Doreish Tov on Medrash Rabbah
Parashas Haazinu 5769
10:2 The Medrash cites the verse that states (Koheles 3:14) yadata ki kol asher yaaseh HaElokim hu yihyeh liolam ala vain lihosif umimenu ain ligroa vihaElokim asah sheyiru milfanav, I realized that whatever G-d does will endure forever: Nothing can be added to it and nothing can be subtracted from it, and G-d has acted so that [man] should stand in awe of him. The Medrash states that the reason that there are contradictions to this idea that nothing can be added to what HaShem created is so that man should be in awe of HaShem. Examples of contradictions to this idea are from the fact that HaShem created day and night and Yaakov made the day into night when HaShem caused the sun to set for him early. Similarly, HaShem caused the sun to stand still for Yehoshua. Thus, we see that the righteous subtract and add to HaShem’s words so that man should fear HaShem.
The Medrash proceeds to cite many examples of this phenomenon where the laws of nature changed on behalf of the righteous. The Medrash concludes that HaShem created the heavens and the earth to praise Him and Moshe came and silenced them, as it is said haazinu hashamayim, give ear O heavens. What is the message that this Medrash is teaching us? Shlomo HaMelech writes at the end of Koheles (12:13) sof davar hakol nishmah es HaElokim yira vies mitzvosav shimor ki zeh kol haadam, the sum of the matter, when all has been considered: Fear G-d and keep his commandments. For that is man’s whole duty. Did we need the wisest of all men to tell us that the ultimate goal is to fear HaShem? Did we really think that we are here to indulge ourselves in worldly pleasures? Alas, this the way most people think. It is easy to get caught up in the idea that we should lead a comfortable lifestyle and other perspectives that we may have. Yet, Shlomo HaMelech teaches us that we are here to fear HaShem and to keep His commandments. In truth, the world is constantly evolving, although on the surface it appears to us that everything remains the same.
Hashem is constantly renewing His world, and our only justification for existence is when we recognize this phenomenon. Hashem does not perform miracles or changes in nature for our entertainment. Rather, HaShem performs miracles and changes in the world so we should remember that there is a G-d Who controls the world. Avraham Avinu learned this lesson when he saw that the sun set, and then he saw the moon disappear from view. This change taught Avraham that there is a Higher Power Who controls the world. Change should instill fear in us so that we can serve HaShem properly. This was the message that Moshe delivered to the Jewish people before his death. The heavens and the earth can be silenced for the sake of the Jewish People. Certainly the Jewish People can learn to obey HaShem and keep His commandments.