Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 10, v. 1: "Ki ani hichbadti es libo" - Paroh had already experienced the devastating effects of 7 plagues. This number of plagues should have been sufficient to subordinate his will to that of Hashem's, as the gentile nations' power is limited to the natural world order, symbolized by the number 7, the amount of days in which the world was created. If so, why indeed did Paroh not acquiesce, thus necessitating the delivery of more plagues? The answer is, "ki ani hichbadti es libo," - I have hardened his heart. (Shem miShmuel)

Ch. 10, v. 9: "Bino'reinu u'vizkei'neinu" - Why are the youth mentioned before the elders?

1) This is an allusion to serving Hashem especially when we are young and have many urges to pursue other matters. (Rabbi Avrohom of Lublin in Shei'vet MiYhudoh)

2) This alludes to the responsibility to reach the level of a "zo'kein," "zeh shekonoh chochmoh," even at an early age. (Rabbi Moshe of Boyan in Daas Moshe)

3) Even though the elderly have the attribute of calm calculated wisdom, youth has the advantage of alacrity and enthusiasm. These characteristics are foremost at the time of the exodus as the bnei Yisroel were commanded to do things "b'chipozone." (Rabbi Boruch of Seret-Viznitz in M'kore Boruch) 4) People often forsake all hope of repenting in their old age, since they have lead a long life of sinning. Our verse tells us that we should act as a youthful person regarding repentance, even in our old age and realize that it is never too late. ((Rabbi Chananioh Yom Tov Lipa of Siget in K'dushas Yom Tov)

5) Only when we are sure that the youth will come along with the elderly, and not forsake the ways of their forefathers, is it a "chag Hashem lonu" (final words of this verse). (Shem miShmuel)

Ch. 10, v. 21: "Va'yomesh choshech" - Rashi says that the word "va'yomesh" is a shortened form of "va'yei'o'meish," the same word just with the letter Alef in it. Rashi adds that we often find the letter Alef missing from a word. Since the Egyptians vehemently denied the existence of Hashem, "Alufo shel olom," the One and only power in the world, and thus brought darkness to their society, so too, the letter Alef is lacking when describing the extreme darkness that would descend upon Egypt. (Rabbi Moshe of Ujhel in Yismach Moshe)

Ch. 10, v. 23: "Lo ro'u ish es ochiv v'lo komu ish mitachtov" - No person saw his brother's needs, as he was totally involved in himself. This resulted in "v'lo komu ish mitachtov," no person elevated himself from his lowly position. (Chidushei Hori"m)

Ch. 10, v. 26: "Vaanachnu lo neida mah naavode es Hashem ad bo'einu shomoh" - We will not know the value of our service to Hashem, if it was satisfactory, until we come there, in front of Hashem on the day of Divine judgement. (Chidushei Hori"m)

Ch. 11, v. 2: "V'yishalu ish mei'eis re'eihu" - "Rei'eihu" does not mean his friend the Egyptian, as we derive from "Ki yi'tein ish el REI'EIHU" (Shmos 22:9) that the ruling of the verse does not apply to a non-Jew. Our verse means that the bnei Yisroel should willingly lend each other vessels of silver and gold. These acts of kindness will create an aura of kindness that will even affect the Egyptians so that they will later give their objects to the bnei Yisroel upon their departure from Egypt. (Rabbi Mechel of Zlotshev in Heichal Habrochoh)

This interpretation is also attributed to the GR"A.

Ch. 12, v. 28: "Va'yeilchu va'yaasu bnei Yisroel kaasher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe" - Even though the bnei Yisroel realized that upon fulfilling Hashem's command they would be liberated from Egypt, the Torah testifies that their actions were motivated only by the intention of fulfilling Hashem's command. (Sfas Emes)

Ch. 12, v. 39: "V'gam tzeidoh lo ossu lo'hem" - Rashi mentions the verse in Yirmiyohu (2:1), "Zocharti loch chesed n'urayich .. lechteich acharay bamidbor b'eretz lo z'ru'oh." Hashem remembers the kindness the bnei Yisroel did with Him, trusting Hashem and following Him into the most inhospitable desert, a place where there is no sustenance. Rashi adds that in recognition of this most noble act Hashem gave the bnei Yisroel the appellation "Kodesh Yisroel laShem REISHIS tvu'osoh" (verse 3). Since on the 15th of Nison the bnei Yisroel left Egypt, a place where sustenance was available, and entered the desolate desert, in turn, Hashem made that day the New Year for judgement of grain produce (mishneh R.H. 1:1), "REISHIS tvu'osoh."

(Bnei Yisos'chor)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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