This D’var Torah should be a Zechus L’Ilui Nishmas my sister, Kayla Rus Bas Bunim Tuvia A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my paternal grandfather Moshe Ben Yosef A”H, my uncle Reuven Nachum Ben Moshe & my great aunt Rivkah Sorah Bas Zev Yehuda HaKohein.
It should also be in Zechus L’Refuah Shileimah for:
-My father Bunim Tuvia Ben Channa Freidel
-My grandmothers Channah Freidel Bas Sarah, and Shulamis Bas Etta
-MY BROTHER: MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO BEN CHAYA ROCHEL
-Mordechai Shlomo Ben Sarah Tili
-Noam Shmuel Ben Simcha
-Chaya Rochel Ettel Bas Shulamis
-And all of the Cholei Yisrael, especially those suffering from COVID-19 and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for an Aliyah of the holy Neshamos of Dovid Avraham Ben Chiya Kehas—R’ Dovid Winiarz ZT”L, Miriam Liba Bas Aharon—Rebbetzin Weiss A”H, as well as the Neshamos of those whose lives were taken by terrorists (Hashem Yikom Damam), COVID-19, and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for success for Tzaha”l as well as the rest of Am Yisrael, in Eretz Yisrael and in the Galus.
לע”נ שמואל מנחם בן אריה לייב
לע”נ לאה בת אברהם
לע”נ יהודה חסדא יקיר בן הרב שלמה
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Parsha Paradise/פרשה פרדס – Va’Eira: Arov – Where the Wild Things Were ???
…הִנְנִי֩ מַשְׁלִ֨יחַ בְּךָ֜ וּבַֽעֲבָדֶ֧יךָ וּבְעַמְּךָ֛ וּבְבָתֶּ֖יךָ אֶת־הֶֽעָרֹ֑ב וּמָ֨לְא֜וּ בָּתֵּ֤י מִצְרַ֨יִם֙ אֶת־הֶ֣עָרֹ֔ב וְגַ֥ם הָֽאֲדָמָ֖ה אֲשֶׁר־הֵ֥ם עָלֶֽיהָ
What was “Arov” a mixture of? What was the point of Arov? And what does the Chumash mean when it states that not only would the Arov enter the Egyptian homes, but “even the ground upon which they are”?
The Midrash [Shemos Rabbah 11:3; Tanchuma, Va’eira 14] cites a Machlokes as to the identity of Arov. Perhaps they were a mixture of different wild animals/beasts or a mixture of flies/hornets. The Midrash concludes in favor of the former view (in support of our childhood coloring pages, Baruch Hashem).
(Rashbam suggests that “Arov” might actually refer to a species of wolves.)
Now, what did the Torah mean when it specified: “וְגַ֥ם הָֽאֲדָמָ֖ה אֲשֶׁר־הֵ֥ם עָלֶֽיהָ”-“And also the ground upon which they are”?
Ibn Ezra/Netziv/Tur suggest that this line means that not only did the Arov enter the houses, but even the uninhabited areas. There was no place to hide, not at home and not outside.
Midrash Lekach Tov [8:17] suggests similarly that the Arov entered the fields/vineyards and cities in addition to the houses.
However, Sforno explains that “the ground upon which they are” refers not to the Arov, but to the Egyptian houses. In other words, even the ground upon which the houses stood would be so infested with Arov, even snakes and other such creatures would enter the homes from the ground underneath the houses.
[We will come back to Remez.]
The Vilna Ga’on/Chanukas HaTorah explain that “וְגַ֥ם הָֽאֲדָמָ֖ה אֲשֶׁר־הֵ֥ם עָלֶֽיהָ”-“And also the ground upon which they are” is not stating where the Arov would go, but it’s describing another miracle, that even the ground or habitat upon which the different animals lived accompanied them into the Egyptian homes! In this vein, they reference the creature known in the Mishnah as the Adnei HaSadeh/Yado’a/Yid’oni which resembled a human but was sustained by an umbilical cord attaching it to the ground. Even this creature entered the Egyptian homes. How so? “וְגַ֥ם הָֽאֲדָמָ֖ה אֲשֶׁר־הֵ֥ם עָלֶֽיהָ,” because even their habitats followed them into the homes. All of the animals were able to be fully present with the comfort of their home team advantage when they attacked their victims.
Chochmas Anach focuses on one word that Hashem stated in the warning for Arov, that He would be “מַשְׁלִיחַ” or that he would send forth the Arov. He explains that the word is an anagram of “למשיח” (to/for Moshiach), to suggest that at the time Moshiach, there will be a similar display of wild animals.
Ba’al HaTurim suggests similarly that the Torah uses the word “פְדֻ֔ת” (“redemptive differentiation/exchange/
restitution”) that would take place during Arov. The word is deficient as only one redemption will take place, whereas, when Moshiach comes, “וְהַרְבֵּ֖ה עִמּ֣וֹ פְדֽוּת” [Tehilim 130:7] that the redemption will be multiplied.
(Rashi/Ibn Ezra understand “F’dus” as a “differentiation” between Yisrael and Mitzri. Malbim explains that there was an exchange; an Egyptian would be hit in place of each Yisrael. Netziv argues that the exchange was such that even an unworthy Yisrael would be traded with a gentile who didn’t necessarily deserve the plague.)
Why was this “differentiation”/”exchange” so significant? What was the point of Arov?
Ma’areches HaElohus [1:5] highlights that the whole emphasis of Arov was Hashgachas Hashem (Hashem’s Supervision), that all should know that Hashem is “בְּקֶ֥רֶב הָאָֽרֶץ” [Shemos 8:18], involved in the world. In a similar vein, Meshech Chochmah explains that Hashem didn’t leave the world to chance even as He allowed a Mash’chis (damaging force) to run wild and destroy. Hashem dispatched the wild Arov, but He did so with miraculous precision and purpose. He made order out of the natural Irbuvia (disarray) of Arov.
We should be Zocheh to the imcredible Hashgachas Hashem, recognize it, and Hashem should increase פְדֽוּת, His redemption of us with the coming of משיח, Bimheirah BiYomeinu! Have a Great Shabbos Mevarchim Sh’vat!
-Yehoshua Shmuel Eisenberg