I am impressed once again this year by this week’s G-dcast parsha video (one of the perks of having a lousy memory!).
Narrated by Jason Lieberman, who has cerebral palsy (and who, from the audio track, seems to have difficulty speaking), it relates to Moshe’s speech impediment as part of bnei Yisrael’s necessary transition “from family to nation”. This is a straight transcript of the video, with ellipsis where I skipped a section:
Where we left off is a family dynamic, the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As we move into the second book of the Torah, it becomes more about community….
Moses and God are speaking about what Moses should do and he begs Gd to give the task to someone else because of his speech impediment. Gd responds that he knows that Moses has difficulty speaking, he knows that Moses has a heavy tongue.
And that He, in fact, Gd is the person that makes people have difficulty speaking or difficulty hearing or difficulty seeing.
One would think at this point that if this speech was really a problem, Gd would solve the problem by eliminating Moses' speech impediment. But instead, he encourages Moses to reach out to his brother Aaron, and together, he and Aaron, and Moses will go to Pharaoh to do Gd’s bidding.
This is the beginning of the concept of using other people and a communal approach to overcoming the challenges that the Jewish people will face as they move throughout the Biblical story.
God is the source of our challenges, but sometimes, they bring us together and make us – individually and collectively – both better people and a better people.