Friday, August 31, 2012

Dvar Torah: Moses’ Wealth

"Carve for yourself two stone Tablets." (Numbers 10:1)
The Rabbis, always sensitive to nuance, focus on the word "lecha" — "for yourself" — which seems superfluous. The verse could have states “Carve two stone Tablets.” What does it mean “Carve for yourself?”
The Talmud (Nedarim 38a) deduces that Moses was permitted to keep the chips of the second Tablets, which made him very wealthy.

Q) It seems a bit distasteful, that Moses is making money from the sacred Tablets containing the Ten Commandments!?

A) Rebbe Rashab.[4]
The second Tablets could not be compared to the first Tablets. While the first were created by G-d himself, the second were created by a human being—Moses.  He carved out the stone into Tablets and only then did G-d inscribe on the Ten Commandments.
It is from the “chips” of the Tablets that Moses acquired his true wealth. The first Tablets had no “chips,” they had no “left over” pieces that go to the garbage, they had no undesirable accessories. The second Tablets, in contrast, had many a chip. For they represented our confrontation with darkness and addiction, with promiscuity, insecurity and shame.

It is from the confrontation with our inner gravel, with our proclivities to depression, failure, weakness and capitulation, that we grow to discover an inner wealth not available in the heavenly, pure and holy first Tablets given by G-d himself to pure and innocent people.

No comments: