A powerful presence

Friday, 26 February, 2021 - 3:25 am

 Do you know people whose presence is felt the instant they walk into the room?

There are people who feel a need to be mentioned, so that it will be known that they have arrived.

There are those who will take it to heart if they are not mentioned or if they do not receive the honor they think they deserve.

But – there are those who have no need to be mentioned. They have such a powerful inner presence that when they are in a room it is sensed immediately.

Tomorrow, the Shabbat that we will read Parashat Tetzaveh, is the Shabbat in which most of the rabbis will mention Moshe Rabbeinu in their drasha. I even know what they will talk about: They will relate to the fact that Moshe Rabbeinu’s name is not mentioned in this week’s parasha! This is interesting, because there are forty-two parashas in the Torah that tell of the period after Moshe Rabbeinu was born, and there is only one parasha in which his name is not mentioned – Tetzaveh. And it is precisely when Tetzaveh is read that Moshe Rabbeinu is very much present in synagogues worldwide, and has been for thousands of years, more than on those Shabbats when he is mentioned dozens of times in the Torah reading.

I don’t know the secret of Moshe Rabbeinu’s presence, but perhaps it was his humility.

Perhaps it is particularly the person who is certain that he is not worthy of being the savior, the person who is afraid he does not know how to talk, the person who stutters, the person who said in front of the entire nation: “Venachnu ma – what are we – that you complain about us?”. In simpler words: Who am I and what am I? maybe particularly such a person is the one with the greatest inner power.

Maybe in order to be a person with impressive presence, one has to be “humbler than any person on earth.”

So it seems, that in order to be present one’s presence does not have to be mentioned or written; rather, one should just be such a person.


Good luck!

Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

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