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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS VO'EIRO 5775 BS"D

Ch. 6, v. 2: "Va'y'da'beir Elokim el Moshe va'yomer eilov ani Hashem" - And G-d spoke to Moshe and said to him I am Hashem - "Dibur" and "Elokim" are expressions of strictness. Immediately following we have "Va'yomer eilov ani Hashem," where "amiroh" and Hashem are expressions of mercy. This is exactly the point Hashem is making to Moshe. Moshe had just asked why Hashem had done "bad" to the nation, given the downward spiraling situation, with greater work being piled upon the bnei Yisroel. Hashem responded that the "harshness" is actually merciful as the salvation is at hand and the added harsh work brings to the conclusion of the slavery. One must realize that Hashem is Merciful. (Holy Shalo"h)

Ch. 6, v. 5: "V'gam ani shomati es naakas bnei Yisroel" - And also I have heard the pained voice of the bnei Yisroel - What does "v'gam" add? Even though the bnei Yisroel had descended to the 49th level of impurity, the numeric value of "v'gam," I have nevertheless hearkened to their cry. (Nachalas Zvi) "V'gam" adds on that Hashem has also heard the prayers of each person's angel on high praying for relief. (Sefer Chasidim)

"V'gam," and also in spite of the bnei Yisroel only calling out to me in prayer because of their oppression, "asher Mitzrayim maavidim osom," and not earlier, I will still respond to them. (Arvei Nachal)

Ch. 6, v. 6: "V'hotzeisi es'chem" - And I will extract you - This will take place near the beginning of the plagues (as the bnei Yisroel no longer worked for Paroh from Rosh Hashonoh on), "v'hitzalti" with your leaving Egypt, "v'go'alti" with your being saved and the Egyptians drowning at Yam Suf, "v'lokachti es'chem li l'om" with the receiving of the Torah. (Sforno)

Ch. 6, v. 8: "V'nosati osoh lochem moroshoh" - And I will give it to you as an inheritance - A son inherits whether he is deserving or not. There are those who live in Eretz Yisroel and don't behave as Hashem wishes them to behave. Nevertheless they also receive an inheritance portion. (N'sivos Sholo-m) The verse does not say "y'rushoh," an inheritance that one receives. Rather, it says "moroshoh," an inheritance that one leaves for another. This was the situation here, as the bnei Yisroel who left Egypt where not the ones who inherited the land. They died in the desert and were "morish" the land to the next generation. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)

Ch. 6, v. 12: "Hein bnei Yisroel lo shomu eilai v'eich yishmo'eini Paroh" - Behold the bnei Yisroel have not heard me so how will Paroh hear me - The verse in T'hilim 25:14 says, "Sode Hashem lirei'ov," the secret of Hashem is for those who fear Him. When Hashem gives a message to his holy ones who fear him it is a secret, not for the ears of others. This is because it is beyond the common man's comprehension. When Moshe gave over the message of the bnei Yisroel's imminent redemption, their grasping his message was unsuccessful given the gap between his lofty stature and the common folk, all the more so giving this message to Paroh will be unsuccessful. (Mo'ore Voshomesh)

Ch. 6, v. 15: "V'Shoul ben haCanaanis" - And Shoul the son of the Canaanite - This either means the son of Dinoh who was sired by Sh'chem the Canaanite (Rashi), or it is Zimri who will later behave immorally, as do the Canaanites, or it refers to Dinoh, who died before the bnei Yisroel went to Egypt, whom Shimon buried in Canaan. (Medrash Mishlei)

Ch. 6, v. 18: "Uvnie K'hos" - And the children of K'hos - His four sons and their offspring are mentioned, save the offspring of Chevron. This is because of Amrom's children, Moshe and Aharon, the offspring of Yitzhor because of Korach, the offspring of Uziel because they removed the bodies of Nodov and Avihu from the Mishkon. There was nno need to mention the offspring of Chevron as no activities about them are mentioned in the Torah. This also explains why here the sons of Moshe are not mentioned. (Chizkuni)

Ch. 7, v. 3: "Vaani aksheh es leiv Paroh" - And I will harden Paroh's heart - This does not mean that Paroh would be left with no free will to release the bnei Yisroel. Rather, whenever a person starts having thoughts of contrition and repentance, Hashem sends heavenly help to bring one to repentance. Here it was removed. (Chofetz Chaim)

Ch. 7, v. 4: "V'lo yishma a'leichem Paroh v'hotzeisi es ami bnei Yisroel" - And Paroh will not hear you and I will take out My nation the bnei Yisroel - Hashem is telling Moshe that in the future, when Paroh will say that he will no longer listen to them and they should dare not come to him again, that is when Hashem will send the final plague of killing the firstborn and the exodus will take place. This explains how Moshe was able to respond to Paroh at that time that indeed he will not come back to him again. This is unusual, as Paroh might demand that they come back to stop the plague, as he was wont to change his mind so many times during the plagues. Given that Hashem told Moshe here that when Paroh says that there will be no more face to face audiences the final plague is at hand as is the exodus, this is very well understood. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

Ch. 7, v. 24: "Va'yach'p'ru kol Mitzrayim s'vivos ha'y'or mayim lishtos" - And all Egypt dug around the river for water to drink - A new translation for "va'yach'p'ru" - And they spied out for water, searching and searching. (N'tzi"v)

Ch. 8, v. 26: "Va'yetar el Hashem" - And he prayed to Hashem - The Chasam Sofer explains why here the word "va'yetar" is used, while by the prayer for the removal of frogs "va'yitzak" is used. The gemara Sukoh 14a tells us that the word form Ayin-Tof-Reish also has the meaning of a pitchfork. Just as a pitchfork turns hay over completely, so too, the prayers of the righteous can totally turn around an edict of bad to good. By the end of the plague of frogs there was no total relief, as when they died they were piled up. Upon their decomposition the Egyptians were left with piles of rotting stench, "vativash ho'oretz" (verse 10). Here by the plague of wild animals, they all left, and there was complete relief.

I have difficulty understanding the use of "va'yetar" by the end of the plague of locust (10:18). Although they totally left Egypt, had they remained it would have been more advantageous for the Egyptians as per Rashi on 10:19 d.h. "lo nishar." In this case total removal was not a total turn around. Even more perplexing is the use of this same word form by the plague of frogs itself, when Moshe said "l'mosai ATIR l'cho" (verse 5). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Ch. 9, v. 2: "Ki im mo'ein atoh l'sha'lei'ach v'odcho machazik bom" - If you refuse to send and still hold onto them - What is added by "v'odcho machazik bom"? Why is this term not used by the warnings of any of the other plagues? The mishnoh Eiduyos 2:10 says that the Egyptians were judged with plagues for 12 months. The gemara R.H. 11a says that the servitude of our forefathers in Egypt came to a halt on Rosh Hashonoh. Armed with these 2 pieces of information we may assume (although contrary to some commentators such as Rabbeinu Bachyei in parshas Bo) that the fifth plague took place slightly before half a year after the onset of the plagues, as half the plagues would take place in half a year. This would bring us to the month of Tishrei since the plagues ended on the 15th of Nison and they had begun 12 months earlier in Nison as well. We can thus say that Moshe had up to this point only mentioned sending the bnei Yisroel away as free people. Obviously included in this would be the end of their servitude. However, here at the fifth plague, even if Paroh would not set them free, they would afterwards not be enslaved, only stuck in Egypt. This is why Hashem told Moshe to warn Paroh regarding 2 matters, sending them away and forcing them to work as slaves. This is the intention of "v'odcho machazik bom." After this plague even if Paroh would not let them go free there would be no "machazik bom," as the servitude would end on Rosh Hashonoh. Earlier it was not mentioned since if he would not grant them total freedom he would still be enslaving them as well. (n.l.)

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See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a


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