Monday, February 24, 2020

sipur -- tell me something I don't know

I) Rashi writes that the last chapter of P Mishpatim (Shmos 24) that begins with the words “V’el Moshe amar aleh el Hashem…,” is out of place.  These pesukim are talking about Moshe going up to Har Sinai to get the Torah, and therefore chronologically belong earlier, in P’ Yisro. 
Ramban takes issue with this interpretation.  Aside from the difficulty of jumbling the order of the text, Ramban raises two questions in how Rashi reads pasuk 3 of perek, “Vayisaper la’am es kol divrei Hashem v’es kol ha’mishpatim.”  (24:3)
1) A question based on sevara: If this perek occurs pre-mattan Torah, then the “mishpatim” must be mitzvos bnei Noach.  Those laws should have already all been known to Klal Yisrael.  Why did Moshe need to repeat them again?
2) A question based on language: the word “vayisaper” only is used when relating something new, not old news.  If Moshe is merely reiterating laws that were already known, then the Torah should use a different term here. 
I dealt with the first issue back in 2012, but it’s the second point that grabbed my attention this year.
Based on this second point in Ramban I better understand the mitzvah of “**sipur** yetzi’as Mitzrayim.”  It’s not enough to sit down Pesach night and talk about what happened once upon a time in Jewish  history.  “Sipur” means talking about yetzias Mitzrayim as if it is something that is fresh and exciting, a new experience.
Just a week ago we read “vayishma Yisro kohein Midyan…” –- Yisro knew about yetzi’as Mitzrayim.  Nonetheless, “vayisaper Moshe l’chosno es kol asher asah Hashem…”  Moshe turned what Yisro may have read about in the newspaper into a sipur –- he added a new dimension to the story, a new level of understanding the experience. 
II) I don't know who the דרושי וחידושי הרמבא"ד  is, but this is by far one of the most interesting derashos you will ever read on P' Yisro (suitable for sheva berachos, aufrufs, and weddings as well).  Hat tip to my son -- here's the link to his post.

1 comment:

  1. "2) ...if Moshe is merely reiterating..."

    how so, the Ramban? at 15:25, Rashi depicts kids in a backseat on a long car trip, given what to busy them; the context of 24:3 reveals adults (or yet children?) charged with a live mission [between times, Moshe piques Yisro's interest, who like a curious child struggles to get in edgewise the four questions gnawing him...]