Written by: Rabbi Mordechai Raizman
It’s Not About Me
In this week’s Torah portion, Tezaveh, the name of Moshe is omitted. Commentators wonder why his name is omitted. The next question they ask is why in this specific Torah portion is his name absent since it appears in every other portion since his birth.
The understanding of many is that when Moshe in pleading on behalf of the people to G-d, one of the times they sinned, he said, “Erase me from your Torah.” Those words had an effect; his name needed to be removed from the Torah as a fulfillment of that statement. That only explains why his name had to be erased somewhere but why in this specific Torah portion?
There is a beautiful lesson that is being taught here. Moshe never wanted to be the leader. He begged for Aaron, his older brother, to take the position. However, G-d appointed him and although He gave Aaron a role as well in the process of the redemption, Moshe was clearly the leader. Aaron’s role was that of the Kohen Gadol and his responsibility was being the leader in the service of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). This week’s portion deals with the vestments of the Kohen and is about Aaron and his descendants that would inherit the priesthood after him. In a way, G-d grants Moshe’s request for Aaron to be the leader by not mentioning him when it is time to put the spotlight on Aaron. This was the week that focuses only on Aaron as Moshe truly wanted to show respect for his brother.
It is a great lesson in life to be able to step aside and give the proper respect to those around us when that respect is due. We should all be able to look for ways how we can think about others first like Moshe who throughout his life lived by the principle it’s not about me.