hebrew
1)

Why did Hashem command Yisrael to go back towards Egypt?

1.

Rashi: To trick Pharaoh into believing that they were lost - to encourage him to chase after them. 1


1

Refer to 13:22:2:1.

2)

What is the significance of Pi ha'Cshiros?

1.

Rashi and Targum Yonasan: Pi ha'Chiros, a valley between two tall rocks, 1 originally known as Pisom, 2 was so-called because that was the location from where they traveled to freedom.


1

Targum Yonason: In the shape of a man and a woman, with open eyes.

2

Mentioned in Shemos (1:11).

3)

What is the significance of Ba'al Tzefon?

1.

Rashi and Targum Yonasan: It was the only idol to survive Makas Bechoros. Hashem did so in order to fool Pharaoh into believing that it was all-powerful 1 and able to stand up to Hashem (Kevayachol). 2


1

See Sifsei Chachamim.

2

Moreover, it had succeeded in trapping Yisrael beside the Yam-Suf, for his army to attack - another means employed by Hashem to lure Pharaoh and his army to the Yam-Suf (Refer to 14:2:1:1*), as the Pasuk writes in Iyov (12:23) "He tricks the nations and destroys them" (Rashi, citing the Mechilta). The Seforno (in Pasuk 5) adds that they erred in not first consulting Ba'al Tzefon before sending Yisrael away - and Pharaoh and the Egyptian army now came to bow down to it and to praise it (Targum Yonasan [Refer also to 14:10:13).

4)

Why does it say "Lifnei Ba'al Tzefon"? One may not mention an idol to designate a place!

1.

Da'as Zekenim: It is forbidden for people but permitted for Hashem, just like He judges on Shabbos, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipur, which is forbidden for people. 1

2.

Sanhedrin 63b: Any idolatry mentioned in the Torah, one may mention its name. 2


1

Rashi (Rosh Hashanah Sof 30a): People may not build the Mikdash on Yom Tov or at night, but Shamayim may. Hadar Zekenim left the question difficult. He holds that Hashem observes the entire Torah; Sanhedrin 39a implies so. (PF)

2

Hadar Zekenim left the question difficult. He must hold that since the Torah was not yet given, this Heter did not apply. (PF)

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