Parshas Shmos

What Goes Around Comes Around!


“And the shepherds came and drove them away, but Moshe stood up and helped them”. (2:17)

Early one morning, Yoni, an Israeli Defense Force soldier, was shot by an Arab terrorist. Yoni passed out and was bleeding profusely. Another soldier stationed nearby rushed over and called for help. Meanwhile he kept applying pressure to the wound. His actions saved Yoni from bleeding to death. Yoni’s parents wanted to thank the soldier that saved their son’s life, but he couldn’t be located. They hung up a sign in the grocery store that they owned, describing what had happened. They hoped that eventually they might find out who the mystery soldier was. About a year later, a woman customer noticed the sign and said that it was her son, Yair, who had saved Yoni’s life. Yoni’s mother couldn’t thank her enough. After a moment, Yair’s mother asked Yoni’s mother, “Don’t you remember me?” She didn’t remember her. Yair’s mother said that twenty years earlier she used to live nearby. Once she had entered this same grocery looking very sad and depressed. Yoni’s mother had asked her what was bothering her. She had said that she was going through a very difficult time and was also pregnant. She had decided to have an abortion. As soon as she had said the word “abortion”, Yoni’s parents spoke to her at length.  They calmed her down and she decided not to have the abortion. She gave birth to a son whom she named Yair. Yair was only alive because of the caring and sincere concern of Yoni’s parents. Twenty years later, Yair, whose life they helped save, saved their son Yoni’s life.   (Adapted from

The Egyptians were killing all the Jewish baby boys. Baby Moshe was put in the river in a basket (Shmos 2:4).  His sister Miriam stood nearby to see what would happen to him (the Yalkut Shimoni says, Miriam had prophesized that Moshe would redeem the Jews from Egyptian bondage.  She wanted to see how the prophecy would be fulfilled if Moshe was now in a very dangerous situation).  Miriam’s actions were rewarded years later.  Since she waited to see what would happen to Moshe, when she got tzoraas (a special skin disease for saying slander) all the Jews waited for her. Hashem’s Holy presence, the Aron (holy ark) and thereby all the people waited for seven days until she was healed. Rav Dovid Leibowitz zt”l points out that the Jews understood the infinite holiness of Eretz Yisroel and what it meant to enter it. They wanted to enter it as soon as possible. Yet, they were kept waiting in order to repay Miriam for the few moments that she had waited previously, to see what would happen to Moshe. It wasn’t an extraordinary act of kindness to see what would happen to one’s baby brother, Yet Miriam was rewarded for it. Even for doing a small act of kindness one receives a great reward!

Yisro’s seven daughters were shepherds. When they came to the well to get water for their animals, the other shepherds routinely drove them away.  One time, Moshe, after escaping near death in Egypt, came to Midyan and witnessed this scene at the well. Although these girls were strangers, Moshe saved them from the other shepherds. Moshe eventually married Tziporah, one of Yisro’s daughters. Years later when Moshe was returning to Egypt to redeem the Jewish People, Tziporah saved his life. An angel appearing like a snake sought to kill Moshe for not circumcising his son right away. Moshe had postponed it to do Hashem’s bidding to save the Jews. Moshe should have performed the bris before he set-up his tent for lodging.  Tziporah understood what was happening and quickly performed the bris, herself. In so doing, she saved Moshe’s life.

The Chofetz Chaim zt”l says, we see from this that the kindness you do for others is eventually repaid to you!
You benefit yourself, by doing an act of kindness to others!