This Parsha this week is Parshas Beraishis. The Torah describes how G-d created the world, from beginning to end. When the Torah describes the creation of man, the Torah uses the phrase “Let us make man” (Genesis 1:26) Our Sages explain that G-d was talking to the angels, and in order to teach us the value of humility, Hashem sought advise from the angels, to teach that a greater person should ask advise from a person of lesser stature. The Medrash adds, that when Moses was being told by the Almighty the words to write in the Torah, and he heard this statement of “Let us make man”, he questioned G-d. “Master of the world, why do You give an opportunity for heretics to misunderstand”? (for they will say based upon the word let us, that there are two Deities in the world). Hashem answered him, “Write the word us, and one who wants to misunderstand, will misunderstand.” (Medrash Rabbah 5:8)

Rav Elchonon Wasserman asked, if there is a chance that from these words a person will misunderstand and become a heretic, although others may gain a lesson in humility from the same verse, how could Hashem write this phrase “Let us make man”? Isn’t the possibility that someone could be led astray and lose his or her belief in G-d, retain no share in the world to come, have no point in living at all, a danger that outweighs any other benefit that could come from this lesson?

Rav Wasserman explains, that the key is in the words one “who wants to misunderstand, will misunderstand”. Rav Wasserman explains, thousands upon thousands of people have read the words in the Torah “Let us make man” and not been led to think that there are two Deities in the world. They understood that the reason for the wording is to teach us humility, as the Medrash explained. Why then, would someone be different and be led astray? The answer, Rav Wasserman explains is because this person is one who “wants to misunderstand”. When the person reading the Torah has their own agenda, motivation to serve other Gods, or to do as his heart leads him, he will find a way to rationalize this in the Torah. When he wants to do the right thing, the Torah will serve as a guiding light and give direction to fulfillment in life.