At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

SALAGUBANG

The road headed north along the sea, past a neighborhood of new buildings, and the docks, into a hinterland of palm and scrub. Occasionally we went by clusters of dwellings, ramshackle stilt-huts barely above the morass at the shadowed feet of hills. On the other side of the road we could see the ocean glinting beyond the palms.

The heat was oppressive until it rained, when briefly it would seem several degrees cooler. When the rain passed as quickly as it had come one would feel sticky and waterlogged, but only for a minute or so while the wetness in one's hair and clothing evaporated.


We should've taken the road to Balikuan, but ended up going into the hills. By the time we realized the error it was too late to turn back, the last ferry to the island had already left. So we stopped at a small group of houses to negotiate a place to stay for the night. While Ching and Noel went exploring the local children gathered around the jeep to stare from a safe distance. White people must have been mighty rare in these parts, and certainly something so disturbing in appearance as a beaky mukang puteh with a days worth of stubble was worth drinking in. To increase the effect and really give them something to remark about, I lit a cigarette and blew smoke at the flies.


Half an hour later Ching and Noel returned. They had struck a deal with the headman, who would let us camp out in the local school. Which, it was obvious, had not been used for several years - ever since the teacher had fled or been killed by the insurrectionists. It stank of mildew and rot. It may have been the only building in town without chicken crap underneath it - reason being that unlike the other buildings, which were on posts with an area underneath almost high enough for a grown man to walk, it had been built on a concrete plinth. The chicken crap was not underneath, but inside, on the covered veranda.


Before it turned dark we pushed several benches together to make a sleeping platform. One of the locals brought a large tin lid with leaves on it, and told us to let it smolder throughout the night - it would keep mosquitoes at a distance. We sat on the veranda to eat and drink whiskey.


Night falls fast. One moment it is still light, then there is a roar of beetles (Salagubang), like machinery nearby, and within minutes it is pitch-black. A kerosene lantern is a blessing at such a time, but the local insect life thinks so too. Three men can go through a tin of fifty cigarettes in one evening keeping the bugs away. Lights from other lamps in the settlement are visible through the bamboo, but the smoke from those other verandas does not reach this far.


Wind and rain in the night made the bamboo creak and moan. Tall wet pillars bent down lower and lower until the water on the leaves rolled off. The breeze pushed the trunks against each other, they punctuated the night with a woodsy eck-eck-eck. Sometimes it sounded like breaking timber or distant gunfire. It is said that the ghosts of stillborn children live in the hollow culms. But those were probably just wild rats scuffling through the leaves.


------------

NOTE

Salagubang: Tropical scarab beetles. I have been told that they are edible, and can be cooked with a little vinegar and soy. My auntie, who called them halibambang, recalled eating them as a young girl, but said that until the war only children and poor people did so. During the war even the adults would gladly consume them, but just plain cooked in water as there was neither soy nor vinegar to be had. I myself have never eaten them. They make an immense racket around nightfall that stops as suddenly as it starts.
When I first heard it, in the city, I thought the neighbors' air-conditioning had blown a gasket, or someone was breaking up the pavement with a heavy drill.


Know also that there are many South-East Asian insects which make noise - crickets, grasshoppers, dragonflies, and cicadas, in addition to a beetle that bores into resinous hardwood and makes a high-pitched peyeng peyeng sound.



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SPANISH PERVERSION AND DEGENERACY

The article below from Arutz Sheva just massively gets my cabra. Have the Spaniards forgotten their own rather repulsive past? Have they forgotten their disgusting history of colonialism? Have they forgotten the expulsions?

Better that the Spaniards should shut up and keep quiet, hide silently in darkness, and hope nobody remembers what they did.


I do believe that I will be vocally negative about Spaniards and Spain for the foreseeable future.



Spanish Town Observes "Palestinian Genocide Day"
16:25 Jan 31, '07 / 12 Shevat 5767
by Ezra HaLevi

A Spanish town has cancelled its observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, preferring to highlight the "genocide of the Palestinian people" by the Jews.



This past January 27th, the municipality of the Madrid suburb of Ciempozuelos announced that all ceremonies and public events scheduled for the day would be dedicated to the atrocities committed by the Jews, rather than those committed by the Nazis.
The town, home to 20,000 people, attracted global attention as a result. Israel’s Ambassador to Spain Victor Harel asked town mayor Susana Leףn to recant. Jewish organizations also issued condemnations of the move.

"Your attempt to equate the industrialized mass murder of six million Jewish women, men and children, as well as millions of others, with the situation of the Palestinian people is shameful," wrote Anti-Defamation League Director Abraham Foxman in a statement. "It reflects an extremely disturbing tendency, which is particularly visible in Europe, to dishonor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and de-legitimize the State of Israel by seeking to eradicate the clear moral difference between the Holocaust and the loss of Palestinian lives as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict."

The decision caused heated debate within Spain, and finally the national government stepped in to pressure the town to cancel the public Palestinian Genocide observances. The town cancelled all public observances on January 27, including Holocaust memorials, to protest the move.

Ignacio Russell Cano, a Spanish journalist, wrote in Front Page Magazine, "Those studying the transformation of Europe into Eurabia will surely see the case of Ciempozuelos as the first warning of the Islamification of Spain. However, the picture is slightly different."

Cano goes on to cite similar behavior within Spain’s central government. "In a country whose citizenship leaped into the streets to protest the Lebanon war, carrying swastikas to denounce Israel’s existence as part of the [only] western government congratulated by [Hizbullah chief Hassan] Nasrallah himself in one of his fatwa-speeches.
No one in Spain – Osama, Chavez, Castro, Putin, and Ahmadinejad – is so heavily attacked by [the government] as Israel."

Meanwhile, Spain’s Foreign Ministry is making great efforts to organize an Oslo Accords-style conference within its borders. Cano posits that such a conference is being pursued as it "would signal to Arab countries that when it comes to pressing for Israel’s disappearing, Spain is the right place to begin pouring petrodollars."

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=120674


---------------------

Postscriptum: This is about what I expected from the Spanish. Five centuries of brutality and rapaciousness are not that easily cured, and their society is still dysfunctional because of it. Their history for much of the twentieth century demonstrates that abundantly.
I also note, in mitten drinnen, that the Spanish consulate is at a conveniently picketable location, one block west of Van Ness at the intersection of Franklin and Sutter Streets, easily reached by bus.

Consulate General of Spain
San Francisco
1405 Sutter St.,
San Francisco, CA 94123.
(415) 922-2995


Is it worthwhile to get enough popular dander up that we can organize some street-theatre in front of the building? Perhaps have a raucous debate on whether Spain ever belonged to the civilized world on a date which is painful to the Spaniards? Let me know.

A SURFEIT OF PIPE TOBACCO

SMELL THE LOVE, BABY, SMELL THE LOVE!




As I was leaving the building for my morning sojourn at the tobacco store today, three coworkers swung around the corner in unison, pipes stuck out of their mouths at a jaunty angle. They had been lying in wait for me, with freshly boughten dime-store pipes and a pouch of tobacco as their concept-props.

It cracked a smile on my face.

I have, apparently, made an impression.

So, to mark the occasion, and opportunistically persuade you to revisit some of my previous posts, I will paste some links here, and then gibber a bit about pipe-tobacco. I used to sell tobacco, did I mention that?

Links:

http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2006/10/drucquer-sons-ltd-pipe-tobacco-blends.html
["DRUCQUER'S PIPE TOBACCO - Brief description of Drucquer & Sons Ltd pipe tobacco blends: Royal Ransom - slightly more than half Latakia, with Turkish and Virginia (including black Virginia..."]


http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2006/10/standard-english-balkan-blends.html
["Three decades ago, Rattray's Red Rapparee, Balkan Sobranie (white tin), Dunhill 965, and John Cotton's were the standards by which all other English and Balkan blends were judged."]


http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2006/03/pipe-tobacco-some-g-l-pease-blends.html
["G. L. Pease is one of the few bright notes in the pipe-tobacco field, appearing a few years ago with some stellar blends at a time when it looked like the industry was fading."]


http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2006/04/pipe-tobacco-some-dunhill-mixtures.html
["PIPE TOBACCO: SOME DUNHILL MIXTURES REVIEWED"]


http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2006/03/new-book.html
["I really should clean up my apartment. I realized this the other day when I came home, pleased as punch about a new book (whenever I'm blueish I buy reading material), and, while looking for the last tin of Sasieni Balkan Mixture, found the EXACT SAME BOOK!"]




As you can see from the above, pipe tobacco is one of my favourite things.

Now, I understand that non-smokers are not able to fully grasp this (and if you've read this far with a quizzical expression on your face you might by now have realized that this posting is not for you), but for people like myself the aroma and ambience of fine tobaccos are a major part of life, a comfort and a joy. Tobacco is art. Tobacco is life. Tobacco is the fragrance with which the Sabbath bids adieu on Saturday night.


I have six opened tins of tobacco on my desk at present.
As follows:

G. L. Pease Kensington - A medium full Balkan mixture from a Bay-Area master blender, smoky and buttery. Has an herbal tone to it that reminds me of the forest after summer rain.
G. L. Pease Samarra - A medium full Latakia mixture with a complex base of Virginia tobaccos, and a small touch of Perique. Something in this reminds me of a tobacconist on the Grote Berg in Eindhoven..... Something about the smell. Plus having some genever and coffee around the corner near the old carriage stables on the Kleine Berg.
Dunhill 965 - One of the old-time standards. An even balance of Turkish and Virginias with Latakia. A godsend in otherwise nasty and barbaric places. Carry several tins with you when you go to France.
Dunhill EMP - A light English blend, with a Virginia nose. Lipman smokes this, and because he mentioned it, I tried it again after an interval of two decades. It is very nice. Like some of the stuff I smoked in spring of 1974.
Dunhill Durbar Mixture - A blend well-loaded with Orientals, richly Turkish. If that is the quality you liked about Balkan Sobranie, you will like it here as well. Reverie-inducing.
Dunhill Standard Mixture (Medium) - A nice spicy product with a good balance of Latakia, Turkish, and Virginias. Slightly mellower than the 965, with a little bit more Turkish. Zesty and slightly naughty, like a young mistress.


Longtime readers may remember that last year I was obsessively hamstering tobacco in expectation of proposition 86 passing. I was pleasantly surprised when it didn't.
However, I now have over three hundred tins of Dunhill tobacco, thirty plus tins of G. L. Pease mixtures, about two dozen tins of Samuel Gawith, two dozen tins of Germain, a few dozen McClelland, and more than a hundred tins of various other tobaccos. Mostly English style blends, of course. But also including some odd fish. Altogether over five hundred tins. Enough for the next decade.


Savage Kitten has not said anything about this. I guess she feels that we all need our little amusements. But what she did say is that the gates of hell will open up and savage daemons come roaring out if I make her teddy bear smell like smoke. She has asked me to kindly go stink in the kitchen behind the closed door with the window open.
Which, of course, I do. Crazy I'm not.




TOBACCO INDEX


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I RESENT THAT!

QUOTE:
"The American Jewish Committee, an ardent defender of Israel, is known for speaking out against anti-Semitism, but this conservative advocacy group has recently stirred up a bitter and emotional debate with a new target: liberal Jews.

An essay the committee features on its Web site, ajc.org, titled " ‘Progressive’ Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism," says a number of Jews, through their speaking and writing, are feeding a rise in virulent anti-Semitism by questioning whether Israel should even exist.

In an introduction to the essay, David A. Harris, the executive director of the committee, writes, "Perhaps the most surprising — and distressing — feature of this new trend is the very public participation of some Jews in the verbal onslaught against Zionism and the Jewish State." Those who oppose Israel’s basic right to exist, he continues, "whether Jew or gentile, must be confronted."

This is from a New York Times article (here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/31/arts/31jews.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin) about an essay on the website of the American Jewish Committee(http://www.ajc.org/site/c.ijITI2PHKoG/b.685761/k.CB97/Home.htm).


As a liberal, I feel that the best rebuttal is to stress precisely how deep the antipathy towards Israel is among certain segments of the traditional community (can you say Satmar and Neturei Karta?), and how dubious the blessing of support is from other segments (Meshechists and assorted mumbo-jumbo fruitcakes).


In a large part, the "debate" mirrors that of Gentile society. Support for Israel is still broadly based in the US (and though it may not often be apparent, also in Western Europe), and a distaste for styles of Arab rhetoric (read: explosions and bullets) serves admirably to keep many in permanent doubt about the motives of the Palestinians as well as their ability to actually form a viable nation.


If the question is whether one may criticise Israel, the answer is that one certainly may. But those who engage in that criticism must certainly be questioned - who are they to criticise Israel, and what is their agenda in so doing?
[I will accept frank discussion of Israel's flaws in camera, but will give not an inch b'farhesia.]


The reason for that is that unless Israel's right to exist and her right to a determinative voice in the future of the settlements is accepted in toto in the first place, a discussion of Israel's flaws or problems is a waste of time that strengthens the enemy by bolstering their point of view and their rhetoric.


A major part of accepting Israel's right to exist, naturally, is accepting that Jerusalem is and must remain Israeli - Israel without Jerusalem (all of Jerusalem) would be pointless (and the refusal to move embassies to Jerusalem, part of which was Israeli from the get-go, is a meanspirited political stance the only purpose of which is to snub).


That, I think, is the crux of alleged liberal animus towards Israel. Accepting the national aspirations of the Palestinians should not cast doubt upon Israel's right to exist, the status of Jewish majority areas in the entire area, or the fundamental Jewishness of Jerusalem.
There davka is the line, and many on the extremes of both left and right have crossed it.


Further, if one criticizes Israel, it must be done in context - and the context is far broader and much more complex than just those poor bleeding Palestinians.
[As a side note, I feel that European commentary on those issues is proster chutzpah - far better they should shut up, they've said and done enough already.]




---B.O.T.H.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

TWO AND ONE

Fellow blogger Treppenwitz tells two truths and a lie on his blog (here: http://bogieworks.blogs.com/treppenwitz/2007/01/two_truths_and_.html).
It is up to us readers to figger out which is what. Two true, one not so. Or maybe otherwise.

He got it from Lachlan at 'my so-called blog'
( http://www.mysocalledblog.com/?p=6590

Who got it from ePiscoSours
( http://www.episcosours.com/?p=353).

Who credits nobody.



The idea is that you tell your audience three things, two of which are true, one of which is a lie. Which is what we force new employees of the accounting department to do during their initiation lunch. We've heard some pretty interesting stuff during those lunches. Embarrassing stuff too.

So here goes.


One of my coworkers dated one of her professors.

One of my coworkers dated several people at the same time.

One of my coworkers dated a coworker and ended up married within four months.



What's that? You mean I should tell things about myself? Are you insane?

Trust me, my life is rather boring (or in any case it would be wise of you to think so), whereas the wild women I work with lead really interesting lives. Really, really interesting lives.

We suspect the small snarky Asian one (the one with glasses), who squawks loudly whenever any of the rest of us go out for a smoke, of actually being a closet chainsmoker and Martini maven. Methinks the lady doth protest too much. She's probably trying to cover herself, with her stern lecture about the evils of tobacco. And we already know that she has a cheese-doodle habit when she's at home, allegedly working......

At least two of my coworkers have rich inner lives.

Someone here has a 'Hello Kitty' fetish.

There's a stuffed armadillo in one of the cubicles.

Bourbon, cigars, and wild seventies music.

Canned meat, coconut milk, and hot-sauce.

Yay!

Monday, January 29, 2007

DRINKING TEQUILA WITH A GIANT RABBIT

ANTI-WAR PROTEST, SATURDAY JANUARY 27TH.


Saturday's protest against the Iraq war, President Bush's troop surge, the era of globalization, the Israeli occupation of certain territories, and the union busting actions of Hornblower Yachts was attended by around two-thousand people.

Not including the dozen or so who showed up to protest the regular daemonization of Israel by the two organizations behind the protest: ISO and Int'l ANSWER.

Both organizations have long called for the eradication of Israel.


Most people who attended did so because of the anti-war thing. And were happily unaware of the antecedents and other agendas of the organizers. Even though a little research would've turned up some surprising stuff, which very well could've persuaded them to look elsewhere for ultra-progressive thrills. Anti-Semitism, support for terrorist groups, advocacy of the violent overthrow of the government, ethnic irredentism, and a number of other hairy things.


Go ahead, put my contention to the test. Look up the name Snehal Shingavi (a grand poobah of ISO in Berkeley and Oakland). You will find out that the gentleman in question, one of the key organizers of Saturday's little rant-fest, has quite a chequered history. Formerly a nice quiet Jain from Houston (where his father is a successful Indo-American businessman fast approaching retirement age), he has developed into a well-known radical Berkeleyite nuisance and fringe-anti-Semite. Probably a prolonged rebellion against parental mores. A squawk of teenage rebellion, if you will.
[He has not been a teenager for a decade. A different person would've gotten it out of his system by now. Therapy would help.]


I do not know the names of many other remarkable people who attended the love-fest.
So I'll describe them.


The first one is the decrepit old anti-Semite who always gives us the finger. Sometimes he gibbers and shouts, or foams at the mouth with trails of sputum flowing from the corners of a permanently slackened jaw, but this time he had taken his medication. Or maybe he can no longer formulate his usual broken sentences. He just stood there holding his sign, gape-mouthed, looking vacant. Occasionally mono-digiting in our direction. He is no longer as near-functional as he was a few years ago. I do hope that by the time he fouls himself they won't let him out any more. It's sad.


Near him was a hyper-stimulated young man who screamed and swore at us from his perch on the bus-island. Who angrily put on and removed his greenish knit cap repeatedly to mark his rhetorical flourishes. The police finally warned him to calm down and stop foaming when he moved in to bite.


A plump sixteen year old Edomite temptress, shaking and yelling. Oh yeah baby, oh yeah.
[I know she was sixteen because I heard her yell so. No, I didn't go up and ask.]


An anarcho-syndicalist. Or rather, a happy ignoramus with an anarcho-syndicalist flag. With the benefit of hindsight, resisting generalissimo Francisco Franco was indeed a darn fine idea. I think most of us would agree with that, so I'm not quite clear what his beef with us was. Neither was he.


A hippy speed-freak with a talent for loudly, repetitively, irritatingly, and at great length oversimplifying everything. The cops warned him a few times too.


A hateful old woman who told me that the wall killed people and I was responsible.
[I'm not sure I followed her logic, but honestly, I wasn't trying.]


An elderly gentleman who told me that he was ashamed, ashamed to have once supported Israel. We were worse than the Nazis. And he knew Nazis.
[I'm sure he did. He struck me as the type. He may have even courted one, when he was still compos mentes - a nice blond with a pert tuchus and a tan.]


But the star of the show was the snake-hipped young man wearing a two-foot tall drum-major fur hat, a tight little mesh shirt that left his stomach bare, and teensy hot-pants, who did an amazing revolutionary peace and love bump-and-grind all the way down Market Street. When I saw him later amid a crowd across the Embarcadero in front of pier 31, I could tell by the fur hat thingy sticking up over the mass of heads that he was working up a sweat. Either that or having a fit, but I think it was a sweat, because the fur hat thingy gyrated and wobbled for over forty minutes to oompah music. If it was a fit, they would've gotten the paramedics, surely?


What's a protest in San Francisco without some senility and mis-guided sexuality?


-------------------------------------------------------------------


You're wondering about the title of this post?


Well, a friend mentioned that there's a pet rabbit in the house. Which datum does have a connection with my standing there among the pro-Israel signs and Israeli flags, counterprotesting. Much more of a connection to the event than many of the signs at this event, and certainly a more valid connection than the anti-Israel agenda espoused by several of the 'anti-war' protestors.
A house rabbit. Some people are disconcerted by a rabbit.

I, however, once spent from eight in the evening to six in the morning at a "Jim and Tammy Faye Appreciation party" lying on the couch drinking tequila with a giant rabbit on my stomach, watching Clockwork Orange on permanent loop. I will consequently not be disconcerted by the rabbit.

Urban rabbits are way cool.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

SQUEAL! HONK! THUMP!

There are some people out there that once you have seen them, you want to see more of them. Much more. You desparately want to see a lot more of them, and it hurts when that seems unlikely.

One of those people is a man who works in the downtown near my office.

No, it's not what you think.

The gentleman in question was walking ahead of me. I did not get a glimpse of his face, I just saw him from the rear (and it's STILL not what you think).

He was talking on his cell-phone as he walked.


He crossed three busy streets against the traffic, nearly got hit twice by moving vehicles, and bumped into two other pedestrians. To all of which he was oblivious. He looked neither to the right nor to the left, plowing forth unconcernedly and unaware of anything but himself and his cell-phone.

I sincerely want to be around when he crosses against the traffic for the last time.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

PARSHAS BO

Readers will kindly note that the notes on this week's parsha have been posted here:
http://atthebackofthehillparshas.blogspot.com/2007/01/notes-on-parshas-bo.html

And as previously mentioned, that is on the mirror to this blog, which can be accessed here:
http://atthebackofthehillparshas.blogspot.com/


It should also be mentioned that none of my notes on the weekly parsha are ever really finished....... I tend to reread and tweak unpredictably.

BUSHA BOB

One of my fellow subscribers to the Suriname Mailing List despises me, and has blocked all e-mails from my address so that he will never have to see my ugly name again, or read any of my turgid spew.


Except that he has confirmed that he reads from his trashcan, and also goes to the list's website for the messages (that last is necessitated because not all e-mails get through).

Apparently something I said recently set him off.

He reacted with hyper-caffeinated fury.


It made my day, and I still have a big smile all over my ponim.


All I can say is sorry. Sorry, Busha Bob, I really DO mean to get your goat. Seriously. And thank you.


-------------------------------------------------------------


What is he like, I hear you ask? What manner of man would let another man, with whom he presumably shares some interests, so get under his skin that he both refuses to read the other person's writing and yet gives in and does precisely that? And then jumps up and down sputtering?

A complex man.


I've never met Busha Bob (not his real name), but he has been a member of the Suriname Mailing List longer than I have (I subscribed in 1998), and he and I have corresponded much. He is one of the frequent and voluminous contributors to the list. He also belonged to a few other mailing lists to which I was subscribed (including a Mollucan mailing list that I was expelled from for disagreeing with the bloodthirsty Christian-radical list-owner). So I have found out much about him over the years.

Key curriculum vitae: Middle-aged. Grew up mostly in the interior of Suriname, educated in the Netherlands. Extensive knowledge of music. Operates tours into the interior. Extremely knowledgeable about the flora, fauna, and ethnography of the Guyanas and Caribbean. Keen nature photographer (and a very good one I might add). Multi-lingual (Dutch, English, Sranangtongo, Ambonese Malay - and probably several other languages). Passionate about politics and social justice. And, like many Dutch-speakers, sickeningly left wing.


It is that last element which caused the falling out. As you may have guessed, I too am quite to the left of centre, but I am an American and a supporter of Israel. He, on the other hand, is an anti-American and often hates Israel.

Normally I tend to think of those who disagree on such fundamental issues as being in some way evil, because their wrongness goes so much against the grain. And if the manner of their discourse is sometimes crude and bigoted, especially on complex issues, I will usually end up at loggerheads if not actually downright despising them.

But Busha Bob is.... different. His heart is in the right place. He can often be a very eloquent and engaging writer (in all the languages in which I have read his messages). And he is adept at feeling the pain of others.
I just think his head is up a dark part of his anatomy at times. Which is very Dutch.
Either that or blinkers. Also very Dutch.



People are allowed to be wrong - intelligence and likeability are not always right. And in many ways he is an admirable man, though stubborn, opinionated, and completely wrong about so very much. He is not vile.

By the way, in case you're thinking that on the issues on which he and I differ I will allow that I myself MIGHT be wrong, stop dreaming - ain't gonna happen. It is not a matter of perception.
I'm absolutely right (though conceivably abrasive).


He, however, is wrong wrong wrong. And possibly dangerous in the causes he supports. Rabidly anti-American. Like many of the guilt-ridden first-world intelligentsia he despises all the failings of his own society, which his type typically project onto the United States.
He is also supportive of morally-bankrupt 'liberation movements', and paranoid about the establishment. It's a form of self-indulgence and self-delusion particular to certain classes. Especially in the formerly important European countries. You might call it an ex-colonialist neurosis. If you were being complimentary. There is no cure.


Other than that, you would probably enjoy eating with him. Did I mention that he has a ready wit? And he's not mean.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

LAND FOR PEACE

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


If we give you angry Arabs the state of Al-Abama, will you shut up?



Okay okay, tell you what - you also get part of Georgia and Puerto Rico - we never had much use for them anyway.


Shee...... !


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

ACTION ALERT FOR SATURDAY 01/27/07

ACTION ALERT - Counter Anti-Israel platform of anti-war rally this Saturday in San Francisco

[sfvoice4israel]


ACTION ALERT – FORWARD WIDELY

Counter Anti-Israel platform of Iraq War Demonstration
Saturday January 27th 11:30AM
Market and Powell Streets, downtown San Francisco.


BACKGROUND

The International Socialist Organization has planned a demonstration against the war in Iraq to coincide with the UFPJ march on Washington. The local leader of the group is anti-Israel activist Snehal Shingavi, fresh off of managing Aimee Allison’s failed campaign for Oakland City Council and who has openly described the entire State of Israel as "militarily occupied Palestine." In the initial call for the event, people were asked to set aside differences to help bring an end to the war in Iraq. Despite this, when representatives from StandWithUs/SF Voice for Israel told organizers that we would stay home if they left Israel out of their demonstration, they informed us that, in their view, the issues are inseparable.

They have made ending the occupation of Palestine, meaning the entirety of the Western Palestinian Mandate including modern day Israel, a key plank of their demands. They are also calling for the "Right of Return for Palestinian Refugees" meaning the demographic destruction of the world’s only Jewish State by flooding it with the great-grandchildren of those that fled Israel during the Arab instigated war of annihilation against the UN created State of Israel in 1948.

Recently, ANSWER has been brought on board as organizers and they will be using this event to promote ANSWER and ANSWER’s upcoming events. This is despite UFPJ previously having pledged never to work with ANSWER again following numerous disputes between the leadership of the two organizations.


EVENT DETAILS:

StandWithUs/San Francisco Voice for Israel will be standing up for Israel and reminding people not only that the Iraq War is not about Israel but also that Israel has a right to exist and to live free from terror attacks and threats of destruction. Please
remember that StandWithUs/San Francisco Voice for Israel takes no position on the war in Iraq.

Plan to meet at Powell and Market at 11:30AM. When the march leaves for Embarcadero we will disperse and those that can will meet up with the march at Pier 31/33 (Embarcadero and Bay Streets). At a given time, the signal will be given that our counter-protest is
concluded, at which time we will assemble our materials and leave.
Please be prepared to hold signs and/or flags and distribute flyers.


As always, feel free to make your own signs but please no signs or graphics offensive to any racial or ethnic group including but not limited to Arabs, Islam, or Palestinians. Signs in violation of our policies will not be allowed.
StandWithUs/San Francisco Voice for Israel
http://www.blogger.com/www.SFVoiceForIsrael.org
www.StandWithUs.com

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Upcoming Events

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July 16th-25th – Stand With Us Mission to Israel

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BLATANTLY BIASED REPORTING: NYT

[Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/23/us/23dearborn.html?th&emc=th]


In an article about Dearborn's Arab population and local politics, the New York Times editor dropped a bowling ball on his foot.

Quote: "He (Dearborn mayor Michael A. Guido) criticized the "mobs" protesting Israel’s attacks against civilian targets in Lebanon and sent the Arab-American community a $23,000 bill for overtime for police officers and firefighters during the demonstration."



Come again? Civilian targets? Surely you mean just "targets", without any modifier?

[You could have also said "Israel's attacks in Lebanon" and left out any mention of targets or civilians - given that you decontextualized, that might have been a good idea.]


Because if you must modify that word (targets), you know that those were valid military targets where Hezbollah was using civilians as human shields in order to dissuade military strikes, or targets where there were civilians, whose injuiries were accidental and unintended.

[Lebanon is densely populated and has civilians all over the place. Who knew? Well, Hezbollah knew. And used that to their advantage. Do I now need to quote Mao on terroris.... errrrm, guerilla war?]


The key concept is valid military targets - NOT striking at valid military targets prolongs combat and carries it into precisely those areas where there will not be any valid military targets. Not pursuing combat operations with a view towards degrading the enemy's capabilities will prolong war and increase the number of civilian deaths. Not striking at Hezbollah's offensive capabilities because of the danger to Lebanese civilians meant more dead and wounded Israeli civilians.

Using civilians as shields is a recognized gambit that Hamas (Harakat al Muqawamma al Islamiyya) and the various PLO terrorist splinter groups also use. It was something that has been used in every war since the Prussians put an end to Nappy the third's regime.


Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Iraqi militias, deliberately use civilians as shields.

This has been acknowledged by and criticized by the United Nations - who are not exactly unbiased themselves, in that they do not consider Israelis to be civilians.


Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Iraqi militias, also deliberately target civilians.

Which apparently is perfectly alright. Because the New York Times does not mention that pertinent detail, but sees fit to throw an anti-Israel slander into an article about Arab American internal discord. Without background, without nuance, without foundation, without evidence.


Such biased pandering in the New York Times shows that pro-Arab partisans have co-opted even the respectable press.

NIT !!!

Among orthodox Jews of mostly Eastern-European derivation, the term Nittel-Nacht is used for Christmas-eve.

The term Nittel-Nacht is of uncertain origin, and is folk-etymologically explained as 'nisht Yidden darfen lernen', more-or-less meaning that Jews should not study Talmud-Torah on this night due to bad vibes, baneful influences, bad juju, or something like that. It being an event with some perfectly horrid associations, you see.

Primarily because the Cossacks would get tanked and go around torching stuff and beating up people.

A good night to leave the lights low and keep your wits about you. Strange things would happen. Violent things. Stupid things.

Nittel-Nacht: a time of liquor-inspired madness.



There, now that I have given you a pre-amble........

Tonight is when the State of the Union speech is given.
It will be broadcast live and rehashed by all the talking heads.
I propose an appropriate name for the night.......


NITWIT-NACHT


Pretty much self-explanatory, don't you agree?
.
.
.

Monday, January 22, 2007

JUDAH THE AMMONITE

A blog which I was reading about half an hour ago reminded me of Judah the Ammonite. Who shows up in the following little anecdote:

‘There appeared in the academy a certain Judah, an Ammonite convert, who asked “may I enter the klal?” (By which he meant ‘can I marry a Jewish girl?’)
Rabban Gamliel said “no way dude” (Meaning: ‘You don’t belong here, now Bulgar off’).
Then Rabbi Joshua said “surely Ammon and Moab no longer dwell in their original places? Did not Sennacherib, the king of Assur, mix all the people up?” (‘Are we that Bulgarianly exclusive that we should discriminate against one who has actually chosen to stand with us?’).



To which Rabban Gamliel replied “it is prophesized that the Bnei Ammon will be restored, and look! - they have indeed been restored (to their own place)” (‘I’m telling ya, he don’t belong here!).


Rabbi Joshua then said “and there is an identical prophecy that Yisroel will also be restored – but that has not happened! All these prophecies are pure speculation, including that mishegoss about the Ammonites” (Idiot! Weren’t you listening?!? He’s one of us now!’).

After listening to this debate, the assembled scholars permitted Judah to enter the klal.’




NOTES:
The prophecy that Yisroel will be restored = In reference to the lost tribes, exiled beyond the Sabbath river, who will return at the end of time when Yisroel is restored. Yisroel is the northern kingdom, which was severely whacked, and its people dispersed.

The dispute detailed above has to do with the status of converts, with Rabban Gamliel holding that the convert’s previous group identity is determinative, while Rabbi Joshua holds that in converting, the Ger has become as much a Jew as other Jews (as Abraham and Sarah were converts, and as the entire nation became at Sinai, and like many ‘natives’ after the return from Bavel).

Chazal agree with Rabbi Joshua.

And pursuant thereto, it should be mentioned that Ruth was a convert, and so was Ben Hei Hei.

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Now, I'm not likely to convert - I'm overly opinionated, too much of a loose cannon, have problems with rules, and am much the sceptic. A definite fellow traveler, but without plans to apply for a membership-card.
I would not even consider talking my significant other into also converting.
Let's just say that in keeping with family minhag, having been Jack-Calvinists, Jack-Anglicans, and Agnostics for several generations, most of us are comfortably non-committal and disagreeable.
Jack-Wasps, so to speak. A disobedient bunch. Still, monotheistic.


But some people are more social in their spiritual development, and capable of sincerely deciding to join up. I genuinely admire them. It takes a certain amount of guts and determination to do so, and it's an uphill struggle. It is therefore a good thing for others to smooth their path rather than make it rocky - one who enables another to perform a mitzvah does good twice.


Lifnei iver lo sitten michshol.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

BLOG-EDITORIAL CHANGES

Rabbosai, I would like to direct your attention to a few minor matters, if I may.


NEW BLOG

[See here: http://atthebackofthehillparshas.blogspot.com/]

I have created a separate blog for the notes on the weekly parshas. One of the reasons for doing so is that some of my readers, when cruising into my blog, take one look at the long parshas postings and cruise right on out. Another reason is so that the entire collection of notes on the parshas be easily referenced and all of them viewed sequentially in one place.



NOTES ON PARSHAS VA'ERA

This week's notes on the parsha can be viewed here:
http://atthebackofthehillparshas.blogspot.com/2007/01/notes-on-parshas-vaera.html

It is still somewhat rough. Eyeshadow and lip-liner will be added over the next twenty hours, and even after.



RELATED MATTERS

Please also note several things:

1. The outline by aliyos of each parsha will be a separate posting, which may or may not appear in time for Shabbes.
2. The transliterated Hebrew text will no longer be in quotes. You know what it is, and I know what it is. Does it help anybody if it is shown in quotes?
3. Each week's parsha notes will be posted as soon as it is readable. I will go back later and pretty it up, and I will probably edit or rewrite some parts. This will happen seemingly at random - I tend to be neurotic when it comes to my texts.
4. Posting times shown on the new blog will sometimes seem to reflect a different reality. Pay it no mind. I will adjust posting times to keep things in sequence.
5. There are at present four other bloggers whose postings relating to the parshas will be mentioned.
They are:
DOVBEAR (http://dovbear.blogspot.com/),
MARGAVRIEL (http://margavriel.blogspot.com/),
MEVASERETZION (http://mevaseretzion.blogspot.com/),
STEG (dos iz nit der šteg) (http://boroparkpyro.blogspot.com/).
It is not that these four are the only ones who post about the weekly parsha, it is that I read their blogs and appreciate their insights, and will gladly and opportunistically make reference to their stuff.


A gitn shabbes, y'all.


-----B.O.T.H.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY - MLK DAG KOMMENTAAR VOOR NEDERLANDS-SPREKERS

Hier in de VS hebben velen van ons gisteren genoten van een vrije dag, in verband met Martin Luther King day.

Zoals ieder weet was Martin Luther King een voorvechter van wat men hier 'civil rights' noemt. Zijn levensgeschiedenis is dermate veelvuldig na te gaan op het internet dat het hier geen uitleg hoeft te hebben.


Maar wat heeft Martin Luther King voor een Nederlandsche publiek te betekenen?
Voor zover ik weet zijn Nederlanders volstrekt niet bigoot of racistisch, en zulk onrecht als wij Yankees dagelijks begaan is onmogelijk in Europa.

De enige betekenis Martin Luther King Day voor Europeanen kan hebben is als heraanhaling van de falingen van de VS. Maar heeft dat eigenlijk wel nut? Een realizatie van VS barbarisme is allang een van de meest geliefde grondvesten van de Europeesche cultuur. Zo een heraanhaling is niet nodig.

West-Europeanen zijn sociaal bewogen en ontwikkelde mensen die een deugd en voorbeeld voor de wereld blijken. Amerikanen niet - wij lopen nog rond met onze schietijzers door de koeiestront van de prairie, en hebben vrijwel geen cultuur, normen, of beschaving. Dat is algemeen bekend.

Er is dus echt GEEN reden om voor een voornamelijk Nederlands-talig publiek mijnheer Martin Luther King weder eens aan te halen, daar het onvoorstelbaar is dat Nederlands-sprekers per abuis zijn vergeten hoe primitief het hier nog blijkt.


Gaarne had ik van mijn Nederlandstalige lezers instede edificationele voorbeelden van Europeesche beschaving - schrijf zulks maar gerust in de comment field, het zal met gretigheid gelezen worden. Wij snaken namelijk hier naar zo iets, en het zou ons mischien een tikkeltje beschaving bij kunnen brengen. Er is op dat gebied nog veel te doen.

Onderwijs ons - Laat dat uw viering van Martin Luther King day wezen.


Met onbeschaafde en ongeletterde maar toch vriendelijke groeten,



---B.O.T.H.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

ON THE SECOND DAY

Please click on this link http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/2007/01/today-is-link-to-jack-day.html for an alternative to hallmark holidays.

And, for yesterday's background, you might also want to click this link:
http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2007/01/alternative-to-festivus.html



CELEBRATION FOR TWO DAYS OUTSIDE THE LAND - EXPLANATORY NOTE

Why do people who live in Golus observe two days of yontevim, but residents of Israel observe the yonteff for only one day? And why is it that people from outside Israel who are in the land during yomim tovim also observe two days, whereas Israelis abroad only observe one day of yom tov?

The reason is because outside the land one cannot be certain of the exact day of a yomtov, as dates were determined by the sighting the new moon at the beginning of the month, as testified to by two edim before the Sanhedrion.

If weather conditions prevented the sighting, the yomtov would be declared to occur on the day after the new moon should have been seen - and as the communities in exile could not know of the weather conditions in Israel, that came to mean a second day of cake and cookies just to be on the safe side.

[If circumstances interfered with the testimony of two edim that the hillel had been sighted, the same rule was applied - yomteven would occur one day later.]

Pursuant thereto, today is the SECOND day of 'chag ha link le Yakov' outside the land. Enjoy the festivities. A gitn yawm tuf.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

NOTES ON PARSHAS SHEMOS

This marks the beginning of Sefer Shemos (Exodus), the second book of the Torah (Pentateuch) , in this years cycle of reading. It is a long Parsha, or seems so. Much happens.


WORK IN PROGRESS

More to the point, dear readers, this is unfortunately still a work in progress, for which I apologize. But it is presently nearly twelve at night, and I'm going somewhat batty ( a lot batty ).
So I will correct spell errors tomorrow before sunset, and continue it as much as possible. But it is likely that the finished version will not be ready till sometime Sunday.


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Shemos = Names
First parsha of sefer Shemos (Exodus).

Psook 1:1 " veele shemot benei Yisrael habaim Mitzraima et Yaakov ish uveito bau "
NOW THESE are the names of the sons of Israel that came into Egypt with Jacob; every man came with his household

Being a brief recap of the list in the last portion of Bereishis.


Psook 1:2 "Reuven, Shimon, Levi, viHuda "
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, , and Judah;

Psook 1:3 "Yisshochar Zebulun uVinyamin "
Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin;

Psook 1:4 "Dan VeNaftali Gad veAsher "
Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.

Psook 1:5 "vayouhi kol nefesh yotzei yourech Yaakov shivim nafesh veYosef haya veMitzrayim "
And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls; and Joseph already was in Egypt

Psook 1:6 "vayamat Yosef vechol echav vechol hador hahu "
And Joseph died, and all his brothers, and all that generation.
Psook 1:7 "uVenei Yisrael paru vayishretzu vayirbu vayaatzmu bimod meod vatimale haaretz otam "

And the children of Israel were fruitful, and swarmed, and multiplied, and grew very mighty; and the land was filled with them.


Note how this describes excruciatingly how numerous the Hebrews had become in Egypt since the death of Yosef.


Psook 1:8 "vayakam melech chadash al Mitzrayim asher lo yada et Yosef "
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph.

A new king - Probably a new Pharaonic dynasty succeeding to the throne, replacing the royal house under which the Hebrews had established themselves in Goshen, and by whose authority they had been a privileged group. But now the situation has changed, and not having a place within the new structure, unlike native groups, the Hebrews will be disadvantaged. Which will profit those who in those years may have grown to resent them, forgetting what Yosef had done for Egypt.



Psook 1:9 "vayomer el amo hine am benei Yisrael rav veatzum mimenu "
And he said to his people 'Behold, the people of the children of Israel are too many and too mighty for us.


And he said to his people - by which is meant his ministers and his officials, because this is a description of the king's council.

Too many and too mighty - more numerous and stronger. Polemic and hyperbolic, for were it really so, it would have been the Egyptians who would have become the minority. But by persecution, the number of Hebrews will be reduced - those who are connected to them, or who self-identify with them, will precipitate out, those who had been part of the Hebraicised structure in Goshen shall become scarce.


Included in the above are the other Canaanite or Semitic groupings of the border zone (and note the term 'erev rav', which we shall meet anon).



Psook 1:10 "hava nitchakma lo pen yirbe vehaya ki tikrena milchama venosaf gam hu al soneinu venilcham banu veala min haaretz "
come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it should happen that, when we have war, they also join themselves to our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land.'

They join themselves to our enemies - because it may be presumed that whatever loyalty they had to Egypt was to the previous royal house, and under the previous accomodation.
By which we see the hyperbole of the previous statement illustrated, for were they really more numerous than the Egyptians they would scarce need to join with their enemies in times of war, and would be as much likely to suffer if invaded as the Egyptians.


And get them up out of the land - and so unsettle themselves and depart; which means in this context not up to the eretz kadosh, but rather says that by their leaving they would no longer be of advantage to the Egyptian treasury. It is the economic impact that disturbs Pharaoh, not any return to the land promised to Avraham, of which he does not know (as we see when he turns down Moshe's request to "let my people go".



Psook 1:11 "vayasimu alav sarei misim lemaan anoto besivlotam vayiven arei miskenot lefaro et pitom veet raamses "
So they set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses.

Pithom and Raamses - which are in the northwest of Egypt, frontier garrison cities under this new regime, for the sphere of Egyptian influence in the region is lessened, and the frontier requires a more aggressive posture than before. The new dynasty is consolidating their hold, and looking towards eventual conflict with other empires, such as the Hittites. Were it otherwise, the prestige of Egypt would be sufficient to prevent adventurism from other nations, the loyalty of the population in the border region would be reliable, and the military infrastructure still intact. But evidently the military and political situation has changed much since the days of Yosef.

Taskmasters - because, being herders, they paid taxes in kine or corvee.


Psook 1:12 "vechaasher youanu oto ken yirbe vechen yifrotz vayakutzu mipnei benei Yisrael "
But the more they burdened them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And they were disgusted because of the children of Israel.

Disgusted - a fear of their numbers, and because Israel showed that Pharaoh's efforts to press them were not as effective as should have been expected, though these were extreme, and by this the children of Israel showed themselves a likely threat.


Psook 1:13 "vayaavidu Mitzrayim et benei Yisrael befarech "
And the Egyptians made the children of Israel work rigorously


Psook 1:14 "vayoumararu et chayouihem baavoda kasha bechomer uvilvenim uvechol avoda basade et kol avodatam asher avdu vahem befarech "
And they made their lives bitter with hard labour, in mortar and in brick, and every labour in the field; in all their services in which they made them work rigorously.

And with every labour in the field - this is a new one: heretofore the Hebrews had not been agriculturalists but pastoralists. Like the Europeans did to the gypsies, the Egyptians try to break the accustomed way of life and settle them.

More rigorously - thus burdening them more than other subject were ever burdened. But herein a boundary is set, a dividing line established. Those who continue a Hebrew identity are made to suffer, those who let their tribal loyalties lapse are bettered. The chaff is separated out by the hardness upon the adherents of the Abrahamic belief system. It can be assumed that those who remained were more determined to hold fast - this is the beginning of an infamous stiffneckedness.


Psook 1:15 "vayomer melech Mitzrayim lamyaldot haivriyot asher shem haachat Shifra veshem hashenit Pua "
And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah, and the name of the second was Puah;

The names of the midwives show them to be Semitic, though not necessarily Hebrew, And it is unlikely that they were indeed Hebrew, because he trusted that he could order them to murder their own. And had they done what Pharaoh ordered, they would soon no longer have been midwives, neither to the Hebrews nor to anybody else. Murder is not good for business, even if the business is primarily one of superstition and preventative rituals. In psook 1:19 twhat they are quoted as saying substantiates this - they speak of the Hebrew women, not of their own kind, and point out qualities that set the Hebrew women apart.

Rashi here informs us that Shifra and Puah are actually Yochebed and Miriam. Rashi will also tell us that Yochebed is one hundred and thirty years old when she gives birth to Moses - the question is whether we dare believe him. But it does add a note of the miraculous, and makes an impression on small minds.



Psook 1:16 "vayomer beyaledchen et haivriyot ureiten al haavnayim im ben hu vahamiten oto veim bat hiv vachaya "
and he said 'When you are midwife to the Hebrew women, you shall look on the birthstool if it be a son, you shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, she shall live.'

Psook 1:17 "vatirena hameyaldot et haElohim velo asu kaasher diber aleihen melech Mitzrayim vatechayouina et hayouladim "
But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the males alive.

But the midwives feared God - why is this said? If they were Hebrews, it would not have required any remark, though had they not feared God precisely that would have been remarkable. But here they are contrasted with Pharaoh and those who had advised him, who thought themselves the representatives of the divine on earth and lacked a sense of righteousness.


Psook 1:18 "vayikra melech Mitzrayim lamyaldot vayomer lahen madua asiten hadavar haze vatechayouina et hayouladim "
And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said to them 'Why have you done this thing, and have saved the males alive?'

Psook 1:19 "vatomarna hameyaldot el Paro ki lo chanashim hamitzriyot haivriyot ki chayot hena beterem tavo alehen hameyaledet veyaladu "
And the midwives said to Pharaoh 'Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; they are lively, and delivered before the midwife comes to them.'


Psook 1:21 "vayouhi ki yaru hameyaldot et haElohim vayaas lahem batim "
And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that He made them houses.

Houses - establishments or lineages. But it is not said what precisely is meant hereby, as it is of no importance to the remainder of the narrative of the Benei Israel, from which we know that these are not Hebrew women, but more likely Egyptians.


Psook 1:22 "vayoutzav Paro lechol amo lemor kol haben hayilod hayouora tashlichuhu vechol habat techayun "
And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying 'Every son that is born cast into the river, and every daughter save alive.'


Every... And every... - if tribal affiliation is by the paternal line, this would be disastrous to the Benei Israel.

Per Rashi, however, this is ordered over all in Egypt, as Pharaoh's soothsayers had foretold that at this time a boy would be born who would become the saviour of the enslaved Hebrews. Considering that the previous time that the Egyptian necromancers had been mentioned they were not able to see the seven year of pleanty and the seven years of famine, one may doubt this explanation. Rather, one must read it as Pharaoh ordering his officers (his people - the people of his government, who carry out his orders and act by his authority) to do what the midwives had failed to do.



Psook 2:1 "vayoulech ish mibeit Levi, vayikach et bat Levi, "
And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took a daughter of Levi, to wife.

Here Rashi actually makes sense, averring that what is meant is that upon the order having been given to kill sons, couples had separated rather than risk a pregnancy resulting in a boy. So also Yochebed and Amram. Were it not extraordinairy that a couple would get together it would not be worth mentioning. That it is mentioned highlights both the risk involved, and that these two are of the same tribe.

On the other hand, the explanation that Yochebed is one hundred and thirty years old defies belief. Having here born when the family moves from Canaan to Goshen is a convenient foreshortening that serves little actual purpose, and a pregnancy at an older age than Sarah Immaeinu detracts from that tale while only adding absurdity here.


Psook 2:2 "vatahar haisha vateled ben vatere oto ki tov hu vatitzpenehu shelosha yourachim "
And the woman conceived, and bore a son; and when she saw that he was good, she hid him three months.

A mother's affection for her children is necessarily subversive.



Psook 2:3 "velo yachla od hatzefino vatikach lo tevat gome vatachmera vachemar uvazafet vatasem ba et hayouled vatasem basuf al sefat hayouor "
When she could not longer hide him, she made for him an ark of rushes, and caulked it with clay and tar; and she put the child therein, and placed it in the reeds by the river bank

When she could no longer hide him - why is this said?

Because unless they lived in isolation, neither pregancy nor the enventual birth could remain secret, and the community would conceive itself endangered by a continuing act of rebellion. So rather than hoping to delay the inevitable, and make a betrayer out of a fellow Hebrew, she moves forward with s treategem.

Why both clay and tar?

Because the clay stiffens and makes strong the basketry, and the tar waterproofs it.

Placed it among the reeds - in a chosen place where the current would not pull it loose. She knew who was accustomed to come down to the river.



Psook 2:4 "vatetatzav achoto merachok ledea ma youase lo "
And his sister stood a short distance away, to know what would be done to him.

Leaving very little to chance.


Psook 2:5 "vatered bat Paro lirchotz al hayouor venaaroteiha holchot al yad hayouor vatere et hateva betoch hasuf vatishlach et amata vatikacheha "
And the daughter of Pharaoh went down to bathe in the river; and her handmaids walked along by the riverbank, and she saw the ark among the reeds, and sent her handmaid to fetch it.


It is unlikely that Pharaoh's daughter haphazardly bathed in different spots. It is probable that this was a secure area, where there were neither dangerous wild animals (crocodiles, adders, cobras, etcetera) nor spots suitable for an ambush.

Her handmaids - naarot, by which is meant girls prior to adulthood. And so more malleable to Pharaoh's daughter's defiance than elderly retainers would likely be, and more given to an emotional investment in the infant.

Maidens would also be easier for the sister of the infant to talk to.






Psook 2:6 "vatiftach vatirehu et hayouled vehine naar boche vatachmol alav vatomer miyaldei haivrim ze "
And she opened it, and saw it, a child; and behold, a boy that wept. And she had compassion on him, and said 'This is one of the Hebrews' children.'

One of the Hebrews' children - even if the infant had been swaddled, both curiosity and the circumstance of his finding would have soon betrayed his ethnicity. The security of the area precludes a likelyhood of an accidental losing of a child precisely at that location. An infant boy, among the riverbank reeds... What else can it be? And further discovery would have uncovered a circumcision. While circumcision was not limited to the Hebrews, other ehtnicities are known to have performed circumcision as an entry into adulthood, much like modernday Arabs and Mustarabs, who perform it at some point during adolescence.


Psook 2:7 "vatomer achoto el bat Paro haelech vekarati lach isha meineket min haivriyot veteinik lach et hayaled "
Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter 'Shall I go and get you a nurse of the Hebrew women, to nurse the child for you?'

Would Pharaoh's daughter not have wondered at the fortuitous circumstance presented here? But more likely she recognized the situation, and saw plausible deniability. The ark showed the care and concern of the child's relatives, the presence of the girl betrayed forethought. She drafted providence in service to her compassion, as we see in the next verse. And, indeed, the infant had been cast into the river - the law had been obeyed in that respect.


Psook 2:8 "vatomer la bat Paro lechi vatelech haalma vatikra et em hayaled "
And Pharaoh's daughter said to her 'Go.' And the girl went and called the child's mother.

Psook 2:9 "vatomer la bat Paro heilichi et hayouled haze veheinikihu li vaani eten et secharech vatikach haisha hayouled vatenikehu "
And Pharaoh's daughter said to her 'Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give you payment' And the woman took the child, and nursed it.

Psook 2:10 "vayigdal hayouled vateviehu levat Paro vayouhi la leven vatikra shemo Moshe vatomer ki min hamayim meshitihu "
And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses, saying 'Because I drew him out of the water.'

But 'mose' means 'son of' in Egyptian, and he became her son (meaning like a son to her). Had she meant indeed that she drew him out of the water, the name should have been 'yeor-mose'.
It is as likely that she made use of the Hebrew implication of the name as a happy coincidence - she knew he was Hebrew, her handmaidens knew that he was Hebrew, and therefore her household would also have known this. Rashi disputes this by slaughtering the handmaidens in his explanation, and miraculously stretching forth the daughter of Pharaoh's arm to seize the ark among the reeds.



Psook 2:11 "vayouhi bayamim hahem vayigdal Moshe vayoutze el echav vayar besivlotam vayar ish mitzri make ish ivri meechav "
And it happened in those days, when Moses was grown up, that he went out to his brothers, and looked on their burdens; and he saw an Egyptian hitting a Hebrew, one of his brothers.

Went out to his brothers - because he would have known from his adoptive mother of the circumstance of his coming into her household, as her compassion would not have hidden this from him when she adopted him despite his origin, and the evidence of his ethnicity was marked upon him from infancy (so, even if circumcision had been not uncommon among certain Egyptians at that time, the fact that he was circumcised as an infant rather than as an adolescent as previously explained would have told him of his ancestry).



Psook 2:12 "vayifen ko vacho vayar ki ein ish vayach et hamitzri vayitmenehu bachol "
And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he struck the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.

Psook 2:13 "vayoutze bayom hasheni vehine shenei anashim ivrim nitzim vayomer larasha lama take reecha "
And he went out the next day, and, behold, two men of the Hebrews werefighting together; and he said to the one that fought 'why do you strike your comrade?'

Psook 2:14 "vayomer mi samcha leish sar veshofet aleinu halehargeni ata omer kaasher haragta et hamitzri vayira Moshe vayomar achen noda hadavar "
And he responded 'Who made you a man, a ruler, and a judge over us? Do you plan to kill me like you killed that Egyptian??' And Moses was afraid, and said 'indeed the thing is known.'

A man, a ruler, and a judge - three different aspects are here recognized in Moses.



Psook 2:15 "vayishma Paro et hadavar haze vayouvakesh laharog et Moshe vayivrach Moshe mipnei faro vayoushev beeretz midyan vayoushev al habeer "
When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he wished to have Moses killed. But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh, and ended up in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.

Heard of this matter - and it is implied that Moses' version of events was not heard, because otherwise we would be told of it. Not that it would have made much difference.



Psook 2:16 "ulechohen midyan sheva banot vatavona vatidlena vatemalena et harhatim lehashkot tzon avihen "
Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters; and they came and drew water, filling the troughs to water their father's flock.
Seven daughters - like six days of the week, and a sabbath. A perfect set.



Psook 2:17 "vayavou haroim vayougarashum vayakam Moshe vayoshian vayashke et tzonam "
And shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.

Midian became a paradigm of lawlessness and amorality.



Psook 2:18 "vatavona el Reuel avihen vayomer madua miharten bo hayom "
And when they returned to Reuel their father, he said 'How is it that you have returned so soon to day?'

Psook 2:19 "vatomarna ish mitzri hitzilanu miyad haroim vegam dalo dala lanu vayashke et hatzon "
And they said 'An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds, and also he drew water for us, and watered the flock.'

An Egyptian man - a man with the appearance and manners of an Egyptian, as Moses had been raised in that environment, and could not act otherwise, nor speak other than as an Egyptian, which would make him perfect as one who should speak to Egyptians.



Psook 2:20 "vayomer el benotav veayo lama ze azavten et haish kiren lo veyochal lachem "
And he said to his daughters 'And where is he? Why is it that you left the man there? Call him, so that he may eat bread.'

Psook 2:21 "vayoel Moshe lashevet et haish vayiten et Tzipora vito leMoshe "
And Moses was content to dwell with the man, who also gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.

Psook 2:22 "vateled ben vayikra et shemo Gershom ki amar ger hayiti beeretz nachriya "
And she gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom; for he said 'I have been a stranger in a strange land.'

Psook 2:23 "vayouhi vayamim harabim hahem vayamat melech Mitzrayim vayouanchu Venei Yisrael min haavoda vayizaku vataal shavatam el haElohim min haavoda "
And in due course the king of Egypt died; and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they wept, and their cry came up to God by reason of that bondage.

At this time the possible hope that their bondage would end with Paharaoh's death is dashed, the oppression has become institutionalized, and no end of their suffering is in sight.



Psook 2:24 "vayishma Elohim et naakatam vayizkor Elohim et berito et Avraham et Yitzchak veet Yaakov "
And God heard their lamenting, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

And God remembered - meaning rather that the time had come to set in motion the realese of the Hebrews, and bring them up from Egypt.


Psook 2:25 "vayar Elohim et benei Yisrael vayouda Elohim "
And God saw the children of Israel, and God took cognizance of them.

The birth of Moses' son, the death of Pharaoh, and the lamentation of the Israelites are of a pattern - God heard, God remembered, God saw, and God took cognizance.

Moses's son is not yet circumcised at this point, which will be a crucial detail shortly, especially in connection with the covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, because circumcision is the mark of a Hebrew.



Psook 3:1 "uMoshe haya roe et tzon Yitro chotno kohen midyan vayinhag et hatzon achar hamidbar vayavo el har haElohim Choreva "
Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to in the wilds, and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb.

Horeb - which is the same as Sinai.


Psook 3:2 "vayoura malach Yahwe elav belabat esh mitoch hasene vayar vehine hasene boer baesh vehasne einenu ukal "
And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he stared, and, behold, the bush burned with fire and was not consumed.

The angel of the Lord - because God manifests himself by a device, like amessenger, in the cognizance of humans, who otherwise could not grasp the divine, as God cannot be neither defined nor described.


Psook 3:3 "vayomer Moshe asura na veere et hamare haGadol haze madua lo yivar hasene "
And Moses said 'Let me turn aside now, and see this great sight, and why the bush is not consumed.'

And Moses said - meaning that Moses though this.

The bush is not consumed - by which we know that awareness of the divine is a cognative occurrence rather than observation of physical data.


Psook 3:4 "vayar Yahwe ki sar lirot vayikra elav Elohim mitoch hasene vayomer Moshe Moshe vayomer hineni "
And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him from the bush, and said 'Moses, Moses.' And he said 'Here am I.'

The Lord saw - a turn of phrase meaning that it was taken cognizance of. Observed, noted.



Psook 3:5 "vayomer al tikrav halom shal nealeicha meal ragleicha ki hamakom asher ata omed alav admat kodesh hu "
And He said 'do not appraoch any closer;remove the shoes from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.'

Holy ground - by virtue of the manifestation of the divine, and being the locus of a commandment.



Psook 3:6 "vayomer anochi Elohei avicha Elohei Avraham Elohei Yitzchak vElohei Yaakov vayaster Moshe panav ki yare mehabit el haElohim "
Then He said 'I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' And Moses hid his face, for he was scared to look on God.

Moses hid his face - as a mark of self-abasement, as for a king, like Yosef's brothers did during their audience with the viceroy of Egypt.

Psook 3:7 "vayomer Yahwe rao raiti et oni ami asher beMitzrayim veet tzaakatam shamati mipnei nogsav ki yadati et machovav "
And the Lord said 'I have indeed seen the suffering of My people that are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their pains;
Seen... Heard... - Cognizant of.




Psook 3:8 "vaered lehatzilo miyad Mitzrayim ulehaaloto min haaretz hahiv el eretz tova urechava el eretz zavat chalav udevash el mekom haKenaani vehaChiti vehaEmori vehaPrizi vehaChivi vehaYevusi "
and I will come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a land both good and large, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.

Milk and honey - good fields and pasturage, and a place of abundance. A marked contrast with the circumstance of their coming down to Egypt, which was at a time of scarcity and famine.

Six nations are mentioned in the land flowing with milk and honey, and the Hebrews will be the seventh. Like Ziporah, like the Sabbath. A fitting indication of a holy people.


Psook 3:9 "veata hine tzaakat benei Yisrael baa elai vegam raiti et halachatz asher Mitzrayim lochatzim otam "
And now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me; and I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians torment them.

And it is that the evil done by the Egyptians is here noted, rather than the suffering of the Hebrews, because it is on account of this evil that the Egyptians shall merit the plagues.


Psook 3:10 "veata lecha veeshlachacha el Paro vehotze et ami Venei Yisrael miMitzrayim "
Come then, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you shall tak My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.'

Both a command and a statement of what will happen.



Psook 3:11 "vayomer Moshe el haElohim mi anochi ki elech el Paro vechi otzi et benei Yisrael miMitzrayim "
And Moses said to God 'Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?'

Who am I - having lost all status I Egypt, and not having gained any among the Benei Israel.

Psook 3:12 "vayomer ki ehyou imach veze lecha haot ki anochi shelachticha behotziacha et haam miMitzrayim taavdun et haElohim al hahar haze "
And He said 'Certainly I will be with you; and this shall be the token to you, that I have sent you when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.'

It is a commission, with a token thereto.



Psook 3:13 "vayomer Moshe el haElohim hine anochi va el benei Yisrael veamarti lahem Elohei avoteichem shelachani aleichem veamru li ma shemo ma omar alehem "
And Moses said to God 'Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and shall say to them The God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they shall say to me What is His name? what shall I say to them?'

Psook 3:14 "vayomer Elohim el Moshe ehyou asher ehyou vayomer ko tomar livnei Yisrael ehyou shelachani aleichem "
And God said to Moses 'I AM THAT I AM'; and He said 'so shall you say to the children of Israel I AM has sent me to you.'


And this is also a sign.




Psook 3:15 "vayomer od Elohim el Moshe ko tomar el benei Yisrael Yahwe Elohei avoteichem Elohei Avraham Elohei Yitzchak vElohei Yaakov shelachani aleichem ze shemi leolam veze zichri ledor dor "
And God said also to Moses 'so shall you say to the children of Israel The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you; this is My name for ever, and this is My memorial to all generations.

All generations - Permanent, without termination.



Psook 3:16 "lech veasafta et ziknei Yisrael veamarta alehem Yahwe Elohei avoteichem nira elai Elohei Avraham Yitzchak veYaakov lemor pakod pakadti etchem veet heasui lachem beMitzrayim "
Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying I have indeed remembered you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt.

Psook 3:17 "vaomar aale etchem meoni Mitzrayim el eretz haKenaani vehaChiti vehaEmori vehaPrizi vehaChivi vehaYevusi el eretz zavat chalav udevash "
And I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.

Psook 3:18 "veshamu lekolecha uvata ata veziknei Yisrael el melech Mitzrayim vaamartem elav Yahwe Elohei haivriyim nikra aleinu veata nelcha na derech sheloshet yamim bamidbar venizbecha laYahwe Eloheinu "
And they shall listen to your voice. And you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you shall say to him The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. And now let us go, we pray you, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.

Psook 3:19 "vaani yadati ki lo yiten etchem melech Mitzrayim lahaloch velo beyad chazaka "
And I know that the king of Egypt will not give you leave to go, except by a mighty hand.

Moses is forewarned of events, and the might hand is a reference to the plagues.

Psook 3:20 "veshalachti et yadi vehikeiti et Mitzrayim bechol nifleotai asher ese bekirbo veacharei chen youshalach etchem "
And I will put forth My hand, and smite Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in the midst thereof. And after that he will let you go.



Psook 3:21 "venatati et chen haam haze beeinei Mitzrayim vehaya ki telechun lo telchu reikam "
And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. And it will happen, that, when you go, you shall not go empty;

Psook 3:22 "veshaala isha mishchenta umigarat beita kelei chesef uchelei zahav usemalot vesamtem al beneichem veal benoteichem venitzaltem et Mitzrayim "
but every woman shall ask of her neighbour, and of her that lodges in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters; and you shall spoil the Egyptians.'

By this the women of Egypt shall commission the Hebrews to journey, absolving themselves, it being remembered that those who enable other to perform mitzvos gain merit thereby themselves.


Psook 4:1 "vayaan Moshe vayomer vehen lo yaaminu li velo yishmeu bekoli ki yomru lo nira eleicha Yahwe "
And Moses answered and said 'But, behold, they will not believe me, nor listen to my voice; for they will say The Lord has not appeared to you.'


This comes across like the voice of disillusionment, and betokens a lack of true prophetic ability. Moses is not so much a prophet as an agent charged with a task, the completion of which he cannot foresee. As we will note at the end of the forty years, when indeed he does not see the resolution - which is in part because of his lack of faith, denying the possibility. Those who deny the afterlife, for them there is no afterlife. Those who deny the entry into the promised land.....




Psook 4:2 "vayomer elav Yahwe maze ma ze veyadecha vayomer mate "
And the Lord said to him 'What is that in your hand?' And he said 'A rod.'

Psook 4:3 "vayomer hashelichehu artza vayashlichehu artza vayouhi lenachash vayanas Moshe mipanav "
And He said 'Cast it on the ground.' And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.

Psook 4:4 "vayomer Yahwe el Moshe shelach yadcha veechoz biznavo vayishlach yado vayachazek bo vayouhi lemate bechapo "
And the Lord said to Moses 'Put forth your hand, and take it by the tail, and he put forth his hand, and laid hold of it, and it became a rod in his hand

Psook 4:5 "lemaan yaaminu ki nira eleicha Yahwe Elohei avotam Elohei Avraham Elohei Yitzchak vElohei Yaakov "
that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.'

Psook 4:6 "vayomer Yahwe lo od have na yadcha becheikecha vayave yado becheiko vayotzia vehine yado metzoraat kashaleg "
And the Lord said also to him 'Put now your hand into your bosom.' And he put his hand into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow.

Psook 4:7 "vayomer hashev yadcha el cheikecha vayashev yado el cheiko vayotzia mecheiko vehine shava kivsaro "
And He said 'Put your hand back into your bosom. And he put his hand back into his bosom; and when he took it out of his bosom, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.

Psook 4:8 "vehaya im lo yaaminu lach velo yishmeu lekol haot harishon veheeminu lekol haot haacharon "
And it will happen, if they will not believe you, neither listen to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.

It is by miraculous signs that prophets are recognized, according to Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon.




Psook 4:9 "vehaya im lo yaaminu gam lishnei haotot haele velo yishmeun lekolecha velakachta mimeimei hayouor veshafachta hayabasha vehayu hamayim asher tikach min hayouor vehayu ledam bayabashet "
And it will happen, if they will not believe even these two signs, neither listen to your voice, that you shall take of the water of the river, and pour it on the dry land; and the water which you take out of the river shall become blood on the dry land.'

Psook 4:10 "vayomer Moshe el Yahwe bi adonai lo ish devarim anochi gam mitmol gam mishilshom gam meaz dabercha el avdecha ki chevad pe uchevad lashon anochi "
And Moses said to the Lord 'Oh Lord, I am not a man of words, neither heretofore, nor since you have spoken to your servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.'

An uninspiring speaker in his own estimation, which recalls his not having presented his case to Pharaoh regarding the incident of the man in the sand. But perhaps a regret that he had not argued against the treatment of the Hebrews, and a realization that even in the matter of the shepherds at the well it was not his speech that rectified the situation.




Psook 4:11 "vayomer Yahwe elav mi sam pe laadam o mi yasum ilem o cheresh o fikeach o iver halo anochi Yahwe "
And the Lord said to him 'Who has made man's mouth? or who makes a man dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? is it not I the Lord?

Psook 4:12 "veata lech veanochi ehyou im picha vehoreiticha asher tedaber "
Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you shall speak.'

Thus also given voice, not dumb, not deaf, not blind. His senses will be by the agency of the divine.



Psook 4:14 "vayichar af Yahwe beMoshe vayomer halo Aharon achicha haLevi, yadati ki daber youdaber hu vegam hine hu yotze likratecha veraacha vesamach belibo "
And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said 'Is there not Aaron your brother the Levite? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he comes forth to meet you; and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.

He will be glad in his heart - meaning that he will understand, because in Hebrew the heart is the seat of the intellect.


Psook 4:15 "vedibarta elav vesamta et hadevarim befiv veanochi ehyou im picha veim pihu vehoreiti etchem et asher taasun "
And you shall speak to him, and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with your mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do.

And the speaking will be speakingly spoken. An excess of speech metaphor. Moses will by Hashem's deising speak, and will say to Aaron what he shall say, and what both Aaron and moses will do.


Psook 4:16 "vediber hu lecha el haam vehaya hu yihyou lecha lefe veata tihyou lo lElohim "
And he shall be your spokesman to the people; and it will happen, that he shall be to you a mouth, and you shall be to him in God's stead.

Aaron shall be between the people and Moses, and Moses is to be between Aaron and God. Agency delimited.




Psook 4:18 "vayoulech Moshe vayashav el youter chotno vayomer lo elcha na veashuva el achai asher beMitzrayim veere haodam chayim vayomer Yitro leMoshe lech leshalom "
And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said to him 'Let me go, I pray you, and to my brothers that are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive.' And Jethro said to Moses 'Go in peace.'

Which is the same as happened when Yosef attended to his kin and Pharaoh permitted him.




Psook 4:19 "vayomer Yahwe el Moshe bemidyan lech shuv Mitzrayim ki metu kol haanashim hamevakshim et nafshecha "
And the Lord said to Moses in Midian 'Go, return into Egypt; for all the men are dead that sought your life.'

Psook 4:20 "vayikach Moshe et ishto veet banav vayarkivem al hachamor vayashav artza Mitzrayim vayikach Moshe et mate haElohim beyado "
And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them on an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt; and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

Psook 4:21 "vayomer Yahwe el Moshe belechtecha lashuv Mitzraima ree kol hamoftim ashero samti veyadecha vaasitam lifnei faro vaani achazek et libo velo youshalach et haam "
And the Lord said to Moses 'When you go back into Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your hand; but I will harden his heart, and he will not let the people go.

Psook 4:22 "veamarta el Paro ko amar Yahwe beni vechori Yisrael "
And you shall say to Pharaoh so says the Lord Israel is My son, My first born.

Psook 4:23 "vaomar eleicha shalach et beni veyaavdeni vatemaen leshalcho hine anochi horeg et bincha bechorecha "
And I have said to you Let My son go, that he may serve Me; and you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will slay your son, your first born.'

The guilt of Egypt in the matter of the sons will be confirmed, by contrast with wich the Hebrews merit release.


Psook 4:24 "vayouhi vaderech bamalon vayifgeshehu Yahwe vayouvakesh hamito "
And it came to pass on the way at the lodging place, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him.

Psook 4:25 "vatikach Tzipora tzor vatichrot et arlat bena vataga leraglav vatomer ki chatan damim ata li "
Then Zipporah took a flint, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet; and she said 'indeed a bridegroom of blood are you to me.'

This because the commandment confirming the status of being commanded was lacking. If Moses entering Egypt is in order to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt, it is not proper that such a commitment as circumcising his son should be lacking. If Gershom is not circumcised, he will not be a Hebrew. Tziporah recognizes the obligation, and by performing it cuts herself off from her own people, leaving Midian and becoming a Hebrew in Egypt, severing the bonds as if by marriage, and here truly becoming by the loss of those ties the wife of Moses, and herself committed to the task with which he had been entrusted.


Psook 4:26 "vayiref mimenu az amra chatan damim lamulot "
So He let him alone. Then she said 'A bridegroom of blood in regard of the circumcision.'

It being because of the lack of that circumcision that a sudden bloody act needed doing.


Psook 4:27 "vayomer Yahwe el Aharon lech likrat Moshe hamidbara vayoulech vayifgeshehu behar haElohim vayishak lo "
And the Lord said to Aaron 'Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.' And he went, and met him in the mountain of God, and kissed him.

And the Lord said - inspired Aaron to go there.



Psook 4:28 "vayaged Moshe leAharon et kol divrei Yahwe asher shelacho veet kol haotot asher tzivahu "
And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord wherewith He had sent him, and all the signs wherewith He had charged him.

Psook 4:29 "vayoulech Moshe veAharon vayaasfu et kol ziknei benei Yisrael "
And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel.

Psook 4:30 "vayoudaber Aharon et kol hadevarim asher diber Yahwe el Moshe vayaas haotot leeinei haam "
And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.

Psook 4:31 "vayaamen haam vayishmeu ki fakad Yahwe et benei Yisrael vechi raa et anyam vayikdu vayishtachavu "
And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had remembered the children of Israel, and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.

Psook 5:1 "veachar bau Moshe veAharon vayomru el Paro ko amar Yahwe Elohei Yisrael shalach et ami veyachogu li bamidbar "
And afterward Moses and Aaron came, and said to Pharaoh 'so says the Lord, the God of Israel Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.'

Psook 5:2 "vayomer Paro mi Yahwe asher eshma bekolo leshalach et Yisrael lo yadati et Yahwe vegam et Yisrael lo ashaleach "
And Pharaoh said 'Who is the Lord, that I should listen to His voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, and also I will not let Israel go.'


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Till thus far tonight. Further tomorrow.
 
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