• Northeast Kollel

Hearing the Voice!

“When Moshe arrived at the Tent of Meeting to speak with Him, he heard the Voice speaking to him from atop the Cover that was upon the Ark of the Testimony, from between the two Cherubim, and He spoke to him”




Rashi explains that our verse is actually coming to resolve a technical difficulty: Sometimes the verse states that Moshe heard the Voice in the Tent of Meeting, which is the part of the Mishkan outside the curtain, in the area accessible to all the Kohanim. While other times, the verse states that the Voice emanated from between the Cherubim, which was in the Holy of Holies, the area only accessible to the Kohen Gadol on Yom Hakippurim. Our verse comes to clarify; Moshe himself only heard the Voice in the Mishkan, outside the curtain, but the Voice itself descended from heaven, down to the Cherubim, and emanated from there out to Moshe.


We might wonder, what difference does this technical detail make to us? Moshe clearly heard the Voice of Hashem when he entered the Mishkan; what relevance does it have if the Voice originated there at the front room, or really emanated from the Holy of Holies?


Rav Moshe Feinstein sees in this a beautiful message; as we say in Tehillim, the entire world is constantly ‘singing’ the praises of Hashem. השמים מספרים כבוד קל ומעשה ידיו מגיד הרקיע ‘the heavens relate the honor of Hashem, and the firmament declares the work of His hands.. ‘the rising of the sun, the world going round, things growing and sprouting, along with the wonderful variety of creations and happenings. The fact that everything runs according to His Will, is the greatest testimony to His existence and Greatness. As a matter of fact, there is even a sefer called Sefer Shira that ascribes a verse to each and every creation in the world, explaining its purpose and message.


However, one could miss the message entirely; we so take everything for granted, that the Voice may never be heard. How does one ensure that we truly hear Hashem speaking to us, and ‘get’ the message of the creation? It is through the quiet study of Torah; for the Voice that permeates the entire creation really begins with the Torah. The ‘Voice’ descends through the Torah, and only from there does it erupt into the cacophony through the rest of creation. Just like the loud voice that Moshe heard in the Mishkan originated with the Aron, so too, we can only expect to really hear the voice if we realize it starts with the Torah!


May each and every one of us hear our individual message, and live up to our potential!


Have a wonderful Shabbos