subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues

For sponsorships and advertising opportunities, send e-mail to:SHOLOM613@ROGERS.COM



Ch. 6, v. 20: "Amrom" - The Holy Zohar 2:19 writes that this name alludes to his having a nation, "am," of descendants who are the elevated of the elevated, "rom."

Minchoh V'luloh offers that the letters of his name are an acronym for "O'seh Malochov Ruchos M'shorsov" (T'hilim 104:4). He was as righteous as an angel. The gemara B.B. 17a says that Amrom died, not as a result of anything he did, but rather because of death being decreed upon mankind.

Ch. 6, v. 25: "Pinchos" - Sifsei Kohein says that his name alludes to his most valourous and zealous act of killing Zimri and Kozbi, which calmed Hashem's anger towards the bnei Yisroel. Pinchos means "ponai chos," he has changed My countenance of anger to one of mercy.

Ch. 6, v. 28: "Va'y'hi b'yom di'ber Hashem el Moshe b'eretz Mitzroyim" - And it was on the day that Hashem spoke to Moshe in the land of Egypt - Rashi explains that this verse is understood in the context of being continued in the next verse, as a lead-in. The Tur comments that it is therefore difficult to understand why there is a paragraph break between these two verses. The Ramban has a different approach that makes this verse the end of a previous statement, and the paragraph space would thus be well understood. Verse 26 seems to say that Hashem spoke to BOTH Moshe and Aharon, commanding them to appear in front of Paroh and telling him One might misunderstand that Hashem spoke directly to Aharon as well, so our verse says that Hashem spoke to Moshe, to the exclusion of Aharon, and the intention of verse 26 is that Aharon was only included in the command to appear in front of Paroh and to speak to him, but not that he received the prophecy himself. Why "b'yom" is needed deserves clarification according to both Rashi and the Ramban.

Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that Hashem communicated the prophecy to Moshe and Aharon tilted his ear to hear the prophecy.

Ch. 7, v. 6: "Va'yaas Moshe v'Aharon kaasher tzivoh Hashem osom kein ossu" - And Moshe and Aharon did as Hashem commanded them thus did they do - The difficulties are obvious. If we follow the story we clearly see that they followed through on the mission Hashem gave them. Why does the verse begin in the singular and end in plural? Why does the verse repeat "doing," "va'yaas" and "ossu?"

Sifsei Kohein explains that if we take note of the details of activating the 10 plagues we will see that some were activated by Aharon, by Moshe, by both, and by Hashem (of course everything came from Hashem, but the verse clearly attributes the plague to Hashem). This is the intention of our verse. It leads into the 10 plagues. "Va'yaas Moshe" alone, "Aharon" alone, "osom" can be read as "itom," meaning that Hashem acted with them, and "kein ossu" refers to when both Moshe and Aharon were involved.

Ch. 7, v. 7: "U'Moshe ben shmonim shonoh" - And Moshe was eighty years old - Of what importance are Moshe's and Aharon's ages when they spoke to Paroh? Sforno says that this teaches us the great alacrity that Moshe and Aharon displayed in carrying out their mission. Notwithstanding that they lived to the ages of 120 and 123 years respectively, "Y'mei shno'seinu bo'hem shivim shonoh v'im bigvuros shmonim shonoh." People aged just as they do today. This did not stand in their way. (It is interesting to note that the Torah testifies at the end of V'zose Habrochoh that Moshe's body remained young. However, there are commentators who explain that the verse refers to his not decomposing.)

Although very uncommon, I have come across a few sets of tefillin scripts that have a Fei "l'fufoh" a.k.a. "k'fuloh" in the word Pharoh in the verse "Va'y'hi ki hikshoh *PH*aroh l'shalcheinu," which the medrash explains is an allusion to the overt words of our verse, that Moshe was eighty years old when he came to Paroh, the value of the letter Fei being eighty. Seemingly there is some great stress on this point of information.

Ch. 7, v. 9: "Tnu lochem mofeis" - Make for yourselves a sign - This is the simple translation and commentators explain the word "lochem," which seemingly should have been "li." Rabbeinu Saadioh Gaon actually explains that "lochem" means "li."

Ch. 7, v. 9: "V'omarto el Aharon kach es matcho" - And you shall say to Aharon take your staff - Although the simple reading of these words indicates that Moshe commanded Aharon to take Aharon's staff, as "kach es matcho" seems to be the words Hashem commanded Moshe to say, nevertheless, the Ibn Ezra has several proofs that the intention of these words is to tell Aharon to take YOUR, Moshe's, staff. (The Malbim says that once the staff will be in Aharon's hand it is considered his.) One is that in parshas B'shalach it says that Moshe should take "umatcho asher hikiso vo es ha'y'or."

However, the Holy Zohar 2:28 writes that it means specifically Aharon's and not Moshe's staff. He asks why Aharon's was needed and answers that the impurity of Paroh's sorcerers' staffs was such that it was inappropriate to have the holy staff that had the Holy Name etched on it in the upper Gan Eden swallow them. He adds that Aharon was a Kohein, and as such was inspired by a spiritual "right sided" influence, and this would overpower the impure sorcerers' staffs, which are powered by the negative "left side."

Ch. 7, v. 9: "Y'hi l'sanin" - It will become as a snake - The Ibn Ezra differentiates between "tannin" and "nochosh" (see verse 15). A "tannin" is a water snake, while a "nochosh" is a land snake.

The Rada"k says that a "tanin" is a specific species of snake. When it is clear that a verse is discussing a water creature, as in parshas Breishis, it refers to a type of fish.

Ch. 7, v. 9: "Y'hi l'sanin" - It will become as a snake - the verse should seemingly have said "vihi l'sanin." The Baal Haturim says that the intention is that when Moshe will later throw down the staff in front of Paroh, he should verbalize the words, "Y'hi l'sanin" and the staff would then become activated through the power of Moshe's speech.

The Meshech Chochmoh derives from this nuance that the intention is not that the staff will become a snake when you throw it in front of Paroh, but rather that right now when Hashem told this to Moshe, the nature of a snake entered the staff, and this allowed it to swallow Paroh's sorcerers' staffs while it was still a staff.

Ch. 7, v. 25: "Va'yimo'lei shivas yomim" - And it was completed seven days - Rashi says that this means the count of seven days was completed. Rashi says this to explain the singular "va'yimo'lei." Some commentators say that each plague lasted seven days, even the plague of the smiting of the firstborn is considered a seven day plague because the Egyptians busied themselves with burying their dead for that long. (Medrash Seichel Tov)

As mentioned in an earlier edition of Sedrah Selections, there are many opinions about the duration of the plagues, the respite in between and which plagues came during which calendar dates.

Ch. 7, v. 28: "V'olu uvo'u b'vei'secho" - And they will ascend and come into your house - M.R. cites Rabbi Yehudoh b"r Sholo-m who translates "v'olu" as the "premium ones." The largest and hardiest frogs will enter Paroh's residence.



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

Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues

This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.

For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael Classes,
send mail to
Jerusalem, Israel