My wife recently bought me the second volume of the wonderful book Machat Shel Yad by my rebbe Rav Yitzchok Frankel. The first book came out about a year ago on Braishis, and even though I got it toward the end of the parshios in Braishis, I read the whole thing from cover to cover. It was difficult to put down.
Perusing excitedly through the new book on Shemos, I found myself in Parshas Tetzaveh where Rav Frankel speaks about the phenomenon of Moshe’s complete absence from that parsha. He speaks of Moshe’s humility, which is a reflection of Hashem’s. He spends a page speaking of Hashem’s humility and as I read it I was incredibly moved.
Here I quote (from page 246):
The fact that the infinite Being should lower Himself to take interest in those tiny dots on Earth called human beings is an amazing concept, so much so that many of the ancient philosophers could not comprehend it nor would they believe such a thing to be true. This disbelief in Hashem’s tremendous humility has continued even into modern times where we find great intellects such as Albert Einstein unable to comprehend how the Creator of the universe could be concerned with the little details of a human being’s life.
Contrary to their way of looking at things, this trait of Hakadosh Boruch Hu actually reveals His true greatness and power. How so? It is not so impressive when a strong man picks up a heavy object. It is not so amazing when a lofty person acts aloof. But if Someone who is immeasurably great is capable of involvement with something immeasurably small, this is a true proof of His greatness. To borrow a metaphor from Rav Shimshon Dovid Pincus זצ”ל, let’s imagine the renowned giant Og Melech Habashan. For him to lift a great boulder is no big deal. But can he squeeze himself into a matchbox? Hashem can do even this, so to speak. He concerns Himself with the little details of a little Jew’s life. This type of humility is a truly staggering level of greatness.
We see this trait of Hashem most clearly and decisively in the month of Adar. The miracle of Purim took place ata time when K’lal Yisrael were not deserving of miracles as in previous generations. It comes as no surprise to hear of miracles occurring in the days of Dovid Hamelech and Shlomo Hamelech. In those days, the Shechinah was revealed in all its glory in the Bais Hamikdash. But after the Babylonian exile, under Persian rule, did the battered and lowly remnant of a people expect to see miracles such as this?
Yet, Hashem brought Himself to relate even to their low level. In this way, it was even a greater miracle than the ones that took place in the times of Israel’s greatness. In spite of the iron barrier that was erected between us and Hashem when the Bais Hamikdash was destroyed, Hashem saw our plight nonetheless. As it says in Shir Hashirim 2:9, “He observes through the openings; He peeks through the cracks.” Hashem’s hashgacha did not leave us.
I was deeply touched by these words, and could only think that despite the fact that Klal Yisrael has never been in a worse spiritual state then we are now, nevertheless the greatest redemption will come from this state. Hashem will soon show His infinite greatness by displaying His incredible humility, caring for His people even in their most lowly state. What greater sign of Geulah can one find? What greater consolation can there be?
This is also a concept that is echoed in the fact that when Hashem redeemed the Jewish people from Egypt, He was manifest through His name אקיה אשר אקיה. This name corresponds to the concept of כתר – Keser. This represents the greatest mercy of Hashem, the mercy that is beyond the intellect and beyond understanding. We as a people had sunken to the lowest levels in Egypt, and logically were not deserving of the miracles and redemption that Hashem had in store. We were not worthy to be separated and singled out when the plagues occurred only to the Egyptians. Despite the logic, Hashem manifested with Keser, which was above logic and brought about the Exodus from Egypt.
Similarly, when the final redemption is to occur, there is a notion that Hashem again will manifest with the name אקיה אשר אקיה and the middah of Keser – transcending logic and raising His people from their lowly defiled state to rise above all to truly be a light unto the nations, במהרה בימינו אמן.