Kenneth Cohen

The Burning Bush

The incident of Moshe and the “burning bush,” have many interesting details, based on the Midrash.

This miraculous incident took place on Mount Sinai. G-d tells Moshe that the people will worship on “this mountain.” Just like Mount Sinai was the lowest mountain in the region, the “burning bush” was a short plant. This was to emphasize the importance of humility.

The Midrash says that Hashem’s voice was the same as that of Moshe’s father. He was being told in a gentle way, that his father had passed away, during Moshe’s absence of more than forty years.

The removal of his shoes, was not only because of the holiness of the place, but it was also a reminder to remove the חומריות, physicality and materialism. This weighs us down, and prevents us from becoming elevated.

We also learn that the meeting between Hashem and Moshe lasted for seven days. Moshe, in his humility, did not feel worthy to be the leader of Israel.

It was a very intense discussion, where a great deal was revealed about Hashem’s essence, and how He manifested Himself to man, in this world. It also became clear what the special mission of the Jewish people would be, in this world.

He was shown some of the wonders that would be seen in Egypt. He saw how the stick turned into a snake. When he spoke badly of the Jewish people, his hand became white as snow, with leprosy. When he placed his hand to his heart, he was cured.

The revelation at the “burning bush,” was the beginning of that special bond between G-d and Moshe. And it was a crash course as to how to be the messenger of the Al-mighty, and lead the Jewish people to the Promised Land, whose name is “Israel.”

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