Erev Shabbos Kodesh Shemos Inspiration 5775

The Parasha of Shemos evokes images of persecution, torture and embittered slavery. While all this may be true, it is worthwhile to discover the concealed blessing in all the suffering. The Divrei Yirmiyahu (Rabbi Chaim Yirmiyahu Flansburg) wonders why the Torah has to state that Pharaoh declared the words הוה נתחכמה לו, “come, let us outsmart it ( the Jewish People).”  Would it not have been sufficient to state that Pharaoh said to his people that the Jews are proliferating and we cannot allow them to overwhelm us?  The Divrei Yirmiyahu offers a brilliant insight, positing that the words “come, let us outsmart it” was also an action on Pharaoh’s part, designed to slowly persecute the Jews, and once they were accustomed to the minor suffering , the Egyptian would be able to inflict upon the Jews even harsher afflictions and tortures.

On a deeper level, however, we can suggest that the first letters of the words הבה נתחכמה לו equal in gematria the word בחנכה. The word לו equals in gematria 36, alluding to the 36 candles that we light for the Chanukah Menorah. The word נתחכמה refers to the wisdom of the Torah. Thus, on a deeper level Pharaoh was concerned about the wisdom of the Jewish People. Despite all the hardships that the Jews underwent in Egypt, they still clung to HaShem and His Torah. The Medrash states that the Jews studied on Shabbos from scrolls, and even this pleasant pastime Pharaoh made sure to prohibit.

The battle that the gentiles have waged against the Jews throughout history is not merely a physical battle but a spiritual war. The Jewish People symbolize true wisdom and a special closeness to HaShem, and the nations of the world are constantly plotting to sever this connection. Pharaoh, Amalek, Nevuchadnezzar and the Romans all suffered a humiliating defeat and annihilation. Similarly, all of our enemies, whether they are in France, Eretz Yisroel, and anywhere else in the world, will recognize that HaShem runs the world and all of their diabolical schemes are futile.

HaShem should grant us peace and tranquility and the speedy arrival of Moshiach Tzikdeinu, Amen!

Have a Peaceful Shabbos!

Rabbi Adler

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