Shabbat Parashat Beshalach 5774
Parashat Hashavua: Believing in the ProphetHarav Yosef Carmel
After the Splitting of the Sea, the Torah summarizes: “
Unklelus, in his Targum, as is fitting to his style, was not willing to equate the belief in Hashem that is described with the belief in Moshe. He translates: “They believed in the prophecy of Moshe, His servant.” Hadar Zekeinim phrases it somewhat differently: “They believed that Moshe was Hashem’s servant and that everything he did was based on His command.” The Ibn Ezra also explains that the belief was in Moshe’s relationship with Hashem.
The Alshich, on the other hand, said that already in
According to each explanation, what changed further at Sinai? Rashi explains that there people began believing in prophets in general, besides Moshe. In other words, regarding Moshe, there was no need to strengthen belief. Ibn Ezra, though, said that there were many in
The Rambam (Yesodei Hatorah 8:1) said that the quality of the belief increased as a result of Sinai. The belief in Moshe was not based on the miracles he performed, for such belief carries some doubt as it can theoretically be performed by magic or sleight of hand. At Sinai, the people saw for themselves that Hashem spoke to Moshe, and therefore they would never come to doubt it.
It is fascinating, although not altogether surprising, that Moshe is viewed by hundreds of millions of people, from different religions, as a leading prophet. Of course, his centrality in Judaism, is at the very core of our belief.
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of Klal Yisrael
Rabanit Itah bat Chana
Mr. Eliyahu ben Sara Zelda Carmel
This edition of
Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld
is endowed by
Les & Ethel Sutker
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l
to the memory of
Reuben M. Rudman