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Parashat Shemot – Growth and Potential Make a Nation


Moshe, the great defender of the Jewish people, was initially skeptical about the worthiness of the people to be chosen to receive G-d’s Torah. Years before, he had fled for his life from Egypt and given up hope on their worthiness when Jewish collaborators reported him to the authorities for the murder of an Egyptian taskmaster. 

In his first encounter with G-d, he was rebuked for judging them harshly and for not seeing their potential to be the nation that would spread Torah to humanity.

One of the most powerful abilities a person can have is to see the world around himself, not as it is, but the potential of what it can become.

Savvy investors know this well with their willingness to take some risk because of the reasonable likelihood that they will ultimately profit from their investment. However, they may not extend this consideration to people, rejecting a person who does not currently measure up to their standards and completely ignoring their potential of their growth. 

Every investment has its risks. Indeed, the Jewish nation had the possibility to revert back to idol worship, which they ultimately did with the episode of the golden calf, but this did not discourage Him from investing in them. Emulating the Creator is the cornerstone of Torah teachings. Just as He saw the potential in us, so must we strive to see the potential in others and in ourselves.

~Rabbi Shaul