Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Beshalach

The following is a brief summary of some 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 Shemos 16:4-10, the Torah discusses the giving of the Manna and Hashem's pronouncement "Hinnini Mamtir Lachem Lechem Min HaShamayim" which is loosely translated as here I will cause bread to precipitate from the Heavens.

The Medrash ties this into a famously repeated proverb from Koheles in which Shlomo writes that one should "cast his bread upon the waters". The Medrash quotes R' Elchanan who ties the giving of the Manna to Avraham's response to Hashem when he was asked to sacrifice Yitzchak at the Akeidah. When Hashem called out to Avraham, he responded "Hineni" (Bereishis 22:1). R' Elchanan explained that in response to this statement, Hashem said that in the zechus of your having said Hineni, I will give to your children with the same language - Hinnini. The Medrash concluded that this is an example of casting your bread upon the waters ---Avraham did an act which showed faith and which yielded a reward many generations later.

R' Frand then asked --but isn't there more to the connection? Is it simply a play on the same words?

R' Frand answered by quoting his son who in turn quoted R' Bukspan from Miami who took a closer look at both incidents. When Avraham was at the Akeidah and Hashem asked him to sacrifice Yitzchak, Avraham could have said --this makes no sense to me. You told me that I would have offspring through Yitzchak and now I am being asked to kill him? However, Avraham responded Hineni - here I am ready to do your wishes, I have no questions.

At the time that Hashem gave the Manna, Hashem could have asked, why am I bothering with this? I just took the Jews out of Egypt after raining the ten plagues on Egypt, splitting the Yam Suf and having the Jews leave with great wealth. Yet the Jews are complaining as seen in Shemos 16:2-3 when the Jews seem to wish to be back in Egypt. At this point, Hashem could have said -- I did all this for the Jews and they are complaining? Instead, Hashem said nothing as He "learned" from Avraham, who could have questioned, but did not. Therefore Hashem gave the Manna without acknowledging or responding to the complaints.

R' Frand also tied this into Moshe's taking of Yosef's bones when the Jews left Egypt. The pasuk states that Moshe took the bones "Imo" which is translated in English as with him. The Maharil Diskin writes that the more grammatically correct word would have been "Ito" which is also translated with him, but which refers to an object. When the word Imo is used it would refer to an equal that a person travels with.

R' Frand concluded the vort by explaining that Moshe learned from Yosef and that was why the Torah uses the word Imo. Yosef was vexed and challenged by his brothers, but in Vayechi he tells them that he bears no grudge for their actions. He never showed any jealousy either and this is the reason that his bones were still intact, as the Gemara teaches that one who is jealous has his bones liquefy post-mortem. Moshe took a lesson from Yosef and said that as much as they may attempt to challenge me, it will not be personal as I will adopt Yosef's persona. 

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