by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS SHMOS 5775 BS"D
Ch. 1, v. 1: "Ish u'veiso" - A man and his household - "Ish" refers to Hashem, as in "Hashem ish milchomoh." "Beiso" refers to Hashem's celestial court. They also descended to Egypt, as per the words of our Rabbis that when the bnei Yisroel descended to Egypt the Holy Spirit of Hashem descended with them. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)
Ch. 1, v. 7: "Va'yaatzmu bimode m'ode vatimo'lei ho'oretz osom" - And they became mighty greatly greatly and the earth became full of them - And they became wealthy, "m'ode" means wealth as in "uv'chol m'o'decho, m'ode m'ode," fist upon fist of wealth. Then "vatimo'lei ho'oretz osom," the physicality of the land filled them. This brought to "vatimo'lei ho'oretz osom," the world became filled with them, i.e. the bnei Yisroel filled all areas of the world during Pesach by going to hotels to escape putting in the physical effort of preparing a proper Pesach. This brought to "Va'yokom melech chodosh," a new king arose. Rather than pursuing mitzvos in the spirit they were given, including the proper "hachonos," the proper chumros, without all the leniencies of a kitchen that mass produces and whose chefs are goyim, the proper environment, in this case "seh lo'ovos seh labayis," the way the fathers made Pesach so should the next generation household make it, there was a "melech chodosh," a new set of dictates in ushering in a Pesach. Magicians, performers, singers abound and there is an empty Beis Medrash full of sforim that is used only for mandatory prayer, and then on to performances, mingling of teenage children, etc., etc., etc. (oy l'einayim shekach ro'ose)
Ch. 1, v. 12: "V'chaasher y'anu osom kein yirbeh v'chein yifrotz va'yokutzu mipnei bnei Yisroel" - And as they pained then so they multiplied and so they strengthened and they became disgusted with the bnei Yisroel - The more the physical bodies of the bnei Yisroel were pained the greater their spirituality grew. Weakening the physical allows for greater spiritual growth. With the great expansion of spirituality of the bnei Yisroel the Egyptians, the earthiest people in the world, became disgusted of having them in their midst. (Ol'los Efraim)
Ch. 1, v. 13: "Va'yaavidu Mitzrayim es bnei Yisroel b'forech" - And Egypt made the bnei Yisroel work with severity - Medrash Plioh cites a disagreement between Rav and Shmuel. One says that they made them work with "kal vochomer" while the other says that they made them work with "g'zeiroh shovoh." The medrash likewise cites a disagreement between these two people as to the meaning of "b'forech." One says that it means "bifruchim," with crumbling work, harsh work. The other says that "b'forech" is to be understood as two words joined, "b'feh rach," with a soft mouth. The former explanation posits that the harsh work began immediately, not easy in the beginning and tougher later. The latter opinion is that the soft mouth was the starting point of easy work, and only later was there a change to much harsher labour. This is the meaning of the two opinions of Rav and Shmuel in the Medrash Plioh. They are in tandem. He who posits that the work was tough from the go says "g'zeiroh shovoh," it was an edict that was the same throughout, while the other, who posits that it started out easy and then became hard says "kal vochomer," easy and them harsh. (Perach L'vonon)
Ch. 1, v. 19: "Ki lo chanoshim haMitzrios hoIvrios" - Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women - Generally we apply the rule of "dina d'malchusa dina," the law of the king is the law, meaning that we are bound to the law of the country, however, this only applies when the citizens of the country are treated equally. The midwives told Paroh that the Ivrios are not treated equally to the Egyptian women. Their children are allowed to live and thrive, while the Hebrew children are to be put to death. This unfairness allows us to not abide by this law. (Yismach Moshe)
Ch. 2, v. 2: "Y'rochim" - Months - The word "chodesh" is used when it refers to solar months, and "yerach" when it refers to lunar months. (Rabbeinu Bachyei parshas Va'yeilech)
I wonder how this applies to "Hachodesh ha'zeh lochem" in parshas Bo.
Ch. 2, v. 3: "Go'me" - Of reeds - This material was similar in colour to the common bulrushes found at the edge of rivers. Her hope was that no one would notice the little container and after the inspectors would leave her house she would fetch the baby. As we know, this didn't work our as Bisyoh the daughter of Paroh came by and saw the container. (Rabbi Yoseif B'chor Shor)
Ch. 2, v. 3: "Va'to'sem boh es ha'yeled" - And she placed into it the child - She did this a little while earlier than when she placed the container among the bulrushes. This way he would be used to the immediate surroundings and would not cry. (Divrei Yirmiyohu)
Ch. 2, v. 6: "Vatachamole olov" - And she had compassion on him - The gemara Sotoh says that Bisyoh went to the river to complete a conversion to Judaism by immersing herself in the river. How is this derived? Since we see that she had mercy on him it is evident that she had already converted. (shomati)
Ch. 2, v. 10: "Va'yigdal ha'yeled" - And the boy grew large - Moshe grew to the height of ten cubits. If so, even when he was very young he must have been large for his age. When Bisyoh brought him home he looked much older than having been born during the time of the edict to throw all newborn Hebrew boys into the river. This is why Paroh allowed her to keep him. (N'tzi"v)
Ch. 2, v. 12: "Va'yifen koh vochoh va'yar ki ein ish va'yach haMitzri" - And he turned here and there and he saw there was not a man and he smote the Egyptian - Moshe did not want to fight with the Egyptian unless he was sure that he was weaker than Moshe. Moshe first wrestled with him and easily turned him to this and that side. He then concluded that this was not a powerful man. It was only then that he smote him. (Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel)
Ch. 3, v. 12: "E'h'yeh imoch" - I will be with you - Rashi comments that Hashem told Moshe that if he were to wonder by what merit do the bnei Yisroel deserve to leave Egypt, the answer is that they will receive the Torah at the end of three months after their exodus. This is problematic as the bnei Yisroel left Egypt on the 15th of Nison and received the Torah on the 6th of Sivon, less than three months, only 51 days later. Moshav Z'keinim offers that the day they heard the Ten Commandments was not called the main day of receiving the Torah, as all that happened was that they heard Hashem's words. Rather, it was when Moshe descended from the mountain 40 days later with the Holy Tablets. This makes 90 days = 3 months. (Although 51 and 40 are 91, it was on the 51st day that Moshe ascended and that ame day counted as the 1st of the 40 days.)
Alternatively, Moshav Z'keinim offers that a part of Nison, all of Iyar, and part of Sivon are considered 3 months, as we find this sort of calculation in numerous places.
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