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1)

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

1.

Rashi and Ramban #1 (citing the Sifri): It implies that Eretz Yisrael is not like Eretz Mitzrayim but intrinsically 1 more beautiful than it. 2

2.

Ramban and Rashbam: It implies that Eretz Yisrael is not like Eretz Mitzrayim, which is governed by the laws of nature, 3 but better than it - if we keep the Mitzvos, and worse than it - if we don't (because, unlike Egypt, 4 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). 5


1

Notwithstanding Pasuk 11:11, which is speaking about when Yisrael observe the Mitzvos and Hashem rewards them (See the explanation of Mosad ha'Rav Kook) and refer to 11:10:1:2.

3

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

4

Ramban: With its water-canals and pools.

5

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 if Eretz Yisrael is mountainous land? Even if it wasn't, Hashem would have no difficulty is 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 therefore far more natural to withhold rain than to dry up water that is already there. 1


1

Ramban: As the Gemara says in Shabbos, 32a, 'A sick person requires merits and Tefilah for Hashem to heal him more than a healthy person hot to become sick'. And the same distinction applies to poverty and riches.

3)

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

1.

Rashi #1 and Ramban (citing the Sifri): Refer to 11:10:1:1**.

2.

Rashi #2 and Ramban (both citing Kesuvos, 112a): When the Torah writes in Shelach Lecha "ve'Chevron Sheva Shanim Nivnesah lifnei Tzo'an Mitzrayim", 1 it means that it was seven times more beautiful 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 an older son.

2

See 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 Ra'amses, 1 the area in Egypt where Yisrael lived, which the Torah describes (in Vayigash, 47:11) as "Meitav ha'Aretz".


1

But the Torah writes that they lived in Eretz Goshen, not Ra'amses - See Bereishis 47:6?

5)

What are the connotations of Vehishkisa be'Ragl'cha"?

1.

Rashi: In Egypt, you needed to fetch water from the Nile on foot and to water the land required stealing from one's sleep and involved 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 be asleep in their 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 (all at one and the same time)!

6)

Why does the Torah add "ke'Gan ha'Yarak"?

1.

Rashi #1: Because a vegetable garden cannot be watered by rain, only on foot, by carrying buckets of water on one's shoulders.

2.

Rashi #2 (in Rosh Hashanah, 14a): Because vegetable gardens generally require watering.

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