Raboyseyee and Ladies
Adam (Odom Horishoin) and His Spilled Seed
Every so often new advances and technologies emerge. They give rise to new products, services and companies that disrupt the economies of older stodgy companies. Very recently we have seen this with the emergence of Uber; there are zicher many other examples. Out with the old, in with the new. Older companies set in their ways must either quickly adapt, downsize dramatically, or, go out of business. Kaput mamish. Ober not so with businesses and industries the RBSO in His benevolence and magnificence, created for His Chosen People. And as we have stated over and again, no bigger gift did He give us enterprising Yiddin, than Pesach and all its trimmings. From mamish four words in last week’s parsha which gave birth the kosher wine business and a bunch more in this week’s parsha of Boi, the RBSO gave Yiddin businesses that are time tested and worth mamish hundreds of millions yearly. Moreover, no matter how much we advance in technology, nothing -until Moshiach arrives- can change the steady growth of the Pesach economy. Hand-made matzo by hundreds of otherwise mostly unemployed (intentionally) people, is not being replaced anytime soon. Never! Toirah inspired businesses remain impervious to market conditions, recessions or anything else. Farkert: they grow yearly, sometimes geometrically. So happens that just last year, we covered the Pesach economy. See it here. In 2014, we covered Pesach and sanctioned deception and see that here. In 2013, we talked about about Toirah being big business, see that here. And in 2012, we discussed the topic of minhag ovoisaynu b’yodaynu; see that here. Ober what shall we talk about in 2016?
In advance of the upcoming parsha, the Oisvorfer went back and read his archives dating back to 2010. Each is mamish a gem, each year better than the last and much thought was given to cutting and pasting the best of each year’s review and sending it out. Ober, this parsha is mamish so rich -as are a good portion of the Yiddin who chapped what the RBSO mamish had in mind when it comes to Pesach observance. The Oisvorfer decided instead to re-read the parsha -this time from the back- in order to see if any new machshovois (thoughts) would pop into his head. Grada he gets machshovois, if you chap, daily and nightly, ober that for another day. Speaking of machshovois, wait until you read what the Arizal had to say about Odom Horishoin (Adam). Odom Horishoin? What the hec is he doing here in our parsha?
It’s taka emes that parshas Bishalach which we will read next week, is generally more associated with yitziyas mitzrayim (Exodus) and it’s avada well known for the ‘Oz Yoshir’ hit single that Moishe and the Yiddin sang after they successfully crossed the Yam Suf (Sea of Reeds), ober lemyseh (in reality), the Yiddin left Mitzrayim at the very end of this week’s parsha. And as we read about their departure, mamish towards the end of the parsha -in a great hurry of course because Paroy, who had suffered greatly and finally seen enough, was chasing them out- we should re-read the words of two pisukim (verses) which mamish had a calamitous affect on the Yiddin’s journey for the next 40 years. Which posik is that and which words changed the course of Jewish history? Shoin, let’s start here and lommer lernin innaveynig (let’s read the words of the text). Says the heylige Toirah (Shemois 12:37-38) azoy. “And the B’nai Yisroel (Yiddin) journeyed from Ramses to Succos, about six hundred thousand on foot, who were men, besides children. And a ‘Mixed Multitude’ went up also in their midst; and flocks and herd and very many cattle.”
The words are mostly informative and quite innocuous until we get to ‘mixed multitude’. What are ‘mixed multitude’? How did they become mixed? How many were there? Were they Jewish? Where did they come from? And why are they being mentioned here? Shoin as you can well imagine, these two words which in Hebrew translate to “Eirev Rav” have been the subject of many a debate and machloikes (disagreement) between many a great rabbi. Seemingly, the RBSO wanted our rabbis to figure it out on their own. Why? Because the heylige Toirah gives us not one other piece of information, not even a clue -at least not at this point- as to who these people were. It was left to oral tradition, medroshim, Rashi and so many others to argue and discuss and come up with rational explanations. Nu, let’s see what some had to say about their number and then we’ll go veyter.
Says the medrish of the Michilta (Shemois 14) azoy: Rebbe Yishmoel stated there were 1,200,000 of them. Impressive number. In fact, more of them than male Yiddin. Ober said rebbe Akiva: No! There were 2,400,000 Eirev Rav that joined the Yiddin when they left Mitzrayim. Ober said Rebbe Noson: you are both wrong. There were 2,600,000 ‘Mixed Multitudes’ that joined the Exodus. And who is correct? Ver veyst? Of course we don’t know; this number has never been resolved with any degree of certitude. What seemingly they all agree on is that the number was large. Ober who were these guys? And where did they come from? Shoin, time for the next machloikes and a new set of players. Seemingly the group above were but accountants and argued only numbers; the new rebbes wanted to dig deeper.
Some say that pshat is azoy: The Erev Rav were just bad guys that left Mitzraym along with the Yiddin. They may have been non-Jewish slaves, criminals, and or, foreigners who somehow blended in during the mass exodus. Ober, many rabbis were not happy with this pshat. Why not? For why would Moishe agree to let these bad guys accompany the Yiddin and share in their Matzo? It was time for epes another more creative pshat and let’s see what some of the visionaries had to say.
Says the Ohr Hachaim Hakoidesh (the holy one) azoy: The Erev Rav were spies! Sent by whom? By Paroy no less. And their mission? To instigate and weaken the resolve of the Yiddin. Grada this theory might have some legs because from now until they are mostly wiped out in the ensuing 40 year midbar trek, they will taka have done just that. They will be blamed for every mishap. They will avada take heat for weakening the resolve of the Yiddin who wound up having sexual escapades and orgies with the hot Moabite and Midianite shiksas. That myseh is still a good number of parshas away; we will of course cover the uncovered. The mixed multitude will also bear the brunt of the blame for other calamites that befell the Yiddin. Ober why would Paroy send out at least 1 million and perhaps as many as 2.6 million spies to accompany the Yiddin? Wouldn’t that number overwhelm the Yiddin? Says the Ohr Hachaim: Moishe continuously only asked that the Yiddin be allowed to leave Mitzrayim on a ‘three-day-journey’ in order to serve the RBSO in the desert. It was the job of the ‘Erev Rav’ to make sure they came back. They were more than spies; perhaps cops. Of course the Yiddin never intended to return. As to why Moishe did not make his intentions clear and efsher deceived or outright lied to Paroy, shoin, that too for another day. Who said he had to speak truthfully to Paroy? Do you always speak the emes? Veyter!
So far so good until we come across the thoughts of the Arizal (he, the famous kabbalist known for the coldest mikveh in the world) who said azoy. As an aside, when one is a kabbalist, one can say anything because avada it’s hard to have a logical argument over the kabolo. It’s mystical: fartig, case closed! And just because it makes no sense to the average person, that avada doesn’t mean that it can’t be emes. Or, that it didn’t happen just as the kabbalist imagined it. And even if it didn’t’, it still might. In kabolo, everything is possible. In any event, said he azoy: These ‘Erev Rav’ folks date back to an earlier time. They were in fact not Mizri spies. The Erev Rav harken back to the days of Odom (Adam). They do what? What does that mean? Ver veyst?
Says Rebbe Yirmiya ben Elozor in the heylige Gemora azoy: the ‘Erev Rav’ harken back to the seed of Odom Horishoin (Adam). They what? What seed? He planted them? Maybe yes! Nu, mistama you don’t recall ober the Oisvorfer (who else) covered Odom’s seed in a previous post where he wrote azoy: There was a period of 130 years during which Odom and Chava were separated. No sex! And by that we mean that Odom was not chapping or that Chava was not facilitating any chapping. Why? We are not told. Some say he was doing tshuva and as part of this process, he took it upon himself to avoid relations. Some say, Chava was still attracted to the snake, ver veyst. Ober, kula-almi-loi-piligi (no one would argue) that 130 years is mamish cruel and unusual punishment for any man to be without. For some, a few hours is mamish giferlich. But there was good news: The heylige Toirah teaches us that following the 130 year dry spell (not exactly as we will soon read), Odom fathered a child ‘in his likeness’. And from those words, our esteemed kabbalists and a few others concluded that during the 130 years when Odom was nebech mamish so frustrated, he may have fathered other things, seemingly not in his likeness. In other words: what he fathered (by releasing his seed, if you chap) was the first generation of some type of souls that eventually morphed into the likeness of people. Generations later, these likenesses became the Erev Rav. Shoin, go argue. Grada, Rebbe Meir in the heylige Gemora (Eiruvin 18b) added azoy: During the entire 130 years of Chava separation, Odom wore a belt of date branches over his skin which forced him to emit seed. Odom did what? Yes, you read that correctly: He emitted seed! Shoin! Sadly, that’s not such a foreign concept to many of you who because you can’t go more than a few days or hours without chapping, also resort to emitting, if you chap. Isn’t it taka the case that many of you have taka emitted seed, lot’s of it, during such separation. In any event, seemingly, this seed created souls and these souls through a very complicated piece of kabolo went on a journey to become cleansed and join the Jewish people. Eventually they wound up in Mitzrayim as the Erev Rav. Shoin: a better Hollywood script would be hard to imagine.
Anyway after all that, based on the Arizal’s view, these ‘Mixed Multitude’ were not Egyptian spies sent along to weaken the resolve of the Yiddin. Instead they were unfinished Jews in need of one more reincarnation to complete their journey back to the Jewish people while the Yiddin were in Mitzrayim. The emes is that they were still unfinished and needed to remain in Mitzrayim. Ober, our hero Moishe -according to many sources, seemingly on his own- decided to bring them along. He considered them ba’al tshuvas (penitents). Grada a medrish we will encounter in few weeks will remind us that that the RBSO and Moishe had a shtikel argument over the Erev Rav during which the RBSO lambasted Moishe for bringing them along on the journey. Science fiction? Perhaps.
Ober says Rashi: they were converts from a mixture of nations. What that means, ver veyst, but Rashi seems to be telling us that they were regular people who felt a kinship to the hapless enslaved Yiddin and wanted to join the club. Why would anyone want to convert and endure such hardships, ver veyst? Matzo?
Ober says the Vilna Gaon: these Erev Rav guys were not good people. After conversion, they never fully devoted themselves spiritually to the RBSO and His ways. And when they saw an uprising in the making – we will encounter a few such uprisings during in the coming 40 year midbar stay- they either joined it, or stoked the flames of the rebellions. We will learn that they were also involved in another uprising, if you chap, one involving the hot Moabite shiksas that the Yiddin orgied with.
And says the Oznayim Latoirah: they were bad guys! How bad? Look closely at the words of the Toirah. Earlier we quoted the posik which said azoy: “And the B’nai Yisroel (Yiddin) journeyed from Ramses to Succos, about six hundred thousand on foot, who were men, besides children. And a ‘Mixed Multitude’ went up also in their midst; and flocks and herd and very many cattle.” From the closeness of the words Erev Rav and the animals, they must be related. In other words: they behaved just like the behaymis. Gishmak. Another medrish will teach us that the Erev Rav were also behind the eygel project, and other midbar bad-boy behavior including the drinking of the shitim water. You never heard of shitim water? You will in a few weeks. Bottom line: these waters seemingly contained epes minerals that aroused the Yiddin, if you chap, which further caused them to party hearty with the Moabite shiksas mentioned just above.
Still we ask: who were these mysterious Erev Rav or Mixed Multitude? We’ve explored various medroshim and even the kabolo ober what about poshit pshat? How about we take a look at the words again and interpret them plainly and correctly? The words tell us that a bunch of people – as many as 2.6 million- left Mitzrayim along with the Yiddin. Back where the Oisvorfer comes from, the words ‘mixed’ means taka just that. They were mixed. Not mixed up in the head, though avada that’s also possible, but ‘mixed’ meaning they came from mixed marriages. Let’s play it out. Grada, this next pshat is not an Oisvorfer original, and the Oisvorfer does not know its source. It is being repeated because it grada could be real emes.
The Erev Rav were the children of mixed unions. They were? Why not? Is it so hard to imagine that in a country where the Yiddin were enslaved for 210 years that the Mitzri men didn’t chap and have their way with many Yiddishe mydlcih (girls) and already married women? Not at all! And is it hard to imagine that the Mitzri men either raped them or took them in as mistresses? And is it hard to chap that there were many lonely Jewish girls because their counterparts, the boys, were either killed at birth under Paroy’s orders, or too tired to service them? Also not!
And will we not in a few weeks meet the product of just such a union? We will! He was the blasphemer about whose activities we will read in Parshas Emor. Let’s also keep in mind that the Yiddin had sunk down to the 49th level of tuma, whatever that means. Is it not possible that they a healthy number of women just left the fold and ended up having children from their Mitzri lovers? No it’s not!
In any event, when the Yiddin left, the kids, the products of these mixed relationships, left as well. Given the long term slavery and the number of years the Mitzri men could have their way with Jewish girls, does it not make sense that there were taka many- maybe millions- of mixed kids or mixed multitudes? Grada it does. And because they were mixed, they were also efsher mixed up. Because they were mixed, they had mixed up feelings. Because they were mixed, it was they who at the first sight of trouble complained and said to Moishe: ‘let’s go back’, and ‘why did you bring us here?’ ‘Mitzrayim was better.’ And it was they who built the eygel and it was they who were involved in so many other nefarious activities.
Could be? Why not? Makes as much sense as Odom having spilled seed 2000 years back and having that seed morph into sub humans then humans who epes wanted to leave Mitzrayim.
Other medroshim will teach us that the great majority of the Erev Rav broke off and away from the Yiddin as soon as next parsha where we will learn that the RBSO took them on a circuitous route. Seemingly, when the Erev Rav took notice that the RBSO was not taking them directly to the Promised Land, they decided to skedaddle. Upon arrival to Sukkos (mentioned above), they broke off and returned to Mitzrayim where because they had mixed allegiances, felt quite comfortable. After all, according to the pshat above, the men were in fact Mitzrim. How many broke off? The great majority, maybe millions. And only a small portion of the Erev Rav continued on with the Yiddin as they traversed the midbar for the next 40 years. They will all die there. And it was this small group that were the root cause of much of the trouble the Yiddin found themselves in. As stated above, it was this group that managed to corrupt the Yiddin over and again, who were nebech seemingly still broken from 210 years of slavery. Who were they really? Ver veyst.
The bottom line: our rabbis will blame these guys for kimat every ill that befell the Yiddin. One could try this at home: just tell the eishes chayil that you’ve been shelct because you’ve been hanging around with the Erev Rav.
In our times, in our shuls and communities, we use the term euphemistically to refer to a small group of people that meet and bad mouth their shul rabbis for taking his vacation over Pesach, for taking too many trips to Israel and for anything else on their minds. They are mostly insecure jealous people who seek to undermine their own faults by laying blame for their own ills at the feet of others.
A gittin Shabbis-
The Oisvorfer Ruv