Parshat בשלח Shmos 13:19 – Good Deeds Get Rewarded

Exodus 13:19 – Moshe took the bones of Yosef with him because he had made the Children of Israel swear saying that when God will visit you, take out my bones from here with you.

Gemora Yerushalmi Sotah: Chapter 1, Halacha 10: Rabbi Kruspi said in the name of Rabbi Yochanan: Why does it say “with him” [isn’t that superfluous]? It is to teach “with your own self you are doing it.”

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #74:

This interpretation depends on the earlier interpretation on this same sentence. Because Moshe personally dealt with the matter of bringing Yosef’s bones out of Egypt, Moshe himself then merited to have God himself bury Moshe’s bones. In other words, due to this mitzvah of Moshe, he then merited to the huge honor of having God himself bury him.

Behold, even though we’ve already explained in our commentary in Genesis 46:4 that when God says “I will surely bring you up” [in Hebrew the idea of surely is conveyed by repeating the word: BRING YOU UP]. The word is repeated to teach that the bones of all of Yosef’s brothers were also brought out of Egypt by the Jews when they left. If so, why does Moshe receive a special reward for personally bringing up Yosef’s bones? The answer, as explained in the Gemora Yerushalmi quoted above is that the Egyptians refused to let the Jews take the bones of Yosef.  Perhaps their reason for this was because of what is noted in the Gemora Sotah 13(a) that the Egyptians had placed the casket of Yosef into the Nile River in order that the river be thereby blessed. Also in the Gemora Yerushalmi Avodah Zarah Chapter 3, Halacha 2 it mentions that the people of Kut used to observe a Yosef Festival because God had blessed the House of Egypt on Yosef’s behalf.

So, only Moshe merited a special reward for bringing up Yosef’s bones from Egypt because it involved this extra effort due to the Egyptians refusal to let him do this.

DBS Note: May we all merit large and small rewards for the extra efforts that we put forth in the world.

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