Tuesday, January 2, 2024


In the beginning of פרשת שמות we are told (א:י"א) that בני ישראל built two large cities for פתם - פרעה and רַעַמְסֵס. This may sound rather similar to the city in which יוסף placed his family (בראשית מ"ז:י"א). However, אבן עזרא points out that in fact, the city mentioned in ויגש is different - רַעְמְסֵס - actually pronounced Ra-me-seis as opposed to the one in שמות, pronounced Ra-am-seis. Thus, they are not the same city. A בעל קריאה, therefore, should probably be careful to distinguish between the two.

Surprisingly, though, רש"י explains that בני ישראל made these already existing cities into storage cities for פרעה. It seems from רש"י's words that he assumed that the two cities were the same and that is why he explained the apparent difficulty of building a city that already exists. (Although שפתי חכמים don't appear to understand רש"י this way, this is definitely the understanding of שערי אהרן.) This is hard to understand not only because of what אבן עזרא stated but also, why would פרעה place his storage in the city in which בני ישראל dwelled.


Anonymous said...

Where is this ibn Ezra and which ibn Ezra is this?

Shtikler said...

Ofenort! as they say in Yeshivish.
Right there on the pasuk - א:י"א
He says in very few words, however. It is אברהם אבן עזרא as found in most standard מקראות גדולות as opposed to which other one?

Anonymous said...

A bit late, I guess, but hte word in Bereishis is pronounced "ra'-me-seis. The mem has a shva na, and hte ayin a shva nach, so they belong to different syllables.

zvi harari said...

They are not two cities but rather a city and an area or province, like NYC and NY.
Ra-amseswith patach ayin is a city possibly in the province Ra-meses with shva nach under ayin
Zvi Harari