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Parshas Bo

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Parshas Bo
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The Kotzer Rebbe - Who Was Waiting For Moshe In Paroh's Palace?

Hashem tells Moshe "Bo El Paroh"; Come to Paroh. Shouldn't he have said "Go to Paroh"? The Kotzker Rebbe says this teaches us an important lesson. Wherever we are and whatever we face we should never feel like we need Hashem to come with us. That is because the place that we are going no matter how vacant it seems or how far removed it appears from Hashem's presence, nevertheless he is already there. In good times and bad. Both in the gas chambers and the Batei Knesses, Hashem is there. Even in your boss's office. Wherever you are and wherever you go the Shechina is there.

Even in the lowest place of all, the palace of King Paroh, Hashem says to Moshe, "Come to Paroh's palace." I am there already and waiting for you.


It Ain't Last, Until It's Last

A Priest once came to the Rashba and asked him, "How can the Jews say that there will be a 3rd Bais HaMikdash, the pasuk clearly states in Chagai (2:9) - "Gadol Yihyeh Kavod HaBayis HaZeh HaAcharon Min HaRishon" - "Greater will be the honor of the last Bais HaMikdash more than the first". The pasuk is referring to the 2nd Bais HaMikdash and refers to it as Acharon - the last one. This is a proof, said the priest, that there will not be a 3rd Temple. The Rashba answered, the word Acharon - the last one - can be a relative term. "Last" does not necessarily mean that there is nothing following it; rather it could mean "Last" in the sense that it is after the previous one.

We find this in the pasuk in Parshas Shmos. Hashem told Moshe to do 3 signs before Klal Yisroel in order that they should believe him that he was sent by Hashem. 1) Change the stick to a snake. 2) His hand became white like snow 3) He threw the water on the ground and it became blood. The pasuk there says, "ViHayah Im Lo Yaaminu LiKol HaOs HaRishon, YaaMinu LiKol HaOs HaAcharon" - "If they don't believe the first sign (the snake), they will surely believe the last one. (Tzaraas)" The pasuk when stating the word ‘Last' is referring to the sign of Moshe's hand becoming white like snow. This was actually the 2nd sign and still the Torah calls it the "Last". The Rashba said, this proves that something can be called last even if there will be something after it.

Sefer Yalkut Gershuni says that there is an allusion to this in the pasuk in Parshas Bo. The pasuk says, "ViHaya HaDam Lachem LiOs Al HaBatim" - The simple meaning is, and you shall take the blood of the Korbon Pesach and place it on the doorposts and lintels of your houses. "And the blood will be for you as a sign on your homes and Hashem will skip over theses homes by Makas Bechoros." Yalkut Gershuni explains, "ViHaya HaDam" - The blood which was the last Ois even though the snow white hand was called Acharon before it, "Lachem LiOs Al HaBatim" - will be a sign for the Bais HaMikdash, although in Chagai the 2nd Bais HaMikdash was called Acharon, there still will be a third following it.


Can a Mitzri Be A "Friend"?

When the pasuk describes how the Jews will clean Mitzrayim out of their wealth, it states, "Vishaalu Ish Mayais Rayayhu";"A man will request from his "friend" silver and gold vessels. "Friend" in this pasuk refers to the Mitzriyim. The Meforshim ask, why are the Goyim described in this pasuk as a "friend" ?

The Sechel Tov answers, the Mitzriyim had such regret after the Makos, for having caused so much pain to the Jews, they then acted towards Klal Yisroel with tremendous friendship and "Rayus" . The Torah alludes to this friendship by calling the Mitzriyim "Friends" of the Jews.

R' Bechaye offers a different answer. Although whenever the Torah says "Friend" it refers to a Jew and excludes a Gentile; this is only after Matan Torah when the Goyim rejected the Torah and Klal Yisroel accepted it. Since they rejected the Torah they can't be referred to as "Friends" of Klal Yisroel. However, before Matan Torah even a Goy can be called a "friend" of the Jews.


Vilna Gaon - What Happens If It Is Time To Die?

"Vlo Yitain HaMashchis Lavo El Bataychem Lingof" "Hashem will not allow the destroyer to enter your house to smite." We all know the famous words of the Hagaddah, "ViAvarti BiEretz Mitzrayim" - "I will pass over the Land of Mitzrayim" "Ani Vlo Malach" - "I and not a messenger". Hashem will smite the Egyptians by himself. If so, how can the pasuk say "Hashem will not allow the destroyer to enter your house to smite." It wasn't the destroyer who killed the Egyptians, rather Hashem?

The Vilna Gaon answers that there were Jews who were destined to die on that night. They may have been old, and their time was up on the 15th day of Nissan at midnight. Hashem did not want the Mitzriyim to think that Klal Yisroel was also killed during Makas Bechoros. Therefore, he did not allow the destroyer to kill those who were supposed to die on that night. They lived an extra day or so to avoid any such thoughts by the Mitzriyim. However Makas Bechoros was done only by Hashem, like is stated in Hagadah.


Rav Chaim Kanievsky Saves Lamb and Wins Computer

A person was speaking to Rav Chaim Kanievsky and asked him how many times it says Moshe's name in the Torah. Rav Chaim, with his fast forward scan of Kol HaTorah Kulo in moments that he is famous for, responded that Moshe's name appears 414 times. All proud that he did the impossible and caught Rav Chaim he politely told Rav Chaim that he thinks he may have overlooked two more occurrences. Rav Chaim puzzled thought about it for a minute and then like a lightning bolt answered that apparently the person had checked with a computer program. Since there are two instances in the Torah where the letters Mem Shin Hey are used but do not refer to Moshe. One in this weeks parsha "V'Im Yimat HaBayis Mihiyos "MiSeh", if the family does not have enough people to eat an entire "Seh" or lamb for the Koraban Pesach. The second instance is where discussing loans the Torah uses the word "Mashei" as in loan. Unlike a game of chess, good old fashioned torah will always beat the computer.

Important Note: It is not always easy to verify the accuracy of these stories. Accurate or not, this is a great Rav Chaim Kanievsky story that didn't actually need to happen. It speaks volumes of truth regardless.


Kli Yakar - Paroh Uses "Lomdus" To Lure Moshe and Aharon

Paroh told Moshe that the next time he sees his face he will die. Now after Makos Bechoros Paroh desperately needed to talk to Moshe to tell him that the Bnei Yisroel should leave Mitzrayim. He sent for Moshe but why would Moshe come? Moshe remembered what Paroh said and certainly would not show up.

The Kli Yakar answers that the answer lies in the extra word in the pasuk. First the Pasuk says (12:30) "VaYokom Paroh Leiyla" Paroh got up in middle of the night when Makas Bechoros struck. The next pasuk says "VaYikra L'Moshe V'Aharon Leiyla", Paroh called to Moshe and Aharon in the night. Why does the pasuk say again the word ‘Leiyla" we already know that it was the night? The extra Leiyla, explains the Kli Yakar, was Paroh's answer to Moshe's fear about Paroh carrying out his threat of killing Moshe. Paroh said the "day" I see you, you will die but now it was nighttime. Alternatively says the Kli Yakar, Paroh said the next time I see your face. Since it is nighttime and it is dark outside Paroh tried to assure them, I won't actually see your face and therefore my threat is not applicable.


No Chometz and No Eigel

The Gemara in Avodah Zara 4 says that Rebbi Yehoshua Ben Levi says the Bnei Yisroel were not on such a low level that they would make an Eigel. It was far beneath them to worship Avodah Zara. They did it only to give future Baalei Teshuva hope that they too can repent regardless of the severity of their aveiros.

How does Rebbi Yehoshua Ben Levi know this? Rav Sholom MiKaminka answers that it is brought down from the Arizal that anyone who is careful from even the slightest trace of Chometz on Pesach will be guaranteed not to do any aveira the entire year. No less than the Torah itself testifies on the Bnei Yisroel (12:39) "Ki Lo Chometz", they ate only Matza and had no Chometz. If so they could not have sinned a few months later so it must be that they were only giving hope to the Baalei Teshuva. (Iturei Torah)

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