Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students and Senior Lecturer at Diaspora Yeshiva, is not only a popular speaker and teacher, but also a dynamic thinker and writer. A student of Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky and Harav Gedalia Schorr, Rabbi Sprecher was granted smicha (rabbinical ordination) by Torah Vodaath Yeshiva. Prior to his current position, Rabbi Sprecher was a professor of Judaic studies at Touro College in New York. In addition to his duties at Diaspora Yeshiva, Rabbi Sprecher writes a regular column on various Judaic topics in the Jewish Press, and lectures regularly at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.
The Message of Moshe’s Rod
Published: Sunday, December 31, 2017 07:13:17 PM
Number of views: 62

G-d commands Moshe, “Take this rod in your hand, that you may perform the miraculous signs against Egypt with it” (Shmot 4:17).

Moshe carried the Rod of G-d in his hand. It was the instrument that initiated the various plagues which afflicted Egypt. One might think that this rod was only able to bring punishment and to exact retribution.

However, we see in the Torah that when the Jewish People arrived in Mara and were confronted with the challenge of having no water to drink, this same rod served a different function. The Torah states in Shmot 17:5, G-d says to Moshe, “and your rod, with which you struck the Nile River, take in your hand”. Rashi sites the Mechilta which notes the Torah’s emphasis on the rod, “with which you struck the Nile River”. Why did G-d have to remind Moshe which rod it was? He only possessed one rod!

When the Jewish People were complaining because they lacked water, G-d said to Moshe, “Take the very same rod that you used to bring the plagues on Egypt, and strike the rock with it, and water shall come out”. G-d was teaching the Jewish People that the same rod which brought plagues and destruction on Egypt, can also bring good. No dichotomy exists between the rod that brings evil and destruction and the one that brings good tidings. Because G-d is the source of BOTH, and from Him only good emanates.

We do not always perceive the good hidden within the bad. We do not always see or understand that out of sorrow and suffering can emerge joy and happiness.

We must have faith that the rod of evil will also bring good. As the Talmud teaches, whatever G-d does is ultimately ALL for the GOOD.

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