1)

What was the significance of Moshe's staff (which he held in his hand, as mentioned earlier in Pasuk 16) regarding the splitting of the sea?

1.

Targum Yonasan: This was the precious staff that was created on Erev Shabbos of the creation, on which was engraved the Holy Name of Hashem (Havayah), the ten plagues, the three Avos, the six Imahos 1 and the twelve tribes. 2

2.

Tosfos ha'Shalem (16:1, citing Moshav Zekenim): Raise your staff out of your hand, and stretch out your hand [to split the sea], so Yisrael will know that it is not through [Kishuf via] the staff that you do the signs.

3.

Rosh (26, citing his father): Yisrael were mocking Moshe, and saying that [anyone] could do wonders if he had Hashem's staff. Therefore, Hashem commanded 'raise your staff out of your hand', and Moshe split and returned the sea without it. Then, the people believed in Moshe (verse 31), that also the previous miracles were not merely due to the staff.


1

Including Bilhah and Zilpah.

2

Refer also to 2:21:1:1**.

2)

Why does the Torah describe the east wind as 'Azah'?

1.

Rashi: Because the east wind, the most powerful of all the winds, is the wind with which Hashem punishes the Resha'im. 1


1

As the Navi indicates in Yirmeyah (18:17), Hoshe'a (13:15), Yechezkel (27:26) and Yeshayah (27:8 [Rashi]).

3)

Why did Hashem see fit to spend the whole night drying the sea using the east wind, rather than doing so with His word, which would have taken a split second?

1.

Ramban: In order to trick Par'oh into believing that the splitting of the sea was the work of the wind and not of Hashem, thereby removing the fear of Hashem that would otherwise have prevented him from chasing Yisrael into the sea. 1


1

See Ramban - Refer also to 15:2:2:2**.

4)

What are the ramifications of the statement "and the water split"?

1.

Targum Yonasan: It split into twelve pathways (tunnels), corresponding to the twelve tribes. 1


1

One for each tribe.

5)

Which water split?

1.

Rashi: All gatherings of water throughout the world split. 1


1

So that the entire world became aware of the great miracle. See Sifsei Chachamim.

6)

Here it says that the water split. Below (15:8), it says "Kaf'u'" (it froze)!

1.

Moshav Zekenim: Had all the water split, Bnei Yisrael would have had to descend to the Tehom (the sea floor; Da'as Zekenim 15:8 - they would not have been able to come up 1 ). Had all the water frozen, Bnei Yisrael would have had to ascend to the sky. Rather, the Godesh (a third) 2 split, and the rest froze, so they did not need to ascend or descend. A Piyut alludes to this - 'Kan v'Kan Rom Shelish Mayim So'os ha'Nosarim Midras Pe'amos.' 3

2.

Refer to 15:8:4:2 and the note there.


1

Because the slope is too steep (PF).

2

When water freezes, it expands. We say (Shabbos 35a) that the Godesh (the amount that one can pile up above the walls of the Kli) is a third. These Meforshim learned from the Piyut that the same applies to the Godesh of ice. Also for dry, it is a third only for a Kli of a standard shape! Nowadays, ice is only about a 10th bigger than the water from which it came! (PF)

3

Kerovah l'Pesach of R. Moshe ben Klonimus (Tehom El Tehom), p. 206 in Piyutei R. Shimon b'Ribi Yitzchak, with minor changes.

QUESTIONS ON RASHI

7)

Rashi writes that all water in the world split. Why does it say (Chulin 7a) that R. Pinchas ben Ya'ir was as great as Moshe, because a river split for him?

1.

Based on Daf Al ha'Daf (Chulin 7a, citing Botzina d'Nehura): Once a Chacham brings a Chidush to the world, it is easy for others to access it. The Gemara means that R. Pinchas ben Ya'ir was 'Nafish mi'Moshe', i.e. great due to Moshe, who split the sea (and all water), therefore he was able to split the river. 1


1

This is fine for the Havah Amina, that he was Nafish mi'Moshe. However, the conclusion is that he was 'k'Moshe'! Perhaps this is why Moshav Zekenim left this question difficult. (PF)

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