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I'm Stumped

Two antennas got married. The shmorgasboard was only OK but the RECEPTION was great!! [Heard from my friend Nosson Melech]

Anyway, my friend Aharon Yehoshua ben Michal Batya stumped me with the following question on the parsha: Hashem told Moshe to split the sea with his STAFF ["mateh"] [14/16] but when he actually executed the command [14/21] he used his hand only. Why didn't he follow Hashem's command to the letter and use his staff?

Do you have an idea?

Check out the Netziv in Ha'emek Davar (14:16) who has an interesting mehalech to resolve the issue.
Good Shabbos!

I had an extremely similar question that arose in parshat Bo... maybe there is a common answer between the two?: For makat Arbeh, Hashem told Moshe to stretch out his HAND over mitzrayim to bring in the swarms of locusts, yet in the very next passuk (10:13) it writes "Vayait Moshe Et MATAIHU al eretz
mitzrayim" without any mention of his hand. Just as a point, one major difference between the two is with the locusts Moshe did a different action entirely(HAshem said use your ahnd and Moshe used his staff) while by the Yam Suf Hashem told Moshe to lift up his staff AND to stretch out his hand... Moshe stretched out his hand but seemingly ignored the command to lift up his staff. As a last point, both of these situations (where Moshe seeminlgy carried out Hashem's commands differently than told) share common results. HAshem brought about the miracle/plague by means of a ruach Kadim. In Bishalach the Ramban and many other commentaries discuss why specifically the east wind, but I didn't see anything in parshat Bo. Is it possible there is a common ground betweent he two?
Sorry for the length... Shabbat Shalom Rebbe

on the level of derash, it is an interesting question.

on the level of peshat, Binyamin Naphtali is correct that there is a common answer between the two. Namely, in pasuk 16, when Hashem commands Moshe "And lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thy hand," the meaning is to stretch out his hand which is holding the staff. Thus, he is stretching out the staff over the water. And so, in pasuk 22, Moshe is stretching out his hand, but that means stretching out the rod.

In other words, it is a single actual, rather than two separate actions.

Kol Tuv,

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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