Everyone notices that Moses does not rate even one mention in this sidra. The Torah goes out of its way to omit him. Why else would it state “And you (whoever ‘you’ is meant to be) command the Children of Israel…”? (Ex. 27:20). After all Moses did for God and the Israelites, all his self-sacrifice and patience, is this not rank ingratitude? What about the principle, “People who do a mitzvah come to no harm” (Pes. 8a)?
If it is Moses himself who writes down the words of the Torah at God’s instructions, why does he not stand up for himself? Probably because he is no egotist: “Moses was the humblest of men” (Num. 12:5). It is Moses’ personal humility that explains why he does not insist on having his name mentioned at the beginning of this sidra.
Elsewhere in the Torah, God says to him, “Speak to the Children of Israel” or “Say to the Children of Israel”, whereas here it is “Command the Children of Israel”. “Speak”, “say” – that is not a problem. But “command”? That means, “Give orders”, and Moses’ nature finds that difficult. “Who am I,” he must be saying to himself, “to be giving orders, to be issuing commands?”
Hence, though he cannot alter the words God gives him, he writes them in tears and does not demand that his own name be stated.