by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS VO'EIRO 5774 BS"DCh. 7, v. 9: "L'sanin" - - The Radak in Sefer Hashoroshim entry Tof-Nun-Nun writes that this is the name of a creature that lives on the land, a snake, and it is also the name of a creature that lives in the water and looks like a snake, an eel. As well, he writes that this word sometimes ends with a Mem. Others say that it is a crocodile.
Ch. 7, v. 21: "L'dom" - To blood - This plague brought about numerous difficulties for the Egyptians, but in the main they suffered on three fronts, the physical discomfort of not having water to drink, the loss of vast amounts of money that they paid the bnei Yisroel to purchase drinking water, and the loss of their fishing industry. (Abarbanel)
Ch. 7, v. 28: "Batz'fardim" - With frogs - This word in singular form is a composite of "tzafra" and "dei'a." Frogs know when the day begins. It seems that this means that even when it is still very dark they can discern the beginning of the day.
An alternative explanation is "tzipor" and "dei'a." Birds swoop down and drink from the Nile. When the plague of blood came they stopped drinking from it. The frogs somehow communicated with the birds, advising them that the waters of the Nile were once again drinkable.
Ch. 8, v. 13: "Kinim" - Lice - The Rambam in his commentary on Pikei Ovos writes that only "kinim" of all the plagues entered Goshen. Why was this an exception? Maa'sei Hashem writes that the ground was thickly covered with lice. The bnei Yisroel could no longer come up with clay to use for brick making. Had the lice not entered Goshen they would have had to continue producing, bringing clay from Goshen.
Rabbi Shlomo Eliyohu Miller shlit"a says that based on the opinion that the magicians could not replicate "kinim" because their feet were not directly on the ground (Daas Z'keinim, Rosh), had Goshen been free of lice the magicians would have gone there to replicate lice.
Ch. 8, v. 15: "Etzba Elokim hee" - It is G-d's finger - Paroh's men called this plague the work of Hashem's finger because it could have been much worse. This was just a finger's worth. By Yam Suf the bnei Yisroel saw "Ha'yad hagdoloh," a hand's full, as the miracle wrought there was to the maximum. (Mahara"l in B'eir Hagoloh)
Ch. 8, v. 17: "Hin'ni mashliach" - Behold I am sending - The letters of "mashliach," when rearranged spell "l'Moshiach." These plagues will be reinacted in the days of Moshiach as per the verse "Kimei tzeis'cho mei'eretz Mitzrayim erenu niflo'os." (Chid"o in Chomas Anoch)
Ch. 8, v. 17: "He'orove" - The mixture of wild animals - "He'orove" is written with a definitive Hei, meaning that there was a presence of a mixture of wild animals that Moshe showed to Paroh. Moshe was in Paroh's palace when he warned him of the impending plague, as Moshe was told to go to Paroh "hashkeim baboker," while he was still in his palace. Paroh's palace had artwork painted on the walls of a vast variety of wild animals. Moshe warned him that animals of the sort painted on his walls would invade Egypt. (Haksav V'hakaboloh)
Ch. 8, v. 18: "L'maan teida ki ani Hashem b'kerev ho'oretz" - So that you will know that I am Hashem in the land - Similarly we have Moshe telling Paroh that the plagues are a lesson that "l'maan teida ki ein kaShem Elokeinu," and "baavur teida ki ein komoni b'chol ho'oretz." Why do we have "l'maan" twice and then a change to "baavur?"
Ch. 8, v. 19: "V'samti f'dus" - And I will place a division - "P'dus" also means "redemption." From the plague of "orove" onwards the bnei Yisroel were no longer enslaved. (Abarbanel)
Ch. 8, v. 21: "Vayikra Paroh el Moshe v'el Aharon va'yomer a'leihem l'chu zivchu lEilokeichem b'kerev ho'oretz" - And Paroh called to Moshe and to Aharon and said to them go slaughter to your G-d within the land - Since you just said that your G-d is "b'kerev ho'oretz," there is no reason to slaughter your sacrifices out in the desert. You've just said that He also occupies Egypt. (Malbim)
Ch. 8, v. 22: "Hein nizbach es to'avas Mitzrayim l'eineihem v'lo yis'k'lunu" - Behold if we were to slaughter the abomination of Egypt in front of their eyes will they not stone us - The bnei Yisroel did the blood service and the consumption of the Paschal lamb in front of the Egyptians and yet there was no bad reaction, so what was Moshe worried about? Since the bnei Yisroel were told by Hashem to apply the blood to their doorposts and to roast the Paschal lamb whole and then consume it wherever they lived, in spite of their being among the Egyptians, they had no fear of retribution. However, they were not specifically told to slaughter the lamb in front of the Egyptians and for this there was no protection. (Meshech Chochmoh)
Ch. 8, v. 23: "Derech shloshes yomim neileich bamidbor" - A path of three days' travel we will go in the desert - Why all the subterfuge? Why not be up front and tell Paroh a permanent good-bye? Hashem will surely make things work out properly. Had Paroh refused to emancipate the bnei Yisroel he would not be subject to any serious punishment, as it is most challenging to send away hundreds of thousands of slaves. Requesting a three day hiatus and even that being denied opens Paroh up to severe punishment. (Ram"o)
Ch. 8, v. 28: "Va'yichbad Paroh es libo gam bapaam hazose" - And Paroh hardened his heart also this time - We know that he hardened his heart previously. What is the intention of "gam?" Once Paroh's wise men admitted that the plague of lice was the work of "etzba Elokim" and they could not replicate it or overcome it, they did not show up at work out of embarrassment. Paroh is thus sparring with Moshe single-handedly, with not even one of his advisers at hand. Such a situation brings one to be more yielding. Notwithstanding this he hardened his heart again, "gam bapaam hazose." (Rabbeinu Bachyei)
Ch. 9, v. 4: "V'lo yomus mikole livnei Yisroel dovor" - And there will not die from anything belonging to the bnei Yisroel a thing - Once the verse has told us that there will be no cattle casualties for the bnei Yisroel what is added with "mikole" and "dovor?" These words teach us that not only will there be no cattle killed, but also not even an injury, "katlei palga," will be sustained. (Haksaav V'hakaboloh)
Ch. 9, v. 8: "V'hinei lo meis mimiknei Yisroel ad echod va'yichbad lev Paroh" - And behold not even one of the bnei Yisroel's cattle died - When Paroh received the news that not even one animal owned by a ben Yisroel died he hardened his heart because he could replenish his loss by taking from the bnei Yisroel. (Rabbi Avrohom Avli of Frankfurt)
Ch. 9, v. 9: "V'hoyoh al ho'odom v'al habheimoh lish'chin" - And it will be upon the person and on the animal as blisters - Since during the previous plague of pestilence all Egyptians' cattle died how could there be boils on the animals? Rabbi Yoseif Bchor Shor answers that the words, "Va'yomos kol miknei Mitzrayim" means that all that died was of the Egyptians' cattle.
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