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Friday, December 28

The Weekly Shtikle - Shemos

One of the more famous stories in this week's parsha is Moshe's heroic smiting of the Egyptian taskmaster who was beating up another Jew. Rashi informs us of the unfortunate circumstances that lead up to that altercation. The story is immediately followed by the recounting of Moshe breaking up the fight between two fellow Jews. After one of the characters involved unleashes a verbal barrage on Moshe, he is forced to flee for his life. At a young age, children are taught that these two troublemakers were none other than Dasan and Aviram. However, there is another Midrash which does not seem to have gained similar fame, probably because it was not quoted by Rashi. I found it referenced in R' Chayim Kunyevsky's Limchaseh Atik which is a short digest of all the midrashic sources revealing the who's what's and where's that are left out from the actual pesukim in Tana"ch. He quotes from Shemos Rabba that the man who was being beaten by the Mitzri was none other than Dasan himself! He was the husband of Shelomis bas Divri and he was the one mouthed off to Moshe. Shocking!

I heard a shiur from R' Sholom Gold of Har Nof, examining the various treacherous actions and remarks of Dasan and Aviram. He seeks to find a reason why the Torah needed to relate all of these terrible, horrible, no good, very bad exchanges to us. His conclusion was that the Torah is trying to convey that there are Dasans and Avirams in every generation and we must be mindful of those who seek to destroy our nation from within. We need to be aware of their treachery because we need to know to identify it and fight it in our own times. This Midrash exposes yet another facet of their wickedness. Dasan could not even bring himself to show the slightest bit of gratitude to the hero who saved his life. Instead, he managed to twist it around into something negative. Unfortunately, we need to constantly be mindful of such personalities.

Have a good Shabbos.

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