Why is it that we find out about bad things that special people did?
When attempting to understand what went wrong in our parsha, causing our Rebbe, Moshe Rabbeinu to hit the rock, there are two major ways of understanding what took place. We can become the scholars who discuss Moshe Rabbeinu’s anger management issues (Hashem Yerachem), or we can open our hearts to some powerful words from the Chiddushei Harim, the first Rebbe of the Chassidic dynasty of Gur
“In regards to ‘Mei Meriva’ (the name for the incident of the hitting of the rock) many different explanations have been said by the Rambam, Eben Ezra and in the Ramban, but yet it still does not dwell comfortably in the heart. So I will write what Hashem has graced a low person like me with, SINCE IT IS A CHUTZPAH TO READ INTO THE PARSHA AND CONSIDER THE EVENT AS A SIN OF MOSHE RABBEINU…. BUT SINCE G-D ALMIGHTY MADE A TORAH AND GAVE IT TO US, ONLY DUE TO HIS GIVING THIS STORY OVER TO US DO WE TRY TO UNDERSTAND.”
Us Jewish People, the kavod we have for you Moshe Rabbeinu, the kavod we have for every moment you were living in this world knows no boundaries. It is this kavod and honor that brings us to try and see beyond the surface in every matter. But it’s no wonder how we learned to act like this, we learned it from you. This is how you looked at us, and this is the manner in which all of our leaders have looked at us. Specifically the Lubavitcher Rebbe of blessed and righteous memory, whose 26th yarzeit was this past week.
So this coming Shabbos, when we read that Hashem commanded you to speak to the rock, but instead you hit it, we will all be asking Hashem ‘Hare’ini Na Et Kvodecha’! Please G-d Almighty, show me what I need to know from this story. Show me how to learn about people’s shortcomings through the Gerrer Rebbe’s eyes, demanding a greater understanding of your honour, when sometimes the world seems so far from it.
Rav Shlomo Katz