This week's sedra continues Moshe's retelling of the Nation's history.
And I entreated Hashem at that time saying.
At that time: Rashi: After I conquered the land of Sichon and Og, I thought maybe the vow was annulled.
WHAT IS RASHI SAYING ?
After Moshe sinned at Mei Meriva (Bamidbar 20:12) Hashem had told him that he would not lead the People into the Land of Canaan. Now after Moshe successfully led the war against Sichon and Og, which now became part of the property of the tribes, (TranJordan) he thought maybe G-d might have changed His "vow" not to let him enter Canaan. That is why he entreated G-d at this point.
This is a midrash, never the less we can question Rashi.
WHAT IS BOTHERING RASHI
A Question: Rashi's Dibbur Hamaschil is "at that time".
Why does the Torah add these words The Torah could just have said that Moshe entreated G-d. We would have assumed this happened after the last recorded words of the Torah.
Rashi actually deals with two issues at one time. One is the use of the words "at that time." But Rashi takes us back many verses to the battle of Sichon and Og. Actually the verses immediately before our verse tells of G-d appointing Yehoshua (2:21) to lead the people. So Rashi is also telling us that is not the reference to "at that time". Because certainly Moshe wouldn't entreat G-d if Yehoshua was already appointed.
We must now understand our verse differently - Moshe entreated G-d even before the verses about Yehoshua's appointment, right after the victories of Sichon and Og.
Avigdor Bonchek has published a new book on Rashi called "Rashi: The Magic and the Mystery" published by Gefen. Look for it at Jewish book stores.
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