Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Beshalach

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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 Shemos 14:3, the Torah states that Pharaoh told the Jews that they are imprisoned in the land and the desert has locked them in. The obvious question is - who did Pharaoh tell this to? The Jews had already left Egypt with Moshe! 

The pashut pshat as said by many meforshim is that Pharaoh said this about the Jews and not to them. But the Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel explains that Pharaoh said this to Dasan and Aviram, who had not left yet.

R' Frand asked - if Dasan and Aviram were such evil people that they did not leave with Moshe, how were they still around? These were Moshe's historical antagonists, yet we read about them later in the Torah so they obviously got out. But how did they merit to get out of Egypt?

The Maharal Diskin explains that Dasan and Aviram's merit was that they were among the shotrim - the police who were in charge of the Jews in Egypt. But these were not like the Kapos in the concentration camps. In Egypt, the shotrim were beaten by the Egyptians when the Jews did not meet their quotas. But the shotrim did not turn around and take it out on the Jews in Egypt, nor did they turn them in to the Egyptians. The shotrim suffered in silence, even when their wounds did not heal and their bodies smelled.

R' Frand concluded the vort by noting that Hashem loves the people who protect their fellow Jews and willingly take on the punishment meant for others. Although Dasan and Aviram were wicked and provoked Moshe many a time, Hashem had mercy on them because they had given up their bodies to protect their fellow Jews.

The second vort that R' Frand said over dealt with the manna. When the Jews complained to Moshe that they missed the food in Egypt and that they were all going to starve and die, Hashem responded to Moshe in Shemos 16:4, I will give them the manna from the heavens. Every single day, the Jews would go out and collect their daily needs.

R' Frand said that we may be jaded with all the miracles from Egypt, but this was a true miracle. Imagine going every morning to your mailbox and getting a check, without having to work.

But later Moshe responds to the Jews' complaints in Shemos 16:7-8, if you have a problem, don't bring it to me - bring it to Hashem.

This does not seem like Moshe, how does the loyal servant Moshe tells the Jews - this is not my problem - go ask Hashem!

The gemara remarks that Moshe shows great modesty here by saying I am nothing, its all from Hashem. But isn't this misplaced modesty? Shouldn't Moshe have been firmer in his response?

R' Frand answered by quoting the Tollner Rebbi who explains the R' B'Chaye on the parsha. The R' B'Chaye states that the manna comes because the Jews said in Shemos 15:2, "Zeh Keili V'Anvehu." What is the connection? 

R' Frand answered that when the Jews crossed the Yam Suf they had a great cognizance of Hashem and saw great miracles. Thus when the Jews said "Zeh Keili V'Anvehu" they put on emphasis on the Keili - this is my God, He is my father. And because the Jews had this closeness with Hashem, they were zoche to the manna. A parent takes care of his children because this is what a father does. Hashem heard the Jews and said, if you feel like this about Me, then I will give you the manna.

When the Jews complain to Moshe and ask "what did you do to us, why did you take us out of Egypt", Moshe needed to make sure the relationship would not be broken, so he responded to them - go to Hashem because He is your father. This was not Moshe passing the buck, it was Moshe telling them - go to your father because He will take care of you - its not from me.

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1 comment:

Yaakov said...

Great divar torah about Dasan and Aviram