Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) 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." Wha other names does this location have?

2) Ch. 1, v. 23: "Vo'ekach mi'kem shneim ossor anoshim" - And I took from you twelve men - The cantillation for the word "shneim" is a "munach," a sort of comma. This is puzzling because the number twelve is obviously a unit. Why separate the two from the twelve?

3) Ch. 3, v. 9: "V'al tisgor bom milchomoh" - And do not incite a war against them - Is this an ongoing mitzvoh and included in the count of 613 mitzvos or not?

4) 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."

5) 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. Why is it spelled differently here?



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, "u'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.


Moshe is recounting that he sent twelve people, but they ended up becoming two groups, Yehoshua and Koleiv, who brought back a positive report, and the other ten, who did otherwise. (Mahari"l Diskin)


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)


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.


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 Sedrah Selections, Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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