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Parshas Shlach

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Parshas Shlach
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Mikoshesh Eitzim and Tzitzis. Why Are They Near Each Other?

The Rokeach answers with a Tanna D'bei Eliyahu that says, Hashem asked Moshe why was the Mikoshsesh Michalel Shabbos? Moshe didn't know. Hashem said I will answer for you. Six days a week a person wears Tefilin on his hand and head. When he see them he refrains from doing aveiros. However on Shabbos there is no Tefilin to remind him. At that point Hashem told Moshe to go out and command the Bnei Yisroel to wear Tzitzis. The pasuk says "you will see them and remember all the mitzvos of Hashem."

Kalev Refuted The Meraglim - Why Was Yehoshua Silent?

Rav Yehonasan Eibushitz says that while Kalev took an active role in refuting the Meraglim, Yehoshua was scared to take a strong stance. In last week's Parasha, Eldad and Meidad stood in the camp proclaiming their Nevua that Moshe would die and Yehoshua would lead Bnei Yisroel into Eretz Yisroel. Therefore Yehoshua felt he had no credibility to rally on behalf of going to Eretz Yisroel since this was in his interest as future leader.

Why them did Moshe send him? Explains Rav Yehonasan, that Yehoshua was known as Hoshea and not Yehoshua. Only right before the meraglim left for Eretz Yisroel did Moshe privately change his name. Moshe therefore thought that nobody would know that Hoshea was the Yehoshua who was the subject of Eldad and Meidad's nevua. Nevertheless Yehoshua was afraid that Bnei Yisroel would realize that he was Yehoshua and therefore he remained silent.

How Could The Mikoshesh Justify Chilul Shabbos For a Kiddush Hashem?

Chazal say the Mikoshesh was Michalel Shabbos in order that Bais Din will stone him to show Bnei Yisroel that although they were all going to die in the Midbar they still must keep the Torah. Rav Levi Yitzchok MiBerditchev asks, with all good intentions aside how did he justify Chilul Shabbos?

He answers that the halacha is that although it is forbidden to do any "Milacha" on Shabbos the Halacha is that "Milacha She'ein Tzarich Ligufa"; a milacha where you do not need the forbidden outcome of that particular work is only Assur MiDirabbanan. In this case the Mikoshesh who cut produce connected to the ground did not need the produce. His whole purpose was to set an example and show that Chilul Shabbos is punishable by death. Therefore he was not Michalel Shabbos Min HaTorah.

If so why was he killed? He kept his real intentions a secret so that he would be killed. The ultimate Kiddush Hashem! The ultimate Kedushas Levi!

Women Spies - Would They Have Done A Better Job?

The Kli Yakar in one pshat says Hashem preferred Moshe to send women. The women loved Eretz Yisroel and fought for it (Bnos Tzelafchad) while the men said let's go back to Mitzrayim. That's why the women were not decreed to die in the Midbar. With this he explains Hashem's say to Moshe "Shlach L'cha Anashim"; "Send for yourself men to spy." Hashem didn't trust the men but if that's what Moshe wanted to do, Hashem gave him permission.

The Kli Yakar also offers a completely opposite explanation. Since women took 9 out of 10 Kavim of speech sent down to the world they tend to speak more Lashon Hara. Therefore Hashem told Moshe send the men since they are less likely to come back with a negative report.

Nachal Eshkol

"Vayavoiyu Ad Nachal Eshkol... LaMakom Hahu Kara Nachal Eshkol Al Odos HaEshkol Asher Karsu Misham Bnei Yisrael" "They arrived at the valley of Eshkol... That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster that the Bnei Yisroel cut from there." Why in the 1st pasuk is "Eshkol" spelled without a "Vov", and in the 2nd pasuk with a "Vov"?

The Vilna Gaon answers, that an added "Vov" changes a word from singular to plural. This can be seen from the Gemorrah Sukkah (6b) that a Sukkah should have 4 walls, based on the Torah spelling the word "Basukkos" twice without a "Vov" and once with a "Vov".

Originally, the valley was called Eshkol without a "Vov" because it was named after Eshkol, the friend of Avraham, and his name is spelled in the Torah without a "Vov" (see Bereishis 14:13). When they cut from there a vine with a cluster of grapes, which in Hebrew is also called "Eshkol", there was now an additional reason to call the valley "Eshkol". Therefore, the place was now called "Eshkol", with a "Vov" because of the 2 reasons - the person and the cluster of grapes.

Netziv: Meraglim - Why Didn't Bnei Yisroel Send them From Har Sinai Before They Started Travelling?

Why only in Midbar Paran did they suddenly decide they need spies? The Netziv in Haamek Davar explains this with 2 introductions. First, the reason for the spies according to the Rambam was not to check if Eretz Yisroel was good but rather to do their "hishtadlus". They needed to plan battle strategy, find the best entry point etc. Second, Hashem treats us the way we relate to him. If we leave ourselves totally in his hands he will do miracles. If our faith is slightly lacking then Hashem lead us from behind the scenes in natural fashion.

When they were at Har Sinai they didn't need spies because they were going to march into Eretz Yisroel in miraculous fashion just like they left Mitzrayim with great miracles. After feeling the brunt of Hashem's anger for asking for meat Bnei Yisroel became scared of the open and close relationship with Hashem. They didn't want to be punished immediately for every small aveira. Therefore they want a relationship less close, a relationship of Derech HaTeva. Being so they needed to do their Hishtadlus in capturing Eretz Yisroel and therefore needed to send spies.

What Did Bnei Yisroel Do With The Big Grapes?

The Midrash in Shir HaShirm says that the grape cluster that the meraglim brought back from Eretz Yisroel supplied the Bnei Yisroel with wine for the Nesachim of the Korbonos for forty years. Rav Chaim Kanievsky says (in Taama DiKra) that this is the reason why the mitzvah of bringing Nesachim with the Korbonos is written right after the story of the Meraglim.

Daring and Courageous. Who Exactly Were The Meraglim?

In each of the 3 preceding Parshios there is a listing of the leaders of the Shevatim, with the same people mentioned each time. Why, in this Parsha, is an entirely new slate of leaders mentioned?

Rashbam says, these people were not actually Nesi'im - leaders of the Shevatim. Spying out a land was a difficult and dangerous undertaking requiring great courage. Therefore Hashem instructed Moshe to seek volunteers for the mission, and from among these he was to select the ones he deemed most suitable. The spies, then, were the select of the volunteers. The word "Nasi" derives from the word "Nasa" which means, "raised" or "elevated". Thus, the phrase "Kol Nasi Bahem" means that the heart of each one elevated him to volunteer to participate.

Alternatively, Chizkuni explains, the words, "Kol Nasi Bahem" do not mean that these people were Nesi'im; it means only that each Nasi was to select a representative from his Shevet as its emissary to explore the land.

Baal Haturim learns, the word "Heimah" - "they were" - is superfluous. Yisro advised Moshe to divide the Jews into groups, and appoint leaders over groups of 1000, groups of 100, and groups of 50. The word "Heimah" has the numerical value of 50. These spies were from among the leaders of the groups of 50.

Chasam Sofer - Ben or Bin? Connect the Dots

The word "Ben" - "son" is always written with a Segol. Why is "Yehoshua Bin Nun written with a Chirik? Chasam Sofer answers, that according to the Talmud Yerushalmi, when Hashem took away the Yud from Sarai and changed her name to Sarah, the Yud complained to Hashem: "Why was I removed from the name of a righteous woman?" Hashem comforted the Yud by telling her, " until now you were at the end of a woman's name; in the future I shall place you at the beginning of a man's name." Thus Hashem took the Yud and added it to the name Hoshea, making it Yehoshua.

However, in the name "Sarai" there were no vowels under the Yud and in the name Yehoshua there is a Sh'va under the Yud. From where did the vowel come? The word Ben - son of, usually has the vowel Segol. Hashem took away 2 dots and created a sh'va under the under the Yud in the name Yehoshua and since then, in Yehoshua's name, the word Ben has been spelled with a Chirik, one dot.

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