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 Apparently there were influential sections of the Jewish people that found it difficult to have a proper relationship with their leader Moshe. The minimalist Jews – the eiruv rav - couldnot get enough of Moshe. They constantly needed him and his presence and when they felt that he was absent, and perhaps would not return, they substituted a golden calf in his stead.

This week we read of great and learned Jews, led by Korach, that felt that they had too much of Moshe in their lives. They wanted the bonds of his leadership over them to be loosened if not even completely dismantled. We saw in last week's parsha that even his beloved and holy sister and brother found it difficult to come to terms with the unique greatness and prophetic stature of Moshe.
Moshe was not to be judged by ordinary human standards, even by the standards of the greatest and most holy of the congregation. The rabbis titled Moshe as being the father of all prophets, both those that preceded him and those who were to come after him.
It is one of the principles of Jewish faith that Moshe, though human and mortal, was the most unique and singular person in Jewish and general human history. We find it difficult to deal with people who are our peers and who we feel we can understand and even judge. How much more therefore is it difficult to try and assess the greatness and character of the most unique person in civilized history. The error of Korach and his followers lay in somehow seeing themselves as equal to Moshe and ignoring the fact of his uniqueness.
This distinction of Moshe is emphasized throughout Jewish history and tradition. The Torah itself is called on his name – the Torah of Moshe. A millennia after his passing, the prophet Malachi will still state: “Remember the Torah of my servant Moshe.” It is as though Moshe and Torah are synonymous one with the other. Even in general non-Jewish society, Moshe is remembered and renowned as the world’s greatest lawgiver.
A fundamental error in understanding Jewish life and tradition is to deal with Moshe as an ordinary mortal, as just another great man among many in history. It is no wonder that Maimonides listed the belief in Moshe, the conduit that brings the Torah to the people of Israel, as being one of his thirteen principles of Jewish faith.
This idea is so central to Jewish continuity that we see in this week's Torah reading that a special miracle was created – something that did not happen at the punishment of the worshipers of the Golden Calf – in order to reinforce the idea that Moshe was special and that his status and uniqueness was not to be tampered with. Millennia later, we could all state with pride and certainty that Moshe is true and that his Torah is true as well.
Shabbat shalom
Rabbi Berel Wein

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