MIDAH K'NEGED MIDAH
(R. Chanina bar Papa): "He (Yakov) sent him (Yosef) from the Emek of Chevron - the deep (Amukah) plan (told to) the Tzadik buried in Chevron - "Know that your seed with be a stranger..."
Question: Why did Avshalom say "I do not have a son"? "Three sons and a daughter were born to Avshalom"!
Answer #1 (R. Yitzchak bar Avdimi): He did not have a son fit to be king.
Answer #2 (Rav Chisda): We have a tradition, anyone who burns another's grain does not leave a son to inherit himself.
Avshalom commanded his servants to burn Yoav's grain.
(Mishnah): Similarly, good deeds are rewarded (Midah k'Neged Midah). Miryam...
Question: That was not Midah k'Neged Midah! She waited a short time, and Yisrael waited a week for her!
Answer #1 (Abaye): The Mishnah should say that reward is not Midah k'Neged Midah.
Objection (Rava): The Mishnah says 'similarly'!
Answer #2 (Rava): The Mishnah means that similarly, the reward for good deeds resembles the deed. However, Hash-m's attribute of rewarding is greater than that of punishing.
(R. Yitzchak): "His sister stood from afar" - this entire verse alludes to the Divine Presence.
"She stood" - "Hash-m came and stood."
"His sister" - "say to Chachmah, you are my sister."
"From afar" - "from afar, Hash-m appeared to me."
"To know" - "for Hash-m is a G-d of knowledge."
"What" - "What does Hash-m ask of you?"
"Will be done" - "Hash-m will not do"
"To him" - "he called Him Hash-m Shalom."
THE COUNSEL AGAINST THE SAVIOR
(Rav or Shmuel): "A new king arose" - this is literally true.
(The other of Rav or Shmuel): He (was the same king, just he) made new decrees.
He says so because it does not say "the king died."
"Who did not know Yosef" - he acted as if he did not know him at all.
(Beraisa): "He said to his nation, behold, Bnei Yisrael..." Since he began the counsel, he was punished first - "(The frogs will come) in you and your nation and all your servants."
Question: Why does it say "let us deal wisely with him"? It should say 'with them'!
Answer: (R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): They wanted to deal wisely with the savior of Yisrael:
How can we kill him (and escape Hash-m's punishment, which is Midah k'Neged Midah)? If we will use fire, "Hash-m will judge in fire!"
It is not wise to use a sword - "all flesh with His sword."
Rather, we will kill him in water. Hash-m swore not to bring another flood.
They did not know that He swore not to flood the entire world, but He may flood one nation;
Alternatively, He will not bring a flood, but they may fall into the water - "the Mitzriyim fled to the sea."
(R. Elazar): "In the matter that they Zadu (plotted) against them" - they were cooked in the pot in which they cooked.
Question: What is the source that Zadu alludes to a pot?
Answer: "Va'Yazed (cooked) Yakov Nazid (cooked food)."
(R. Chiya bar Aba): Three people were in the counsel to drown the savior: Bilam, Iyov and Yisro;
Bilam gave the counsel. He was killed;
Iyov was silent. He was punished with afflictions;
Yisro fled. He merited that his descendants sit in the great Sanhedrin - "from the families of Chachamim, Talmidim of Ya'avetz - Tir'asim, Shim'asim, Suchasim - these are the Kinim who come from the father of the house of Rachav";
(Kinim come from Yisro -) "the sons of the Keini, the father-in-law of Moshe."
Question: Why does it say "they will fight with us, and leave the land"? It should say 'and we will leave the land!'
Answer (Rav Aba bar Kahana): This is like one who curses himself, but euphemistically attributes the curse to someone else.
Question: Why does it say "they put on him officers of Misim (taxes)"? It should say 'on them'!
Answer (Tana d'Vei R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon): They placed a mold (for making bricks) on Pharaoh's neck;
If a Yisrael would say 'I am too delicate to work', they would say 'you are not more delicate than Pharaoh!'
"Officers of Misim" - something that is Mesim (puts lordship over them).
Question: Why does it say "in order to afflict him with their burdens"? It should say 'them'!
Answer: They put the mold to afflict Pharaoh, in order to put burdens on Yisrael.
(Rav or Shmuel): "He built Miskenos (storage) cities for Pharaoh" - they are Mesaknos (endanger) their owners;
(The other of Rav and Shmuel): They Memaskenos (impoverish) their owners.
Anyone who builds waxes poor.
(Rav or Shmuel): "Pisom and Ra'amses" - the real name is Pisom. It is called Ra'amses, for each bit that is built MisRoSeS (falls);
(The other of Rav and Shmuel): The real name is Ra'amses. It is called Pisom, for each bit that is built is swallowed into the depths (Pi TehoM).
Question: Why does it say "like they afflict them, so he will increase and overflow"? It should say 'so they increased and overflowed!
Answer (Reish Lakish): Ru'ach ha'Kodesh says (to the Mitzriyim) that the more they afflict Yisrael, the more they will increase and overflow.
"Va'Yakutzu (they were disgusted) due to Bnei Yisrael" - Bnei Yisrael were like Kotzim (thorns) in their eyes.
(R. Elazar): "They made Bnei Yisrael work b'Farech" - with a soft mouth (Peh Rach);
(R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): It was with crushing labor (bi'Frichah).
(Rava): "They embittered their lives with harsh work in mortar and bricks" - first they worked with mortar and bricks. In the end, in all work in the field.
(R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): "All the work they made them do was b'Farech" - they made men do women's labors, and women do men's labors.
R. Elazar explained the previous "b'Farech" to mean with a soft mouth. He explains this "b'Farech" to mean with crushing labor.
HOW CHILDREN WERE CONCEIVED AND BORN
(Rav Avira): Yisrael were redeemed from Mitzrayim in the merit of the righteous women of that generation.
When they would go to draw water, Hash-m would send fish into their buckets; they would draw half water, half fish.
They would warm up one pot of fish and one of water. They would take them to their husbands in the field, wash and anoint their husbands, give them to eat and drink, and cohabit with them in ridges between the fields.
"If you will lie between the ridges..." in the merit of lying between the ridges, Yisrael merited the spoils of Mitzrayim - "dove's wings covered with silver, and its pinions with fine gold."
When the women became pregnant, they came to their houses. When they were ready to deliver, they would go to the field, under the apple tree - "under the apple tree I aroused you (to leave the womb)."
"Those who gave birth to you did not cut your cord, you were not bathed in water to smooth you" - Hash-m would send from Heaven someone to clean and straighten the baby like a midwife.
He gathered for them two round 'loaves', one of oil, and one of honey - "He nursed him honey from the rock, and oil"
When the Mitzriyim found out about the birth, they would come to kill the babies. Miraculously, the babies were swallowed into he ground.
The Mitzriyim brought cattle to plow the ground - "they plowed furrows on me."
When the Mitzriyim left, the babies emerged from the ground like herbs - "I made you grow like the herbs of the field."
After they grew up, they would come home in flocks - "You increased and grew and you came ba'Adi Adayim (adorned)" - we read this 'b'Edrei Adarim' (in flocks).
When Hash-m revealed Himself at the splitting of the sea, they recognized Him first - "this is my G-d, and I will glorify Him."
(Rav or Shmuel): "Pharaoh said to the Hebrew midwives" - they were a woman and her daughter - Yocheved and Miryam;
(The other of Rav and Shmuel): They were a daughter-in-law and her mother-in-law - Elisheva (Aharon's wife) and Yocheved.
Support (for the first opinion - Beraisa): "Shifra" is Yocheved. She is called Shifra because she is Meshaperes (straightens) the baby. Also, she'Paru v'Ravu (Yisrael multiplied) in her days;
"Pu'ah" is Miryam. She is called Pu'ah because she is Po'ah (amuses) the baby. Alternatively, she was Po'ah (spoke) with Ru'ach ha'Kodesh, and prophesized that her mother would give birth to a savior of Yisrael.
Question: Pharaoh told them "when you help the Hebrews to give birth... (you will see on the stone)" - what is the stone?
Answer #1 (Rav Chanan): Pharaoh gave them a great sign. When she is about to give birth, her thighs become as cold as stone.
Answer #2: "I went to the potter's house; he was working on the stone."
Just like a potter spreads his thighs and the stone wheel is in the middle, a woman giving birth spreads her thighs, and the baby is in the middle.
(R. Chanina): "If it is a son, you will kill him" - Pharaoh gave them a great sign. If the baby is born facing the ground, it is a boy. If it faces up, it is a girl.
Question: "The midwives feared Hash-m, and did not do as he (Pharaoh) spoke Aleihen (to them)" - (grammatically) it should say Lahen!
Answer (R. Yosi bar Chanina): The word Aleihen (connotes Bi'ah. It) hints that Pharaoh requested to have Bi'ah with the midwives, but they refused.
(Beraisa): "And they kept the children alive" - not only they did not kill them, rather, they even supplied them with water and food.
Question: "The midwives told Pharaoh, the Hebrew women... (are Chayos)" - what does this mean?
Suggestion: It means that they are midwives.
Rejection: Also a midwife needs a midwife when she herself gives birth!
Answer: Rather, Yisrael are compared to animals (who do not need midwives);
"Yehudah is a young lion...", "Dan will be a snake"...
Even though Yakov did not bless all of the Shevatim like animals, another verse says "Your mother is a female lion lying among the lions."
(Rav or Shmuel): "Because the midwives feared Hash-m, He made for them houses" - houses of Kehunah and Leviyah, which came from Aharon and Moshe;
(The other of Rav and Shmuel): He made houses of kingship. David came from Miryam.
"Azuvah died, and Kalev married Efras (Miryam), and she bore to him Chor";
"David is the son of an Efrati man."
"Kalev, son of Chetzron fathered Azuvah (his) wife and Yeri'os. These are (the names of) her children - Yashar, Shovav and Ardon."
Question: Kalev is not the son of Chetzron. He is the son of Yefuneh!
Answer: His father was Chetzron. He is called ben Yefuneh, for he turned (Panah) from the counsel of the evil Meraglim.
Question: Another verse calls him the son of Kenaz - "Osni'el ben Kenaz, the brother of Kalev"!
Answer (Rava): He was a half-brother of Kenaz (they had the same mother).
Support: Kalev is called "ha'Kenizi", not the son of Kenaz.