hebrew
1)

What are the implications of "Lo ke'Eretz Mitzrayim Hi"?

1.

Rashi (citing the Sifri): It implies that Eretz Yisrael is not like Eretz Mitzrayim but intrinsically better than it. 1

2.

Ramban and Rashbam: It implies that Eretz Yisrael is not like Eretz Mitzrayim, which is governed by the laws of nature, 2 but better than it - if we keep the Mitzvos, and worse than it - if we don't (because, unlike Egypt, 3 it relies on rain for its water-supply all year round, and if we fail to keep the Mitzvos, Hashem will withhold rain and nothing will grow - Ramban). 4

3.

Rosh: Eretz Yisrael drinks from the clouds, which get the higher water. Eretz Yisrael drinks rain, and the rest of the world, Mei Tamtzis (what drips from Eretz Yisrael). Hashem Himself waters Eretz Yisrael, and the rest of the world,through a Shali'ach


1

Refer to 11:10:3:1 and notes.

2

Rashbam: Where a successful harvest depends upon whether one irrigates the land or not.

3

Ramban: With its water-canals and pools. Da'as Zekenim, Hadar Zekenim, Rosh: This is because Egypt is flat, so one can make [channels for] water to flow to his fields, like is done for a vegetable garden seeded by a river. Eretz Yisrael has mountains and valleys. One cannot irrigate it. It needs Hashem's rain. Be careful with His Mitzvos, so He will send down rain for you in its time!

4

Ramban: As the Torah explains - in Pesukim 13-17 - that if you obey the Mitzvos Hashem will send rain in its time, but if you don't, He will shut down the Heavens and there will be no rain, and you will perish quickly from the good land, because one cannot live there without rain. Refer also to 11:11:2:2*.

2)

What difference does it make whether Eretz Yisrael is mountainous land or not? Even if it wasn't, Hashem would have no difficulty in drying up the water supply in the event that they sinned?

1.

Ramban: Hashem runs the world according to the laws of nature, and it is far more natural to withhold rain than to dry up water that is already there. 1

2.

Refer to 11:10:1:3.


1

Ramban: As the Gemara says in Shabbos, 32a, 'A sick person requires more merits and Tefilah for Hashem to heal him, than a healthy person needs not to become sick'. And the same distinction applies to poverty and riches.

3)

From where do we know that Eretz Yisrael is intrinsically better than Eretz Mitzrayim?

1.

Rashi (citing Kesuvos, 112a): When the Torah writes (in Bamidbar, 13:22) "ve'Chevron Sheva Shanim Nivn'sah lifnei Tzo'an Mitzrayim", 1 it means that it was seven times better than Tzo'an of Egypt 2 - despite the fact that Tzo'an housed the throne of kings.


1

Rashi: It cannot be taken literally, because Chevron was the youngest son of Cana'an, and one does not build a residence for a younger son before building one for his older brother.

2

Refer to Bamidbar, 13:22:2:1*, 13:22:2:1***. See also Sifsei Chachamim.

4)

Why does the Torah add the words "Asher Yetzasem mi'Sham"?

1.

Rashi: To teach us that Eretz Yisrael is even more beautiful than Eretz Ramses, 1 the area in Egypt where Yisrael lived, which the Torah describes (in Bereishis, 47:11) as "Meitav ha'Aretz".


1

Rashi (in Bereishis 47:6): The Torah also writes that Yisrael lived in Eretz Goshen. However, Ra'amses is part of Goshen.

5)

What are the connotations of "ve'Hishkisa be'Raglecha"?

1.

Rashi: In Egypt, you needed to fetch water from the Nile on foot and to water the land required stealing from your sleep, and much toil. Moreover, the initial watering covered only the lower ground. To water higher ground entailed carrying water up the hill. But in Eretz Yisrael, the land is watered by the rain from the heavens - you will sleep in your beds, and Hakadosh-Baruch-Hu will water the land, both the lowland and the high ground, land that is revealed and land that is hidden (simultaneously)!

6)

What is the significance of the Mashal of a vegetable garden?

1.

Rashi: Because a vegetable garden cannot be watered by rain, only on foot, by carrying buckets of water on one's shoulders.

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