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Nahar U'Pashtei Parshas Bo 5781

נהר ופשטיה Nahar U’Pashtei A Weekly Insight From מרן הרה״ג ר׳ שלו׳ ראובן פיינשטיין שליט״א לע״נ משה בן צבי אלטע שרה חנה בת אליהו מירל בת משה Issue #108 פרשת בא


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The Key to Mesorah

After warning Pharaoh of the approaching plague of locusts, and being disappointed at his stubborn refusal even after having suffered makkas barad, Moshe and Aharon turned and left Pharaoh’s presence in a display of disrespect. Pharaoh’s servants insisted that he call them back and strike a deal with them, for Mitzrayim was almost completely destroyed at this point. Upon their arrival, Pharaoh demanded to know whom they would be taking out on their three-day hiatus to serve Hashem. Moshe informed Pharaoh that his intention was to take everyone, from the elders to the young children. Pharaoh refused, stating that he saw only bad in their future, and they should only be taking the strong men! [This was an observation Pharaoh made with astrology.] He then proceeded to dismiss Moshe and Aharon, and continued with his refusal to let the Jews go. Now, it could very well be that Pharaoh would not let the children out because he still did not fear Hashem, and he thought that if the children too were allowed to leave, there was no way they would actually be coming back to Mitzrayim. But a close look at the words in the pesukim tell a little different story. Pharaoh presented Moshe with one single argument that the children should remain behind, and that was that the constellation of Re’ah was seen opposite Klal Yisroel, and this meant that blood was in their future. Now, certainly this was not the full scope of Pharaoh’s reasoning; for if doom truly lurked ahead, why should anyone go out? Rather, Pharaoh knew that Moshe wished to take the nation to serve Hashem, which would include learning about and committing to the laws and idealism of their God. Pharaoh was surmising that the children need not go, for they were not ready for this type of dedication and acceptance. Kids and teens are meant to be left alone to follow their whims and urges. There are even natural and hormonal stages that children go through which impair their decision making, and they cannot be expected to lead the restricted lifestyle of religion. Pharaoh argued that children should be set free, not trained and cultivated in the ways of Hashem. It is too hard, he argued! This is the blood that I see looming in the distance. Just take the older, stronger men, and be done with it! But Moshe knew better. He new that the blood that the Egyptian astrologers saw in Klal Yisroel’s future was a reference to the blood of milah. The chinnuch of an eved Hashem starts from birth, from the house he grows up in. It is specifically the environment of serving and loving Hashem that a child grows up with that propels him onward and enables him to feel as though “a life of restriction” is anything but. This is the life he knows, and this is the life he respects. There is no danger to these Jewish children in learning and committing further to Hashem and his Torah! They are strong and prepared for whatever feelings and challenges may confront them, because of how their parents raised them from infancy.. This is the way that Klal Yisrael continues to carry on the mesorah from generation to generation. Moshe was thus not at all afraid to bring the children along. Pharaoh became upset that Moshe did not even know what he was doing, and was going to risk the welfare of his own people, and returned to his stubborn ways. Yes, it is our responsibility to build that home of faith, of trust in Hashem and love for His mitzvos. The yiras Shamayim, ahavas Hashem, and bitachon we display on a daily basis is what instills in our children the strength to endure and carry the Torah onward! Every action we do is carefully observed by those younger and less learned than us. We must be cognizant of this fact, and seek to be a source of strength and encouragement to those who seek to follow us in the chain of mesorah. And of course, simchas hachaim, happiness in our lifestyle, is so crucial. Show your happiness, make it obvious to your children and those who surround you that you love this life of serving Hashem, so that you may indeed merit that your children wish to follow in your footsteps. A gut Shabbos! A Project of the YSI Alumni Association Written by R’ Moshe Weiss


Nahar U_Pashtei Parshas Bo 5781
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