|א. "מה תצעק אלי..."|
|A. "Why do you cry out to me..."|
ד"ה מה תצעק אלי: למדנו שהיה משה עומד ומתפלל, אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא:: "לא עת עתה להאריך בתפילה, שישראל נתונין בצרה".
ד"א: מה תצעק אלי - עלי הדבר תלוי ולא עליך, כמו שנאמר להלן (ישעיה מ"ה) "על בני ועל פועל ידי תצווני".
א. מה קשה לו?
a. What is his difficulty?
ב. העתק פסוקנו פעמיים וסמן בסימני פיסוק לפי כל אחד מפירושי רש"י!
b. Copy the verse here twice and punctuate each one according to one of the two explanations of Rashi!
c. Why did Rashi not suffice with his first explanation, but rather also bring the second?
מה תצעק אלי, "why are you crying out to Me, etc.?" The word "to Me" is difficult. Who else was Moses supposed to cry out to if not to G'd? We find both in Jonah 2,3 and in Psalms 118,5 that in times of distress one is supposed to cry out to G'd as did both Jonah and David successfully. If G'd meant that Moses indulged in too much prayer that would seem an unjustified criticism as long as Moses' prayer had not yet been answered. Besides, we see from G'd's instructions in verse 16 that Moses was to raise his staff that G'd did answer his prayer. If so, why did G'd ask Moses: "why do you cry out to Me? What is G'd's answer "speak to the children of Israel so that they will move on" supposed to mean? Where were they supposed to move to? The Egyptians were behind them and the sea was in front! If G'd meant that they should move after they would observe the sea split, G'd should first have told Moses to raise his staff and afterwards have given the command that the Israelites were to move into the bed of the sea!
Are you able to resolve his difficulty?
מה תצעק אלי?; G’d’s question seems at first glance redundant, seeing that Moses’ outcry could have been perceived as part of the nation’s outcry in verse 10, i.e. ויצעקו בני ישראל וגו'. However, Moses’ outcry had nothing to do with being afraid of the pursuing Egyptians. He had already predicted the downfall and death of Pharaoh and his army as being so decisive that Egypt as a world power would never again pose a serious threat to the Jews. (verse 13-14) He had also told the people that G’d would do the fighting for them and that all they had to do was to remain silent. Moses’ outcry was one of concern with the rebellious attitude of the people who not only were afraid, something that could be forgiven, but who had dared to be sarcastic in their hour of danger, ridiculing Moses’ leadership to the point where he was afraid that they would refuse to enter the sea when told to. G’d told Moses that he had no right to assume such a thing, that in fact he was suspecting innocent people of lack of faith.
א. מה קשה לו בפסוקנו - האם זו אחת מן הקושיות שהקשה בעל אור-החיים, או קושיה אחרת לפניו?
a. What is his difficulty in our verse; is it one of the difficulties that was raised by the author of Ohr HaCahim, or is there a different difficulty before him?
ב. השווה דברי הספורנו לדברי המדרש המובא ברש"י, י"ז ד'-ה':
b. Compare Sforno's words to the words of the midrash in Rashi on 17:5:
מה המשותף לדברי ספורנו במקומנו ולדברי המדרש ההוא?
What do the words of Sforno here have in common with the words of this midrash?
|ב. מדברי המדרש|
B. From the Words of the Midrash
אמר ר' סימון: משל לבעל הזמורה, שהיה מהלך בחוץ והזמורה בידו, אמרו: אלולא שהזמורה בידו לא היה מתכבד. שמע המלך ואמר לו: "תעבר הזמורה ממך, וצא לחוץ, וכל מי שאינו שואל בשלומך, אני נוטל את ראשו". כך אמרו המצרים: לא היה משה יכול לעשות כלום אלא במטה: בו היכה היאור, בו הביא כל המכות. כיון שבאו ישראל לתוך הים, והמצרים עומדים מאחריהם, אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא למשה: "השלך את מטך! שלא יאמרו: אילולא המטה לא היה יכול לקרוע את הים" שנאמר: "הרם את מטך".
R. Simon said, "There is a [relevant] parable about the owner of a branch who was walking outside with the branch in his hand. They said, 'If it were not for the branch in his hand, he would not be honored.' The king heard [this] and said to him, 'Divest yourself of the branch and go outside; and I will have the head of anyone who does not ask of your welfare [to honor you].' So too did the Egyptians say, 'Moses would not have been able to do anything without the rod: He hit the Nile with it; he brought all of the plagues with it.' When the Israelites came into the Sea and the Egyptians were standing behind them, the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses, 'Cast your rod away, so that they not say, "Were it not for the rod, he would not have been able to split the Sea'"; as it is stated, 'lift up your rod.'"
1. How does the midrash understand the word, "lift?"
2. What forced it to understand it like that?
3. Where else in Scripture do we find the word, "lift," with this meaning?
4. השווה לדבריו דברי שמות רבה המובאים ברש"י, פרק י"ז פסוק ה':
4. Compare its words to the words of Shemot Rabbah cited by Rashi on 17:5:
"ויבואו בני-ישראל בתוך הים ביבשה". אם בים – למה ביבשה? ואם ביבשה - למה בתוך הים? אלא מכאן אתה למד שלא נקרע להם הים עד שבאו לתוכו עד חוטמן, ואחר-כך נעשה להם יבשה.
"And the Israelites went into the sea onto dry ground" - If "into the sea," then why [does it state], "onto dry land?" And if "onto dry land," they why [does it state], "into the sea?" Rather from here you learn that the sea was not split for them until they come into it up to their noses. And [only] afterwards was it made into dry land for them.
5. What general idea is contained in this midrash?
6. Where in the verses of our chapter (besides verse 16) is that which is said in this midrash hinted to?
(מלכים א', כ"ב ל"ו) "ויעבור הרינה במחנה" – אמר רב אחא בר חנינא: (משלי י"א) "באבוד רשעים רינה" – באבוד אחאב בן עמרי רינה. וכי חדי קודשא בריך הוא (=וכי שמח הקדוש ברוך הוא) במפלתן של רשעים? והכתיב (דברי-הימים ב' כ') "בצאת לפני החלוץ ואומרים הודו לה' כי לעולם חסדו"?! ואמר ר' יונתן: מפני מה לא נאמר בהודאה זו "כי טוב"? לפי שאין הקדוש ברוך הוא שמח במפלתן של רשעים. דאמר ר' שמואל בר נחמן אמר ר' יונתן: מאי דכתיב (שמות י"ד) "ולא קרב זה אל זה כל הלילה"? באותה שעה ביקשו מלאכי השרת לומר שירה לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא, אמר להם הקדוש ברוך הוא: "מעשי ידי טובעים בים, ואתם אומרים שירה לפני?"
“And the song went throughout the camp” (I Kings 22:36). Rabbi Aḥa bar Ḥanina says: The fact that the verse states “the song,” and not a song, indicates that it is referring to a song mentioned elsewhere. Accordingly, the verse: “When the wicked perish, there is song,” alludes to this episode: When Ahab ben Omri perished, there was song. The Gemara asks: But is the Holy One, Blessed be He, gladdened by the downfall of the wicked? Isn’t it written in the verse describing the victory of the Jewish people in battle: “He appointed them that should sing unto the Lord, and praise in the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and say: Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy endures forever” (II Chronicles 20:21). And Rabbi Yonatan says: For what reason is it not stated in this praise: “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever,” as is stated elsewhere, e.g., Psalms 118:1? This is because the Holy One, Blessed be He, is not gladdened by the downfall of the wicked. The Gemara comments: As Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥman says that Rabbi Yonatan says: What is the meaning of that which is written in the passage describing the splitting of the Red Sea: “And the one came not near the other all the night” (Exodus 14:20)? At that time the ministering angels desired to recite a song before the Holy One, Blessed be He. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to them: My handiwork, i.e., the Egyptians, are drowning in the sea, and you are reciting a song before Me?
R. Yochanan said, "The angels requested to recite song before the Holy One, blessed be He, the night that Israel crossed the Sea; but the Holy One, blessed be He, did not let them. He said to them, ' My legions are found in distress, and you are reciting song in front of Me?' This is that which is written, 'And the one came not near the other all the night.'"
7. מה ההבדל בין מגמות שני המדרשים הנ"ל?
7. What is is the difference in the orientation of the two midrashic statements above?
8. How do both of them learn from our verse that the ministering angels were not allowed to recite song?
9. What did they want to prove from the verse in II Chronicles 20:21?
10. Is the explanation given in the Gemara for I Kings 22:36 the simple meaning of Scripture?
|ג. קריעת ים-סוף|
|C. The Splitting of the Red Sea|
ד"ה והמים להם חומה: שנקרשו המים וכתיב (ט"ו ח') "ניצבו כמו נד נוזלים", ואחר עבור רוב ישראל המים שהיו להם חומה נמסו. וזהו (פסוק כ"ו) "וישובו המים על מצרים", והם הבדילו בין המצרים ובין היבשה...
S.v. And the waters were a wall for them: For the waters congealed, and it is written (15:8), "stood up like a wall of liquid." But after most of Israel passed through, the waters that were a wall for them, melted. And this is [the meaning of] (14:26), "and the waters will return upon Egypt." And they separated between the Egyptians and the dry land...
S.v. And the Children of Israel went: The explanation of mentioning this another time is because Pharaoh was drowning while there were still Israelite people crossing. And this was a wonder within a wonder. For in the place that Israel was crossing the Sea, there was an eastern wind drying [the water]; but in the place where Pharaoh and his army were, God brought a different wind to melt the waters that had congealed and become walls. But behold, the two winds were [both] in the Sea and the two places [within it] were close [to each other]. And the testimony for this understanding is that it is written in the Song [of the Sea] (15:8), "With the wind of Your anger, the waters piled up" – and that is the wind that was with Israel; but it is [also] written (15:10), "You made Your wind blow, the sea covered them" – and that is the one that drowned the Egyptians.
ויולך ה' את הים...: ראוי שתדע כי ה' כשיעשה המופתים ישתדל להמציא להם סיבות אשר בהם יהיה יותר מעט מן הזרות אצל הטבע, כמו שקדם, וכבר ביארנו זה בששי מ"מלחמות ה'". ולזאת הסיבה המציא ה' יתברך על דרך המופת רוח קדים עזה, אשר היא מנגבת ומעתקת המים אל הצד המערבי, באופן שחידש להם מקום מגולה בים, והיו מי-הים מימינו ומשמאלו, כי המקום ההוא יותר גבוה, ולזה נשלם לו ההיגלות עם הישאר המים מימינו ומשמאלו. וזה הרצון בהם, שאמר (י"ד כ"ט) "והמים להם חומה מימינם ומשמאלם", לא שיהיו המים גבוהים מימין ומשמאל ולא יהיו ניגרים, שאם היה העניין כן - לא יהיה מביא לרוח הקדים לחידוש זה המופת. אלא שעם כל זה היו המים גבוהים בצד המערבי, כי הרוח העתיקם שם והיה מונע אותם תמיד מהיותם ניגרים, ולזה הוליך ה' רוח קדים עזה כל הלילה. והנה קרא המים "חומה", ואם אינם גבוהים, לפי שהם היו מונעים המצרים מלבוא עליהם מימינם ומשמאלם ולא היו יכולים ללכת כי אם מאחריהם, ומאחריהם היה הענן לחומה ביניהם.
And the Lord drove back the Sea...: It is appropriate that you should know that when God does miracles, He makes efforts to find causes for them, such that they will reduce some of [the miracles'] divergence from nature – as was [discussed] earlier. And we have already explained this in the sixth [section] of the Wars of the Lord. And for the cause here, God found to put a strong easterly wind in the way of the miracle – which would dry up and displace the water to the western side in such a way that a [dry] place would newly reveal itself to them. And the waters of the Sea were on its right and on its left, since that [dry] place was higher. And because of that, it became perfectly revealed, while water remained to its right and its left. And this is what was intended about them when it stated (14:29), "and the waters were a wall for them on their right and on their left" – not that the waters were high to their right and to their left, and that they [no longer] flowed. As if the matter were like that, He would not bring an easterly wind to create this miracle. And nevertheless, the waters were higher on the western side, since the wind displaced them there and would constantly prevent them from flowing. And that is why God brought a strong easterly wind the whole night. And behold, it called the waters, "a wall" – even though they were not high - because they prevented the Egyptians from coming against them from their right or left. And they could only go behind them. And the cloud was [similarly] a wall between them from behind [the Israelites].
1. What is the fundamental difference between the two commentators here?
2. What could one argue against R. Ibn Ezra's proofs from Chapter 15?