Sunday, June 17, 2012

Going to Market

The Ran explains that kabbalas haTorah was the greatest possible experience for mankind. In order to expunge all doubt of its veracity Hashem first delivered us from Egypt, the heart of sorcery, with great miracles. If there had been any trickery, surely the sorcerers there would have figured it out. It is specifically in such a place that Hashem demonstrated that He can completely overide nature when He desires. After the sorcerers admitted this, it was clear that Hashem is G-d without a shadow of a doubt. Rav Moshe Ludmir, shlit”a, brings this Ran and applies it to a statement of our sages regarding Moshe's reaction to the Egyptian Sorcerers. “This is the meaning of the exchange between the Egyptian sorcerers and Moshe. The sorcerers mocked Moshe for bringing what they thought was mere magic into Egypt, the capital of such things. Moshe responded that people say that if one has vegetables to sell he should bring his produce to a vegetable market. Moshe is saying that precisely because the Egyptian's are expert sorcerers, it will become clear as day that what Hashem empowered him to do would far exceed that which they could do. It is specifically in this manner that they will recognize Hashem and admit that He is above all powers.” Interestingly, the Chazon Ish taught a practical lesson from this statement. It was when yeshivos were still struggling that Rav Hillel Vitkind, zt”l, asked the Chazon Ish, zt”l, what should be done to keep his yeshiva in Tel Aviv going. The Chazon Ish surprised him by suggesting that he move the yeshiva to Bnei Brak. “But Bnei Brak is filled with yeshivos!” responded Rav Hillel. The Chazon Ish answered, “On the contrary, that is exactly why you should move your yeshiva to Bnei Brak. Don’t our sages say that one should bring vegetables to a vegetable market?”

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