Question:

Why does it say that Moshe Rabbeinu was the smart one (“chacham leiv yikach mitzvos“) because he was busy taking the bones of Yosef while Klal Yisroel was borrowing the gold and silver? The problem is that Hashem told them specifically to go ask so that they can leave “b’rechush gadol.” That’s even more of a mitzvah than getting Yosef! Any thoughts?

Answer:

I have thought about it over the years many times. I have established in my mind that the contrast made in the Midrash between Moshe and the Am was not on the level of action. On the level of action it is clear that Moshe had to be the one to get Yosef and the people were the ones who had to go get the rechush in order to be mekayem the havtacha to Avraham of b’rechush gadol. The contrast was on the inner level.
Moshe was the chacham lev. The reason that this verse is the mekor is because his inner being was totally aligned with the mitzvah of getting Yosef. If he would have gone to get the rechush he would have only been thinking the whole time about why wasn’t he going to get Yosef. On the other hand, it would seem from here that the Am was holding at a place where, when they went to get the rechush, internally that was exactly what they wanted to do at that time. Their inner being was absorbed with that and not with the mitzvah of going to get Yosef.