Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS VO'EIRO 5767 - BS"D

1) Ch. 6, v. 6,7: "V'hotzeisi, v'hitzalti, v'go'alti, v'lokachti" -

Rashi and Rashbam on the gemara P'sochim 99b say that these four expressions of redemption are the source for drinking four goblets of wine on the night of the Seder. This is stated in the Yerushalmi P'sochim (10:1) and in the M.R. Breishis (88:4) as the opinion of Rav Huna. What other sources are there for the four goblets?

2) Ch. 6, v. 6,7: As just mentioned, there are four expressions of redemption mentioned in these two verses. What are the four levels of redemption to which they refer?

3) Ch. 6, v. 8: "V'heiveisi ES'CHEM" - It seems that these words were not fulfilled, since Hashem did not bring the generation that left Egypt into Eretz Yisroel, as they died in the desert, but rather, only the next generation which was born in the desert.

4) Ch. 8, v. 8: "Va'yitzak Moshe el Hashem" - And Moshe screamed to Hashem - Why was it necessary for Moshe to scream?

5) Ch. 8, v. 26: "Va'yetar" - In 8:8 where Moshe prayed to Hashem to remove the frogs the word used for his prayer is "va'yitzak." Why the difference in terminology? (Related to the previous question)

ANSWERS:

#1

The above two sources, Yerushalmi and M.R., also cite the opinion of Rav Shmuel bar Nachmeini that the four goblets correspond to the four times the word "kose" is mentioned in the butler's dream and Yoseif's interpretation at the end of parshas Va'yeishev.

3) The above two sources also bring the opinion of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi that the four goblets correspond to the four bitter goblets of punishment that Hashem will mete out to the nations of idol worshipers (Yirmiyohu 25:15, 51:7, T'hilim 11:6, 75:9).

4) The above Yerushalmi also brings that the four goblets correspond to the four salvations mentioned in T'hilim: Hashem m'nos chelki v'CHOSI (16:5), KOSI r'voyoh (23:5), and KOS y'shuos (116:13). This last verse alludes to two goblets, as the word, "y'shuos," salvations, is plural.

5) The four goblets correspond to the four times the word "goviah" is mentioned in parshas Mikeitz (44:2, 12, 16, 17). "Gvi'i" in verse 2 is not included, but might allude to the fifth goblet of Eliyohu. (Tosfos Hasholeim)

#2

1) Ramban: a) no severe workload, b) no work at all, c) Hashem takes revenge on the Egyptians, d) bnei Yisroel become a chosen nation upon coming to Mt. Sinai to receive the Torah.

2) Sforno: a) no more servitude, b) coming to Raamses, which is beyond the border of Egypt, c) splitting of the sea, d) standing at Mt. Sinai.

3) Aderres Eliyohu (GR"A): a) no severe workload, b) no work at all, c) free of being slaves, d) standing at Mt. Sinai.

4) Eitz Yoseif on M.R. Shmos: a) no severe workload, b) no more throwing Jewish children into river, c) no more slaughtering Jewish children for Paroh's baths, d) retracting edict of no more straw being supplied for brick making.

5) Meshech Chochmoh: a) extraction of a nation from within a nation, b) being saved from the murderous Egyptians, c) not enslaved, d) becoming Hashem's chosen nation.

6) Torah T'mimoh: a) lightening of workload, b) no work at all, c) complete redemption and leaving Egypt, d) spiritual redemption.

#3

1) This question is asked by the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh. He answers that we should take note of a seeming non sequitur in the previous verse. After stating the four expressions of redemption, "v'heiveisi" of our verse should follow. Instead, we find "vida'tem ki ani Hashem" interjected. This was done intentionally, as a condition for the fulfillment of "v'heiveisi." Since the generation that left Egypt fell short of its proper fulfillment, it did not merit to be brought into Eretz Yisroel. The four earlier aspects of redemption were unconditional.

2) Perhaps this can be answered with the words of the Targum Yonoson ben Uziel in parshas Yisro on, "Vo'eso es'chem al kanfei n'shorim" (19:4). He says that this means that "I have BROUGHT you on the wings of eagles to the future location of the Beis Hamikdosh on the night of the 15th of Nison, and there you ate the Pascal lamb." On the basis of these words we can translate the words of our verse as "And I HAVE BROUGHT YOU to the land," meaning that when the bnei Yisroel will have left Egypt on the day of the 15th of Nison, I will have already brought you there, referring to the miraculous trip to Eretz Yisroel on the night of the 15th of Nison. (Nirreh li)

#4

1) The mishnoh Brochos 15a says that one who prays the "Shma" has to hear his own words. The frogs croaked so loudly that Moshe had no choice but to scram to be able to hear his own words of supplication. (Maharsh"al)

2) The terrible noise of the frogs croaking was in and of itself one aspect of the plague. To bring this to an end required entreaty in kind. (Zichron Sholo-m)

3) Note that our verse ends with the words "al dvar hatz'fardim asher som l'Pharoh," - regarding the matter of the frogs that He placed for Paroh. This means that Paroh only requested that the frogs that disturbed him (and his people) be removed. However, those that are normally found in the wild should remain. We indeed find that this happened as the verse states "rak ba'y'or tisho'arnoh" (verse 5). We thus have Moshe praying for removal of the frogs from one area but not from another. There is a maxim in the gemara Sanhedrin 64a that when Hashem gives, i.e. hearkens to a prayer, it is not done halfway. Since Moshe requested an exception to this rule he had to put in much effort and scream. (Sforno)

4) Moshe predicated his praying to Hashem for removal of the frogs with, "his po'eir olai l'mosai atir l'cho l'hachris hatz'fardim." Since he put his reputation on the line here more than by any other prayer for removal of a plague, he prayed extra hard that it be removed and at the set time as well. (Tzror Hamor and Abarbenel)

5) Because Moshe seemed to be taking some credit for the plague, saying, "hispo'eir OLAI" (verse 5), his prayers were not heard until he put in much effort, through screaming. (Tur)

#5

The Chasam Sofer quotes the gemara Sukoh 14a and Y'vomos 64a that explains that the word "va'yetar" comes from the source word "asar," Ayin-Tof-Reish, meaning a pitchfork. Just as a pitchfork totally turns over hay, bringing that which was on the bottom to the top, so also the prayers of the righteous change a decree for punishment into total mercy.

When the plague of frogs came to a close and they died there was not a change from suffering from the plague to total relief, as the verse states that the piles of dead frogs reeked, "vativash ho'oretz" (8:10). Therefore the term "va'yitzak" was used to describe the prayer of Moshe. In our case of the removal of the multitudes of wild animals, all the animals left the land and there was total relief. This indicates that Moshe's prayer was of the magnitude of changing the situation to total mercy, hence "va'yetar" is used to describe his prayer.

Rashi says that the term "va'yetar" indicates numerous and very intensive prayers. Rabbi Ovadioh of Bartenuroh explains that intensive prayers were needed here and as well to bring the plague of locust to a close, where the same word is used (10:18), because Moshe prayed that they should be totally removed so that the Egytians should derive no benefit from the hides of the wild animals nor from the locust that they preserved in salt, as mentioned in Rashi in verse 27 and in 10:19. The difficulty with requesting total removal of what Hashem sent is that the gemara Taanis 25a says that as a rule when something is given from the heavens it is not taken back. To override this, severe prayers were needed, hence "va'yetar." (This also serves as an answer to the previous question.)

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See also Sedrah Selections, Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights


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