by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS BO 5770 BS"D
Ch. 10, v. 2: "Ulmaan t'sa'peir b'oznei vincho u'ven bincho …… vida'tem ki ani Hashem" - And so that you (singular) shall relate into the ears of your son and your son's son …… and you (plural) shall know that I am Hashem - the verse begins in the single form and ends in the plural. At this point in time there seems to be no one to whom to relate all that happened at the time of the exodus, as all, men, women, and children, were present and lived through this happening. However, Moshe's sons were not there, as he sent his wife and sons back to Yisro. When they were reunited in the desert, it was only Moshe who could relate matters to these absentees. The Holy Zohar says that by relating the happenings of the exodus from Egypt one instills great belief in Hashem into his children's hearts. Hashem orchestrated matters so that it was only Moshe's children who would be the first to hear "sipur yetzias Mitzrayim," (hence the single "t'sa'peir") so that Moshe would open the heavenly storehouses of belief in Hashem through him for all further generations. This is why the verse ends in the plural "vida'tem ki ani Hashem." (The Holy Admor of Belz Rebbi Yisochor Dov)
Ch. 10, v. 6,7: "Va'yeitzei mei'im Paroh, Va'yomru …… ad mosai yi'h'yeh zeh lonu l'mokeish" - And he left from in front of Paroh, And they said …… until when will this be for us as a stumbling block - It was only after Moshe and Aharon left that they verbalized their feelings, as it was improper to say to Paroh in front of his adversaries Moshe and Aharon that Paroh should acquiesce. (Tur, Bchor Shor)
Ch. 10, v. 7: "V'yaavdu es Hashem Elokeihem" - And they will serve Hashem their G-d - Paroh's servants have caved in at this point, not only in agreeing to Moshe's request to be allowed to go into the desert to serve Hashem, but also that the Deity they are to serve is Hashem Elokim, one Entity, and not that there is a deity for good and a separate deity for bad. Paroh also concedes this when he calls back Moshe and Aharon and says, "L'chu ivdu es Hashem Elokeichem" in the following verse.
Ch. 10, v. 8: "Mi vomi haholchim" - Who and who are going - This dialogue between Paroh and Moshe is interpreted by the Ball Haturim in a prophetic manner. Paroh tells Moshe that the request to go into the desert will result in everyone dying there and not making it to the Promised Land. Only Koleiv and Yehoshua will make it there alive. The numeric value of "Mi vomi haholchim" equals that of "Koleiv uBin Nun." Moshe responds with, "Bino'reinu uvizkeineinu neileich," the death decree will not be on those who are at the time of departure under twenty, "bino'reinu," or over sixty years, "uvizkeineinu," of age.
Ch. 10, v. 11: "L'chu noh hagvorim" - The adult males should now go - Why the uncommon word "gvorim" rather than "anoshim?" in verse 9 Moshe tells Paroh that he plans to go with the youth, the elders, the sons, and the daughters. This means that surely the adults will go, but also the elderly and the young. Paroh responds very negatively, and although permission is granted, it is only in a very limited manner, only for the robust adult men. The word of choice is "gvorim," which can also be read as "giborim." (n.l.)
Ch. 10, v. 11: "Va'y'goresh osom" - And he chased them out - Rashi says that the antecedent, who chased them out, is not mentioned. Medrash Habiur says that this was Bilom, who is known as the one who attempts to chase the bnei Yisroel away, as per the verse, "Ulai uchal na'keh bo vaagorshenu" (Bmidbar 22:6).
Ch. 10, v. 17: "V'yo'seir" - And He should remove - We find this word earlier by the request to remove the frogs, and in the verse, "v'yo'seir mei'oleinu es hanochosh." It is now well understood why Paroh says that this plague is a death penalty, "hamo'ver ha'zeh." The key word "v'yo'seir" in these three places teaches us that the plagues of the frogs and locust there was an accompaniment of poisonous snakes. (Baal Haturim)
Ch. 10, v. 25: "Gam atoh ti'tein b'yodeinu z'vochim v'olos" - Also you will place into our hands offerings and oloh sacrifices - The Ibn Ezra adds that Moshe's message was that these animals would be for sacrifices for the benefit of Paroh. Why would there be a need for Paroh to have sacrifices offered on his behalf? The Tosefta Pei'oh 3:13 relates a story where a Chosid forgot a bundle of grain in his field. Upon realizing this he told his son to prepare for him a pair of oxen, one for an oloh offering and one for a shlomim offering. His son asked him what brought him to such great joy through fulfilling the mitzvoh of leaving over the bundle in his field for the needy over any other of the many mitzvos he had performed. He answered that all other mitzvos came through intent, while the medium for the mitzvoh of leaving over the sheave of grain came through his oversight. We see from this that when a person merits to do a mitzvoh without intentionally involving himself in the mitzvoh it is an occasion that deserves expressing thanks to Hashem through sacrificial offerings. On the words, "U'Pharoh hikriv" the M.R. 21:5 says that this means that Paroh "brought close" the hearts of the bnei Yisroel to Hashem, as he scared the wits out of them with his advancing army. They turnes their hearts to Hashem in repentance. It was surely not Paroh's intention to bring about this good deed, surely not on a mass basis. Moshe through his prophecy knew that this would happen, so he told Paroh that he would have a need to have sacrifices offered on his behalf. (Proshas Mordechai - Rav of Bilgorai)
Ch. 11, v. 1: "K'shalcho koloh go'reish y'go'reish es'chem" - When he sends you it will be total he will surely drive you out - Of what importance is it that the bnei Yisroel will be driven out? Everything would turn out just fine if they just left on their own. The Rebbe Reb Heshel in Chanukas haTorah answers this based on the gemara B.M. 76b. An employer hires an employee to do some work for him from morning until night. If in the middle of the day the employer rescinds and says that he wants no more work done and fires his worker, he must pay wages for a full day. If the employee quits in the middle of the day, he doesn't get paid for the work he has already done. Hashem told Avrohom that his descendants would be enslaved for 400 years and afterwards would leave with "r'chush godol," great possessions. Since they left after only 210 years it is akin to stopping work in the middle of the stipulated time. Had the bnei Yisroel left on their own, they would have no claim to the possessions of the Egyptians, as they, so to say, quit in the middle. Paroh's driving them out of his land is his firing the employees before the stipulated time, so they deserve their reward in full.
Ch. 11, v. 3: "Va'yitein Hashem es chein ho'om b'einei Mitzroyim" - And Hashem placed favour of the nation in the eyes of Egypt - This will be repeated in 12:36. In 3:21 we have Hashem telling Moshe that this will take place after all the plagues. There it says "ho'om HA'ZEH." Why the added "ha'zeh?"
The Holy Zohar writes that "om" refers to the "eirev rav" and not to the bnei Yisroel. These verses would seem to be telling us that even the "eirev rav" will find favour in their eyes. (n.l.)
Ch. 12, v. 1,2: "Va'y'da'beir Hashem el Moshe v'el Aharon, Hachodesh ha'zeh lochem - And Hashem spoke to Moshe and to Aharon, This month is for you - Why was it necessary to speak to Aharon as well? M.R. 15:2 says that these words were Hashem's granting permission to Moshe and Aharon to judge the calculation of whether to add or not to add an extra month to the year. The gemara Sanhedrin 18b says that the members of the court who decide whether or not to add a month to the year should not include either the king or the Kohein Godol. The king has a vested interest in adding a month because he budgets the payment for his soldiers on a yearly basis, and if the year would have one extra month he adds no wages. The Kohein Godol likewise has a vested interest, but in the reverse, to not add a month. This would enable Yom Kippur to come out earlier in the solar season, when it was warmer, and on Yom Kippur, when he does the service all day, he has a warmer stone floor to walk upon.
Imrei Binoh cites Rabbi Noson Katz, who posits that if we were to have both the king and the Kohein Godol sitting in judgment their biases would cancel each other out and this would be acceptable. It is now well understood why permission was granted to both Moshe and Aharon together. The gemara Zvochim 100 says that Moshe had the status of king, and Aharon was the Kohein Godol. "Hachodesh ha'zeh," for you to be able to decide if there is or isn't a need for an additional month, requires "lochem," for BOTH of you to judge it.
We might offer an alternative explanation. The bnei Yisroel were sustained through the manna, not costing the king anything to sustain anyone. The Mishkon, as well as all the encampment, had excellent climate control through the clouds of glory to keep things cool by day, and the pillar of fire, to keep things warm at night. The deciding of adding a month is "for YOU," specifically in your supernatural environment, but not for future generations of kings and Kohanim G'dolim. (n.l.)
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