Knowing There’s an Answer

“These are the laws that you shall place in front of them” (21:1) is peculiar phrase. If the G-d wants to tell us the laws, say ‘These are the laws: A, B, C’. If He wants Moshe to teach the laws, so say ‘that you shall teach’! Why say “place in front of them”?

Rashi explains that Moshe could simply told them what they should do- what activities to uphold. Instead, Hashem wanted B’nei Yisrael to understand the laws; Moshe had to explain to them the reasons and benefits of the laws. But if that is the case, why not say “teach them”?

As we may have experienced once ourselves, there is so much in the Torah to learn, so much to understand. We strive to learn as much as we can, but there will always another idea, another lesson, another book that we are yet to encounter. Nonetheless, what we must know, is that more does exist.

Oftentimes, when people become confused about a topic, a law, or an idea in Judaism, we’ll ask: Why does Hashem want us to do that? Why couldn’t it be like this? Questions like these can lead a person to apathy, maybe even to perform a mitzvah begrudgingly. In truth, maybe our teachers -who were surely no Moses- simply never got around to teaching us something, but we should know that all the answers are ‘before us’. We should not be discouraged from a mitzvah if it does not readily make sense to us. Instead, we should be encouraged, knowing that there is an answer, and if we pursue it, we can learn a new idea. Everything is, in fact, ‘in front of us’, it’s simply up to us to view it that way, and appreciate the depth and breadth of G-d’s holy Torah.