Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 33, v. 2: "V'ossoh" - And came - This word form is commonly found in the gemara, but seldom in Tanach. It is synonymous with "u'vo." What is the nuance of difference in meaning between these two words?

2) Ch. 33, v. 3: "Af choveiv amim kol k'doshov b'yo'decho" - Who are the "amim" and who are "k'doshov"?

3) Ch. 33, v. 19: "V'liZvulun omar smach Zvulun" - Rashi explains the repetition of the noun of direct address by Zvulun, as well as by Gad, Don, Naftoli, and Osher. They were the weakest of the tribes and this repetition of their names gave them vigour. This seems most puzzling. Rashi on the next verse d.h. "k'lovi" states that only "giborim" can live at the border, and that is why Gad had a border allotment. Rashi on Dvorim 3:18 d.h. "lifnei" clearly states that the tribes of Reuvein and Gad were the strongest and they were at the head of the army. Mosaf Rashi d.h. "v'toraf" (verse 20) also states that the people of Gad were "giborim."

4) Ch. 34, v. 5: "Va'yomos shom Moshe" - We all know that Moshe died on the 7th day of Ador. Which day of the week was it?

5) Ch. 34, v. 8: "Va'yivku vnei Yisroel es Moshe" - Rashi (Ovos d'Rebbi Noson chapter 12) notes that when Aharon died the verse describes the crying of the bnei Yisroel as "Kol beis Yisroel," which includes the women. Why not the same response here with Moshe's death?



"U'vo" simply means "and he came," while "v'ossoh" means "and he came bringing something along with him." However, it seems that all three Targumim translate "v'ossoh" as "and with Him," from the ES word form, with.


1) Rashi interprets this as "Also Hashem favours each tribe and the souls of the holy people who have passed on are concealed with Him."

2) The Rosh explains, "Even when Hashem favours the gentile nations it is only the souls of their holy ones who convert to Judaism.

3) The Chizkuni explains, "Even when Hashem favours the gentile nations and allows them to master over the bnei Yisroel, He has 'hands on control' of His holy ones" among the bnei Yisroel.


Perhaps we can differentiate between the strength of the tribe as a whole in the desert and afterwards and their ancestor Gad. Rashi might actually give us a hint to this by stating that these 5 were the weakest as shown by Yoseif's sending them as the family's representatives. From this we cannot conclude that the descendants of this tribe were also weak. (Nirreh li)


The siddur of Rav Amram Gaon says that "Tzodok Hadin" is said on Shabbos after Minchoh to honour the memory of Moshe who died on Shabbos at the time of tefillas Minchah. Rashi, in his work Hapardes Hagodol, page 56 column 3, says the same in the name of Sar Sholo-m Gaon. The Holy Zohar on Parshas Trumoh on the words "V'osiso shulchon" (Shmos 25:23) also says that Moshe left this world at the time of tefillas Mincha of Shabbos. However, Tosfos on the gemara Menachos 30a, d.h. "Mi'kan" cites this opinion but asks from the gemara Rosh Hashonoh 11a that comments on the verse 31:2, "Ben mei'oh v'esrim shonoh onochi ha'yom" that this was the day Moshe had completed 120 years of life and was to be the day of his death. From our verse we see that Moshe wrote a sefer Torah on that day, so it was obviously not on Shabbos. Tosfos goes on to say that Moshe actually died on erev Shabbos and brings proofs to support this.


1) Rashi explains that Moshe was the law-giver, and was in the main involved with the men, while Aharon was a sort of social worker, bringing peace and harmony to many households (see gemara Sanhedrin 6b), hence bringing the women to cry at his loss as well.

2) Moshe descended Hor Hohor after Aharon's death and cried. Seeing their leader cry brought ALL to cry as well. (Paa'nei'ach Rozo, Chizkuni)

3) Aharon's death came unannounced to the public. The sudden shock of his death brought about a response in all. Moshe announced his death beforehand. Forewarned is forearmed. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

4) With Aharon's death the clouds of glory which surrounded their camp dissipated. The Canaanites came to war with them. This spin-off brought all to mourn after Aharon's death. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

5) Immediately upon Moshe's death Hashem's Holy Spirit enveloped Yehoshua and was visible to all. Albeit that Yehoshua was not on Moshe's level, but nevertheless, there was some comfort at the time of his death. There was no replacement for Aharon that included a spiritual aura, although his son Eliezer took over immediately. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)



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

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