The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.
R' Frand's first vort discussed the interplay between Moshe and Pharaoh during the plague of locusts. In Shemos 10:8, Pharaoh asks Moshe - who will be going when you leave, using the language "Mi V'Mi." Moshe responds to Pharaoh in Shemos 10:9 that our youngsters and elders will go. Two pesukim later, Pharaoh then says to Moshe that only the older men shall go, because this is what you are asking for.
The obvious question is, why does Pharaoh tell Moshe that he only wants the grown men, when Moshe just told him that he wanted everyone to go?
R' Frand answered by first quoting a Medrash which stated that the conversation revolved around a pasuk in Tehillim which "Mi Ya'aleh B'Har Hashem, U'Mi Yakum B'Mkom Kadsho."
The sefer Kobetz HaMinchos gives a little background to the conversation and explains the connection with the Medrash. Apparently, Pharaoh's version of religion involved only the elders and the wizened men. Religion was not for the young or even the proletariat in Egypt. Moshe on the other hand stressed that we need our youngsters to be engaged in religion, because they are our future.
This debate played out in the pesukim. Pharaoh asked who is going, based on his view that only the elders need or should go. Moshe responded - our youngsters and our elders and mentioned the youngsters first to make a point. Pharaoh responded that Moshe did not truly want the youth to go, because they would not appreciate religion.
The second vort tied into a question that R' Frand asked a few weeks back as to why Hashem had to use the word "Na" in instructing Moshe to ask the Jews to please ask the Egyptians for gold and silver (and clothes) before leaving Egypt. The Gemara in Berachos writes that Hashem even said to Moshe - tell them that I am doing this to keep my promise to Avraham that the Jews would leave Egypt with great wealth.
R' Frand answered this time by quoting R' Zalman Sorotzkin who explains that until the post Shoah generation, no one understood this concept. He made reference to his first trip to Israel and seeing all the Mercedes and VWs. He was aghast at how there were so many German cars and how he would never consider buying a German car and giving them money, when they had been responsible for the deaths of six million Jews.
But in Israel, the West German government gave them cars at reduced prices as reparations for the acts of the Nazis. This was the subject of significant debate at the time, as many did not want to take the reparations, saying that the Germans should not have the satisfaction of having "repaid" their debt.
The same misgivings were had in Egypt. The Jews had seen their babies thrown into the water or baked into buildings. They had been abused for generations. And now, why should the Egyptians feel that they had paid the Jews for their troubles?
To this, Hashem said to Moshe, ask them please to take the money and tell them its to keep My promise to Avraham. This is is not about getting back to an even footing, its a favor to me.
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