by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS BO 5771 BS"D
Ch. 10, v. 2: "Ulmaan t'sa'peir b'oznei vincho u'ven bincho" - And so that you shall relate into the ears of your son and your son's son - The question arises that when a grandfather has his married children and their children, his grandchildren for Pesach, or if he is their guest, who should lead the seder. Perhaps we have an indication here that it should be the grandfather, as our verse states that one should relate to his son and son's son. With a daughter's children it might be different. Of course, this is not an halachic ryling, just an insight.
An alternative explanation of these words: Relate the Pesach story to your son in a manner that will so strongly impact on him that you can be assured that he will likewise pass it on to his son. (n.l.)
Ch. 10, v. 5: "V'ochal es kol ho'eitz hatzomei'ach lochem min haso'deh" - And it will devour all trees that grow for you from the field - Where else would trees grow that necessitates spelling out "hatzomei'ach lochem min haso'deh?" In 9:25 it says by the plague of hail "Va'yach haborod …… v'es kol eitz hasodeh shi'beir." It seems that there were no trees that were growing after the hail did its destructive work. If so, how would the locust devour trees? Immediately after the hail stopped the Egyptians planted new trees. This is Moshe's warning: The trees that are but saplings and are now actively growing in the fields will be devoured by the locust. (Oznayim laTorah)
Ch. 10, v. 11: "Lo chein l'chu noh hagvorim" - Not so now the adult men may go - What is the intention of "lo chein?" Had the verse left these two words out it seems that the same information is conveyed. It is the nature of a vendor and purchaser to deal as follows: the vendor asks for an inflated price for an object or service and the prospective purchaser makes a counter-offer that is exceedingly low. They eventually meet somewhere in the middle and the deal is concluded. The intention of neither was their first offer. The asking price was too high and the purchase offer was too low. This was just a positioning strategy to come to a conclusion in the middle. Paroh is telling Moshe that "lo chein," it is not so, i.e., "Neither I, when I asked, "Mi vomi haholchim" (verse 8), indicating that he expected a very small group of people to go, so small that an exact list of names could be offered, and likewise the counter-offer, that "Bino'reinu uvizkeineinu …… b'voneinu uvivnoseinu b'tzoneinu uvivkoreinu neileich" (verse 9), was a serious offer. Let us meet in the middle and "L'chu noh hagvorim," all the men should go. (Abarbanel)
Ch. 10, v. 11: "Va'y'go'reish osom mei'eis pnei Faroh" - And he chased them out from in front of Paroh's face - At every other encounter Moshe and Aharon said their piece and heard Paroh's response and left on their own. Why here did they not leave of their own accord and there wold be no need to chase them out? This was the first time they came by invitation, as verse 8 says, "Va'yushav es Moshe v'es Aharon el Paroh." When one is asked to appear in front of the king he does not take leave on his own. He has to wait to be told that the meeting has come to an end, which in this case included being ushered out quite rudely. (Riv"a)
Ch. 10, v. 23: "Lo ro'u ish es ochiv" - A man did not see his brother - The Chid"o offers a new insight into the plague of darkness. The Egyptians turned their eyes away from the colossal benefits they received through Yoseif and his father Yaakov. Retribution was in kind, that they could not see anything during this plague. He adds that the letters of "CHoSHeCH" are the same as "SHoKaCH," indicative of forgetting the kindness they received.
Ch. 10, v. 25: "Va'yomer Moshe gam atoh ti'tein b'yo'deinu z'vochim v'olos" - And Moshe said also you will place into our hands sacrificial animals - The Ibn Ezra writes that Moshe told Paroh that he was required to give animals for sacrificial purpose for the bnei Yisroel to offer for him. Why would Paroh be responsible to have a "shlomim" and an "oloh" sacrificed? The Tosefta Pei'oh 3:13 relates that a Chosid forgot a small bundle of grain in his field, which he was responsible to leave behind for the poor, "shikchoh." He told his son to offer an ox as an "oloh" and another one as a "shlomim" for him. His son queried why he was so enthused about the mitzvoh of "shikchoh" to the point that he wanted such costly sacrifices to be offered. He answered that this mitzvoh is unique in that one cannot fulfill it without having done it unintentionally. Even when one does something unintentionally he has a mitzvoh, so this deserves a special thanks to Hashem.
We now understand why Paroh was obligated to have sacrifices brought for him. Although he had no such intention, he brought the bnei Yisroel to have their hearts cleave to Hashem, as explained in M.R. Shmos 21:5 on the verse, "U'Faroh hikriv" (14:10, that this is interpreted as "And Paroh caused the bnei Yisroel to have their hearts come close to Hashem." Moshe knew through prophecy that Paroh was soon going to bring the bnei Yisroel to repent, albeit it was unintentional on Paroh's part. He therefore was obligated to offer "shlomim" and "olos." (Proshas Mordechai)
Ch. 11, v. 5: "Umeis kol b'chor b'eretz Mitzrayim" - And every firstborn in the land of Egypt will be dead - Note that the verse does not say, "I will kill." This is because Hashem does not directly mete out the punishment of death. He assigns this job to His intermediaries. This insight serves as a proof that we should likewise understand the words, "V'hikeisi chol b'chor" to mean that I will send My agent to smite. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)
I am at a loss to explain the words, "Hi'nei onochi horeig es bincho b'cho'recho" (Shmos 4:23). Any help would be appreciated.
Ch. 12, v. 1,2: "Va'yomer Hashem el Moshe v'el Aharon, Hachodesh ha'zeh lochem" - And Hashem said to Moshe and Aharon, This month is for you - Why is this mitzvoh directed to both Moshe and Aharon (see Rashi)? M.R. 15:2 says that these verses teach us that permission was given to both Moshe and Aharon to add a month to the lunar calendar year. The gemara Sanhedrin 18b says that it is prohibited to have either the king or the Kohein Godol as a member of the court that intercalates the issue of adding or not adding a month to the year. The king may not be a member because he is committed to finance his military based on payment for the year. Adding a month relieves him of some payment. The Kohein Godol likewise has a vested interest as he will be doing the Yom Kipur service all day long and if there is an added month it pushes Yom Kipur deeper into the solar year and the weather is colder, which is painful for his unshod feet.
Now if we have both of them on the same court they balance each other out. This is the intention of the M.R. Both Moshe and Aharon are permitted to work in unison on a court judging this matter. (Imrei Vinoh in Yalkut Ho'urim)
Ch. 12, v. 11: "Naa'leichem b'ragleichem" - Your shoes on your feet - is it not self-understood that since they were about to leave that they should not go unshod? As we know from the Hagodoh shel Pesach, Hashem in His glory appeared in Egypt to redeem the bnei Yisroel, and not through an intermediary. When Hashem appeared to Moshe by the burning bush Moshe was told to come no closer as the location was terra sancta and would require of him to remove his shoes. We might mistakenly think that when Hashem makes a personal appearance, even in decadent Egypt, the land would have great sanctity and they would have to go barefoot for a while. This is why Hashem said that they should wear their shoes. The defiled land of Egypt was not elevated to the status of terra sancta. Rather, it was a practical matter that brought about that Hashem personally appeared to orchestrate the exodus (see Ari z"l and others for an explanation for why angels could not be sent to extract the bnei Yisroel). (n.l.)
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