CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS SHMOS 5771 - BS"D
1) Ch. 1, v. 22: "Va'y'tzav Paroh l'chol amo leimore KOL ha'bein hayilod ha'y'oroh tashlichuhu" - And Paroh commanded even regarding his own nation that every son who is born into the river you shall throw him - How many bnei Yisroel were actually thrown into the river?
2) Ch. 2, v. 1: "Va'yeilech ish" - And a man went - Why doesn't the verse simply say "Va'yikach ish mi'beis Levi"?
3) Ch. 2, v. 6: "Naar bocheh" - A lad is crying - Who was this lad?
4) Ch. 2, v. 23: "Vataal shavosom el hoElokim" - And their cry rose up to Elokim - The next verse goes on to say that Elokim heard their entreaty. It is obvious that well before the king of Egypt contracted a skin affliction they were hard at prayer as well. Our verse is telling us that it was just now that their prayers had an affect. Why now all of a sudden?
5) Ch. 3, v. 1: "Va'yinhag es hatzone achar hamidbor va'yovo el har" - And he led the sheep to the desert and he came to the mountain - Targum Onkeles writes that Moshe brought them to a place of good grazing, "shfar raa'ya." What necessitates this explanation?
M.R. on Shir Hashirim 2:15 cites two opinions. One is that 10,000 were thrown in, based on the verse in Yechezkeil 16, "R'vovoh k'tzemach haso'deh n'satich." Rabbi Levi says that 600,000 were thrown into the river.
1) The gemara Sotah 12a says that "va'yeilech" means that he went after the counsel of his daughter to remarry his wife.
2) When a person performs an act that takes great valour the Torah often not only tells of the act, but adds "va'yeilech," as it takes much courage to move oneself to act. (Ramban)
3) His wife simply lived in another town, so he had to go there to marry her. (Ibn Ezra)
4) Many men gave up on reproducing because of the evil decree. They sent their wives to another community. Thus remarrying them required traveling. (Malbim)
Rashi says that this was Moshe. Even though he was a newborn, his voice was that of a lad. Chizkuni says that it refers to Aharon. This was how Bisyoh knew that the baby was an Ivri.
The gemara Brochos 31a says that one should not pray while in a state of melancholy, but rather when in a positive happy frame of mind. Until now, because of the extreme servitude the bnei Yisroel were in a continual state of depression and their prayers were ineffective. It was only now, when Paroh was stricken with a debilitating skin affliction that the bnei Yisroel had a glimmer of happiness, as their oppressor was likewise suffering, that they had some level of simchoh. At this point their prayers were effective. (Rabbi Menachem Pollack in Responsa Cheilek Levi)
The gemara B.M. 36b says that a shepherd is prohibited from bringing sheep up a mountain to graze unless the grass there is excellent. Since our verse says that he came to a mountain, he obviously would not have brought the sheep there unless the grazing conditions were optimal. (Chanukas haTorah)
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