Kenneth Cohen

Back Stabbers

There is an amazing Midrash that explains Moshe’s words, when he said, “Now the matter is known.” The usual interpretation is that Moshe realized that it was known that he had killed the Egyptian, so he better run away.

The opinion of the Midrash is that Moshe had been wondering for a very long time why only the Jewish people were enslaved by another nation. What could they have done to deserve such a fate?

When he saw that there were ingrates and back stabbers among the Jewish people, he had his answer. Dathan and Aviram were quarreling, and Moshe tried to break it up. They asked him if he was going to kill them like he killed the Egyptian. The Torah continues with Moshe’s realization, “Now I understand.”

The Prophet Isaiah warned that the real destroyers of the Jewish people, would come from within. There would always be those who would betray their own people, and not show loyalty. This reality plagues us to this day.

When one is proud to be Jewish, and openly expresses his faith in G-d and the Torah, he will love his people and love good.

When one is ashamed of his Jewishness and belittles the Torah’s teachings, he can easily become one that destroys and tears down.

It is appalling how those who lost in Israel’s last election behave. They refuse to accept the results of a “democratic” election, and are eager to tear down without giving the new government a chance to prove itself.

Jewish Unity would dictate that we give our blessings to the numerous, young, idealistic, fresh faces, in the Knesset. Let’s see what they can do to effect positive change and dignity to our people.

The rhetoric and demonstrations against a government that has not yet begun to govern, is irresponsible and inexcusable. Sadly, it is a continuation of Moshe’s realization in Egypt, “Now I understand.” At this point in our history, Jews should stand united, and learn the lessons of history.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at
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