Out Standing: Vaethanan 2021

by Adam J. Rosenbaum

Pre-Game Chatter: Have you ever felt unable to move due to fear? What was it about that moment that caused you to freeze?

As Moses recalls the moments of Revelation at Mount Sinai, he notes how petrified the generation of the Exodus is:

The Pitch: “I stood between the Lord and you at that time to convey the Lord’s words to you, for you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.” – Deuteronomy 5:5

Swing #1: “It is the ‘I,’ egotism, selfishness, that stands between God and man. As long as man is the slave of his ego, he cannot come near to His God.” – The Rabbi of Kobrin

Swing #2: “The specter of idolatry haunts such encounters. … Even a charismatic being like Moses himself holds no intrinsic power: he is simply a messenger who stands between the divine and human worlds, carrying to his people divine words.” – Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, Moses: A Human Life

Swing #3: “‘I stood between the Lord and between you;’ I did so in order to convey the other eight commandments to you.” – Chizkuni

Late-Inning Questions: Do our commentators see Moses as a mere messenger, or something more? What does it mean to stand between the holy and the common? How is Moses an ideal person to stand in that space?

On-Deck at TBT: Registration is open for the new Community Religious School. If you have children or grandchildren going into grades K-7 — or if you know someone who has them — check out this link!

The Big Inning at the End: Speaking of standing in fear, Larry Walker famously displayed how intimidated he was by Randy Johnson in the 1997 All Star Game — it’s a classic clip.

Shabbat Shalom!