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  • Rabbi Issac Roussel

A Shtickl Torah - Ish Mitzri


I mentioned in my d'var Torah last week that Moses was criticized by our Sages for allowing himself to be called an "ish mitzri", an Egyptian. Another person referred to as an ish mitzri was the overseer whom Moses killed because he was beating a Hebrew slave.

The Midrash says that when Yitro's daughters said that an ish miztri saved them, they were referring to this overseer. It was only because Moses had to flee the land that he was there to rescue them. Therefore, their salvation was ultimately not from Moses, but from this evil overseer! It likens it to a man who was stung by a viper. He goes down to the river to soak his foot. As he is doing so, he hears a drowning person screaming for help and saves them. The person thanks the man but he tells the person, "It was really the viper who saved you, because I would not have been here if the viper had not bitten me."

In like manner, we often find in life that positive things can come from negative things; from our own experiences of "ish mitzri". This is especially true if we are attentive to Hashem's voice in our lives and listen for what He may have for us in any given circumstance, especially in the difficult ones!

May we look for the "ish mitzri" in the midst of our trials and tribulations and be thankful that Hashem uses all things for our good.


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