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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 8, v. 7: "Ha'zei a'leihem mei chatos V'HE'EVIRU saar" - The Ibn Ezra translates "v'he'eviru" as "and AFTER you have passed a razor," meaning that the sprinkling of blood should only take place after they were shaved. Had the intention of the verse been to say "and you SHALL pass a razor over all their flesh" it would have said "v'hAAviru."

Ch. 9, v. 21: "O YOMOM vo'lailoh" - What is the difference between YOM and YOMOM? Rashi on Yechezkel 12:13, in the name of Rabbi Menachem, says that the word YOMOM is used when the intention is daily, on an ongoing basis. Rashi says that this explanation is EMES. There is an obvious problem with this explanation from our verse, whose intention is to say that the clouds of glory sometimes remained in place for but a day and a night, and not ongoing. The Ibn Ezra on Shmos 13:22 says that the word YOMOM is used when the intention is during DAYLIGHT hours, while the word YOM can mean at night as well. YOMOM in our verse works out well according to the Ibn Ezra. An answer for Rashi and Rabbi Menachem would be appreciated.

Ch. 10, v. 35: [ "Va'y'hi binso'a ho'orone" - And it was as the Ark travelled - There is a pair of unique markings in a Torah Scroll before and after the chapter of "Va'y'hi binso'a" which look like a reversed letter Nun. The gemara Shabbos 116a says in the name of Rebbi that these markings indicate that the two verses placed between them are to be considered a separate book of the Torah. Usually we have four blank lines between one book and the next. The reversed letters Nun serve the same purpose. There is an halachic ruling which is derived from this opinion. Even if a Torah Scroll is not kosher, it still has sanctity and must be disposed in a halachically correct manner, befitting a holy object. If, however, the Torah Scroll is so worn out that its letters are obliterated and less than eighty-five letters remain intact, then it no longer has this sanctity. We arrive at the figure eighty-five from the number of letters in the book of "Va'y'hi binso'a."

It is interesting to note that the shortest book of Tanach has eighty-five verses. This is the book of Rus which was just read on Shovuos.

Where else in Tanach do we find reversed letters Nun?

Ch. 11, v. 5: "Zocharnu es haDOGOH" - We have remembered the fish - Rashi says that the word DOGOH means either vegetables or fish. Rabbeinu Bachyei says that DOG means fish, while DOGOH means spoiled, putrid fish. The Egyptians gave only the spoiled fish to the bnei Yisroel for free. He brings a proof for his translation from the book of Yonah (2:2) where it says, "And Hashem brought a large DOG (fish) to swallow Yonah, and Yonah remained in the belly of the DOG for three days." In verse 3 it says that Yonah prayed to Hashem from the belly of the DOGOH. Rabbeinu Bachyei says that the earlier verse was speaking about a live fish. In the next verse, after Yonah was in the fish's belly for three days, it died. The living conditions became impossible as the fish started deteriorating. Yonah prayed to Hashem for help. Thus we see that DOGOH means a dead fish.

The Rabbeinu Bachyei is contrary to the Yalkut Shimoni remez #550 which explains that the DOG was a male fish, which was roomy. Later it spit out Yonah and a female fish swallowed Yonah, hence the word DOGOH. Yonah prayed for relief while in the female fish as it was crowded and malodourous, as it held 3,650,000,000,000 developing baby fish.

Ch. 11, v. 12: "He'onochi horisi" - Since Moshe knew that he was also about to say "Mei'ayin li bossor," that he had no access to a sufficient amount of meat, that it was impossible to fulfill their demands, why did he now say, "Am I the parent of this nation?"

A relatively newly married Gerrer Chosid appeared in front of the Sfas Emes. The Sfas Emes asked him why he was recently not studying in the Beis Hamedrash as often as he used to in the past. The chosid answered that he had no means of support as of late and was forced to spend time pursuing an income. The Rebbe asked about parental support, to which the chosid responded that he had asked his father, but the response was that his father had no money to give the son.

The Rebbe later called in the father, who reiterated his son's response. The Rebbe asked the father, "Since Moshe said that he had no meat for the nation, why did he have to also say that he did not sire them?" The Rebbe concluded that if one is a parent, not having enough is not a legitimate excuse.

Ch. 11, v. 22: "Kol d'gei ha'yom yei'o'seif" - We find that the bnei Yisroel demanded of Moshe to supply them with meat. Yet we see that Moshe mentioned to Hashem that if there were a possibility to amass the fish of the sea, then the bnei Yisroel's demand would be met.

The Mogein Avrohom and the Machatzis Ha'shekel on O.Ch. #249 (s.k. 6) both say that one should make sure to serve meat at a meal celebrating a bris miloh. MVRHRH"G Rabbi Yaakov Kamenecki zt"l said that if one were to serve fish instead, he would also be considered as having served meat. A proof for this is that we find that the bnei Yisroel demanded meat and Moshe said that by serving them fish their demand would be fulfilled. We see that fish is also considered meat.

Ch. 12, v. 7: "B'chol beisi NE'EMON hu" - What does NE'EMON mean?

1) Moshe may enter My domain, just as a friend visits at any time he wishes, and Moshe may speak regarding any matter he needs. (Ibn Ezra)

2) Moshe has seen more than any other prophet, and yet keeps many matters to himself, as we find the term "V'NE'EMAN ruach y'cha'seh dovor" (Mishlei 11:13). (Chizkuni)

3) Moshe has been ENTRUSTED with the knowledge of My Holy Name which encompasses the traits of mercy and kindness even to sinners. These are Hashem's dearest traits. One keeps his dearest possessions in his home. "B'chol beisi," with all the dearest traits that I have, "NE'EMON hu," Moshe is entrusted. (Ramban Shmos 33:19)

4) Moshe is trusted by all of My household. (This refers to the bnei Yisroel as per Targum Onkeles and Targum Yonoson ben Uziel.) Since he views the prophecies in clear terms he is trusted to not misinterpret the message.


5) When one doesn't totally trust his messenger, he has messages sent through him conveyed in an encoded manner, so that the messenger cannot misuse the information. Moshe is trusted by Hashem and the bnei Yisroel, therefore the prophetic messages are given to him in a completely clear manner. (Rivosh) 6) Moshe has remained faithful to his wife and has not divorced her, even though when he married her he was a fugitive who had a death sentence hanging over him and now he was a king (see gemara Sanhedrin 110a). "Bayis" refers to one's wife (see gemara Yoma 2a). (Moshav Z'keinim) This interpretation gives us a new insight into the blessing that is common to give to a newly-wed couple, "Tizku livnos bayis NE'EMON b'Yisroel."

I have difficulty according to this interpretation with the word "beisi," as it should have said "beiso."

7) Other prophets only receive prophecy when they are either asleep or awake but in a trance or some other unusual physical phenomenon where their soul is not fully connected to their body. Their body, not being totally purified, is a hindrance to receiving a Divine message. Not so Moshe. He receives prophecy while in a normal state, since his physicality is in total consonance with the spiritual. Translate NE'EMON as in Yeshayohu 22:23, "Yo'seid b'mokom NE'EMON," a peg securely placed. Likewise, Moshe's neshomoh was securely connected to his body when he received a prophecy, unlike any other prophet. (Haksav V'hakaboloh)

8) Moshe was ready to receive prophecy at any moment, as he was always ritually pure. Read NE'EMON as reliable at any time. (S'fas Emes)

9) Moshe not only received prophecy from Hashem, but also was able to ask his own questions to Hashem. (Rabbi Chaim haLevi Brisker)

I believe that this might be included in the last words of the Ibn Ezra mentioned above in #1, "V'y'da'beir mah she'yitz'to'reich."

10) Moshe knew how to make use of the "Sheim Ham'forosh" with which Hashem created the heavens and the earth, and yet did not take advantage of this ability. He is NE'EMON to not use this power even though he is able to do so. (Haa'mek Dovor)

11) When Moshe says a prophecy no other prophet can contradict him. His prophecy reigns supreme (see Rambam hilchos yesodei haTorah 8:3). Other prophets can be contradicted by another prophet. (Rabbi Yitzchok Zev haLevi Brisker)

12) Moshe is devoted and dedicated to properly executing Hashem's bidding. (Shem miShmuel)

13) The Rambam in hilchos yesodei haTorah 7:6 says that Moshe is not only capable of communicating with Hashem without preparation or having a quasi out-of-body prophetic experience, but also is guarenteed that upon his request Hashem will always respond. This is derived from the words in our parsha "Imdu v'esh'm'oh mah y'tza'veh Hashem lochem" (9:8). Moshe is NE'EMON, reliable, to always receive a response from Hashem. (Taken from the words of the Eimek haN'tzi"v on 9:8, although not his interpretation of NE'EMON)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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