Friday, February 13, 2004

Yisro #3: Round trip tickets

The other interesting midrash I mentioned before:

In Shemot 19:4, Hashem tells Moshe to tell the Jews why they should hearken to Him:
אַתֶּם רְאִיתֶם, אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי לְמִצְרָיִם; וָאֶשָּׂא אֶתְכֶם עַל-כַּנְפֵי נְשָׁרִים, וָאָבִא אֶתְכֶם אֵלָי.
"Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto Myself."

Now, this most probably is not meant to be taken literally. That is, Hashem did not gather a bunch of eagles (as He did the quails) and cause the Jews to be taken out of Egypt on their wings. We read earlier how the Jews left Egypt. It is clearly metaphor. Rashi cites the midrash what the eagles' wings means - eagles place their young on their wings because the only danger comes from below, in the form of arrows, since they are the highest flying birds. So Hashem protected us with the Ananei HaKavod.

But what does וָאָבִא אֶתְכֶם אֵלָי mean? After all, Hashem is Omnipresent, so does one location contain His Presence more than others. Even if so, the first part is a metaphor, so perhaps this is a metaphor as well.

The mechilta cites various opinions. In the realm of metaphor, אֵלָי need not mean a location, but rather that He brought them to His service (worship), or to His Torah. In terms of location, that would be the current location, that is Har Sinai. And one very concise suggestion is the Bet HaBechira, thet is the Bet HaMikdash.

Tg Yonatan either expands on the suggestion or has access to the fuller version of the Midrash: Hashem gathered the Jews to Pelisium (a city in Lower Egypt that Tg Yonatan earlier associated with Ramses, so Ramses), and from there spirited them away to the Bet HaMikdash where they had the korban pesach. Then Hashem spirited them back to Pelisium and from there the Exodus proceeded as described.

Update, 2009: Here is the text of Targum Yonatan. And you can see it in a Mikraos Gedolos here.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

so Moshe Rabenu was in Eretz Yisroel?

joshwaxman said...

good point! so would seem to be the implication.

Anonymous said...

This also Answers one of the Ein Bein Gemara's.The diffrence Between Pesach Mitzrayim and Pesach L'doros the list fails to Mention Haktaras Eivarim,and all the other Avodas in the Beis Hamikdash. Now we understand that there was all of these things as they where in Eretz Yisroel.It can also answer another question how where they able to mix the blood of Milah and the blood of the Korbon it's Posul? for the Doorpost you can put the mixed blood ,but on the Mizbach in Eretz Yisroel it was seperate. If you want to be Brisk about it you can say there are 2 Dinim one the din in Ois was the blood on the door which is mixed and second the din of Mizbach in Eretz Yisroel.

Anonymous said...

Maybe only the Roshei Chaburah went to be Makrev the Korbon on Kanfei Nesharim Airlines and everyone else stayed in Egypt,Hence Lav Davka Moshe went? V'tzorich Iyun Godol

micha said...

Moshe Rabbeinu spent 38 years in Qadeish Barneia. See Bamidbar 13:25, 20:1 and Devarim 1:2 about the length of time we speant in Qadeish Barneia.


Qadeish Barneia is the lowest point within the southern border -- Bamidbar 34:4.

The Benei Yisrael spent most of the time of the exodus within what would later be called Israel.

Perhaps Moshe didn't enter Israel because it wasn't Israel yet when he was there. Qedushas haAretz came with the conquering of it.

Or perhaps Hashem was only saying that after Mei meRiriva, Moshe wouldn't reenter.

Or perhaps there was more than one Qadeish Barneia.

-micha

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