SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS B'SHALACH 5765 BS"D
Ch. 13, v. 17: "Ki korove hu" - Because it is close - This is Rashi's
translation of "ki." Chizkuni translates it as "even though." Daas Z'keinim says that
"korove" refers to the bnei Yisroel's relationship with Hashem, as per the
verse "am k'rovo" (T'hilim 148:14).
Ch. 13, v. 18: "Vachamushim" - And armed - This is Rashi's translation.
Chizkuni explains that it means "prepared with food," as in "v'chi'meish es eretz
Mitzrayim" (Breishis 41:34). The dough they took out of Egypt lasted until the
15th of Iyar.
Ch. 13, v. 22: "Lo yomish amud he'onon yomom" - The cloud pillar would not
move by day - Chizkuni differentiates between "yom" and "yomom." "Yomom" is only
used when the intention is during daylight, while "yom" can be used even when
referring to night. He brings an example, "b'YOM hakosi kol b'chor" (Bmidbar
3:13), and we all know that the smiting of the first-born took place at night.
These words are most puzzling. On Shmos 12:29 Chizkuni comments that although
we find "b'YOM hakosi kol b'chor," and the smiting of the first-born took
place at night, Rabbi Yochonon says that they were smitten at midnight but didn't
die until the morning. The contradiction is obvious. Any help would be
Ch. 14, v. 7: "V'sholishim" - Rashi says this means heads of regiments. Rashi
on Divrei Ha'yomim 1:11:11 says that it means the heads of the strong ones.
This seems to not really be contradictory, as our Rashi adds, "as per Targum,"
and Targum Onkelos says "v'giborin." Tosfos on the gemara Gitin 56a d.h. "egla
tilta" writes that it means "good and strong," possibly also within the
intention of Targum Onkelos. However, Yerushalmi Kla'yim 8:2 translates it as a
troika, a group of three horses pulling one chariot.
Ch. 14, v. 14: "V'a'tem tacharishun" - And you shall remain mute - Rashi on
Shir Hashirim 1:9 says that this is a command to stop screaming, while Chizkuni
explains that it is a command to stop complaining "mah zose ossiso lonu"
Ch. 14, v. 24: "B'ashmo'res haboker" - In the watch of the morning - Rashi
explains that the night is portioned into time slots for different angels to
sing their praises of Hashem. The one just before the morning is called
"ashmo'res haboker." Chizkuni explains that it is simply an expression for the last
part of the night before daybreak, as in "v'oviv shomar es hadovor" (Breishis
37:11), when people await daybreak.
Ch. 14, v. 30: "Va'yosha Hashem" - And Hashem saved - Rashi on the gemara
B.K. 80a and A.Z. 4a translates "va'yosha" as "and He redeemed."
Ch. 15, v. 4: "Tubu" - They were sunk - Rashi says that the term "tvioh" is
only applicable when discussing sinking into mud. The Moshav Z'keinim asks,
"Why do we say in our daily prayer, 'v'zeidim tibato vididim he'evarto,' since
first the bnei Yisroel were guided through the Yam Suf and only afterwards were
the Egyptians drowned?'" He answers that "tibato" refers not to the drowning
of the Egyptians, but rather, to their sinking into the mire at the shore of
Yam Suf, as per the words of Medrash Tanchuma that the pillars of cloud turned
the seashore into a muddy surface. This took place before the bnei Yisroel
passed through Yam Suf.
Ch. 15, v. 9: "Orik charbi" - I will empty my sword - Rashi explains: I will
empty my scabbard of its sword. Chizkuni says that the intention is: I will
empty my enemies' bodies of their souls WITH my sword, as if the word were
Ch. 15, v. 10: "Ka'ofe'res" - Like the lead - Chizkuni says that the word
"ofer'es" is sourced from "ofor," earth. Six metals, when left in the earth,
corrode and erode, but lead increases.
Ch. 15, v. 11: "Mi chomocho bo'eilim" - Who is like You among the strong ones
- This is Rashi's translation. Chizkuni points out that this word is spelled
without the letter Yud between the Lamed and Mem, hence it can be read
"b'ei'lem," in a mute. Hashem is the most patient. He remains mute even when people
do the most rebellious acts.
Ch. 15, v. 19: "Ki vo sus Paroh" - As Paroh's horse came - There is a
disagreement between Ramban and Ibn Ezra if this verse is part of "shiras ha'yom."
Ramban says it is not, and Ibn Ezra says that it is. The gemara Megiloh 16b says
that "shiras ha'yom" appears in a Torah scroll with many blank spaces, taking
on the look of staggered bricks upon spaces and spaces upon bricks. We
clearly see in all Torah scrolls that our verse also has this configuration. Yet,
neither the Ibn Ezra, nor the Ramban mention this as a proof that the verse
should be included in the "shiroh." A simple answer might be that although the
gemara says that the "shiroh" must have this configuration, but by having this
configuration, a verse does not necessarily have the status of "shiroh." The
difficulty with this answer is obvious. Another answer might be that we see that
the first words "Oz yoshir Moshe uvnei Yisroel es hashiroh hazose va'yomru
(leimore)" are a prelude to the "shiroh" and are not the actual words of the
"shiroh." Nevertheless, they also have this configuration. We can likewise say
that "Ki vo .." is also not part of the "shiroh."
On "Shabbos shiroh" 5764 I was in Yerusholayim tvsbb"o and asked this
question to Rabbi Yaakov Acker shlit"a, Rav of Beis Haknesses Uriel in Sanhedria. He
mentioned that he remembered seeing the obscure opinion that "Ki vo .." is
written in a continuous manner, without gaps. However, he readily conceded that
this was a poor answer since no Torah scrolls are actually written this way.
I again merited to be in his Beis Haknesses on Shmini Atzerres 5765. He
approached me with a paper Torah scroll opened to "shiras ha'yom," and reminded me
of the question I had asked him more than half a year earlier. He told me that
at the time the question so bothered him that he was literally unable to
sleep the whole night. An answer dawned upon him when the day likewise dawned. The
gemara Megiloh says that the "shiroh" is written "brick upon gaps." This
means that every verse that is part of the "shiroh" must be UPON this
configuration, bricks i.e. words, and gaps. Thus even the last verse "Hashem yimloch
l'olom vo'ed" must also be UPON "bricks and gaps." This is why "Ki vo .." has this
configuration even though it is not part of the "shiroh" proper. He added that
although "Ki vo .." is written on two lines and even the second line is also
"shiroh" configured, once the beginning of the verse has this configuration,
the whole verse follows through. "S'fosayim yushok meishiv dvorim n'chochim"
Ch. 15, v. 25: "Va'yoreihu Hashem eitz" - And Hashem showed/taught him (with)
a piece of wood - Rashi on the gemara P'sochim 39a says that this was of the
"yarduf" species, a very bitter wood. We thus have an even greater miracle,
that a bitter piece of wood thrown into bitter water sweetened it.
Ch. 15, v. 25: "Shom som lo chok umishpot" - There He placed for him a
statute and a law - Rashi says that some of the laws of Shabbos were given. Some
commentators ask: "If so, the words in the Pesach Hagodoh 'Ilu he'echilonu es
hamon v'lo nosan lonu es haShabbos' are out of order, since we first received the
laws of Shabbos." However, this seems to be easily resolved in a number of
1) Rashi writes that SOME of the laws of Shabbos were given to BUSY
THEMSELVES. We see that the command to actually abide by all the laws of Shabbos was
not yet in force, as only a preview was given.
The next answers explain "had He given us the Shabbos" as reflecting upon the
manna based upon the "Shabbos effect." (Nirreh li)
2) The intention is "If Hashem had fed us manna but not given us the
holiness of Shabbos, which caused the manna to not fall on Shabbos"
3) Another slight variation: "which caused the manna to fall as a double
portion on the eve of Shabbos"
4) "Which brought about the doubling of the baked manna on Shabbos" (see
Daas Z'keinim on Shmos 16:22)
5) "Which had an extra luster on Shabbos" (based on Rabbeinu Menachem)
6) "Which had a special aroma and taste" (Medrash Pinchos based on the words
of Rashi 16:22 d.h. "loktu")
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