295. "And he said to his people, 'Behold the people of the children of Yisrael'" (Shemot 1:9). Rabbi Shimon said, Come and behold. In all instances, a ruling angel was appointed over Egypt AND SAID TO HIS PEOPLE, "BEHOLD, THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL..." And so it is in the majority of the portion that says plainly, "king of Egypt," meaning the minister who is appointed over Egypt. However, when it is written, "Pharaoh, the King of Egypt," IT IS actually Pharaoh, AND NOT THE ANGEL, WHO IS APPOINTED OVER THEM!
296. Rabbi Shimon said, Therefore it is written, "And he said TO HIS PEOPLE," MEANING I will introduce this into their hearts THAT THEY SHOULD THINK SO. As the Torah says, "Because Hashem said to him, 'Curse David'" (II Shmuel 16:10), MEANING the thought of his heart alone, THAT HASHEM INTRODUCED INTO HIS HEART. Also, "And Haman said in his heart" (Ester 6:6), and so, "And he said in his heart, 'Shall a child be born to him that is a hundred years old?'" (Beresheet 17:17). THE MEANING OF "HE SAID" IS also to introduce a thought into their hearts, that they should say IN THEIR HEARTS. "More and mightier than we" (Shemot 1:9). Why does it say "than we?" It means, than the angel who is appointed over them, because they thought in their hearts that Elohim and their power, THAT IS, OF YISRAEL, is greater and stronger than us - than THE APPOINTED ANGEL who rules over Egypt.
297. Rabbi Yitzchak said, All the nations of the world draw strength from the Ministers WHO ARE APPOINTED IN HEAVEN over them. And the children of Yisrael draw their powers from the Holy One, blessed be He. And they are called 'the people of Hashem,' and not 'the people of a ruler WHO WAS APPOINTED.' Rabbi Yehuda said, Here, the Egyptians are called the people OF THE APPOINTED, as is written, "And he said to his people," and there it is written, "I have surely seen the affliction of My people" (Shemot 3:7). The children of Yisrael are called 'the people of Hashem,' and the other nations are called 'the people of their appointed rulers,' as it is written, "For let all people walk, everyone in the name of his Elohim, and we will walk in the name of Hashem our Elohim, forever and ever" (Michah 4:5).
298. Rabbi Aba said, This passage should have read, 'The children of Yisrael are more and mightier than we.' Why does it say, "the people of the children...?" AND HE ANSWERS, It means the actual people of the children of Yisrael, THAT IS, THE PEOPLE OF THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL OF BELOW, WHICH IS THE CORPOREAL YISRAEL WHO IS DRAWN from that Yisrael of above, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN. SINCE THE PEOPLE ARE NOT CONNECTED TO THE SUPERNAL YISRAEL, THEY ADDED THE WORD "PEOPLE" because they thought that they were the people of the children of Yisrael OF BELOW, and not the people of Hashem, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN. It is written, "And they were mortified on account of the children of Yisrael" (Shemot 1:12), instead of, 'On account of the people of the children of Yisrael,' WHICH IS YISRAEL OF BELOW. FOR EVENTUALLY, THEY RECOGNIZED THAT THEY WERE THE SUPERNAL CHILDREN OF YISRAEL OF ABOVE, MEANING THE PEOPLE OF HASHEM.
299. Rabbi Yochanan was before Rabbi Yitzchak. He said, Why did Balak choose to say, "Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt" (Bemidbar 22:5), and did not say, "Behold the people of the children of Yisrael." Rabbi Yitzchak said to him, Balak was a great sorcerer, and it is the way of sorcerers to select a matter that is completely certain. Similarly, they never mention the father's name of a person, but rather his mother's name, which is certain. THEREFORE, BILAAM DID NOT MENTION THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL, WHICH IS THE NAME OF THE FATHER.
300. This is the way of the demons. They examine the matter that is said to them BY THE SORCERERS. If it is false, they notify them with false words. And if it is true, whatever they tell them is true at least for a short time. Especially if the sorcerers desire an action of them, THEY ARE PARTICULARLY CAUTIOUS TO SAY THE TRUTH, THAT IS BEYOND SUSPICION. THEREFORE, THEY DO NOT MENTION THE NAME OF A PERSON'S FATHER. Rabbi Acha said, Balak used a degrading tone, "Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt," meaning we do not know where they are from.
301. Rabbi Yochanan said, Why is it that a people THAT IS UNDER THE GUIDANCE of ministers guard themselves, and the people of the Holy One, blessed be He, do not guard themselves? Rabbi Yitzchak said, The poor man is not comparable to the rich man. The poor man needs to guard what is his, BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE NOT AFRAID TO CHALLENGE HIM. The rich man does not guard his possessions, BECAUSE EVERYONE IS AFRAID TO CHALLENGE HIM. All the more so, Yisrael is UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF a King who loves Truth and Justice. And He does justice with His household first, because He wants them to be protected against sin more than all THE NATIONS. This is what is written, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth" (Amos 3:2).
302. Rabbi Yosi went on the road and Rabbi Acha bar Ya'akov went with him. While they were traveling, Rabbi Yosi kept quiet FROM WORDS OF THE TORAH, and reflected on worldly things. But Rabbi Acha CONTINUED to meditate on the words of the Torah. Rabbi Yosi saw a snake that was running after him. Rabbi Yosi said to Rabbi Acha: Do you see the snake that is chasing me? Rabbi Acha said to him, I do not see it. Rabbi Yosi ran and the snake followed him. Rabbi Yosi fell and blood flowed from his nose. He heard them saying, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth." DUE TO THIS, HE WAS SAVED FROM THE SNAKE. Rabbi Yosi said, If for just one moment I CEASED FROM THE WORDS OF TORAH AND TURNED TO WORLDLY THINGS, AND THIS HAPPENED TO ME, it is much worse for one who has suspended his mind entirely FROM WORDS OF TORAH.
303. He opened the discussion saying: "For Hashem your Elohim has blessed you in all the work of your hand, He knows your walking through..." (Devarim 2:7). "Who led you...venomous serpents and scorpions" (Devarim 8:15). HE ASKS, Why were there venomous serpents here IN THE WILDERNESS? AND HE ANSWERS, To punish the children of Yisrael any time they separate from the Tree of Life, of which it is written, "For he is your life, and the length of your days" (Devarim 30:20).
304. Come and behold. Rabbi Chiya said, It is written, "He that spares his rod hates his son..." (Mishlei 13:24) and, "'I have loved you,' says Hashem" (Malachi 1:2), and also: "And I hated Esau" (Ibid. 3). What does "hate" REFER TO? It is written, "He that spares his rod hates his son," meaning: I hate him, therefore, I spare his rod from him. This is even more so with Torah scholars; HE DOES NOT SPARE HIS ROD FROM THEM, for the Holy One, blessed be He, does not want them to become separated from the Tree of Life, even for one moment.