Parshat Yitro: How was Moshe able to stand up to his enemies?

“He saved me from the sword of Pharoah” – Shemot 18:4

Rav Natan tells us in Likutey Halachot that Moshe Rabbenu had more spiritual power than anyone else. Even swords, even weapons had no control over him. When the Egyptian executioner tried to behead Moshe Rabbenu after he’d been sentenced to death for killing the Egyptian taskmaster with the ineffable Name of Hashem, the midrash in Devarim Rabbah (2:27) tells us that Moshe Rabbenu’s neck actually turned into marble.

How was Moshe able to stand up to his enemies, and to completely neutralize their weapons, in this way?

Rav Natan explains that Moshe’s power lay in his humility and self-effacement.

Moshe Rabbenu literally didn’t see any other reality in the world other than Hashem. He didn’t see an executioner, he didn’t see a sword, he only saw Hashem. But more than this, Moshe Rabbenu didn’t only see Hashem in the outside world and in his surroundings.

Moshe Rabbenu also completely nullified himself to Hashem, too.

And by doing this, Rav Natan tells us, and by completely nullifying his ego, no enemy could even so much as touch a hair on Moshe Rabbenu’s head.

How can we do this, too?

But what about us? What lesson can we learn from this, given that we are still have huge ego issues to contend with, and so many difficulties and obstacles still to contend with, every single day of our lives?

Rav Natan gives us two pieces of advice. First, he tells us stay strong, stay focused on the true goal in life! Remember that Hashem is really all there is, and that even our adversaries are just tests that are being sent to us by God.

The second piece of advice that Rav Natan gives us is: our main strength comes from being connected to the True Tzaddik. The True Tzaddik has nullified his ego so completely, that no enemy, no adversary can stand up to him.

If we stay close to the True Tzaddik – as Yitro did, when he came to Moshe Rabbenu –

all our enemies will fall before us.


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