Rav Avigdor Miller on Moshe’s Sin



If Moshe was the biggest proponent of the Torah, of keeping the Torah in all of its details, how could he make such a misstep as striking the rock instead of talking to it?


And the answer is that even to this day we don’t know what Moshe did that was wrong; we don’t know it was wrong.

So one of the meforshim say that he made an error by hitting the rock. That was his sin. But another mefaresh ridicules that – “What’s wrong with that?” he says. Hashem didn’t say you shouldn’t hit it; He said that he should speak to it. So he spoke and he hit. Moshe was more emphatic that’s all, he was mosif, he was machmir. כל המחמיר תבוא עליו ברכה. What’s so wrong?

To this day, we don’t understand. Even if you will say it was a mistake, so what’s wrong? If you are told to speak to the stone; so he spoke to the stone and he hit it.

And therefore, even if we will say that Moshe made an error, it is the kind of error that you have to have a magnifying glass to see. And that’s why Hakodosh Boruch Hu caused him to make this error; in order to teach us that there is no human being who is beyond error.

But if that is all he did, then it’s a pretty good record. If we will keep the Torah to that extent, we have lived successfully. And therefore Moshe Rabbeinu certainly was the greatest success of any Jew who ever lived in fulfilling the Torah.

TAPE # 278 (August 1979)