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Friday, January 15

The Weekly Shtikle - Va'eira

This week's shtikle is dedicated for a refuah sheleimah for my father.

Please include Reuven Pinchas ben Yehudis in your tefillos.

 

This week's shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas Dovid Pesach ben Tzvi Hirsh HaLevi whose first yahrtzeit is this coming Tuesday, 6 Shevat.

 

In the plague of barad, hail, HaShem brought down hail accompanied by kolos, thunder. The hail also seemed to include rain. However, points out Minchas Yitzchak, when Paroah demands that Moshe pray that the plague end (9:28) he asks him to pray that the thunder and the hail should cease, but he does not mention the rain. This is because, as Rashi has mentioned many times, Egypt did not receive rain and relied solely on the Nile for irrigation. Therefore, Paroah would have been more than happy for the rain to stay. They needed it. However, when Moshe davens to HaShem, the pasuk (33) recounts that the thunder, the hail and the rain ceased. Thus, when Paroah observed this, as the next pasuk tells us - that he saw that the rain, the hail and the thunder had ceased (note how the order is switched from the previous pasuk) - he hardened his heart for he saw that his request wasn't fully carried out.

 

Have a good Shabbos and chodesh tov.

Eliezer Bulka
WeeklyShtikle@weeklyshtikle.com

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Dikdukian: Plurals and Singulars

Dikdukian: Netziv and the Missing Yud

Dikdukian: The Strange thing about Frogs

Dikdukian: Dikdukei Va'eira by Eliyahu Levin

Dikdukian: Leshon Yachid veRabbim by Eliayhu Levin


Please visit the new portal for all Shtikle-related sites, 
www.weeklyshtikle.com

The Weekly Shtikle and related content are now featured on BaltimoreJewishLife.com

 

 

Friday, January 8

The Weekly Shtikle - Shemos

This week's shtikle is dedicated for a refuah sheleimah for my father.

Please include Reuven Pinchas ben Yehudis in your tefillos.

 

Most young children are already familiar with the epic story of Moshe being placed in a basket and ultimately being retrieved by Paroah's daughter. I had always understood that Yocheved placed the basket in the river such that it would be carried downstream, come what may, as Miriam kept watch. However, a number of different nuances in the pesukim have led me to believe otherwise.

 

Yocheved places the basket in the suf, the reeds. That's not really where one would but a basket for the purpose of moving down the river. It would be quite likely to stay in place. Da'as Zekeinim writes that the gomé was used because it looked similar to the reeds and provided camouflage. Rashba"m writes further that Yocheved was trying to hide the basket among the reeds.

 

I'm therefore led to believe that perhaps Yocheved was not necessarily intending to part ways with her baby. Perhaps they knew what times of day the Egyptians came around to check for children had the baby hidden during those times. It's unclear exactly what the plan would have been. But the last clue that leads me down this line of thinking is the description of Miriam's task. Vateisatzav – Miriam stationed herself in one place. If the basket were floating down the Nile, one would expect that she would have to follow along. Rather, it seems the basket was meant to stay in place while she kept watch from afar.

 

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka
WeeklyShtikle@weeklyshtikle.com

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Dikduian: Bas Paroah
DikduianFrom the Children of the Hebrews
DikduianThe Strange Thing about Straw
DikduianAffliction
DikduianRaamseis

Dikduian: Dikduk Observations on Shemos by Eliyahu Levin


Please visit the new portal for all Shtikle-related sites, www.weeklyshtikle.com

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Friday, January 1

The Weekly Shtikle - Vayechi

This past Sunday, 12 Teves, was the 13th yahrtzeit of Rabbi Joseph Schechter of Ner Yisrael. This week's shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmaso, Yoseif ben Eliezer Z'ev.

 

Just before he passes away, Yaakov delivers a charge to each of his sons individually. Some of his words speak to the individual traits of the children as well as some of the challenges they have already faced. However, as expounded upon by Targum Onkelos, much of what Yaakov delivered to his children – blessings or otherwise – was a prophetic glimpse into the future of each child's progeny, based on his strengths. These prophecies were, for the most part, of a communal, tribal nature. For example, he spoke of Yehudah being the perennial tribe of royalty and Zevulun dwelling along the coast. There is one glaring exception – the blessing for Dan (49:16-18). Spanning a number of pesukim, it seems to be focused on one individual – Shimshon.

 

In examining why Dan's blessing seems to deviate in this way, it is certainly noteworthy to point out the unique circumstances of Dan as reported in last week's parsha. Indeed, it is a point very commonly dwelt upon in a mussar context. While most of the brothers built sizeable families, Dan had but one son, Chushim. And yet, by the time we reach the census in Bemidbar, Dan has become the second most populous tribe. (Although, in truth, as a son of Yaakov, Yosef had more.) Dan and Chushim teach us to never underestimate the potential of a single individual.

 

With his beracha to Dan, Yaakov was indicating that this will be the hallmark of his tribe – the great power that can be wielded by just a single person. And this why the prophecy is focused on Shimshon alone as he would be the manifestation of that trait generations down the line. I later saw this idea expressed in Sha'arei Aharon, quoting Marpei Lashon and Yalkut Ruveini, citing other members of the tripe of Dan who exemplified this trait throughout history.

Chazak, chazak, venischazeik!

Have a good Shabbos.


Eliezer Bulka
WeeklyShtikle@weeklyshtikle.com

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Dikdukian: You Make the Call: Aveil Mitzrayim


Please visit the new portal for all Shtikle-related sites, www.weeklyshtikle.com

The Weekly Shtikle and related content are now featured on BaltimoreJewishLife.com