“Because you had no confidence in me.” (Bamidbar 20:12)
There was a father on seder night who did all of the things that chazal instruct a father to do in order for the son to ask “Mah Nishtanah” and yet, his son just sat there and smiled, watching these uncommon actions, and absorbing it all. The father eventually got frustrated and asked his son “Why are you not asking about my atypical actions?”
I have wondered many times why was it that Moshe and Aharon were condemned to the same punishment for their personal sins of hitting the rock, as Klal Yisrael for their sin of the spies? Both were punished not to be allowed to go into Eretz Yisrael. Seemingly each sin should have a different punishment – is it one size fits all? Rav Shimshon Refael Hirsch answered this question with a very important understanding of a pasuk in Navi. (Yishayahu 6:2) “Each angel had six wings – with two it would cover its face, with two it would cover its legs, and with two it would fly”.
He explains that the reason the angels have their feet and eyes covered is because they do not look where they are going. Rather, they just go where they are commanded to go, without judging or evaluating “how could this work out?” This is called the ultimate devoted servant, not evaluating in the slightest, the commandment which he was given.
Moshe and Aharon’s momentary weakness (on their level) of a lack of understanding or emunah, was equal to the lack of emunah of all of klal Yisrael, in not trusting in Hashem that they can vanquish Hashem’s enemies in the land of Canaan.
This lack of understanding of Hashem’s absoluteness, each person – on their own level – causes each person to be taken to task on this issue.
As it says in Tehillim (99:6-8) “A forgiving G-d were you because of them, yet an avenger for their iniquities. Exalt Hashem…”. Hashem metes out punishment to Moshe and Aharon and this is a sign of Hashem’s greatness.
When the father asked the son “how come you don’t ask any questions?” the son replied, “I was taught ‘we don’t ask questions about what our father does.’” This is not a joke, but a way of life demanded of every Jew. I read once that a person who has questions on what Hashem does is making it seem as if G-d is human and His thought processes are fathomable to the human mind.
It says in Yeshaya 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts”. We all know this, yet sometimes, we forget that this includes our lack of capacity to foresee or perceive that which Hashem does.
May we merit to rectify our thought processes, to the point that no question exists.