by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
Back to this week's Parsha | Previous Issues
PARSHAS VO'EIRO 5760 BS"D
Ch. 6, v.7: "HamotzI es'cheM mitachaS" - The final letters of these three words spell Emes, Alef-Mem-Sof. Rabbi Shimshon of the Baalei Tosfos says that this alludes to the character source of Hashem's total integrity that brought about the exodus. In the first of the Ten Commandments we find that it says "I am your G-d Who has taken you out of Egypt" (Shmos 20:2, Dvorim 5:6). The Ramban asks why a more powerful reason for believing and adhering to Hashem wasn't given, namely that Hashem created the world. The answer given is that Hashem wanted to impress upon the generation that wandered in the desert a strong belief in Hashem. This could only be fostered through relating something that they personally experienced, namely the exodus from Egypt.
As mentioned above, the name Emes is extracted from the words which tell us that Hashem will take the bnei Yisroel out of Egypt. The final letters of the words "BorO ElokiM eS" (Breishis 1:1) also spell EMeS. Perhaps underlying the exodus with the power of the name Emes is the creation, also brought about through the name Emes. Thus mentioning the exodus in the first Commandment also alludes to the creation of the world. "I am Hashem Who has taken you out of Egypt" is overt, while "and created the world" is covert. The creation of the world was done without human witnesses, as man was not yet created. Likewise the mention of the creation in the first Commandment is hidden and is only there by allusion.
Ch. 6, v. 8: "V'heiveisi ES'CHEM" - The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh asks that it seems that these words were not fulfilled, since Hashem did not bring the generation which left Egypt into Eretz Yisroel, as they died in the desert, but rather, only the next generation which was born in the desert. Perhaps this can be answered with the words of the Targum Yonoson ben Uziel in parshas Yisro, "Vo'esso es'chem al kanfei n'shorim" (19:4). Rather than the common explanation that "I WILL bring you on the wings of eagles," he says that this means that "I have BROUGHT you on the wings of eagles to the future location of the Beis Hamikdosh on the night of the 15th of Nison, and there you ate the Pascal lamb." On the basis of these words we can translate the words of our verse as "And I HAVE BROUGHT YOU to the land," meaning that when the bnei Yisroel will have left Egypt on the day of the 15th of Nison, I will have already brought you there, referring to the miraculous trip to Eretz Yisroel on the night of the 15th of Nison.
Ch. 6, v. 9: "Mikotzer ruach" - The Paa'nei'ach Rozo points out that "mikotzer" is spelled without a Vov. This brings the mathematical value of "mikotzer" to 430, the number of years the bnei Yisroel spent in Mitzrayim, as mentioned in Shmos 12:40,41. The bnei Yisroel did not hearken to the words of Moshe "mikotzer," because the 430 years of exile were not yet complete, and Moshe told them that the exodus was at hand.
Ch. 8, v. 15: "Etzba Elokim" - Paroh's sorcerers attributed the plague of lice to the powers of the finger of Elokim. To which finger does this refer? The Daas Z'keinim on Shmos 30:13 says that it was the ring finger.
Ch. 8, v. 6: "V'samti f'dus" - The concept of "mesoroh" has been discussed in the past. A certain word or group of words appearing in a limited number of places connects the concepts of those verses. As mentioned earlier, this is often found in the Baal Haturim. We find the word P'dus in two other places, in T'hilim 111:9, "P'dus sholach l'amo," and again in T'hilim 130:7, "V'harbei imo F'DUS." The P'ninim Y'korim points out that this word in our verse and in T'hilim 111:9 is spelled lacking a Vov, while in T'hilim 130:7 it is spelled in full, with a Vov. He explains that Hashem said that He would send "liberation" (Those who translate F'dus as a distinction are not really disagreeing with the translation "liberation," as noted in the Ibn Ezra and Rashbam.) which would be incomplete, as it is not permanent. Unfortunately, the bnei Yisroel would endure other exiles. This is indicated by the fact that Hashem did not take them out directly by Himself, but rather through the intermediary, Moshe. This is "P'dus SHOLACH l'amo," again spelled lacking, a non-permanent liberation, because SHOLACH, it was done through an agent, a SHOLIACH. However, when Hashem will personally take us out of the final exile, it will be a P'dus with a Vov, as in T'hilim 130:7, "V'harbei IMO f'dUs."
I note that upon searching in many different editions of T'hilim, including the authoritative Koren edition, I have found in all of them the word "p'dus" in T'hilim 111:9 spelled with a Vov.
Following the theme that "P'dus" spelled with a Vov indicates a permanent redemption, there might be a hint to this in Megilas Rus. We know that at the time of the final redemption we will have the King Moshiach from the house of Dovid Hamelech reign. In Megilas Rus 4:17,18 we find the genealogy of the house of Yehudoh down through king Dovid. Starting from the last word of verse 17 and going consecutively into verse 18 we find "Dovid, V'eileh Toldos Peretz. The first letters of these words spell "P'DUS."
As well, the merit for permanent redemption is complete trust in Hashem and his Torah, "emunoh." P'DUS with a Vov has the numerical value of 490, as does the word "YAAMINU," as found in parshas Shmos 4:5 regarding the message of redemption, "L'maan YAAMINU ki nirre eilecho Hashem."
Ch. 8, v. 17: "V'GAM HO'ADOMOH asher heim o'lehoh" - Five offerings to explain these words:
1) If an Egyptian ran into Goshen to escape the wild animals, they would pursue him into Goshen. (Divrei Sho'ul)
However, the simple meaning of the words of verse 18, "V'hifleisi ...... es Eretz Goshen asher ami o'leho l'vilti heyose shom orove" seems counter-indicative to this explanation. Indeed, the Tosfos Hasholeim brings an opinion that from these words we see that an Egyptian entering the bnei Yisroel's community of Goshen would escape the wrath of the wild animals.
There is a second opinion of the Tosfos Hasholeim that says the same, but derives it from the words of the next verse, "V'samti f'dus." See comment on Ch. 9, v. 4, below.
The Ramban says that if an animal of a member of the bnei Yisroel would leave Goshen it would still not be attacked by the wild animals. This is derived from the Torah saying "V'samti f'dus" in verse 19, which is above and beyond what the Torah already indicated as a distinction between the Egyptians and the bnei Yisroel in verse 18 with the word "V'hifleisi."
2) The Sforno says that these words teach us that the ground on which the houses stand will be infested with snakes and the like, which will come to the surface from below, so that the Egyptians would not be safe even in enclosed fortified buildings. However, the Ibn Ezra says that these words specifically mean the open areas where there are no houses.
3) Since the mixture of animals included every species, a problem arises. The mishneh K'layim 8:5 mentions a creature called Adnei Haso'deh which looks like a human and receives its nourishment through an umbilical like cord which is attached to the ground. There are other very unusual features to this unique creature. If its umbilical cord is severed it perishes. How then would this creature make the trip to Egypt? The Rebbe Reb Heshel and the GR"A say that these words teach us that a section of ground which had the cord of this creature attached to it was also transported to Egypt.
4) The Arugas Habosem says that these words teach us that the CLIMATE of the land in which the animals normally reside was brought along with them. Since a change from hot, warm, or cold to another condition could be fatal, it was necessary to bring along the climate.
5) Haksav V'hakaboloh translates V'GAM as "and it will CUT," from the verb source GOMOM. This means that Paroh was warned that the wild animals would also "damage the earth." A similar translation is given by the Ari z"l on the verse in Koheles 11:3, "Ten cheilek l'shivoh v'GAM lishmonoh," which Rashi says in one interpretation refers to the mitzvoh of bris miloh which is done on the eighth day of a male child's life. The Ari z"l says that this is alluded to in the words "v'GAM lishmonoh," which mean "and CUT on the eighth day."
We see that the wild animals indeed destroyed the ground as mentioned in verse 20, "U'v'chol Eretz Mitzrayim tishocheis ho'oretz mipnei ho'orove." Please note that only according to explanations 1,2, and 5 does the placement of the words "V'gam ho'adomoh asher heim o'lehoh" at the end of the verse flow smoothly. According to explanations 3 and 4, had these words been placed directly after the word "orove" they would be more cohesive than at the end of the verse, interrupting the description of what is being brought as a plague with where the effect will take place, and then returning to again describe what is being brought as a plague.
Ch. 9, v. 4: "V'hiflo*H*" - The Baalei Tosfos note that this word appears in only one other place in the Torah, Dvorim 28:59. However, there it is spelled with an Alef at the end, which is the normal spelling, and here it is spelled with a letter Hei at the end. They say that this alludes to the five types of animals the Torah enumerates in the previous verse which will be negatively affected by the pestilence - horses, donkeys, camels, bovines, and sheep.
Perhaps another insight can be gleaned from the letter Hei. Paroh of his own volition refused to allow the bnei Yisroel to leave Egypt in spite of the first five plagues. However, during the final five plagues Paroh's heart was hardened by Hashem. Perhaps the letter Hei whose numerical value is five, placed in the word "V'hiflo*H*," - and Hashem will make a distinction, indicates that the plague of pestilence which is the fifth plague visited upon Paroh, is the end of the plagues where Paroh has no external impediments to comply with Hashem's wishes. This is in contra-distinction to the last five plagues where he is restrained by Heavenly intervention.
Ch. 9, v. 4: "V'hifloh Hashem bein miknei Yisroel u'vein miknei Mitzroyim" - The Tosfos Hasholeim says that if an Egyptian placed his cattle into Goshen to avoid the pestilence it would be of no avail. This is contrary to the plague of wild animals where the Tosfos Hasholeim posited that there was respite for an Egyptian who seeked safe harbour in Goshen, as mentioned earlier in 8:17 explanation #1.
The difference is indicated by the words in the plague of wild animals "v'hifleisi ba'yom hahu es ERETZ GOSHEN," indicating that Hashem would make the LAND OF GOSHEN distinct. However, here by the plague of pestilence our verse says "V'hifloh Hashem bein MIKNEI Yisroel u'vein MIKNEI Mitzroyim," indicating that there would be a distinction by OWNERSHIP and not by LOCATION.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org