Pearls of Rashi – Parshas Vo’eiro II

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As we discussed earlier, in this week’s Torah portion, Vo’eiro, the discussion of the ten plagues which Hashem brought upon Egypt begins.

Hashem told Moshe to deliver His message to Pharaoh. Moshe responded that[1] “… I am of closed lips[2]; how will Paroh listen to me?” Hashem responded that[3] “You will speak all that I command you, and Aharon, your brother, will speak to Pharaoh …” Rashi cites the words “you will speak” and explains as follows. “You will speak “each message once, as you have heard it from My mouth. Then Aharon, your brother, will interpret it and explain it in Pharaoh’s ears.”

Rashi’s words imply that Moshe was present with his brother Aharon each time they approached Pharaoh. However, Moshe repeated Hashem’s words once, verbatim. He repeated them in Hebrew. Aharon translated Moshe’s words and explained them clearly.

We see from Rashi’s words that Aharon translated Hashem’s words from Hebrew to Egyptian. Rashi uses the expression that “Aharon, your brother, will interpret it and explain it in Pharaoh’s ears.” The Hebrew word interpret is “ימליצנו – Yamlitzenu.” We find elsewhere that the same word with the meaning of “an interpreter.” Yosef’s brothers came to Egypt to request food from their brother, who they thought was the Egyptian ruler. They spoke Hebrew among themselves, assuming that the viceroy would not understand them. The Torah says that[4] “They did not know that Yosef understood them, because the interpreter (המליץ – Hamailitz; from the same root as Yamlitzenu) was between them.”

Rashi also writes that Aharon needed to explain Moshe’s words. In other words, a simple explanation was not enough. Rashi says that Aharon’s words should reach “in Pharaoh’s ears.” What does this strange expression mean? We found earlier that Yehudah approached Yosef to speak with him. He said that his words should reach[5] “into my master’s ears.” Rashi explains there that “my words should enter into your ears.” In other words, Aharon’s words had to persuade Pharaoh to let the Jews leave exile finally.

We must all reach out to all those around us. However, our words must reach “into their ears.” We must speak to others in a way that penetrates their core. Then we will succeed in persuading them of the urgency to bring Moshiach now!

I wish one and all a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 16, Page 82

Mr. Sholom Moshe Hacohen
ben Reb Shlomo Meir Hacohen ע”ה Cohen
Passed away Shabbos Parshas Beshalach, 13 Shevat, 5779
May His Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
ר’ שלום משה הכהן בן ר’ שלמה מאיר הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטר ש”ק פ’ בשלח, י”ג שבט, ה’תשע”ט
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
יו”ל ע”י חתנו ובתו שיחיו
הרה”ת ר’ שמואל ורבקה שי’ מענדלסאהן

[1]. Our Parshah, Shemos 6:30.

[2]. I have a speech impediment.

[3]. Our Parshah, Shemos 7:2.

[4]. Parshas Mikeitz, Bereishis 42:23.

[5]. Parshas Vayigash, Bereishis 44:18.

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