In explaining the posuk (Vayikra 24:10)

וַיֵּצֵא בֶּן־אִשָּׁה יִשְׂרְאֵלִית וְהוּא בֶּן־אִישׁ מִצְרִי בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּנָּצוּ בַּמַּחֲנֶה בֶּן הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִית וְאִישׁ הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִי׃ There came out among the Israelites one whose mother was Israelite and whose father was Egyptian. And a fight broke out in the camp between that half-Israelite and a certain Israelite.

Rashi quotes the Sifra saying

ואיש הישראלי. זֶה שֶׁכְּנֶגְדּוֹ שֶׁמִּחָה בוֹ מִטַּע אָהֳלוֹ: ‎הישראלי‎ ואיש THE ISRAELITISH MAN — this was his opponent (Sifra, Emor, Section 14 1) who had prevented him from pitching his tent in the camp of Dan.

It seems that only one man from Dan opposed this individual from setting up a tent in their tribal area. Does that mean everyone else felt he technically shouldn't have been kicked out, though according to the letter of the law he didn't belong in Dan's campgrounds? (If everyone felt he should be moved, why wasn't there an entire tribal protest in the form of "Shevet Dan v. Egyptian man," rather than "Israeli man v. Egyptian man")

[Note: This answer suggests he should have camped with the Erev Rav, but if that's the case then why didn't everyone in Dan protest? (Unless this anonymous man was the Nasi or other Shliach Tzibur)]

  • 2
    Maybe the entire tribe of opposed him (which is why he took his case to the judicial court of Moses, instead of settling it in the tribal court), but when the case came before the court of Moses, it was one man (a representative, or a lawyer) who argued the tribe's position in the matter, and with him the Egyptian's son fought. See Rashi, s.v. "ויצא בן אשה ישראלית" (on the same posuk), where it says they argued against him.
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 3:33
  • 1
    It could be he was encroaching on one specific person's area, so he went to court.
    – N.T.
    Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 10:24

1 Answer 1


The Chatam Sofer asks your question and suggests:

"והשתא נאמר דהך בעלה של שלומית מת והניח בן אחד מלבד בן המצרי והי' מוחזקים ביתידות אוהלים וטען בנו הישראלי שהכל שלו כי הוא בן המצרי והוא טען אייתי לי ראי' והנה הי' זה קול מפורסם בתוך כל ישראל שהוא בן המצרי שכן הגיד האב שאינו בנו והאב נאמן אמנם לא הי' עדות גמורה ואין מוציאים ממון בקול..."

Translation: "And now we should say that the husband of Shlomit [bat Divri, mother of the blasphemer] died and he left one son besides for the son of the Egyptian, and they held the stakes of the tent [i.e., they argued over the inheritance] and his Israelite son claimed that everything belonged to him because he [his brother] was the son of an Egyptian, and he [the brother] argued: Bring me evidence of this [fact]. And yet, it was an infamous voice throughout all of Israel that he was the son of an Egyptian, for his father [Shlomit's Israelite husband] said that he's not his son and the father is trustworthy, however it wasn't a complete testimony and money is not to be taken by voice..."

According to the Chatam Sofer, the person who tried to kick him out of the tribe was his half-brother who argued that he had no place in the tribe. No one argued against him because everyone believed that the blasphemer really didn't belong to the tribe.

  • +1 I think your maareh makom needs to be updated to pg 28.
    – user6591
    Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 13:20
  • @user6591 Thanks. What do you mean? It seems to direct me to the correct passage.
    – Harel13
    Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 15:19
  • It's weird. When I click on the link, it takes me to the right page for a split second, and then it moves to pg 35. The page in your link also says 35. But the highlighted section is the correct pg 28. Maybe it's just happening to me? Not sure.
    – user6591
    Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 17:55
  • @user6591 I see. I tried changing the link and it's still 35 but it's the correct reference. Don't know what's going on.
    – Harel13
    Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 18:00

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