The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County on Monday removed a controversial quote from its Nature Lab exhibit.
The quote, which was put up at the request of an anonymous donor, read:
"The Nature Lab is a gift to Los Angeles to celebrate all of God's creatures and enable NHM to broaden our understanding of the natural world through the process of scientific discovery.' Anonymous Donor - 2013 "The use of the phrase "God's creatures" angered some scientists, including University of Chicago Department of Ecology and Evolution professor Jerry Coyne.
How many times have we heard this? Moshe knew even before Hashem sent him back to Mitzrayim to take out Bnei Yisrael, that he would not be zocheh to go into Eretz Yisrael. Moshe tells Hashem (Shemos 4:13), "Shlach Na B'Yad Tishlach." Rashi explains that Moshe said, "Don't send me since I will not lead them to Eretz Yisrael." Yet at the end of the parsha (6:1 Rashi "Ata Sir'eh") Hashem tells Moshe, "Because you complained about the way I treat Bnei Yisrael, you will only see them redeemed from Paroh and not the conquest of Eretz Yisrael." Then again in Parshas Chukas (20:12) Hashem tells Moshe that his punishment for hitting the rock is that he would not be allowed into Eretz Yisrael. How many times is Moshe going to be punished with the same punishement?
The Maskil L'Dovid answers that this is similar to our yearly G'zar Din. On Rosh HaShana Hashem decides our fate. We then have until Yom Kippur to change it before it is sealed. After it is sealed, it is not over yet. Only on Hoshana Rabba is it double sealed and placed in the envelope. Even then, the envelope is not given to the malachim whose task it is to carry out the Din, until Shmini Atzeres.
Moshe knew that his fate was not to go into Eretz Yisrael. When he complained, his fate was sealed. After he hit the rock, it was double sealed. However, the envelope was still not given to the malachim. This is why, in Parshas V'aEschanan, we find Moshe pleading to Hashem not to finalize his fate.
No matter your plight, there is always place for hope, tshuva, and tefila.