פ’ בא – תשע”ה
Volume 7, Issue 3
INSIGHTS from the SEDRA
Insights from the Sedra is a project of the Scholar’s Kollel of Great Neck. It aims to provide several questions and answers about the Sedra, culled from various commentaries, including the following: Baal Haturim, Darash Moshe, Vedebarta Bam by Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky, Torah Treasures by Dov Furer, Wellsprings of Torah by Alexander Friedman, and Kol Dodi by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, Great Torah Lights by Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Goodman, Something To Say by Dov Wasserman, The Vilna Gaon, and Growth Through Torah by Zelig Pliskin.
In Parshas Bo we arrive at the successful conclusion of Moshe’s strategic campaign to free Bnei Yisrael from Egypt and from bondage. Now that Bnei Yisrael is becoming emancipated from Egyptian slavery, they are ready to take upon themselves the yoke of mitzvot. For this reason Parshas Bo contains many mitzvoth beginning with This month shall be the beginning of months for you…(12:2) that are given to them as a People (previous mitzvoth such as bris milah and the prohibition of eating the gid hanashe, were given to them as individuals and not as a collective people).
Rabbi Aharon Halevi, author of “Sefer Hachinuch” counts twenty mitzvot in Parshas Bo beginning with the mitzvah of blessing the new month, sacrificing Korban Pesach, and its consumption, up until the mitzvah of telling the story of the Exodus from Egypt and the redemption of the firstborn. (Torah Gems)
When we read the Haggadah on Pesach we interestingly note that there is hardly any reference to Moshe, the main figure who dominated the entire epic of the Exodus of Egypt. The explanation for this is as follows: Moshe was commanded, as we are, to relate the story of the Exodus from Egypt to his own children. At that time, this mitzvah was actually only applicable to Moshe since all of Bnei Yisrael and their children experienced the Exodus. The only ones who did not experience this were Moshe’s children since they were with Yisro and did not join him until after this monumental event.
Thus, the first Haggadah, was Moshe’s own account to his own children; and since there were none other more unpretentious and humble than he, he never mentioned his own role in this great episode. This, the first format of the Haggadah, was formulated throughout the generations and continued to omit Moshe’s role and name. Reading the Haggadah and noting the absence of Moshe’s name should remind us of the magnitude of humility which Hashem loves so much and which we should try to emulate. (Torah Gems)
ויאמר ה’ אל משה בא אל פרעה
“Hashem said to Moshe: Come to Pharaoh.” (10:1)
Many Sages wonder why it is written come to Pharaoh and not go to Pharaoh? Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kutzk remarks that one never leaves Hashem’s presence and one can never further himself from Hashem’s proximity as it states, The fullness of the whole earth declares His glory (Isaiah 6:3). Thus Hashem calls to Moshe: “Come with me to Pharaoh, I am with you wherever you go and you will not be alone!”
The word בא in gematria is 3 and alludes to the fact that there are another 3 plagues. The word בא and פרעה together make up the gematria of משיח, as a hint to the coming Geulah that began with the redemption from Egyptian bondage. (Ba’al HaTurim)
ולמען תספר באזני בנך ובן בנך…וידעתם כי אני ה’
“And that you may tell in the ears of your son and your son’s son…that you know that I am Hashem…” (10:2)
The Torah emphasizes that if you will tell your children and your children’s children of Hashem’s acts over the course of three generations, the faith in Hashem and the knowledge of Torah and mitzvot will never leave your midst. This concept binds the connection of the beginning of the verse that you may tell in the ears of your son and your son’s son with the concluding words of the verse that you may know that I am Hashem.
Our Sages expound that in two places in the Torah we find the word למען. At the beginning of the Parshas Va’era with the verse ולמען תספר באזני בנך ובן בנך; and in Parshas Eikev where it states ולמען תאריכו ימים על האדמה – that you may lengthen your days on this earth (Devarim 11:9). We are taught here that he who ensures the education of his children and grandchildren, merits long years on this earth as Hashem promised. Rabbi Yehoshua of Ostrova explains that if we instill within our children and grandchildren Hashem’s greatness and eminence in the world, we too will be elevated to the status of recognizing Hashem and fulfill the words that you may know that I am Hashem. (Torah Gems)
בנערינו ובזקנינו נלך…כי חג ה’ לנו
“With our youngsters and with our elders shall we go because it’s a festival of Hashem for us.” (10:9)
After the 8th plague, Moshe returned to Pharaoh again with the request that the Jews be set free. The Yismach Moshe notes that the beginning of the verse talks about the youth and the elders going out, and the verse concludes, “because it is a festival of Hashem for us.” What is the connection between these two ideas?
He answers that when the youth, who are the future of the Jewish people, walk together with the elders, following in their ways and cherishing their precious heritage, then it is a festival; this alone is reason for the celebration, for it is a fulfillment of G-d’s plan for the world. (Something To Say)
וילכו ויעשו בני ישראל כאשר צוה ה’ את משה ואהרן כן עשו
“And the Children of Israel went and did as Hashem commanded Moshe and Aharon, so they did.” (12:28)
Rashi comments that, “so they did” refers to Moshe and Aharon. They also did as Hashem commanded about the Paschal Lamb. The Torah tells us this as a lesson to anyone who wants to have a positive influence on others. It is not enough just to tell others to do good deeds. Your own behavior should serve as a model for them to follow.
Action is much more difficult than words. The best way to influence others is to be the type of person you wish others to be. *One has to walk the walk not just talk the talk. (Growth Through Torah)
ויקם פרעה לילה הוא וכל עבדיו…ויקרא למשה ולאהרן לילה ויאמר קומו צאו מתוך עמי
“Pharaoh arose at night, he and all his servants…and he called for Moshe and Aharon at night, and he said, “Arise, go out from among my people.” (12:30-31)
Why does the verse have to repeat the words “at night” (“he called for Moshe and Aharon at night”)? We have already been told that what was happening was “at night” in the beginning of the verse (“And Pharaoh arose at night”)!
Pharaoh had told Moshe to beware not to ever see his face again, “for on the day you see my face you will die.” Pharaoh wanted to explain to Moshe that the threat did not apply at the present time, for it had stipulated “on the day you see my face,” whereas now it was not day but night. He therefore called out to him with the word, “Nighttime!” ויקרא למשה ולאהרן לילה – before beginning to address him with the rest of his message. (Brisker Rav)
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