Dedicate Daf 11b to:



בפרך
"With rigor"

 
Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni argue over the meaning of this word:
 
 
רבי אלעזר אמר בפה רך
Rabbi Elazar said
that the word "with rigor" can be read as
"with a soft mouth",
as the Egyptians slowly convinced the Jews to work for them.

 
First, Pharaoh told the Jews "We need you to do some work today". Being strong, the Jews worked hard and well. The next day Pharaoh set that as their production quota and appointed taskmasters over them.
 
 
רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר בפריכה
Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni said
that "with rigor" can be read as
"with backbreaking labor"

 
 
 
וימררו את חייהם בעבודה קשה בחומר ובלבנים וגו'
"And they embittered their lives with hard labor, with mortar and bricks
with all sorts of tasks in the field.
"

אמר רבא בתחילה בחומר ובלבנים ולבסוף ובכל עבודה בשדה
Rava said that the
Egyptians
first made the Jews work with mortar and bricks, and then
also
forced them to do all types of work in the field.

 
 
 
את כל עבודתם אשר עבדו בהם בפרך
"All the work they made them do, they made them do with rigor."

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן שהיו מחליפין מלאכת אנשים לנשים ומלאכת נשים לאנשים
Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni said in the name of Rabbi Yonasan that the Egyptians would switch
jobs, and give
the men's jobs to the women, and the women's jobs to the men.
(This was hard labor for both men and women, as neither was used to the other's work)

ולמ"ד
ולמאן דאמר
נמי התם בפה רך הכא ודאי בפריכה
Even
, who says
that in the previous
instance where the verse said
" Perach " it means "soft mouth", says here
in this last verse, that " Perach "
definitely means "backbreaking labor"

 
 
 
דרש רב עוירא בשכר נשים צדקניות שהיו באותו הדור נגאלו ישראל ממצרים
Rav Avira said that the Jews were redeemed from Egypt in the merit of the righteous women of that generation:

בשעה שהולכות לשאוב מים הקב"ה
שהקדוש ברוך הוא
מזמן להם דגים קטנים בכדיהן ושואבות מחצה מים ומחצה דגים
Hashem would arrange small fish
to swim into
the buckets of
the Jewish women
when they would go draw water, so the
bucket
would be half filled with water and half filled with fish.

ובאות ושופתות שתי קדירות אחת של חמין ואחת של דגים ומוליכות אצל בעליהן לשדה
They would cook two buckets, one with water and one with fish, and would bring them to their husbands in the field.

ומרחיצות אותן וסכות אותן ומאכילות אותן ומשקות אותן ונזקקות להן בין שפתים
They would wash
their husbands
, anoint them, feed them, give them to drink, and have relations with them
modestly
in the field borders,

שנאמר אם תשכבון בין שפתים וגו'
As
the verse
says "When you lie among the borders".

בשכר תשכבון בין שפתים זכו ישראל לביזת מצרים
As a reward for
having relations with their husbands
, the Jews merited the spoils of the Egyptians,

שנאמר כנפי יונה נחפה בכסף ואברותיה בירקרק חרוץ
As
the verse continues
"The wings of the dove
(which is symbolic for the Jewish people)
are covered with silver, And her limbs with the shimmer of gold."

וכיון שמתעברות באות לבתיהם
When the Jewish women
became pregnant, they
returned
home,

וכיון שמגיע זמן מולדיהן הולכות ויולדות בשדה תחת התפוח
And when the time came to give birth, they would give birth under the apple
trees,

שנאמר תחת התפוח עוררתיך וגו'
As
the verse says
"Under the apple tree I awakened you
(to leave the womb)".

והקב"ה
והקדוש ברוך הוא
שולח משמי מרום מי שמנקיר ומשפיר אותן כחיה זו שמשפרת את הולד
Hashem would send
a heavenly angel
to straighten out and straighten the fetus as a midwife
does in a normal birth,

שנאמר ומולדותיך ביום הולדת אותך לא כרת שרך ובמים לא רחצת למשעי וגו'
As
the verse
says "And as for your birth, in the day you were born your navel was not cut, neither were you washed in water for cleansing".

ומלקט להן שני עגולין אחד של שמן ואחד של דבש
The angel
would gather
for the children
two loaves, one of oil and one of honey,

שנאמר ויניקהו דבש מסלע ושמן וגו'
As the verse
says "And He made him to suck honey out of the stone, And oil
out of the flint rock".

וכיון שמכירין בהן מצרים באין להורגן
When
the Egyptians
realized that there were Jewish children hiding in the field
, they went to kill them,

ונעשה להם נס ונבלעין בקרקע
So Hashem
made a miracle, and the
Jewish babies
were absorbed into the ground.

ומביאין שוורים וחורשין על גבן
The
Egyptians
brought oxen to plow on
the place under which the Jewish babies were hiding, so as to kill them underground,

 
The Egyptians thought that the Jews protected their children through witchcraft, which since is not able to affect anything deep underground, would have meant that the children were close to the surface.
 
 
שנאמר על גבי חרשו חורשים וגו
As the verse
says "The plowers plowed upon my back".

לאחר שהולכין היו מבצבצין ויוצאין כעשב השדה
As soon as
the Egyptians
would leave, the
Jewish children
would pop out like grass in the field,

שנאמר רבבה כצמח השדה נתתיך
As
the verse
says "I caused you to increase, even as the grass of the field".

וכיון שמתגדלין באין עדרים עדרים לבתיהן
When
these children
grew older, they came home in droves,

שנאמר ותרבי ותגדלי ותבואי בעדי עדים
As
the verse
says " And you did increase and grow up, and you came to excellent beauty".

אל תקרי בעדי עדים אלא בעדרי עדרים
One
shouldn't read
the verse as saying
"excellent beauty" but as "droves and droves".

וכשנגלה הקב"ה
הקדוש ברוך הוא
על הים הם הכירוהו תחלה
When Hashem revealed Himself at the
Red
Sea,
those children were the
first to recognize Him,

שנאמר זה אלי ואנוהו
As
the verse said
"This is my G - d, and I will glorify Him".

 
 
 
ויאמר מלך מצרים למילדות העבריות וגו'
"And the King of Egypt told the Jewish midwifes."

רב ושמואל
There's an argument between
Rav and Shmuel
over who these midwives were:

 
Presumably it would be one of the three known women of that generation: Yocheved, Miriam and Elisheva (Aharon's wife).
 
 
חד אמר אשה ובתה וחד אמר כלה וחמותה
One said
that Shifra and Puah were a
mother - daughter
team, while
the other said that
they were a
mother in law and daughter in law.

מ"ד
מאן דאמר
אשה ובתה יוכבד ומרים
1.
The opinion that said that it was a mother - daughter
team
say that
Shifra and Puah were
Yocheved and Miriam,

 
Since Miriam was the more famous of the two, "Puah" was probably her.
 
 
ומ"ד
ומאן דאמר
כלה וחמותה יוכבד ואלישבע
2. While the opinion that said that it was a
mother in law and daughter in law
team say that the two were
Yocheved and Elisheva.

 
Since Miriam would have been too young then (she was under five years old!)
 
 
תניא כמ"ד
כמאן דאמר
אשה ובתה
One Braisa
said that it was a mother - daughter team:

דתניא שפרה זו יוכבד
As a Braisa taught
that Shifra is Yocheved.

The Gemara Asks:
ולמה נקרא שמה שפרה
And why was
Yocheved
called Shifra?

The Gemara will cite two reasons:
שמשפרת את הולד
1.
Since she beautified the infant.

ד"א
דבר אחר
Another opinion
is that

שפרה שפרו ורבו ישראל בימיה
2. She was named
Shifra since the Jews multiplied
Paru
in her days.

 
 
 
פועה זו מרים
Puah is Miriam.

The Gemara Asks:
ולמה נקרא שמה פועה
Why was
Miriam
called Puah?

The Gemara will cite two answers:
שהיתה פועה (ומוציאה את הולד)
1. Because she would
whisper
lovingly to the baby,

ד"א
דבר אחר
2.
Another
reason Miriam was called Puah:

פועה
She was called
Puah

שהיתה פועה ברוח הקודש ואומרת
For
she said with Divine provenance:

עתידה אמי שתלד בן שמושיע את ישראל
"My mother is destined to give birth to the child who will redeem the Jewish
nation".

 
As the Gemara will explain on page .
 
 
 
ויאמר בילדכן את העבריות וגו'
"And he said 'When you do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women
on the stones'"

 
 
 
The Gemara Asks:
מאי אבנים
What are these "stones"?

The Gemara will cite two explanations:
א"ר
אמר רבי
חנן סימן גדול מסר להן
1.
Rav Chana taught
that Pharaoh taught the midwives
a
powerful
sign
that one is about to give birth:

 
They would need the signs to avoid having to visibly kill the babies. Now, they could claim that the mother just had a miscarriage.
 
 
אמר להן בשעה שכורעת לילד יריכותיה מצטננות כאבנים
Pharaoh
told them that when a woman
is about to go into labor,
her legs become cold like stones.

 
 
 
ואית דאמר כדכתיב וארד בית היוצר והנה הוא עושה מלאכה על האבנים
2. Others
say that
Pharaoh didn't give them a sign but a nickname - as the verse says
"Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he was at his work on the wheels."

מה יוצר זה ירך מכאן וירך מכאן וסדן באמצע
Just as a smith has two legs on each side of the and the anvil in the middle,

אף אשה ירך מכאן וירך מכאן והולד באמצע
So to
during birth
a woman has two legs on each side
of the fetus,
with the fetus in the middle.

 
Midwives were called "stones" because they dealt with women who looked like potters.
 
 
 
אם בן הוא והמתן אותו
"If it be a son, then you shall kill him"

א"ר
אמר רבי
חנינא סימן גדול מסר להן
Rabbi Chanina taught
that Pharaoh taught the midwives
a
powerful
sign
to tell if the child will be a boy:

בן פניו למטה בת פניה למעלה
A boy
is born
face up, a girl
is born
face down.

 
 
 
ותיראן המילדות את האלהים ולא עשו כאשר דבר אליהן וגו'
"But the midwives feared G - d, and did not as the king of Egypt said about them."

The Gemara Asks:
להן מיבעי ליה
The verse
should have said "to them!"

The Gemara Answers:
א"ר
אמר רבי
יוסי בר'
ברבי
חנינא מלמד שתבען לדבר עבירה ולא נתבעו
Rabbi Yossi the son of Rabbi Chanina said that a Braisa taught that
Pharaoh
wanted to sin with
Shifra and Puah
but they refused.

 
 
 
ותחיין את הילדים
"And they let live the children."

תנא לא דיין שלא המיתו אותן אלא שהיו מספיקות להם מים ומזון
A Braisa
taught that not only
the midwives
didn't kill
Jewish babies,
but they also
supported
them
with
food and drink.

 
It can be implied from the word "and they let live" (rather than "and the didn't kill").
 
And that was Pharaoh's complaint: Not only you didn't obey me and you didn't kill them, but you gave them food?!
 
 
ותאמרן המילדות אל פרעה כי לא כנשים וגו'
"And the midwives said unto Pharaoh: 'Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian
women
, for they are Chayos '".

The Gemara Asks:
מאי חיות
What does " Chayos " mean?

The Gemara attempts to answer:
אילימא חיות ממש
If
the word
means midwives,
and Shifra and Puah's excuse was the since all the Jews are midwives themselves, they take care of their own births,

The Gemara rejects this answer:
אטו חיה מי לא צריכה חיה אחריתי לאולודה
Even
a midwife needs another midwife
to give birth.

The Gemara Answers:
אלא אמרו לו אומה זו כחיה נמשלה
Rather,
Shifra and Puah
said that the Jewish women are like wild animals:

 
Which don't need midwifes, and can find their own food.
 
 
יהודה גור אריה
Yehuda
was called a
"young lion",

דן יהי דן נחש
Dan was promised to be
"Dan should be a serpent",

נפתלי אילה שלוחה
Naftali
was promised to be
"a swift deer",

יששכר חמור גרם
Yissachar
was compared to a
"donkey at his load",

יוסף בכור שור
Yosef
was compared to
"a firstborn ox",

בנימין זאב יטרף
And Binyamin
was compared to
"a devouring wolf".

דכתיב ביה כתיב ביה
Those tribes
have
their animal aspects
written
explicitly.

ודלא כתיב ביה
And
the tribes who do not have
a clear verse
comparing them to animals,

כתיב (ביה) מה אמך לביא בין אריות רבצה וגו'
A verse
writes "Your mother is a lioness, she crouches among lions".

 
 
 
ויהי כי יראו המילדות את האלהים ויעש להם בתים
"And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that He made them houses."

רב ושמואל
There is an argument between
Rav and Shmuel
about the interpretation of the above verse:

חד אמר בתי כהונה ולויה
One said that
Hashem made them
houses of Priesthood and Levite.

וחד אמר בתי מלכות
And the other said
that they were
houses of royalty.

מ"ד
מאן דאמר
בתי כהונה ולויה אהרן ומשה
The opinion that they were houses of Priesthood and Levites
say that it was through
Moshe and Aharon
that the blessings were fulfilled,

ומ"ד
ומאן דאמר
בתי מלכות דוד נמי ממרים קאתי
And the opinion that
the houses
were houses of royalty
say that King
David was a descendant of Miriam
(and Yocheved).

 
 
 
דכתיב ותמת עזובה (אשת כלב) ויקח לו כלב את אפרת ותלד לו את חור
As
the verse
says "And close
who
Azuvah died, and Kalev took unto him Efras , who bore him Chur ."

 
As the Gemara will prove , Miriam was called both Azuva and Efras.
 
 
וכתיב ודוד בן איש אפרתי וגו':
And
the verse says
"Dovid was the son of an close
a descendant of Efras - Miriam
Efrasite "

 
 
 
וכלב בן חצרון הוליד את עזובה אשה ואת יריעות ואלה בניה ישר ושובב וארדון בן חצרון
"And Kalev the son of Cheztron begot children of Azuvah his wife - and of Yerios - and these were her sons: Yesher , and Shovav , and Ardon. "

The Gemara Asks:
בן יפנה
But wasn't Kalev
"The son of Yefuneh "?

The Gemara Answers:
הוא בן שפנה מעצת מרגלים
Rather, he was called " Ben Yefuneh " because he
turned away from the council of the spies.

 
And his father's real name was Chetzron
 
 
The Gemara Asks:
ואכתי בן קנז הוא
But
wasn't Kalev
the son of Kenaz ?

דכתיב וילכדה עתניאל בן קנז אחי כלב
As
the verse
says "And Osniel the son of Kenaz , Kalev 's younger brother, took it;"

 
This verse says that Osniel and Kalev were Kenaz's children, so was Kalev Chetzron's child or Kenaz's child?
 
 
The Gemara Answers:
אמר רבא חורגו דקנז הוה
Rava said that
Kalev
was the stepson of Kenaz

 
Kalev's mother was first married to Chetzron and gave birth to Kalev , then she married Kenaz and gave birth to Osniel .
 
As such, Kalev's father was Chetzron , Osniel's father was Kenaz , and they were brothers through the mother.
 
Family
 
 





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Dedicated in loving memory of Leah Rivka Bas Reb Dovid HaKohen A"H.
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