ADVANTAGES

Moses' modesty is illustrated by many fine examples in the Haggadah (comp. Num. xii. 3). When God pointed to R. Akiba and his scholarship, Moses said: "If Thou hast such a man, why dost Thou reveal the Torah through me?" (Men. 29b; see also ). When Moses descended from heaven Satan came to ask him where the Torah was which God had given to him. Moses said: "Who am I? Am I worthy to receive the Torah from God?" When God asked him why he denied that the Torah had been given to him, he replied: "How can I claim anything which belongs to Thee and is Thy darling?" Then God said to him: "As thou art so modest and humble, the Torah shall be called after thee, the 'Torah of Moses'" (Shab. 89a; comp. Mal. iii. 22). Moses' modesty never allowed him to put himself forward (, in liberating Israel, in dividing the sea, and subsequently also in connection with the Tabernacle) until God said to him: "How long wilt thou count thyself so lowly? The time is ready for thee; thou art the man for it" (Lev. R. i. 15). When Moses had made a mistake, or had forgotten something, he was not ashamed to admit it (Zeb. 101a). In his prayers he always referred to the merits of others, although everything was granted to him on account of his own merit (Ber. 10b). Whenever the cup is handed to him during the banquet of the pious in the other world, that he may say grace over the meal, he declares: "I am not worthy to say grace, as I have not deserved to enter the land of Israel" (Pes. 119b). The fact that Moses, the foremost leader of Israel, who ceaselessly prayed for it and partook of its sorrows (Num. R. xviii. 5), and on whose account the manna was showered down from heaven and the protecting clouds and the marvelous well returned after the death of Aaron and Miriam (Ta'an. 9a), should not be allowed to share in Israel's joys and enter the promised land ("M. W." ), was a problem that puzzled the Haggadah, for which it tried to find various explanations. Moses was anxious to enter the promised land solely because many of the commandments given by God could be observed only there, and he was desirous of fulfilling all the commandments. God, however, said that He looked upon Moses as having fulfilled all the commandments, and would therefore duly reward him therefor (Soṭah 14a). Moses prayed in vain to be permitted to go into the promised land if only for a little while; for God had decreed that he should not enter the country either alive or dead. According to one opinion, this decree was in punishment for the words addressed by him to God: "Wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people?" (Ex. v. 22; Ex. R. v. 27). According to another version, this punishment was inflicted upon him for having once silently renounced his nationality. When Moses had helped the daughters of Jethro at the well, they took him home, letting him wait outside while they went into the house and told their father that an Egyptian had protected them (Ex. ii. 19). Moses, who overheard this conversation, did not correct them, concealing the fact that he was a Hebrew ("M. W." ). There is still another explanation, to the effect that it would not have redounded to the glory of Moses if he who had led 600,000 persons out of Egypt had been the only one to enter Palestine, while the entire people were destinedto die in the desert (comp. Num. xiv. 28-37). Again, Moses had to die with the generation which he took out of Egypt, in order that he might be able to lead them again in the future world (Num. R. xix. 6).

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