Category Archives: Parshat בהעלתך

Parshat בהעלתך

Parshat בהעלתך- Bamidbar 11:12 – The Nursing Father

Bamidbar – 11:12 – Did I conceive this entire people or did I give birth to it, that You say to me, “Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a suckling to the Land that You swore to its forefathers”?

Gemora: Sanhedrin 8(a): We learn in a beraita – Rabbi Simlai says this posuk is a warning to judges that they must be patient with the Congregation. To what extent? R. Hanan [some say R. Shabatai,] says: As the nursing father carrieth the sucking child.

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #9:
It is not immediately clear what is the comparison between a Congregation and a sucking child. It seems to me that this teaching comes to say that if a particular person is bothersome to the judge or causes the judge pain or speaks in an inappropriate way to the judge or acts in a brazen way. If he acts in this way or any similar fashion that troubles and pains the body and the soul, the judge should NOT say to himself “what do I need the troubles of this postion for? I’m going to quit.” Additionally, the judge should not carry anger in his heart against such a person. Rather, the judge should carry his burden and be patient with his load and accept the difficulties with love.

The comparison with the nursing parent is that just like the mother who nurses her child, even though the child bothers her sometimes and causes her pain, as children often do; nevertheless she doesn’t cast him away or distance herself from the child. Rather, the opposite is the case, she delights in the child, hugs him and then hugs him again with love and affection. In this manner should a judge act with the Congregation, even if they attack him.

On a separate note, look in posuk Bamidbar 11:15 where Moshe complains, “if You treat me like this please kill me if I find favor in your eyes and let me not see my evil”.

DBS Note: Amazingly, the word “You” that Moshe uses here to refer to G-d is written in the feminine   form.

 Rashi comments on this posuk saying that the reason Moshe referred to G-d in the feminine form is because Moshe’s strength got weak like a woman’s. Many commentators on Rashi are astounded by this comment since it attributes the weakening of strength to Moshe, while Moshe seems to be attributing the weakening of strength to G-d. It is therefore unclear how Rashi is explaining the use of the feminine “You”. Additionally, if the Torah wanted to describe weakening of strength, couldn’t it have thought of a better metaphor for weakness than “woman”?

Therefore, it appears that the description of the weakening of strength of Moshe is analogous to the weakening of strength that happens to a man during relations with his wife. With this explanation, it all makes sense. Truly the feminine attribute would apply to G-d, and the weakening of Moshe was truly great [in the collecting of his strength through his unification with G-d].

DBS Note: I do not know the source of this second drasha of the Torah Temimah’s.

Parshat בהעלתך- Bamidbar 11:16 – These and these are the words of the Living G-d

Bamidbar – 11:16 – And G-d said to Moshe, gather for Me seventy men of the elders of Israel who you know to be elders of the people and its officers; take them to the Tent of Meeting and have them stand there with you.

Gemora: Jerusalem Talmud: Sanhedrin: Chapter 11: Halacha 1: We learn in a beraita – what does the posuk in Ecclesiates (12,11) mean that says: “ The words of the wise are like spurs, and like nails well driven in are the sayings of the masters of collections.”? Masters of Collections refers to the Sanhedrin. As it says in the posuk, gather for Me seventy elders.

DBS Note: The word for ‘gather’ and the word for ‘collections’ are related. In this way we see that our posuk and the posuk in Ecclesiastes are thematically related.

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #11:
It appears that the reason for gathering a group of elders is because everything that comes out of the mouth of a single person is inherently unclear. It could be that he made a mistake and erred. This is not the case, however, with a decision that is derived by a group of wise people. Such a decision is strong, like nails well driven in. [validate this translation!] Since many deliberated over it, certainly they have plumbed its depths to bring out the true truth of the issue.

 Based on this fundamental principle, we have explained elsewhere the well-known saying, “these and these are the words of the Living G-d”. This phrase has eluded many who have tried to understand it. How can it be that this one who says “permitted” and this one who says “forbidden” are both words of the Living G-d? Isn’t the truth one or the other? That is why we explained that the intent of the saying is that it is precisely through different opinions that contradict each other that the truth of an issue is derived. It is because of this principle that we can say that “these and these are the words of the Living G-d”.

 In other words, this is exactly what G-d wanted, that there would be different opinions in order that an issue would be clarified and explained well.

DBS Note: The Torah Temimah is saying that it is only through the diversity of respected, yet differing opinions, that the truth can be derived.