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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 13, v. 17: "Va'y'hi b'shalach Paroh es ho'om .. pen yinocheim ho'om .. v'shovu Mitzraymoh" - Because the bnei Yisroel mistakenly felt that Paroh sent them out, i.e. they only left with his permission, there was a fear of their returning to Egypt. Had they realized that it was only through the acts of Hashem that they left they would never contemplate returning, because if the nation left against his will, an act of open rebellion, there would be a likelihood that upon their return he would punish them severely, possibly even with death. (Nachalas Dovid)

Ch. 14, v. 10: "Va'yisu vnei Yisroel es ei'nei'hem v'hi'nei Mitzrayim no'sei'a acha'rei'hem vayeeru m'ode" - Rashi (Mechilta Pis'cha chapter #4) on 12:6 d.h. "v'hoyoh" says on the words in 12:21, "mish'chu ukchu lochem tzone," that "mish'chu" means to draw oneself away from idols, and "ukchu" means and take sheep for the mitzvoh of the Paschal lamb. The M.R. 21:7 says that just before the sea split, the angels questioned the justice of Hashem's miraculously saving the bnei Yisroel and drowning the Egyptians since both served idols. Didn't the Mechilta itself in parshas Bo say that the bnei Yisroel discarded their idols before taking their Paschal lambs?

The Chidushei HoRi"m answers that our verse says "Va'yisu vnei Yisroel es ei'nei'hem v'hi'nei Mitzrayim no'sei'a acha'rei'hem vayeeru m'ode" (14:10). When the bnei Yisroel saw the archangel (M.R. 21:5) of Egypt pursuing them they experienced great fear. This fear, after being told that they would see a great salvation, was in and of itself idol worship.

Ch. 14, v. 22: "Va'yovo'u vnei Yisroel b'soch ha'yom ba'yaboshoh" - In verse 29 it says "Uvnei Yisroel holchu va'yaboshoh b'soch ha'yom." The order of "yam" and "yaboshoh" is reversed. Many explanations are given for this. The Holy K'dushas Levi explains that once the bnei Yisroel experienced the miracle of walking on terra firma in the middle of a body of water, a miraculous happening, they came to the realization that all depends upon Hashem, and if not for His constant involvement one would be unable to walk on the dry earth as well. Thus once the bnei Yisroel walked "b'soch ha'yom ba'yaboshoh," - they came to the realization that walking in a body of water as if it were terra firma is a miracle, so too from that point on, "uvnei Yisroel holchu va'yaboshoh," even when they walked on the ground they recognized that walking on the earth is no less a miracle than, b'soch ha'yom," walking on water.

Ch. 15, v. 25: "Shom som lo chok u'mishpot" - Rashi (gemara Sanhedrin 56b) says that Moshe taught them introductory lessons in the laws of Shabbos, "poroh adumoh," and monetary rulings. An introduction to Shabbos and monetary matters being taught at this point in time is understood, but why teach the bnei Yisroel laws of "poroh adumoh" since it would not be relevant until the Mishkon would be erected during their second year in the desert?

Tosfos on the gemara B'choros 56a d.h. "Ein" asks, "According to the opinion of Shmuel that "mei chatos" drawn from any body of water is not valid for "poroh adumoh" except that drawn from the Euphrates during the month of Tishrei, how did the bnei Yisroel purify those who were defiled in the desert, Misho'eil and Eltzofon, who involved themselves with the burial of Nodov and Avihu, to allow them to partake of the Paschal lamb? They were not in the vicinity of the Euphrates."

We can answer this by saying that the reason all other bodies of water are disqualified is that we need "mayim chaim," live spring water. This excludes almost all bodies of water and even the Euphrates for most of the year because we fear that the majority of the water found in these rivers, lakes, etc., is rainwater and not the original spring fed water. In Egypt it does not rain, thus this concern does not apply there. The Ibn Ezra on Shmos 3:1 says that Har Sinai is also called "Choreivoh," dry, because it is a three day distance from Egypt and it is very hot and dry there, with no rainfall. Moroh is very close to Har Sinai and also experiences no rainfall. There is therefore no fear that any body of water in the vicinity has a majority of rainfall in it at any time of the year.

The Rambam in hilchos "poroh adumoh" 10:2 writes that one may collect water to use as "mei chatos" well before he plans to use it, as long as it is properly guarded.

When the bnei Yisroel came upon this body of water in Moroh, they were eager to draw some and save it for the "poroh adumoh" ritual, as they had no idea when they would again come upon water in the dry desert. However, the Rambam in hilchos mikvo'ose 9:7 writes that bitter water is disqualified as "mei chatos." Once Moshe sweetened the waters of Moroh, they became acceptable as "mei chatos." This is why Moshe taught them some of the laws of "poroh adumoh," so that they might draw from its waters and properly guard it for later use. (Rabbi Chaim Berlin)

Ch. 16, v. 20: "Va'yorum tolo'im" - When the manna would be left over for the next day "tolo'im" would appear. In verse 24, which tells us that manna that was left over for Shabbos from the Friday delivery did not spoil, the verse says, "v'lo hivish v'rimoh lo hoysoh bo." Why doesn't verse 24 mention "tolo'im" as our verse does?

Rabbi Binyomin Rivlin says in the name of his teacher the GR"A on the words, "tachtecho yutza rimoh umcha'secho to'lei'oh" (Yeshayohu 14:11), that "rimoh" means worms that are very small, and "tolei'oh" means large worms. Thus our verse tells us that manna left over on a weekday produced spoilage that included even large worms, while verse 24 relates that manna left over from Friday for Shabbos stayed fresh, not even producing small worms.

Ch. 16, v. 21: "V'cham" - We find this word 4 times in Tanach, here, "V'Chom hu avi Ch'no'an" (Breishis 9:18), "V'cham ladoni ha'melech" (M'lochim 1:1:2), and "Im yish'k'vu shnayim v'cham lo'hem" (Koheles 4:11). The common thread is that the manna clarified numerous disagreements or situations where there was a lack of clarity, as explained in the gemara Yoma 75a. If a woman was divorced and did not wait three months before becoming someone else's wife, and then gave birth 6 months and a day after her marriage to the second person, we don't know if her first or second husband is this child's father. The manna clarified this. If an extra portion landed at the home of the first husband, the child is his, and if at the home of the second husband, the child is his. This is alluded to in the words "Im yish'k'vu shnayim v'cham lo'hem." If two people have relations with one woman (and we don't know whose child it is) "v'cham lohem," the manna, which was affected by heat, "lohem," would clarify for them.

If a person would attempt to marry a woman by giving her an object of value, "kidushei kesef," and threw her an object of his, if it landed closer to him, it remains in his possession and she is not married to him. If it landed closer to her, it is considered to be in her possession and she is married to him. This was not clarified, and afterwards a second person married her. If the first marriage was valid the second wasn't, and visa versa. Again the manna would clarify this, depending upon whose doorstep her manna would appear. This is alluded to by "V'cham ladoni ha'melech." The gemara Sanhedrin 22a says that this reverse refers to marriage.

Another situation is where two people argue over the ownership of a slave. Again, the location of the slave's portion of manna clarifies who is the true owner, alluded to by "v'Chom hu avi Ch'no'an," Canaan being the primary slave (Breishis 9:25). (Baal Haturim in the name of his father, the Rosh)

Ch. 16, v. 21: "V'cham hashemesh v'nomos" - The Ibn Ezra says that the intention of these words is that when the sun was out and the day warmed up, the manna would melt. We cannot say that the sun warmed the manna because the sun does not give off heat. To understand the Ibn Ezra we need the help of the Maharsh"o on the gemara N'dorim 8b d.h. "v'zorchoh." He says that the sun does give off heat, but it is not generated by the sun. The heat is generated by the friction of the sun moving through the sky at high speeds.

Ch. 16, v. 33: "Kach tzintze'nes achas v'sen shomoh m'l ho'omer mon .. l'doroseichem" - Since the command to save a jar of manna is "l'doroseichem," for all generations, why don't those who list the 613 mitzvos include this precept? Answer next week bez"H.

Ch. 17, v. 3: "Va'yitzmo shom ho'om lamayim .. l'homis osi v'es bonay v'es miknay batzomo"- They complained that their children or cattle might die of thirst, but the verse only states that the "om," the lowly of the nation, was thirsty, but not their children or cattle. Similarly, we find that when Hashem told Moshe to strike the rock and it would give forth water, the "om" would be given to drink, "v'shosoh ho'om" (verse 6). The N'tzi"v explains that only those who complained against Moshe were punished with thirst, but not their children or their cattle.

Ch. 17, v. 7,8: "Ha'yeish Hashem b'kirbeinu im oyin, Va'yovo Amo'leik" - Immediately after they voiced their doubt if Hashem is among them or not, Amo'leik appeared on the scene. The Holy Zohar in parshas Breishis says that the snake that enticed Chavoh to sin is the embodiment of Amo'leik. The numerical value of Amo'leik, 240, is equal to that of "so'feik," doubt. The snake put a DOUBT into Chavoh's mind as to the accuracy of Hashem's words prohibiting partaking of the fruit of the forbidden tree. She expressed herself with "hanochosh HISHIANI" (Breishis 3:13). The letters of "hishiani" are the same as "ha'yeish ayin," yes or no, again the doubt caused by listening to the snake, and immediately upon its heels, "Vayovo Amo'leik." When in doubt, Amo'leik is about. (Itu'rei Torah)

Ch. 17, v. 9: "B'char lonu anoshim" - Rashi says that Moshe commanded Yehoshua to draft men who are both physically strong and also sin fearing. How was Yehoshua to know who was truly righteous? Also, since Moshe planned to raise his hands during the war, and as explained by the gemara R.H. 29a, this would spur on the people to think of Hashem and subjugate their will to Him, and this would bring them victory, what need is there for physically strong men, as the approach to victory was a spiritual one?

The Har Zvi says that these two questions resolve each other. The gemara Yoma 75a says that the manna fell at the doorstep of the righteous, and further and further away for those who were less and less righteous. This could serve Yehoshua as substantiation for who was righteous. However, the gemara also says that those who were infirm would also receive their portion of manna at their doorstep to alleviate the problem of an invalid having to fetch their manna from a distance. If so, Yehoshua would be unable to verify their righteousness. People who were both physically strong and received their manna at their doorstep were surely righteous. This why Moshe told Yehoshua to enlist only those who were both strong and righteous.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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