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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 1, v. 1: "Eileh hadvorim asher di'beir Moshe el kol Yisroel b'eiver haYardein bamidbor bo'arovoh" - These are the matters that Moshe spoke to all of Yisroel on the Trans-Jordanian side in the desert on the planes - Ibn Ezra and Chizkuni that the mitzvos that would be related from parshas R'ei and onwards were told by Moshe on the Trans-Jordanian side and he already related these mitzvos "bamidbor bo'arovoh." It is as if "asher di'beir" is repeated in the verse before "bamidbor bo'arovoh."

Ch. 1, v. 9,10: "Vo'omar a'leichem bo'eis hahee leimore lo uchal s'eis es'chem, Hashem Elokeichem hirboh es'chem" - And I said at that time thus saying I cannot carry you Hashem your G-d has increased you - What is the meaning of "leimore?" This is a blessing akin to a person telling his children that he was blessed with an abundance of children and he was beyond coping with them. At the same time he tells them that he likewise wishes this for them. This is the intention of "leimore." May you also say that you cannot cope with the blessing of an abundance of children. (Meshech Chochmoh)

Ch. 1, v. 10: "V'hinchem hayom k'chochvei hashomayim lorov" - And behold you are today like the stars of the heaven as abundance - The intention is not, "You are as many as the stars of the heaven." This is not so, as there are surely many more stars. The meaning is, "Just as the stars of the heaven are many, so too, you are many." (GR"A in Aderes Eliyohu)

Ch. 1, v. 23: "Vo'ekach mi'kem shneim ossor anoshim" - And I took from among you twelve men - The Mahari"l Diskin takes note of the cantillation "munach," a quasi-stop for the word "shneim." Logically there should be no pause between the two and the ten, which make up the twelve. However, the verse wants to separate between the two righteous ones, Yehoshua and Ko'leiv, and the other ten messengers.

Ch. 1, v. 25: "Va'yomru tovoh ho'oretz" - And they said the land is good - These words are complimentary of Eretz Yisroel, so why did Moshe include this in his recounting of the bad deeds of the spies? The Chasam Sofer answers that they said this as another dissuasion of conquering the land. The land is so good that the present inhabitants will surely fight tooth and nail to retain their ownership. Vanquishing them is impossible.

Ch. 1, v. 27: "B'sinas Hashem osonu" - With Hashem's hatred of us - How could the generation that left Mitzrayim entertain such an insane thought? Had Hashem taken them out of Egypt with miracles such as the world had never seen and will not see until the coming of the Moshiach just to make them fodder for the Canaanites? As well, why had Hashem given them the Torah if they were to ch"v totally annihilated? What about the promise to our forefathers? The Haameik Dovor answers that they thought that they were not deserving of entry to Eretz Yisroel and to live there because Hashem was angry at them for their behaviour in Egypt, with many of them involved in Egyptian deities, etc. They thought that Hashem took them out only to bring up their children who would enter Eretz Yisroel with them, the previous generation. They would be wiped out and the Torah would be upheld by the next generation.

Ch. 1, v. 36: "Yaan asher milei acharei Hashem - Because he fulfilled following Hashem - The ten spies created a spiritual pit and Ko'leiv corrected this, thus FILLING the pit.

Note that the verse does not say that he did this "lifnei" Hashem, but rather, "acharei Hashem." This means he acted "behind Hashem's back" so to say. We know that one should be echod b'feh uv'leiv," his words and his intentions should be in total consonance. Ko'leiv was only able to quell the uprising by beginning his words with a phrase that caught everyone's attention because it sounded like further criticism of Moshe. However, once he had everyone's attention he went into a powerful praise of Moshe. This is akin of "echod b'feh v'echod b'leiv," a despicable trait, contrary to Hashem's wishes. However, in this very strained situation it was the only way he would be given standing. He therefore fulfilled his task "acharei" Hashem, in a devious manner. (Tzror Hamor)

Ch. 1, v. 37: "Gam bi hisanaf Hashem biglalchem" - Also in me Hashem filled Himself with anger because of you - The Ramban says that this refers to the sin of "mei m'rivoh," while the medrash Lekach Tov says that it refers to the sin of the spies. The resultant punishment for the generation was that all would die in the desert, and this was reason enough for Moshe to die and be buried in the desert. When the time for the resurrection of the dead will come, Moshe will lead this generation into Eretz Yisroel. The Rosh says that Moshe should actually have merited entry to the promised land but since his generation died in the desert, he too would have to die there. He offers a parable. A poor woman accidentally dropped her bucket into a well while attempting to draw water from it. She began to cry, despairing of ever recovering it. A servant of the king came upon the scene and likewise dropped the king's golden bucket into the well. The poor woman laughed, saying that once the servant would lower himself into the well to recover the costly gold bucket, hers would likewise be recovered. Similarly, once Hashem will awaken Moshe and bring him into Eretz Yisroel, He will likewise take the generation of desert wanderers along as well. This is "biglalchem."

Ch. 1, v. 41: "Vatomru eilai chotonu laShem" - And you said to me that we have sinned against Hashem - This was not true repentance as you only said this to me. You should have been truly contrite and said it to Hashem. (Haksav V'hakaboloh)

Ch. 3, v. 2: "Al tiro oso" - Fear him not - Moshe is relating what Hashem told him in Bmidbar 21:34, which is verbatim from the word "al" until the end of the verse. There are numerous explanations for the need to tell Moshe to not fear Og. We do not find Hashem telling him to not fear Sichon or any other opponent.

The Holy Zohar writes that every word "oso" in the Torah is spelled Alef-Sof-Vov, save two places, where it has an added Vov After the Alef. One is "oso" in parshas Chukas, "al tiro OSO," and the second is in Dvorim 22:2, "ad drosh ochicho OSO." The Holy Zohar explains that Moshe feared Og because of his being circumcised. This took place when Avrohom had all members of his household circumcised. Commentators explain that the Holy Zohar's spelling of OSO with the extra Vov shows that he translates it not as HIM, but rather, his sign, his OS. This is why there is an extra Vov. Similarly, by the returning of a lost item, it is required of the claimant to provide a definitive unique sign on the lost item. This is "ad drosh ochicho Oso," until your brother pursues the item and gives its sign.

I don't know if the Holy Zohar's intention is that the word OSO of our verse also contains this extra Vov, although logic would dictate that it should, as it means exactly the same as in parshas Chukas.

Ch. 3, v. 4: "Chevel Argov" - The region of Argov - An area of land is sometimes called "chevel" because it is sometimes apportioned through measuring sections by ROPE. (Rada"k)

Argov is:

1) The name of a person who owned this area (Ibn Ezra)

2) The king's palace (Rashi)

3) This is a combination of "gov" and "ari," just switched around. This was the location of a lair of lions. (Kehilas Yitzchok)

Ch. 3, v. 9: "TzidoniM yik'r'u l'Chermon Siryon v'hoEmori yik'r'u lo Snir" - The Tzidonim would call Chermon Siryon and the Emorites would call it Snir - Note that the plural form of Tzidon is present, while by Emor there is the descriptive and not Emorim. This clearly demonstrates that Tzidon was not the name of a nation, as its members would be called Tzidoni and not Tzidonim. Rather it was a well-known or populace clan or family. This is further bolstered in Yehoshua 13, "Um'oroh asher laTzidoniM." (Emes L'Yaakov)



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

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