A Compilation of Selected Torah Insights,
Thought-Provoking Ideas, Homilies And
Explanations of Torah Passages
Chodesh Shevat, and passed away thirty-six days later on the seventh day of Adar. The word "eileh" has the numerical value of thirty-six, and the Torah is alluding that for thirty-six days he spoke words of
"The Jewish people did not go into exile until they had repudiated the
thirty-six ordinances in the Torah, for which the penalty is kareit -
excision." (The word "eichah" "how" - which is the opening word of the
book of Lamentations, has the numerical value of thirty-six.)
commandments in the Torah correspond to the three hundred and sixty- five days of the solar calendar and by transgressing them, one adversely affects the day corresponding to that negative commandment. (See
Moshe knew through Divine inspiration that the Jews would ultimately be
exiled for violating thirty-six negative commandments, which would
affect thirty-six days of the year. Therefore he admonished them for
Egypt.Since the sin of the golden calf took place before
Korach's rebellion, the order in the pasuk should have
precepts? In the commandments You gave on Sinai, You spoke in
singular. Thus, in the prohibition against idol making and worshipping,
You said "lo yiheyeh lecha" - "There shall not be to you [ singular] ." If
you intended this to apply to the entire populous, You should have said
"lo yiheyeh lachem" - "There shall not be to you [ plural] " (see Shemot
When Korach and his contingent fought with Moshe and Aharon, they
argued, "The entire assembly is holy and Hashem is among them. Why
do you exalt yourself over the congregation of Hashem?" They meant,
"You are no holier than anyone else since at Sinai Hashem spoke to
everyone and not only to you" (see Bamidbar 17: 3, Rashi).
Consequently, as long as the Korach rebellion had not yet occurred, Moshe's argument in defense of the Jews stood firm, and he had no grounds to rebuke them. However, when Korach proclaimed that
"Everyone is holy because everyone heard Hashem's voice at Sinai," he
refuted Moshe's defense. Hence, the Jewish people's sin then came to
the forefront, and it became necessary for Moshe to rebuke them for
making the golden calf.
superfluous. It should have just said "v'paran v'tofel" -
"and Paran and Tofel" - as in the phrase "v'lavan
vachatzeirot" - "and Lavan and Chatzeirot"?
for speaking against the manna, the incident of the spies, and making
the golden calf-without mentioning Mei Merivah-the Waters of Strife-and
the smiting of the rock, which was actually caused by their complaint,
"Why have you brought the congregation of Hashem to this
wilderness...and why did you have us ascend from Egypt to this evil
"Paran" is a reference to the spies, who were sent after they journeyed from Chazeirot and encamped in Paran (Bamidbar 12: 16). "Tophel" is a reference to the words "shetaflu" - which they spoke contemptuously regarding the manna: "our soul is disgusted with this insubstantial food (ibid. 21:5).
Consequently, it happened after the sending of the spies (Paran) and before the complaint about the manna (Tophel). Hence, with the extra word "bein" - "between" - Moshe was actually alluding to this iniquity which was committed between (the iniquities of) Paran and Tophel.
The reason Moshe did not rebuke them openly about the "mei Merivah" - "Waters of Strife" - and the smiting of the rock was that he thought they were likely to ascribe the sin to him. In reality, however, the Torah
when he was close to death in order to avoid rebuking
them again and again. How does this reconcile with the
statement of the Gemara (Bava Metzia 31a) that the
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