hebrew
1)

What are the connotations of "ve'Atah"?

1.

Rashi: Inverting the words "ve'Atah" and "Im", Hashem meant to say that if they would now accept Hashem's authority upon themselves, it would be (relatively) easy from then on - since 'All beginnings are difficult'.

2)

Which covenant is Hashem referring to?

1.

Rashi, Ramban #2 (citing Ibn Ezra) and Seforno: He is referring to the covenant that He is about to enter into 1 with Yisrael after they declare "Na'aseh ve'Nishma" (Seforno). 2

2.

Ramban #1: The covenant that Hashem made with the Avos - "to be for them a G-d and for their children after them". 3


1

See Sifsei Chachamim.

2

See Shemos 24:8 (Ramban).

3

See Bereishis 17:7 (Ramban).

3)

What does "Am Segulah" mean?

1.

Rashi #1, Ramban #1, Seforno, Targum Onkelos and Targum Yonasan: A treasured nation, 1 inasmuch as He favors us 2 from among all the nations. 3

2.

Rashi #2 (in Yeshayah, 45:19): After speaking with Yisrael favorable words, telling them in advance the rewards of Torah and Mitzvos, Hashem issued them with commandments. 4

3.

Ramban #2 (according to Kabalah): It means "a nation who cleaves to Me". 5


1

As in Koheles, 2:8 (Rashi and Ramban).

2

As the Torah writes in Devarim, 4:19, 20 and in Vayikra 20:27 (Ramban).

3

Even though all the nations are favored over and above the rest of the creation (since mankind was the purpose of the creation, as Chazal have said in Avos, 3:18, 'Man is beloved, because he was created in the image of Hashem' [Seforno]).

4

Based on the Pasuk there.

5

See Rav Chavel's notes.

4)

Why did Hashem add "ki Li Kol ha'Aretz"?

1.

Rashi and Rashbam: Even though the entire world belongs to Hashem, 1 Hashem chose Yisrael from among all the nations to be His nation.

2.

Ramban: although the entire world belongs to Hashem, He chose Yisrael to be His - inasmuch as, unlike the other nations, over whom Hashem has designated celestial powers to govern them, He alone governs Yisrael. 2

3.

Seforno: (Refer to 19:4:3:1**). One may therefore presume that the pious among the nations are also precious in the eyes of Hashem.


1

Who are insignificant in the Eyes of Hashem (Rashi).

2

As the Pasuk says in Tehilim [121:4] "Behold He neither sleeps nor slumbers, the Guardian of Yisrael" - and this is also what the following Pasuk means when it writes "And you will be for Me" [Ramban, citing the Mechilta]).

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