Parshas Yisro: Stepping Up

אֶת־מִ֥י אֶשְׁלַ֖חוּמִ֣י יֵֽלֶךְ־לָ֑נוּ וָאֹמַ֖ר הִנְנִ֥ישְׁלָחֵֽנִי 

Then I heard the voice of my Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me. 

Who shall I send and who will go for us? Hashem, in conversation with Yeshayahu, raises these questions. Why the double wording? What is the difference between being sent and going on behalf of others?  

Combining the interpretations of the Abarbanel and the Malbim, we see two concerns in choosing an emissary to fulfill the sacred role of prophet of Hashem’s nation. The person being selected needs to be qualified to fulfill the job description or role. He must be righteous enough that Hashem would desire His Divine Presence to rest upon this person. But beyond that, the person himself must feel a strong sense of purpose and commitment toward the mission. He must be prepared to endure suffering. Ultimately Yeshayahu takes up this mantle of leadership. Yeshayahu assumes the leadership role, despite the cautionary tales of his colleagues, Micha and Amos, who faced adversity from the people. Nevertheless, Yeshayahu's success lies in his patient and passionate advocacy for Klal Yisrael, demonstrating his commitment to both the mission and the people.  

Returning to the original text, Hashem's questions encompass these qualifications. את מיאשלח, "Whom shall I send?" signifies the capability to fulfill the Divine mission, while ומי ילך לנו, "Who will go for us?" underscores the commitment required for the mission. 

The call to step up and serve, even more evident since October 7th, demands our individual contributions. Similar to Yeshayahu's demonstration of fortitude and patience in navigating challenges, we must muster the inner strength needed to persevere and persist in our respective missions.