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Table Talk-Vaeira-Influence-Confrontation-First Mitzvah-Empathy Print E-mail

Table-Talk-Shabbat-Parsha-Discussions-VaeiraThen Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God here in the land.” But Moses said, “That would not be right. The sacrifices we offer God, our Lord, would be detestable to the Egyptians. And if we offer sacrifices that are detestable in their eyes, will they not stone us? We must take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to God our Lord, as He commands us.” The Ohr HaChaim insists that Moshe wasn’t serious about the three days. Is it possible that Moshe speaking for God will mislead or lie to Pharaoh? Why does Moshe say that three days will be enough? What would effect would a Three Day gathering in the desert as the Children of Israel with God have on the Egyptians when they returned?

 

Confrontation:

What can we learn about confrontation from Moshe’s response to Pharaoh? How would a confrontation have affected the influence discussed above?

First Mitzvah:

“Now God spoke to Moses and Aaron about the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, and He commanded them regarding the Children of Israel (6:13).” “He commanded them,” with the Mitzvah of Sending slaves free upon completion of their service (Yerushalmi). Why was this the first commandment that God gave the Children of Israel, especially when the law would not apply for forty years? It has to be more than a rejection of slavery, because the law implies that there will still be slaves!

Empathy:

“These were the names of the sons of Levi according to their records: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Levi lived 137 years (6:16).” Why did the verse inform us of how long Levi lived? The slavery did not begin until Levi died (Rashi), 96 years after they arrived in Egypt, meaning that the slavery was for 116 years. Didn’t Rashi say at the beginning of Vayechi that the eyes and hearts of Israel were sealed in suffering when Jacob died, more than 70 years earlier? See Rashi on 2:11: Moshe set his eyes and heart to empathize with the pain of his brethren. (See, “All in the Family”)

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