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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 1, v. 12: "V'chaasher y'anu oso kein yirbeh v'chein yifrotz" - And as they would cause them suffering so they would multiply and so they would strengthen - The bnei Yisroel grew from 70 people to 600,000 in an amazingly short time. "Kein," spelled Kuf-Nun, has the numeric value of 70. The original 70 multiplied greatly. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 2, v. 1: "Va'yeilech ish mi'beis Levi" - And a man from the tribe of Levi went - Agodas Shmuel in his commentary on Megilas Rus connects "va'yeilech ish" of our verse with the words in the beginning of Rus, "va'yeilech ish .. hu v'ishto ushnei vonov." He says that Amrom and Elimelech behaved in opposite extremes. Amrom separated from his wife even when he should have remained with her (as evidenced by his daughter Miriam convincing him to take her back as mentioned in the gemara Sotoh), while Elimelech continued having relations with his wife even though it was a time of famine and he already had 2 sons. This is indicated by the verse saying that he went with his wife and 2 sons. Had he separated from her the verse would have placed his 2 sons ahead of his wife, as the verse does when Noach entered the ark. Only when they left does the verse mention his wife ahead of his sons.

Ch. 2, v. 2: "Ki tov hu" - That he is good - Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel explains that this means that he was well behaved. He did not cry as all babies do. Had he cried she could not have hidden him. Her Egyptian neighbours would have heard him and reported this to the Egyptian authorities. Because he didn't cry "vatitz'p'neihu."

We might have a new insight into the words "v'hi'nei naar bocheh" in verse 6, based on this explanation of Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel. "V'hi'nei" connotes "behold," a surprising event. On a simple level we say that Moshe's crying with the voice of a child, and not that of a baby (Rashi, gemara Sotoh 12b) is ample explanation for "v'hi'nei." According to the above, we might say that the "behold" was that he never cried until now. This might also explain the word NAAR. Although not a child, and still a baby at the age of three months, nevertheless, his first cry was that of an older baby, not of a newborn. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 2, v. 5: "Vatishlach es amosoh" - And she sent her maidservant - The gemara Sotoh 12b translates "amosoh" as her arm. She stretched her arm out to retrieve the basket in which the child was placed. A miracle took place and her arm reached the basket in spite of its being quite a distance from the river's edge. Rada"k says that this opinion posits that the word "amosoh" is to be read with its letter Mem "d'gushoh," with a dot, as the word "amoh," a cubit, requires a Mem "d'gushoh." Others (Chemas Hachemdoh) explain that all agree that it is read as a regular Mem, and this explanation is in the manner of a "droshoh," as if it were written with a Mem "d'gushoh."

Ch. 2, v. 6: "V'hi'nei naar bocheh" - And behold a child is crying - Chizkuni and Minchoh V'luloh say that this was Aharon, who stood nearby. Bisyoh understood that he was the baby's brother, and this was why he was crying. This explains how she knew that the child was an Ivri, because Aharon, who was 3 years and 3 months old, clearly gave the appearance of an Ivri.

Ramban says that she simply understood that only an Ivri would cast away his child in the river to save him from being infanticide. Alternatively, she saw that he was circumcised.

Ch. 2, v. 6: "Vatachmole" - And she had mercy - The word "chemloh," synonymous with "rachamim, chisoyon, chinun," is used specifically when saving from imminent danger. Perhaps he was about to be swept out to sea. The verse seems to indicate otherwise, as it says that she saw him "b'soch hasuf." Possibly, the immediate danger was that her maidservants who accompanied her wanted the child killed. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 2, v. 9: "Vaani e'tein es s'cho'reich" - And I will give your wages - The M.R. says that even though the plague of death of the firstborn extended to women as well as men, Bisyoh, a firstborn to her mother, did not die that night. The medrash says that this is the intention of the words in Mishlei 31, "Toamoh ki tov sachroh lo yichbeh balayloh neiroh." Because she saved Moshe, who is called TOV (verse 2), her light, i.e. her soul, was not extinguished that night.

Perhaps there is more to this illusion. The verse says "ki tov SACHROH." She paid wages for sustaining TOV. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 2, v. 20: "V'ayo" - And where is he - Yisro criticized his daughters, saying that if he helped them they should have reciprocated with inviting him into their home for a meal. The gemara says that although testifying falsely is a sin, it has the status of a sin that is done without action, even if the movements of ones mouth to pronounce his words are an action. This is because one can testify by responding to a question put to him by the judges with a yes, expressed as "ayo." This word can be pronounced by using the throat only, something not externally noticeable, and therefore is not considered an action. We can thus say that Yisro said "and AYO." Have you done no action in response to his kindness to you? (Nirreh li)

Moshe's original name was Tov. Yisro had a premonition that the man was Moshe/Tov (The Holy Zohar writes that Kayin became Yisro and Hevel became Moshe, so they had an earlier relationship.). This is why he said Ayo, whose numric value is that of Tov. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 3, v. 4: "Ki Sor Liros Va'yikra" - That he turned to see and He called - The first letters of these four words spell Kislev. This is the only place in Tanach that we find an acronym with the letters of Kislev in order. This is a most befitting place for this allusion. We find the miracle of a burning thorn bush that is not consumed, similar to the miracle of the oil of the menorah on Chanukah, which was also not consumed. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 4, v. 8: "V'he'eminu l'kole ho'ose ho'acharone" - And they will believe the calling of the last sign - The next verse goes on to offer a third sign if the first two are not sufficiently convincing. If so, why does our verse call the second and middle sign "ho'acharone"? Ibn Ezra offers that since the third sign was an occurrence that had not yet taken place, at this moment the second sign was the final one. In Sedrah Selections parshas Bo 5759 we offered in the name of K'hilos Yitzchok that "acharon" doesn't only mean FINAL, but also LATTER, as per the verse in Chagi 2, "Godol yi'h'yeh k'vode bayis ho'acharone min horishon," even though there will eventually be a third and final Beis Hamikdosh bb"o. This is alluded to in Shmos 12:13, "V'hoyoh hadom lochem l'ose al habotim." The blood, not referring to "makas dom," but rather to the third sign (Shmos 4:9), will be a sign for the three Houses, Bo'tei Mikdosh. However, the Holy Zohar on Vayikra page 221a says that the second Beis Hamikdosh is called the FINAL one because indeed it was the final one built by man, as the third will descend from heaven. (See responsa Rashba 4:187)



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

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