CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS B'SHALACH 5773 - BS"D
1) Ch. 14, v. 29: "Uvnei Yisroel holchu va'yaboshoh b'soch ha'yom" - And the bnei Yisroel walked on the dry land in the middle of the sea - Did any bnei Yisroel drown in Yam Suf?
2) Ch. 15, v. 2: "Zeh Keili v'anveihu" - This is my G-d and I will glorify Him - The gemara Shabbos 133b derives from these words that one should not do mitzvos "on the cheap," but rather, should beautify them. The halacha is that one should upgrade the quality of a mitzvoh up to a third more than the basic/available cost. Why is this concept placed in these words?
3) Ch. 15, v. 4: "Tubu" - They were sunk - Rashi says that the term "tvioh" is only applicable when discussing sinking into mud. Why do we say in our daily prayer, 'v'zeidim tibato vididim he'evarto,' since first the bnei Yisroel were guided through the Yam Suf and only afterwards were the Egyptians drowned?
4) Ch. 15, v. 25: "Shom som lo chok umishpot" - There He placed for him a statute and a law - Rashi says that some of the laws of Shabbos were given. If so, the words in the Pesach Hagodoh 'Ilu he'echilonu es hamon v'lo nosan lonu es haShabbos' are out of order, since we first received the laws of Shabbos.
5) Ch. 16, v. 25: "Ki Shabbos ha'yom" - Because it is Shabbos today - Rashi explains that they received no manna Shabbos morning and came back again in the evening, asking if they should look for manna. This is most puzzling. They never received manna at night, so why should they inquire about evening manna?
Moshav Z'keinim writes that those among the bnei Yisroel who adhered to the idol michoh drown.
The gemara Yerushalmi Kla'im 8:2 says that originally people had one horse pull a chariot. Paroh in the days of Yoseif increased this to two horses, "mirkeves hamishneh" (Breishis 41:43). Paroh of our parsha increased it to three horses, and this is the meaning of "v'sholishim."
Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that Paroh increased the number of horses to quickly catch up to the bnei Yisroel and overpower them. We thus find that Paroh increased the "horse-power" of his chariots by a third in pursuit of a sin, so we likewise should increase our expenditure to beautify a mitzvoh by a third. (Bnei Yisos'chor maamo'rei Shabbos 2:5)
The Moshav Z'keinim asks this. He answers that "tibato" refers not to the drowning of the Egyptians, but rather, to their sinking into the mire at the shore of Yam Suf, as per the words of Medrash Tanchuma that the pillars of cloud turned the seashore into a muddy morass. This took place before the bnei Yisroel passed through Yam Suf.
This seems to be easily resolved in a number of ways.
1) Rashi writes that SOME of the laws of Shabbos were given to BUSY THEMSELVES. We see that the command to actually abide by all the laws of Shabbos was not yet in force, as only a preview was given.
The next answers explain "had He given us the Shabbos" as reflecting upon the manna based upon the "Shabbos effect." (Nirreh li)
2) The intention is "If Hashem had fed us manna but not given us the holiness of Shabbos, which caused the manna to not fall on Shabbos"
3) Another slight variation: "Which caused the manna to fall as a double portion on the eve of Shabbos"
4) "Which brought about the doubling of the baked manna on Shabbos" (see Daas Z'keinim on Shmos 16:22)
5) "Which had an extra lustre on Shabbos" (based on Rabbeinu Menachem)
6) "Which had a special aroma and taste" (Medrash Pinchos based on the words of Rashi 16:22 d.h. "loktu")
Many commentators say that before matan Torah a "day" began in the morning and ended the next morning. They understood that manna fell at the beginning of the day. This was their first Shabbos. They were told that Shabbos is "mei'erev ad erev tish'b'su Shabat'chem." Armed with this change, that from now on a day is from night to night, they correctly asked if from now on the manna would fall at night, the beginning of a new day. (Rabbi Dovid ben Rabbi Meir Arik in Tal Torah)
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