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Parshas Yisro 5784

ויקרא אליו ה' מן ההר לאמר כה תאמר לבית יעקב ותגיד לבני ישראל ... (יט-ג)

There’s a well-known Rashi on this posuk which says that Hashem instructed Moshe Rabbeinu to speak to the women softly, אמירה - בלשון רכה, and only afterwards, to the men in stronger terms, תגיד - בלשון קשה. It would seem that for some inexplicable reason, it was imperative that the women be spoken to first. The Beis Halevi zt”l explains the reason based on a concept from the Gemara. There are times when a transaction, a sale, can be legally voided if the seller, a married women, says I didn’t really mean it. The only reason I sold is because of "נחת רוח עשיתי לבעלי" - I only did it to please my husband. Thus, Moshe spoke to the women first. Had Moshe gone to the women after the men, the fact that they said “Yes” wouldn’t be binding. For at a later date they could excuse themselves by saying "נחת רוח עשיתי לבעלי", thus nullifying the sale.

I saw another explanation from the Sefer Har Tzvi by R’ Tzvi Pesach Frank zt”l. He brings down a question from Rabbeinu Bachya who asks as follows: Why does the Torah write "ותגיד" with a yud, and not "ותגד"? Another question he asks is, why does the Torah conclude with the words, "אלה הדברים אשר תדבר אל בני ישראל"?

He answers that an אשה כשירה has the power to influence her husband to reach greater heights. On the flip side, she could possibly have a negative effect on him. Moshe Rabbeinu knew that these women will propel their families to spiritually soar. He told them first and then said, “You go now and tell your husbands about the imminent Kabbolas HaTorah. When they see how passionate you are about it, they will vigorously agree and forge on.” This is the power of our Kabbolas HaTorah - a unified commitment, a mutual agreement - by men and women alike. Each committed to helping one another. The posuk therefore states: Hashem tells Moshe "כה תאמר לבית יעקב" - Tell the women. And afterwards, "ותגיד" - they, the women, should go ahead and tell the men. Only after that was Moshe to instruct the men, "אלה הדברים אשר תדבר אל בני ישראל".



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