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Weekly Chizuk


Look At Yourself in the Third Person

As we mentioned in Parshas Tetzaveh, the fact that Klal Yisrael built the Mishkan "just like Hashem commanded Moshe" is repeated no less than 18 times.

Rav Elchanan Wasserman used to take special note of this. What is the difference between the previous generations and the latter generations? Today, whenever a person speaks about himself, people cannot fathom by any stretch of their imagination that he isn't expressing his ego. However, it used to be different. In the Torah when a person spoke about himself, no one ever speculated that he was referring to himself. Look at all the verses in Parshas Pekudei where Moshe Rabbeinu spoke about himself in third person: "And Moshe performed…" "Just like Hashem commanded Moshe." Why doesn't the possuk write, "Just as Hashem commanded him?" Isn't it obvious that Hashem gave all these commands to Moshe? It's as if there is some other Jew called Moshe, and Hashem used him to carry out His missions. And Moshe Rabbeinu was just standing on the side observing, as if it had nothing to do with him at all.

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This also was Rav Elchanan's habit regarding himself. In spite of his enormous stature in Torah and leadership, he never took personal credit for anything.

Once, Rav Elchanan came to visit the Mashgiach of his yeshiva, Rav Yisrael Yaakov Lubchansky, who was critically ill and in a very dangerous state. The rebbitzen complained that he doesn't allow any of the boys in the yeshiva to take care of him. Rav Elchanan responded thusly, "Regarding himself, he can say he doesn't want. But for the Mashgiach of the Yeshiva certainly the yeshiva boys have to serve him in order to get him well. Even the Mashgiach himself has to want that the Mashgiach should be healthy, because the Yeshiva needs the Mashgiach." He brought proof from Moshe Rabbeinu in Parshas Pekudei. (Ohr Elchanan p. 117)

Gut Shabbos!

© Rabbi Eliezer Parkoff

Rabbi Eliezer Parkoff

Rosh Yeshiva

Yeshiva Gedolah Medrash Chaim

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