam.

At March 27, 2007 at 6:48:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks for the link, Moshe.


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