This was the Aaron and Moshe... (Ex. 6:26)

Rashi notes that in some places the Torah mentions Moshe before Aharon and in other places (such as our verse) it mentions Aharon before Moshe. This teaches us that both were equally great.

This is puzzling, since the Torah itself testifies that Moshe was the greatest prophet who ever lived; how can it be said that Aharon was equal to him?

In God's eyes, achievement is measured by whether a person fulfills his personal mission. One who has a small mission but completes it is just as great as one with a big mission who completes it. Aharon achieved the absolute maximum of his potential; he fulfilled God's will perfectly just as Moshe did. The difference was that Moshe had more missions, which meant that he had more responsibilities. Still, since they both did as they were commanded in accordance with their abilities, they were on an equal level.(1)

People can tend to get disheartened that they cannot accomplish as much as their peers. If a person doesn't have the intelligence and capabilities of others, he has to understand that more talent simply means greater responsibility. Rav Yisroel Salanter used to say: "I know that in many ways I have the capacity of 1,000 men, but because of this, my obligation to serve Hashem is also that of one thousand men." As long as one is maximizing his potential he is just as great as everyone else.


1. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Derash Moshe.