Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 1, v. 1: "Habo'im" - The verse does not say that they came, rather that they ARE coming. This indicates that throughout their stay, generation after generation, even those born in Egypt, they felt as aliens, as if they had just come. (Shem miShmuel)

Ch. 1, v. 1: "Habo'im" - The bnei Yisroel ARE coming. They do not remain stagnant in their spiritual pursuits. (Noam Elimelech)

Ch. 1, v. 2: "Reuvein Shimon Levi vIhudoh" - All that one sees, "Re'u," or hears, "Shma," he should use to join and adhere, "Levi," to Hashem, through praise, "Yehudoh." (Rabbi Yisroel Zvi of Kosoni in Ohr Mollei)

Ch. 1, v. 7: "Vatimo'lei ho'oretz osom" - The earth, the physicality of Egypt, was filled with the sanctity of the bnei Yisroel. (Noam Elimelech)

Ch. 1, v. 10: "Hovoh nis'chakmoh lo" - The reason Paroh found it necessary to scheme against the bnei Yisroel, even though they were a noticeably smaller group of people than the Egyptians, is because of "lo," in the singular form and not "lo'hem." The unity of the bnei Yisroel could bring to the few overpowering the many. (Rabbi Sholo-m of Kozhnitz)

Ch. 1, v. 10: "Hovoh nis'chakmoh lo" - Rashi says that "hovoh" connotes preparation. Let us scheme against their preparations before they do mitzvos. Their preparation was, "Reishis chochmoh yiras Hashem" (T'hilim 111:10). (Rabbi Sho'ul Yedidyoh of Modzitz in Imrei Sho'ul)

Ch. 1, v. 12: "V'chaasher y'anu oso kein yirbeh oso v'chein yifrotz" - Just as the Egyptians persecuted them with a calculated plan of "hovoh nis'chakmoh lo," so too their population explosion was carefully calculated, each tribe increasing its numbers to a specific Heavenly ordained amount. (Rabbi Simchoh Bunim of Parshis'cha in Kol Simchoh)

Ch. 1, v. 14: "Va'y'mor'ru es cha'yei'hem" - Through the bitterness caused by the Egyptians the bnei Yisroel weakened and started worrying about themselves on an individual basis, as indicated by the word "cha'yei'hem," their individual lives. This is the first time in our parsha that the bnei Yisroel are referred to in the plural form. (Shem miShmuel)

Ch. 1, v. 14: "B'chomeir uvilveinim" - The evil inclination attempts to cause a person to stumble in two ways. One is "b'chomer," through physical lusts, "taavoh," and "bilveinim," with whiteness, deceiving a person into believing that he is pure and white, without a flaw, "gaavoh." (Rabbi Shmuel of Slonim in Divrei Shmuel)

Ch. 1, v. 17: "Vati'reno hamyaldos es hoElokim v'lo ossu kaasher di'ber a'lei'hen melech Mitzroyim" - There is no doubt that the king of Egypt would have administered the death penalty to the midwives for non-compliance. One might think that there was a very compelling reason for them to take such a risk, i.e. fear of the would-be parents killing them, being socially outcast, etc. Nevertheless, the Torah testifies that the motivating factor was their fear of Hashem! (Rabbi Chaim of Tchernovitz in B'eir Mayim Chaim)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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