Q. For a while in Vayikra (the Book of Leviticus) the Torah seems to lose sight of Moses and to veer away from his life story and career. Is this fair to such a great leader?
A. The Torah does not set out to be a biography of Moses. It is not even really a history book at all, though it includes an account of the experiences and concerns of the people of Israel up to the moment when they reach the borders of the Promised Land. Moses comes into the story, but the Torah is not the story of Moses. When he talks about himself, it is not a promotional screed: it paints him factually, warts and all. If Moses had pretended to be an outright saint, the book might have been quite unconvincing. His human frailties make him real – and interesting.