Shmot-2010

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פרשת שמות

הַסֵּפֶר “שְׁמוֹת” פּוֹתֵחַ בַּפָּסוּק: וְאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הַבָּאִים מִצְרָיְמָה אֵת יַעֲקֹב, אִישׁ וּבֵיתוֹ בָּאוּ. (א:א)

The book of “Shemot” opens with the verse: “And these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each man and his household came.” (1:1)

חֲזַ”ל רָאוּ בַּמִּלָּה “שְׁמוֹת” רֶמֶז לְרָאשֵׁי תֵּבוֹת שְׁנַיִם מִקְרָא וְאֶחָד תַּרְגּוּם כְּדֵי לְהַסְבִּיר שֶׁכָּל אָדָם צָרִיךְ לִלְמֹד אֶת הַפָּרָשׁוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה שָׁלוֹשׁ פְּעָמִים.

The Sages saw in the word “names” (SHeMOT) a hint to an acronym (for the words), “Two original readings and one translation,” which appears to teach that every person should learn the portions of the Torah three times.

שְׁתֵּי פְּעָמִים הָאָדָם צָרִיךְ לִלְמֹד אֶת הַפָּרָשׁוֹת בְּעִבְרִית וּפַעַם נוֹסֶפֶת צָרִיךְ הָאָדָם לִלְמוֹד אֶת הַפָּרָשָׁה בְּשָׂפָה הַמּוּבֶנֶת לוֹ (תַּרְגּוּם אוֹ פֵּרוּשׁ).

Every person should learn the portions in Hebrew twice, and in addition they should learn the portion once in a language which is understandable to them (whether translation or commentary).

וְהָרֶמֶז לַמִּצְוָה “שְׁנַיִם מִקְרָא וְאֶחָד תַּרְגּוּם” נִמְצָא דַּוְקָא בִּתְחִלַּת סֵפֶר שְׁמוֹת כִּי סֵפֶר שְׁמוֹת מְסַפֵּר עַל הַגָּלוּת בְּמִצְרַיִם. לִפְנֵי הַגָּלוּת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל דִּבְּרוּ בִּלְשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ – עִבְרִית, וְאַחֲרֵי שֶׁיָּרְדוּ לְמִצְרַיִם הִתְחִילוּ לְדַבֵּר בְּעוֹד שָׂפוֹת.

The hint to the commandment of “two original readings and one translation” is found specifically in the beginning of the book of Shemot because the book of Shemot talks about the exile in Egypt. Before the exile the Jews spoke only the Holy Language – Hebrew – but after they went down to Egypt they started to speak additional languages.

אָז כְּדֵי שֶׁבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא יִשְׁכְּחוּ אֶת הַשָּׂפָה הָעִבְרִית – לְשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ, חֲזַ”ל הוֹרוּ לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בַּשָּׂפָה הָעִבְרִית יוֹתֵר מֵהַשָּׂפוֹת הָאֲחֵרוֹת.

The Sages instructed (them) to use the Hebrew language more than other languages, in order that they not forget the Holy Language.

לָכֵן, כְּשֶׁבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל קוֹרְאִים בְּכָל שָׁבוּעַ אֶת הַפָּרָשׁוֹת מֵהַתּוֹרָה הֵם צְרִיכִים לִקְרֹא אוֹתָן בְּצוּרָה שֶׁל “שְׁנַיִם מִקְרָא וְאֶחָד תַּרְגּוּם” – פַּעֲמַיִם בְּעִבְרִית וּפַעַם אַחַת בְּתַרְגּוּם כְּדֵי לְשַׁמֵּר אֶת הַשָּׂפָה הָעִבְרִית.

Therefore, each week when the people of Israel read the portions from the Torah, they should read them in the manner of “two original readings and one translation” – twice in Hebrew and once in translation — in order to preserve the Hebrew language.

Shabbat Shalom, Yoel & Orly

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