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by Dr. Avigdor Bonchek


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Deuteronomy 1:9

I said to you at that time saying: I cannot bear you by myself


"I said to you at that time saying": RASHI: What is the significance of the word "laimore" ("saying") ? Moses said to them "I am not telling you this on my own initiative, but at the behest of the Holy One blessed be He."

Why does Rashi ask the meaning of such a familiar word as "Laimore"?
What is bothering him?
Your Answer:

What Is Bothering Rashi?

An Answer: The Hebrew word "laimore" has several possible meanings in the Torah. While it is usually translated as "saying" (like quotation marks in English) this is rarely its precise meaning in the Chumash. It is found frequently in the phrase: And G-d spoke ('deber') to Moses 'saying' (laimore). In such cases it means, according to Rashi, "to tell over" that is 'to say' to others. It can also mean 'to say back to me.' We have this at the beginning of parashas V'eschanan (next week) "And I entreated Hashem at that time 'laimore.' "
There Rashi says the word means "return to me with an answer to my entreaty." In other words "saying to me." But here neither of these interpretations makes sense. Moses is speaking to the people themselves and he says "And I said (va'omar') to you …to say." Who are they to say this to?
This is why Rashi asks this question here.
How does his comment explain matters?
Your Answer:

Understanding Rashi

An Answer: Moses is retelling the events that lead up to his delegating authority to judges among the people. Remember Yisro's advice to him (Exodus 18:14). So Moses is saying to the people: I said to you at that time "laimore" 'saying in the name of G-d, not in my name."

But how can Rashi say that Moses said this? How can Moses say that Hashem told him to do appoint judges ? It was Yisro who gave him this advice.
Can you figure out an answer?
Check back in Parashas Yisro, it should be of help.
Your Answer:

A Fuller Understanding

An Answer: Granted Yisro advised Moses, but he clearly conditioned his advice with the following words (Exodus 18:23): "If you do this thing and G-d commands (to do so) then you will be able the endure etc." So we see that only once G-d had approved of Yisro's advice was Moses ready to implement it.

Shabbat Shalom
V'nizke lirot b'tuv Yerushalayim

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