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10

With regard to the issue of what the timing was with God telling Moshe about the tenth plague, there are two approaches: God actually interrupted the conversation between Moshe and Pharaoh to tell Moshe about the tenth plague while he was still standing before Pharaoh. (Rashi (from Shemos Rabbah 18:1), Rashbam, Ramban, Abarbanel.) [Abarbanel adds that ...


7

Abarbanel discusses this and gives two reasons why the parshiyos were split this way (which, incidentally, are the reasons @LarryK and @GershonGold have offered). The plague of arbeh was chosen to begin Parshas Bo with because it begins the makkos for which Pharaoh began to fear the plagues and negotiate with Moshe before the plague started. All the last ...


7

Shemot 11:4: Moses said, "So said the Lord, At the dividing point of the night, I will go out into the midst of Egypt, Rashi to Shemot 11:4: Moses said, So said the Lord: When he stood before Pharaoh, this prophecy was said to him, for after he [Moses] left his [Pharaoh’s] presence, he did not see his face [again]. — [from Exod. Rabbah 18:1, ...


7

The letters בגד כפת have two versions, one with Dagesh and one without. It gets a Dagesh after a closed syllable, or in the beginning of a word. In this instance, the previous word ends with an open syllable. Therefore the פ does not receive a Dagesh. What of many instances where we see a word-initial פ receive a Dagesh where the previous word ended with ...


5

The Zohar (vol. 2 34a) explains (translation from chabad.org): Rabbi Simeon [bar Yochai] continued: It is now fitting to reveal mysteries connected with that which is above and that which is below. Why is it written, "Come in to Pharaoh"? Ought it not rather to have said, "Go to Pharaoh"? It is to indicate that G-d brought Moses into a chamber ...


5

From Me'am Lo'ez: The darkness was not like the darkness of night, but was something palpable. Our sages state that it could be felt, just like a coin. (Tanchuma; Shemot Rabbah. The measure of the "thickness of a coin [dinar]" is that which is considered to have substance; see Chulin 55b. Rashash on Shemot Rabbah writes that the darkness was like ...


5

Maybe because there is no independent Mitzva to eat Matzo on Pesach Sheni. One eats matzo only to accompany the Pesach, identical to the mitzva of Maror. Whereas on Pesach Rishon, there is an independent mitzva to eat matzo, besides the requirement for it to accompany the consumption of Pesach.


5

The seventh, Hail, marks a turning point. So it is also a good place to divide the parshiot. The plague is a turning point since it is the first one whereby Moses/Gd gives Pharoh three choices: Let B'nei Israel leave Fully suffer the plague Partially suffer the plague: save your fieldworkers and animals by bringing them indoors away from the hail (Ex ...


4

One possibility is that it's a "klal uprat" (generality followed by the specifics), as is common in the narratives of Tanach. For example, consider how Gen. 1:27 says generally that G-d created man and woman, and then in 2:18ff it fills in the details. Another example is where Josh. 4:1 speaks of all of the people crossing the Jordan, then the next few ...


4

R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi (Likkutei Torah, Pekudei 5b) explains homiletically that יֵאָכֵל is transitive: "matzos shall feed the seven days" - the latter representing the seven aspects that make up a person's emotional self. The Torah is saying, then, that these need to be suffused with the nullification (bittul) to G-d that the matzah represents. He also ...


4

God gives this instruction - "בא אל פרעה" - to Moshe preceding three of the Plagues: Frogs (Shemot 7:26), Dead Animals (Shemot 9:1), and Locusts (Shemot 10:1 - your question). According to R' Samson Raphael Hirsch's scheme for understanding the purposes of the Plagues, laid out in his commentary on 7:15, these three plagues, each the second in a group of ...


4

Yes, this did happen. Verse 12:31 states: So he called for Moses and Aaron at night, and he said, "Get up and get out from among my people, both you, as well as the children of Israel, and go, worship the Lord as you have spoken. Rashi says on this: and go, worship the Lord as you have spoken: Everything is as you said, not as I said. “Neither ...


4

@Menachem's answer addresses your question regarding sources that suggest that some of the plagues affected the Jews as well as the Egyptians. However, regarding your question of why the distinction is "spelled out" only prior to the fourth plague, arov, I will offer the explanation of Abarbanel (who, by the way, believes that the Jews were not affected by ...


4

Excerpted from an article by R' Maury Grebenau: The Seforno (Shemos 12:13) assumes that it was in fact Hashem who carried out the plague. The "maschis" that is referred to is just a reference to the destruction that Hashem will create. It isn't referring to an angel. The Ohr Hachayim (there) understands that it was a two part system. Hashem was the ...


3

The Ibn Ezra (7:24) says that Jews were affected by the first three plagues (Blood, Frogs, and Lice), since: That's the story the verses tell They weren't that bad (i.e. only an inconvenience, I guess. - he says that the Jews also dug for water) They were spared from Wild Animals because it was a harsh plague. They were also spared from Pestilence and ...


3

The first bold term is obvious. Without the words "Who sits on his throne", you would think that only Pharoh's son, and not Pharoah himself would be threatened with the plague. Once that phrase is required, then the next phrase 'behind the millstone" is also needed. Because if it only mentioned the throne, then you might think that only the slaves of ...


3

Rashi explains that from the most illustrious to the lowliest ones were afflicted. There are different levels of slaves, and those behind the millstone were the absolute lowest level. And Pharaoh was on the absolute highest level.


3

I've no time to check amongst the Acharonim, but so far as the Rishonim are concerned it would appear that the only person to even question the language here is the Baal haTurim (even the Rosh doesn't mention it, and it's not asked by Daat Zkeinim). He merely suggests that telling Moses to "come" is what God does when Moses is supposed to confront the ...


3

Torah Temimah has an interesting comment on a different point: why does Pharaoh ask for the removal "only of this death"? He answers based on an episode in the Gemara (Taanis 8b), when a community was threatened by two dangers, plague and famine. People were unsure which one to focus on in their prayers (as is the proper thing to do, as the Gemara goes on ...


3

The Kli Yekar explains that Nissan is the month when the sun is in the constellation Aries, a sheep. We know the Egyptians worshiped sheep (Genesis 46:34 and Exodus 8:22). By slaughtering a sheep in the month of the sheep, God was showing the Egyptians his power over their gods. This connection also helps us understand how counting Nissan (the month of the ...


3

The Ibn Ezra (ad loc.) writes that without the commandment to set the months, we would observe the holidays by season (e.g. shamor es chodesh ha'aviv, v'chag hakatzir bikkurei ma'asecha, etc.). However, setting the halachic calendar is an intrinsic part of the holidays, as mentioned by DoubleAA, so the commandment of "hachodesh hazeh" is appropriately placed ...


3

As others have answered, technically the establishment of the calendar is a prerequisite for observing the Jewish holidays. This commandment is in fact the first mitzva given to the Jewish people as a nation. (The few mitzvot recorded in Bereishit were given to individuals before we became a nation.) The Seforno explains that setting the Jewish calendar ...


2

Before answering your question, I will strengthen it. Rashi is channeling midrash, as he so often does. And by other makkos, the Midrash Rabba does give a reason, in the same form. Thus, immediately preceding is arbeh, locusts. And we read there in the midrash: ויאמר ה' אל משה נטה את ידך ארבה למה הביא עליהן? מפני ששמו את ישראל זורעי חטים ושעורים, ...


2

In Posuk 28 it says וַיֹּאמֶר-לוֹ פַרְעֹה, לֵךְ מֵעָלָי; הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ, אַל-תֹּסֶף רְאוֹת פָּנַי--כִּי בְּיוֹם רְאֹתְךָ פָנַי, תָּמוּת. The Posuk that says וַיִּקְרָא לְמֹשֶׁה וּלְאַהֲרֹן לַיְלָה was Pharoh saving face saying I am calling you as it is not daytime, it is nighttime. (Ohr Hachaim)


2

I think the simple Pshat is that the blood on the door post was for the Jewish people. It was for them to realize that it is because of adherence to this Mitzvah of Korbon Pesach that they are being spared. The main thrust of the Korbon Pesach (see Ramban, Rambam) is a repudiation of Idolatry. These animals were worshiped as God's by the Egyptians. We ...


2

My instinct, having done no research on the topic, suggests that Rash"i is in fact softening both ends of the descriptive spectrum to make the point that "there are no X people, just X questions". Note that the wise son is not the only one whose designation shifts between the text of the Y'rushalmi to Rash"i's expression of it. Tipesh (stupid) also becomes ...


2

R' Samson Raphael Hirsch construes the commandments of both Rosh Chodesh and the Passover offering as means toward fulfilling God's promise/commandment in Exodus 6:7: ... וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם לִי לְעָם, וְהָיִיתִי לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים and I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God ... According to R' Hirsch (in his commentary on 6:7 ...


1

A twist on Avi's answer: "Who sits on his throne" is to include even the highest ranking of Par'oh's many sons from his many wives (as is likely for a monarch at his time). "Who is behind the millstone" is then needed either for parallelism or to avoid unintended inferences from the throne quip as outlined in Avi's answer.


1

I remember hearing that the 3 last Makos all had to do with darkness. Arbeh - grasshoppers covered the entire ground as it says וכסה את עין הארץ ולא יוכל לראות את הארץ, then you had Choshech - darkness where the Posuk says they were literally able to touch the darkness וימש חושך, and then Makas Bechoros which happened at midnight ויהי בחצי הלילה וה' הכה כל ...


1

Rabbi Shimon Schwab Zatzal in Maayan Bais HaShoayva brings from the Sefer Mikroei Kodesh that the Egyptians did not realize the night of Makas Bechoros that only the Bechorim died. They first noticed that after the Jews left as they were burying them. (See Maayan Bais HaShoayva Parshas Bo pg 158)



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