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Friday, January 1

The Weekly Shtikle - Shemos

After hiding Moshe for three months, Yocheved is forced to send her away for she can no longer hide him from the Egyptians. Rashi (2:3) writes that Moshe was born after only six months of pregnancy and that is what gave Yocheved the three month period in which she was able to hide him until the time of his expected birth. What is intriguing about this Rashi is that the entire parsha, Rashi quotes from the gemara in Sotah that deals with this episode. The gemara (12a) writes that Yocheved actually became pregnant before Amram divorced her and then took her back three months later. The Egyptians made a mistake and calculated from when Amram remarried her. It seems quite clear from the gemara that Moshe was born after a routine nine month pregnancy but it was the three month error that the Egyptians made at the beginning of the pregnancy that gave her the time. For some reason, Rashi chose to pass over the gemara in Sotah and instead quote the Midrash HaGadol on this pasuk. Why?


The Da'as Zekeinim MiBa'alei Tosafos seem to try to reconcile the two midrashim and suggest that they are not actually arguing with one another. However, I don't quite see how it works. This question is dealt with in the sefer Rashi HaShaleim. They answer there that in the order of the pesukim, the conception of Moshe is recorded after Amram takes Yocheved. Therefore, it is in greater accordance with peshat to interpret the episode like the Midrash HaGadol than like the gemara in Sotah.  

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

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