Thursday, February 9, 2017

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 confused 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 (including Rashi) 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. Why did they merit to get out of Egypt, when 80% of the Jews did not make it out of Egypt (and died in Choshech) because of their evil nature?

The Maharal Diskin explains that Dasan and Aviram's merit was that they were among the nogsim - the taskmaster/enforcers who were in charge of the Jews in Egypt. But these were not like the Kapos in the concentration camps. In Egypt, these people were beaten by the Egyptians when the Jews did not meet their quotas. In that zechus and because of their empathy for their fellow Jews because they got hit to prevent people from being beaten, they merited getting out of Egypt.

R' Frand next told a story which was a favorite of R' Shlomo Zalman Oyerbach and was said at his funeral. The story involved the author of the Boruch Tam whose son had gotten engaged. When he came to his son's vort, he appeared distracted and was approached as to whether he was unhappy with the shidduch. He responded - no, its because the town's water carrier was sick and its weighing on my mind. The mother of the girl who had become engaged said to the Boruch Tam --because the water carrier is sick its impacting your mood? There can be another water drawer. The Boruch Tam got up from the table and said --the shidduch is off! I will not allow my son to marry into a family which is so callous and does not care about other people.

This was the zechus that Dasan and Aviram had, because they cared about all the Jews and took blows meant for them, they were rewarded.

R' Frand next quoted a sefer Be'er Mayim Chayim who asked - how did Dasan and Aviram make it out of Egypt? When could they have left, if Pharaoh was talking to them and the Jews are already gone?

He answered by analyzing Shemos 15:19 which states that Pharaoh's horse came into the sea and the Jews walked on dry land. This seems to be out of order. First the Jews went into dry land in the sea and then Pharaoh's horse followed them in!

The Be'er Mayim Chayim explains that there was a second Krias Yamsuf. When Dasan and Aviram got there, the sea had already closed up after Pharaoh and his horse went in. But because they had a great zechus, Hashem made a second Krias Yamsuf and they walked into the sea on dry land.

He then ties this incident into the Korach story. Why is it that Dasan and Aviram got involved in that fight with Moshe, especially when they had nothing to gain and were never on Moshe's level? The answer is that because they had experienced a personal Krias Yamsuf, they thought that they were on a high level and were equal to Moshe.

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