Friday, January 18, 2013

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Bo

The following is a brief summary of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts 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 this week's parsha, the Torah recites at Bo (11:2) that Moshe was asked to tell the Jewish people to please ask their neighbors to borrow gold and silver from their neighbors. Rashi explains that Moshe was asked to please do this because Hashem did not want Avraham to have a claim. Hashem had promised Avraham that the Jews would be in galus and then go out with great wealth. If the Jews left Egypt without money, Avraham might complain - so please ask.

However this vort is problematic when viewed in contrast with a pasuk in Parshas Vaera (6:3) where Hashem said to Moshe, why are you complaining? Avraham did not complain, Yitzchak did not complain, Yaakov did not complain. Even when things were difficult for them! 

So the Kloizenberger Rebbe asks - if Avraham did not complain about burying Sarah or possibly sacrificing Yitzchak - why would Avraham have complaints about the Jews not leaving with great wealth?

R' Frand said that the Kloizenberger Rebbe answered the question based on a conversation he had with a fellow when they were concentration camp inmates. The inmate - an apostate Jew, said to the Rebbe - you and I will have the same Olam Haba. The Nazis consider me a Jew just like you - they see no difference. So I will get the same reward as you. 

The Rebbe responded to the apostate - you have now helped me understand the following vort. When the Jews left Egypt, the Satan said to Hashem - these and these are both idol worshipers! Why should the Jews be saved? You promised that after galus your children would go free, but there is no difference between them. 

The Rebbe concluded - Avraham will respond to the Satan - these are Jews enough to be enslaved, so they are Jews enough to go free. If they went down to Egypt because they are Jews, they need to go free with the rewards they were promised.

Rabbi Frand added another thought in connection with the use of the word please (na) in the pasuk. Quoting the Sefer Darash Mordechai, he explained - when Moshe argued with Hashem that the Jews should be forgiven for the sin of the Golden Calf, he said Selach Na - please forgive them. In so doing Moshe said to Hashem - you asked them to take the money when they left Egypt and used the term na. The money that they took with them was because of your use of the na. Now please (na) forgive them.

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