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Over the years many rabbinic interpretations have been brought forward to answer this question. Two have been brought forward in the other answers, namely 1) compensation owed to the Israelites and 2) to further destroy pharoah's might. But the explanaton that I favor is one recently restated by Rabbi Zamore in her article entitled "Reparations: ...


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Below is a summarized version of רבות מחשבות's answer. G-d commanded the Israelites to “borrow” silver, gold, and clothing, from Egypt. Don Isaac Abarbanel said it was a trick to prompt the Egyptians to chase after the Jews so that G-d could destroy them.


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Rabbi Jonathan Sacks answers the question as follows: God wanted the Israelites to be compensated to reduce their feelings of hatred against the Egyptians: A people driven by hate are not – cannot be – free. Had the people carried with them a burden of hatred and a desire for revenge, Moses would have taken the Israelites out of Egypt, but he would not ...


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Although there are various other views, Rabbeinu Nissim (Derashot HaRan 11, cited by Rabbi Sammy Bergman in his article in Toronto Torah 11:20) suggests that Hashem asked the Jewish People to deceive the Egyptians by "borrowing" their riches and wealth so that they would chase them to the Yam Suf, where Hashem would punish them in a miraculous ...


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Berachot 9a-b דבר נא באזני העם וגו׳ אמרי דבי רבי ינאי אין נא אלא לשון בקשה אמר ליה הקדוש ברוך הוא למשה בבקשה ממך לך ואמור להם לישראל בבקשה מכם שאלו ממצרים כלי כסף וכלי זהב שלא יאמר אותו צדיק ועבדום וענו אתם קיים בהם ואחרי כן יצאו ברכוש גדול לא קיים בהם אמרו לו ולואי שנצא בעצמנו משל לאדם שהיה חבוש בבית האסורים והיו אומרים לו בני אדם מוציאין אותך למחר מבית ...


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