Shemot 5779

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

As Moshe is on his way back to Egypt to speak with Pharaoh, his life is unexpectedly threatened. As he stays at an inn, Hashem looks to kill him. Tziporah acts fast by finding a sharp rock and performing a circumcision on their son Gershom. Some commentaries on this story note that Moshe had not been diligent with performing a circumcision on his son at the proper time. He had decided to focus on his lodging before performing the mitzvah; his priorities weren't in order.
Despite these explanations, it is still difficult to understand what happened here. How could Hashem look to wipe out Moshe after a week of speaking with him about saving the Jewish people from Egypt? Secondly, why such a harsh potential punishment? Circumcision is crucial to Judaism, but at the risk of ending Moshe's life and possibly delaying the redemption?
I would like to suggest an explanation based on the Rambam in his introduction to his commentary on the Mishnah. At the very beginning, the Rambam talks about four kinds of prophets; two who speak in the name of idolatry while two speak in the name of Hashem. However, out of those four types only one kind is believed and accepted as a true prophet. The first two say that either a star or that Hashem Himself came and said to worship a certain object or luminary. Even if they perform miracles, they are put to death for being false prophets of Hashem. The second two speak in the name of Hashem. However, one says that Hashem had decided to add or remove a commandment from the Torah; this also includes altering an interpretation of a verse based on drasha. This prophet is also to be put to death. Only a prophet who speaks in the name of Hashem and tells the masses to continue keeping the Torah and to do teshuvah


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