You are on page 1of 4

PARSHAS SHMOS SELECTIONS

From Rabbi Baruch HaLevi Epstein

‫שמות פרק א, ח ויקם מלך-חדש על-מצרים אשר לא-ידע את-יוסף‬ ֵ ֹ ֶ ַ ָ ֹ ׁ ֲ ִָ ְ ִ ַ ׁ ָ ָ ְ ֶ ֶ ָ ַּ ֶ ָ
‫מסכת סוטה דף יא/א ויקם מלך חדש וגו' רב ושמואל חד אמר חדש ממש וחד אמר שנתחדשו‬ ‫גזירותיו מאן דאמר חדש ממש דכתיב חדש ומאן דאמר שנתחדשו גזירותיו דלא כתיב וימת‬ ‫וימלוך‬
A slight difficulty to the opinion that it was not a new King, is why the verse says ‫ ,ויקם‬which implies that now but not previously. One answer could be that he stood up against the Jews, which he had not done previously. Another possible answer could be that it was a new person that became king, but now was from the same family line that used to rule, in contrast to the immediately previous king that was from a completely different family dynasty. One should know that certain sources relate that Yosef became the king in Egypt. Yosef was 30 years old when he became viceroy. He remained in this position for 40 years. Then, after the death of that Paroh, Yosef became king in Egypt for 40 years (until his death at 110 years old). Thus, a new Paroh retuned the kingship back to the Egyptian lineage (thus new and old at the same time).

‫שמות פרק א, טו ויאמר מלך מצרים למילדת העברית אשר שם האחת שפרה ושם‬ ֵ ׁ ְ ָ ְ ׁ ַ ַ ָ ׁ ׁ ֲ ִּ ְ ִ ָ ֹ ּ ְַ ַ ִַ ְ ִ ְ ֶ ֶ ֶ ַּ ִ ֵ ֶ ֹ ְ ֹ ‫השנית פועה‬ ָ ּּ ִׁ ַ ֵ ּ
‫מסכת סוטה דף יא/ב רב ושמואל חד אמר אשה ובתה וחד אמר כלה וחמותה‬
Yocheved and her daughter Miriam; or, Yocheved and her (future) daughter-in-law Elisheva. This is a received tradition of Chaza”l, even though many try to find an allusion in the verse. Due to the very young age of Miriam and Elisheva, they must have only been an assistant to Yocheved. Also, know that a Medrash lists two converts named Shifra and Puah. If so, the words ‫ מילדות העבריות‬can be interpreted to mean they were midwives for the Hebrew mothers.

‫שמות פרק ב, ב ותהר האשה ותלד בן ותרא אתו כי-טוב הוא‬ ּ ֹ ּ ֹ ֹ ֶ ּ ַ ּ ֶּ ַ ׁ ִ ָ ַ ּ ַ ִ ֵ ֵ ֵ ּ ָ ַ
‫מסכת סוטה דף יב/א תניא ר"מ אומר טוב שמו ר' יהודה אומר טוביה שמו רבי נחמיה אומר הגון‬ ‫לנביאות אחרים אומרים נולד כשהוא מהול וחכמים אומרים בשעה שנולד משה נתמלא הבית‬ ‫כולו אור כתיב הכא ותרא אותו כי טוב הוא וכתיב התם וירא אלקים את האור כי טוב‬
Each explanation of the verse’s meaning reflects that Chacham’s method of explanation Gives explanation to the name that the parents ‫רבי מאיר‬ ‫ טוב‬was his name (light-clear) gave to the child Since they prophesized that this baby would save ‫ר' יהודה‬ ‫ טוביה‬was his name Contains HaShem’s name the Jews, two Holy letters were added to the name Explains according to the intent of the verse that Allusion to prophetic ‫רבי נחמיה‬ (comforted) spiritual light came into the house powers “Good” only said on a matter that is complete and ‫אחרים‬ Born circumcised (seeking completeness) fitting (not said 2nd day of Creation) Not a concept of “seeing” (‫ )תרא‬by Yocheved, but ‫חכמים‬ House filled up with light (wisdom) of knowing and strong feeling PARSHAPAGES.com

PARSHAS SHMOS SELECTIONS

From Rabbi Baruch HaLevi Epstein

‫שמות ב, י ויגדל הילד ותבאהו לבת-פרעה ויהי-לה לבן ותקרא שמו משה ותאמר כי‬ ִ ּ ֶ ּ ַ ׁ ֹ ׁ ָ ְ ּ ַ ֵ ְ ּ ָ ִ ְַ ֹ ְ ּ ַ ְ ּ ֵ ִ ּ ַ ֶ ַּ ּ ְַּ ֹ ֶ ְ ִ ַ ְ ֶ ַ ִ :‫מן-המים משיתהו‬ ּ ִ ׁ ְ ִּ ַ ִ ִ ַ
Most explain that Bas Paroh called the child Moshe. But this is difficult for three reasons. One, why don’t we call him by the name that his parents gave him, or at least provide a direct mention of that name? We find an entire story about Moshe’s birth, yet no mention of the name his parents provided. Two, we find in the Medrash that Paroh does not know Lashon HaKodesh (Hebrew); then how can we expect his daughter to know Hebrew? Three, if the name Moshe was the allusion by Bas Paroh that she drew the child from the water, then according to grammar, the proper wording should be ‫( משיתיו‬I drew him out) and not ‫( משיתהו‬she drew him out). Therefore, it is possible, that the “she called his name Moshe” refers to his mother, Yocheved. Yocheved called the child this Hebrew name (“she drew him out of the water”) in front of Bas Paroh, at the same time explaining the Hebrew, in order to thank Bas Paroh for saving her child.

ׁ ָ ְ ּ ָ ָ ַ ָ ֶ ֶ ֶ ָ ָ ‫ּ ְ ַ ֲ ֹ ֹ ִ ָ ָ ֶ ַ ִ ֶ ֶ ֶ ֹ ָ ּר‬ ‫שמות ג, ח ולהעלתו מן-הארץ ההוא אל-ארץ טובה ו ְחבה אל-ארץ זבת חלב ודבש‬
The verse does not explain the special attribute of milk and honey that the land of Israel is praised by these items. Especially since the land does not directly produce these items. It is possible to explain that the praise results from the special concept that these items are permitted to be eaten at all. These items come from a source that is not permitted (milk comes from blood and honey comes from bees). Nevertheless, the Torah permits these items to be eaten. Therefore, the Land is praised by these items to indicate the uniqueness of the Land which expresses the values of Torah.

‫שמות ג, יג ויאמר משה אל-האלקים הנה אנכי בא אל-בני ישראל ואמרתי להם אלקי‬ ֵ ֹ ֱ ֶ ָ ּ ְ ַ ָ ְ ֵ ָ ׂ ִ ֵּ ֶ ָ ִ ָֹ ִּ ִ ְ ְ ֵ ֹ ֱ ָ ֶ ׁ ֶ ַּ ֶ ֹ :‫אבותיכם שלחני אליכם ואמרו- לי מה-שמו מה אמר אלהם‬ ֶ ֵ ֲ ַ ֹ ָ ֹ ׁ ַ ִ ּ ְ ָ ְ ֶ ֵ ֲ ִַ ָ ׁ ֶ ֵ ֹ ֲ ְ ּ ְ
Why was the actual servitude in Egypt less than 400 years as stated by the Covenant between the Parts? Briefly, HaShem divided the time of servitude in a strange land into two parts. One part was the 210 years in Egypt, and the other part was a 190 years that is set aside for servitude in the future. Or, we could explain that in the merit of the Avos, HaShem shortened the time of actual servitude. Both views are expressed in this verse. Moshe requests guidance in how to answer the Jews when they ask how did 400 years become shortened to 210. G-d answers that “I will be that I will be” meaning I will be with them in this Galus and I will be with them in a future Galus. Moshe then asks why am I making known to them about another Galus, is it not enough with this one? And G-d answers, tell the Jews that “I will be that sent me (Moshe) to you (the Jews).” Moshe then wants to know how he will answer why the Galus has been shortened. And G-d says to tell them that the G-d of your fathers sent me, which answers that the merit of the Avos caused a shortening of the years of servitude.

‫שמות ג, טז פקד פקדתי‬ ִ ָ ָ ּ ְַ ּ ֹ ּ
How are these words a sign that this is the person that is to redeem the Jews? Anyone could say these words? A doubled word indicates a quickness to occur (like Yosef’s interpretation of Paroh’s doubled dream). Thus, the key to the correct identity of the actual redeemer would not only the he would say these key words, but also he would act quickly, and afterwards signs would appear that the redemption is to occur very soon, just as actually occurred with Moshe. PARSHAPAGES.com

PARSHAS SHMOS SELECTIONS

From Rabbi Baruch HaLevi Epstein

‫י"ג מדות הרחמים‬
The custom is to say aloud the 13 Attributes of Mercy. The only source is written in Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer (end of siman 46) that Moshe cried out in a loud voice HaShem, HaShem, etc. However, no reason is advanced for this custom. In general, our custom is not to call loudly in prayers, as evidenced from Chana’s prayers (Shmuel 1,1) that her lips moved but no sound was heard. Also, the Gemara (Berachos 24b) mentions that one who raises one’s voice during prayers is from those that lack faith (as if G-d could only hear if one is loud). Even though we say in our prayers ‫ ,שמע קולנו‬this is not meant to imply that our prayers are loud in order to be heard. Rather, the implication is that our prayers should be received and accepted, similar to the verse (Shmos 3, 18) ‫ ,ושמעו לקולך‬that our words should be accepted. When the Chumash intends to emphasize an audible sound, then the word ‫ קול‬is expressed with an adjective, such as found in the following: ‫ .קול גדול, קול אדיר, קול רם וכדומה‬Therefore, ‫ שמע קולנו‬doesn’t (necessarily) mean loud. The applicable source for saying aloud the 13 Attributes is from Berachos 32a. The Gemara asks why the verse (in the saying of the 13 Attributes) begins ‫( ויחל משה‬and not that Moshe prayed). The word ‫יחל‬ teaches that Moshe stood up and prayed until the point that he reached ‫ ,אחילו‬which means the fiery essence. And when a person feels a burning heart one raises one’s voice and cries out. Thus, Moshe raised his voice when he said the initial 13 Attributes. Thus, when we wish to call out for mercy we attempt to emulate Moshe and also say also the 13 Attributes.

‫אבינו מלכנו עשה למען טבוחים על יחודך‬
What does this second request add that is not already included in the previous listed request of ‫עשה למען‬ ‫ ?הרוגים על שם קדשך‬They seem to say the same general concept regarding those that died for the sake of sanctifying the Name of G-d. Why the need to say the request twice? However, we can distinguish between the two requests, with the understanding that the second request adds to the first request. The word ‫ הרג‬indicates the killing of a individual, for example, ‫ ,)הלהרגני אתה אומר )שמות ב,יד‬and many other places. In contrast, the term ‫ טבח‬indicates spilling the blood of a crowd. Thus, the latter term indicates a wider and more dreaded form of killing. Thus, in our requests, we say if it is not enough to be answered for the sake of individuals that were killed, then our request should be answered for the sake those killed in large groups (such as the 10 Martyrs).

‫בשעת שיש מצה ומרור מונחים לפניך‬
In all places where Matzah and Marror are mentioned, Matzah is always mentioned first. However, Marror is a sign of servitude (that the Egyptians embittered their lives). Whereas, Matzah is a sign of the period of Redemption, which occurred after the enslavement. Why is Matzah mentioned first? This can be explained that HaShem wished to shorten the time of the Exile. He accomplished this goal by intensifying the bitterness of the slavery. Thus, the concept of the Redemption (expressed by Matzah) actually preceded the embitterment of the slavery. PARSHAPAGES.com

PARSHAS SHMOS SELECTIONS

From Rabbi Baruch HaLevi Epstein

(‫אל תקרב הלום )שמות ג,ה‬
Zevachim 102a states that Moshe requested status of a king but HaShem did grant it to him. The word ‫ הלום‬indicates kingship. The Medrash on Rus (2,14) ‫ גש הלום‬alludes to us that the kingship of Dovid would come forth from Rus. This is also referenced regarding Dovid in Shmuel II (7,18) ‫ ,הביאתני עד הלום‬HaShem brought him to Kingship.

(‫וימת מלך מצרים )שמות א, ח‬
One opinion expressed in the Gemara (and mentioned in Rashi on this verse) explains that the Egyptian King did not actually die. Rather, he became a Metzora which are considered as if dead. And became a “new” king after recovery. To understand this concept, refer to Koheles 8,8, ‫( ואין שלטין ביום במות‬and there is no kingship in the day of one’s death). In the Medrash, Rabbi Levi states that close to 52 times it is written King Dovid. Yet, when Dovid was on his deathbed, it is written ‫( יוקרבו ימי דוד‬and not King Dovid). That when one is close to death, one is no longer called “King”, since rulership does not exist on the day of one’s death. Therefore, how could verse state that the Egyptian King died (should have stated that Pharoh died)? Thus, the verse must be referring to the King continued to be King but was in a state that resulted in a temporary vacancy and then resumed the Kingship as if new.

PARSHAPAGES.com