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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 1, v. 1: "Ish u'veiso bo'u" - A man and his household they came - "A man" refers to Hashem, as is written "Hashem ISH milchomoh" (Shmos 15:3). Whenever the bnei Yisroel went into exile, Hashem's Holy Spirit went along with them (gemara Megiloh 29a). (Tosfos Hasho'leim)

Ch. 1, v. 6: "Va'yomos .. v'chol hadore hahu" - And he died .. and all that generation - Who are "all that generation"?

1) The seventy people who descended to Egypt (Rashbam)

2) Everyone including the Egyptians (Chizkuni)

3) The children of the 12 tribes (Rabbeinu Menachem)

Ch. 1, v. 10: "Hovoh nis'chakmoh lo" - Let us act wisely against him - Let us pump our wisdom into them and they will lose touch with their spirituality, and will no longer be a threat to us. (Likutei Amorim)

Ch. 1, v. 11: "So'rei misim" - Ministers of taxes - This is Rashi's translation. Targum Onkelos says "shiltonin mavishin," ministers of disgust. Targum sources "mas" from the word "mo'us," repulsive.

Ch. 3, v. 15: "Zeh shmi l'olom" - This is My Name forever - The word "l'olom" is written "chosseir," lacking the letter Vov after the Ayin. Rashi (M.R. 3:9) says that this allows for the reading "l'olam," for hiding, indicating that although Hashem's four letter Name is read one way, but we should hide this and pronounce it differently (in the "Adnus" manner).

The gemara Yerushalmi Yoma 3:7 derives from the "chosseir" spelling a different hiding. On Yom Kippur the Kohein Godol would pronounce the Holy Name of Hashem exactly as it is written, and not in the "Adnus" manner. Those who were near the Kohein Godol would fall onto their faces, while those who were further away would say "Boruch shem k'vode malchuso l'olom vo'ed." Immediately after this, both those who were near and those who were further away would have the experience hidden, i.e. forgotten. This is derived from "l'olom," which can be read "l'olam."

Tosfos R"id asks why there were only ten times that the Holy Name was mentioned, as the Kohein Godol blessed the nation, where Hashem's name appears three times, and he also made special blessings, totaling another eight times. Tosfos Yom Tov in his commentary on Yoma chapter 6 brings in the name of Rabbi Moshe Kordeviro that when Hashem's name was mentioned in Birkas Kohanim it was said in the regular way, so we can likewise say that Hashem's name in the blessings was also pronounced in that manner.

Perhaps we can answer this question based on the words of the Ari z"l in his Shulchan Oruch hilchos Y.K., (mentioned in Yom Tov Selections for Y.K.) who writes that on Yom Kippur when the Kohein Godol was to say the Holy Name exactly as it is written, he did not actually say the Name. Rather, he opened his mouth and miraculously the sound of the Holy Name emanated, as indicated by the expression of the mishnoh, "k'shehoyoh haShem yotzei mipi Kohein Godol," and not "k'shehoyoh Kohein Godol o'meir haShem." The gemara is referring only to this occurence, which took place only ten times. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 3, v. 18: "V'shomu l'kol'echo" - And they will hearken to your voice - Rashi says that as soon as they would hear Moshe say the double expression "pokode pokadti" (verse 16), they would believe that he was the true agent for their redemption and exodus. Yaakov told his children, "v'Eilokim pokode yifkode es'chem" (Breishis 50:24), (I do not understand Rashi, as the verse there clearly says that Yoseif said this.) and Yoseif (the next verse) similarly said, "pokode yifkode Elokim es'chem."

The question is raised, how is this a sign, since Rashi himself says that this was a tradition handed over by both Yaakov and Yoseif. Anyone could come by and claim to be Hashem's agent as the expression was public knowledge. Pninim Y'korim answers that since Moshe had a speech impairment, he was unable to properly pronounce the sound P. When he said it to the elder he pronounced it perfectly. This was for them a clear sign. Perhaps we can add that this is why "v'shomu l'KOL'ECHO" is used rather than "v'shomu l'cho" or "l'imro'secho." They will hearken to your VOICE, the proper enunciation of the P sound.

Ch. 4, v. 14: "Aharon ochicho haLevi" - Your brother Aharon the Levite - The Imrei Noam asks why Aharon was relegated to the status of Levi. Since he was the firstborn, should he not have been a Kohein? He answers that his mother Yocheved had miscarried earlier. This is most puzzling. Why not simply say that Miriam was the firstborn? Although Daas Z'keinim explains that when the Torah says "bnei Aharon habchor Nodov" (Bmidbar 3:2), the intention is to say that Aharon is the firstborn, as evidenced by the "psik" mark after the word "habchor," nevertheless it only means the son born earlier than Moshe, but he is not a true firstborn. If so, the question raised by the Imrei Noam seems to not be problematic at all. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Ch. 4, v. 27: "Va'yomer Hashem el Aharon leich likras Moshe hamodboroh" - And Hashem said to Aharon go towards Moshe to the desert - The medrash says that there are three places where Hashem spoke directly to Aharon. In spite of the Torah's saying numerous times that Hashem spoke to Aharon, it means that Hashem spoke to Moshe to tell Aharon. When stating that Hashem spoke to Aharon, when in reality it was to Moshe, it is written this way to accord Aharon honour. The GR"A says that our verse is one of these three places. Rishonim disagree with the GR"A. Our verse seems to stand as an insurmountable proof for the GR"A. After all, this was a message to Aharon to go to the desert and meet Moshe, surely not a message to Moshe.

However, Shmos Rabboh 5:9 says that Hashem's message emanated once, and it carried to Moshe as a message to go back to Egypt and at the same time it was eard by Aharon as a message to go out to the desert to meet Moshe. The Baal Haturim on 4:14 says that this is why the word "yotzei" is spelled lacking the letter Vov after the Yud, so that it can be read "yotzoh," he has already gone out, because simultaneously Aharon heard the message. We thus have a prophecy directed to Moshe, which Aharon also heard with a variation. We can therefore say that this prophecy was in the main directed to Moshe, and not to Aharon.

Ch. 5, v. 9: "Tichbad ho'avodoh" - The work should become more tedious - We find the word "tichbad" in one other place, "Ki yomom volayloh tichbad olay yo'decho" (T'hilim 32:4). This teaches us that the Egyptians not only increased the arduousness of the work, but also subjected the bnei Yisroel to this by day and by night. (Rabbeinu Yoel)

Ch. 5, v. 9: "V'al yishu b'divrei sho'ker" - And they should not contemplate in false words - The medrash says that Amrom would lecture them in matters of belief in Hashem and that in the end justice would reign. This took place on Shabbos, the one day that they had a reprieve from work. It has been the custom throughout the generations to have the Rov of the community give Shabbos lectures. This is alluded to in the verse in T'hilim (94:19), "B'rov Sarapay B'kirbi Tanchu'mecho." The first letters of these words spell "B'ShaBboS." (Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel)

Ch. 5, v. 16: "V'chotos a'mecho" - And it is the fault of your nation - Moshav Z'keinim explains Rashi as either interpreting these words as "and the short-fall of bricks is the fault of your nation," or "hitting the supervisors, who are not at fault, is a sin perpetrated by your nation." This second explanation is also found in Targum Onkelos.

Mahari"k explains: The shortfall is not our doing. It is the shortfall of your nation because you no longer supply straw.

Rabbi Yoseif Bchor Shor explains: Your nation's asking us to fulfill an impossible quota is its sin.



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

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