The Guessing Gain

//The Guessing Gain

I am sure we have all had the experience when we answer a phone call and the person on the other end says “Guess who this is?!” There are times when we can somewhat recognize the voice, but not completely. We start groping in the dark and get frustrated that we can’t identify who the caller is. At the same time, we feel the emotion of the caller – he is truly unhappy that we don’t recognize him just by his voice.

What was the meaning of such an encounter, and what was the caller trying to do?

It seems to me that we can recognize the speech (no matter what tone of voice is used) of anyone whom we know intimately and/or on multiple levels. However, the less we know a person, the more insecure of our guess as to who it is. When the caller finally identifies himself, we are put at ease. In a sense this encounter is a quiz on how intense our relationship is with the other person. A person who has to identify himself is, in a backhand way, saying “My connection to you is not that strong, so I don’t expect you to know who I am.”

At the time of Purim many of us put on costumes, trying to hide our identity from others. As we walk in the street, people try to guess who is behind our costumes. Can we really fool others with just a different external appearance?

Those with whom we are very close – no matter how well we disguise ourselves – will be able to “unmask” us with ease.

Moshe Rabbeinu pleaded to Hashem to remove his name from the Torah in order to avoid Klal Yisrael’s annihilation because of the sin of the Golden Calf. Chazal tell us that the punishment which Moshe received was that his name was not mentioned in Parshas Tetzaveh. With 54 parshios in the Torah, it begs the question: Why was Moshe’s name removed from this parsha, and not one of the others? This parsha deals with the clothing of the Kohen, which is used to accentuate the qualities of this unique group. It seems to me that it was chosen to be the Parsha that would be missing Moshe’s name because in this parsha, the themes of service to Hashem are extolled. When Moshe served as a Kohen Gadol, many hold that he did not wear the vestments es of the Kohen Gadol, and instead only wore a white tunic. Possibly the idea is, that Moshe Rabbeinu did not need a name to identify him as he was the voice of Hashem, and therefore his clothing did not need a design. In the section of the Torah that deals with these holy garments the conduit can remain nameless because the essence of Moshe was just to be the conduit between Hashem and Klal Yisrael.

In summary the reason his name could be deleted is because Moshe Rabbeinu is readily recognized.

Good Shabbos and a freilichen Purim.

By |2018-03-25T22:05:56+03:00February 21st, 2018|Rav's Blog|0 Comments

About the Author:

Rav Avrohom Baruch Zachariash has been the Rav of Ahavas Shalom since 2003. He currently lives in Jerusalem, but spends most Shabboses with his Kehilla in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.

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