Contact us


5 Facts About Parshat Beshalach that You (Maybe) Didn’t Know

Published on Friday February 26th, 2021

Discover and learn every week, "5 Facts" written on the weekly Parshah that you can share at your Shabbos table.


וַיִּקַּ֥ח מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶת־עַצְמ֥וֹת יוֹסֵ֖ף עִמּ֑וֹ כִּי֩ הַשְׁבֵּ֨עַ הִשְׁבִּ֜יעַ אֶת־בְּנֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר פָּקֹ֨ד יִפְקֹ֤ד אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶתְכֶ֔ם וְהַעֲלִיתֶ֧ם אֶת־עַצְמֹתַ֛י מִזֶּ֖ה אִתְּכֶֽם׃

And Moses took with him the bones of Joseph, who had exacted an oath from the children of Israel, saying, “God will be sure to take notice of you: then you shall carry up my bones from here with you.”

Only Moshe occupied himself with taking Yosef’s remains out of Egypt. (Sotah 13a)
It was Serach, the daughter of Asher, who told Moshe where Yosef was buried. She was extremely old at the time and knew that the Egyptians put Yosef in  a metal casket and placed it in the Nile River believing that doing so would bring blessing to the Nile. Moshe went and stood on the bank of the Nile and said: “Yosef, Yosef, the time has arrived about which Hashem, took an oath saying that “I, will redeem you.” And the time for the fulfillment of the oath that you administered to the Jewish people, that they bury you in Eretz Yisrael has arrived. If you show yourself, good, but if not, we are exempt from your oath because we cannot be delayed.” Immediately, the casket of Yosef floated to the top of the water.  (Mishnat Hagilgulim: Sotah 13a. Mechilta deRabbi Yishmael on P’ Beshalach, Massechta Dehivi Beshalach’s introduction.)

Rabbi Natan says: Yosef was buried in the crypt of the kings of Egypt. Moshe went and stood by the crypt and said the same statement. At that moment, the casket of Yosef shook among the caskets. Moshe then took it and went on his way. (Mishnat Hagilgulim: Sotah 13a. Mechilta deRabbi Yishmael on P’ Beshalach, Massechta Dehivi Beshalach’s introduction.)


 יֻּגַּד֙ לְמֶ֣לֶךְ מִצְרַ֔יִם כִּ֥י בָרַ֖ח הָעָ֑ם וַ֠יֵּהָפֵךְ לְבַ֨ב פַּרְעֹ֤ה וַעֲבָדָיו֙ אֶל־הָעָ֔ם וַיֹּֽאמרוּ֙ מַה־זֹּ֣את עָשִׂ֔ינוּ כִּֽי־שִׁלַּ֥חְנוּ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מֵעָבְדֵֽנוּ׃

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his courtiers had a change of heart about the people and said, “What is this we have done, releasing Israel from our service?”

Mr. Amalek, the first Amalekite, lived a very long time. He is the one who told Lavan that Yaakov had fled and he is also the one who told  Pharaoh that the Jews left Egypt. (Baal Haturim). Others say that it was Dathan and Aviram who told Pharaoh that the Jews left Egypt. (Targum Yonathan)


וַיִּסַּ֞ע מַלְאַ֣ךְ הָאֱלֹהִ֗ים הַהֹלֵךְ֙ לִפְנֵי֙ מַחֲנֵ֣ה יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ מֵאַחֲרֵיהֶ֑ם וַיִּסַּ֞ע עַמּ֤וּד הֶֽעָנָן֙ מִפְּנֵיהֶ֔ם וַיַּֽעֲמֹ֖ד מֵאַחֲרֵיהֶֽם׃

The angel of God, who had been going ahead of the Israelite army, now moved and followed behind them; and the pillar of cloud shifted from in front of them and took up a place behind them,

Datan and Aviram didn’t leave with everyone else but stayed behind in Egypt. When Pharaoh and his army chased after the Jews, they joined them. But when the water of the Red Sea came crashing down to drown the Egyptians, another miracle occurred and a second  splitting of the sea took place to allow Datan and Aviram to join the Jews on the other side. The water was upset that they had to deviate from the natural mission a second time which is why the word used for the wall of water is spelled out without a letter vov. (Targum Yonathan ben Uziel)
While in the desert, the people would place themselves in front of the clouds of glory which would pass them from side to side and clean their clothes from  dirt, sweat, etc. (Ibn Ezra, Deut 8:4)


מַרְכְּבֹ֥ת פַּרְעֹ֛ה וְחֵיל֖וֹ יָרָ֣ה בַיָּ֑ם וּמִבְחַ֥ר שָֽׁלִשָׁ֖יו טֻבְּע֥וּ בְיַם־סֽוּף׃

Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; And the pick of his officers Are drowned in the Sea of Reeds.

Pharaoh is the one who invented the concept of chariots pulled by 2 horses. Until then, only one horse was  used per chariot.. Now, when he pursued the Jews at the Exodus, he came up with a novelty: a chariot with 3 horses. This is alluded to by the word shalishav which comes from the word shalosh/three. (Marzta Midinov: Magid Taalumah: Mechiltah Yerushalmi)

Eytan Yéhouda DZIKOWSKI - © Torah-Box Account

To access the entire website, sign up for free in less than a minute.

Weekly Parsha


Candle Lighting Candle Lighting - New York

Friday July 26th, 2024 at 19:58 *
Shabbat ends at 21:03 *
change my location
* Times given as an indication, check the times of your community

Upcoming Holiday

Scroll to top