by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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PLEASE DAVEN FOR CHAYEH BAS LEAH NECHA AND SHOLO-M BEN FRAIDA MILKA FOR A REFUOH SHLEIMOH BSSC”Y
SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS BO 5769 BS"D
Ch. 12, v. 47: “Kol adas Yisroel yaasu oso” – All the congregation of Yisroel shall do it – Simply, this means that everyone is responsible to partake of the “korban Pesach” and it is not fulfilled through one sacrifice for many, where they will not eat it.
The medrash says that this teaches that we can join with anyone to have a “group” sacrifice, contrary to the “Pesach Mitzrayim,” where to Torah says to group in families. Seichel Tov says that we learn from our verse that we should not create a group made up of only converts, and likewise to not have a sacrifice brought for just one person, although in either case de facto it is accepted.
Ch. 13, v. 16: “Ultotofos bein ei’benecho” – And as an ornamentation between your eyes – Although a departure from the normal style of divrei Torah on the parshios, I will attempt to translate a section of the powerful, all-important words of the Ramban on this verse. Some say that this is the most powerful message the Ramban offers in his commentary to the Torah, and that it should be read by everyone a few times a year, or at least on parshas Bo, to instill into us basic pillars of faith.
The Ramban writes: And now I will tell you a rule that serves as a reason for numerous mitzvos. Since the days of Enosh when there began to be idol worshippers on the world, people’s thoughts began to become unclear in matters of belief. Some totally deny that there is a Master of the world, and say the world existed on its own with no previous existence before. Others, who believe in a Creator, nevertheless, say that He has no knowledge of what occurs on this lowly world. Others say that the Creator knows what transpires on the world, but deny that there is control of and supervision on this world, and equate mankind to the fish of the sea (It seems as that the Ramban posits that the fish of the sea have a lower level of supervision). They say that Hashem does not involve Himself on this lowly earth and does not give reward nor punishment. He has simply forsaken this world.
When Hashem decides, whether through a group or an individual, to enact an overt miracle that is a deviation from the normal laws of nature, this would negate all these false ideologies. The wondrous miracle clearly shows that there is a Creator, Who supervises, knows all, and is Omnipotent. When a miracle is prophesized in advance, it confirms the veracity of prophecy, that Hashem communicates with man and imparts His secrets to His servants, the prophets. This substantiates the entire Torah. This is the intention of the verse, “L’maan teida ki ani Hashem b’kerev ho’oretz” (8:18). The miracle demonstrates Hashem’s personal supervision and that He has not left this world to happenstance. The verse also says, “L’maan teida ki laShem ho’oretz” (9:29), to demonstrate that Hashem has created the world and it is His, since He created it ex nihilo. The verse also states, “Ba’avur teida ki ein komoni b’chol ho’oretz” (9:14), to teach that Hashem is Master over and controls everything, that no one can restrain Him. The verses stress this because among the Egyptians, there were deniers or at least doubters of these concepts. The marvelous signs and great wonders are veritable witnesses in belief of a Creator and in His entire Torah.
Since Hashem will not perform signs and wonders in every generation for every evil person or denier, He has commanded us that we always have a remembrance and a sign to that which we were eyewitnesses, and that we should transmit the matter to our children and command them to transmit it to further generations, down to the final generation. Hashem was exceedingly stringent in this matter as demonstrated by the harsh punishment of excision for eating chometz and even for just refraining from a mitzvah, that of the Pascal sacrifice. He has further required us to write these matters on parchment and place them on our arms and on our head, and to further write them on parchment and place them on the doorposts of our home. We verbalize morning and evening that the miracles of the exodus took place. Following the same theme, He further commanded us to dwell in a sukoh and there are numerous other mitzvos which the Torah says are a remembrance to the exodus of Egypt. Why so many difference reminders about the exodus from Egypt? So that for all generations, we have living testimony about the wonders, lest they be forgotten. This gives no opportunity for a one to deny belief in Hashem. A person who purchases a mezuzah for but one “zuz” coin, affixes it to his doorpost, and concentrates on its message, has accomplished the following: He has acknowledged Hashem’s creation of the world, His constant knowledge of all that is happening on this world, and that He supervises and controls all that happens. As well, he shows that he accepts the concept of prophecy and that Hashem bestows kindness upon those who do His will.
We now have a deeper understanding of the mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos, “Hevi zohir b’mitzvoh kaloh k’vachamuroh”(2:1). Every mitzvoh that is fulfilled is a testimony to our brlief in a creator and our complying with His precepts is our acknowledgement of His being our Creator and our Master. This is the purpose of our being created.
The outgrowth of our awareness of Hashem’s controlling all that happens as a result of our seeing or knowing of overt wondrous miracles is that we will likewise realize that Hashem orchestrates even the hidden miracles. This is the basis for the Torah. He who does not recognize that all comes from Hashem and there is no “nature,” has no part in Toras Moshe Rabbeinu. One must realize that there is no happenstance, whether it is a happening that affects the masses or the individual. As a result everyone will realize that reward and punishment come as a result of our compliance or ch”v non-compliance with the Torah. Even the nations of the world will come to recognize this, as is stated in parshas Ki Sovo, “V’omru chol hagoyim al meh ossoh Hashem kochoh lo’oretz hazose, v’omru al asher ozvu es bris Hashem Elokei avosom” (29:13,24).
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