1)MIRYAM'S PROPHECY

(a)She said, my mother will have a son who will save Yisrael.

(b)When Moshe was born, the house filled with light. Her father kissed her on the head - 'your prophecy has been fulfilled,'

1.When they put Moshe in the river, he hit her on the head - 'where is your prophecy?!'

2."His sister stood afar, to know what will happen to him" - to know, what will happen to her prophecy.

2)THE BURIAL OF YAKOV

(a)(Mishnah): Yosef merited (to bury his father...)

(b)Question: When they went to bury Yakov, it says "... went up with (Yosef) all Pharaoh's servants...and the whole house of Yosef and his brothers and his father's house;

1.On the return, the order is "Yosef... his brothers... all who went up with him"!

(c)Answer (R. Yochanan): On the way up, Pharaoh's servants had not yet seen the honor of Yisrael, so they did not honor Yosef's brothers. On the way back, after they saw the honor of Yisrael, they honored them.

1.Question: "They came to the threshing floor of thorns" - does one really pile up thorns?!

2.Answer (R. Avahu): This teaches that they surrounded Yakov's coffin with crowns, like a threshing floor is surrounded by a fence of thorns.

i.The children of Esav, Yishmael, and Keturah all came.

(d)(Beraisa): They came to make war. When they saw Yosef's crown on Yakov's coffin, they put their crowns on it, too.

1.(Beraisa): Thirty-six crowns were hung on his coffin.

(e)(Beraisa): "They had a great, honorable eulogy there" - even horses and donkeys (were dressed in black, as if they were crying - Maharsha).

(f)When they got to the Me'aras ha'Machpeilah (his burial cave) Esav stopped the burial.

1.Esav: Kiryas Arba is Chevron.

i.(R. Yitzchak): It is called "Kiryas ha'Arba" for four couples were buried there - Adam and Chavah, Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchak and Rivkah, Yakov and Leah.

2.Esav: Yakov buried Leah in his share of the cave. The rest belongs to me!

3.Yakov's children: You sold your portion!

4.Esav: I sold the extra portion due to the first born. I did not sell my standard portion.

5.Yakov's children: You did sell it! "In the grave she'Karisi (I dug)";

i.(R. Yochanan): Karisi is an expression of acquisition - on overseas islands, selling is called 'Kirah.' (I.e. Yakov bought it.)

6.Esav demanded to see the document. It was in Mitzrayim. Naftali was sent to get it, for he is swift like a deer - "Naftali is a sent deer, which gives words of Shefer (beauty)."

i.We read this 'words of Sofer (the scribe, i.e. the document).'

7.Chushim, Dan's son, was hard of hearing. He asked why the burial is being delayed; he was unwilling to leave Yakov unburied until Naftali returned. He hit Esav on the head with a stick (Esav died). Esav's eyes fell to Yakov's legs.

8.Yakov opened his eyes and smiled - "a Tzadik rejoices when he sees vengeance. He will wash his feet in the blood of the Rasha."

i.This fulfilled Rivkah's prophecy, "why should I lose both of you in one day?" Even though they died on different days, they were buried the same day.

(g)Question: If Yosef didn't bury Yakov, his brothers would have! (Why do we say that Yosef buried him?)

1."His children carried (Yakov) to the land of Kena'an"!

(h)Answer: They preferred to let Yosef bury him. It was more honor to Yakov to be buried by a king.

3)THE BURIAL OF YOSEF

(a)(Mishnah): Who is greater than Yosef...

(b)(Beraisa): See how dear Mitzvos are to Moshe. All of Yisrael were engaged in despoiling Mitzrayim, but Moshe engaged in Mitzvos - "a wise heart will take Mitzvos."

(c)Question: How did Moshe know where Yosef was buried?

(d)Answer #1: They told him that Asher's daughter Serach was still alive; he asked her.

1.Serach: The Mitzriyim buried him in a metal coffin; he was buried in the Nile, so its waters would be blessed.

2.Moshe stood on the bank. 'Yosef! The time has come to fulfill Hash-m's oath to redeem Yisrael, and the time to fulfill your oath (that we return your bones to Eretz Yisrael). If you do not reveal yourself, we are clean of your oath.'

3.Immediately, his coffin floated to the surface.

i.Do not be surprised that iron floated. Hash-m did a miracle through Elisha, to make iron float.

ii.Elisha was a Talmid of Eliyahu, who was a Talmid of Moshe. All the more so, Hash-m would do such a miracle through Moshe!

(e)Answer #2 (R. Nasan): He was buried where the Mitzri kings are buried.

1.Moshe stood outside. 'Yosef! The time has come to fulfill Hash-m's oath to redeem Yisrael, and the time to fulfill your oath. If you do not reveal yourself, we are clean of your oath.'

2.Immediately, his coffin moved. Moshe took it.

(f)All 40 years in the wilderness, two Aronos (chests) traveled together. Yosef's coffin and the Aron of the Shechinah (which holds Luchos ha'Bris).

1.Passers-by would ask about the two chests. They could not fathom that the Aron of the Shechinah traveled with the Aron of a dead person.

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2.Yisrael: It is fitting that they travel together. The deceased fulfilled all that is in the other Aron.

(g)Question #1: If Moshe didn't take Yosef's bones, would Yisrael not have done so?! (The Shevu'ah applied also to them! Maharsha - granted, at first Yisrael were busy despoiling Mitzrayim, but why didn't they engage with the bones all 40 years in the Midbar?)

1."The bones of Yosef, which Bnei Yisrael brought from Mitzrayim, they buried in Shechem."

(h)Question #2: If Yisrael didn't bury Yosef, would Yosef's children not have buried him?!

1."They were an inheritance to the children of Yosef."

(i)Answer (to both questions): Yosef's children reasoned, we will let Yisrael bury Yosef, for it is more honorable that a multitude bury him;

1.Yisrael reasoned, we will let Moshe take Yosef's bones, for it is more honorable that the great engage in his burial than the small.

(j)Question: Why was he buried "in Shechem"?

(k)Answer (R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): He was kidnapped in Shechem, so it was fitting to return him there. (Even though "a man" (Gavri'el) told Yosef that his brothers went to Dosan, this was a nearby village, and it is considered part of Shechem. Alternatively, Dosan is not a place. Gavri'el meant that they departed from brotherhood.)

(l)Contradiction: One verse says "Moshe took the bones of Yosef with him." Another says "the bones of Yosef, which Bnei Yisrael brought from Mitzrayim"!

(m)Answer (R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): If one starts a Mitzvah and does not complete it, and another completes it, the Mitzvah is attributed to the one who completed it.

1.(R. Elazar): If one did not complete a Mitzvah (through negligence), he is lowered from his greatness - "at that time, Yehudah (who started saving Yosef, but did not finish) went down."

2.(Rav Shmuel bar Nachmani): He even buries his wife and children - "Bas Shu'a, Yehudah's wife, died." "Er and Onan died."

(n)Question (Rav Yehudah): Why was Yosef called bones ("You will take my bones with you") in his lifetime?

(o)Answer (Rav Yehudah): It is because he did not defend his father's honor. His brothers said "your servant, our father", and he did not protest.

(p)Question (Rav Yehudah): Why did Yosef die before his brothers?

(q)Answer (Rav Yehudah): It is because he conducted himself with authority.

(r)(R. Elazar): "Yosef Hurad (was taken down) to Mitzrayim" - we read this Horid, for he lowered Pharaoh's astrologers from their greatness (when he interpreted the dreams that they could not interpret).

(s)(Rav): "Potifar, the attendant of Pharaoh, bought him" because he wanted to have homosexual relations with him.

1.Gavri'el came and Pir'o (excessively castrated) Potifar.

2.Originally, he is called Potifar. Later, he is called Potifera (the extra Ayin completes the word Pora at the end of his name).

4)THE BURIAL OF MOSHE

(a)(Mishnah): Who is greater than Moshe...

(b)(R. Levi): "Hash-m said to me, Rav Lecha (you did much, you need not enter Eretz Yisrael)". Moshe told others (Korach and his followers) "Rav Lachem (it suffices that you are Leviyim, do not seek Kehunah)", therefore he was told "Rav Lecha."

1.Also, "Rav Lecha (you have a master)" - Yehoshua. (It is time for him to lead Yisrael, and you may not impinge on his reign.)

2.Also, "Rav Lecha (you have prayed enough)" - so people will not say, the Rebbi is stubborn and the Talmid is patient.

(c)Question: Why was Hash-m so exacting with Moshe?

(d)Answer: We load a camel according to its ability to bear (i.e. according to Moshe's merit, Hash-m was exacting with him).

(e)Question: Why did Moshe say "I am 120 years old today"?

(f)Answer: Today completes my 120th year. This teaches that Hash-m fulfills a Tzadik's years from day to day and from month to month - "I will fulfill the number of your days."

(g)Question: What does it mean "I cannot leave and come anymore"?

1.Suggestion: This is like the simple meaning (I cannot walk).

2.Rejection: It says "his freshness did not wither." "Moshe ascended from Arvos Mo'av to Har Nevo";

i.(Beraisa): There were 12 steps, and Moshe jumped them in one leap.

(h)Answer (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): I cannot debate in Torah.

1.The verse teaches that the gates of Chachmah were closed to him.

(i)(Beraisa): "Moshe and Yehoshua stood in the Tent of Meeting" - that was the Shabbos of the two. Authority was taken from one and given to the other.

(j)(R. Yehudah): If not for the verses, we would not be allowed to say the following!

1.Moshe died in the portion of Reuven - "Moshe ascended from Arvos Mo'av to Har Nevo"; "The children of Reuven built... Nevo";

2.Moshe was buried in Gad's portion - "(Gad) desired the first (place that Yisrael conquered, in Ever ha'Yarden), for the lawgiver would be buried there."

3.Question: The portions of Reuven and Gad are four Mil apart. Who took Moshe to his burial site?

4.Answer: Moshe was in the wings of the Shechinah (the corner of the covering of His glory). Angels were saying "the righteousness of Hash-m he did, and His judgments with Yisrael";

(k)Hash-m was saying "who will stand for Me against evildoers?"

1.(Shmuel): Hash-m asked "who is like the Chacham, who knows how to mediate (between Me and Yisrael)?"

2.(R. Yochanan): He asked "where will Chachmah be found?

(l)(Samalyon): "And Moshe died" - the great Sofer (Chacham) of Yisrael. (Some say that Samalyon was a Chacham. Some say that he is an angel who said this at the time.)

(m)(Beraisa - R. Eliezer ha'Gadol): A voice from Heaven proclaimed throughout the entire camp of Yisrael 'and Moshe died - the great Sofer of Yisrael.'

(n)Others say, Moshe did not die;

1.It says here "He died there." Regarding Har Sinai, it says "he was there with Hash-m";

2.Just like there, Moshe stood and served Hash-m, also, here.

(o)(R. Berachyah): "He buried him in the valley, in the land of Mo'av, opposite Beis Pe'or" - in spite of all these signs, no one knows where he was buried.

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