Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
A mother wrote me that her son received a bad report card. Now, during summer vacation, she was already feeling pressure about the coming school year. But then she noticed an optimistic item in this week's Torah portion that was easy to miss:
In his first meeting with God, Moshe Rabbeinu says, "I am not a man of words." (Exodus 4:10). He then adds, "I am slow of speech and slow of tongue." Yet later the book of Deuteronomy begins, "These are the words that Moshe spoke to all of Israel." Deuteronomy is composed entirely of wonderful speeches by Moshe Rabbeinu. He leaves us his will, a spiritual inheritance, his impressive "I believe" speech.
So what happened here? How did we transition from "I am not a man of words" to "These are the words that Moshe spoke"? Our sages explain: Moshe receives a mission and accepts a responsible role. He must bring the people out of Egypt, teach them Torah, and bring them to the Land of Israel. When we have a purpose, a goal, and a vision – it's possible to overcome many difficulties, including dire diagnoses and mistaken ideas about ourselves. The Torah is not concerned with superheroes. Instead, it wishes to teach us that it is precisely a stuttering Moshe who said "I am not a man of words" – who could be transformed into someone whose words we would encounter daily, for thousands of years.