Sunday, June 5, 2016

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

I wrote One Above and Seven Below to enlighten fellow Jews as to the vital significance of the contract that HKBH is making with the Jewish people in Parshas Bechukosai. It was clear to me then and remains so that these concepts are overlooked (perhaps intentionally).

Thus, it was very gratifying to me to read Rav Moshe Grylak likewise emphasizing the centrality of the Brachos and Kellalos in his weekly column in Mishpacha Magazine. This although he is focusing on a different portion of the diatribe - the “good” part of the Tochacha where HKBH tells us that despite all, we will never be lost.

Still, in my humble opinion, he makes one glaring mistake: He attributes the authorship of this consolation to Moshe Rabbeinu as opposed to the Great Boss Himself, thus lessening the significance a notch.

I could not let this error pass, and so I voiced an objection to Mishpacha Magazine.

I don’t know if they are going to print it but I thought that at least I could display a copy here.

To follow is my letter to Mishpacha Magazine:

Why Credit Moshe Rabbeinu? - Point of View - Issue 612

Worthy editors:

As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed and fully relate to Rabbi Moshe Grylak's column "The Good News about Galus." I have a personal affinity to discussions about the lessons that we learn from Parshas Bechukosai because, as Rabbi Grylak writes, "these passages teach that the success of a nation (and likewise of an individual) is dependent on its morality."

It is because I felt that these passages are so central to our hashkafa yet are not given their proper recognition that I wrote One Above and Seven Below in 2007 to bring these lessons to our awareness.

My only complaint to Rabbi Grylak - and the purpose of this letter - is that he seems to attribute this vital dogma to the "prophecy" and wit and wisdom of Moshe Rabbenu.  He writes, "Moshe Rabbenu is promising..." and "Moshe offered this guarantee..." and later, "Moshe Rabbenu's instruction and prophecy..." and "Moshe Rabbenu intentionally linked the Jewish People’s good behavior with its corresponding reward..." as if the "guarantee" and the "link of good behavior with its corresponding reward…to the realities of history in This World" were instigated by Moshe the Servant of HKBH but not HKBH Himself.

Did Rabbi Grylak forget the Rashi in Devarim 28:23 that says: "These curses (of sefer Devarim) Moshe uttered on his own, and those of Mt. Sinai (sefer Vayikra, i.e. Bechukosai) from the mouth of HKBH they were said."?

How can Rabbi Grylak intimate that Moshe, the Servant was offering us a guarantee and not the King of Kings Himself?

Y. Hirshman, Author: One Above and Seven Below  

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