Parsha: Vayeira (2024)

Parsha Vayeira (2024)

One very interesting fact about our leader Moshe Rabeinu (Moses), is that he had difficulty in speaking. The Torah describes it that he was ערל שפתים – “a man of impeded speech.”

It’s quite strange that the greatest prophet and leader of the Jewish people should have an issue with talking and communicating. It would seem obvious that a great leader should excel in presenting, delivering, and speaking.

What’s the lesson here? And why would G-d choose him to be the leader despite or perhaps because of the speech impediment?

The truth is, there is something more important in communication than just speaking and talking. It’s listening. Moshe, was the ultimate listener. He was constantly on the receiving end, as he was constantly listening to Hashems messages. Listening to his people and allowing them to be heard.

A leader who teaches us to excel in listening.

He wasn’t busy so much in allowing himself to be heard as much as he was waiting for others to be heard.
This is also perhaps an offshoot of how Moshe “was the most humble person in the world.”

Moshe teaches us 2 important lessons. One about learning, and one about leading and caring for others.

The best way to learn is allowing the information to teach us. To become a student in the full sense of the word. To allow the message to be heard, without our own opinion, and preconceived notions to distort the message in its true form. After we have absorbed the information properly, then we can analyse it, from our perspective. First listening, then talking, and contributing.

Secondly its a lesson in communication. When we want to be there for others and care for them, one of the best things we can do is to listen. Not by hearing their words and at the same time thinking about what I want to say next. But rather truly being present and hearing them and their words in its purest form.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Zalman and Esty