Shemot 5774

Thursday, December 19, 2013

There is a famous question regarding Yetzias Mitzrayim. If it was predetermined that Bnei Yisroel would be enslaved, why were the Egyptians punished? Nachmanides answers it was because they went far beyond mere enslavement; they wanted to wipe Bnei Yisroel out. Maimonides answers that Bnei Yisroel was to be enslaved, but Hashem never mentioned by whom. The Egyptians willingly did so out of their own choice.

Vayechi 5774

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Why do we say "bless you" when someone sneezes? It is because of Yaakov that we do so. The Chizkuni explains that Yaakov asked of Hashem to give him signs when he was nearing death. One sign was the ability to sneeze without dying. Back then when a person would sneeze, his/her soul would leave the body. People were amazed when they saw Yaakov. Because of this, the Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer says to say "lechaim" when one sneezes. This is why we say gezundheit!
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