by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS VO'EIRO 5770 BS"D
Ch. 6, v. 2: "Va'y'dabeir Elokim el Moshe va'yomer eilov ani Hashem" - And Elokim spoke to Moshe and said to him I am Hashem - "Dibur" is used for tough talk and "amiroh" for soft talk. Elokim is a name of strict judgment, while Hashem is a name of mercy.
Elokim told Moshe, "va'y'dabeir," that the going was rough for the bnei Yisroel until now. Hashem said, "amiroh," but specifically to him, "eilov," meaning that he should not tell the bnei Yisroel, that "ani Hashem," the harsh enslavement was actually a form of mercy because the original 400 year enslavement would be concentrated into many less years. This message was not to be conveyed to the bnei Yisroel as it would greatly lighten their burden, and as such would not have the same affect of greatly shortening the years of the exile in Egypt. (Shaa'rei Simchoh)
Ch. 6, v. 7: "V'lokachti es'chem li l'om" - And I will take you unto Me for a nation - The Avnei Nezer asks that when the nation is called "am" it gives a negative connotation. Here, where Hashem is telling Moshe of the kindness that will be done to the bnei Yisroel why is this word used. He answers that the word "am" can be sourced from "um'mos," embers that are becoming extinguished (Yechezkel 31:8, gemara P'sochim 27a). Hashem is saying that He will take the bnei Yisroel unto himself as His unique nation even though their spirit is extinguishing. (Shem miShmuel 5674)
Ch. 7, v. 4: "V'lo yishma a'leichem Paroh" - And Paroh will not listen to you - This will be the case even before Hashem sets in the hardening of Paroh's heart, and also after being smitten with the first nine plagues. Only the smiting of the firstborn and the drowning of the Egyptian army at Yam Suf were punishments in kind. All the previous plagues served the purpose of bringing them to repentance for denying Hashem. This is clearly stated in numerous verses, "B'zose teida ki ani Hashem, Baavur teida ki ani Hashem b'kerev ho'oretz, L'maan teida ki laShem ho'oretz, L'maan shisi ososai eileh b'kirbo, Ulmaan t'sa'peir b'oznei vincho …… vidatem ki ani Hashem." This applies to the bnei Yisroel as well. (Rashi states this clearly, citing a verse in Tzefanioh to this affect.) The drowning of the Egyptians at Yam Suf served a double purpose, as it was done to also bring about, "V'yodu Mitzrayim ki ani Hashem." (Sforno)
Ch. 7, v. 11: "B'laHa'teihem" - With their incantations - Rashi differentiates between "lahat" and "lat." The former is a sort of whispered chant that brings about magic affects, while the latter is the making use of destructive powers, sheidim. Tzror Hamor agrees with Rashi on "lahat," but says that the latter is the use of physical instruments to bring about their desired affect of the "lahat." Every trade has its tools.
Ch. 7, v. 12: "Va'yivla ma'tei Aharon es matosom" - And Aharon's staff swallowed their staves - The word "matosom" is spelled without a letter Vov after the letter Tes, allowing for a reading of "matAsom," their ONE staff. Aharon's staff was a snake (contrary to Rashi's explanation) when it swallowed their staves, and only one staff remained. (Adaptation of Ralba"g)
We have this same word "matosom" spelled lacking the Vov in parshas Korach, "U'ma'tei Aharon b'soch matosom." The M.R. says that there is a connection between these two verses, which have this exact same word in them. There too, Aharon's staff swallowed those of all the other tribal heads, and they became one staff. It was only after Moshe took out all their staves, which were insode Aharon's staff, as indicated by the verse there saying that Moshe removed their "matos,"also missing the letter Vov, that Aharon's staff spat out their staves. This is why their staves were unable to blossom. (Baal Haturim)
Ch. 7, v. 15: "Hinei yotzei hamaimoh" - Behold he is going out to the water - The Rokei'ach raises the question of why the word is "hamaimoh" rather then "lamayim." He answers that this indicates that he went into the deep area of the water since he relieved himself there, and this might be noticeable in the shallow water.
The word "hamaimoh" can be read the same forward and backward. When one enters a body of water and then leaves it he removes a bit of water that clings to his body. Here however, there was a give and a take, hence the same forward and backward reading. (n.l.)
Ch. 7, v. 15: "Hinei yotzei hamaimoh" - Behold he is going out to the water - The Ibn Ezra says that it was the custom of kings to gaze upon the water, as it is beneficial for one's eyesight. There is a similar idea in the Hagohos Oshri on the Rosh in maseches A.Z., where he says that although a man should not gaze into a mirror, a scribe may do so because the reflection is beneficial for his strained eyesight.
Ch. 9, v. 4: "V'lo yomus mikol livnei Yisroel dovor" - Not one thing from anything that belongs to the bnei Yisroel will die - "V'lo yomus mikol livnei Yisroel," means that even if an Egyptian and a ben Yisroel in partnership owned an animal, it would not die from this plague. "Dovor" can be understood as "dibur." Even if there was only an agreement that the ben Yisroel would purchase an Egyptian's animal and the sale was not yet completed, the animal would also be saved. (Rabbeinu Menachem)
Ch. 9, v. 8: "Uzroko Moshe hashomaimoh" - And Moshe should through it heavenward - Rabbi Avrohom ben hoRambam says that the manner in which Moshe threw his and Aharon's handfuls of ash heavenward can be understood in one of three ways. Either that Moshe threw what was in his hands and then had Aharon empty the ash in his hands into Moshe's, who then threw this heavenwards as well, or that after throwing the contents in his hands heavenwards, he banged Aharon's hands from below and sent the ashes in Aharon's hands upwards, or that Aharon emptied the contents of what was in his hands into Moshe's already full hands, and then Moshe threw all of this upwards at one time. This last possibility involves no miracle as far as containing a double capacity, as the nature of ash, which is soft and easily compacts. He ends by saying that the first explanation is the most likely, the second further removed, and the third a remote possibility.
Ch. 9, v. 28: "Hatiru el Hashem v'rav mi'h'yos kolos Elokim" - Beseech Hashem and there are already sufficient sounds from Elokim - Paroh starts off with Hashem and then switches to Elokim. It seems that he is of the school of at least a duality of deities, one who bestows good, and one who bestows punishment. He therefore says that the sounds emanate from Elokim, but he begs Moshe to pray to Hashem to bring it to a stop. Moshe responds in verse 30 that this response is not acceptable. It is still before Paroh has accepted that they are One, "Ki terem tirun mipnei Hashem Elokim." (Variation on the words of the Chizkuni)
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