Rabbi Mayer Twersky
Rabbi Mayer Twersky

Kedushas Hashaim

The Torah describes but does not identify the sin of Moshe and Aharon. "Ya'an lo he'emanteim bi l'hakdishaini l'ainai Bnai Yisroel - since you did not believe / inspire belief in Me to sanctify Me before the children of Israel" (Bamidbar 20:12.) Rashi famously interprets that Moshe and Aharon were to speak to the stone. Instead Moshe struck it with his staff. In so doing they failed to effect a kiddush Hashem. Primo facie, providing water by speaking to the stone would have yielded a miracle of greater magnitude. And miracles, in turn, cause a kiddush Hashem because they attest to Hashem's sovereignty. But upon examination this is not how Rashi develops his line of interpretation.

Had you spoken to the stone and it provided water I would've been sanctified in the presence of the congregation and they would have said, "this stone that neither speaks nor hears and does not need sustenance fulfills the word of the Omnipresent, all the more so, we."

The real kiddush Hashem is not accomplished through miracles. Rather kiddush Hashem is effected when we faithfully, consistently, meticulously follow the word of Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

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