Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Beshalach

When Pharaoh and his army were in hot pursuit the Bnei Yisroel cried out (vayitz'aku) to Hashem. (14:10). Immediately afterward (14:11-12) they told Moshe how upset they were that he took them out of Egypt and that it would have been preferable to remain in Egypt rather than die in the desert.

Onkeles translates vayitz'aku in the sense of crying out with a complaint (see Ramban). According to Onkeles the flow of the psukim is understandable. First they complained to Hashem, then they turned to Moshe.

Rashi, however, translates vayitz'aku in the sense of crying out in prayer, meaning that they davened. Rashi, quoting the Mechilta, says this was an adoption of the behavior of their forefathers who instituted davening.

According to Rashi, (i) how are we to understand the flow of the psukim - if they were davening presumably they were not complaining to Hashem, so why would they turn to complain to Moshe, and (ii) why does Rashi tell us that they adopted the behavior of their forefathers; Rashi could just say simply that vayitz'aku means they davened - what compels Rashi to describe the source of davening at this juncture?

[Ba'er Haytev explains that they first davened, but, when feeling that their prayers were unanswered, they turned against Moshe. The Ramban explains that there were different groups within the Jewish people - some, a minority, went to daven sincerely, others went to complain. These explanations would answer the first question but not the second.]

The Maharal (in Gur Aryeh) gives an ingenious (and timelessly relevant) explanation. Rashi is bothered by the first question of how to reconcile the flow of the psukim; how does davening lead to complaining. By saying that they adopted the davening behavior of their forefathers (instead of simply saying that vayitz'aku means they davened) Rashi is explaining that their prayers were not sincere; they davened because it was a family custom to do so, but they did not have kavana or really believe in the power of their davening. So first they davened (without kavana) because that was their (mindless) custom, then they turned against Moshe, which was their true agenda.


Gal Einai, Copyright 2006 by Gedalia Litke and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

The Mysterious Ways of Women
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Point of Order
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Holy Eyes
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Inns and Outs of Galus
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Shadowy Existence
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

Out, Up, and On His Way
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

> The Best Credentials
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

To Fergin or Forget
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

There to Share
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Anti-Semitism: The Original Source
Shlomo Katz - 5764

'Mehadrin' - An Understanding of the Concept
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Influences
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

ArtScroll

A Spiritual Holiday
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

You've Got To Have Heart
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Leah's Eyes
Shlomo Katz - 5758

The Lost Jewel
Shlomo Katz - 5765



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information