"The fool believes everything"—Proverbs 14:15.

"To whom does this verse refer? To Moses!"—Midrash Rabbah, Exodus 3.


Let's get this straight:

King Solomon, author of Proverbs, speaks of the gullible fool.

Then our venerable Sages, in their homiletic compilation known as the Midrash, interpret that verse to refer to…MOSES?

How could that be? Moses is intellect personified! The emblem of Divine wisdom!

Moses saw the Jews' pain during their slavery in Egypt, and how it was getting worse through his own (Divinely-ordered) involvement.

Understandably, he found it difficult to reconcile this reality with his deep-seated perception of a loving, omnipotent G‑d.

Moses' struggle stemmed from his reasoned and well-constructed appreciation of G‑dHe lashes out: "G‑d! Why have You mistreated this people? And why have You sent me? Since I went to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has made things worse for the people, and You still have not liberated them!" (Exodus 5:22-23).

G‑d's answer: You can do better than that. Have faith in Me, just like your ancestors did.

Moses' struggle stemmed from his reasoned and well-constructed appreciation of G‑d, an appreciation that was now challenged by his experiences.

So G‑d says: Let's use this appreciation differently.

You – because you have an outstanding capacity to comprehend Me – need to have faith. You've used your reason to become comfortable with Me; now trust me and surrender your intellectual tools. It will be difficult, but you need to be the "believing fool" for this one.

My two-year-old is very attached to me; I assume that he knows I love him. Yet, when I need to discipline his behavior – which makes him cry – I'm not sure he has the capacity to recognize that I'm acting out of love. Does he have the maturity to have faith in me?

I expect more of my older children. I hope that my oldest can accept my decisions, even the ones he doesn't understand; I hope I've earned his faith over time.

Similarly, Moses' deep perception of G‑d's goodness was a reason for him to have faith in G‑d's Wisdom and Will.

The more I struggle to understand G‑d and life, the more equipped I am to make sense out of all this. And the more secure I am in "playing the fool" when the need arises.

With Moses, I'll be in good company.