Sedrah selections parshas _ 5772 bs”d


Ch. 7, v. 17: “Hi’nei onochi ma’keh” – Behold I will smite – Many commentators explain
the appropriateness of smiting the Egyptians with specifically the ten plagues, as
recorded in our and the following parshios. The Kli Yokor offers:
1) The Nile was smitten in response to Paroh’s saying that the Nile was his and he
created himself (Yechezkel 29:3). The death of the fish was a response to the Egyptians
restraining the bnei Yisroel from multiplying as fish.
2) The frogs are a response to Paroh’s saying that he does not recognize Hashem. Lowly
frogs, however, did recognize Hashem and did His bidding by entering heated ovens and
the like. This also negated Paroh’s claim that he created the Nile, and here we find the
Nile spewing forth legions and legions of frogs.
3) Lice were a response to the Egyptians forcing the bnei Yisroel to work so hard that
they sweated profusely. This brings on lice, especially when bathing facilities were not
available. The lice came from the earth since the Egyptians forced the bnei Yisroel to
work the land very hard.
4) The mixture of wild animals was a response to enslaving the bnei Yisroel who are
likened to animals, “Ki chayos heinoh” (Shmos 1:19).
5) The pestilence that killed the Egyptians’ livestock was a response to the Egyptians
forcing the bnei Yisroel to forsake their former occupation of herding livestock, changing
it to creating clay bricks. In response all their livestock died.
6) Boils and other skin afflictions were a response to the Egyptians restraining the bnei
Yisroel from reproducing. Cohabiting when one has these skin afflictions is very painful
and deleterious for the skin condition. This concept is mentioned in Breishis Rabboh
41:2, where Paroh was afflicted with this skin condition after he took Soroh. Although
this should have served as a warning for the future, once again history bears out that it is
a study of mankind not learning a lesson from history.
7) Hail and the accompanying deafening sounds were in response to Paroh’s saying that
he would not hearken to the voice of Hashem. Paroh now suffered not only the damage
inflicted by the fiery balls of hail, but also the “Kol Hashem al hamoyim kol Hashem
chotzeiv lahavos aish.”
8) Locust, “arbeh,” came upon the Egyptians in response to Paroh’s attempting to stem
the blessing of, “Harbeih arbeh es zar’eich” (Breishis 22:17) with his saying “pen
9) Darkness came upon the Egyptians in response to their causing the bnei Yisroel to hide
their newborn males in the depths of dark.
10) The killing of the Egyptian firstborn was in response to their planning to destroy
Hashem’s firstborn, the bnei Yisroel.
He ends by saying that the destruction the Egyptians met at Yam Suf was not an eleventh
plague, as nothing was visited upon them. Rather, they ran into the sea and met their
Ch. 7, v. 28: “V’shoratz ha’y’ore tzfardim” – And the river will promulgate frogs – This
is all the more amazing given that the Nile was so polluted by the plague of blood that all
the marine life it held died. (Rabbi Y.Z. Pollack)
Ch. 8, v. 19: "V’samti f’dus bein ami u’vein a’mecho l’mochor yi’h’yeh ho’ose ha’zeh" – And I will place a division between My ntion and between your nation tomorrow will be this sign – The sign of the difference between a ben Yisroel who believes in Hashem’s total involvement in his life and an Egyptian is “mochor,” the concern of “what will be tomorrow.” This is a sure sign of their difference. (Divrei Yisroel of Modzitz) Ch. 12, v. 14: “V’chagosem oso chag laShem l’doroseichem chukas olom t’choguhu” – And you shall celebrate it as a festival to Hashem for your generations a permanent statute shall you celebrate it – If we were to celebrate the liberation from slavery in Egypt as a festival of freedom and liberation from slavery only, then when we would again be under the heel of our oppressors we would have no reason to celebrate Pesach. However, this theme falls far short of the reasons for “chag haPesach.” Rather, Hashem has taken our nation out of Egypt and brought us close to Him by giving us His Holy Torah, which guides our every step, sanctifying us and giving our lives a higher purpose. This is the intention of our verse. “V’chagosem oso chag laShem,” – we shall celebrate it as a festival for HASHEM, for becoming connected to Hashem through His Torah and becoming sanctified. Thus, even when we are in the position of servitude once again we still maintain this closeness with Hashem. This is why the festival of Pesach is permanent for all generations, as the verse concludes, “chukas olom t’choguhu,” because it is not measured by our being enslaved or not enslaved, rather by our always being Hashem’s chosen people. (Meshech Chochmoh) Ch. 12, v. 15: “Ach ba’yom horishon tashbisu s’ore mibo’teichem” – Only on the preceding day shall you eradicate sourdough from your lodgings – We make a brochoh before we commence to search for chometz on the evening before Pesach. Should we likewise say “shehecheyonu?” The Itur 2:120:3 says that it should be recited and the Tzror Hachaim page 123 says that his teacher, the Rashb”o likewise said “shehecheyonu.” There are others as well who did. On the other hand, there are many who do not. At first glance it would seem that it should be recited, given that it is the first stage of the mitzvoh of eradicating one’s chometz and only comes at distant intervals. However, those who posit that it should not be recited say that the mitzvoh of searching for chometz does not have a set time, as we find that one who leaves his home even up to thirty days before Pesach and will not return before Pesach, should search for it before leaving. The halacha is that if someone did not search for chometz before the prescribed time should do so on the morning or even afternoon of erev Pesach. Had he not done even this he should search even during cholo shel mo’eid. Another reason for not making the blessing is that it is only recited for a mitzvoh that brings happiness. Searching for and eradicating chometz serves to avoid the sin of owning chometz on Pesach. This same reasoning is used to explain why no “shehecheyonu” is recited before commencing “sfiras ho’omer” (Baal Hamo’ore perek Arvei Psochim and responsa Rashb”o 1:379). Ch. 12, v. 29: “VaShem hikoh” – And Hashem smote – Rashi comments that wherever “vaShem” is written, the inclusive letter Vov adds that Hashem’s court was also involved. Hashem’s court is made up of angels. They do not fathom people’s thoughts. Since Hashem knows their thoughts and bnei Yisroel are not punished for negative thoughts, Hashem uses the angels in His celestial court. When it comes to awarding a
positive thought is also rewarded. The rewarding can be done by Hashem on His own.
This is the intention of the verse, “Hashem nosan vaShem lokach.” Giving means
rewarding and taking means detracting from someone’s condition. Giving is done by
Hashem without the added letter Vov, while taking is expressed as “vaShem lokach,”
with the added letter Vov, to indicate that Hashem’s court is involved. (Nezer Hakodesh)

Ch. 12, v. 29: "B'chor haSHVI asher b'veis hasohar" - See 11:5 where this same
information was related but there was different wording -"B'chor haSHIFCHOH asher
achar hareichoyim."
The Rashbam and the Ibn Ezra in the name of Yefes answer that they are one and the
same. Hashem earlier told Moshe what would take place. This was told by day and at that
time the son of the maidservant worked by the millstone. Our verse relates the actual
killing of the firstborn, which took place at midnight. At that time the son of the
maidservant was locked up in a jail, his overnight lodging, hence "b'chor haSHIFCHOH."
I heard a most marvelous answer to this question from R' M.Y.Z. based on the words of
the MESHECH CHOCHMOH . In 12:9 we find the prohibition to eat from the Paschal
lamb when it is not fully roasted or if it is cooked. The words for the prohibition are "AL
tochal." The next verse prohibits leaving over any meat of the Paschal lamb beyond the
prescribed time of eating, midnight. In verse 10 the words expressing this prohibition are
"V'LO sosiru." Why is the word "AL" used in verse 9, and "V'LO" in verse 10?
The MESHECH CHOCHMOH answers that "AL" is a term used when REQUESTING
that something not be done. "LO" is used as a COMMAND that something not be done.
We find this in the story of the two women who appeared in front of King Shlomo with
the question of who was the true mother of a child (M'lochim 1:15:26). Shlomo said that
the child be physically split. The true mother responded that the child not be split,
expressed, "AL t'misuhu." King Shlomo responded with (v. 27), "LO s'misuhu." The
woman could only REQUEST of King Shlomo not to kill the child. The king, however,
COMMANDED that the child not be killed.
The crucial point of differentiation between the bnei Yisroel and the Egyptians took place
at the moment when Hashem killed the Egyptian firstborn and saved the firstborn of the
bnei Yisroel. This created a new relationship between Hashem and the bnei Yisroel. He
was NOW their king, "Ki li bnei Yisroel avodim, v'lo avodim l'avodim." On the night of
Pesach before "makas b'choros," Hashem only REQUESTED that they prepare the
Korban Pesach as per His requirements, "AL," while still not having a firm relationship
with the bnei Yisroel as their King, hence a request only. Not leaving over the meat of the
Korban Pesach takes place after midnight, when the slaying of the firstborn had already
taken place. At this point Hashem had become their KING. He therefore
COMMANDED, "V'LO," that they not leave over the meat of the Korban Pesach until
the morning.
R' M.Y.Z. told me that this concept of the MESHECH CHOCHMOH answers the above-
mentioned question. The Egyptians had a mind set that the lowest human creature was a
slave, namely because they had enslaved the bnei Yisroel for so many years. The verse in
11:5 discusses the future plague of the smiting of the firstborn. At that moment the
description of the complete gamut of human beings as per the perception of the
Egyptians, ran from the top, the heir apparent to Paroh, to the lowest, the child of a
However in our verse which is the description of the plague in action at the stroke of
midnight, there was a total change. The mindset of a slave being the lowest had changed.
The Jewish slaves now had Heavenly power interceding on their behalf, wielding the
decisive blow to the Egyptians. The slaves were no longer on the lowest rung of society,
hence the child of a prisoner of war now occupied that position.
Ch. 12, v. 16: - "Uvayom hashvii mikro kodesh" - The MESHECH CHOCHMOH asks
why is the 7th day as a holiday mentioned here as all agree that Pesach Mitzrayim was
only one day. There are numerous other places where the Torah mentions Pesach and
tells us that the seventh day is "mikro kodesh." He answers that specifically here it is
important to mention the 7th day, as it was told before kthe splitting of Yam Suf. We
don't make a holiday to commemorate the downfall of our enemies. For example we
make Purim on the day of "v'noach mei'oveihem" (Megilas Esther 9:16). Here too, had
the seventh day of Pesach being designated as a Yom Tov only been mentioned after
Krias Yam Suf it would be misinterpreted to be a commemoration of the total downfall of
Mitzrayim. Therefore it was specifically mentioned before it even happened to show that
it is part of the bnei Yisroel's celebrating their exodus (Although Rashi does say that the
celebration of the 7th day is to commemorate the splitting of the sea, we will interpret
this to mean only the aspect of our being saved.)
– PARSHAS BO 5772 – BS”D

1) Ch. 10, v. 25: "Gam atoh ti'tein b'yo'deinu z'vochim v'olose" – Shouldn't Moshe have
told Paroh that he would give them animals to sacrifice, "tzone u'vokor," rather than
saying that he would give them "z'vochim v'olose," animals that were already sanctified
as sacrifices?
2) Ch. 12, v. 9: "Al tochal mi'menu noh uvosheil m’vushol" – Why were so many
restrictions placed on the manner of preparing the Pesach sacrifice?
3) Ch. 12, v. 26: "Ki yomru a'leichem b'neichem" - These verses, read on Seder night, are
the text of the questions raised by the "ben horosho," the evil son. What indicates that it
is the evil son who is talking?
4) Ch. 12, v. 26: "Mah ho'avodoh hazos lochem" – What is added to this query with the
word “lochem” besides that he is excluding himself, as is mentioned in the Hagodoh?
5) Ch. 12, v. 28: "Va'y'hi bachatzi ha'leiloh" -The Ibn Ezra interprets, "And it was the
BEGINNING OF THE SECOND HALF of the night." Why didn’t the Ibn Ezra translate
these words as “midnight,” or not comment at all, as this is self-understood?
ANSWERS: #1 Possibly, Moshe knew that Paroh would later be brought to his knees and even ask that prayers should be said on his behalf, "u'veirachtem gam osi" (12:32). If so, no doubt, Paroh would send sacrifices to be slaughtered to appease Hashem and to bring a blessing upon himself. #2 The Daas Z'keinim says in the name of the Ibn Ezra that Hashem wanted the bnei Yisroel to prepare the Pesach sacrifice in a very open manner, thus standing up against the ideology of the deification of the lamb by the Egyptians. Therefore the lamb had to be roasted without water. This maximizes the aroma during preparation. It may not be partially roasted nor cooked in water, "u'vosheil m'vushol," to minimize the smell. As well, cooking requires a pot, which would somewhat hide the lamb from view. It must be prepared with its body intact, "rosho al kro'ov v'al kirbo," so that it is clear to all that a lamb is the sacrifice. #3 The Hagodoh Yalkut Shimoni answers that we see that "bneichem," your SONS, a GROUP of sons ask. The "ben horosho" is more interested in rabble rousing than in finding the truth. One who has questions on the basics of our faith should be encouraged to ask them, but privately. When a GROUP of sons comes to ask, it is surely spurned on by a "ben horosho." #4 The Ksav Sofer says that the question of the son is, "Why are you PERSONALLY involved with all the menial tasks of Pesach preparations? Why not have your maids and workers do it for you?" The father answers that just as Hashem has PERSONALLY intervened to smite the firstborn and to take us out of Egypt without use of an intermediary, similarly we prepare for Pesach by being PERSONALLY involved. It might be appropriate to add that Rashi (12:34 in the name of the Mechilta) says that although the bnei Yisroel had many animals to carry their parcels, they themselves carried the items which were used for the mitzvos of Pesach. #5 Possibly, he was dissatisfied with the common "And it was at the precise moment of midnight" translation, because exactly at midnight is not a point in time. The exact midway point where exactly one half of the night has passed and the second half begins, is a concept, but not a point in time. If you cut an object EXACTLY in half, you have half to one side and half to the other, but the point of the cut is not part of the object you split. This might be the reason for his explanation. FEEL FREE TO COPY AND/OR TO DISTRIBUTE. TO SUBSCRIBE FOR WEEKLY EMAIL PLEASE SEND ONE WORD REQUEST – SUBSCRIBE – TO [email protected]



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ADRIANO CANZIAN – Bio EN ADRIANO CANZIAN studied sculpture and graphics, and then painting and contemporary art at Accademia delle Belle Arti in Rome, the city where he moved at 19. In 1995, he began exhibiting his work at various art galleries in Rome, London, Paris and New York. In the meantime, he moved to Paris in 2000 and started a parallel career as a music producer, working with t

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