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 TERUMAH:

View Complete List

Community Funds for Golden Vessels
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Crowned Comestibles
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

Symbols
Shlomo Katz - 5772

ArtScroll

So Much Potential
Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden - 5764

Make Way!
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5768

Giving or Taking?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

'Who Goes Hither...Friend or Foe'
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

The Inner Light
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5758

Tabernacle Building: Sharing Our Wealth
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Prior Commitment
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

Where the Torah Does Dwell
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5771

The Heart of Gold - Perceiving Amalek
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

> Elevating the Physical
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5774

In Rich Concentration
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Ark of Inclusion
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

But Do You Want To
Rabbi Yechezkel Freundlich - 5773



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