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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 6, v. 7: "Vidatem ki ani Hashem hamotzi es'chem mei'eretz Mitzrayim" - And you will know that I am Hashem who took you out from the land of Egypt - It is insufficient, says the Sfas Emes, to only redeem the bnei Yisroel from Egypt. The redemption must take place in such a manner that it will be blatantly clear that it is Hashem who is orchestrating things.

Ch. 6 v. 8 "V'nosati osoh lochem moroshoh" - And I will give it to you as something to give as an inheritance - Note that the verse does not say "yerushoh," an inheritance, but rather "moroshoh," something that one CAUSES another to inherit. Rabbeinu Bachyei derives from this that Hashem has alluded here to the fact that the masses who will leave Egypt will not merit to actually inherit the land, but rather, they will give it as an inheritance to the following generation. (This is especially accurate based upon the opinion that the apportionment was calculated by the number of people in each family who left Egypt, rather than the number of people per family who actually entered.)

Ch. 8, v. 13: "Va't'hi hakinom bo'odom uvabheimoh kol afar ho'oretz hoyoh chinim b'chol eretz Mitzroyim" - And the lice was in the humans and in the animals all the sand of the land was lice in all the land of Egypt - The Rambam and others in their commentary on Pirkei Ovos 5:4 say that the lice also entered the land occupied by the bnei Yisroel (see Rashi on Breishis 47:29). Why indeed did this plague come into the bnei Yisroel's territory, something that did not take place with the previous plagues? The previous plagues, blood and frogs, were replicated somewhat by the Egyptian sorcerers. It was therefore necessary to have some aspect of the plague show that it was Hashem's hand working against the Egyptians and protecting the bnei Yisroel. Therefore the plague did not come upon the land of the bnei Yisroel. However, the plague of lice was not replicated by the sorcerers. There was a clear show of Hashem's unique power and the lice entering the bnei Yisroel's territory did not diminish this. (Since the bnei Yisroel did not deserve to be punished the lice did not cause them discomfort.) (Taamo Dikro)

Ch. 8, v. 14: "V'lo yocholu" - And they were unable - Rashi (gemara Sanhedrin 67b) says that Paroh's sorcerers were unable to produce lice because they are a creature smaller than a barleycorn. This is quite puzzling, as the Yalkut Shimoni says that the lice were of an unproportionately great size, the same as a bird egg. If so, why couldn't it be replicated by the sorcerers? Maskil l'Dovid answers that they were only capable of making something that is normal within nature, and not a super-sized, otherwise non-existent creature.

Ch. 8, v. 15: "Va'yechezak lev Paroh" - And Paroh's heart was hardened - We do not find Paroh beseeching Moshe and Aharon to remove this plague. This is because he personally lived in a palace. The floors were made of marble and were continuously swept by his servants. Since he personally suffered no hardships he didn't bother requesting the plague to be brought to an end. (B'chor Shor)

Ch. 8, v. 17: "Hin'ni mashliach" - Behold I am causing to be sent - "Mashliach" is causative. Why doesn't the verse say "m'sha'lei'ach" just as it dies earlier in the verse when referring to Paroh? This brings about how great the control of the plagues was. In general, when an intermediary is sent to cause damage, it does not differentiate between the evil and the righteous. The message is that Hashem is sending this plague through an intermediary, and nevertheless, "V'hifleisi," - I will differentiate and separate the land of Goshen, making sure that no wild animals enter that land. (Meshech Chochmoh)

Ch. 8, v. 19: "L'mochor yi'h'yeh ho'ose ha'zeh" - Tomorrow there will be this sign - Why here in particular was it announced that the sign of Hashem's dominance will come? Shaa'rei Aharon offers that when Kayin was sent to wander he feared that the wild animals would attack him, given that he had killed Hevel and had no Divine protection. Hashem gave him a sign which kept the animals at bay. Similarly here, even though the animals would normally attack anyone, Hashem said that He would place a sign upon the bnei Yisroel to protect them.

Ch. 8, v. 20: "Ko'veid" - Rabbi Saadioh Gaon translates "ko'veid" not as heavy or difficult, but rather, as large in number. See Bmidbar 20, where we find "am ko'veid," which also means a lot of people.

Ch. 8, v. 20: "Tishocheis ho'oretz" - The land WAS destroyed - This is Rashi's translation even though the word is clearly in the future tense. Rabbi Avrohom ben hoRambam explains that there is an understood word missing, "tishocheis YOSHEIV ho'oretz," the inhabitant of the land.

Ch. 9, v. 7: "V'hi'nei lo meis mibnei Yisroel ad echod va'yichbad lev Paroh" - And behold there did not die from those that belonged to bnei Yisroel even one and Paroh's heart was hardened - How do these two ideas flow? Logic dictates the exact opposite. Since the Egyptians' cattle were decimated and the bnei Yisroel's were totally intact, this would surely be a reason to take the plague and Moshe's demand seriously.

Minchoh V'luloh answers that the intention of the verse is to tell us that when Paroh was apprised of the bnei Yisroel's cattle being unharmed he simply appropriated them for himself and thus rebuilt his stock without any outlay. This allowed for his heart to be hardened.

Ch. 9, v. 14: "Es kol ma'geifosai" - All My plagues - Medrash Habiur explains that "borod" is called ALL because it damaged people, animals, plant growth, and buildings.

Ch. 9, v. 14: "Es kol ma'geifosai el libcho" - All My plagues into your heart - The expression "into your heart" is used here to accentuate the lasting negative affect even after the following plagues of hail, locust, and darkness will cease. Hail will destroy the crops and until the following crop grows there will be no produce. Locust will devour any food they already had stored up, and also devour the unripe smashed crops. The darkness, which had actual density, carried with it air pollution, causing much drawn out disease. Although we are referring to three plagues and our verse begins with "Bapaam hazose," the intention is "this time when the set of plagues that come through the air" will be sent upon Egypt. (Sforno)

Ch. 9, v. 14: "Baavur teida" - So that you will know - See 8:6 in our parsha, where it says, "L'maan teida." Rabbienu tovioh says that "baavur" and "l'maan" have the same meaning. Nevertheless, every word has a nuance of a difference from another synonym. What is the difference?

Ch. 9, v. 28: "V'rav" - And it is already sufficient - This is Rashi's translation. This is the same as Rashi's explanation of Yaakov's expression, "rav," when he heard that Yoseif was still alive. It is sufficient for me that Yoseif is alive and the rest of what you tell me, that he is the viceroy of Egypt, is not necessary to tell me.

Targum Onkelos translates "rav" as, "V'sagi kodomohi r'vach." It seems that his understanding is, "Beseech Hashem as He is RAV, He has great ability to bring this plague to an end, similar to "rav l'hoshia."



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

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