1) WHEN WAS MOSHE CONCEIVED
QUESTION: The Gemara quotes the verse which relates that after Amram remarried Yocheved, she "became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son" (Shemos 2:2). The Gemara asks, why does the verse say that she became pregnant after Amram remarried her, when she actually became pregnant three months earlier, before they separated? The Gemara answers that although she indeed became pregnant earlier, the verse mentions that she became pregnant at this point because it wants to compare her birth to her pregnancy: just as her pregnancy occurred painlessly, so, too, the birth of the child occurred painlessly. This teaches that righteous women such as Yocheved are not included in the decree of punishment of Chavah of "b'Etzev Teldi Banim" (Bereishis 3:16).
The Gemara proves that Yocheved was pregnant with Moshe three months before Amram remarried her from the fact that they hid the baby in their home for three months (ibid.). Why did they hide him there for three months? Why were they concerned that the Egyptians would come searching for a newborn only three months after the birth of their child, and not immediately around the time of his expected birth? The Egyptians knew that Amram and Yocheved had become remarried, and thus they would be coming to check the home for newborn babies nine months after the remarriage. If Moshe was born nine months after the remarriage, why did Amram and Yocheved hide him for three months? They should have assumed that the Egyptians would come searching right away! The fact that Amram and Yocheved hid Moshe for three months and were not concerned that the Egyptians would come before that time proves that Moshe was born three months before the Egyptians expected him to be born (i.e. nine months after the remarriage). Hence, it must be that Yocheved gave birth six months after she remarried Amram, which means that she became pregnant three months earlier.
RASHI on the Chumash, however, explains the verse differently. Rashi writes that Yocheved gave birth prematurely, after only six months of pregnancy. Why does Rashi not explain the verse in the same way the Gemara does?
(a) The simple answer is that the Midrash ("Midrash ha'Gadol") which Rashi cites disagrees with the Gemara here in Sotah about when Yocheved became pregnant.
(b) The MAHARSHA in the name of the CHIZKUNI suggests that both explanations are true. It is true that Yocheved gave birth prematurely, after six months and not nine months. However, the Egyptians knew that it is possible for a woman to give birth after only six months. Therefore, they checked the house six months after Amram remarried Yocheved to see if she had given birth, assuming that she had become pregnant only at the time of the remarriage six months earlier.
In truth, however, she gave birth three months before the Egyptians came, because she became pregnant six months earlier (i.e. three months before the remarriage). She gave birth after six months of pregnancy (three months after Amram remarried her). When the verse says that they hid the baby for three months, it refers to months four to six after their remarriage (and not months seven to nine, as Rashi explains).
2) AGADAH: THE SHECHINAH THAT WAS SEEN WITH THE CHILD
QUESTION: The Gemara quotes the verse, "va'Tir'ehu Es ha'Yeled" -- "... and she (the daughter of Pharaoh) saw him, the child (Moshe)" (Shemos 2:6), and asks that the verse should say, "va'Terei Es ha'Yeled" ("and she saw the child"), as it says earlier (2:2 and 2:5). Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina answers that the verse means that she saw the Shechinah with him.
RASHI (DH she'Ra'asah) explains that the word "Es" in the verse is to be understood to mean "with" as it does in many other places.
However, the Gemara seems to make this inference from the use of the word "va'Tir'ehu" instead of the word "va'Terei," and not from the word "Es." Moreover, how does the word "Es" or the word "va'Tir'ehu" imply that she saw the Shechinah with the child?
ANSWER: The VILNA GA'ON (Kol Eliyahu #225) answers that the letters "Heh Vav" together represent the name of Hash-m, as the Gemara mentions in Shabbos (104a) and in Sukah (45a). Hence, the suffix "Hu" in the word "va'Tir'ehu" refers to Hash-m. The verse clearly means, "and she saw ('va'Tir'e-') Hash-m ('-Hu') with ('Es') the child."
(See also MAHARSHA who gives a similar explanation. See also RASHI to Bereishis 30:16.)
That she saw the Shechinah as manifested by this name of Hash-m is particularly appropriate. TOSFOS in Sukah (45a, DH Ani) explains that the Holy Name "Hu" alludes to the fact that when the Jewish people or an individual Tzadik is suffering, Hash-m "suffers with him," as it were. (This is evident from the use of "Hu" in Yirmeyahu 40:1.) As the infant Moshe floated upon the water, in danger of the rushing waters of the Nile (see Rashi to 12a, DH she'Chaviv), the Presence of Hash-m accompanied him. (M. KORNFELD)