by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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OROH V'SIMCHOH - MESHECH CHOCHMOH ON PARSHAS B'SHALACH - BS"D
The MESHECH CHOCHMOH says that we can couple their opinions with their explanations of "va'yim't'ku hamoyim" in verse 25. The Mechilta says that Rabbi Yehoshua posits that the water was normally sweet, but with the bnei Yisroel's coming upon the water, it turned bitter. He therefore also says that they did not complain against Moshe on a constant basis, just as the water was not constantly bitter. Rabbi Eliezer haModo'i says that the waters were always bitter, and upon casting the stick into it, it sweetened. Just as he says that the waters were always bitter, so too he says that they constantly complained against Moshe.
Ch. 15, v. 26: "Ki ani Hashem rofecho" - The Mechilta 2:5 brings Rabbi Yitzchok who asks, "If Hashem will not place into you a sickness, what need is there for a healer?" He answers that even if Hashem is pressured to place a sickness into you because of your sinning, Hashem will still heal you. The MESHECH CHOCHMOH explains that the verse starts by saying that the disorders that Hashem brought upon Egypt, He will not place into you. One of the disorders was boils, about which the verse says, "Yakcho Hashem bish'chin Mitzrayi …… asher lo suchal l'heiro'fei" (Dvorim 28:27). The gemara B'choros 41a explains that the boils with which Hashem smote the Egyptians were internally dry and externally moist, and by the laws of nature there is no remedy for this type of boils. Our verse tells us that even if Hashem sends this disorder, which was sent upon the Egyptians, He will personally heal it, as by the laws of nature it cannot be healed.
Ch. 16, v. 2: "Va'yILOnu kol adas bnei Yisroel al Moshe"- Although the first word of our verse is read "Va'yILOnu," it is written with the letter Yud after the Lamed, "Va'yOLInu." The former means, "and they complained," while the latter means, "and they brought others to complain." The MESHECH CHOCHMOH says that just as we find in Bmidbar 11:4, that the "asafsuf," the "eirev rav," were the instigators of complaint against the manna, so too, we may assume that they instigated the complaint of lack of food here. Thus the written form, "va'yOLInu" refers to the "eirev rav," those who instigated the complaining, while the read form, "va'yILOnu" refers to the resultant complainers.
Ch. 16, v. 8: "B'seis Hashem lochem bo'erev bosor le'echol v'lechem baboker lisboa" - The MESHECH CHOCHMOH raises the question of the inconsistency of order of mentioning the "evening for meat," with the time mentioned first, and by the manna, and bread in the morning," mentioning the time later. He answers that since the bnei Yisroel had already tasted the flavour of manna in the matzos that they took with them when they left Egypt (gemara Kidushin 38a), the verse first mentions the object, the manna, ahead of the time of its delivery, to allude to the manna, which they already knew.
16:9,10,11 "Va'yomer Moshe el Aharon emor el kol adas bnei Yisroel kirvu, Va'y'hi k'da'beir Aharon, V'hi'nei k'vode Hashem nir'oh be'onon, Va'y'da'beir Hashem el Moshe" - The MESHECH CHOCHMOH asks, "Why did Moshe tell Aharon to give over the information to the bnei Yisroel, rather than doing so himself?" He answers that we see in the next 2 verses that the Cloud of Glory appeared to Moshe, indicating that Hashem was about to communicate with him. Before Moshe was able to receive a Celestial communication he had to prepare himself. Therefore he told Aharon to speak to the bnei Yisroel. Even though the Sifri on Bmidbar 9:8, "Imdu v'eshm'oh mah y'tza'veh Hashem" comments that Moshe was always prepared to communicate with Hashem without delay, we find that the Rambam in hilchos yesodei haTorah 7:6 says that this was only so after he received the Torah, when Hashem told him to separate himself from his wife (Dvorim 5:28, "V'ato po amode imodi").
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