Why did Moshe hit the rock twice rather than once in Bamidbar 20:11?

  • 6
    Is your question why Moshe did not listen and hit the rock instead of only speaking to it or is your question why he hit it twice?
    – Yahu
    Jun 17, 2010 at 23:26

3 Answers 3


The Beer Mayim Chaim Answers:

If you take the word סלע and write it with all it letters spelled out (this is a Kabbalistic system) out you get.

  • ס*מ
  • ל*מ
  • ע*י

Now ,we can understand why it says וְדִבַּרְתֶּם אֶל הַסֶּלַע לְעֵינֵיהֶם וְנָתַן מֵימָיו Because in middle of the word סלע you have the word מים. This also explains why he had to hit it twice one to knock off the letter form each side of the words to get מים.

  • Tell you the truth, this isn't Kabala it's Remez. Jan 31, 2012 at 5:34
  • The GRA had an interesting pshat on hitting the rock. There is a quote in the gemara megilla 18b "mila b'sela steikusa b'trein" if one word uttered was worth one coin then silence would be worth two. On this quote the GRA said that it can be referring to Moshe hitting the rock,milah b'selah-one word to the sela,steikusa b'trein-he could have silenced both Eldad and Meidad from prophesizing that Moshe wont go into Eretz Yisrael.
    – sam
    Jul 15, 2012 at 23:38

Rashi on the verse (Bamidbar 20:11) says that Moshe had to hit it twice, since the first time only drops of water came out. Rashi then explains that drops only came out the first time since Moshe was not supposed to hit the rock, but rather talk to it.


The Ohr HaChaim explains that it is like a servant who zealously fulfills his master's command (to hit the rock).

The Ramban gives another interpretation, which I will not write here because it is a secret.


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