Posted on March 23, 2011
by Charlene Thrope
January 16, 2010/1 Tevet 5770
At the beginning of Parashat Vaera, Moses tells the Israelites of God’s five promises &8211; to free them, to deliver them, to redeem them, to take them, and to bring them to the land of Israel. Although this message is powerful, the Israelites do not listen to Moses. In order to deliver God’s message more effectively, both Aaron and Moses go to speak to Pharaoh, asking him to let the Israelites leave Egypt. When Pharaoh doesn’t grant God’s request, Aaron and Moses demonstrate God’s power with signs, including the ten plagues.
God alone cannot save the Israelites. The Israelites do not always listen to Moses, God’s messenger, perhaps due to his speech impediment. To compensate for Moses’s weakness, Aaron speaks for Moses. But even when Aaron and Moses work together, they need to prove God’s power to others, especially Pharaoh. God, Moses, and Aaron all knew they needed help in order to accomplish their goals. God appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but God tells Moses “lo nodati lahem (I did not make Myself known to them).” God relies on Moses, and this dependency shows a whole new aspect of God, including God’s weaknesses.
Knowing our weaknesses allows us the opportunity to ask others for help. The amount of resources we have is overwhelming &8211; our family, our friends, our teachers, our rabbis &8211; but they are useless if we choose not to embrace them. We cannot and should not try to do everything by ourselves. We may not be able to overcome our weaknesses alone, but with help from others, we can bring out our true strength.