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Browse Torah Articles: Sefer Shemot: Parashat Vaera: Hear the Words
"Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage." (Shemot 6, 9)

"But Moses said to Hashem, "If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?" (Shemot 6, 12)

Peroush Yashar on the Torah brings us this insight on this week's Parasha. When Moshe asks Hashem in a logical fashion, that it stands to reason that Pharaoh will not listen to him because Bnei Yisrael did not listen – one could ask a very strong question.

This logic is flawed! As we see in verse 9 above, three verses earlier, the reason why Bnei Yisrael did not listen to Moshe was simple. Due to their "discouragement and cruel bondage" Moshe's promising words of a divine redemption fell upon deaf ears. However, Pharoah, who was not subject to the difficult slavery, would not be hardened to hear the words of Moshe! How does Moshe make this sort of logical statement that is seemingly overruled by paying attention to the earlier verse?

The answer is that real intention of Moshe was to state the following: If Bnei Yisrael, who are the children of Yisrael (Yaacob Avinou), descendants of people of faith, who always believed in Hashem, did not listen to Moshe, only due to hard labor and slavery, how could Pharaoh, who never believed in Hashem, believe in what Moshe was saying?

The lesson to us today, living comfortable in our respective communities, must always have an ear open to the words of our Rabbis, and never allow work and everyday life to prevent their messages from being incorporated into our lives.
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