Pay Day

January 21, 2015 by

There's an interesting code-of-conduct cited in the Talmud. The rule is: if someone has something that is yours, do not be sneaky about retrieving it, lest you appear like a thief. Rather you should go into his house, use as much force as is necessary, and take back what is yours (Bava Kama; 27b).

Having said that, let's now look at this week's Parshah. As Hashem makes His "preparations" to free the Jews from Egypt, He makes a request from Moshe saying: "Please speak to the people that the men should borrow from their [Egyptian] neighbor and women from their [Egyptian] neighbor vessels of silver and gold" (Shemos; 11:2). Hashem's intention was to see that the Jews received payment for their servitude in Egypt. Why then where we asked to "borrow" these valuable items? Is this not sly and dishonest? G-d knew they would not be returned - it was pay day!

The Ran answers that this was in fact a Divine tactic to "pull" Pharaoh and Egypt into the Sea of Reeds. Once they would hear that the Jews were gone and not looking back, they'd think we'd cheated them and run after us into the sea…never to be "sea-n" again.

One can ask: did the Jews know this when they asked to "borrow" the vessels from their neighbors? Did Moshe even know what Hashem's intentions were? Maybe there's something for us to learn here: do we always know what plans Hashem has for our money?

Based on "The Treasure Within" except for the jokes with are original from the author.

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