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P. 1
Did Moses Forget?

Did Moses Forget?

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Published by Michael Pitkowsky
There are four times in the Torah that it seems that Moses wasn't able to answer a question. The rabbis disagreed whether Moses really didn't know the answer.
There are four times in the Torah that it seems that Moses wasn't able to answer a question. The rabbis disagreed whether Moses really didn't know the answer.

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Published by: Michael Pitkowsky on May 09, 2009
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06/17/2009

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Did Moses Forget Something?
I. The Stick Gatherer
 1.
 
וט
 
קרפ
 
רבדמב
:
תָבַשַה
 
םויְב
 
םיִצֵ ע
 
ֵֹקְמ
 
יִא
 
אְצְמִַ
 
רָבְדִַב
 
לֵאָרְִי
 
יֵנְ
 
יְהִַ
(
ל
) 
לֶאְ
 
ןֹרֲהַא
 
לֶאְ
 
הֶֹמ
 
לֶא
 
םיִצֵ ע
 
ֵֹקְמ
 
ותֹא
 
םיִאְצֹַה
 
ותֹא
 
יִרְקַַ
(
גל
):
הָדֵ עָה
 
לָכ
:
ול
 
הֶָ עֵ
 
הַמ
 
ַרֹפ
 
אֹל
 
יִכ
 
רָמְִַב
 
ותֹא
 
חיִַַ
(
דל
)
Numbers 15:32-34
And while the children of Israel were in the wildnerness they found a man gatheringsticks on the Shabbat. And those who found him gathering sticks brought him toMoshe and Aharon and to all the congregation. And they put him in custody becauseit was not clear what should be done to him.
2.
גיק
 
אקסיפ
 
רבדמב
 
ירפס
 
אלא
 
רמ
 
אל
 
רדמ
 
תה
 
לארי
 
תנג
,
רדמ
 
לארי
 
ינ
 
יהי
:
ללח
 
הינ
 
הנאר
 
ת
Midrash Sifrei Bamidbar, par. 113
 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness
- the verse is speakingcritically of Israel since they only observed the first Shabbat and the second one theydesecrated.
3.
דיק
 
אקסיפ
 
רבדמב
 
ירפס
 
אל
 
תמ
)
תמי
 
תמ
 
היללחמ
 
ת
 
אלה
,
ל
 
העי
 
המ
 
רפ
 
אל
 
י
 
תמי
 
התימ
 
זיא
 
 עדי
 
היה
 
אל
 
אלא
 
רפ
 
אל
 
י
 
רמל
 
דמלת
 
המ
(
די
:
דקה
 
יפמ
 
ל
 
רמאנ
 
דע
Midrash Sifrei Bamidbar, par. 114
 Because it was not clear what should be done to him
- Isn't it written,
 And those whodesecrate [the Shabbat] shall be put to death (Exodus 31:14)
? And what does theverse come to teach us,
because it was not clear 
, rather [Moshe] didn't know withwhich death to kill him until it was said to him from God.
4.
דיק
 
אקסיפ
 
רבדמב
 
ירפס
 
איקע
 
יר
 
ידימלתמ
 
רח
 
יל
 
היה
 
ינמקה
 
ןעמ
 
אקדיח
 
יר
 
רמא
 
התימ
 
זיא
 
 עדי
 
היה
 
אל
 
לא
 
התימ
 
קמ
 
המ
 
היה
 
 עדי
 
רמאייחתנ
 
אלא
[
המ
 
ידי
 
לע
]
תת
 
קמ
 
תרפ
 
התיה
 
היאר
 
תמי
 
ידי
 
לע
 
הח
 
יאז
 
ידי
 
לע
 
תז
 
םילגלגמ
 
ךל
 
ידי
 
לע
 
תית
 
קמ
.
ייח
 
Midrash Sifrei Bamidbar, par. 114
Rabbi Hidka said in the name of Shimon HaShikmoni: I had a friend who was astudent of Rabbi Akiva's and he said that Moshe knew that the gatherer was obligatedto die but he didn't know which death. It would have been fitting that the story of thegatherer had been written by Moshe but the gatherer became obligated [through hissin] that it be written by him. Therefore one gives the benefit to one who is deservingand the obligation to one who is obligated.
5.
וט
 
אקסיפ
 
אטוז
 
ירפס
 
אל
 
י
 
םירסאה
 
תי
 
רממ
:
ללקמ
 
לצא
 
החינה
 
אל
,
תא
 
חיני
 
אל
 
לא
 
התימ
 
ייח
 
אה
 
 עדי
 
המ
 
היה
 
דמלמ
,
ל
 
העי
 
המ
 
רפ
 
היה
 
אל
 
רמא
 
ןעמ
[
ל
 
נ
]
רזעילא
 
יר
.
תתימ
 
המ
 
 עדי
 
היה
...
תתימ
 
איה
 
המ
 
 עדי
 
היה
 
אל
 
התימ
 
ייח
 
אה
 
 עדי
 
המ
Midrash Sifrei Zutah, par. 15
 And they put him
- They did not put him with the blasphemer.
 In custody
- In the jail.
 Because it was not clear what should be done to him
- This teaches that Moshe knewthat he was obligated to die but he didn't know by which death. Rabbi Eliezer the sonof Shimon said that Moshe didn't know that he was obligated to die and he didn'tknow by which death...
II. Second Passover 
6.
 
ט
 
קרפ
 
רבדמב
 
חַסֶַה
 
תֹֲ עַל
 
לְָי
 
אֹלְ
 
םָדָא
 
ֶפֶנְל
 
םיִאֵמְט
 
יָה
 
רֶֲא
 
םיִָנֲא
 
יִהְיַ
(
):
אהַה
 
םוַב
 
ןֹרֲהַא
 
יֵנְפִלְ
 
הֶֹמ
 
יֵנְפִל
 
ְרְקִַ
 
אהַה
 
םוַב
 
 עַרָִנ
 
הָָל
 
םָדָא
 
ֶפֶנְל
 
םיִאֵמְט
 
נְחַנֲא
 
יָלֵא
 
הָֵהָה
 
םיִָנֲאָה
 
רְמאֹַ
(
ז
):
לֵאָרְִי
 
יֵנְב
 
ְךותְב
 
ודֲ עֹמְב
 
דָֹדְי
 
ןַבְרָק
 
תֶא
 
ִרְקַה
 
יִְלִְל פ
:
םֶָל
 
דָֹדְי
 
הֶַצְי
 
הַמ
 
הָ עְמְֶאְ
 
דְמִ ע
 
הֶֹמ
 
םֶהֵלֲא
 
רֶמאֹַ
(
ח
)
Numbers 9:6-8
And there were certain men who were defiled by the dead body of a man and theycould not observe the Pesah [offering] on that day. And they came before Moshe andAharon on that day. And those men said to him: We are defiled by the dead body of a man, why should we be penalized and not be able to bring an offering of the Lord atits proper time among the children of Israel? And Moshe said to them: Stay here andI will hear what the Lord will command concerning you.
7.
חס
 
אקסיפ
 
רבדמב
 
ירפס
 
םהל
 
י
 
םידק
 
םא
 
ל
 
רמא
 
האמט
 
םירק
 
םידק
 
ןיא
 
םהל
 
רמא
 
רמא
 
םירק
 
הי
 
אל
 
תירחא
 
םהל
 
ןיא
 
םידק
 
םירק
 
הי
 
תירחא
.
יתעמ
 
אל
 
םהל
 
Midrash Sifrei Bamidbar, par. 68
[Moses] said to them: Holy sacrifices are not offered by those who are impure. Theysaid to him: Holy sacrifices which have obligatory responsibilities are offered, holysacrifices which don't have obligatory responsibilities shouldn't be offered? He saidto them: I have never heard [concerning this].
8.
חס
 
אקסיפ
 
רבדמב
 
ירפס
 
איקע
 
יר
 
ידימלתמ
 
רח
 
יל
 
היה
 
ינמקה
 
ןעמ
 
אקדיח
'
ר
 
רמא
 
םא
 
קלחנ
 
המ
 
לע
 
חספה
 
תא
 
לא
 
אמט
 
ןיא
 
המ
 
היה
 
 עדי
 
רמא
 
ידי
 
לע
 
רמאת
 
םיאמט
 
תרפ
 
התיה
 
היאר
 
אל
 
םא
 
םהילע
 
םדה
 
קרזי
 
ידי
 
לע
 
תז
 
םילגלגמ
 
ךל
 
םהידי
 
לע
 
רמאית
 
לא
 
ז
 
אלא
 
המ
.
ייח
 
ידי
 
לע
 
הח
 
יאז
Midrash Sifrei Bamidbar, par. 68
Rabbi Hidka said in the name of Shimon HaShikmoni: I had a friend who was astudent of Rabbi Akiva's and he said that Moshe knew that impure people don't eat[the Pesah offering]. So what was the disagreement about? It was about whether theythrow the blood [of the sacrifice] or not. It would have been fitting that the story of the impure people had been written by Moshe but they deserved that it be writtenthrough them. Therefore one gives the benefit to one who is deserving and theobligation through one who is obligated.
III. The Daughters of Tzelofhad
9.
זכ
 
קרפ
 
רבדמב
 
הֶשַנְמ
 
ןֶב
 
ריִָמ
 
ןֶב
 
דָ עְלִ
 
ןֶב
 
רֶפֵח
 
ןֶב
 
דָחְפָלְצ
 
תונְב
 
הָנְַרְקִַ
(
א
)
הָכְלִמ
 
הָלְגָחְ
 
הָ עֹנ
 
הָלְחַמ
 
יָתֹנְב
 
תומְ
 
הֶֵאְ
 
ףֵסוי
 
ןֶ
 
הֶשַנְמ
 
תֹחְְִמְל
:
הָצְרִתְ
 
הָדֵ עָה
 
לָְ
 
םִאיִְַה
 
יֵנְפִלְ
 
ןֵהֹכַה
 
רָזָ עְלֶא
 
יֵנְפִלְ
 
הֶֹמ
 
יֵנְפִל
 
הָנְדֹמֲ עַַ
(
):
רֹמאֵל
 
דֵ עומ
 
לֶהֹא
 
חַתֶתַדֲ עַב
 
דָֹדְי
 
לַ ע
 
םיִדָ עוַה
 
הָדֵ עָה
 
ְךותְב
 
הָיָה
 
אֹל
 
אהְ
 
רָבְדִַב
 
תֵמ
 
ניִָא
(
ג
):
ול
 
יָה
 
אֹל
 
םיִנָ
 
תֵמ
 
ואְטֶחְ
 
יִכ
 
חַרֹק
 
הָ ֻחֲא
 
נָ
 
הָנְ
 
ןֵב
 
ול
 
ןיֵא
 
יִכ
 
וְחַְִמ
 
ְךוִמ
 
ניִָא
 
םֵ
 
 עַרָִי
 
הָָל
(
ד
):
ניִָא
 
יֵחֲא
 
ְךותְב
:
דָֹדְי
 
יֵנְפִל
 
ןָטָְִמ
 
תֶא
 
הֶֹמ
 
ֵרְקַַ
(
ה
)
Numbers 27:1-5
Then came the daughters of Tzelofhad, the son of Hefer, the son of Gilad, the son of Mikhir, the son of Menashe, of the families of Menashe the son of Yosef: and theseare the names of the daughters: Mahla, No'a, and Hogla, and Milka and Tirza. Andthey stood before Moshe, and before Elazar the priest, and before the princes and allthe congregation, by the door of the tent of meeting, saying: Our father died in thewildnerness and he was not in the group of Korah, but he died in his own sin, and hadno sons. Why should the name of our father be done away from his family just

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