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Bo Selections from Rabbi Baruch Epstein

Bo Selections from Rabbi Baruch Epstein

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Selections from the works of Rabbi Baruch Epstein on the Parsha
Selections from the works of Rabbi Baruch Epstein on the Parsha

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Published by: Rabbi Benyomin Hoffman on Jan 30, 2009
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From Rabbi Baruch HaLevi Epstein
אכ י קרפ תומשךֶח מֵיָוְ םרָצְמִ ץרֶאֶ-לעַ ךְֶח יהִיוִ
ד השרפ חלשב תשרפ אתליכמלוכי היה אלו בשוי בשיל לוכי היה אלו דמו ירצמה היהש בותכה דיגמשמ אוהש ינפמ .קורפל לוכי וניא ןוט .ןוטל לוכי וניאו קרופ .דומלךשח שמיו רמאנש הלפאב
The Midrashim explain that the darkness of this plague was as thick as the size of a dinar coin. And thisis difficult to understand, since when does darkness have a measurable size. Further, Rashi says thatduring the days of this plague it was all night and no day. How is this possible to change the nature of creation? HaShem had already promised to Noach and his children that day and night would notcease. Plus how was it dark to the Egyptians and not to the Jews?Therefore, Rabbi Epstein ventures a unique explanation. This concept of darkness was not in the outsideenvironment, but was limited to the eyes of the Egyptians. This means that G-d caused a stretching of the cataract over the pupil of the eye, and the thickness of the cataract became the size of a dinar coin,which resulted in total darkness only to the Egyptians.
זכ ,וכ בי קרפ תומשתאֹהַ הדָבֹעֲהָ המָ םכֶינֵְ םכֶילֵאֲ רמְאיֹ-יִ היָהָוְ םכֶלָ
אה חסַֶ-חבַזֶ םֶרְמַאֲוַ
ארמג ד הכלה י קרפ ב/ ףד םיחספ תכסמ ימלשוריהמ (בי םש) רמוא והמ שר ןב :הרות הרביד םינב הברא דגנכ הייח 'ר ינתהנשו הנש לכב וניל ןיחירטמ םתאש הזה חרוטה המ םכל תאזה הדובההש הז רובב (םש) ול רומא התא ףא ללכה ןמ ומצ תא איצוהש ןויכמאל םירצמב שיאה ותוא היה וליא .הש אל שיאה ותואל הש יל יל 'ה.םלול םשמ לאגהל יואר היה
Four different types of questions (and children), each needing their own style of answer. To the Rashawhat type of answer is it to mention the Pesach offering? The Rasha is aware of this annual event.Therefore, the following verse is not an answer to the Rasha (and does not say
). Rather theRasha needs to understand that this type of individual is not part of the redemption (in Egypt or in thefuture) until they change their ways. The next verse emphasizes for a non-Rasha the minimum main points of the servitude and redemption at the Seder: Pesach, Marror, and Matzah.
זט גי קרפ תומשךינֶיעֵ ןיֵ תפֹטָטלְהכָדְיָ-לעַ תאלְ היָהָוְ
ב/דל ףד תוחנמ תכסמיבר ירבד 'ד ןאכ ירה תפטוטל תפטטל תפטטל ר"תםיתש יקירפאב תפ םיתש יפתכב טט ךירצ וניא רמוא "ר לאמשי
Tosefos and other commentators strive greatly to explain how the word תפטט relates to Tefillin. RabbiEpstein wonders why they just don’t explain simply. This word refers to the beauty that is upon thehead, which are Tefillin.PARSHAPAGES.com
From Rabbi Baruch HaLevi Epstein
Tosefos Yom Tov states that the 4 parshios within the Tefillin are all required and the lacking any one of them fails to enable fulfillment of the mitzvah. However, he states that the source for this law is notfound in Talmud.Rabbi Epstein posits that the understanding of the above is based on another derivation regarding theword זנטעש requires being combed, spun and woven, since all written (alluded) together in one word (זונ יווט עוש). The same can be applied to Tefillin since the 4 parshios are all written (alluded) together in the one word תפטט (two and two).PARSHAPAGES.com
From Rabbi Baruch HaLevi Epstein
ב אי קרפ תומשהעֵרֵ תאֵמֵ יאִ לאֲְוְ םעָהָ ינֵזְְ אנָ-רֶַ
It is a well known statement in the Talmud the word
refers to a Jew and not to a non-Jew (like loveyour friend like yourself). However, in this verse it obviously refers to the Egyptians, non-Jews.It is possible to say that this verse is prior to Matan Torah, and the Jews and non-Jews were similar at thattime. Only with the giving of Torah and the Jews attachment to it, did the Jews obtain a level of holiness and become separated from the non-Jews (as we say in Havdalah). This would help us tounderstand why we say Shira (Hallel) regarding the miracle at the Yam Suf that occurred outside of Eretz Yisrael (we do not say Hallel on Purim, since that miracle occurred outside of Eretz Yisrael).However, since at the time of the miracle of the Yam Suf, the Land of Israel had not yet acquired itsholiness (which occurs upon the inhabitation by the Jewish nation, and performance of Mitzvoswithin the Land of Israel).Please note that in places where the non-Jews keep their Mitzvos, then certainly these non-Jews areincluded in the concept of 
, as cited in many places that our leaders referred to non-Jews, as our  brothers or as our friends.
זט בי קרפ תומש-ארָקְמִ יעִיבִׁְהַ םבַדֶקֹ-ארָקְמִ ןארִהָ םבַ -לכָלְ לכֵיֵ רֶאֲ ךְםהֶבָ הֶעָיֵ-אלֹ הכָאלָמְ-לָ םכֶלָ היֶהְ דֶקֹ :םכֶלָ הֶעָיֵ בַלְ אה פֶנֶ
On Yom Tov, all m’lacha
is forbidden with the exception of “ochel nefesh” (food preparation).However, only by this verse concerning the 7
day of Pesach is this exception stated explicitly.On the 7
day of Pesach the miracle of the splitting of the Yam Suf occurred. And Chaza”l (Pesachim118a) say
ףוס םי תירקכ םדא לש ויתונוזמ םישק
(a person’s livelihood is as difficult as thesplitting of the Sea). Thus, the concept that G-d provides food (livelihood) occurs despite thedifficulties, is reflected specifically that on the 7
day of Pesach (Splitting of the Sea) is noted theexception of food preparation on G-d’s Holy Day.
גכ בי קרפ תומש-לעַ םָהַ-תאֶ הרָוְ םרַצְמִ-תאֶ ףֹנְלִ 'ה רבַעָוְ תיחִְַהַ ןֵאלֹוְ חתַֶהַ-לעַ 'ה חסַפָתזֹזְהַ יֵְ לעַוְ ףקְַהַ :ףֹנְלִ םכֶיֵָ-לאֶ אבֹלָ
According to the Medrash, the two doorposts allude to Moshe and Aharon, and the lintel at the top refersto the Jews. These two, Moshe & Aharon are the two posts which support the lintel, the Jewishnation. Thus, the Jew’s merit resulted from their reliance on Moshe and Aharon to protect them.When Moshe commanded this mitzvah to the Jews, he did so alone without Aharon. Thus, being humbleand not wanting to accept the honor by himself, Moshe first said to put the blood on the lintel andthen on the doorposts. But the Jews when they did the actual Mitzvah, honored Moshe and Aharon,and first placed the blood on the doorposts and then on the lintel. The Jews were praised for following the command as G-d said it to Moshe and Aharon (first the doorposts and then the lintel).
ז גי קרפ תומשםימִָהַ תעַבְִ תאֵ לכֵיֵ תמַ
The word
(which connotes an addition) is unclear in this verse. Some say this alludes to the conceptof the second day Yom Tov in Galus. Thus, Pesach is eight days long (an addition to the standard 7PARSHAPAGES.com

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