The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha last evening. [As I am currently in Israel, I was unable to blog this immediately after the shiur]. 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.
R' Frand began the vort with a story about a formerly rich man who came to the Chasam Sofer and asked for a beracha and an "eitza" since he had fallen on hard times. The Chasam Sofer told him that he should give money to another Jew who had fallen on hard times.
The man responded to the Chasam Sofer - but I need help, I have fallen on hard times!
The Chasam Sofer answered him based on a pasuk in this week's parsha (Shemos 6:5) wherein Hashem states "V'Gam Ani Shamati Es Na'akas Bnei Yisrael" - and I have also heard the screams/cries of the Jews. The Chasam Sofer asked - what does it mean that "I have also heard? Who else would have heard besides Hashem?" He explained that when a Jew cried out, the other Jews heard and cried as well. Hashem then heard those Jews crying for the others and that is what reached Him.
R' Frand said that this is the segulah for help - when you cry for another Jew, it reaches Hashem and makes Him want to help you.
R' Frand quoted the Meshech Chachma on Shemos 6:13 where the Torah states that Hashem spoke to Moshe and Aharon and commanded them them to instruct the Jews and Pharaoh to take the Jews out of Egypt. The Meshech Chachma explains that Hashem commanded Moshe to instruct the Jews about freeing slaves. The Meshech Chachma asked - why would this be the time to instruct Jews to free slaves? Who had slaves?
The Meshech Chachma explained that there are also wealthier and not so wealthy people. The wealthy Jews bought some Jewish slaves from the Egyptians and employed them. This is again the message to the Jews - if you want to merit release from slavery - release your slaves.
R' Frand told a story in the name of the Rebbi from Zlotov. The Rebbi was in a concentration camp and came across another Jew who was dying from hunger, so weak that he could not even get up. The Rebbi decided to give his portion of bread to the Jew. The Jew then said to the Rebbi, I give you a beracha that you will get out of here alive.
At some point later, the Rebbi was locked into barracks and he was dying from hunger. A kapo saw the Rebbi and gave him some sugar cubes and the Rebbi said that this sustained him. He said that this was in a zchus of what he gave the other Jew.
This is along the same lines of the concept that if a Jew davens for another Jew who is suffering from a problem, he himself will merit and be saved from the problem.
R' Frand said an additional vort on the pasuk in Shemos 5:23 in which Moshe states that after he came to Pharaoh, its gotten worse for the Jewish people. The Sfas Emes explains that according to the Medrash, Hashem responded to Moshe with a pasuk from Koheles that the end of something is better than the beginning.
The Sfas Emes explained that Moshe was right and that it was too much, but even so, the Jews had to go through this, so that there would not be suffering in future generations.
R' Frand linked this to the vort he said in the name of the Sfas Emes on Vayigash that Yosef cried when he saw Binyamin because had he been able to sustain the charade with the brothers a little longer, there would not have been a churban. Had they suffered a little longer, they would not have had to go through the exile.
The Sfas Emes explained - that this is the meaning of the pasuk in Koheles - the end is better, because of what they endured in the beginning. Hashem is telling Moshe, the end will be better, because of what they are going through now.
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