CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS BO 5772 - BS"D
1) Ch. 10, v. 25: "Gam atoh ti'tein b'yo'deinu z'vochim v'olose" - Shouldn't Moshe have told Paroh that he would give them animals to sacrifice, "tzone u'vokor," rather than saying that he would give them "z'vochim v'olose," animals that were already sanctified as sacrifices?
2) Ch. 12, v. 9: "Al tochal mi'menu noh uvosheil m'vushol" - Why were so many restrictions placed on the manner of preparing the Pesach sacrifice?
3) Ch. 12, v. 26: "Ki yomru a'leichem b'neichem" - These verses, read on Seder night, are the text of the questions raised by the "ben horosho," the evil son. What indicates that it is the evil son who is talking?
4) Ch. 12, v. 26: "Mah ho'avodoh hazos lochem" - What is added to this query with the word "lochem" besides that he is excluding himself, as is mentioned in the Hagodoh?
5) Ch. 12, v. 28: "Va'y'hi bachatzi ha'leiloh" -The Ibn Ezra interprets, "And it was the BEGINNING OF THE SECOND HALF of the night." Why didn't the Ibn Ezra translate these words as "midnight," or not comment at all, as this is self-understood?
Possibly, Moshe knew that Paroh would later be brought to his knees and even ask that prayers should be said on his behalf, "u'veirachtem gam osi" (12:32). If so, no doubt, Paroh would send sacrifices to be slaughtered to appease Hashem and to bring a blessing upon himself.
The Daas Z'keinim says in the name of the Ibn Ezra that Hashem wanted the bnei Yisroel to prepare the Pesach sacrifice in a very open manner, thus standing up against the ideology of the deification of the lamb by the Egyptians. Therefore the lamb had to be roasted without water. This maximizes the aroma during preparation. It may not be partially roasted nor cooked in water, "u'vosheil m'vushol," to minimize the smell. As well, cooking requires a pot, which would somewhat hide the lamb from view. It must be prepared with its body intact, "rosho al kro'ov v'al kirbo," so that it is clear to all that a lamb is the sacrifice.
The Hagodoh Yalkut Shimoni answers that we see that "bneichem," your SONS, a GROUP of sons ask. The "ben horosho" is more interested in rabble rousing than in finding the truth. One who has questions on the basics of our faith should be encouraged to ask them, but privately. When a GROUP of sons comes to ask, it is surely spurned on by a "ben horosho."
The Ksav Sofer says that the question of the son is, "Why are you PERSONALLY involved with all the menial tasks of Pesach preparations? Why not have your maids and workers do it for you?" The father answers that just as Hashem has PERSONALLY intervened to smite the firstborn and to take us out of Egypt without use of an intermediary, similarly we prepare for Pesach by being PERSONALLY involved.
It might be appropriate to add that Rashi (12:34 in the name of the Mechilta) says that although the bnei Yisroel had many animals to carry their parcels, they themselves carried the items which were used for the mitzvos of Pesach.
Possibly, he was dissatisfied with the common "And it was at the precise moment of midnight" translation, because exactly at midnight is not a point in time. The exact midway point where exactly one half of the night has passed and the second half begins, is a concept, but not a point in time. If you cut an object EXACTLY in half, you have half to one side and half to the other, but the point of the cut is not part of the object you split. This might be the reason for his explanation.
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