Weekly Parsha Review Laced with Humor and Sarcasm from The Oisvorfer Ruv

Vo’eiro 2011

Raboyseyee and Raboyseyettes:

Moishe Rabaynu’s mishpocho:

The Oisvorfer finds himself aboard United # 405 in the window seat en route to Keystone Colorado sandwiched in between two goyim, including one not such an ugly shiksa.  Ober given his deep understanding of Hilchois Tzinus (laws of modesty) including the sharing of an armrest which could avada lead to mixed dancing and worse (what could be worse), the Ruv mamish had to insist that she be separated from him by another Urel (goy) now sitting in the middle, lest chas vsholom, his yetzer horo get hold of him and cholila-v’chas (heaven forbid), find himself reenacting a scene made famous by some heylige Rebbe. Or efsher even worse, by discarding his laptop and chapping a lap dance instead, if you chap. Nu, is it a wonder that the perverted mishigoyim in Beit Shemesh need separate sidewalks?  Hopefully we’ll find some snow out West; the captain just announced that it will hit 61 degrees in Denver today- oy vey!!


Disclaimer: The eishes chayil and chief editor is unavailable to edit this week’s Toirah: please pardon all typos and other errors.


Let’s quickly chazir last week’s table setting parsha of Shemois where we were introduced to the central characters of the Parsha and the entire Sefer of Shemois. The foundation was laid for the greatest myseh she’hoyo (the best ever true story) of Yitziyas Mitzrayim. Just last Shabbis we read how the Yiddin had become enslaved to Paroy, how they mamish had to nebech (sadly) perform physical labor, and all about their suffering. We met Moishe, his elderly parents, his beautiful eishes chayil Tzipoirah and even his shver (father-in-law) Yisroy. Though raised as an Egyptian Prince, he epes had a shtikel feeling for the Yiddin and felt close to the brethren; mistama this came from the cholov yisroel he received after refusing to latch onto any shiksa that tried nursing him. We learned that Moishe was a shepherd, how he met the RBSO at the burning bush and how he was charged with redeeming the Yiddin from slavery.


When last we heard from Moishe Rabaynu, he had already been snake bitten twice. Avada you all recall how he barely survived the journey due to some entanglement with a malach masquerading around like a snake who according to Rashi, quoting the medrish, told us that Moishe was swallowed up from his head to his Eyver (penis) by one snake and from his toes to his Eyver by the other. And avada you recall that last week Moishe had his first unsuccessful encounter with Paroy the minuvil. His eishes chayil Tzipoirah and their two children were back in Midyan safe and sound and we will not hear from or about his mishpocho for another ten months or so. In parsha time, that’s three weeks from this coming shabbis.  Aharoin the Koihen and Moishe are finally (reluctantly) committed to the job the RBSO implored them to do. Let’s learn Parshas Vo’eiro.


This week’s parsha continues with the unfolding of the RBSO’s master plan for eventual freedom: warnings, threats, action, Pesach and more. In another few weeks, the Yiddin will be free ober chap nisht.  This week’s parsha also contains those four magical words: the reason we get to drink four cups of wine on Pesach, and travel to hotels all over the world for this special Yom Tov. Exactly how we commemorate the hardships the Yiddin suffered by falling asleep at the Seder table, complaining bitterly about the two and sometimes three day yom tov, stuffing our faces with multiple meals per day interrupted only by multiple trips to the tea room and bathroom, nu, this I don’t chap, but like all else in our beautiful religion, it’s all about marketing and business. And Pesach is big big business. Avada the Oisvorfer will in the coming weeks, have more to say about the proper way to celebrate this yom tov from his cabana inLas Vegas.   This week, the RBSO, after a final warning, begins flexing His muscles and by the time the parsha is over, the Mitzrim will have experienced six of the 10 Makois they are to receive.  Paroy and the Mitzrim are in for a good schmeissing.


This week, we’ll spend some time looking into Moishe Rabaynu’s background. The parsha will shed some light on his parents and the medrish will further illuminate with a few amazing thoughts about Moishe’s Yichus (lineage), his full siblings and a few other siblings you never heard of before. Moishe had other siblings not mentioned in the heylige Toirah?  Stay tuned and let’s learn Parshas Vayeiro.


Once a month, for ten successive months, Moishe and his older brother Aharoin were commanded by the RBSO to go to Paroy and threaten him with a different terrible plague. Zicher the RBSO does not threaten without making good, as we all know and He taka delivered on all of them- way to go. Avada this is a chilling thought to many of you giferliche bums who think otherwise.


A very popular question asked about this week’s parsha is why Paroy was so severely punished when it was the RBSO that kept hardening his heart to say no. Seemingly hard is not so good, if you chap. Zicher (surely) you recall learning that after several makois (plagues), Paroy acknowledged his errant ways. This is taka a shverer topic (difficult) and I’ll leave it for another time…let’s instead stay focused on a topic I know that you’d zicher like to hear about: family issues.


Does time fly when one is having fun? Avada it does. It’s mamish but one shabbis later since the entire slavery began and 210 years have already passed. This week the RBSO will use His executive powers and issues the first ever pardon. Mistama, a few of you are thinking…hey…how do I get one of those?  Nu, so was I, if you chap. Originally ordained that the Yiddin would be enslaved for 400 years, in this week’s parsha, we’ll learn that the RBSO had rachmonis (pity) on the Yiddin, and enough of Paroy and his antics; it was time to let His people go. Let’s learn.


As the parsha opens, Moishe is still resisting his marching orders and for many years, this odd behavior always bothered me. What’s pshat that Moishe tried talking his way out of the assignment? Can you just imagine having a face to face encounter with the RBSO and saying no? What was he thinking, was this not the height of chutzpah? He just barely escaped with his life after being swallowed up by the snake and he has the temerity to say no to the RBSO?!  It’s one thing to ignore the eishes chayil, ober the RBSO?  Why did Moishe refuse to do the RBSO’s bidding? Ver veyst: mistama this was, as is everything else, just part of the big plan and who says we have to understand?  Our job is but to believe.


This week, for a second time, the heylige Toirah mentions Moishe’s lineage but for the first time, we’ll learn the names of elderly parents. Last week they were just identified as a person who married the daughter of another person. Efsher you recall your Rebbe telling you that there are no extra words in the heylige Toirah and given that his parents  get a second shout-out, mistama, we need to learn more about them and Moishe’s entire Yichus, here we go.   Says the heylige Toirah:

1. A man of the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. א. וַיֵּלֶךְ אִישׁ מִבֵּית לֵוִי וַיִּקַּח אֶת בַּת לֵוִי:

In this first possik, they are but two nameless individuals, mamish as if the Toirah didn’t want us to know their identity. Was something not kosher about their union and was their wedding not sanctioned? Were the Eyday Kidushin (witnesses) posil (not kosher) for playing with cards, or, was there something sinister going on? Nu, as we will read just below, it turns out that Moishe’s father Amrom, married his father’s sister Yoicheved. Shoin: No p’shat needed here- plain and simple; Moishe’s dad married histanta (aunt)

And from that beautiful shidduch, came Moishe Rabaynu; need we say more? Mistama, if you hooked up with yourTanta, you giferliche chazir, you’d try to keep in on the QT, no?


And one possik later, mamish as if they were outed on U-tube or Google, we learn their names and more. Could you think of such an amazing shidduch and such yichus? And with these two pisukim, we are again introduced to the Moishe, the greatest leader the Yiddin ever had. Efsher this marriage has you klerring (thinking) a few nasty thoughts about your ownTanta, cholila, or sister and close cousins and efsher (perhaps) you’re wondering how Amrom could marry his aunt in the first place? Doesn’t the heylige Toirah prohibit a physical relationship with one’s aunt (VaYikro 18:12)? Indeed it does! Yet we read that is precisely what Amrom did. What’s pshat?

20. Amrom took Yoicheved, his aunt, as his wife,and she bore him Aaron and Moses, and the years of Amrom’s life were one hundred thirty seven years. כ. וַיִּקַּח עַמְרָם אֶת יוֹכֶבֶד דֹּדָתוֹ לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה וַתֵּלֶד לוֹ אֶת אַהֲרֹן וְאֶת מֹשֶׁה וּשְׁנֵי חַיֵּי עַמְרָם שֶׁבַע וּשְׁלֹשִׁים וּמְאַת שָׁנָה:

On the other hand, this isn’t the first time the heylige Toirah has introduced relationships that have raised eyebrows and mistama other things, if you chap. Avada you remember that the unions that produced Yitzchok and a healthy number of the twelve shevotim (tribes) of Yankif (Jacob) were all (later) forbidden by the Toirah. Zicher (surely) you recall Avrahom’s marriage to his half-sister Sorai? And who can forget Loit’s doubleheader with both of his daughters or Shimoin marrying his sister Dina? Oh and did I mention the case of Dovid Hamelech, who was descendant from the legally questionable marriage of Boiaz and Rus. Nu, I almost forgot that Kayin also married his sister. Does one need to be involved in an incestuous relationship to get an honorable Toirah mention? What’s p’shat?


But did Amrom really marry his aunt? Not so fast and efsher we can suggest that the word DODOSOY (meaning: Aunt in verse 20 above), really means something else entirely; let’s see. Said Rav Saadia Goan: An alternative way of translating ‘dodosoy’ would eliminate a strong chronological difficulty in this Yoicheved mayseh (incident) and Moshe’s birth.  Says he: Instead of translating dodosoy as “his aunt”, we can suggest it means “the daughter of his uncle”. This would then make Yoicheved- Amrom’s first cousin. And this is a way of solving a problem of how Amrom could have married an aunt, which is against the Toirah. Shoin: problem solved and let’s go veyter, but not before we hear a few more views on what went down here.

Raboyseyee, avada there is  another logical answer as to how Amrom was able to marry histanta Yoicheved and one that will zicher leave you satisfied. The possik tells us, Yoicheved was Levi’s daughter, the shvester (sister) of Amrom’s father. Though Kehos (Levi’ son) and Yoicheved had the same father, they did not have the same mother. Are you chapping all this? And since all this went down, before Matan Toirah, this particular relationship was seemingly still mutir (kosher). Today of course, such a union is avada strictly verboten; even thinking such thoughts, no matter how hot your tanta is, could have you excommunicated; even worse, it’s considered  incestuous.  Lucky for Yoicheved and Kehos that they had only the zelba tata (same father) for had they had the same mother, this marriage would seemingly have been forbidden at any and all times by the Seven Universal Laws given to the bnai Noiach or before. And says the medrish:  Levi married two wives; from one he had Kehos and from the other Yoicheved. Seemingly, double dipping was quite popular back then and why not?


And you might also be klerring the following…Why did the RBSO arrange it so that Moishe, the chosen redeemer would be the product of a marriage which was destined (following Matan Toirah) to be forbidden? Avada, you all know that marrying theTantaor even lying with her for other reasons, if you chap, which avada you shouldn’t, is mamish incestuous. Even you oisvorfs, well- most of you anyway, wouldn’t dream about marrying your aunt, even if she was smoking hot, would you? Guess what – you’re not alone- as many of the midroshim deal with this topic. Nonetheless, it’s still somewhat bewildering.


Ober says the Chizkuni something more than givaldig, especially for you chazerim with some background on your Google pages: “that because no man is appointed as an authority over the community unless there is something objectionable in his past, lest he lord over the community”.  You hear this chevra? Seemingly the Toirah likes imperfections, maybe not yours in particular but seemingly it’s the imperfections that could lead to greatness. The good guys are not appointed to leadership roles; just ask Yehudah and many others. Nu, what could be better? Want more, here we go. Seemingly, a past, even questionable one, is important to lead in the present and efsher we can klerr (posit), that the more questionable the relationship, the higher level of authority one can reach. Avada, the Oisvorfer is delighted with this pshat, if you chap. Ober (however) says the heylige gemorah (shabbis 54b): that Amrom was not only the spiritual leader of his generation; he was a perfect individual dying only eventually because death was decreed on all mankind. Tough it may seem from a quick read of the possik that a regular Joe went ahead and married; seemingly Amrom was a good guy and knew what he was doing.


On the other hand….another sefer brings down that Amron was mamish prohibited by Toirah law to marry his aunt and that Moishe did not, as a direct result of being the product of this marriage, merit making it over to the holy land along with the Yiddin. Similarly, he suggests that Rochel too didn’t make it in and was buried roadside because Yankif was at the same time, married to two sisters (also to two more half-sisters) and

though this was seemingly permitted outside of the holy land, it wasn’t so inside. Seemingly, for that Reason, Rochel couldn’t make it in, dead or alive and was nebech buried roadside in what is today zicher one of the land’s busiest tourist attractions. Nu, business is business.


Says the RambaN: Moishe’s parents weren’t mentioned by name last week because that at the time of Moishe’s birth, the Toirah narrative did not wish to interrupt with a lengthy description of his lineage. The main objective was to relate the story of Moishe, destined for greatness, chosen to lead the nation to its redemption.  Another view: the Toirah specifically did not want to mention Moishe’s lineage in order to show that Judaism does not view its leaders as necessarily coming from extraordinary backgrounds, no kidding. They can come from humble beginnings, as we will soon read, and still attain greatness. You hear this Raboyseyee? Notwithstanding your own backgrounds (and avada mine), it’s not too late for your kinderlach (maybe even you) to achieve greatness. Not just isn’t it too late, but it could happen despite your chazerish and less than admirable behavior to date; could there be better news for you other than a heter (allowance) on Pilagshim (concubines) or winning the lottery? So much for Yicchus!


Says the holy Zoihar: there are two reasons why Amrom was only mentioned  by the appellation ‘ish.’ last week: Ershtens (firstly), it was not Amrom who went and took a daughter of Levi, rather it was the Malach (Angel) Gavriel who went and took Yoicheved, and brought her back to Amrom after he had divorced her. Second, that Amrom did not go on his own volition. Rather it was the RBSO through His divine providence who moved Amrom to remarry Yoicheved and who went together with him. This explanation may reflect the medrish cited in Rashi that Amrom acted based on a prophecy he received from his daughter Miriam – that the son born from his remarriage would redeem the Yiddin. Thus the RBSO went with Amrom when he remarried Yoicheved in the sense of motivating his actions. Therefore, he is referred to as ‘ish,’ meaning Gavriel, denoting the element of divine providence behind what transpired. Mamish a beautiful pshat and in line with the Oisvorfer’s teachings: the RBSO is the master puppeteer, we just dance along.


But stop the presses! Did any of you oisvorfs ever hear of Eldad and Meidad?  I didn’t think so and I interrupt the story of Moishe and his immediate family with this sidebar. According to Targum Yoinasan ben Uziel and who had a better understanding and imagination than did he, they were brothers, and sons of Elitzofon bar Parnach, who would later be appointed Nasi of Zevulun in the fortieth year in the desert, before entering the holy land. Got all that? Excellent!  And? Why am I mentioning them here when they don’t make a Toirah appearance until Sefer Bamidbar? Well, strange as this may sound, they were actually the half brothers of Moishe and Aharoin.  How could this be you ask? What? Moishe had half brothers? From who, where and what? Moreover, how could Yoicehved remarry Amrom after she had married this Elitzafon character? Isn’t this – the remarrying of the ex eishes chayil verboten after she married someone in between? Seemingly, it seems perfectly kosher to remarry the eishes chayil as long as she was only cavorting (shtupping) with others while divorced but chas v’sholom- if she marries in between. In that event- the ex husband cannot remarry the ex wife.  Grada (it so happens) I think I remember learning that the Toirah shebichsav (written) allows a man to remarry his wife after he divorces her, even if she’s married someone else in between. This was prohibited later to prevent people like you from using this as a loophole to engage in illicit behavior (wife swapping).


Nu, mistama we can klerr that all these relationships took place before matan Toirah, hence there was no issur (ban) by some local Rabbi out of Beit Shemesh looking to make life more challenging than it was. That notwithstanding, we might also kler (ask) – how was there time for her (Yoicheved) to conceive and give birth to two children? How long she was divorced? And doesn’t the heylige gemorah state that Amrom’s actions led to a mass divorce movement — all husbands followed his lead and divorced their wives as well (Soitah 12). It doesn’t make sense that someone would buck the trend and marry Yoicheved. Nu- excellent questions but who are you to argue with the medrish, especially targum Yoinoson, the expert on marriage who nebech died single!

Halt kup here:  Avada you recall that when Paroy decreed that all male children be drowned Amrom divorced Yoicheved, which started a movement that others followed, so says the heylige Gemorrah. It took the cajoling of Miriam to re-unite her parents, leading ultimately to Moishe’s birth. Yoicheved, newly divorced, took advantage, and quickly chapped and married Elitzaphon bar Parnach.  Eldad and Meided are offspring from that marriage! That makes them- Moshe, Aharoin, and Miraim’s half brothers. All this before she somehow got divorced and remarried Amrom and gave birth to Moishe Rabaynu. Avada you’re thinking holy___, this is sherklich, how could this be?  This is mamish incomprehensible from both a halachic and a practical point of view. We’re taka left with many questions including a) when did Amrom remarry her? b) How could he remarry her? And c) When was Moishe born?)  This is particularly astonishing in light of other Chazal, who maintain that Amrom took Yoicheved back almost immediately.

Oy vey iz mir, what the hec went down here? Since this p’shat is indeed difficult, let’s try another. It is more likely therefore, that Elitzafon bar Parnach married Yoicheved after Amrom’s death as does state Rashi in the heylige Gemoroa (Rosh Hashono). Finally the Da’as Zekeinim mi’Ba’alei Toisfos suggests that Amrom divorced Yoicheved (his aunt) only after Matan Torah, when the halachos of incest were taught and she became forbidden to him. And that was when Elitzafon bar Parnach married her. How is this possible you might ask since the Toirah was given in the 3rd month after Yetzias Mitzrayim, and the episode of Eldad and Meidad (their prophecies) took place in the 2nd year after Yetzias Mitzrayim; consequently they were less than 1 year old?!! Takeh a good question but hey, it’s the medrish and anything goes. Of course there is no consensus but there is yet another opinion brought down by the Medrish Tanchuma who says that Eldad and Meidad were neither brothers, nor were they related to Moishe and Aharoin. And if that’s so, who were they and were they but fictional characters? Ver veyst (who knows)? Nu- we got so busy with this Yicchus narishkeyt (silliness), we mamish forgot to discuss the makois that the RBSO showered upon the Mitzrim. We’ll just spend a quick moment on the first- Dam (blood)- don’t you remember anything, you idiots?

Grada (it just so happens) that just last week at the Oisvorfer’s shabbis tish, the mishpocho was taka wondering why Moishe’s mother didn’t name him and why the name Moishe given by Paroy’s shiksa daughter princess, stuck with him Ober this week as the Ruv was researching other inyonim (topics), I discovered that taka Moishe may have had another name; some say he had seven, others ten. How many did he have? Ver Veyst? Says the Seder Hadoirois: that Moishe was born after a six month pregnancy and that Yoicheved was no longer able to hide him, so she placed him inside a basket among the rushes by the banks of the Nile. The RBSO sent a heat wave and everyone, including Bisya, went for a general swim to cool down. Of course not all agree and some say that she went for a dunk because she was stricken with tzora’as (leprosy) which miraculously disappeared as soon as she lifted baby Moishe out of the water. Nice! Whatever happened, she instantly realized that he must be a righteous soul and because she saved Moishe, she went into Gan Eden alive.  His father Amrom named him Chever, and his grandfather Kehos (who some say was still alive), called him Avigdor.  One thing is zicher: confused about his childhood, he had to be. And with all this inbreeding, efsher you’re taka wondering if the heylige Ovis, as we are taught, kept the entire heylige Toirah even before it was given. And if they did, how could they taka marry sisters, aunts and more? So did they keep the entire Toirah or not? Ver veyst!

I know you’ll be shocked to hear this but there are two approaches to consider. Efsher we can posit that they did not keep the Toirah and that would taka make perfect sense given the myriad relationships we listed above. Ober the Mishna and heylige gemoroh say farkert. (Opposite). The other approach is to say that they did keep the Toirah, well, most of it, but for the few exceptions noted above. Zicher this approach also makes sense: you’re observant, but for what’s not observed. Says the Remo that only Avrahom kept the entire Toirah and not the other Ovois.  Seems a simple enough answer, but he was alone on this approach because it’s not logical to say that Avrahom kept the entire Toirah but his son Yitzchok did not follow in his father’s footsteps. Let’s avada not forget that according to some, he married his half sister. Also, there are several sources which show that others knew and kept the Toirah too. Says the RambaN: that the Ovois only kept the entire Toirah in Eretz Yisroel, and Yankif married the two sisters in chutz l’aretz (outside) and this is why Rochel died on the way to EY. Does ‘we’re kosher at home epes sound familiar’?


Ober says the Maharal in rejecting Ramban’s explanation: that the prohibition to marry two sisters has no inherent connection to the Land, Yankif’s whereabouts notwithstanding and that he was not observing the Toirah when he chapped two sets of relatives Ober he answers so gishmak (delightfully) by opining that the Ovois only kept the mitvois ah-say (positive mitzvos) but not the loi-sah-says (negative mitzvos), something many of us do the same ad hayoim hazeh (until today).

Or, efsher we can say that the heylige Ovois kept all the mitzvois, and the particular cases where they seemingly chapped what they shouldn’t have, are to be re-understood. Says the Ridbaz: that only the Ovois kept the entire Toirah. This understanding would of course absolve Kayin from marrying his shvester and Amrom form marrying his aunt. Yoicheved. And the reason that Yankif could marry two sisters is based on the dictum that a convert to Judaism is considered like a newborn baby, and as such they are not considered halachically related to their former family. Thus, when Rochel and Leah converted and married Yankif, they were no longer considered sisters and thus there was no problem for Yankif to marry them. Are you following all this? Is this gishmak or what?


And what’s the bottom line? Did they or didn’t they keep the entire Toirah? Ver veyst? All we know is that the RBSO said they were the holy Ovois and who are we to question? Who says one can’t be holy just because he marries his sister or aunt? Efsher it’s what makes them holy!  Efsher we can conclude therefore that from creation through the lives of Avrahom,Yitzchok and Yankif and through all the years in Mitzrayim, observing the Toirah as we do (should) today, was but optional and not required. The Toirah was given 193 years after Yankif’s passing and only after the Yiddin were freed.

A gitten shabbis-

The Oisvorfer

Yitz Grossman

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