10 votes
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"Fathers shall not be put to death because of sons, nor shall sons be put to death because of fathers" - Contradiction?

The Gemara in Meseches Brachos 7a says the following addressing this seeming "contradiction": (Source from Sefaria.org) והא כתיב (שמות לד, ז) פקד עון אבות על בנים וכתיב (דברים כד, טז) ובנים ...
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10 votes

How was the Mekoshesh given the death penalty if the punishment wasn't known yet?

This is addressed by Sanhedrin 80b. It’s a dispute to begin with whether the particular form of death needs to be specified in the warning: תניא ושאר חייבי מיתות שבתורה אין ממיתין אותן אלא בעדה ...
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9 votes
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The Spies Mentioning Amalek

The impetus for the drasha in the medrash is specifically because the first nation the spies mentioned was amalek, and as the ikar sifsei chachamim explains why not mention the amori and chiti who ...
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8 votes

Why only sarei chamishim for spies?

The Ostrovtzer Rav in Me'ir Eynei Chachamim explains that a leader is imbued with the power of the group that he leads, in this case 50 people. He further notes that the Jewish people were blessed ...
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  • 1,319
8 votes
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Did women and Levites survive the 40 years in the wilderness?

Rashi means to say that the Leviim were not killed over the forty years. It often happens that Rashi will quote the 'wrong' pasuk to simplify his point; what he is really referring to is the count at ...
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Are Tzitzis a Uniform/Badge of Honor?

The Gemoro Menachos 43b says תניא היה רבי מאיר אומר גדול עונשו של לבן יותר מעונשו של תכלת משל למה הדבר דומה למלך בשר ודם שאמר לשני עבדיו לאחד אמר הבא לי חותם של טיט ולאחד אמר הבא לי חותם של זהב ופשעו ...
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7 votes

Does God's forgiveness in Bamidbar (Num.) 14:20 contradict the fact that punishment was meted, nonetheless?

God had told Moses he would wipe out the nation of Israel. Moses entreated. God relented. But still they will not enter Israel in this lifetime.
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7 votes

Does teshuva remove punishment?

There is a disagreement between the Rambam and the Raavad regarding the Ir Hanidachas - wayward city, whether it is possible to remove the punishment if the town did indeed repent. The Rambam (עבודת ...
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7 votes

When did Israel stop having giant fruit?

Here's a quote from the Talmud, Ketuvot 112A: רבי חלבו ור' עוירא ור' יוסי בר חנינא איקלעו לההוא אתרא אייתו קמייהו אפרסקא דהוה כאילפס כפר הינו ואילפס כפר הינו כמה הוי ה' סאין אכלו שליש והפקירו שליש ...
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7 votes

Are there five or six reasons why Parshas Tzitzis was added to Shema?

This passage also appears in Yalkut Shimoni, and in that version there are indeed only five things. Number 4, "opinions of heretics" in your translation, does not appear. The supporting verse cited in ...
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6 votes

How old was Joshua at the time of the spies?

Sefer Hadoros & Zemach David says Yehoshua was born in 2406 and the story of the Meraglim was in 2449, making him 43 years old.
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6 votes

Source that the spies had prophecy

I have checked through all the mefarshim I could find and haven't seen any one of them comment that the meraglim saw prophetically that they wouldn't be the leaders in Eretz Yisroel. The closest I ...
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6 votes
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Source that the spies had prophecy

Or perhaps, this is the simple reading of the Zohar. I believe that this is the closest to the mark. We can quibble over whether it actually is the simplest and most straight-forward explanation of ...
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  • 3,464
5 votes

Does God's forgiveness in Bamidbar (Num.) 14:20 contradict the fact that punishment was meted, nonetheless?

Rashi says that God listened to Moses in that He wouldn't wipe out the nation immediately, so the nations wouldn't be able to say that God was unable to take Israel into the Land. However, God would ...
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  • 8,163
5 votes
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Dageish in bin Nun

The masoretic treatise Kitāb al-Khilaf (ספר החילופים) by Misha'el ben `Uzziel records the differences (and similarities) between the famous masoretes Ben Asher and Ben Naftali. The book records that ...
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  • 3,416
5 votes

Spies punishment midda kneged midda?

The Be'er Basadeh (commenting on this Rashi) explains that the land of Israel is called the tibor/navel of the world because it is considered the center of the world, just as the navel is the center ...
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5 votes
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How was the Mekoshesh given the death penalty if the punishment wasn't known yet?

Rashi and Rav Hirsch explain that Hashem had already commanded that he was subject to the death penalty, but they did not yet know the precise manner of the punishment. Shlach Lecha 15:34 They put ...
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  • 41.9k
5 votes

How do you understand this Rashi? (Bamidbor, 15:24)

Since when would the rabbis permit worship of idols in any manner? Obviously they shouldn't but since they were human they were capable of making a mistake about whether something falls into the ...
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  • 3,594
4 votes

Why pray for Y'hoshua and not Kalev?

Rabbi Yochanan Zweig, my Rosh Yeshiva, explains this based on Targum Yonasan to Bamidbar 13:16: "When Moshe saw his humility, he changed his name." Why is humility a negative in this context? Moshe ...
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4 votes

Why was Kalev allowed to lie to his co-spies?

Although we often invoke Midivar Shekker Tirchack as the Torah's command not to lie, it is not really a biblical prohibition. That pasuk is actually discussing beis din and witness. When the Gemara ...
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4 votes
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Nephilim after the Flood

In Pirkei Derabbi Eliezer 23 it says that Og was the only survivor of the flood other than Noach and his family (and animals) as he hanged on to a ladder: וימח את כל היקום אשר על פני האדמה חוץ מנח ...
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  • 11.2k
4 votes

Source that the spies had prophecy

So I looked through a number of mefarshim (commentaries) and there doesn't appear to be any reference to any prophecy. As you say, many mention this Zohar, but I think it would be fair to say that the ...
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  • 20.2k
3 votes

Why was Kalev allowed to lie to his co-spies?

The prime example given by the Talmud of an overriding reason to allow misleading statements is in the interest of maintaining peace (whether marital or otherwise). This would seem to be all the more ...
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3 votes

From where do we learn that women did not accept the report of the meragelim?

RaSh"I on Numbers 26:64 (thanks to Chabad.org)
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3 votes

Why does G-d say He will destroy the Bnei Yisroel after the episode with the spies?

Excellent question! Avot D'Rav Natan ch. 9 Mishna 2 explains why. In summary, he states that that B'nai Yisra'el were tested 10 times (The Mishnah lists all 10) but they weren't punished for any of ...
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3 votes

What is the difference in meaning between לתור and לחפר with regards to spying the land?

The Malbim in Sefer HaKarmel says that חפר is a more focused mission, an in-depth investigation into one location, as opposed to לתור, which is a scouting mission which sees the whole land but is not ...
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3 votes

Why were the Jews punished for 40 years if the spies were the ones who were there for 40 days?

The Kli Yakar on יום לשנה says that the punishment actually took place one day a year on Tish'a B'Av. Thus they were punished for "forty days" but the forty days were spread over 40 years. The ...
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  • 41.9k
3 votes
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Kol Nidre: The strangers in their midst

(I'll respond to the question as it applies to Yom Kippur, as asked. The verse in Numbers is actually talking about a different context, and the same question can be asked there — but wasn't.) ...
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