In this weeks parasha, Pinchas, Tzlofachad's daughters go to Moshe and say about their father dying was not due to other people, rather due to himself. The gemara in Shabbos 96b notes that Rabbi Akiva says because he was the gatherer of sticks. Whereas, R' Shimon says he is part of the HaMafilim Shelach 14:4. But surely R' Shimon's opinion is saying that he was part of a people?

  • Whilst this may not entirely answer your question it is worth noting that the Sifri Zuta, Bamidbar 15:32 notes that it can't be said the gatherer of sticks was Tzelofechad.
    – Dov
    Jul 8, 2020 at 9:16

2 Answers 2


I always understood that "he died by his own sin" is opposed to "died because he question Moshe and Aharon (Korach and his group)"

  • not sure how this answers the question
    – Russell
    Jul 8, 2020 at 11:24
  • @Russell It does. question asks "According to one opinion, Tzlofachad died while being in a group of siners, and not individually", I answer " 'died in his sin' does not mean he was not part of a group, it's just say he was not rebellious" Jul 8, 2020 at 13:46
  • But wasn't the HaMafilim a rebellious act?
    – Russell
    Jul 8, 2020 at 16:38
  • @Russell Act over over-zeal. Jul 8, 2020 at 19:01
  • Yes I understand now
    – Russell
    Jul 8, 2020 at 19:32

It says "he died by his own sin." The various groups were killed in the desert by plague or fire as punishment for their collective failure -- and to teach the rest of the people a lesson -- whereas the ma'apilim died on the battlefield. So it was his personal choice to gun a-blazing (okay, "swords a-blazing") into heavily-fortified enemy territory, and his death was a direct, non-miraculous, consequence of that. Apparently R' Shimon feels that qualifies as "he died by his own sin."

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