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15

The midrash in Sh'mot Rabbah (2:5) offers some explanations: Why fire? To inspire him with courage so that when he comes to Sinai later he is not afraid of the fire.1 Why a thornbush? R' Yehoshua b. Karchah said: to teach that no place is devoid of God's presence, not even a thornbush. R' Eliezer said: just as the thornbush is the lowliest of all trees in ...


14

To first clarify, even though lying is usually frowned upon, I'm pretty sure that, at least ethically speaking, there's no reason to frown upon lying to Pharaoh in this situation if it was necessary to save the Jews. The question being dealt with here is why was this deception necessary - couldn't God have saved them without the lie? Thanks to this shiur, I'...


14

R. Avraham Ibn Ezra seems to say that she put him in the river not because that would save him but so that she shouldn't have to witness his death: ויוכבד עשתה זאת כי אמרה אל אראה במות הילד R. Yosef Ibn Kaspi argues that it is better to choose the possible death than the certain death, and keeping him at home would have led to certain death while placing ...


13

Commentaries available here: Rashi (verse 16) - Pharaoh's stargazers had told him that a boy who would lead the Jews out of Egypt was being born. Chizkuni (verse 16) - men were generally those involved in warfare, and Pharaoh was worried about the Jews joining in a war against Egypt. Note that in verse 22, he adopts the "Rashi approach", based on the ...


12

Rashi to Exodus (1:16) quotes a Midrash that the Pharaoh decreed to specifically kill males since his astrologers predicted that a male would save the Jews. This Midrash is pretty old, and is present in Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews (2:9:2). Hizkuni (1:16) and Hadar Z'kenim (1:22) suggest that Pharaoh was worried that males in particular would do battle ...


12

Most commentaries render this as some sort of thorny bush (see Rashi, Ibn Ezra). In terms of identifying which exact species it may have been, a great resource is Rabbi Kaplan's Living Torah commentary to Exodus 3:2, which states: S'neh in Hebrew. This is most probably the black raspberry (rubus sanctus), which has berries that turn red and then black (...


11

Kesuvos 111b: (Art Scroll 11b5) has the following: Rami bar Yechezkel traveled to Bnai Brak. He saw certain goats that were eating under the fig trees, and [fig] honey dripped from the figs while milk dripped from [the udders of] these [goats] and [the two] mixed together [to form a flowing stream]. [Rami bar Yechezkel] said This is a [literal] ...


10

The Midrash Raba 1:28 says it was justifiable: One time, an Egyptian taskmaster went to a Israelite kapo and looked at his wife, who was beautiful without blemish. He got up at cockcrow and removed him from his house and (the Egyptian) returned and bedded his wife, who thought he was her husband…. Once the taskmaster knew that [the husband] knew ...


9

From here: The Holy One tested Moshe by means of the flock, as our sages have explained: when Moshe was tending Yitro's flock out in the desert, a lamb ran off, and Moshe followed it, until it found shelter under a rock. There it found water and stopped to drink. When Moshe approached the lamb, he said: "I did not know that you ran away because you were ...


9

The Zohar (Bamidbar 138a and 187b) points out that this repetition is further unique in that the two "Moshe"s are not separated by a pesik (vertical line), unlike other repeated names in Tanach ["Avraham | Avraham" (Gen. 22:11), "Yaakov | Yaakov" (ibid. 46:2), "Shmuel | Shmuel" (I Sam. 3:10)]. This, says the Zohar, was because Moshe was perfect from birth (...


9

Rashi (Breshit 22:11) Calling the name twice is a sign of love.


8

According to רמב"ן (Nachmanides) on that verse (2:1), a discussion of the lineage of Moshe and his parents would prolong the narrative unnecessarily; at this point, the Torah would like to just get on with the story. ויקח את בת לוי ולא הזכיר הכתוב שם האיש ולא שם אשתו אשר לקח, והיה זה בעבור כי יצטרך ליחסם ולהזכיר שמם מי אביהם ואבי אביהם עד אל לוי, ועכשיו ...


7

Exodus Rabbah 1:26 brings this midrash: one day when Moshe was a child he grabbed Paro's crown and the court magicians counselled Paro to have him killed lest he usurp the throne. Ultimately a test was proposed and Moshe passed (with Gavriel's help), so he was allowed to live. But it's not unreasonable to think that the magicians would continue to caution ...


7

Nechama Leibowitz has an explanation that (IMHO) beautifully combines peshat and midrash. She notes that, leading up to Moshe's prophecy at the bush, there are three progressive stories recorded about him. The first is the story of him seeing an Egyptian oppressing a Hebrew, in which he kills the Egyptian. This demonstrates how strongly he felt about ...


7

Presumably his family told him. In other words, what makes us think it was a secret? The Torah gives us this (paraphrased) timeline: Par'o's daughter finds Moshe, saying "this baby is a Hebrew!" So she knows and is doing nothing close to hiding it. Moshe's sister (who is known to Par'o's daughter) suggests finding a Hebrew nurse for him. The cat remains ...


7

Four possible ways for Moshe to have known he was Jewish: His mother/family told him. The daughter of Pharaoh told him. He found out by supernatural means. It was just known, generally. (@WAF's answer covers the last possibility, as well as the first in more detail; I mention them here only for completeness, and am answering separately to add the middle ...


6

It was made out of Sapphire and had the words דצ"ך עד"ש באח"ב , (an acronym of the Ten Plagues) inscribed on it. See Pirkei Avos chapter 5:6 with its commentaries.There are also midrashim on this topic. From Pirkei D'Reb Eliezer 40 ר' לוי אומ' אותו המטה שנברא בין השמשות נמסר לאדם הראשון מגן עדן ואדם מסרו לחנוך וחנוך מסרו לנח ונח לשם ושם מסרו לאברהם ...


6

No source, but something I thought of when we learned the portion this year. It was because Datan and Aviram publicized it that Pharaoh needed to take action. Once word got out that a public servant had been murdered while/for doing his job, there would have been a call for justice from the rest of Pharaoh's court. Pharaoh gave into the public pressure and ...


6

Tol'dos Yotzchak (by Rabbi Yitzchak Karo, uncle of the Bes Yosef), in his commentary to 4:10, says that "כבד לשון" refers to an impediment in pronouncing the so-called tongue letters, דטלנת;‎ "ערל שפתים", the lip letters, בומף; and "כבד פה", the rest. ["לא איש דברים", then, would seem to be an all-embracing expression.]


6

Gur Aryeh seems to have a very nice explanation. The link is a Google book, so you will find it on p. 34. Paraphrasing: Avraham, Moshe and Mashiach all had an exalted status. They all transcended holiness approaching a Godly level. All 3 people are loftier than time, space and the universe. The donkey is the only non-kosher animal connected with a mitzvah,...


6

The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that this was actually an answer to Moshe. See an English Essay of it here. Moshe had two arguments why he shouldn't be the redeemer: He didn't want to exalt himself above his older brother He realized he wasn't going to be the final redeemer and therefore thought it was a waste of time for him to take the Jews out of Egypt. ...


6

The Beis Yosef Y.D 158, followed by the Rema (Darkei Moshe 158:2) and the Shach (158:2) understand, based on Tosefos to Avoda Zara 26a s.v. ולא מורידים, that when the Mishna says אין מורידים, it means that even though your average gentile violates the 7 Noahide laws, there is no mitzvah to kill them, but there is no prohibition. (In fact, Tosefos there feels ...


6

There is argument among the commentaries about exactly what happened. Some say (like Rashi on verse 14) that Moshe killed the Egyptian by saying the sacred name of God. Others (like the Ibn Ezra on verse 12) say that this is patently wrong and Moshe hit the Egyptian with a stone. The Ramban on verse 14 walks a middle route saying that Moshe might have ...


6

Maadanei Shemuel points to Midrash Shemos Rabbah 1:32: אמרו בנות יתרו למשה: יישר כחך, שהצלתנו מיד הרועים! אמר להם משה: אותו מצרי, שהרגתי, הוא הציל אתכם! ולכך אמרו לאביהן: איש מצרי, כלומר מי גרם לזה, שיבוא אצלנו, איש מצרי שהרג. The daughters of Yisro said to Moshe: "Congratulations on saving us from the shepherds". Moshe told them: "The ...


6

2:10 וַיִּגְדַּ֣ל הַיֶּ֗לֶד וַתְּבִאֵ֙הוּ֙ לְבַת־פַּרְעֹ֔ה וַֽיְהִי־לָ֖הּ לְבֵ֑ן וַתִּקְרָ֤א שְׁמוֹ֙ מֹשֶׁ֔ה וַתֹּ֕אמֶר כִּ֥י מִן־הַמַּ֖יִם מְשִׁיתִֽהוּ׃ 2:11 וַיְהִ֣י׀ בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֗ם וַיִּגְדַּ֤ל מֹשֶׁה֙ וַיֵּצֵ֣א אֶל־אֶחָ֔יו וַיַּ֖רְא בְּסִבְלֹתָ֑ם וַיַּרְא֙ אִ֣ישׁ מִצְרִ֔י מַכֶּ֥ה אִישׁ־עִבְרִ֖י מֵאֶחָֽיו׃ As usual, link to Mefarshim (2:10) is here....


6

The Midrash Rabba in place says: "אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמשֶׁה חַיֶּיךָ מִכָּל שֵׁמוֹת שֶׁנִּקְרְאוּ לְךָ אֵינִי קוֹרֵא אוֹתְךָ אֶלָּא בַּשֵּׁם שֶׁקְּרָאַתְךָ בִּתְיָה בַת פַּרְעֹה (שמות ב, י): וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ משֶׁה, וַיִּקְרָא אֶל משֶׁה." As Batya converted and called herself a Hebrew name - בת-יה (G-d's daughter) she also prophecized ...


6

This may very well be one of Ramban's objections to Rashi's explanation: ועוד מה טעם שיזכיר הכתוב עובי קולו And furthermore, what reason is there that Scripture should mention the thickness of his voice? While this is not quite asking why it should have occurred in the first place, it is similar to your question in that it sees no point for this. ...


5

On Deut. 21:14, where we have the same ...והיה אם... ו formulation (about the husband of the yefas toar hating her and sending her away), Rashi comments (from Sifri) that "the verse is predicting that you will end up hating her." So in that case, at least, the "it will be" refers to both the אם clause and its outcome. (If the אם clause was parenthetical - "...


5

According to Ibn Kaspi, "לא איש דברים" means that Moshe was not an eloquent speaker, he was literally not a man of words. This was relevant because God was asking him to be a leader, and good public speaking skills are often thought of as crucial to such a role. No one would ever get elected president or prime minster if they couldn't deliver a good speech. ...


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