subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues

For sponsorships and advertising opportunities, send e-mail to:SHOLOM613@AOL.COM


Ch. 14, v. 29: "Uvnei Yisroel holchu va'yaboshoh b'soch ha'yom" - And the bnei Yisroel walked on the dry land in the middle of the sea - Did any bnei Yisroel drown in Yam Suf? Moshav Z'keinim writes that those among the bnei Yisroel who adhered to the idol michoh drown.

Ch. 15, v. 2: "Zeh Keili v'anveihu" - This is my G-d and I will glorify Him - The gemara Shabbos 133b derives from these words that one should not do mitzvos "on the cheap," but rather, should beautify them. The halacha is that one should upgrade the quality of a mitzvoh up to a third more than the basic/available cost. Why is this concept placed in these words? The gemara Yerushalmi Kla'im 8:2 says that originally people had one horse pull a chariot. Paroh in the days of Yoseif increased this to two horses, "mirkeves hamishneh" (Breishis 41:43). Paroh of our parsha increased it to three horses, and this is the meaning of "v'sholishim."

Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that Paroh increased the number of horses to quickly catch up to the bnei Yisroel and overpower them. We thus find that Paroh increased the "horse-power" of his chariots by a third in pursuit of a sin, so we likewise should increase our expenditure to beautify a mitzvoh by a third. (Bnei Yisos'chor maamo'rei Shabbos 2:5)

Ch. 15, v. 4: "Umivchar sholishov tubu v'yam suf" - And the strongest of his officers were drown in Yam Suf - Rabbeinu Bachyei on Bmidbar 14:7 writes that the world is divided into three equal areas, land, desert, and water. Hashem has wrought miracles for the benefit of the bnei Yisroel in all three areas. Drush Shmuel says that the greatest miracle took place in the water, when Hashem split Yam Suf to allow the bnei Yisroel to escape from the Egyptians who were in hot pursuit. This is alluded to in the words "v'sholishim al kulo" (14:7). The word "v'sholishim" can be split into "v'sholish" and "yam." The miracle that took place at the "yam," 1/3rd surface of earth, was "al kulo," greater than all other miracles. Chid"o in Pnei Dovid says that our verse echoes the same idea. "Umivchar sholishov," and the choicest of His thirds, land, desert, and water, was "tubu v'yam suf." He adds that it was the greatest of the miracles, not by virtue of the intrinsic uniqueness of the miracle, but because the bnei Yisroel were not all that worthy, as "halolu ovdei avodoh zoroh" etc.

Ch. 15, v. 22: "Va'yeilchu shloshes yomim bamidbor v'lo motzu moyim" - And they traveled for three days in the desert and did not locate water - How did they survive for three days without water? Rabbeinu Chananeil and Rabbeinu Bachyei both write that "shloshes yomim" does not mean "for three days," but rather, "a distance of three days of travel," which took place within one day. Alternatively, Toldos Yitzchok offers that they brought along sufficient water for the first two days.

Ch. 16, v. 4: "Hin'ni mamtir lochem lechem" - Behold I rain down to you bread - Ramban offers that possibly the manna was accompanied by rain, as indicated by the word "mamtir." Rashi similarly says that the fire and brimstone that rained down upon S'dome were accompanied by rain, "vaShem himtir" (Breishis 19:24).

Ch. 16, v. 4: "Min hashomoyim" - From the heavens - As mentioned in an earlier issue on parshas Va'yeiro, Sforno writes that the fire and brimstone that Hashem rained down upon S'dome did not come from clouds. Rather it simply came down from the heavens. We offered that the seemingly superfluous words "min hashomayim" indicated this. Contrary to the law of "conservation of energy," that every material item in this world remains, only that it changes from form to form, the fire and brimstone were new material from above that was never heretofore in this world. We would be hard-pressed to say the same here, as the mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos says that manna was created at the end of the sixth day of creation. Perhaps it was created, but not stored within the confines of our world.

Ch. 16, v. 4: "L'maan ana'senu" - So that I will test them - Mahara"m Schiff explains that words in Pirkei Ovos 6:4, "This is the path of the Torah: You should eat bread and salt and measured water shall you drink ..," in connection with the final words, "ashrecho bo'olom ha'zeh." When you have success in this world, and have all of your physical needs, and have the means to consume gourmet meals, and nevertheless eat only bread with salt .., this is the path of Torah. If one is poor and is limited to bread and salt, there is no indication of being on the right path.

This is the intention of being "tested" with the manna. It has almost any taste you could imagine. If you eat it as LECHEM, simple dry bread, then you have passed My test, "ha'yeileich b'Sorosi." (Rabbi Yonoson Eibeshutz)

Ch. 16, v. 8: "Bo'erev bossor le'echol v'lechem baboker lisbo'a" - In the evening meat to consume and bread in the morning to satiate - Rashi says that we derive from "le'echol" that one not eat meat to the point of satiation. Rabbeinu Tovia says that since the meat was to be consumed at night and there was limited light, the visual factor was lacking and this kept them from being satiated. By full daylight they were able to eat bread to the point of satiation.

Ch. 16, v. 25: "Ki Shabbos ha'yom" - Because it is Shabbos today - Rashi explains that they received no manna Shabbos morning and came back again in the evening, asking if they should look for manna. This is most puzzling. They never received manna at night, so why should they inquire about evening manna? Many commentators say that before matan Torah a "day" began in the morning and ended the next morning. They understood that manna fell at the beginning of the day. This was their first Shabbos. They were told that Shabbos is "mei'erev ad erev tish'b'su Shabat'chem." Armed with this change, that from now on a day is from night to night, they correctly asked if from now on the manna would fall at night, the beginning of a new day. (Rabbi Dovid ben Rabbi Meir Arik in Tal Torah)

Ch. 17, v. 13: "Va'yachalosh Yehoshua es Amo'leik" - And Yehoshua weakened Amo'leik - This is the common translation of "va'yachalosh." However, B'chor Shor translates "va'yachalosh" as "and he KILLED." Since the verse earlier expressed itself with "v'govar Yisroel" (verse 9), it correspondingly said "va'yachalosh." We do find the word form Ch-L-Sh to mean to kill in Iyov 14:10, "V'gever yomus va'yechelosh." (See Chizkuni)

Ch. 17, v. 16: "Milchomoh laShem baAmo'leik midor dor" - A war for Hashem against Amo'leik from generation to generation - If indeed we are to wage war with Amo'leik in every generation, why do we only find this recorded in Tanach here, and by Shoul and Dovid? Perhaps we can answer this based on the words of the Tur on the earlier words of our verse, "Ki yod al keis Koh," when a hand is on Hashem's throne." He says that this means when there is a king ruling upon the bnei Yisroel. Moshe was a king (gemara Zvochim 101), and although Yehoshua also had the status of king, nevertheless, he had his hands full with vanquishing the enemy, conquering the land, and apportioning it. After the days of Shlomo the kingship was contested and there was the Yehudoh Golil split. (Nirreh li)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues

This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.

For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael Classes,
send mail to
Jerusalem, Israel