Friday, July 13, 2018

Belated Parsha Tidbits - Parshios Matos Maasei

Since there are no Rabbi Frand shiurim on the Parsha until Elul, I would like to substitute a vort from other Rabbanim each week, rather than leaving the blog without a vort for shabbos. [Also due to a work trip I was unable to blog this last night, so its being posted on Friday from Camp M]. This week, I am attempting to repeat a vort heard from R' Eli Mansour as recorded on Same rules as usual apply - I have attempted to reproduce the vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to the maggid shiur.

In Bamidbar 32:1 the Torah tells us that the tribes of Gad and Reuven had "mikneh rav" which is literally translated as much livestock. They then recite the cities in the area of the East Bank of the Jordan and tell Moshe that it is fertile for raising livestock and they have much livestock.

The Shem M'Shmuel explains that the reason that the tribes of Gad and Reuven wanted to stay on the other side of the Jordan because it was impossible for them to leave their Rebbi - they had a great kinyan in their Rebbi, so how could they leave him on the other side of the Jordan.

The Chassam Sofer explains that the tribes wanted the land to become Israel now and they stated this with some urgency. Why? Because they loved Moshe and thought that it would be embarrassing for Moshe to be buried outside of Israel. How could the greatest leader of the Jewish people be buried outside of their homeland? So they asked - please make the land on the other side of the Jordan into Israel now.

R' Mansour also quoted the Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel which explains the names of the cities listed as being built by the tribes on the other side of the Jordan (Bamidbar 32:34-39) had specific meaning.  One of the cities is Nevo, which not coincidentally is the name of the mountain which was buried on. The Targum calls that city Beit Kevurteh D' Moshe - the location where Moshe was buried. 

R' Mansour also explained that the tribe of Gad wanted to stay with Moshe because he was responsible for their miraculous existence. R' Mansour noted that when the manna was first described in Shemos 16:31 the Torah uses the words "K'zera Gad Lavan." The Zohar explains that just like the manna was only the other side of the Jordan, so too the tribe of Gad wanted to be on the other side of the Jordan. R' Mansour also cited (without identifying the sefer specifically) that the reason that the tribe of Gad had the most sheep was because they did not eat any of the animals - they only ate manna.

R' Mansour also explained the connection with the miraculous existence from a pragmatic standpoint. The tribe of Gad had the most sheep and once they crossed over the Jordan they would have the most work - taking care of the sheep. Thus they wanted to stay on the other side of the Jordan so that they could keep learning Torah, while their sheep were miraculously attended to.

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