Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS VO'EIRO 5769 - BS"D

1) Ch. 6, v. 8: "V'nosati osoh lochem moroshoh" - And I will give it to you as an inheritance - "Yerushoh" is an inheritance that one receives, while "moroshoh" is something that is left as an inheritance to others. Why this choice of wording?

2) Ch. 6, v. 20: "Va'yikach Amrom es Yocheved va'tei'led lo es Aharon v'es Moshe" - And Amrom took Yocheved and she gave birth to him Aharon and Moshe - In Shmos 2:1 the marriage of a couple and the subsequent birth of Moshe is recorded, but the parents' names are not mentioned until this verse.

3) Ch. 7, v. 17: "Hi'nei onochi ma'keh bama'teh asher b'yodi" - Behold I will smite with the staff that is in my hand - There seems to be a problem with these words. If they are a direct quote from Hashem, then "with the staff that is in My hand" is inaccurate. If these are Aharon's independent words then "I will smite" is inaccurate, because Hashem is doing the smiting.

4) 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?

5) Ch. 9, v. 29: "Efros es kapai el Hashem" - I will spread out my palms to Hashem - In verse 33 we find that Moshe spread out his palms in prayer, just as he stated in our verse. Why by this particular plague did Moshe spread out his palms in prayer to bring the plague to a stop?

ANSWERS:

#1

Indeed, the people Moshe addressed would not be those who themselves would inherit Eretz Yisroel. They would give it as an inheritance to the next generation. (Tur)

It seems that the generation of those who left Egypt are considered as giving over an inheritance, rather than the verse saying that the land will be an inheritance for the next generation, because according to one opinion in the gemara B.B. 117b the land was apportioned according to those who left Egypt, and not those who entered Eretz Yisroel.

#2

The Mahara"l of Prague explains that by not mentioning their names immediately a lesson is driven home. By mentioning these two most exalted people by name we might incorrectly conclude that it was only by the merit of such special parents that the unique Moshe Rabbeinu came into existence. This is not the case. Moshe had to exist in this world, even if he would have been the child of the simplest of parents.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein explains that when parents have a very talented and gifted child, especially when he is extremely intelligent, they drop their guard and do not concern themselves with his upbringing, assuming that he will excel by virtue of such great inborn talents. The exact opposite is true. The child could well use his talents to move into fields and realms that are very damaging, as per the dictum of the gemara Sukoh 52a, "Whoever is great has a powerful evil inclination." This point is driven home by not crediting Amrom and Yocheved by name with their illustrious son until he was an adult and had already become Hashem's messenger to bring the redemption from Egypt.

#3

The Ibn Ezra answers that there is an understood "I, Hashem's agent," "SHLUCHO," to be added. Hashem smites in conjunction with the staff that is in Aharon's hand.v #4

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 enslave them as well.

The Rambam in hilchos teshuvoh 6:4 explains that when a person transgresses a very terrible sin or constantly repeats a sin it is appropriate for Hashem to close the gates of repentance so that the sinner should die with his sin intact and then Hashem would exact full punishment from him. In the next halacha he says that this is why Hashem hardened Paroh's heart, as Paroh premeditatedly diabolically planned to enslave and treat the bnei Yisroel harshly. However, the Rambam does not shed any light on why this took place specifically by the sixth plague and onwards, "Va'y'cha'zeik Hashem es leiv Paroh" (9:12). With the above we can explain this. Until now, even though Paroh and his people were smitten with some devastating plagues, nevertheless someone with great resolve might reason that it takes a lot more than plagues to force him to release a workforce of 600,000 adult men. Once Paroh was advised by the 5th plague that in any case he would no longer hold sway over his Jewish servants from Rosh Hashonoh onwards, what sense did it make for him to hang onto them? Even the most obstinate of people would back off when dealt such devastating blows if they know that they have lost their workforce in any case. From this point onwards Paroh's resolve could only be explained as being supernaturally Heavenly induced, "Va'y'cha'zeik Hashem es leiv Paroh." (Nirreh li)

#5

Rashi on verse 33 d.h. "lo" writes that even the hail that was already in flight towards the earth did not reach its destination. The medrash on Yechezkeil 38:22 writes that the hail that was stopped in mid-flight will eventually descend during the battle of Gog and Mogog. Perhaps this is why Moshe spread out his palms, to symbolically pre-enact what would later happen. Just as it is obvious that when one extends his hands skyward, that he will not keep them in that position forever, so too, the hail that will remain suspended in midair will also eventually come pummeling downwards. (Nirreh li)


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


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