Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Beshalach

The following is a brief summary of a thought said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce this vort to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

In Shemos 13:19, the Torah notes that Moshe took Yosef's body with him when the Jews left Egypt. The Medrash states - look at the righteousness of Moshe! The Jews took the gold and silver with them when they left Egypt, but Moshe took the body of Yosef.

R' Frand quoted R' Yaakov Kaminetsky who asked what is Moshe's chassidus by taking the body? R' Kaminetsky further comments that the Jews had a hard time taking the money from Egypt and Hashem needed to use the term "daber na" (in Shemos 11:2) when telling Moshe to ask the Jews to request money from the Egyptians. The reason the Jews needed to be convinced was that they were afraid that they would be stealing from the Egyptians. They needed to be convinced that this was not true, since this was their payment for all their years of servitude. Additionally, this was money which only came to the Egyptians due to the efforts of Yosef. Therefore the money was legitimately theirs.

Although there was an imprimatur for taking the money, Moshe decided that he wanted to perform an act that was purely spiritual with no physical benefit.

But R' Yaakov gives a deeper explanation for this act. He quoted a well known medrash that recites that when the Jews came to Yam Suf, the angels came before Hashem and said - why should the Jews be saved? Both these (the Jews) and them (the Egyptians) were idol worshippers. The Medrash answers that the reason that Hashem saved the Jews was because of Yosef. But why Yosef?

The answer given by Shimon HaTzadik in the Medrash is that Yosef gave up his life, rather than sin with the wife of Potiphar. Yosef knew that if he fled from the house he would be chased down and imprisoned. He knew that he would be eventually caught and thrown in a dungeon, perhaps forever. But Yosef did not care about this, and on principle, turned her down and fled.

This was the reason that Hashem was able to answer the angels. Hashem said to them - there is a difference between the Jews and the Egyptians. The Jews are willing to give up their lives on principle - my principle, and they get it from Yosef.

Moshe may not have known that the angels would challenge Hashem when the Jews got to the Yam Suf. But his choice of taking Yosef's body gave Hashem the ammunition to set aside the angels' challenge.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

No comments: