CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS SHLACH 5769 - BS"D
1) Ch. 13, v. 2: "Shlach" - Rashi explains the juxtaposition of our parsha to the story of Miriam's speaking pejoratively of Moshe at the end of last week's parsha to indicate that the tribal heads should have learned a lesson from Miriam to not speak negatively, but took no heed. An obvious question is: Since Miriam spoke negatively of the greatest and holiest person, how were they to apply this to speaking about a parcel of land which is not a human and has no feelings?
2) Ch. 13, v. 2: "Shlach l'cho" - Rashi on the words "lech l'cho" (Breishis 12:1) says that "l'cho," for YOU, means for your benefit. How could we apply this concept to "Shlach l'cho?"
3) Ch. 13, v. 3: "Anoshim" - Rashi says that the appellation "anoshim," men of stature, is appropriate as they were righteous at the time that they were sent. Literally the words of Rashi are to be read that they were righteous at that HOUR. How can we explain this interpretation of Rashi's words?
4) Ch. 13, v. 33: "K'chagovim v'chein ho'yinu b'eineihem" - Rashi says that the spies reported that the inhabitants said that they noticed ANTS in the form of humans in their vineyards.
A) Doesn't the verse say "k'chagovim," as locust?
B) The gemara Sotoh 35a says that for their attitude that they were so insignificant, the spies were also punished. Since they were relating the words of the inhabitants of the land, why were they punished for this?
5) Ch. 15, v. 4-10: In these verses we find the volumes of flour and wine libation offerings required to accompany a lamb, ram, or bovine (calf or ox) sacrifice. The flour offerings are well known from our Musof prayers of Yom Tov, a tenth of an "eifoh" of flour for a lamb, two tenths for a ram, and three tenths for a bovine. The wine offerings are a quarter of a "hin" for a lamb, a third for a ram, and a half for a bovine sacrifice. Why in our Musof prayers do we say "v'yayin k'nisko," and wine as is appropriate for its libation? Why not follow the format of the flour offerings and enumerate each animal's proper volume of wine?
I heard from MVRHRH"G R' Shneur Kotler ztvllh"h that the lesson is simply to seek out the positive. The issues of how great, how feeling, etc. deflect the thrust of the lesson.
Alternatively, from the point of the person being spoken about there is a proper comparison. Moshe was so humble that he considered himself no greater than even an inanimate object. (Shomati)
The Moshav Z'keinim says that Moshe would benefit from the sending of the spies, as he was to only be their leader while in the desert wilderness, and not in Eretz Yisroel. Through their sin the bnei Yisroel were destined to wander in the desert for a total of forty
years, thus extending Moshe's life and his leadership for this period of time.
In 14:34 the verse says that the bnei Yisroel were punished by having to wander in the desert at the rate of a year for each day spent spying. There are 24 hours in a day and 12 months in a year. This gives us a half of a month per hour.
The bnei Yisroel entered Eretz Yisroel on the 10th of Nison, as per Yehoshua 4:19. As well, eleven days of their stay in the desert do not count in the punishment, as that amount of time was needed for traveling through the wilderness, as is stated in Dvorim 1:2, "Eleven days of travel are required to reach Kodesh Barnei'a from Horeb, traveling by the path of Har Sei'ir." Subtracting these two amounts, we find that the bnei Yisroel tarried in the desert for a total of 39 years and 11½ months as a punishment for siding with the spies. If they were to be punished for a complete 40 days with a complete forty years, why was it reduced by ½ a month? From this Rashi concludes that for an HOUR they were righteous, reducing the time by ½ month. (Rabbi Isaac Chorif told this to his tutor at the age of eight years old.)
A) R' Aharon of Karlin answers that just as the fruits were exceptionally large, so too, the ants of Eretz Yisroel were as large as locust in other places.
B) The Holy Kotzker Rebbi asks this question and answers that this teaches us that we should not concern ourselves with what others say if we are properly fulfilling our tasks.
Rabbi Ovadioh of Bartenuroh answers that since there is an exception in the amount of flour brought to accompany the lamb of the Omer sacrifice, TWO tenths of an "eifoh" rather than the normal one tenth, we therefore enumerate the amounts accompanying the Yom Tov sacrifices. The volume of wine for libation for each type of animal never changes. Therefore there is no need to enumerate, and it suffices to say "v'yayin k'nisko."
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