The Gemara in the last Perek of Berochos (referenced by the last Rashi of Parshas Chukas)tells about the encounter of Moshe with the giant Og...

Moshe was ten Amos tall - (between 15-20 feet, based on the question of the size of an Amah) and he jumped ten Amos and hit Og's knee.

Does anyone take this literally? Obviously not, since all the picture books of the Parsha show Moshe as a normal sized person - not 2 or 3 times taller than the rest of the people.

On the other hand, if we do take this literally, perhaps all the pictures must be changed!

Do any Meforshim deal with this?

  • 2
    I don't remember seeing pictures the last time I got an aliya – Shmuel Brin Sep 27 '15 at 20:38
  • 1
    I thought he hit Og's ankle – David Kenner Sep 27 '15 at 21:03
  • 1
    So you're asking a stirah from pictures? – user613 Oct 7 '15 at 5:07

Guide for the Perplexed 2:47

What Scripture says about Og, "Behold, his bedstead was an iron bedstead, nine cubits its length," etc. (Deut.), does not belong to this class of figures, for the bedstead (eres, comp. arsenu, Song of Sol. i. 16) is never exactly, of the same dimensions as the person using it; it is not like a dress that fits round the body; it is always greater than the person that sleeps therein; as a rule, is it by a third longer. If, therefore, the bed of Og was nine cubits in length, he must, according to this proportion, have been six cubits high, or a little more. The words, "by the cubit of a man," mean, by the measure of an ordinary man, and not by the measure of Og; for men have the limbs in a certain proportion. Scripture thus tells us that Og was double as long as an ordinary person, or a little less. This is undoubtedly an exceptional height among men, but not quite impossible. (Friedlander translation)

Rambam clearly disagrees with, or does not take literally, the Talmudic account of Moshe and Og.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .