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I am wondering about the role of the Llama in Yetziat Mitzrayim.

Shmot 5:4:

ויאמר אליהם, מלך מצרים, למה משה ואהרון, תפריעו את-העם ממעשיו לכו, לסבלותיכם

And the King of Egypt said to them: Llama, Moshe, and Aharon, you are disrupting the people from their work! Go to your burdens.

This paints a picture of the Llama as an ally of Bnei Yisrael. However, after Bnei Yisrael's workload is harshened, Pasuk 15 states:

ויבאו, שטרי בני ישראל, ויצעקו אל-פרעה, לאמר: למה תעשה כה, לעבדיך

And the (Israelite) officers of Bnei Yisrael came, and they cried out to Pharaoh saying: "A Llama has done this to your servants!"

How are we to solve this contradiction? Was the Llama Pro-Bnei Yisrael, or Pro-Pharaoh?


As a side point, the Pasuk (Shmot 32:11) seems to imply that the Llama somehow poisoned Moshe:

ויחל משה... ויאמר למה

And Moshe fell sick... and he said, "(It was the) Llama!"


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closed as off-topic by Monica Cellio Mar 27 '16 at 4:35

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  • Maybe there was more than one llama – Daniel Mar 15 '16 at 23:13
  • As Llamas are native to South America, I would highly doubt that Egypt had more than one. – ephraim helfgot Mar 16 '16 at 0:28
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    How did the one get there? Why couldn't a second have come there the same way? – Daniel Mar 16 '16 at 0:29
  • Well, we know that two were saved on Noach's boat. For it to be called 'South American', they had to have at least one, and so only one was left for Egypt. And yes, llamas are not fruitful and multiplicatious; as we learn here (kipa.co.il/ask/show/…), למה לא להרבות – ephraim helfgot Mar 16 '16 at 0:35
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There seems to be a misunderstanding here -- The word is not "llama" but "Lama"(with only one lamed), short for Deli Lama, the pastrami, corned beef, and beef tongue King. Once this is understood, the quotes are all easily explained:

Shemot 5:4 - Of course there was a work disruption. The sight and smell of the cooking meat, and Moshe and Aharon helping the Lama distribute the sandwich platters led to long lunches, and all that meat made the Israelites ready for a good nap, instead of working.

Shemot 5:15 - Of course Pharoah and the taskmasters figured that with such a protein-heavy diet, provided by the Lama, they could therefore work harder and longer.

Shemot 32:9 - Moshe was not poisoned - since he was (per Bamidbar 12:3)very meek/humble, he just couldn't take the chance of offending the Lama by leaving leftovers on his plate when he made Moshe a special triple decker pastrami, corned beef, and tongue sandwich. He "couldn't believe he ate the whole thing", and Alka-Seltzer wasn't available then, so the indigestion from eating all that meat nearly paralyzed him, causing him to cry out "It was the Lama" when they tried to rouse him to action.

I hope this clears things up - he was definitely on the Israelites' side, providing noshes as necessary during those tough days in Mitzraim..

  • You had me at the 'Deli Lama' :) – ephraim helfgot Mar 16 '16 at 1:38
  • Thanks! ...just couldn't resist. Hello Deli got me thinking... – Gary Mar 16 '16 at 2:07
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As always, our heilege zemiros recount the many llamos our forefathers dealt with on their exodus from Egypt:

Here's a llama| There's a llama| And another little llama| Funny llama| Fuzzy llama| llama llama duck.

The first llama we see is in 2:13 - לָמָּה תַכֶּה, רֵעֶךָ. This violent animal compelled Moshe to flee Egypt on the back of another llama that threw him off as he approached the house of Yitro (2:20) - לָמָּה זֶּה עֲזַבְתֶּן אֶת-הָאִישׁ. Notice that these first two llamos are both female, and may in fact be the same llama.

This misbehavior might be the reason Moshe chooses to return to Egypt on a donkey rather than a llama.

The theme of camelids continues in the 5th perek, where we see a duality in the nature of llama:

5:22 אֲדֹנָי, לָמָה הֲרֵעֹתָה לָעָם הַזֶּה--לָמָּה זֶּה, שְׁלַחְתָּנִי

Moshe is clearly confused - while one llama seems to be oppressing the people, the other is operating as a divine agent in sending Moshe to Pharaoh. This is evident from the previous two possukim:

5:4 לָמָּה מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן, תַּפְרִיעוּ אֶת-הָעָם מִמַּעֲשָׂיו

The llama here comes even before Moshe and Aharon - this is the llama that sends them.

5:15 לָמָּה תַעֲשֶׂה כֹה, לַעֲבָדֶיךָ

And here is the llama that does evil to the people!

Moshe himself struggled to comprehend this, asking Hashem to reveal to him: למה יש צדיק ורע לו, רשע וטוב לו "Why is there a good llama who has bad things happen to it, and a bad llama who has good things happen to it?"

Both of these llamos seem to have died during the plagues, as they fail to reappear until after the Jews have left Egypt. In fact, the Torah itself notes their absence: וַיָּבֹאוּ אֵילִמָה 15:27 "And they came, [but] where was the llama?"

Shortly thereafter, the aforementioned good llama finds the Jewish people once again in the midbar: לָמָּה זֶּה הֶעֱלִיתָנוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם 17:3

This good malach-llama also manifests the anger of Hashem for the sin of the Golden calf: 32:11 וַיֹּאמֶר, לָמָה יְהוָה יֶחֱרֶה אַפְּךָ בְּעַמֶּךָ "The llama of Hashem is getting angry at the nation."

Simultaneously, another llama was aiding Moshe in his plea for saving the fledgling Jewish nation: 32:12 לָמָּה יֹאמְרוּ מִצְרַיִם לֵאמֹר "The llama says the Egyptians will say..."

We are beginning to understand the dual nature hidden within the llama, as an embodiment of both Din and Rachamim. The divine llama, like Moshe himself, is primarily concerned with the preservation and sanctification of heaven. That is why sometimes it will punish the nation and other times intercede on their behalf!

In remembrance of the greatness of the llama, we commemorate a stone of the Choshen in its honor: 28:19 וְהַטּוּר, הַשְּׁלִישִׁי--לֶשֶׁם שְׁבוֹ, וְאַחְ לָמָה

  • In fact, the seven llamos of the zemer correspond with the seven llamos found in Shemos! – Isaac Kotlicky Mar 20 '16 at 19:22

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