Rabbi Zitron quotes that there are twentyfour different types of ways to protect the jews from escaping.

(It may be a bit irritating seeing my questions always quoting from lectures from youtube. I apologize but i guess this may be the only way for me to learn)

What are those 24 ways?

  • I didn't look on Youtube, but does he give any clues as to who/what/where he's quoting from? If he does, what does the source say?
    – Gary
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 15:40
  • Rabbi Yosef Deutsch's book on "Let my nation go"
    – Rh Haokip
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 16:06

2 Answers 2


Following @mbloch's sleuthing here, this seems to come from R. Yitzhak's Abravanel's comments on the passage Avadim Hayinu in his commentary Zevach Pesach to the Haggadah:

וכבר זכרו חכמים זכרונם לברכה שהיו עבדים נסגרים שם בכ״ד מפתחות שלא היה אפשר לצאת

Our Sages have already mentioned that slaves there [in Egypt] were confined with 24 keys, so that it was impossible to leave.

I have not yet managed to track down a source for his comments, but it doesn't sound to me like he is talking about 24 different ways of keeping the Israelites from escaping, but instead that there were 24 locks used to keep them from running away.


As you suggested in comments, R Yosef Deutsch quotes this in his book Let my nation go, p. 54, but he doesn't give details. He writes

There was no escape. The Egyptians had twenty-four different safeguards against unauthorised flight. The Jewish people were so deeply ensnared that they lost all hope of ever extricating themselves by their own power. They only hope clearly lay in the help of Hashem.

He quotes the source as Zevach Pesach, which a sefer by Isaac Abarbanel (cover page). Maybe someone will have this sefer and can help further.

  • What about the tribe of Efrayim that left on their own?
    – Al Berko
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 19:44
  • 2
    @AlBerko As Rav Deutsch discusses on p. 97, "As descendants of Yosef, the viceroy of Egypt, they were treated as royalty by the Egyptians. They were not required to submit to slave labor, and in fact, they were free to leave Egypt if they so chose. They used their free time to train as warriors. The one hundred and twenty thousand Egyptian soldiers guarding the borders of Egypt to prevent the escape of the Jews were instructed not to stop the people of Ephraim if they attempted to leave." Footnote 209 ad. loc. sources this to Yalkut Reuveini and Sifsei Kohen.
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 21:55
  • @DonielF Thank you it is informative. Personally, I don't like this Superman vs Batman thing - we just play the sides as we wish - sometimes they are stronger, sometimes we are.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 22:00
  • 1
    @AlBerko The general idea, particularly highlighted by the incident with the Pilegesh biGivah in Sefer Shoftim and the war with Amalek in Parshas Beshalach, is that whenever we're doing the will of Hashem, we're stronger, and whenever we're not doing the will of Hashem, we're weaker. As the Bnei Ephraim weren't supposed to leave (even if the Egyptians weren't stopping them, it was still 30 years too early), they weren't given Divine help and therefore were practically obliterated in the succeeding battles.
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 22:03

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