by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS B'HAALOS'CHO 5763 BS"D
Ch. 9, v. 2: "V'yaasu vnei Yisroel es haPosach" - And the bnei Yisroel shall make the Pesach - Parshas Bo is replete with commands to offer the Paschal lamb. Why was it necessary to repeat this? Rashbam offers that the previous Pesach took place in Mitzrayim and lasted only one day. As well there were numerous differences in the details of how the sacrifice was to be offered. Therefore our verse, said in the following month of Nison, commands that the bnei Yisroel process the Pesach offering and keep the Yom Tov according to the details outlined in parshas Bo for later generations, and not to copy the way it was done in the previous year.
Sforno offers that since they just had the festive eight day inauguration of the Mishkon, the bnei Yisroel might mistakenly think that such a heavy dose of spiritual activity would make a Pesach experience coming on its heels redundant, as we find that King Shlomo had the inaugural festivities of the completion of the Beis Hamikdosh over-ride Yom Kippur, the verse therefore advises that they should still have the Pesach Yom Tov take place.
The Ramban offers that since the mitzvoh of bringing a Pesach offering only began after the bnei Yisroel entered Eretz Yisroel, as per the verse, "V'hoyoh ki sovo'u el ho'oretz" (Shmos 12:25), since the bnei Yisroel were now in the desert, there would actually not have been a mitzvoh to offer the Pesach offering if not for this specific directive.
The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh offers that since the Torah says regarding the Pesach sacrifice, "Kol ben neichor lo yochal bo" (Shmos 12:43), that an estranged person shall not partake of the Paschal lamb, and the Medrash Tanchuma explains that this refers both to a non-Jew and a Jew who has unfortunately denied Hashem, when the bnei Yisroel sinned with the golden calf they thought that they no longer had the privilege of bringing a Paschal sacrifice. Although they were aware of Hashem's relenting and not planning to destroy them to a man, but they did not as of yet know that their sin was forgiven. We can thus interpret the introductory letter Vov of "V'yaasu," as meaning that besides My rescinding the punishment of annihilation, their sin is also cleansed, and they may therefore bring a Pesach offering.
Va'y'da'beir Moshe offers that since that year the eve of Pesach would fall on Shabbos there was a special command to slaughter the Paschal lamb at the expense of Shabbos. This was not known earlier, as the word "b'moado," of our verse teaches us this. It is now well understood why this point of information was transmitted specifically at this time and not earlier in parshas Bo.
Ch. 11, v. 4: "Hisavu taavoh .. va'yomru mi yaachi'leinu bosor" - Lusted a lusting .. and they said, 'Who will feed us flesh' - Since they had large herds of cattle, why didn't they have a steady supply of meat? As well, the manna could take on the flavour of almost any imagined food.
1) They were in the complaint mode and this truly had no basis. (Rashi - Sifri)
2) Only some of the people owned cattle. (Ramban)
3) Those who complained were the "asafsuf," the "eirev rav." They took no cattle out of Egypt as their cattle were killed during the plagues of pestilence and hail. (Ponim Yofos)
4) They expected to cross over the Jordan River and do war with the Canaanites. They would be unable to bring their cattle along with them, and it was for this period of time that they complained. (Baal Haturim)
5) They only complained to test Hashem, to see if He was capable of supplying them with meat in the desert, as is stated in T'hilim 78:18, "Va'y'nasu Keil bilvovom lishol ochel l'nafshom." (Sforno)
6) They were actually complaining about the restrictions placed upon them regarding relations with relatives. "Bosor" refers to the carnal pleasures of the flesh (see gemara Yoma 75a). (Kli Yokor)
7) They complained about having a large steady supply of meat for an extended period of time, as indicated by the words "mi yaachi'leinu," in the future tense. Their own cattle did not satisfy this demand. (Ponim Yofos)
8) They wanted meat that tasted like fish, as indicated by the words, "mi yaachi'leinu bosor Zocharnu es hadogoh." They demanded this only to test Hashe. He responded with quail, which are a form of meat (fowl) that tastes somewhat like fish. (Minchoh V'luloh)
9) They did not want a steady diet of manna, as it was a spiritually uplifting food, and they wanted to serve Hashem with no outside help. (Eitz Yoseif and Eshed Hancholim)
10) They wanted to avoid eating manna, as it disclosed their spiritual level, landing further from their doorstep and also in a more unrefined form when they sinned. (K'hilas Yitzchok)
11) Slaughtering their own cattle would entail bringing the animals as "shlomim" offerings. This placer numerous restrictions upon people. It could only be eaten when in a pure state, required brining it to the Mishkon and having the blood services done. They wanted a simple lustful type of meat, not tied up in rituals, as indicated by the first words of the next verse, "Zocharnu es hadogoh." Just as fish are eaten without ritual preparations, the meat that they lusted was meat with no rituals involved. (Meshech Chochmoh)
12) As mentioned earlier, the "asafsuf" had this lust. They were not among those who studied Torah. The gemara P'sochim 49b says that a boor should not eat meat. The "asafsuf" did not taste the flavour of meat in their manna. (M'oroh Shel Torah)
Please note that some of these answers are in response to the question of their having their own cattle, while some answer the manna question, and some answer both.
Ch. 11, v. 5: "Asher nochal" - Which we will eat - Should the verse not have said, "Which we ate" in the past tense. We see from this that those who lusted meat intimated that they hoped to return to Egypt and again eat fish gratis. (Likutim Chadoshim)
Ch. 12, v. 7: "B'chol beisi ne'emon hu" - Throughout My house he is trusted - In Sedrah Selections 5759 there is a list of interpretations of "ne'emon." Here is an additional one. The Medrash Tanchuma applies the verse "Ish emunos rav brochos" (Mishlei 28:20) - this is Moshe who was entrusted with the building materials of the Mishkon. Thus "b'chol beisi" can be understood as: for all matters of My house, the Mishkon, he is trustworthy.
Sforno on Bmidbar 23:3 says that these words mean that Moshe is allowed "laalose l'ohr pnei Melech," that Moshe is allowed entry to some high level of G-dly revelation.
Ch. 12, v. 8: "Usmunas Hashem yabit" - And the picture of Hashem he will view - These words can be interpreted as: And the view of Hashem is his view. Just as Hashem sees all but is not seen, so too, Moshe sees the good points in others but does not see his own greatness. This can also be the intention of our Rabbis' statement that Other prophets have a vision on the level of "aspaklaria she'einoh m'eiroh," while Moshe's vision is on the level of "aspaklaria ha'm'eiroh." Some explain this as a view reflected by a mirror, while Moshe's view was as seen through a mirror. Just as when one looks in a mirror, he sees himself, so too, others see and note their own greatness. Moshe's view was that of looking through a pane of glass, where one does not see himself, and only notices others. (Likutei Bosor Likutei)
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