Contact Us
Tuesday, 3 Tammuz 5777 / June 27, 2017

Tuesday: Implications of Our Deeds

Tuesday: Implications of Our Deeds

Third Reading: Numbers 20:7–13

G‑d instructed Moses to restore the well by speaking to the rock from which the water had previously flowed. However, Moses mistook another rock for the correct one, so when he spoke to it, nothing happened. Moses and Aaron thought that perhaps G d intended them to strike the rock, as He had when He first provided the people with water. They acted on this conjecture without consulting with G‑d. By Divine providence, Moses struck the original rock, and it indeed gave forth water. G‑d had intended for the people to learn reverence for Him from Moses’ speaking to the rock: “If an undiscerning, self-sufficient rock obeys G‑d’s will, how much more so should we, who can understand why we ought to obey Him and need His assistance.” But since Moses struck the rock, this lesson was no longer self-evident. So G‑d had to teach the Jewish people the same lesson by punishing Moses and Aaron for their disobedience. He decreed that they would die in the desert, never to enter the Land of Israel.
Implications of Our Deeds
וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל אַהֲרֹן יַעַן לֹא הֶאֱמַנְתֶּם בִּי וגו': (במדבר כ:יב)
G‑d told Moses and Aaron, “Since you did not have enough faith in Me . . . ” Numbers 20:12

Whatever rationalizations may justify their conduct, Jewish leaders must decide how to act based on whether their actions will inspire the public to greater devotion to the Torah and its ways.

Similarly, when interacting with others, we should always consider the potential impact that our words or actions may have on their attitudes toward the Jewish people in general and toward the Torah’s message in particular.1

Likutei Sichot, vol. 28, pp. 127–128.
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson (11 Nissan 1902–3 Tammuz 1994) became the seventh rebbe of the Chabad dynasty on 10 Shevat 1950. He is widely acknowledged as the greatest Jewish leader of the second half of the 20th century, a dominant scholar in both the revealed and hidden aspects of Torah, and fluent in many languages and on scientific subjects. The Rebbe is best known for his extraordinary love and concern for every Jew on the planet, having sent thousands of emissaries around the globe, dedicated to strengthening Judaism.

Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky is a scholar, author and anthologist, and is editor-in-chief at Chabad House Publications of California. He is the author and translator of Apples from the Orchard, gleanings from the writings of the Arizal (Rabbi Isaac Luria, 1534–1572) on the Torah, and is the author and editor-in-chief of the Kehot Chumash produced by Chabad House Publications, featuring an interpolated translation of the Torah with commentary adapted from the works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
1000 characters remaining
sunil subba India July 13, 2016

When we know what we have said and what impact it is having on others and even whether the message has been understood in the right context helps. Reply

shlmel West Palm Beach, Fl July 12, 2016

Implications of Our Deeds G_d does exist. Reply

Daily Quote
They hung it from two poles, each with two men at each end; thus it required eight men to carry the cluster of grapes. One man carried a fig, and one a pomegranate
  –Rashi on Numbers 13:23, describing how the Spies brought back the fruit of the Land of Canaan
This page in other languages