This week’s parshah is the first one in which Moshe Rabbeinu is not mentioned by name since his arrival on the scene in Parshas Shemos. The reason for this, we’re told, is because while pleading with Hashem on behalf of the Yidden following the sin of serving the Golden Calf, Moshe said, “Forgive them, and if not, erase me from the book (the Torah) you have written.” The words of a tzaddik – even when stated with a condition – have an effect. Even though Hashem did forgive the Yidden in the end, some of the statement had to occur and indeed does in this week’s parshah.
Think about it. Moshe Rabbeinu’s whole being and identity was the Torah. It was life itself. Yet, here he was, ready to give it up for Yidden who had just created an idol!
The lesson speaks for itself. Caring for a fellow Yid means exerting oneself even if it takes spiritual mesiras nefesh. In addition to inconvenience, and sometimes going through hardship, to help a fellow Jew, there is also the aspect of giving of one’s own spiritual health so that another may experience it as well.
It’s said in the name of the Baal Shem Tov that occasionally a neshamah comes down to this world and lives 70-80 years just to do a favor for another physically or spiritually.
In the current atmosphere of identity politics and personal attacks, let us recommit to the klal gadol b’torah of v’ahavta l’reiacha kamocha, respecting and caring for each other exactly the way we’d like done to us.
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos and a most joyous Purim!