Parshas Ki Sisa:
In this weeks Parsha, Bnei Yisrael disappoint Hashem greatly at which point, Hashem informs Moshe that He is going to destroy Bnei Yisrael, and create a new nation for Moshe to lead. Moshe then proceeds to present Hashem with reasons why what Bnei Yisrael have done is not worthy of such a great punishment and why destroying Bnei Yisrael is not a good idea altogether . One of the last reasons Moshe gives to Hashem is that the current nation of Bnei Yisrael were promised Eretz Yisrael and this new nation that Hashem is foreshadowing cannot possibility get Eretz Yisrael as Hashem is now promising to Moshe. Moshe pleads that for this reason, as well as others , Hashem should not destroy Bnei Yisrael. When Moshe brings this reason it is not only because he has grown attached to the nation that he has been leading but also because he is seeing himself as a part of something greater, a nation so well established that it comes with the promise of a land attached to it. This realization causes Moshe to stand against the thought of having His nation destroyed and becoming the fresh new leader of nation newer and perhaps even more obedient than this current one. Later on, when Bnei Yisrael sin with the sending of spies to Israel, Moshe can no longer use the excuse of the promised land because it is the land that they are sinning with and are hesitant to accept out of fear of the unknown.
This idea of seeing yourself as part of a unit presents itself in another place in this week’s Parsha as well. In addition to serving as a census for the nation of Israel, the idea of the Machatzsit Hashekel showed that no member of Bnei Yisrael could be complete on his own but rather that he needs to be considered part of a group that is Bnei Yisrael, a big theme in Judaism. How fitting it is that the leader of Bnei Yisrael, Moshe refused to see himself without his nation, epitomizing this concept of unity and self sacrifice.
Student Studying in Midreshet Moriah