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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. , v. : "Va'y'da'beir Hashem el Moshe leimore" - And Hashem spoke to Moshe to say - We have mentioned in a previous issue that LEIMORE is translated either as "precisely saying" or that it is a granting of permission or even a command to say over the prophecy.

The verse in Dvorim 2:17 says, "Va'y'da'beir Hashem ei'lai leimore." Rashi d.h. "Va'y'hi/Va'y'da'beir" writes that it is only after the people mentioned in verse 16 died that Hashem communicated with Moshe with a caring expression, "va'y'da'beir." From the time of sending the spies until their death the bnei Yisroel were reproved, and in turn the expression of communication with Moshe was also one of reproach, "va'yomer."

The Mizrochi asks that Rashi himself says the exact opposite on Bmidbar 12:1 d.h. "Vat'da'beir." He says that "dibur" is a harsh expression, as in "Di'ber ho'ish adonei ho'oretz itonu koshos" (Breishis 42:30), while "amiroh" is a soft expression, as in "Va'yomar al noh achai to'rei'u" (Breishis 19:7). The Mizrochi leaves this question unanswered, "v'tzorich iyun." Sifsei Chachomim differentiates between "el Moshe" and "ei'lai." L'vush Ho'oroh and Tzeidoh La'derech differentiate between Hashem speaking face to face, connoting kindness, albeit with the expression "dibur," and Hashem speaking indirectly, through a medium, connoting harshness, albeit with the expression of "amiroh." The examples Rashi gave are of people talking, Miriam and Lote, and not Hashem either directly or indirectly.

The B'eir Baso'deh brings in the name of the Holy Zohar (3:132b) that "dibur" connotes speaking in a raised loud voice, while "amiroh" connotes speaking in a soft voice. The Holy Zohar asks, "If so, why does Hashem usually speak to Moshe with the expression 'dibur'?" He answers that another prophet would quake, tremble, and fall down in a trance out of fear when hearing even an "amiroh" communication from Hashem, while for Moshe, the father of all prophets, even a strong communication brings no such reaction. Says the B'eir Baso'deh, "This is the intention of the verse 'Va'y'da'beir Hashem ei'lai LEIMORE.' When Hashem speaks with a DIBUR expression, 'ei'lai,' to me, it is as if it were LEIMORE, a soft expression." He concludes that the question raised by the Mizrochi is thus resolved. The words of Rashi on Bmidbar 12:1 only apply to a person speaking or Hashem communicating with another prophet. However, when communicating with Moshe "dibur" is considered soft, while "amiroh" is considered harsh. Although he does not elaborate on why "amiroh" is harsh, perhaps it is because when Moshe, who is capable of receiving a communiqu? in a sharp manner, receives it in a soft manner, it is a limitation of the clarity of the message, hence this limitation is the harshness itself. It is somewhat like running a 220 volt appliance on a 110 volt current. If the appliance is supposed to operate on 220, the 110 charge is harmful.

Perhaps we can now interpret every "Va'y'da'beir Hashem el Moshe leimore" as "And Hashem spoke to Moshe in the DIBUR manner, which is normally considered harsh, but because it was to Moshe it is LEIMORE, soft.

Ch. 12, v. 8: "V'ochlu es habosor .. umatzos al m'rorim" - And they shall eat the meat ..and matzos with bitter herbs - Compare this to Bmidbar 9:11, "al matzos umrorim yochluhu." You will note that in our verse the Torah tells us to eat the Paschal sacrifice AND matzos WITH moror, while in Bmidbar 9:11 the verse says to eat it WITH matzoh AND moror.

The Chasam Sofer in his responsa O.Ch. #140 writes to Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Chayos that it is simply understood that there is a difference between the eating of the "korban Pesach" on the night of the 15th of Nison, our verse, and the eating of "korban Pesach sheini" of Bmidbar. Our verse, by saying to eat the "korban Pesach AND matzos," makes the eating of the matzoh a primary mitzvoh, just like the "korban Pesach." "AL m'rorim" tells us that there is a responsibility to eat them along WITH moror, but moror is only an ancillary item, "to'feil." This is why the Rosh gives us a special reason for the requirement to eat the volume of a "kazayis" of moror, and it is not simply understood just like "korban Pesach" and matzoh. By "Pesach sheini," where even the matzoh is addressed as AL, both it and the moror are ancillary.

With this he answers the question that is raised on the text of the Hagodoh, "Zeicher l'Mikdosh k'Hillel, .. hoyoh koreich (Pesach) matzoh umoror v'ochlom b'yachad, .. she'ne'emar, "al matzos umrorim yochluhu" (Bmidbar 9:11). The Holy Admor of Belz asks, "Why do we bring the verse in Bmidbar when we can bring our verse, which appears earlier in the Torah?" (His answer and a question raised on it by Rabbi Yoseif Sho'ul Natanson, and in turn his response to this question are brought in a previous Sedrah Selections.)

The Chasam Sofer says that Hillel allowed himself to eat these three items together because he posited that "ein mitzvos m'vatlos zu es zu" (gemara P'sochim 115a), we do not say that by combining these three items, the flavours of each two of them overpower the flavour of the third, and it is considered as if none of the items was eaten. Not only is this true by "Pesach rishon," where both the "korban Pesach" and the matzoh are primary items, and only the moror is secondary, but even if two of the three are secondary, i.e. by "Pesach sheini," where the matzoh is also secondary, Hillel would have eaten them together. This is why the Hagodoh brings the verse from "Pesach sheini" in Bmidbar. What remains to be explained is why there is a change in the status of matzoh on "Pesach sheini." Perhaps this can be explained by differentiating between two types of matzoh consumption. It is well known that the eating of matzoh throughout the seven days of Pesach, which the gemara P'sochim 120a calls "r'shus," voluntary, is actually a mitzvoh. Although the gemara calls it "r'shus," this is only in relation to eating matzoh on the first night of Pesach, which is obligatory, while the rest of Pesach, although it is a voluntary, it is nevertheless a mitzvoh. This is the opinion of the Rambam in Moreh N'vuchim 3:43, the Baal haTanya, and the GR"A. Why is there this difference? We know that matzoh represents freedom, as our forefathers had no bread prepared for their hasty departure from Egypt. The dough they took with them was baked as matzos, and therefore matzoh is symbolic of their deliverance from Egypt. At the same time, matzoh is also a remembrance of the staple that our forefathers ate when they were slaves in Egypt.

We may posit that both aspects of matzoh are present at the seder because we want to stress our appreciation of having gained freedom, and surely without mentioning our previous hardships while in bondage we would not fully do justice in our expression of thanksgiving, nor in fully fathoming it. However, since this is the night of our deliverance, surely the theme of exodus is prominent and that of the hardship of slavery is secondary. A good proof that the symbolism and commemorations of our slavery are secondary is from the fact that moror is always ancillary, even on the night of the seder. Throughout the rest of Pesach the eating of matzoh only represents our remembrance of hardship while being enslaved, as we are eating it when it is not the anniversary of our departure from Egypt. (Perhaps the eating of matzoh during the seder at the juncture known as Motzi-Matzoh according to the opinion of the Rosh that we fulfill our "kazayis" of matzoh with the "afikomon" is matzoh of slavery, while the main theme of matzoh of freedom is the "afikomon.")

We now have a clear understanding of the difference between matzoh accompanying the Paschal sacrifice on the night of the 15th of Nison and that of "Pesach sheini." The matzoh accompanying "Pesach rishon" is eaten on the night of our redemption. It is the matzoh of redemption and is a primary symbol of our freedom, just like the "korban Pesach" itself. A month later the matzoh eaten along with the "korban Pesach sheini" is surely no more primary than matzoh during the rest of Pesach, as it is a month since the date of the departure from Egypt. It can therefore only be matzoh of servitude, a secondary theme, and likewise a secondary item.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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