bshalach.98 Shiur HaRav Soloveichik ZT"L on Parshas Bshalach (Shiur date: 2/9/71)
Shiur Harav on Parshas Bshalach"Ashira L'Hashem Ki Gao Ga'ah".
Shiur HaRav Soloveichik ZT"L on Sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim (Shiur date: 1969)
Rabbi Soloveitchik on Saturday night, April 7, 1979 \u201cShabbos Hagodol\u201d
Lecture delivered by Rabbi Soloveitchik on Saturday night, January 12, 1989 \u201cParsha Shmos\u201d
from \u201cEmanations\u201d\u00a9 Rabbi Ari D. Kahn
Based on teaching of the Rov regarding why Moshe was
to ask for only three days.
Egypt had highly developed its technology. Especially, Egypt had domesticated the horse for use-especially for warfare. It is the first we find mentioned in history the use of the horse, the rider and the chariot for warfare. The horse and rider, therefore, was the might
and power of the Egyptian empire. Countries that discover new weapons win wars, and it is interesting to note that from the time that Egypt arrived, 3000 B.C.E., until almost modern times, the horse has remained the means of conducting war throughout the world. England introduced the tank during the first war, and thus won the war. The weapon of the second war was the atomic bomb. "Sus v'rochbo, rama vayam" (the horse and the rider, G-d cast into the sea). We ask ourselves, "Is the throwing of man and his horse into the sea the power of G-d?" However, there is a deeper meaning. Whatever the secret weapon may be in its given era, it proves no deterrent to the Almighty. Whether the weapon is the horse and rider, the tank, the atom or hydrogen bomb, in the eyes of G-d it is as nothing. "Sus v'rochbo," whatever the weapon, He will cast it into the sea and make it as if it never existed. In the case of Pharaoh, the horse and the chariot was Egypt's exclusive weapon, manufactured by the government.
We find twice in the Torah in Sedra Vayigash, that Pharaoh instructs Joseph and his brothers to bring their father (Jacob) and their families. The first one is immediately after he hears of the brothers' arrival; the second is a few sentences later. The first time he merely gives a suggestion, but the second time is an actual command. "And now I command! Do this: Take for yourselves chariots from the land of Egypt for your children and your wives, and carry your father and come." The reason for the command was that the chariots and wagons could not be taken out of the land without an order from the king himself. Without Pharaoh's order it would be a criminal act. It is comparable to today where it takes an executive command or order to involve the movement of atomic weapons. Also, these chariots were to be used only for carrying goods, provisions etc.-not to be sold or given away. This is one of the reasons why the Torah states that when Jacob saw the agaloth (the wagons) his heart was revived, for he understood that Joseph must be close to the king.
The rumor was heard that Joseph's brother had come and it was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and the eyes of his servants. Why were they happy? Actually, Pharaoh had usurped his power by elevating a slave, a prisoner, to such a high position. The laws or constitution of Egypt specifically stated that a slave could not rule. Until the advent of the brothers and the disclosure of Joseph's family, Pharaoh's advisors were adamant in their demand that a slave could not rule. They kept objecting. Suddenly, Pharaoh had the answer to his critics. When they discovered that he came from the highly respected family of Abraham, it made a vast difference, for Abraham's influence was widespread, and even though they may have disliked him, they respected him.
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