April 12, 2022 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #2077899abukspanParticipant
A clever pshat in an interesting gemora and a great reason why we have 4 cups by Seder
ומושב בני ישראל אשר ישבו במצרים שלשים שנה וארבע מאות שנה
Now the sojourning of the people of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was 430 years (Shemos 12:40).
The Gemara (Sanhedrin 91a) describes a legal claim the Egyptians brought before Alexander the Great. They were trying to recoup the vast fortune that the Yidden had taken from Mitzrayim at Moshe’s behest. Their argument was that the Jews had only borrowed this great wealth, and now it needed to be returned.
Geviha ben Pesisa advocated on behalf of the Jews. His counterclaim was that 600,000 people left Egypt (Shemos 12:37), who had been in Egypt for 430 years (ibid. V.40).1 Geviha demanded, “Pay us wages for that many people working for those many years.” After thinking it over for three days, the Egyptians realized that whatever was taken from their country was not adequate compensation for all those years of servitude.
Yet, the Maharsha asks an obvious question: We did not work in Mitzrayim for 430 years. We weren’t even there that long; we were only in the country for 210 years. And most of those years were not spent as slaves. When we first descended to Egypt, we were treated royally. We were the family of Yosef, the savior of Egypt. Only after all the shevatim died did the mistreatment begin.
In fact, the Midrash (Shir HaShirim Rabbah 2:11) writes that there were only 86 years of hard work. (The gematria of אלה-ים, which alludes to Middas HaDin, is 86.) These years began from the birth of Miriam, Moshe’s older sister; that is why she was called Miriam, which comes from the root of מר, bitter, since that was when the Egyptians began to embitter the lives of the Jews, as it is written, “Vayemareru es chayeihem ba’avodah kashah – They embittered their lives with hard work” (Shemos 1:14).
So how could Geviha ben Pesisa state that we were there for 430 years and claim wages for all those years? The Maharsha says that the 86 years were so harsh that it was like 430 years.
Rav Marcus Lehmann, in his Haggadah shel Pesach, explains it differently. It’s true that we did not work for 430 years, but only 86. On the other hand, although 600,000 people left Egypt, five times that amount did the actual work. The Torah tells us, “Va’chamushim alu Vnei Yisrael mei’eretz Mitzrayim – And the Children of Israel were armed when they went up from Egypt” (Shemos 13:18). Rashi gives an alternative definition for the word chamushim, armed. חמשים can come from the word חמשה, which means five; one fifth of the Bnei Yisrael ascended from Egypt, while four fifths died during the Plague of Darkness.
Thus, three million people worked for 86 years, which is the same as 600,000 people working for 430 years: 600,000 x 5 =3,000,000; and 86 x 5 = 430.
Geviha ben Pesisa did not have to fear that the Egyptians would question the validity of his claim, even though he said that the Jews had been in Egypt for 430 years. For if they would have countered that this was not the case, he could have brought up the abovementioned fact.
Rav Lehmann writes that based on this, we can bring a hint to why we have four cups at the Seder. כוס, cup, is 86 in gematria. We raise the כוס four times to thank Hashem for the four times כוס – 4×86 – which he took off of the calculation. By all rights, we should have worked for 430 years, five periods of 86, or כוס. (Our accounting of 430 years actually began from the bris bein habesarim, when Avram was told that his children would go into exile. The 400 years that Hashem told him about at that time began with the birth of Yitzchak; see Rashi Bereishis 15:13.)
Hashem, in His kindness, only had us work for 86 years, one period of כוס.
This is as it says in Tehillim (116:13): “Kos yeshuos essa u’ve’Sheim Hashem ekra – I will raise the cup of salvations and the Name of Hashem I will invoke.”April 13, 2022 2:10 am at 2:10 am #2077913
The Bnei Ephraim miscalculated that the enslavement was from bris bein habsorim and left 30 years earlier as indicated in the Targum Yonasan in the beginning of Parashas Beshalach. Hashem did not want the Bnei Yisrael to see 200,000 Bnei Ephraim’s dead corpses which were murdered by the Philistines because of leaving thirty years before the time and their dry bones were seen by Yechezkiel being revived in Bikas Dura. When seeing that, they would have returned back to Mitzraim. The GRA explains the naming of the 5th cup כוס של אליהו as there is a doubt that maybe we should take five cups as the promise, והבאתי, to be brought to EY, no more in effect, should also be counted, so Eliyahu Hanavi will answer that.April 13, 2022 2:10 am at 2:10 am #2077918
There are three reasons that made up for the time, alluded to by the Haggadah, one the Schechina was also in galus, two the kushei hashibud, extra work and three the number of children born, so three times 86 was deducted.April 13, 2022 2:10 am at 2:10 am #2077920
The difference between Yitzchak and Yischak is 190 which is the חישב את הקץ, by removing 190 from 400 leaves 210 years. They were actually in Mitzraim 210 years from the time they went down to Mitzraim.April 13, 2022 2:10 am at 2:10 am #2077973Shalom-al-IsraelParticipant
Thanks. Actually the kushya is also from
וענו אותם ארבע מאות שנה the most known answer is קושי השעבוד
Thanks for the 86 כוס idea.April 13, 2022 11:05 am at 11:05 am #2078058
The above is incorrect, it should be the difference between Yitzchak (Tehilim) 208 and Yischak (Divrei Hayamim) 418 is 210 as the gematria of לחמא עניא, bread of affliction, the number of years being in Mitzraim. וארא is gematria Yitzchak 208 indicating to count from the birth of Yitzchak. The geirus, living in a strange land, will be 400 years but not the affliction. For Avraham Avinu, his pain was 430 years when he was told at Bris bein Habesarim and 86 years was hard labor.April 13, 2022 1:17 pm at 1:17 pm #2078090
‘השתא ‘הכא is 26 indicating that Shechina was also there. The mashul on this is where a father, the king was upset on the deeds of his son and exiled him. The son was concerned that the father will forget about him, so the father ensured him that he also sends the mother whom he will not forget, so he will not forget the son. This is implied in והיא שעמדה referring to the Shechina, being with us in galus.April 14, 2022 1:31 am at 1:31 am #2078254abukspanParticipant
🙂April 14, 2022 8:03 pm at 8:03 pm #2078399April 15, 2022 1:47 am at 1:47 am #2078438
How about because
1) Kos al Kiddush haYom (like any other Yom Tov meal).
2)Kos on Hallel (Hallel is to be said on a kos. Hallel is divided, half before the meal and half after. So two kosos for Hallel.)
3)Kos al Birkas haMazon (like any other meal).
4)Kos al Hallel (Hallel is to be said on a kos. Hallel is divided, half before the meal and half after. So now we have another Kos on Hallel.)
1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 4 (רב דוד הנשקה)April 15, 2022 1:47 am at 1:47 am #2078435yeshivaman613Participant
The pashut pshat why we need 4 cosos is like the gemara says in pesachim (117b): אַרְבַּע כָּסֵי תִּיקְּנוּ רַבָּנַן דֶּרֶךְ חֵירוּת, כֹּל חַד וְחַד נַעֲבֵיד בֵּיהּ מִצְוָה. Meaning, chazal were mesakein to do four mitzvos al hacos on seder night. Kiddush requires a cos, we say the haggadah al hacos, we bentch al hacos, and we say hallel al hacos (cos yeshuos esa uv’sehm Hashem ekra). One can ask why we’re limited to only have 4 mitzvos al hacos, but these are all specific mitzvos that have a shaychus to being said al hacos. We say the hagadah on the matzao (lechem sheonin alav divarim harbeh), so it’s not strange that it must be said on a cos as well. See the haggadah m’beis levi (brisk) where saying the haggada on the matzos is compared to saying kiddush on a cup of wine. The lashon of the Rambam in hilchos chametz u’matza perek 7 is explicit that each of these mitzvos need a cos: כָּל כּוֹס וְכוֹס מֵאַרְבָּעָה כּוֹסוֹת הַלָּלוּ מְבָרֵךְ עָלָיו בְּרָכָה בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָהּ. וְכוֹס רִאשׁוֹן אוֹמֵר עָלָיו קִדּוּשׁ הַיּוֹם. כּוֹס שֵׁנִי קוֹרֵא עָלָיו אֶת הַהַגָּדָה. כּוֹס שְׁלִישִׁי מְבָרֵךְ עָלָיו בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן. כּוֹס רְבִיעִי גּוֹמֵר עָלָיו אֶת הַהַלֵּל וּמְבָרֵךְ עָלָיו בִּרְכַּת הַשִּׁיר. See the Brisker Rov on the rambam perek 7 (in sefer) who explains this aspect of the arba cosos at length.
It is true that chazal darshen in shemos raba (6:4) that the 4 cosos are c’neged the 4 leshonos of geulah, but, as R’ Belsky explains in the haggadah b’tzeis yisroel, this is just a remez of chazal and not at all the ikkur reason for 4 cosos.
The brisker rov (in sefer ibid) also explains that there is another demension of 4 cosos, which is the din shtiyas yayin. See R’ Belsky’s haggada on this as well, that drinking a lot of wine shows cheirus, as the gemara quoted early said אַרְבַּע כָּסֵי תִּיקְּנוּ רַבָּנַן דֶּרֶךְ חֵירוּת.April 15, 2022 9:52 am at 9:52 am #2078457
Maybe to understand the the division of Halel into two. The first is to thank for what was the kur habarzel, being refined for future galus and then hope for what will be, the future redemption.April 18, 2022 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #2078730
the 4 cups are much more than just kiddush, bentching and Hallel, and this manifests itself in many way: Kiddush, you can do on Bread (um, matza) but not on Leil Pesach. Birkas Hamazon is btter with a kos, but it is not an absolute obligation. Any kos shel brocho can be drunken by a third party (like we do in the nine days. etc) but daled kosos must be drunk by everyone. There is no obligation to sell ones clothes for Kol Shel Kiddush but yes for 4 cups. The lists go on and on, so if it was simply 4 things that ended up, there would be none of this. Chazal specifially wanted us t drink 4 cups.April 19, 2022 12:27 am at 12:27 am #2078769
You are 100 % correct that this is how Chazal and Rishonim and Acharonim ultimately represented it.
However, see the sefer מה נשתנה, from רב דוד הנשקה, pp 125-165.
He meticulously shows there how Chazal’s representation of daled kosos (and just about everything else regarding Leil Pesach) evolved over time.
My representation was of how, according to him, it was ORIGINALLY understood.
Your representation is of how it was ULTIMATELY understood.
His sefer is a dense and scholarly work and simply summarizing won’t do it justice.
One needs to see how he builds his arguments though meticulous examination of hundreds of sources.
If you’re interested in the challenge, ayein sham.April 20, 2022 1:47 am at 1:47 am #2078946
yes, i would like to challenge it, because there are rayos that the original takono was also specifically i poder to have 4 cups of wine, like the gemoro says אַרְבַּע כָּסֵי תִּיקְּנוּ רַבָּנַן דֶּרֶךְ חֵירוּת, כֹּל חַד וְחַד נַעֲבֵיד בֵּיהּ מִצְוָה
but i do not have the sefer מה נשתנה on my version of Otzar Hachochma (16) or could you just send me a PDF – i’ll give you an adress that i never use
edited, sorryApril 20, 2022 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #2079087
Mod – could he send it via you? you have my real email addressApril 25, 2022 1:34 pm at 1:34 pm #2079758
GotaGoodPoint: It’s a 500 + page sefer. Daled Kosos chapter alone is 40 dense pages. You get an e-version or printed version from Magnes Press, the publisher.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.