Torah Tidbits

30 August 2014 / 4 Elul 5774
Issue 1048
Shabbat Parshat Chukat
June 13, 2013

Parsha Points to Ponder

Parsha Points to Ponder - Korach

1) Why did G-D instruct Moshe to take his staff to the rock if the command was to speak and not hit the rock (20:8)?
2) G-D tells Moshe and Aharon that they were punished for NOT TRUSTING ME TO SANCTIFY ME IN THE EYES OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL (20:12). When did Moshe and Aharon fail in this manner?
3) Why does the Torah say AND FROM THERE THEY TRAVELED regarding the Jews traveling to Nachal Zared and Eiver Arnon (21:12-13) instead of the usual AND THEY TRAVELED FROM ONE PLACE AND CAMPED IN ANOTHER (e.g. see 21:10-11)?

Parsha Points to Ponder by Rabbi Dov Lipman, MK - Rabbi Lipman is Chaver Knesset, (Yesh Atid), an educator, author .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Ponder the questions first, then see below

Suggested answers

1) The Kli Yakar teaches that G-D instructed Moshe to bring Aharon’s staff and not his own. This was the staff which sprouted flowers after the Korach dispute. This would remind the people that just like G-D caused some water to form on this inanimate staff in order to enable the flowers to grow, he could do the same from the rock.
2) The Daat Zekainim MiBaalei HaTosfot explain that Moshe and Aharon did this when they said FROM THIS ROCK CAN WE BRING FORTH WATER FOR YOU (20:10), seemingly attributing the miracle to their powers instead of saying CAN G-D WILL BRING FORTH WATER.
3) The Ohr HaChayim answers that the Torah uses different terminology since the Jews traveled to these two places after Aharon died and they no longer had the clouds of glory to lead them. Thus, they traveled on their own as the change in language indicates rather than following the movement of the clouds.

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