Beshalach - Guidance in Chinuch
Chananya Weissman


הדרכה בחינוך

[טז:כח] וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל משֶׁה עַד אָנָה מֵאַנְתֶּם לִשְׁמֹר מִצְוֹתַי וְתוֹרֹתָי:

רש"י (פסוק כב)

כשמדדו את לקיטתם באהליהם מצאו כפלים שני העומר לאחד..."ויגידו למשה", שאלוהו מה היום מיומים? ומכאן יש ללמוד שעדיין לא הגיד להם משה פרשת שבת שנצטוה לומר להם "והיה ביום הששי והכינו וגו'" עד ששאלו את זאת. אמר להם "הוא אשר דבר ה'", שנצטויתי לומר לכם, ולכך ענשו הכתוב שאמר לו "עד אנה מאנתם", ולא הוציאו מן הכלל:

Q: This is shocking. It is inconceivable that Moshe would be lax about transmitting a prophecy, and the penalty for such a thing would normally be far worse than a veiled reprimand. So why didn't Moshe deliver Hashem's message in a timely fashion?

A: Moshe was certainly not delinquent in his duties. On the contrary, he purposely delayed telling the Bnei Yisrael about Shabbos so that they would learn about it in the most effective fashion. If he simply told them in advance that they would receive a double portion of man in honor of Shabbos, it would not have had the same impact as having them discover this wondrous miracle on their own. As the original teacher of the Jews, Moshe understood that experiential learning is far superior to a mere lecture.

Q: Surely Hashem understood this as well so why didn't He approve of Moshe's actions, if not command him to do this in the first place?

A: In general, experiential learning would certainly have been a most acceptable approach. However, Hashem knew that many of the Bnei Yisrael were just looking for an opportunity to question Moshe's credibility. When they asked him about the double portion, his response ("This is what Hashem told me would happen") could very easily have been interpreted by a cynical person as covering up for an unexpected occurrence. Giving people the opportunity to question Moshe's credibility in even the slightest fashion was not worth the added educational impact of letting them discover Shabbos on their own. In principle, however, Moshe was right to teach them in this fashion.

Hashem saw fit to reprimand Moshe and nothing more, since his slip-up was well-intentioned and extremely minor.