Thursday, January 29, 2009

leil shimurim and the mitzvah of bitachon

The Torah describes the first night of Pesach as "leil shimurim" (12:42) which Rashi explains to mean that Hashem was watching and waiting for this night (like the expression "v'aviv shamar es hadavar") to fulfill the promise he made to Avraham to redeem his children from slavery. Much has been written on the topic of why it is significant to mention that G-d fulfills his promise when we would expect no less of our fellow man. R' Yerucham Lebovitz in Da'as Torah goes a step further. R' Yerucham asks why it was necessary for G-d to make that promise in the first place. G-d might simply have enslaved the Jewish people and when the proper time came redeemed them. What is the point of making a promise, waiting expectantly to fulfill that promise, and only then acting?

R' Yerucham answers that the purpose of the promise is not for G-d's sake, but for our sake. Through our waiting and hoping with G-d for the promise's fulfillment we generate the merit which leads to that promise coming to fruition.

There is no mitzvah of bitachon (according to most Rishonim) mentioned in the Torah -- where do we derive this midah from? I think the answer is in this vort from R' Yerucham. The midah of bitachon stems from the obligation of v'halachta b'derachav, to imitate G-d's midos, mah hu... af atah... G-d in this parsha demonstrates that he waits expectantly for the fulfillment of his promise; therefore it behooves us to imitate that behavior and also wait expectantly for G-d's promises to come to fruition.


  1. Anonymous1:21 AM

    Anything for the Sfas Emes Yahrtzeit

  2. Anonymous1:51 AM

    I will just say there is an amazing Netziv in this week Parsha (they all are) It says
    וישאלו איש מאת רעהו
    The question is why are the Egyptians called רעהו? There are many answers the Netziv's answers sticks out for its originality. They where actually a רעהו because during ערוב they ran away to Goshen and actually Befriended the Jews and during the plague of darkness they could not move so the Jews fed them so it was a real רעהו.The Chasam Sofer says the Polar opposite he says since they where borrowing the items and they needed to put on a good show so they borrowed clothing from the rich Jews and then went to borrow from the Egyptian's so they actually went first to the Jews like it says in שור שנגח to exclude gentiles, and then went to the Egyptians' to borrow the Items.
    (I hope you did Not talk about this in your Parsha Page)

  3. Oy, I should have written a Sefas Emes and didn't! Now I don't know if I have time.

  4. Anonymous10:41 AM

    IIRC, the meshech chochmah says that the mitzvah of uvo sidbak is the mitzvah of bitachon- ayein sham