1) “Zacharnu es ha’dagah asher NOCAL b’Mitzrayim chinam…” (11:5) I saw the following question quoted in R’ Shteinman’s name: why use the word “nochal,” future tense, e.g. “mah NOACHAL ba’shanah hashevi’is…?” (Vayikra 25:20), when we are talking about what was eaten in the past in Mitzrayim? Shouldn’t it be past tense?
I am surprised that none of the meforshim I took a look at dealt with this issue. My wife suggested that Bnei Yisrael here were planning to rebel and turn back to Mitzrayim. The people remembered the good stuff they saw in Egypt, but never could have. Now, with the defeat of Egypt, they anticipated returning and being able to indulge.
2) Moshe is described in our parsha as “ANAV me’od.” (12:3) The word “anav” is a kri/kesiv. The kesiv is without a yud; the kri is with a yud before the final vav. Can someone who knows more about grammar than I do please explain the difference? How is anav without a yud pronounced differently than anav without a yud? (See Minchas Shai)
R’ Bachyei explains that the missing yud is a punishment. When Moshe was about to draw water from the rock to give to Bnei Yisrael in response to their complaints, he said to BN”Y, “Ha’min ha’sela ha’zeh NOTZI lachem mayim?” (Bamidbar 20:12) He should have said “YOTZI,” referring to Hashem. Since Moshe left out the yud there, the yud is missing here – there is a little something missing from the anivus (we are talking about infinitesimal degrees here, not a noticeable chisaron). Apparently even though had not uttered those words yet, the minute pgam was part of his personality at this point (or you could say the Torah is speaking from the perspective of the omniscient reader, as discussed last week.)
3) There is an interesting machlokes between Targum Onkelus and Targum Yonasan as to how to translate Moshe’s tefilah of “K-l NA refa NA lah” (12:13) Targum Yonasan explains both words “na” the same way, as a supplication. Targum Onkelus explains the second “na” as “immediately.” We find this same use in a few other places (see the notes to R’ Cooperman’s edition of the Meshech Chochma). Ibn Ezra explains that the issur of eating the korban pesach “na” means undercooked – it was taken off the fire too quickly. When the malachim come to Sdom, Lot tells them “suru na” and enter his home. He’s not saying “please” to them – he is telling them to rush, because it was dangerous to welcome guests into your home in Sdom. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Artscroll translation of “Ana Hashem hoshi’a na” captures this meaning. We are not just saying, “Please Hashem help us” (as the Koran siddur explains it, but we are asking, as Artscroll translates, “Please Hashem help us NOW.”