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His Glory

Torah Thoughts on Parshas Ki Sisa by Rabbi Dov Kagan

”וַיֹאמַר הַרְאֵנִי נָא אֶת כְּבֹדֶךָ“ שְׁמוֹת ל“ג:י“ח

“And he said: ‘Please show me Your glory.’ ” Shemos 33:18

There are two questions one can immediately ask about this verse.  What exactly is meant by “Your glory”, and why did Moshe want to see the glory of Hashem? Rav Avigdor Miller explains that any form of Hashem’s presence is called His glory because it is the glory of Hashem when as many people as possible are more aware of Him. Moshe has already been in the presence of the Shechinah at the burning bush, and even more so on Har Sinai at the time of the giving of the Torah.  Nevertheless, Moshe desired an even greater connection and closeness to Hashem, as that is the wanting of the soul, to be reunited with the Creator.  

It is interesting to note that we find verses where the “Glory of Hashem” appears (e.g. BeMidbar 16:19) when Hashem is prepared to deliver retribution. Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that when Hashem brings retribution for sins, people take notice and come to a greater recognition of Him and hence grow closer to Him. The Beis HaMikdash was the dwelling place for the Shechinah on earth and it was the place of the greatest glorification of Hashem. It was destroyed due to unwarranted hatred that brought about leshon hara. 

Especially in these difficult times in Eretz Yisrael, and, indeed, around the world, we must make an effort to try to rectify these sins so that we can truly behold the return of this special level of glory to Yerushalayim with the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash.


Rabbi Dov Kagan (FYHS 2005) went on to learn in Yeshivas Beis Yisroel for 3 1/2 years, after which he learned another 5 years in Yeshivas Mir. He was also a Rebbe in Yeshivas Imrei Binah and Yeshivas Lev Aharon in Yerushalayim. He currently works as a Mashgiach Kashrus for Rabbanut Yerushalayim, specializing in bedikas tola'im and is still a Rebbe in Yeshivas Lev Aharon. He also makes tutorial videos on bedikas tola'im that can be found on YouTube for the English speaking community. He lives with his family in Eretz Yisroel.

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