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Parashat Beha’alotecha – No Reasoning with the Unreasonable


“The rabble-rousers amongst the nation worked themselves into a frenzy and cried ‘who will give us meat to eat!’”

One of the very few times Moshe totally lost it and beseeched G-d to end his life occurred when, in this week’s Parasha, the troublemakers amongst the people demanded meat to eat.

Even though they didn’t lack food, they demanded the variety that they had in Egypt.

Moshe, instead of pleading for the people’s needs as he had done on countless occasions, instead throws in the towel in defeat and turns his frustration towards G-d and laments “Why have You afflicted your servant!… Slay me now if I have found favor in your eyes!”

What was the cause of his exasperation, which seems totally out of character? The great liberator who stood up to Pharaoh and the mighty power of Egypt suddenly falls prey to these complainers?

The answer can be found in their claim because, as slaves in Egypt, they never had a variety of food and all they ate was the bread of affliction and everyone knew it.

Moshe realized then that their dishonesty and their ability to concoct a bald-faced lie that was blatantly false to all and then believe it themselves meant that there could be no end to their fabrications. They would create a bottomless pit of fabricated reasons to justify their discontent because in the end there can be no reasoning with deniers of reality.

~Rabbi Shaul