Before Moshe hit the rock the second time, the people complained that the desert "is not a place for seeds, or for fig trees, grapevines, or pomegranate trees"

They mentioned all of the seven species except for olives and dates. Does this imply that there were olives and dates in the desert?

Why are olives and dates omitted?


1 Answer 1


The Lubavicher Rabbi Zatzal explains as follows. The Jews were complaining about the lack of grain as Egypt had an abundance of grain. They also complained about figs, grapes and pomegranates, as they were given a promise of arriving in Eretz Yisrael which has those species. However regarding olives they had in the desert as you can see they had olive oil to light the Menorah. Dates they also had as the verse says (Shemos 15:27) they had 70 Temarim in Ailim. Therefore they did not complain about olives and dates.

Rabbi Yosef Pinto Zatzal explains that they knew that Moshe can answer olives and dates as follows. Olives they had the pillar of fire to light up for them, and dates they had the Manna which tasted like Tzapuchis BeDevash.

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