Beshalach: Chapter 3

"And Elohim led the people about"


Rabbi Yehuda wonders why - after the children of Yisrael were circumcised, had offered the Passover sacrifice, and were bound to God - He still calls them "the people" and not "My people." Rabbi Shimon explains that it was because they were still attached to the mixed multitude.

There follows a short story about Rabbi Yitzchak and Rabbi Yehuda, who turn themselves away from an evil man, wishing not to associate with him. Rabbi Yitzchak then speaks about "Fret not yourself because of evildoers." We learn that if it were not for the mixed multitudes the people of Yisrael would not have died, because the molten calf would never have been made. The Holy One, blessed be He, had wanted at that time to liberate them from death and the yoke of other nations, but that deed caused ruin to everything. The rabbis, saying that Moses instructed the people to accept the mixed multitudes, then dispute gently about how many of the multitudes were from the nation of Yisrael. Rabbi Shimon talks about the Jubilee, the fifty gates of Binah, and the fifty days that Yisrael lingered to receive the Torah. He explains why Moses took the bones of Joseph with him when they left Egypt. Serah the daughter of Asher showed Moses where the bones were hidden.