Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Parshat Shlach, 3rd Portion (Numbers 14:8-14:25)

Daily Quote

When one eats and drinks [on the festivals], one must also feed the stranger, the orphan, the widow, and the other unfortunate paupers. But one who locks the doors of his courtyard and feasts and drinks with his children and wife but does not feed the poor and the embittered -- this is not the joy of mitzvah but the joy of his stomach

- Maimonides' Mishneh Torah, Laws of the Festivals 6:18

The Lord is slow to anger: [both] towards the righteous and towards the wicked. When Moses ascended on high, he found the Holy One, blessed is He, sitting and writing, “The Lord is slow to anger.” He said to Him, “Towards the righteous?” The Holy One, blessed is He, answered him, “Even toward the wicked” He [Moses] said to Him, “Let the wicked perish!” He said to him, “By your life, you will have need for this [patience for the wicked]. When Israel sinned at [the incident of] the [golden] calf and at the [time of the] spies, Moses prayed before Him [making mention of] ”slow to anger.“ The Holy One, blessed is He, replied to Him, Did you not tell me ”Toward the righteous“? He [Moses] responded, But did You not reply to me, ”Even toward the wicked"? - [Sanh. 111a]

21. However, as surely as I live, and as the glory of the Lord fills the earth... כא. וְאוּלָם חַי אָנִי וְיִמָּלֵא כְבוֹד יְהֹוָה אֶת כָּל הָאָרֶץ:

However: Heb. אוּלָם like אִבָל, but this will I to do them. ואולם: כמו אבל זאת אעשה להם:

as surely as I live: A term expressing an oath. Just as I live and My glory fills the entire earth, so will I fulfill regarding them, “that all the people who perceived…If they will see the Land.” This verse is transposed. [It should be understood as follows:] As surely as I live, that all these men, if they see the Land…[i.e., they will not see the land] yet My glory shall fill the entire earth, so that My Name shall not be desecrated through this plague by [people] saying “Since God lacked the ability to bring them.” For I shall not kill them suddenly, as one man, but gradually, over a period of forty years.

22. that all the people who perceived My glory, and the signs that I performed in Egypt and in the desert, yet they have tested me these ten times and not listened to My voice, כב. כִּי כָל הָאֲנָשִׁים הָרֹאִים אֶת כְּבֹדִי וְאֶת אֹתֹתַי אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי בְמִצְרַיִם וּבַמִּדְבָּר וַיְנַסּוּ אֹתִי זֶה עֶשֶׂר פְּעָמִים וְלֹא שָׁמְעוּ בְּקוֹלִי:

have tested Me: This is to be understood literally. וינסו: כמשמעו:

these ten times: Twice at the [Red] sea, twice with the manna, twice with the quails…, as is stated in Tractate Arachin (15a). זה עשר פעמים: שנים בים שנים במן ושנים בשליו וכו', כדאיתא במס' ערכין (טו א):

23. if they will see the Land that I swore to their fathers, and all who provoked Me will not see it. כג. אִם יִרְאוּ אֶת הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לַאֲבֹתָם וְכָל מְנַאֲצַי לֹא יִרְאוּהָ:

if they will see: They will not see it. אם יראו: לא יראו:

will not see it: They will not see the Land.

24. But as for My servant Caleb, since he was possessed by another spirit, and he followed Me, I will bring him to the land to which he came, and his descendants will drive it[s inhabitants] out. כד. וְעַבְדִּי כָלֵב עֵקֶב הָיְתָה רוּחַ אַחֶרֶת עִמּוֹ וַיְמַלֵּא אַחֲרָי וַהֲבִיאֹתִיו אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר בָּא שָׁמָּה וְזַרְעוֹ יוֹרִשֶׁנָּה:

another spirit: Two spirits, one [which he spoke] with the mouth, and one [he concealed] in his heart. He told the spies, “I am with you in your plot,” but in his heart he intended to say the truth. Because of this, he was able to silence them, as it says, “Caleb silenced…” (13:30), for they thought that he would concur with them. This is what is stated in the Book of Joshua (14:7),“I [Caleb] brought back word to him [Moses] as it was in my heart”-but not according to what I had said. - [Mid. Tanchuma Shelach 10] רוח אחרת: שתי רוחות אחת בפה ואחת בלב, למרגלים אמר, אני עמכם בעצה, ובלבו היה לומר האמת ועל ידי כן היה בו כח להשתיקם, כמו שנאמר (לעיל יג ל) ויהס כלב, שהיו סבורים שיאמר כמותם, זהו שנאמר בספר (יהושע יד ז) ואשיב אותו דבר כאשר עם לבבי, ולא כאשר עם פי:

and followed Me: Heb. וַיְמַּלֵא אַחֲרָי, lit., he filled after Me. He followed Me wholeheartedly [lit., he filled his heart after Me]; this is an elliptical verse [since the word לִבּוֹ,“his heart,” is missing but implied]. וימלא אחרי: וימלא את לבו אחרי וזה מקרא קצר:

to which he came: Hebron shall be given to him. אשר בא שמה: חברון תנתן לו:

will drive it[s inhabitants] out: Heb. יוֹרִשֶׁנָּה, as the Targum [Onkelos] renders,“They will drive out.” They will expel the giants and the people who dwell in it. But it [the word יוֹרִשֶׁנָּה] is not be rendered as“will inherit it” unless the text has יִירָשֶׁנָּה.

25. The Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valley. Tomorrow, turn back and journey into the desert toward the Red Sea." כה. וְהָעֲמָלֵקִי וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי יוֹשֵׁב בָּעֵמֶק מָחָר פְּנוּ וּסְעוּ לָכֶם הַמִּדְבָּר דֶּרֶךְ יַם סוּף:

The Amalekites: If you go there [to the valley] they will kill you, since I am not with you. והעמלקי וגו': אם תלכו שם יהרגו אתכם, מאחר שאיני עמכם:

Tomorrow, turn back: Turn around and travel [back to the desert]. מחר פנו: לאחוריכם וסעו לכם וגו':
Select a portion:1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th Chapter 14

26. The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, כו. וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל משֶׁה וְאֶל אַהֲרֹן לֵאמֹר:

27. "How much longer will this evil congregation who are causing to complain against Me [exist]? The complaints of the children of Israel which they caused them to complain against Me, I have heard. כז. עַד מָתַי לָעֵדָה הָרָעָה הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר הֵמָּה מַלִּינִים עָלָי אֶת תְּלֻנּוֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר הֵמָּה מַלִּינִים עָלַי שָׁמָעְתִּי:

this evil congregation: This refers to the spies; [we derive] from here that a congregation numbers [a minimum of] ten. — [Meg. 23b] לעדה הרעה וגו': אלו המרגלים, מכאן לעדה שהיא עשרה:

who are causing: the Israelites… אשר המה מלינים: את ישראל עלי:

to complain against Me. The complaints of the children of Israel which they: the spies, caused them to complain against Me, I have heard. את תלנות בני ישראל אשר המה מלינים: המרגלים מלינים אותם עלי שמעתי:

28. Say to them, 'As I live,' says the Lord, 'if not as you have spoken in My ears, so will I do to you. כח. אֱמֹר אֲלֵהֶם חַי אָנִי נְאֻם יְהֹוָה אִם לֹא כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתֶּם בְּאָזְנָי כֵּן אֶעֱשֶׂה לָכֶם:

As I live: A term denoting an oath. “If not…so will I do” [i.e., if I do not do as you have spoken into My ears] it is as if I do not live, as it were. חי אני: לשון שבועה:

as you have spoken: that you requested from Me,“or if only we had died in this desert” (verse 2). אם לא וגו' כן אעשה: כביכול איני חי:

29. In this desert, your corpses shall fall; your entire number, all those from the age of twenty and up, who were counted, because you complained against Me. כט. בַּמִּדְבָּר הַזֶּה יִפְּלוּ פִגְרֵיכֶם וְכָל פְּקֻדֵיכֶם לְכָל מִסְפַּרְכֶם מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמָעְלָה אֲשֶׁר הֲלִינֹתֶם עָלָי:

your entire number, all those…who were counted: All those counted in any census which was numbered, for example going to or returning from war, contributing shekels; all those listed in those tallies will die. They are: All those from the age of twenty and up, excluding the tribe of Levi, who were not counted from the age of twenty [but from the age of one month].

30. You shall [not] come into the Land concerning which I raised My hand that you would settle in it, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. ל. אִם אַתֶּם תָּבֹאוּ אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נָשָׂאתִי אֶת יָדִי לְשַׁכֵּן אֶתְכֶם בָּהּ כִּי אִם כָּלֵב בֶּן יְפֻנֶּה וִיהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן נוּן:

31. As for your infants, of whom you said that they will be as spoils, I will bring them [there], and they will come to know the Land which You despised. לא. וְטַפְּכֶם אֲשֶׁר אֲמַרְתֶּם לָבַז יִהְיֶה וְהֵבֵיאתִי אֹתָם וְיָדְעוּ אֶת הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר מְאַסְתֶּם בָּהּ:

32. But as for you, your corpses shall fall in this desert. לב. וּפִגְרֵיכֶם אַתֶּם יִפְּלוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר הַזֶּה:

But as for you, your corpses: As the Targum renders: וּפִגְרֵיכוֹן דִילְכוֹן, and your corpses of yours. Since [in the previous verse] He spoke about bringing the children into the Land, and now He wants to say, But as for you, you shall die, it is appropriate to use the term אַתֶּם [literally “you”]. ופגריכם אתם: כתרגומו לפי שדבר על הבנים להכניסם לארץ ובקש לומר ואתם תמותו, נופל לשון זה כאן לומר אתם:

33. Your children shall wander in the desert for forty years and bear your defection until the last of your corpses has fallen in the desert. לג. וּבְנֵיכֶם יִהְיוּ רֹעִים בַּמִּדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וְנָשְׂאוּ אֶת זְנוּתֵיכֶם עַד תֹּם פִּגְרֵיכֶם בַּמִּדְבָּר:

forty years: Not one of them died before the age of sixty. This is why forty [years] was decreed, so that those who were twenty years old would reach the age of sixty. The first year was included although it preceded the dispatching of the spies. For from the time they made the [golden] calf, this decree had been in [God’s] mind, but He waited until their measure [of wickedness] was filled. This is what is stated, “But on the day I make an accounting”-at the time of the spies-“I shall reckon their sin” (Exod. 32:34). Here too, it says, “you will bear your iniquities” [in the plural, indicating] two iniquities: the [one of the] calf and the [one of] the complaint. In calculating their ages, Scripture considers part of a year like a whole year, and when they their sixtieth year, those who had been twenty years old [now] died. - [Midrash Tanchuma Shelach 13]

and bear your defection: As the Targum renders,“They will endure your guilt

34. According to the number of days which you toured the Land forty days, a day for each year, you will [thus] bear your iniquities for forty years; thus you will come to know My alienation. לד. בְּמִסְפַּר הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר תַּרְתֶּם אֶת הָאָרֶץ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם יוֹם לַשָּׁנָה יוֹם לַשָּׁנָה תִּשְׂאוּ אֶת עֲו‍ֹנֹתֵיכֶם אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וִידַעְתֶּם אֶת תְּנוּאָתִי:

My alienation: Heb. תְּנוּאָתִי, that you alienated your hearts from following Me. [The word] תְּנוּאָה denotes ‘removal,’ as in,“for her father obstructed [in the sense of removed] (הֵנִיא) her” [from her vow] (30:6). את תנואתי: שהניאותם את לבבכם מאחרי. תנואה לשון הסרה, כמו (במדבר ל, ו) כי הניא אביה אותה:

35. I, the Lord, have spoken if I will not do this to the entire evil congregation who have assembled against me; in this desert they will end, and there they will die. לה. אֲנִי יְהֹוָה דִּבַּרְתִּי אִם לֹא
זֹאת אֶעֱשֶׂה לְכָל הָעֵדָה הָרָעָה הַזֹּאת הַנּוֹעָדִים עָלָי בַּמִּדְבָּר הַזֶּה יִתַּמּוּ וְשָׁם יָמֻתוּ:

36. As for the men whom Moses had sent to scout the Land, who returned and caused the entire congregation to complain against him by spreading [a slanderous] report about the Land" לו. וְהָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר שָׁלַח משֶׁה לָתוּר אֶת הָאָרֶץ וַיָּשֻׁבוּ וַיַּלִּינוּ עָלָיו אֶת כָּל הָעֵדָה לְהוֹצִיא דִבָּה עַל הָאָרֶץ:

who returned and caused… to complain against him: When they returned from scouting the Land, they caused the entire congregation to complain against him by spreading slander-those men died. The expression הוֹצָאַת דִבָּה implies instructing to speak, for they ply the tongue of a man to speak about something, as in,“making the lips of the sleeping speak (דּוֹבֵב) ” (Song 7:10). It may be for either good or bad, and that is why it says here (verse 37),“who spread an evil report about the Land” because a ‘report’ (דִבָּה) can [also] be good. וישבו וילינו עליו: וכששבו מתור הארץ הרעימו עליו את כל העדה בהוצאת דבה אותם אנשים וימותו. כל הוצאת דבה לשון חינוך דברים, שמלקיחים לשונם לאדם לדבר בו, כמו (שה"ש ז, י) דובב שפתי ישנים. וישנה לטובה וישנה לרעה, לכך נאמר כאן מוציאי דבת הארץ רעה, שיש דבה שהיא טובה:

report: Heb. דִבָּה, parleriz or parlediz in Old French, talk, gossip.

37. the men who spread an evil report about the Land died in the plague, before the Lord. לז. וַיָּמֻתוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים מוֹצִאֵי דִבַּת הָאָרֶץ רָעָה בַּמַּגֵּפָה לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה:

in the plague before the Lord: Through that death which was fitting for them-measure for measure; they had sinned with the tongue and now [in retribution] their tongues extended to their navels. Worms came out from their tongues and entered their navels. This is why Scripture says, “in the plague,” rather than “in a plague,” and this is also the meaning of “before the Lord”-in that plague which was fitting for them according to the methods of the Holy One, blessed is He, [namely] that He metes out measure for measure. - [Sotah 35a] במגפה לפני ה': באותה מיתה ההגונה להם מדה כנגד מדה. הם חטאו בלשון, ונשתרבב לשונם עד טבורם ותולעים יוצאים מלשונם ובאין לתוך טבורם, לכך נאמר במגפה ולא במגפה, וזהו לפני ה', באותה הראויה להם על פי מדותיו של הקב"ה, שהוא מודד מדה כנגד מדה:

38. But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive of the men who went to tour the Land. לח. וִיהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן נוּן וְכָלֵב בֶּן יְפֻנֶּה חָיוּ מִן הָאֲנָשִׁים הָהֵם הַהֹלְכִים לָתוּר אֶת הָאָרֶץ:

But Joshua…and Caleb…remained alive…: What does Scripture mean by saying, “remained alive of the men”? It teaches that they took the spies’ portion in the Land, and replaced them in life, as it were. [B.B. 118b] ויהושע וכלב חיו וגו': מה תלמוד לומר חיו מן האנשים ההם, אלא מלמד שנטלו חלקם של מרגלים בארץ וקמו תחתיהם לחיים:

39. Moses related all these words to the children of Israel, and the people mourned greatly.

40. They arose early in the morning and ascended to the mountain top, saying, "We are ready to go up to the place of which the Lord spoke, for we have sinned. " מ. וַיַּשְׁכִּמוּ בַבֹּקֶר וַיַּעֲלוּ אֶל רֹאשׁ הָהָר לֵאמֹר הִנֶּנּוּ וְעָלִינוּ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אָמַר יְהֹוָה כִּי חָטָאנוּ:

to the mountain top: That is the route leading up to the Land of Israel. אל ראש ההר: והוא הדרך העולה לארץ ישראל:

We are ready to go up to the place: To the Land of Israel. הננו ועלינו אל המקום: לארץ ישראל:

of which the Lord spoke: to give to us; let us go up there. אשר אמר ה': לתתה לנו שם נעלה:

for we have sinned: By saying,“Is it not better for us to return to Egypt?” (verse 3). כי חטאנו: על אשר אמרנו הלא טוב לנו שוב מצרימה:

41. Moses said, "Why do you transgress the word of the Lord? It will not succeed. מא. וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה לָמָּה זֶּה אַתֶּם עֹבְרִים אֶת פִּי יְהֹוָה וְהִוא לֹא תִצְלָח:

It will not succeed: What you are doing will not succeed. והוא לא תצלח: זו שאתם עושין לא תצלח:

42. Do not go up, for the Lord is not among you, [so that] you will not be beaten by your enemies. מב. אַל תַּעֲלוּ כִּי אֵין יְהֹוָה בְּקִרְבְּכֶם וְלֹא תִּנָּגְפוּ לִפְנֵי אֹיְבֵיכֶם:

43. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you will fall by the sword. For you have turned away from the Lord, and the Lord will not be with you. מג. כִּי הָעֲמָלֵקִי וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי שָׁם לִפְנֵיכֶם וּנְפַלְתֶּם בֶּחָרֶב כִּי עַל כֵּן שַׁבְתֶּם מֵאַחֲרֵי יְהֹוָה וְלֹא יִהְיֶה יְהֹוָה עִמָּכֶם:

For you have turned away: That is to say: This will happen to you because you have turned away etc… כי על כן שבתם: כלומר כי זאת תבא לכם על אשר שבתם וגו':

44. They defiantly ascended to the mountain top, but the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord and Moses did not move from the camp. מד. וַיַּעְפִּלוּ לַעֲלוֹת אֶל רֹאשׁ הָהָר וַאֲרוֹן בְּרִית יְהֹוָה וּמשֶׁה לֹא מָשׁוּ מִקֶּרֶב הַמַּחֲנֶה:

They defiantly ascended: Heb. וַיַעְפִּלוּ, a term connoting insolence; similarly (Hab. 2:4),“behold, it is insolent (עֻפְּלָה) ,” in old French, engres, a term denoting arrogant boldness. Similarly,“the tower (עֹפֶל) of the daughter of Zion” (Mic. 4:8);“rampart (עֹפֶל) and tower” (Isa. 32:14). The Midrash Tanchuma (Buber Shelach addendum 19) interprets it as a term denoting darkness (אֹפֶל); they [the Israelites] went in darkness, without permission. ויעפלו: לשון חוזק וכן (חבקוק ב, ד) הנה עפלה. אינגרי"ש בלע"ז [עזי רוח] לשון עזות, וכן (מיכה ד, ח) עופל בת ציון, (ישעיה לב, יד) עופל ובחן. ומדרש תנחומא מפרשו לשון אופל, הלכו חשכים שלא ברשות:

45. The Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived on the mountain came down and smote them and crushed them [pursuing them] until Hormah. מה. וַיֵּרֶד הָעֲמָלֵקִי וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי הַיּשֵׁב בָּהָר הַהוּא וַיַּכּוּם וַיַּכְּתוּם עַד הַחָרְמָה:

and crushed them: Heb. וַיַּכְּתוּם, as in,“and I crushed (וָאֶכּוֹת) it, grinding it” (Deut. 9:21), [implying] blow after blow. ויכתום: כמו (דברים ט, כא) ואכות אותו טחון, מכה אחר מכה:

until Hormah: The name of the place [which means destruction] commemorates the event which took place there.

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