And God Led the People Around

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30) “And God led the people around by the way of the desert,” to correct the way to His place, to make the tearing of the Red Sea. Otherwise, it would have been enough to guide them through the desert and not through the Red Sea.

What is the difference for which it is written, “And God led the people around,” and when Israel were in Egypt, it said, “Send my people away,” as it is written, “For if you refuse to send my people away.” “My son, My firstborn, Israel.” Although at that time they were not circumcised and were properly tied to the Creator, while here when they were circumcised and did the Passover and were tied to him, He calls them, “the people” and not “My people.”

31) Because the mixed multitude clung to them and mingled with them, He called them only “the people,” and not “My people,” as it is written, “And the Lord smote the people.” “And the people assembled about Aaron.” “And the people saw that Moses was delayed.” When Israel were in a poor state, He called them only “people” and not “My people.”

33) It is written, “Do not fret because of evildoers.” Evildoers are those who cheer for themselves and for those who bond with them. “Do not fret because of evildoers” means stay away from evildoers, do not befriend them and associate with them, so his deeds will not harm you and you will not be caught by his sins.

34) Were it not for the mixed multitude that connected to Israel, the deed with the calf would not have happened and those of Israel who died would not have died, and they would not have caused Israel all that they had caused. This deed and this iniquity caused the exile for Israel.

35) The Creator wanted Israel to be, upon the reception of the Torah, as the high angels, to make them free of everything, free of death, and liberated from the enslavement of the rest of the people, as it is written, “Harut [engraved] on the tablets,” do not pronounce it Harut, with a Het with Kamatz [חָ], but Herut [freedom],” with a Het with Tzereh [חֵ].

36) When that deed was done, it caused death; it caused the enslavement of the Malchuts; it caused the shattering of the first tablets, and caused several thousand of Israel to die. All of it was because of the bonding with the mixed multitude that bonded with them.

37) Here, too, because of the mixed multitude, they were not called “the children of Israel,” or “Israel,” or “My people,” but simply, “the people.” When they rose from Egypt and the mixed multitude had not bonded with them, He called them “the children of Israel.” When the mixed multitude bonded with them, He called them “the people.”

38) It is written, “For the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.” Thus, were they seeing the mixed multitude who were in Egypt each day? However, it writes “mixed multitude” and not “Egypt,” since there were several other nations in Egypt, and they constituted the mixed multitude. They were all circumcised, and since they were circumcised, they were not called “Egypt.”

39) And by the word of Moses they accepted them, as it is written, “Go down at once, for your people … have corrupted themselves. They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them.” It writes, “Commanded them,” meaning that Moses commanded them to accept the mixed multitude.

“And the children of Israel went up armed from the land of Egypt,” meaning that Israel were one in five [the word “armed” can relate to the word “five” in Hebrew]. Rabbi Yosi says, “Israel were five, and one from the mixed multitude.” Rabbi Yehuda says, “The mixed multitude were one in fifty.”

40) Because the Yovel [jubilee/fiftieth anniversary], Bina, raised them from the land of Egypt, it is written, “And the children of Israel went up armed from the land of Egypt.” Bina is called Yovel, and there are fifty gates in her. Were it not for the Yovel, they would not have risen. For this reason, they were detained fifty days to receive the Torah, and from that place, from the Yovel, the Torah came out and was given. For this reason, “Armed” is wanting [written without vowels, called “wanting text” in Hebrew]. That is, if it were to mean “armed,” it should have said “armed” with a Vav [with the vowel, called “full text”]. However, it implies to the number fifty, Yovel, that it is for this reason that Israel rose from Egypt.

41) “And Moses took the bones of Joseph,” since he was the first to go down to exile, and he was the token of the redemption.

42) Happy is Moses, for Israel were engaged in borrowing silver from Egypt, and Moses was engaged in Joseph’s oath. Some say that his ark was in the Nile and he raised it through the holy Name. Moses also said, “Joseph, it is time for Israel’s redemption.” And he said, “Let an ox rise,’ and it rose. Joseph is called “an ox,” as it is written, “As the firstborn of his ox, majesty is his.”

Some say that he was among the kings of Egypt and rose from there. And some say that he was put in the Nile so they will not do idol worship, and Serach, daughter of Asher—who was alive during the act—showed Moses his place.

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