Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 6, v. 21: "V'hoyoh l'cho v'lo'hem l'ochloh" - Why is Noach's eating mentioned before that of the animals according to the law which we derive from Dvorim 11:15 (parshas "V'hoyoh im shomo'a") that feeding animals comes before feeding one's self?

2) Ch. 7, v. 14: "Ho'ofe .. tzipor" - What is the difference between these two words?

3) Ch. 7, v. 23: "Va'yimach es kol ha'y'kum ...... va'yimochu min ho'oretz" - Why the duplication of the same concept, that everything was eradicated?

4) Ch. 11, v. 11: "Cha'meish mei'os shonoh" - Why were the life spans of the ensuing generations noticeably shorter than the previous generations?

5) Ch. 11, v. 29: "Va'yikach Avrom v'Nochor lohem noshim" - Why does the Torah spend so much time on the details of Yitzchok's finding a wife (all 67 verses of chapter 24), and by Avrohom and Soroh all we find is a verse simply stating that Avrom took Sorei as his wife?

Answers to questions on parshas Breishis:

1) Ch. 1, v. 3: "Y'hi ohr" - There shall be light - What is the difference between "yi'h'yeh" and "y'hi"?

1) They mean the same thing, but "y'hi" is used when the subject is something that does not grow or bear fruit. There is a nuance of permanence in the word "y'hi." (Tosfos Hasho'leim)

2) "Y'hi" is used when the creation of the object is from a pre-existent object. (Aderres Eliyohu)

3) "Y'hi" is used when the object is not tangible. (Maskil l'Dovid)

4) "Yi'h'yeh" means that there will be, a statement of fact regarding the future. "Y'hi" is a command that something shall take place, in our case the existence of light. (Haksav V'hakaboloh)

5) The Holy Zohar explains the difference in Breishis page 232b and Shmos pages 176-177 (l'yodei chei"n).

2) Ch. 1, v. 5: "Va'y'hi erev va'y'hi voker yom ECHOD" - Why doesn't the verse use the ordinal word "rishon," as it does from the second day onward, "sheini," rather than "shnayim"?

1) The gemara Nozir 7a states that day and night are one day and there is no separation between them. It seems that the gemara is explaining why the word ECHOD is used rather than RISHON.

2) The Baal Hamo'ore on the gemara R.H. says that this means that at the same time there is day in one place and night in another.

3 ) The Nachalas Yaakov says that ECHOD is used to indicate that this was a unique day, as ex nihilo, "yeish mei'ayin," something from nothing, took place. On the other days there were already parts of creation in place.

4) On a simple level we can say that the cardinal number ONE is used when there is no other day in existence, hence "day one" and not the ordinal "first day."

3) Ch. 1, v. 2: "Hamoyim" - The water - Why does this word always appear in the plural form?

1) The Ibn Ezra answers that there are male and female waters. (I have come across the term "mayim nukvin" in the "tefiloh zakoh" prayer said on erev Yom Kippur.)

2) Abarbenel answers that there are fine droplets that compose water.

3) Torah M'iroh #125 answers because there are two components in water, the sour part and the water part. Perhaps he is referring to ocean water, which is salty.

4) Ch. 1, v. 25: "Va'yaas Elokim .. kol remmes ho'adomoh" - For what purpose did Hashem create bugs?

The Medrash Shochar Tov on T'hilim chapter #18 offers two answers.

1) If and when Hashem would be angry with mankind and contemplate destroying the world, He would then say to Himself, "If I am willing to sustain bugs which serve no purpose, I should surely maintain the existence of mankind, which is capable of great accomplishments."

2) The extract of bugs is useful in treating the sting of other creatures.

5) Ch. 3, v. 16: "Itzvoneich v'heironeich" - The gemara Eiruvin 100b says that "itzvoneich" refers to the difficulty of raising children, while "heironeich" refers to the difficulty of pregnancy. Why is the order switched since pregnancy comes before raising children?

Rabbi Michel Stern shlit"a answers that Chavoh had already given birth to Kayin and Hevel before Hashem imposed this punishment. The previous pregnancy and birth were without any hardship. However, the raising of these children was in progress before Chavoh's next pregnancy. Hence her difficulties in child rearing would take place before the difficulties of future pregnancies.

Responses from readers:

Ch. 1, v. 25: "Va'yaas Elokim .. kol remmes ho'adomoh" - For what purpose did Hashem create bugs?

YERUSHALMI Berachot 9:3:

"Elijah, blessed be he, asked R. Nehorai: "Why did God create insects and reptiles in his world? He responded "For good reason. When humans sin, He [God] looks at them and says "If I preserve those [insects and reptiles] that have no use all the more so [I must preserve] those [humans] who have use." Elijah responded "They too have use; the fly as a remedy for the homet['s sting]; bed-bugs as a remedy for a swallowed leech; a serpent as a remedy for an eruption; the snail as a remedy for the scab, and a [crushed] spider as a remedy for a scorpion['s bite]."

ALSO - Genesis Rabbah 10:7 (From A.E.)

"The Rabbis say that even things which appear to be superfluous in the world such as flies, fleas and mosquitoes are in fact part of God's creation and He utilizes all of them to fulfill his missions, even a snake, even a mosquito and even a frog.

Regarding question #5- See Torah Temima #19 who asks the question. He refers to the Chiddushei Aggadot of the Maharsha on Eruvin 100b who also asks this questions (and answers based upon a Midrash) and then gives his own answer "b'derech ha'pshat". (From M.C.)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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