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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 1, v. 2: "Kodeish Barnei'a" - Rashi says that it was from this location that the spies were sent. This is clearly stated in Yehoshua 14:7, "Bishloach Moshe evved Hashem osi miKodeish Barnei'a l'ra'geil es ho'oretz." The gemara Taanis 29a says that the spies were sent from Midbar Poron (I do not find this in the gemara), and in Bmidbar 13:26 we have "el midbar Poron Kodeishoh," seemingly being a second name for midbar Poron or a double name. In Bmidbar 33:18 the verse says "b'Rismoh." Rashi comments that this was the place where the spies spoke loshon hora about Eretz Yisroel, and as just mentioned, in 13:26 the verse says that it was in "midbar Poron Kodeishoh" that they gave their negative report. Add to this the verse in Bmidbar 33:36, "v'midbar Tzin hee Kodeish." It would seem that this place had 4 names.

However, the Ramban in his comment on Bmidbar 20:1 says that Kodeish in midbar Poron is Kodeish Barnei'a, and there is a second Kodeish in midbar Tzin, a separate place. He posits that midbar Poron and Kodeish Barnei'a are not one and the same place, but rather, that Kodeish Barnei'a is a location IN midbar Poron.

Tosfos in his commentary on the gemara Shabbos 89a d.h. "midbar" writes that midbar Poron and midbar Tzin are one and the same. (Pardes Yoseif) Why one location has so many names and why the Torah chose to tell us this remains to be explained.

Ch. 1, v. 4: "Asher yosheiv b'Cheshbon" - Who resides in Cheshbon - The verse does not simply say, "asher b'Cheshbon" because that was not his original place of residence. Sichon vanquished Moav and then relocated there, hence "asher yosheiv." Similarly, Og vanquished the R'fo'im, hence "asher yosheiv b'Ashtoros b'Edre'i." (Ramban)

Ch. 1, v. 46: "Va'teishvu v'Kodeish yomim rabim" - And you remained in Kodeish many days - Rashi cites Seder Olom Ch. #8, who says that the bnei Yisroel remained in Kodeish for 19 years. However, Medrash Hagodol on Bmidbar #374 says that they were there for 18 years. Yalkut Shimoni on parshas Va'yakheil remez #424 says that "yomim rabim" is 38 years. This seems to be very hard to reconcile with the numerous goings-on during the bnei Yisroel's journeys in the desert.

Ch. 2, v. 7: "Lo chosarto dovor" - You lacked nothing - The Paa'nei'ach Rozo cites Rabbi Yoseif Bchor Shor who explains that when someone feeds a guest for an extended period of time he begins with offering the finest and choicest of foods and tapers down to simpler and simpler fare. Our verse tells us that throughout the 40 years in the desert Hashem gave them the same highest quality food, the manna.

There are a number of differing texts as to the order of the types of food, Rashi on Bmidbar 29:36, Tanchuma ad loc., Tosfos on the gemara Chulin 84a, d.h. "asoroh" in the name of Rashi, M.R. Bmidbar 21:25, and the above-mentioned Paa'nei'ach Rozo. The Chasam Sofer in his commentary on the above gemara Chulin somewhat clarifies the differences in order.

Rokei'ach interprets "dovor" as "dibur." You lacked nothing in choice of foods because it just depended upon your speech, saying I want the manna to taste like .. Rokei'ach seems to be saying that to have the manna take on the taste of a certain food it is required to actually verbalize it. This is a disagreement between the first Tanna and Rabbi Shimon in the M.R. Shmos 21:10, with Rabbi Shimon positing that it requires actual speech, and the earlier opinion is that thought is sufficient. Moshav Z'keinim on Bmidbar 11:8 questions the permissibility on Shabbos of thinking that the manna should taste like a cooked item. Perhaps he would surely feel that to verbalize it is prohibited if that is the only way this phenomenon takes place.

Rashbam explains "lo chosarto dovor" to simply mean that Hashem took care of their needs without their having to have any monetary outlay.

Ch. 2, v. 8: "U'meiEtzion Go'ver" - Targum Yonoson ben Uziel translates this as "and from the city of a ROOSTER." This is clarified by the Rokei'ach on Bmidbar 33:35. A rooster is cognizant of time changes. For example, it crows when the morning begins. The community of Etzion had many wise men who were able to advise people of the best time to pursue different activities. The entrance to this city had an emblem of a rooster.

Ch. 2, v. 9: "Va'yomer Hashem eilai" - And Hashem said to me - The gemara B.K. 38a relates that someone came to comfort Rabbi Shmuel bar Yehudoh for the death of his daughter. In the course of the conversation the words "Va'yomer Hashem el Moshe" were said. On the margin of the gemara a text correction is made, "Va'yomer Hashem eilai," the words of our verse. Binyan Efrayim says even if the intention was the words of our verse the original text is correct. Based on the words of the Beis haLevi in his preface to volume one, who writes that it was common practice to only quote verses while actually reading them from a text, as per the maxim, "Dvorim shebiksav ee atoh r'sho'i l'omrom b'al peh," the written word of the Torah may not be said by heart. We may assume that the person who was "m'nacheim o'vel" did not bring a written text of the Torah with him. When invoking the words of this verse he intentionally made a small change, in keeping with the above-mentioned rule. This likewise explains many other seemingly incorrect quotes of verses from the Torah mentioned in the gemara.

N'sinoh L'ger, the commentary of Rabbi Noson haKohein Adler on the Torah and Targum Onkelos says basically the same in his preface to his sefer.

Ch. 3, v. 9: "V'al tisgor bom milchomoh" - And do not incite a war against them - Rambam in Sefer Hamitzvos shoresh #3 explains that he does not include this prohibition in the count of 613 mitzvos because it only applies to that generation. Ramban disagrees and counts it, positing that it applies for all generations. The Holy Admor of Satmar brought a proof for the position of the Rambam. The Holy Zohar on Vayikra page 190a clearly states that this command only applied to Moshe. (Olomos Shechorvu page #108)

Ch. 3, v. 12: "LoReuveini v'laGadi" - To the Reuveini and to the Gadi - Compare this with "lachatzi sheivet haMenasheh," where we have the title "sheivet." (I believe that in a previous edition Another question was also raised: Why the suffix Yud by Reuvein and Gad, and not by Menasheh. An answer was given for both questions.) Based on the opinion in the gemara Yerushalmi Bikurim 1:8, that one brings "bikurim" from the Trans-Jordanian area of Menasheh, but not from Reuvein or Gad, perhaps "sheivet" is used only by Menasheh to allude to this tribe's land being similar in halacha to all the other "tribes," save Reuvein and Gad, hence no "sheivet" by them. Also see Oroh V'simchoh on parshas Emor, where I venture that Rashi's opinion on the gemara Sanhedrin 10 that "omer" grain may be brought from Trans-Jordan, is only from the land tract of Menasheh of Trans-Jordan, but not from the Reuvein or Gad lands.

Ch. 3, v. 21: "YehOshua" - This is the only place in the Torah that we find his name spelled out fully, with the letter Yud between the Hei and Shin. The Rokei'ach explains that the added Vov alludes to the six sections of the Talmud, which Yehoshua had absorbed into his 248 organs. He does not explain why this is mentioned specifically here. Rabbi Yehudoh Chosid in Taa'mei Meso'res Hamikra says that since this was related in front of all the bnei Yisroel (as it was part of Moshe's handing over the cloak of leadership to Yehoshua) his name was expanded.

Mahari"l Diskin says that Yehoshua would later conquer the 31 kings who occupied Eretz Yisroel. His name is mentioned in the Torah only 30 times, and by right should be mentioned 31 times to correspond to the 31 kings he would vanquish. To make up for the shortfall, here his name was expanded. Although he does not explain why it was done here, it is well understood that since this verse contains Moshe's assurance that Hashem would hand over the 31 kings to Yehoshua, this is the place to make up the shortfall.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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