After the meraglim gave their negative report on the Land of Israel, the Torah says (translations from Sefaria)

Numbers 13:30

וַיַּ֧הַס כָּלֵ֛ב אֶת־הָעָ֖ם אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה

Caleiv hushed the people before Moshe

Rashi, citing Sotah 35a explains

אל משה. לִשְׁמוֹעַ מַה שֶּׁיְּדַבֵּר בְּמֹשֶׁה, צָוַח וְאָמַר "וְכִי זוּ בִּלְבָד עָשָׂה לָנוּ בֶן עַמְרָם?!" הַשּׁוֹמֵעַ הָיָה סָבוּר שֶׁבָּא לְסַפֵּר בִּגְנוּתוֹ, וּמִתּוֹךְ שֶׁהָיָה בְלִבָּם עַל מֹשֶׁה בִּשְׁבִיל דִּבְרֵי הַמְרַגְּלִים, שָׁתְקוּ כֻלָּם לִשְׁמוֹעַ גְּנוּתוֹ, אָמַר "וַהֲלֹא קָרַע לָנוּ אֶת הַיָּם וְהוֹרִיד לָנוּ אֶת הַמָּן וְהֵגִיז לָנוּ אֶת הַשְּׂלָו!":‏

אל משה means he silenced them that they should hear what he was going to say about Moses. He cried aloud saying: “Is this the only thing the son of Amram has done to us?!" — One who heard him thus speaking believed that he was about to speak to his disparagement, and because they had something in their mind against Moses through the spies’ statements, all of them kept silent to hear his disparagement. He, however, said: “Did he not divide the Red Sea for us, and bring down the Manna for us, and collect the quails for us?!”

My question is why did Caleiv mention the שליו, or quail? I assume he's referring to the incident in last week's parsha with the quail (Numbers 11:4-35), that wasn't for their benefit like the other miracles he's describing. That was a punishment that killed members of the Jewish people

Numbers 11:33

הַבָּשָׂ֗ר עוֹדֶ֙נּוּ֙ בֵּ֣ין שִׁנֵּיהֶ֔ם טֶ֖רֶם יִכָּרֵ֑ת וְאַ֤ף יְהוָה֙ חָרָ֣ה בָעָ֔ם וַיַּ֤ךְ יְהוָה֙ בָּעָ֔ם מַכָּ֖ה רַבָּ֥ה מְאֹֽד׃

The meat was still between their teeth, nor yet chewed, when the anger of the LORD blazed forth against the people and the LORD struck the people with a very severe plague.

Now you could argue he's referring to the first appearance of the שליו in Exodus 16:12-13, and while their request there for meat was inappropriate we don't see that שליו as being a punishment. However I find that highly unlikely, considering the proximity of this parsha's incident and the שליו of punishment, mentioning it should upset the people not make them grateful to Moshe.

Important to note Rashi adds on the gemarra, which doesn't mention the שליו, so this is more a question on Rashi than the gemarra

  • Similarly Rashi (quoting a Midrash?) quotes a similar lineup in Ha'azinu (32:48): אף כאן במיתתו של משה נאמר בעצם היום הזה, לפי שהיו ישראל אומרים בכך וכך אם אנו מרגישין בו אין אנו מניחין אותו, אדם שהוציאנו ממצרים וקרע לנו את הים והוריד לנו את המן והגיז לנו את השליו והעלה לנו את הבאר ונתן לנו את התורה אין אנו מניחין אות – mevaqesh Jun 12 '17 at 0:14
  • In the version in mevaqeshs quote it makes sense to be the first set of quail, just based on chronology – Double AA Jun 12 '17 at 2:44
  • It's true the one he quoted would make sense with the first quail, but haazinu was 40 years later so either are good candicates; but like I said it's a little too soon to be mentioning the word quail, regardless of which he's referring to – robev Jun 12 '17 at 2:54
  • "I find that highly unlikely": that he's referring to the earlier one? Maybe it's unlikely. I don't see why, really. But your other point is stronger and you barely mention it: that even if he's referring to the older one, people will think if he newer one. – msh210 Jun 13 '17 at 16:05
  • Gemoro taanis 29a supports this question as it states that 20th iyar they traveled 3 days, they straight away requested and ate quail mentioned in numbers they ate quail for 30 days from 22 iyar - 22 sivan then miriam had tzaraas 7 days and then from 29 iyar till 9th of av the meraglim toured eretz yisroel so it must be the miracle of producing the quail which Calev highlighted even though it led to their detriment. – user15464 Oct 1 '17 at 19:48

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