12 votes
Accepted

A Headquarters During the 40 Years of Wandering

I believe the wording of "Israelites’ headquarters" does not mean that there was some central location that a 'stationary headquarters' stayed in while other 'pods' traveled about. I suspect ...
  • 6,713
9 votes
Accepted

38 years or 40 years in the desert?

The first Rashi in Parshat Masei mentions that Israel had 14 journeys during the first year until they arrived at Ritmah (which is Kadesh Barne'a). Then they wandered for 38 years where they had 20 ...
  • 24.4k
8 votes

Where is exactly is שָֽׁם in the pasuk גַּם־בִּי֙ הִתְאַנַּ֣ף יְהוָ֔ה בִּגְלַלְכֶ֖ם לֵאמֹ֑ר גַּם־אַתָּ֖ה לֹא־תָבֹ֥א שָֽׁם (Devarim 1:37)

שמה is not the feminine form of שם. Inasmuch as there is a difference in meaning, שמה may mean "to there" (as in מצרימה - "to Egypt" in, e.g., Genesis 12:11) whereas שם just means "there". See also, ...
  • 17.3k
8 votes

Why translate Torah to 70 languages?

The gemara Sot. (35b) explains that the purpose was for other nations to know its meaning. See also Tosefta Sot. (8:5). In the Mekhilta on that part of Deut., which Dr. Solomon Schechter uncovered, ...
  • 11.8k
8 votes
Accepted

Why is "Yehoshua" spelled with a full Vav in Devarim 3:21?

Midrash Chaseiros VeYeseiros says it's written maleh in three places. Here it's because he acquired six crowns (the value of the letter vav): beauty, strength, wealth, wisdom, leadership and prophecy (...
  • 18.8k
8 votes

A Headquarters During the 40 Years of Wandering

As calculated in Seder Olam Rabbah (Chapter Eight, in turn quoted by various commentaries) the Israelites camped at Kadesh Barnea for 19 years. This may be what is being referenced in the footnote.
  • 48.2k
7 votes

Why the hidden mussar?

The Alshich explains that Moshe was "testing the waters" to see how the Jews would react to his rebuke. After he had established that they were accepting his hinted reproach humbly and with love, he ...
  • 18.6k
6 votes

Did Moshe say that he had punished Miriam?

As is clear from, e.g., the preceding passage in the Sifrei, on the preceding words in the verse, the Person speaking in the Medrash is G-d: שוטים! כל עצמם של מלכים אין בוררים להם אלא לחם קל, שלא יהא ...
  • 17.3k
6 votes

Limud for Levi not being part of the spies

Sifsei Chachamim brings this question from Rabi Elazar Mizrachi who left it as a question. The Sifsei Chachamim goes on to suggest that this limud is to tell us that Shevet Levi was not even ...
  • 32.4k
6 votes
Accepted

Why is the Mountain Sinai called Chorev as well?

See Talmud Bavli Shabbat 89: מדבר סיני שירדה שנאה לעכו"ם עליו ומה שמו חורב שמו ופליגא דר' אבהו דא"ר אבהו הר סיני שמו ולמה נקרא הר חורב שירדה חורבה לעכו"ם עליו [Why was it called] the Wilderness ...
  • 95.7k
6 votes
Accepted

Why isn't borrowing from non-Jews forbidden because of Devarim 15:6?

This is not a command, it is a blessing that will occur as a result of following the halachos of Shmittah which preceded this verse. It is not that you will be forbidden to borrow, but that you will ...
  • 42.1k
5 votes
Accepted

Source and reason of the Minhag to end Cohen aliyah of parshat Devarim 1 pasuk early

The source for those who begin one verse earlier is the Eishel Abraham of Butatach (Siman 138) who explains that this is because the custom is to chant the verse "Eicha Esa Levadi" in the same tune as ...
  • 18.6k
5 votes

Why the hidden mussar?

The Darash Moshe answers your question. He says the generation that did these sins had already died out. The people he was talking to were their children. He was warning them that they too had the ...
  • 32.4k
5 votes

Sefer Devarim not part of the original Torah?

This supposed "later time" is that of King Yoshiyahu (Josiah). So a very straightforward piece of evidence against this notion is the following quotation in connection with King Amatziah, ...
  • 7,517
5 votes
Accepted

What sons of Noach are the nations disposed of by Edom, Ammon, and Moav descended from?

Chori: Shabbos 85a identifies the Chori with the Chivi, the nation listed in Bereishis 10:17 as being the son of Canaan, himself a son of Cham. Moav and Amon: Bereishis 19:31-38 records that they ...
  • 33.5k
4 votes

Was the Golden Calf associated with a particular deity?

The Golden Calf icon seems to be associated with Hashem. Aharon, Jeroboam, and Jehu (all of whom create or, in Jehu's case, do not destroy, calf-idols) never mention any other god in connection with ...
4 votes
Accepted

Understanding an apparent conflict regarding Israel's Biblical eastern boundary

Bereishis Rabbah 44:23 notes that Avraham was promised 10 nations' territory in the succeeding Pesukim in Bereishis 15, but his children only got 7 nations' territory. The Midrash simply identifies ...
  • 33.5k
3 votes
Accepted

Moshe appointing leaders & judges - different accounts in Yitro & Devarim

Mefarshim here as usual: Ibn Caspi to Devarim 1:9 says that the story in Devarim story took place after Yisro had suggested this idea to Moshe. This seems to also be the understanding of R"i Bechor ...
3 votes

Yachid v.s. Echad

"Yachid" means alone or only like in Bereshit 22:16 and Zachariah 12:10. "Echod" means one. Both terms are used to describe HaShem. Rambam certainly does not deny that HaShem is one. For Rambam to ...
  • 12.5k
3 votes

B'midbar 32:17 - Why did the tribes of Re'uven and Gad need to build fortified cities?

The Art Scroll Chumash on Mattos 32:16 cites Abarbanel who says that they intended to rebuild and refortify the cities. I have seen in a number of places that had they left those remaining behind ...
  • 42.1k
3 votes
Accepted

Unusual pronunciation of "Mol" in Devarim 1:1

The grammarian's answer is that cholam and shuruk are interchangeable. So writes Radak, Ben-Zev, and one of today's greatest Hebrew grammarians, R. Meir Mazuz. Why one is chosen in one instance and ...
  • 28.2k
3 votes

Limud for Levi not being part of the spies

The Gur Aryeh explains this Rashi. He cites the question of Rabbi Eliyahu Mizrachi (the Re'em) והקשה הרא״ם, דכבר כתיב בפרשת שלח (במדבר יג, ל-טו) שנים עשר אנשים, כל אחד בשמו, ולא נכתב כלל אחד ...
  • 4,363
3 votes

Why translate Torah to 70 languages?

The answer by SimchasTorah is depressing. "Hey Moshe, why are translating the Torah before we settle the land?" "Oh because you're going to get kicked out, scattered all over the world, and lose ...
  • 1,096
3 votes

Inconsistent base-10 system of judges

Some say that the captains of thousands and hundreds were primarily military leaders (cf. Numbers 31:14), while the captains of fifties were primarily Torah teachers and elders (cf. Isaiah 3:3; ...
3 votes

Whatever happened to the Chiefs of the 10, 50, 100 and 1,000?

I'm not sure where in the Torah you would expect to see them. As many mefarshim point out, once the Torah mentions something in one place, it does not need to detail it in any other places whatsoever....
3 votes
Accepted

Does the prohibition from Devarim 22:11 relate to קַ֔יִן Qayin and הֶ֨בֶל Hevel?

Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer 21:6 says: ר' יהושע בן קרחה אומר, אמר הקב"ה אל יתערבו מנחת קין והבל לעולם שמא חס ושלום יתערבו בארג בגד, שנאמר לא תלבש שעטנז וגו', אפילו היא מרוככת לא תעלה עליך Rabbi ...
2 votes

How do we understand Moshe's rebuke

To answer point 1. It seems from the listing that Rashi's ordering is in order of intensity or severity, from least to most severe. To answer point 2. The 'rebuke' is achieved through a subtle ...
2 votes

Og's bed made of iron

Dr. Zvi Ron opines that iron was considered a precious metal in those times and thus Og's bed may have been a decorative treasure item. [This is now my own conjecture] Therefore the Torah may be ...
2 votes
Accepted

Why is there a parsha break in the middle of a verse?

One of the reasons the Or HaChaim gives on that pasuk in parshas Pinchas for the piska in the middle of the passuk is those words 'and it was after the plague' serve one purpose for the preceding ...
  • 32.4k
2 votes

Was the Golden Calf associated with a particular deity?

According to Rabbi Deutsch's "Let My Nation Serve Me," one explanation given for why specifically a calf is because it represents Taurus. They previously were in Mitzraim, land of the sheep (Aries). ...
  • 33.5k

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