Matot – Mas’ei

Moses spoke to the leaders of the tribes… this is the word of God.” How utterly, how impossibly certain is he in his message! The Midrash points out that all other prophets report “Thus said God,” while only Moses uses “This is”. How can one say something so absolutely and still be open to others – without falling into fundamentalism or elitism, and without withering into relativism (“I believe this is right for me, but you can believe anything else, because nothing is true.”)? Time and again, Moses is corrected by others, and modifies the law accordingly. Yet when he speaks, he speaks the absolute truth. Holding on to that paradox, perhaps, embracing contradictions — this is the true meaning of faith.




[Inspired by: Numbers 32; Kedushat Levi, Noach 12; Rav Shagar, She’erit Ha’emunah; and Black Square by Kazimir Malevich.]





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