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Today's Daf Yomi

November 29, 2015 | ื™ืดื– ื‘ื›ืกืœื• ืชืฉืขืดื•

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Joanna Rom and Steven Goldberg in loving memory of Steve's mother Shirley "Nana" Goldberg (Sura Tema bat Chaim v'Hanka)

Sotah 34

Once the mishna mentioned the blessings and curses that were to be recited when getting into the land of Israel, the gemara sidetracks to the splitting of the Jordan upon entering the land, the spies that Moshe sent to check out the land, etc. ย Underlying these statements seems to be the idea of miracles (splitting of the sea, giant people and fruits that the spies saw in Israel), presumablyย linkingย them to the miracle of the Sotah waters.

ื•ื›ื™ื•ืŸ ืฉื ื™ื˜ื‘ืœื• ืจื’ืœื™ ื›ื”ื ื™ื ื‘ืžื™ื ื—ื–ืจื• ื”ืžื™ื ืœืื—ื•ืจื™ื”ื ืฉื ืืžืจ ื•ื›ื‘ื•ื ื ื•ืฉืื™ ื”ืืจื•ืŸ ืขื“ ื”ื™ืจื“ืŸ ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื•ื™ืขืžื“ื• ื”ืžื™ื ื”ื™ืจื“ื™ื ืžืœืžืขืœื” ืงืžื• ื ื“ ืื—ื“ ื•ื›ืžื” ื’ื•ื‘ื”ืŸ ืฉืœ ืžื™ื ืฉื ื™ื ืขืฉืจ ืžื™ืœ ืขืœ ืฉื ื™ื ืขืฉืจ ืžื™ืœ ื›ื ื’ื“ ืžื—ื ื” ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื“ื‘ืจื™ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื”

And once the feet of the priests were immersed in the water of the Jordan River, the water flowed backward, as it is stated: โ€œAnd when those carrying the Ark came to the Jordan and the feet of the priests that bore the ark were dipped in the brink of the water, for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the time of harvest; and the waters that came down from above stood, and rose up in one heapโ€ (Joshua 3:15โ€“16). And what was the height of the water? Twelve mil by twelve mil, parallel to the size of the camp of the Jewish people who were passing through the Jordan. This is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda.

ืืžืจ ืœื• ืจื‘ื™ ืืœืขื–ืจ ื‘ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ืœื“ื‘ืจื™ืš ืื“ื ืงืœ ืื• ืžื™ื ืงืœื™ื ื”ื•ื™ ืื•ืžืจ ืžื™ื ืงืœื™ื ืื ื›ืŸ ื‘ืื™ืŸ ืžื™ื ื•ืฉื•ื˜ืคื™ืŸ ืื•ืชืŸ

Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, said to him: According to your statement, does a person move faster or does water move faster? You must say that water moves faster than a person. If that is so, then before the camp of Israel crossed the river the water would come and drown them, as, after the water rose up to a height of twelve mil it then began flowing normally again.

ืืœื ืžืœืžื“ ืฉื”ื™ื• ืžื™ื ื ื’ื“ืฉื™ืŸ ื•ืขื•ืœื™ืŸ ื›ื™ืคื™ืŸ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ื™ ื›ื™ืคื™ืŸ ื™ืชืจ ืžืฉืœืฉ ืžืื•ืช ืžื™ืœ ืขื“ ืฉืจืื• ืื•ืชืŸ ื›ืœ ืžืœื›ื™ ืžื–ืจื— ื•ืžืขืจื‘ ืฉื ืืžืจ ื•ื™ื”ื™ ื›ืฉืžืข ื›ืœ ืžืœื›ื™ ื”ืืžืจื™ ืืฉืจ ื‘ืขื‘ืจ ื”ื™ืจื“ืŸ ื™ืžื” ื•ื›ืœ ืžืœื›ื™ ื”ื›ื ืขื ื™ ืืฉืจ ืขืœ ื”ื™ื ืืช ืืฉืจ ื”ื•ื‘ื™ืฉ ื”ืณ ืืช ืžื™ ื”ื™ืจื“ืŸ ืžืคื ื™ ื‘ื ื™ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืขื“ ืขื‘ืจื ื•ื™ืžืก ืœื‘ื‘ื ื•ืœื ื”ื™ื” ื‘ื ืขื•ื“ ืจื•ื— ืžืคื ื™ ื‘ื ื™ ื™ืฉืจืืœ

Rather, this teaches that the water gathered and rose in heaps upon heaps to a height of more than three hundred mil, until all the kings of the East and West saw it, as it is stated: โ€œAnd it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, that were beyond the Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, that were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan from before the children of Israel, until they were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them anymore, because of the children of Israelโ€ (Joshua 5:1).

ื•ืืฃ ืจื—ื‘ ื”ื–ื•ื ื” ืืžืจื” ืœืฉืœื•ื—ื™ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื›ื™ ืฉืžืขื ื• ืืช ืืฉืจ ื”ื•ื‘ื™ืฉ ื”ืณ ืืช ืžื™ ื™ื ืกื•ืฃ ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื•ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื ืฉืžืข ื•ื™ืžืก ืœื‘ื‘ื ื• ื•ืœื ืงืžื” ืขื•ื“ ื•ื’ื•ืณ

And even Rahab the prostitute said to Joshuaโ€™s messengers: โ€œFor we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before youโ€ (Joshua 2:10). And it is written: โ€œAnd as soon as we had heard it, our hearts melted, neither did there remain any more spirit in any man, because of youโ€ (Joshua 2:11). Evidently, the Canaanites were still terrified due to the splitting of the Red Sea, although that had taken place years earlier and in a distant location. It is understood from here how terrified they became when a similar miracle occurred close to where they lived.

ืขื•ื“ื ื‘ื™ืจื“ืŸ ืืžืจ ืœื”ื ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื“ืขื• ืขืœ ืžื” ืืชื ืขื•ื‘ืจื™ื ืืช ื”ื™ืจื“ืŸ ืขืœ ืžื ืช ืฉืชื•ืจื™ืฉื• ืืช ื™ื•ืฉื‘ื™ ื”ืืจืฅ ืžืคื ื™ื›ื ืฉื ืืžืจ ื•ื”ื•ืจืฉืชื ืืช ื›ืœ ื™ื•ืฉื‘ื™ ื”ืืจืฅ ืžืคื ื™ื›ื ื•ื’ื•ืณ ืื ืืชื ืขื•ืฉื™ืŸ ื›ืŸ ืžื•ื˜ื‘ ื•ืื ืœืื• ื‘ืื™ืŸ ืžื™ื ื•ืฉื•ื˜ืคื™ืŸ ืื•ืชื™ื›ื ืžืื™ ืื•ืชื™ื›ื ืื•ืชื™ ื•ืืชื›ื

While the Jewish people were still in the Jordan, Joshua said to them: Know for what purpose you are crossing the Jordan. It is in order to drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, as it is stated: โ€œAnd you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before youโ€ (Numbers 33:52). If you will do so, then all is well, but if not, water will come and drown otikhem. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the word otikhem? The Gemara explains: It is a combination of the words me [oti] and you [etkhem].

ืขื•ื“ื ื‘ื™ืจื“ืŸ ืืžืจ ืœื”ืŸ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื”ืจื™ืžื• ืœื›ื ืื™ืฉ ืื‘ืŸ ืื—ืช ืขืœ ืฉื›ืžื• ืœืžืกืคืจ ืฉื‘ื˜ื™ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื•ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืœืžืขืŸ ืชื”ื™ื” ื–ืืช ืื•ืช ื‘ืงืจื‘ื›ื ื›ื™ ื™ืฉืืœื•ืŸ ื‘ื ื™ื›ื ืžื—ืจ ืœืืžืจ ืžื” ื”ืื‘ื ื™ื ื”ืืœื” ืœื›ื ื•ื’ื•ืณ ืกื™ืžืŸ ืœื‘ื ื™ื ืฉืขื‘ืจื• ืื‘ื•ืช ืืช ื”ื™ืจื“ืŸ

While they were still in the Jordan, Joshua said to them: โ€œPick up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israelโ€ (Joshua 4:5). And it is written: โ€œThat this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask in time to come, saying: What do you mean by these stones?โ€ (Joshua 4:6). This will be a sign for the children that their ancestors crossed the Jordan.

ืขื•ื“ื ื‘ื™ืจื“ืŸ ืืžืจ ืœื”ืŸ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ืฉืื• ืœื›ื ืžื–ื” ืžืชื•ืš ื”ื™ืจื“ืŸ ืžืžืฆื‘ ืจื’ืœื™ ื”ื›ื”ื ื™ื ื”ื›ื™ืŸ ืฉืชื™ื ืขืฉืจื” ืื‘ื ื™ื ื•ื”ืขื‘ืจืชื ืื•ืชื ืขืžื›ื ื•ื”ื ื—ืชื ืื•ืชื ื‘ืžืœื•ืŸ ืืฉืจ ืชืœื™ื ื• ื‘ื• ื”ืœื™ืœื” ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื™ื›ื•ืœ ื‘ื›ืœ ืžืœื•ืŸ ื•ืžืœื•ืŸ ืชืœืžื•ื“ ืœื•ืžืจ ืืฉืจ ืชืœื™ื ื• ื‘ื• ื”ืœื™ืœื”

While they were still in the Jordan, Joshua said to them: โ€œTake out of the midst of the Jordan, out of the place where the priestsโ€™ feet stood, twelve stones made ready, and carry them over with you, and lay them down in the lodging place, where you shall lodge this nightโ€ (Joshua 4:3). One might have thought that they were required to place these stones at each and every lodging place where they stayed. Therefore, the verse states: โ€œWhere you shall lodge this night,โ€ meaning only on that night.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ืื‘ื ื—ืœืคืชื ื•ืจื‘ื™ ืืœื™ืขื–ืจ ื‘ืŸ ืžืชื™ื ื•ื—ื ื ื™ื ื‘ืŸ ื—ื›ื™ื ืื™ ืขืžื“ื• ืขืœ ืื•ืชืŸ ืื‘ื ื™ื ื•ืฉื™ืขืจื•ื ื›ืœ ืื—ืช ื•ืื—ืช ืฉืงื•ืœื” ื›ืืจื‘ืขื™ื ืกืื” ื•ื’ืžื™ืจื™ ื“ื˜ืขื•ื ื ื“ืžื“ืœื™ ืื™ื ื™ืฉ ืœื›ืชืคื™ื” ืชื™ืœืชื ื“ื˜ืขื•ื ื™ื” ื”ื•ื™

Rabbi Yehuda says: Abba แธคalafta, and Rabbi Eliezer ben Matya, and แธคananya ben แธคakhinai stood on those same stones that the Jewish people took from the Jordan, and they measured them and found that each and every one weighed about forty seโ€™a. And it is learned as a tradition that a load that one can lift onto his shoulders is one-third of the weight of the load that he can carry when others load it onto him.

ืžื›ืืŸ ืืชื” ืžื—ืฉื‘ ืœืืฉื›ื•ืœ ืฉื ืืžืจ ื•ื™ืฉืื”ื• ื‘ืžื•ื˜ ื‘ืฉื ื™ื ืžืžืฉืžืข ืฉื ืืžืจ ื‘ืžื•ื˜ ืื™ื ื™ ื™ื•ื“ืข ืฉื‘ืฉื ื™ื ืžื” ืชืœืžื•ื“ ืœื•ืžืจ ื‘ืฉื ื™ื ื‘ืฉื ื™ ืžื•ื˜ื•ืช

From here you can calculate the size of the cluster of grapes that the spies carried together from Eretz Yisrael, as it is stated: โ€œAnd they carried it upon a pole between twoโ€ (Numbers 13:23). From the fact that it is stated that they carried the cluster of grapes โ€œon a poleโ€ do I not know that it was carried by two people? That is the only way it can be carried on a pole. What is the meaning when the verse states: โ€œBetween twoโ€? It means that the spies carried it on two poles, and four people carried the cluster of grapes together. From here it can be deduced that the weight of the cluster was 480 seโ€™a.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฆื—ืง ื˜ื•ืจื˜ื ื™ ื•ื˜ื•ืจื˜ื ื™ ื“ื˜ื•ืจื˜ื ื™ ื”ื ื›ื™ืฆื“ ืฉืžื ื” ื ืฉืื• ืืฉื›ืœ ืื—ื“ ื ืฉื ืจื™ืžื•ืŸ ื•ืื—ื“ ื ืฉื ืชืื™ื ื” ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื•ื›ืœื‘ ืœื ื ืฉืื• ื›ืœื•ื ืื™ ื‘ืขื™ืช ืื™ืžื ืžืฉื•ื ื“ื—ืฉื™ื‘ื™ ื•ืื™ ื‘ืขื™ืช ืื™ืžื ืฉืœื ื”ื™ื• ื‘ืื•ืชื” ืขืฆื”

Rabbi Yitzแธฅak said: They were configured like upper rods of scales [turtanei] that are balanced on the lower rods of scales, i.e., there were not two but four poles. How so? Eight of the spies carried the cluster of grapes, one of them carried a pomegranate, and one carried a fig. Joshua and Caleb did not carry anything. Why did Joshua and Caleb not carry anything? If you wish, say that it is because they were more prominent than the others and it was beneath their dignity to carry such a load. And if you wish, say instead that they did not take part in the wicked counsel of the spies, as the cluster of grapes was brought by the spies to scare the people.

ืคืœื™ื’ื™ ื‘ื” ืจื‘ื™ ืืžื™ ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฆื—ืง ื ืคื—ื ื—ื“ ืืžืจ ืœื“ื‘ืจื™ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื”

ยง Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Yitzแธฅak Nappaแธฅa disagree with regard to the dispute between the tannaโ€™im as to the height of the water when the Jewish people crossed the Jordan. One says: According to the statement of Rabbi Yehuda, that the water stood at the height of twelve mil,

ื›ื—ื ื™ื™ืชืŸ ืขื‘ืจื• ืœื“ื‘ืจื™ ืจื‘ื™ ืืœืขื–ืจ ื‘ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื‘ื–ื” ืื—ืจ ื–ื” ืขื‘ืจื•

the Jewish people crossed in the same formation as they camped. It was necessary for the water to stand only twelve mil high to allow for the entire encampment to pass through the Jordan. According to the statement of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, who said the water stood at a height of over three hundred mil, the water had to reach these heights to allow for enough time for everyone to cross the Jordan, as they crossed one after the other.

ื•ื—ื“ ืืžืจ ื‘ื™ืŸ ืžืจ ื•ื‘ื™ืŸ ืžืจ ื›ื—ื ื™ื™ืชืŸ ืขื‘ืจื• ืžืจ ืกื‘ืจ ืื“ื ืงืœ ื•ืžืจ ืกื‘ืจ ืžื™ื ืงืœื™ื

And one says: According to both this Sage and that Sage, they crossed in the same formation as they camped. However, one Sage, Rabbi Yehuda, holds that a person moves faster than water, and one Sage, Rabbi Elazar son of Rabbi Shimon, holds that water moves faster than a person does.

ืฉืœื— ืœืš ืื ืฉื™ื ืืžืจ ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืฉืœื— ืœืš ืžื“ืขืชืš ื•ื›ื™ ืื“ื ื–ื” ื‘ื•ืจืจ ื—ืœืง ืจืข ืœืขืฆืžื• ื•ื”ื™ื™ื ื• ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื™ื™ื˜ื‘ ื‘ืขื™ื ื™ ื”ื“ื‘ืจ ืืžืจ ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ื‘ืขื™ื ื™ ื•ืœื ื‘ืขื™ื ื™ื• ืฉืœ ืžืงื•ื

ยง Since the Gemara mentioned the cluster of grapes that the spies brought back from Eretz Yisrael, it continues discussing the story of the spies. It is stated in the Torah that God told Moses: โ€œSend you menโ€ (Numbers 13:2). Reish Lakish says: โ€œSend youโ€ means that you should send them at your own discretion and not as a divine command. As, if it were a divine command, does a person choose a bad portion for himself? Since God knew the nature of these spies and that they would ultimately slander the land, He certainly would not have sent them Himself. And this is the meaning of that which is written in the passage where Moses retold the story of the spies: โ€œAnd it was good in my eyesโ€ (Deuteronomy 1:23), and Reish Lakish says: The implication of these words is that it seemed good โ€œin my eyes,โ€ but not in the eyes of the Omnipresent.

ื•ื™ื—ืคืจื• ืœื ื• ืืช ื”ืืจืฅ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื—ื™ื™ื ื‘ืจ ืื‘ื ืžืจื’ืœื™ื ืœื ื ืชื›ื•ื•ื ื• ืืœื ืœื‘ื•ืฉืชื” ืฉืœ ืืจืฅ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื”ื›ื ื•ื™ื—ืคืจื• ืœื ื• ืืช ื”ืืจืฅ ื•ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื”ืชื ื•ื—ืคืจื” ื”ืœื‘ื ื” ื•ื‘ื•ืฉื” ื”ื—ืžื” ื•ื’ื•ืณ

The Torah relates that the people asked Moses to send spies so โ€œthat they may search the land for usโ€ (Deuteronomy 1:22). Rabbi แธคiyya bar Abba says: When the Jewish people asked to send spies, their intention was only to shame Eretz Yisrael. It is written here: โ€œThat they may search [veyaแธฅperu] the land for us,โ€ and it is written there: โ€œThen the moon will be embarrassed [veแธฅafera], and the sun will be ashamedโ€ (Isaiah 24:23).

ื•ืืœื” ืฉืžื•ืชื ืœืžื˜ื” ืจืื•ื‘ืŸ ืฉืžื•ืข ื‘ืŸ ื–ื›ื•ืจ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฆื—ืง ื“ื‘ืจ ื–ื” ืžืกื•ืจืช ื‘ื™ื“ื™ื ื• ืžืื‘ื•ืชื™ื ื• ืžืจื’ืœื™ื ืขืœ ืฉื ืžืขืฉื™ื”ื ื ืงืจืื• ื•ืื ื• ืœื ืขืœืชื” ื‘ื™ื“ื™ื ื• ืืœื ืื—ื“ ืกืชื•ืจ ื‘ืŸ ืžื™ื›ืืœ ืกืชื•ืจ ืฉืกืชืจ ืžืขืฉื™ื• ืฉืœ ื”ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื‘ืจื•ืš ื”ื•ื ืžื™ื›ืืœ ืฉืขืฉื” ืขืฆืžื• ืžืš

The Torah states with regard to the spies: โ€œAnd these were their names: Of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccurโ€ (Numbers 13:4). Rabbi Yitzแธฅak says: This statement that follows is a tradition of ours that was passed down to us from our ancestors: The spies were named after their actions, but we have obtained the interpretation of only one name, the name of โ€œSethur the son of Michaelโ€ (Numbers 13:13). He is called Sethur, as he hid [satar] the actions of the Holy One, Blessed be He. In other words, he ignored the miracles that God performed for the Jewish people in Egypt and in the wilderness. He is called Michael, as he made Him, God, appear weak [makh] by saying that there was not enough food in the land for everyone.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืืฃ ืื ื• ื ืืžืจ ื ื—ื‘ื™ ื‘ืŸ ื•ืคืกื™ ื ื—ื‘ื™ ืฉื”ื—ื‘ื™ื ื“ื‘ืจื™ื• ืฉืœ ื”ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื‘ืจื•ืš ื”ื•ื ื•ืคืกื™ ืฉืคื™ืกืข ืขืœ ืžื“ื•ืชื™ื• ืฉืœ ื”ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื‘ืจื•ืš ื”ื•ื

Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says: We can also say an interpretation of the name: โ€œNahbi the son of Vophsiโ€ (Numbers 13:14): He is called Nahbi, as he concealed [heแธฅbi] the statement of the Holy One, Blessed be He, that the land is good, by delivering a distorted description of it. He is called Vophsi, as he stomped [pisseโ€™a] on the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be He, i.e., he did not believe in His promise to give Eretz Yisrael to the Jewish people.

ื•ื™ืขืœื• ื‘ื ื’ื‘ ื•ื™ื‘ื ืขื“ ื—ื‘ืจื•ืŸ ื•ื™ื‘ืื• ืžื‘ืขื™ ืœื™ื” ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ืžืœืžื“ ืฉืคื™ืจืฉ ื›ืœื‘ ืžืขืฆืช ืžืจื’ืœื™ื ื•ื”ืœืš ื•ื ืฉืชื˜ื— ืขืœ ืงื‘ืจื™ ืื‘ื•ืช ืืžืจ ืœื”ืŸ ืื‘ื•ืชื™ ื‘ืงืฉื• ืขืœื™ ืจื—ืžื™ื ืฉืื ืฆืœ ืžืขืฆืช ืžืจื’ืœื™ื

It is also stated with regard to the spies: โ€œAnd they went up into the south, and he came to Hebronโ€ (Numbers 13:22). Why is the phrase โ€œand he cameโ€ written in the singular form? The verse should have said: And they came. Rava says: This teaches that Caleb separated himself from the counsel of the other spies and went and prostrated himself on the graves of the forefathers in Hebron. He said to them: My forefathers, pray for mercy for me so that I will be saved from the counsel of the spies.

ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื›ื‘ืจ ื‘ืงืฉ ืžืฉื” ืขืœื™ื• ืจื—ืžื™ื ืฉื ืืžืจ ื•ื™ืงืจื ืžืฉื” ืœื”ื•ืฉืข ื‘ืŸ ื ื•ืŸ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื™ื” ื™ื•ืฉื™ืขืš ืžืขืฆืช ืžืจื’ืœื™ื ื•ื”ื™ื™ื ื• ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ืขื‘ื“ื™ ื›ืœื‘ ืขืงื‘ ื”ื™ืชื” ืจื•ื— ืื—ืจืช ืขืžื• ื•ื’ื•ืณ

The Gemara explains: Joshua did not go to the graves of the forefathers because Moses had already prayed for mercy for him, as it is stated: โ€œAnd Moses called Hoshea son of Nun Joshua [Yehoshua]โ€ (Numbers 13:16), meaning: God will save you [Ya yoshiakha] from the counsel of the spies. And this is the meaning of that which is written: โ€œBut My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and has followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land where into he wentโ€ (Numbers 14:24), which implies that Caleb changed his mind over time. Joshua, however, was opposed to the intentions of the other spies from the outset.

ื•ืฉื ืื—ื™ืžืŸ ืฉืฉื™ ื•ืชืœืžื™ ื•ื’ื•ืณ ืื—ื™ืžืŸ ืžื™ื•ืžืŸ ืฉื‘ืื—ื™ื• ืฉืฉื™ ืฉืžืฉื™ื ืืช ื”ืืจืฅ ื›ืฉื—ืชื•ืช ืชืœืžื™ ืฉืžืฉื™ื ืืช ื”ืืจืฅ ืชืœืžื™ื ืชืœืžื™ื

The verse continues to state about Hebron: โ€œAnd Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were thereโ€ (Numbers 13:22). Ahiman was called by this name because he was the most skilled [meyumman] among his brothers. Sheshai was called by his name because he would turn the land that he treaded upon into ditches [sheแธฅatot] due to his large dimensions. Talmai was called this because he would turn the land that he treaded upon into furrows upon furrows [telamim] due to his weight.

ื“ื‘ืจ ืื—ืจ ืื—ื™ืžืŸ ื‘ื ื” ืขื ืช ืฉืฉื™ ื‘ื ื” ืืœืฉ ืชืœืžื™ ื‘ื ื” ืชืœื‘ื•ืฉ ื™ืœื™ื“ื™ ื”ืขื ืง ืฉืžืขื ื™ืงื™ืŸ ื—ืžื” ื‘ืงื•ืžืชืŸ

Alternatively, their names signify another matter: Ahiman is the one who built the city of Anat. Sheshai built the city of Alush. Talmai built the city of Talbush. The verse describes them as โ€œthe children of Anakโ€ because they were so tall and large that it appeared as if they were wearing [maโ€™anikin] the sun as a necklace due to their height.

ื•ื—ื‘ืจื•ืŸ ืฉื‘ืข ืฉื ื™ื ื ื‘ื ืชื” ืžืื™ ื ื‘ื ืชื” ืื™ืœื™ืžื ื ื‘ื ืชื” ืžืžืฉ ืืคืฉืจ ืื“ื ื‘ื•ื ื” ื‘ื™ืช ืœื‘ื ื• ืงื˜ืŸ ืงื•ื“ื ืœื‘ื ื• ื’ื“ื•ืœ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื‘ื ื™ ื—ื ื›ื•ืฉ ื•ืžืฆืจื™ื ื•ื’ื•ืณ

The continuation of the verse states: โ€œNow Hebron was built seven years [shanim] before Zoan of Egypt [Mitzrayim]โ€ (Numbers 13:22). The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase โ€œwas builtโ€? If we say that it was actually built seven years before Zoan, would a person build a house for his younger son before he builds one for his older son? Canaan was the youngest son of Ham, as it is written: โ€œAnd the sons of Ham: Cush, and Mizraim, and Put, and Canaanโ€ (Genesis 10:6). How then could Hebron, a city in the land of Canaan, have been built before Zoan, a city in the land of Egypt, occupied by the descendants of Mizraim?

ืืœื ืฉื”ื™ืชื” ืžื‘ื•ื ื” ืขืœ ืื—ื“ ืžืฉื‘ืขื” ื‘ืฆื•ืขืŸ ื•ืื™ืŸ ืœืš ื˜ืจืฉื™ื ื‘ื›ืœ ืืจืฅ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื™ืชืจ ืžื—ื‘ืจื•ืŸ ืžืฉื•ื ื“ืงื‘ืจื™ ื‘ื” ืฉื™ื›ื‘ื™ ื•ืื™ืŸ ืœืš ืžืขื•ืœื” ื‘ื›ืœ ื”ืืจืฆื•ืช ื™ืชืจ ืžืืจืฅ ืžืฆืจื™ื ืฉื ืืžืจ ื›ื’ืŸ ื”ืณ ื›ืืจืฅ ืžืฆืจื™ื ื•ืื™ืŸ ืœืš ืžืขื•ืœื” ื‘ื›ืœ ืืจืฅ ืžืฆืจื™ื ื™ืชืจ ืžืฆื•ืขืŸ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื›ื™ ื”ื™ื• ื‘ืฆืขืŸ ืฉืจื™ื• ื•ืืคื™ืœื• ื”ื›ื™ ื—ื‘ืจื•ืŸ ืžื‘ื•ื ื” ืื—ื“ ืžืฉื‘ืขื” ื‘ืฆื•ืขืŸ

Rather, the meaning of the verse is that Hebron was seven times more fruitful [mevunna] than Zoan. And there is no stonier land in Eretz Yisrael than Hebron. This is evident because they would bury the dead there, just as the forefathers were buried there. This was done only in land that was not suitable for agriculture. And of all the lands, there is none of a higher quality than the land of Egypt, as it is stated: โ€œLike the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egyptโ€ (Genesis 13:10). And there was no higher-quality land in all of the land of Egypt than Zoan, as it is written with regard to Pharaohโ€™s ministers, who would certainly have lived on the finest land in the country: โ€œFor his princes are in Zoanโ€ (Isaiah 30:4). And even so, Hebron was seven times more fruitful than Zoan.

ื•ื—ื‘ืจื•ืŸ ื˜ืจืฉื™ื ื”ื•ื™ ื•ื”ื ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื™ื”ื™ ืžืงืฅ ืืจื‘ืขื™ื ืฉื ื” ื•ื™ืืžืจ ืื‘ืฉืœื•ื ืืœ ื”ืžืœืš ืืœื›ื” ื ื ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื•ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืื•ื™ื ื•ืื™ืชื™ืžื ืจื‘ื” ื‘ืจ ื‘ืจ ื—ื ืŸ ืฉื”ืœืš ืœื”ื‘ื™ื ื›ื‘ืฉื™ื ืžื—ื‘ืจื•ืŸ ื•ืชื ื™ื ืื™ืœื™ื ืžืžื•ืื‘ ื›ื‘ืฉื™ื ืžื—ื‘ืจื•ืŸ ืžื™ื ื” ืื™ื™ื“ื™ ื“ืงืœื™ืฉื ืืจืขื ืขื‘ื“ื” ืจืขื™ื ื•ืฉืžืŸ ืงื ื™ื™ื ื

The Gemara asks: But is the land in Hebron in fact stony? But isnโ€™t it written: โ€œAnd it came to pass at the end of forty years, that Absalom said to the king: I pray, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the Lord, in Hebronโ€ (IIย Samuel 15:7)? And Rav Avya says, and some say that it was Rabba bar bar แธคanan: This means that Absalom went to bring sheep specifically from Hebron. And it is taught in a baraita (Tosefta, Menaแธฅot 9:3): One must bring the choicest animals to the Temple as offerings. Rams are brought from Moab, and sheep are brought from Hebron. This indicates that Hebron has rich land where fat and healthy sheep are raised. The Gemara answers: From this very source it can be proven that Hebron is not suitable for agriculture. Since the earth there is thin, it produces only grass for grazing and fattens the livestock.

ื•ื™ืฉื‘ื• ืžืชื•ืจ ื”ืืจืฅ

The verse states: โ€œAnd they returned from spying out the land at the end of forty days.

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Sotah 34

The William Davidson Talmud | Powered by Sefaria

Sotah 34

ื•ื›ื™ื•ืŸ ืฉื ื™ื˜ื‘ืœื• ืจื’ืœื™ ื›ื”ื ื™ื ื‘ืžื™ื ื—ื–ืจื• ื”ืžื™ื ืœืื—ื•ืจื™ื”ื ืฉื ืืžืจ ื•ื›ื‘ื•ื ื ื•ืฉืื™ ื”ืืจื•ืŸ ืขื“ ื”ื™ืจื“ืŸ ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื•ื™ืขืžื“ื• ื”ืžื™ื ื”ื™ืจื“ื™ื ืžืœืžืขืœื” ืงืžื• ื ื“ ืื—ื“ ื•ื›ืžื” ื’ื•ื‘ื”ืŸ ืฉืœ ืžื™ื ืฉื ื™ื ืขืฉืจ ืžื™ืœ ืขืœ ืฉื ื™ื ืขืฉืจ ืžื™ืœ ื›ื ื’ื“ ืžื—ื ื” ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื“ื‘ืจื™ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื”

And once the feet of the priests were immersed in the water of the Jordan River, the water flowed backward, as it is stated: โ€œAnd when those carrying the Ark came to the Jordan and the feet of the priests that bore the ark were dipped in the brink of the water, for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the time of harvest; and the waters that came down from above stood, and rose up in one heapโ€ (Joshua 3:15โ€“16). And what was the height of the water? Twelve mil by twelve mil, parallel to the size of the camp of the Jewish people who were passing through the Jordan. This is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda.

ืืžืจ ืœื• ืจื‘ื™ ืืœืขื–ืจ ื‘ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ืœื“ื‘ืจื™ืš ืื“ื ืงืœ ืื• ืžื™ื ืงืœื™ื ื”ื•ื™ ืื•ืžืจ ืžื™ื ืงืœื™ื ืื ื›ืŸ ื‘ืื™ืŸ ืžื™ื ื•ืฉื•ื˜ืคื™ืŸ ืื•ืชืŸ

Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, said to him: According to your statement, does a person move faster or does water move faster? You must say that water moves faster than a person. If that is so, then before the camp of Israel crossed the river the water would come and drown them, as, after the water rose up to a height of twelve mil it then began flowing normally again.

ืืœื ืžืœืžื“ ืฉื”ื™ื• ืžื™ื ื ื’ื“ืฉื™ืŸ ื•ืขื•ืœื™ืŸ ื›ื™ืคื™ืŸ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ื™ ื›ื™ืคื™ืŸ ื™ืชืจ ืžืฉืœืฉ ืžืื•ืช ืžื™ืœ ืขื“ ืฉืจืื• ืื•ืชืŸ ื›ืœ ืžืœื›ื™ ืžื–ืจื— ื•ืžืขืจื‘ ืฉื ืืžืจ ื•ื™ื”ื™ ื›ืฉืžืข ื›ืœ ืžืœื›ื™ ื”ืืžืจื™ ืืฉืจ ื‘ืขื‘ืจ ื”ื™ืจื“ืŸ ื™ืžื” ื•ื›ืœ ืžืœื›ื™ ื”ื›ื ืขื ื™ ืืฉืจ ืขืœ ื”ื™ื ืืช ืืฉืจ ื”ื•ื‘ื™ืฉ ื”ืณ ืืช ืžื™ ื”ื™ืจื“ืŸ ืžืคื ื™ ื‘ื ื™ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืขื“ ืขื‘ืจื ื•ื™ืžืก ืœื‘ื‘ื ื•ืœื ื”ื™ื” ื‘ื ืขื•ื“ ืจื•ื— ืžืคื ื™ ื‘ื ื™ ื™ืฉืจืืœ

Rather, this teaches that the water gathered and rose in heaps upon heaps to a height of more than three hundred mil, until all the kings of the East and West saw it, as it is stated: โ€œAnd it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, that were beyond the Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, that were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan from before the children of Israel, until they were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them anymore, because of the children of Israelโ€ (Joshua 5:1).

ื•ืืฃ ืจื—ื‘ ื”ื–ื•ื ื” ืืžืจื” ืœืฉืœื•ื—ื™ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื›ื™ ืฉืžืขื ื• ืืช ืืฉืจ ื”ื•ื‘ื™ืฉ ื”ืณ ืืช ืžื™ ื™ื ืกื•ืฃ ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื•ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื ืฉืžืข ื•ื™ืžืก ืœื‘ื‘ื ื• ื•ืœื ืงืžื” ืขื•ื“ ื•ื’ื•ืณ

And even Rahab the prostitute said to Joshuaโ€™s messengers: โ€œFor we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before youโ€ (Joshua 2:10). And it is written: โ€œAnd as soon as we had heard it, our hearts melted, neither did there remain any more spirit in any man, because of youโ€ (Joshua 2:11). Evidently, the Canaanites were still terrified due to the splitting of the Red Sea, although that had taken place years earlier and in a distant location. It is understood from here how terrified they became when a similar miracle occurred close to where they lived.

ืขื•ื“ื ื‘ื™ืจื“ืŸ ืืžืจ ืœื”ื ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื“ืขื• ืขืœ ืžื” ืืชื ืขื•ื‘ืจื™ื ืืช ื”ื™ืจื“ืŸ ืขืœ ืžื ืช ืฉืชื•ืจื™ืฉื• ืืช ื™ื•ืฉื‘ื™ ื”ืืจืฅ ืžืคื ื™ื›ื ืฉื ืืžืจ ื•ื”ื•ืจืฉืชื ืืช ื›ืœ ื™ื•ืฉื‘ื™ ื”ืืจืฅ ืžืคื ื™ื›ื ื•ื’ื•ืณ ืื ืืชื ืขื•ืฉื™ืŸ ื›ืŸ ืžื•ื˜ื‘ ื•ืื ืœืื• ื‘ืื™ืŸ ืžื™ื ื•ืฉื•ื˜ืคื™ืŸ ืื•ืชื™ื›ื ืžืื™ ืื•ืชื™ื›ื ืื•ืชื™ ื•ืืชื›ื

While the Jewish people were still in the Jordan, Joshua said to them: Know for what purpose you are crossing the Jordan. It is in order to drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, as it is stated: โ€œAnd you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before youโ€ (Numbers 33:52). If you will do so, then all is well, but if not, water will come and drown otikhem. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the word otikhem? The Gemara explains: It is a combination of the words me [oti] and you [etkhem].

ืขื•ื“ื ื‘ื™ืจื“ืŸ ืืžืจ ืœื”ืŸ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื”ืจื™ืžื• ืœื›ื ืื™ืฉ ืื‘ืŸ ืื—ืช ืขืœ ืฉื›ืžื• ืœืžืกืคืจ ืฉื‘ื˜ื™ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื•ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืœืžืขืŸ ืชื”ื™ื” ื–ืืช ืื•ืช ื‘ืงืจื‘ื›ื ื›ื™ ื™ืฉืืœื•ืŸ ื‘ื ื™ื›ื ืžื—ืจ ืœืืžืจ ืžื” ื”ืื‘ื ื™ื ื”ืืœื” ืœื›ื ื•ื’ื•ืณ ืกื™ืžืŸ ืœื‘ื ื™ื ืฉืขื‘ืจื• ืื‘ื•ืช ืืช ื”ื™ืจื“ืŸ

While they were still in the Jordan, Joshua said to them: โ€œPick up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israelโ€ (Joshua 4:5). And it is written: โ€œThat this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask in time to come, saying: What do you mean by these stones?โ€ (Joshua 4:6). This will be a sign for the children that their ancestors crossed the Jordan.

ืขื•ื“ื ื‘ื™ืจื“ืŸ ืืžืจ ืœื”ืŸ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ืฉืื• ืœื›ื ืžื–ื” ืžืชื•ืš ื”ื™ืจื“ืŸ ืžืžืฆื‘ ืจื’ืœื™ ื”ื›ื”ื ื™ื ื”ื›ื™ืŸ ืฉืชื™ื ืขืฉืจื” ืื‘ื ื™ื ื•ื”ืขื‘ืจืชื ืื•ืชื ืขืžื›ื ื•ื”ื ื—ืชื ืื•ืชื ื‘ืžืœื•ืŸ ืืฉืจ ืชืœื™ื ื• ื‘ื• ื”ืœื™ืœื” ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื™ื›ื•ืœ ื‘ื›ืœ ืžืœื•ืŸ ื•ืžืœื•ืŸ ืชืœืžื•ื“ ืœื•ืžืจ ืืฉืจ ืชืœื™ื ื• ื‘ื• ื”ืœื™ืœื”

While they were still in the Jordan, Joshua said to them: โ€œTake out of the midst of the Jordan, out of the place where the priestsโ€™ feet stood, twelve stones made ready, and carry them over with you, and lay them down in the lodging place, where you shall lodge this nightโ€ (Joshua 4:3). One might have thought that they were required to place these stones at each and every lodging place where they stayed. Therefore, the verse states: โ€œWhere you shall lodge this night,โ€ meaning only on that night.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ืื‘ื ื—ืœืคืชื ื•ืจื‘ื™ ืืœื™ืขื–ืจ ื‘ืŸ ืžืชื™ื ื•ื—ื ื ื™ื ื‘ืŸ ื—ื›ื™ื ืื™ ืขืžื“ื• ืขืœ ืื•ืชืŸ ืื‘ื ื™ื ื•ืฉื™ืขืจื•ื ื›ืœ ืื—ืช ื•ืื—ืช ืฉืงื•ืœื” ื›ืืจื‘ืขื™ื ืกืื” ื•ื’ืžื™ืจื™ ื“ื˜ืขื•ื ื ื“ืžื“ืœื™ ืื™ื ื™ืฉ ืœื›ืชืคื™ื” ืชื™ืœืชื ื“ื˜ืขื•ื ื™ื” ื”ื•ื™

Rabbi Yehuda says: Abba แธคalafta, and Rabbi Eliezer ben Matya, and แธคananya ben แธคakhinai stood on those same stones that the Jewish people took from the Jordan, and they measured them and found that each and every one weighed about forty seโ€™a. And it is learned as a tradition that a load that one can lift onto his shoulders is one-third of the weight of the load that he can carry when others load it onto him.

ืžื›ืืŸ ืืชื” ืžื—ืฉื‘ ืœืืฉื›ื•ืœ ืฉื ืืžืจ ื•ื™ืฉืื”ื• ื‘ืžื•ื˜ ื‘ืฉื ื™ื ืžืžืฉืžืข ืฉื ืืžืจ ื‘ืžื•ื˜ ืื™ื ื™ ื™ื•ื“ืข ืฉื‘ืฉื ื™ื ืžื” ืชืœืžื•ื“ ืœื•ืžืจ ื‘ืฉื ื™ื ื‘ืฉื ื™ ืžื•ื˜ื•ืช

From here you can calculate the size of the cluster of grapes that the spies carried together from Eretz Yisrael, as it is stated: โ€œAnd they carried it upon a pole between twoโ€ (Numbers 13:23). From the fact that it is stated that they carried the cluster of grapes โ€œon a poleโ€ do I not know that it was carried by two people? That is the only way it can be carried on a pole. What is the meaning when the verse states: โ€œBetween twoโ€? It means that the spies carried it on two poles, and four people carried the cluster of grapes together. From here it can be deduced that the weight of the cluster was 480 seโ€™a.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฆื—ืง ื˜ื•ืจื˜ื ื™ ื•ื˜ื•ืจื˜ื ื™ ื“ื˜ื•ืจื˜ื ื™ ื”ื ื›ื™ืฆื“ ืฉืžื ื” ื ืฉืื• ืืฉื›ืœ ืื—ื“ ื ืฉื ืจื™ืžื•ืŸ ื•ืื—ื“ ื ืฉื ืชืื™ื ื” ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื•ื›ืœื‘ ืœื ื ืฉืื• ื›ืœื•ื ืื™ ื‘ืขื™ืช ืื™ืžื ืžืฉื•ื ื“ื—ืฉื™ื‘ื™ ื•ืื™ ื‘ืขื™ืช ืื™ืžื ืฉืœื ื”ื™ื• ื‘ืื•ืชื” ืขืฆื”

Rabbi Yitzแธฅak said: They were configured like upper rods of scales [turtanei] that are balanced on the lower rods of scales, i.e., there were not two but four poles. How so? Eight of the spies carried the cluster of grapes, one of them carried a pomegranate, and one carried a fig. Joshua and Caleb did not carry anything. Why did Joshua and Caleb not carry anything? If you wish, say that it is because they were more prominent than the others and it was beneath their dignity to carry such a load. And if you wish, say instead that they did not take part in the wicked counsel of the spies, as the cluster of grapes was brought by the spies to scare the people.

ืคืœื™ื’ื™ ื‘ื” ืจื‘ื™ ืืžื™ ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฆื—ืง ื ืคื—ื ื—ื“ ืืžืจ ืœื“ื‘ืจื™ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื”

ยง Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Yitzแธฅak Nappaแธฅa disagree with regard to the dispute between the tannaโ€™im as to the height of the water when the Jewish people crossed the Jordan. One says: According to the statement of Rabbi Yehuda, that the water stood at the height of twelve mil,

ื›ื—ื ื™ื™ืชืŸ ืขื‘ืจื• ืœื“ื‘ืจื™ ืจื‘ื™ ืืœืขื–ืจ ื‘ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื‘ื–ื” ืื—ืจ ื–ื” ืขื‘ืจื•

the Jewish people crossed in the same formation as they camped. It was necessary for the water to stand only twelve mil high to allow for the entire encampment to pass through the Jordan. According to the statement of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, who said the water stood at a height of over three hundred mil, the water had to reach these heights to allow for enough time for everyone to cross the Jordan, as they crossed one after the other.

ื•ื—ื“ ืืžืจ ื‘ื™ืŸ ืžืจ ื•ื‘ื™ืŸ ืžืจ ื›ื—ื ื™ื™ืชืŸ ืขื‘ืจื• ืžืจ ืกื‘ืจ ืื“ื ืงืœ ื•ืžืจ ืกื‘ืจ ืžื™ื ืงืœื™ื

And one says: According to both this Sage and that Sage, they crossed in the same formation as they camped. However, one Sage, Rabbi Yehuda, holds that a person moves faster than water, and one Sage, Rabbi Elazar son of Rabbi Shimon, holds that water moves faster than a person does.

ืฉืœื— ืœืš ืื ืฉื™ื ืืžืจ ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืฉืœื— ืœืš ืžื“ืขืชืš ื•ื›ื™ ืื“ื ื–ื” ื‘ื•ืจืจ ื—ืœืง ืจืข ืœืขืฆืžื• ื•ื”ื™ื™ื ื• ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื™ื™ื˜ื‘ ื‘ืขื™ื ื™ ื”ื“ื‘ืจ ืืžืจ ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ื‘ืขื™ื ื™ ื•ืœื ื‘ืขื™ื ื™ื• ืฉืœ ืžืงื•ื

ยง Since the Gemara mentioned the cluster of grapes that the spies brought back from Eretz Yisrael, it continues discussing the story of the spies. It is stated in the Torah that God told Moses: โ€œSend you menโ€ (Numbers 13:2). Reish Lakish says: โ€œSend youโ€ means that you should send them at your own discretion and not as a divine command. As, if it were a divine command, does a person choose a bad portion for himself? Since God knew the nature of these spies and that they would ultimately slander the land, He certainly would not have sent them Himself. And this is the meaning of that which is written in the passage where Moses retold the story of the spies: โ€œAnd it was good in my eyesโ€ (Deuteronomy 1:23), and Reish Lakish says: The implication of these words is that it seemed good โ€œin my eyes,โ€ but not in the eyes of the Omnipresent.

ื•ื™ื—ืคืจื• ืœื ื• ืืช ื”ืืจืฅ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื—ื™ื™ื ื‘ืจ ืื‘ื ืžืจื’ืœื™ื ืœื ื ืชื›ื•ื•ื ื• ืืœื ืœื‘ื•ืฉืชื” ืฉืœ ืืจืฅ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื”ื›ื ื•ื™ื—ืคืจื• ืœื ื• ืืช ื”ืืจืฅ ื•ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื”ืชื ื•ื—ืคืจื” ื”ืœื‘ื ื” ื•ื‘ื•ืฉื” ื”ื—ืžื” ื•ื’ื•ืณ

The Torah relates that the people asked Moses to send spies so โ€œthat they may search the land for usโ€ (Deuteronomy 1:22). Rabbi แธคiyya bar Abba says: When the Jewish people asked to send spies, their intention was only to shame Eretz Yisrael. It is written here: โ€œThat they may search [veyaแธฅperu] the land for us,โ€ and it is written there: โ€œThen the moon will be embarrassed [veแธฅafera], and the sun will be ashamedโ€ (Isaiah 24:23).

ื•ืืœื” ืฉืžื•ืชื ืœืžื˜ื” ืจืื•ื‘ืŸ ืฉืžื•ืข ื‘ืŸ ื–ื›ื•ืจ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฆื—ืง ื“ื‘ืจ ื–ื” ืžืกื•ืจืช ื‘ื™ื“ื™ื ื• ืžืื‘ื•ืชื™ื ื• ืžืจื’ืœื™ื ืขืœ ืฉื ืžืขืฉื™ื”ื ื ืงืจืื• ื•ืื ื• ืœื ืขืœืชื” ื‘ื™ื“ื™ื ื• ืืœื ืื—ื“ ืกืชื•ืจ ื‘ืŸ ืžื™ื›ืืœ ืกืชื•ืจ ืฉืกืชืจ ืžืขืฉื™ื• ืฉืœ ื”ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื‘ืจื•ืš ื”ื•ื ืžื™ื›ืืœ ืฉืขืฉื” ืขืฆืžื• ืžืš

The Torah states with regard to the spies: โ€œAnd these were their names: Of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccurโ€ (Numbers 13:4). Rabbi Yitzแธฅak says: This statement that follows is a tradition of ours that was passed down to us from our ancestors: The spies were named after their actions, but we have obtained the interpretation of only one name, the name of โ€œSethur the son of Michaelโ€ (Numbers 13:13). He is called Sethur, as he hid [satar] the actions of the Holy One, Blessed be He. In other words, he ignored the miracles that God performed for the Jewish people in Egypt and in the wilderness. He is called Michael, as he made Him, God, appear weak [makh] by saying that there was not enough food in the land for everyone.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืืฃ ืื ื• ื ืืžืจ ื ื—ื‘ื™ ื‘ืŸ ื•ืคืกื™ ื ื—ื‘ื™ ืฉื”ื—ื‘ื™ื ื“ื‘ืจื™ื• ืฉืœ ื”ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื‘ืจื•ืš ื”ื•ื ื•ืคืกื™ ืฉืคื™ืกืข ืขืœ ืžื“ื•ืชื™ื• ืฉืœ ื”ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื‘ืจื•ืš ื”ื•ื

Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says: We can also say an interpretation of the name: โ€œNahbi the son of Vophsiโ€ (Numbers 13:14): He is called Nahbi, as he concealed [heแธฅbi] the statement of the Holy One, Blessed be He, that the land is good, by delivering a distorted description of it. He is called Vophsi, as he stomped [pisseโ€™a] on the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be He, i.e., he did not believe in His promise to give Eretz Yisrael to the Jewish people.

ื•ื™ืขืœื• ื‘ื ื’ื‘ ื•ื™ื‘ื ืขื“ ื—ื‘ืจื•ืŸ ื•ื™ื‘ืื• ืžื‘ืขื™ ืœื™ื” ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ืžืœืžื“ ืฉืคื™ืจืฉ ื›ืœื‘ ืžืขืฆืช ืžืจื’ืœื™ื ื•ื”ืœืš ื•ื ืฉืชื˜ื— ืขืœ ืงื‘ืจื™ ืื‘ื•ืช ืืžืจ ืœื”ืŸ ืื‘ื•ืชื™ ื‘ืงืฉื• ืขืœื™ ืจื—ืžื™ื ืฉืื ืฆืœ ืžืขืฆืช ืžืจื’ืœื™ื

It is also stated with regard to the spies: โ€œAnd they went up into the south, and he came to Hebronโ€ (Numbers 13:22). Why is the phrase โ€œand he cameโ€ written in the singular form? The verse should have said: And they came. Rava says: This teaches that Caleb separated himself from the counsel of the other spies and went and prostrated himself on the graves of the forefathers in Hebron. He said to them: My forefathers, pray for mercy for me so that I will be saved from the counsel of the spies.

ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื›ื‘ืจ ื‘ืงืฉ ืžืฉื” ืขืœื™ื• ืจื—ืžื™ื ืฉื ืืžืจ ื•ื™ืงืจื ืžืฉื” ืœื”ื•ืฉืข ื‘ืŸ ื ื•ืŸ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื™ื” ื™ื•ืฉื™ืขืš ืžืขืฆืช ืžืจื’ืœื™ื ื•ื”ื™ื™ื ื• ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ืขื‘ื“ื™ ื›ืœื‘ ืขืงื‘ ื”ื™ืชื” ืจื•ื— ืื—ืจืช ืขืžื• ื•ื’ื•ืณ

The Gemara explains: Joshua did not go to the graves of the forefathers because Moses had already prayed for mercy for him, as it is stated: โ€œAnd Moses called Hoshea son of Nun Joshua [Yehoshua]โ€ (Numbers 13:16), meaning: God will save you [Ya yoshiakha] from the counsel of the spies. And this is the meaning of that which is written: โ€œBut My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and has followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land where into he wentโ€ (Numbers 14:24), which implies that Caleb changed his mind over time. Joshua, however, was opposed to the intentions of the other spies from the outset.

ื•ืฉื ืื—ื™ืžืŸ ืฉืฉื™ ื•ืชืœืžื™ ื•ื’ื•ืณ ืื—ื™ืžืŸ ืžื™ื•ืžืŸ ืฉื‘ืื—ื™ื• ืฉืฉื™ ืฉืžืฉื™ื ืืช ื”ืืจืฅ ื›ืฉื—ืชื•ืช ืชืœืžื™ ืฉืžืฉื™ื ืืช ื”ืืจืฅ ืชืœืžื™ื ืชืœืžื™ื

The verse continues to state about Hebron: โ€œAnd Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were thereโ€ (Numbers 13:22). Ahiman was called by this name because he was the most skilled [meyumman] among his brothers. Sheshai was called by his name because he would turn the land that he treaded upon into ditches [sheแธฅatot] due to his large dimensions. Talmai was called this because he would turn the land that he treaded upon into furrows upon furrows [telamim] due to his weight.

ื“ื‘ืจ ืื—ืจ ืื—ื™ืžืŸ ื‘ื ื” ืขื ืช ืฉืฉื™ ื‘ื ื” ืืœืฉ ืชืœืžื™ ื‘ื ื” ืชืœื‘ื•ืฉ ื™ืœื™ื“ื™ ื”ืขื ืง ืฉืžืขื ื™ืงื™ืŸ ื—ืžื” ื‘ืงื•ืžืชืŸ

Alternatively, their names signify another matter: Ahiman is the one who built the city of Anat. Sheshai built the city of Alush. Talmai built the city of Talbush. The verse describes them as โ€œthe children of Anakโ€ because they were so tall and large that it appeared as if they were wearing [maโ€™anikin] the sun as a necklace due to their height.

ื•ื—ื‘ืจื•ืŸ ืฉื‘ืข ืฉื ื™ื ื ื‘ื ืชื” ืžืื™ ื ื‘ื ืชื” ืื™ืœื™ืžื ื ื‘ื ืชื” ืžืžืฉ ืืคืฉืจ ืื“ื ื‘ื•ื ื” ื‘ื™ืช ืœื‘ื ื• ืงื˜ืŸ ืงื•ื“ื ืœื‘ื ื• ื’ื“ื•ืœ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื‘ื ื™ ื—ื ื›ื•ืฉ ื•ืžืฆืจื™ื ื•ื’ื•ืณ

The continuation of the verse states: โ€œNow Hebron was built seven years [shanim] before Zoan of Egypt [Mitzrayim]โ€ (Numbers 13:22). The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase โ€œwas builtโ€? If we say that it was actually built seven years before Zoan, would a person build a house for his younger son before he builds one for his older son? Canaan was the youngest son of Ham, as it is written: โ€œAnd the sons of Ham: Cush, and Mizraim, and Put, and Canaanโ€ (Genesis 10:6). How then could Hebron, a city in the land of Canaan, have been built before Zoan, a city in the land of Egypt, occupied by the descendants of Mizraim?

ืืœื ืฉื”ื™ืชื” ืžื‘ื•ื ื” ืขืœ ืื—ื“ ืžืฉื‘ืขื” ื‘ืฆื•ืขืŸ ื•ืื™ืŸ ืœืš ื˜ืจืฉื™ื ื‘ื›ืœ ืืจืฅ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื™ืชืจ ืžื—ื‘ืจื•ืŸ ืžืฉื•ื ื“ืงื‘ืจื™ ื‘ื” ืฉื™ื›ื‘ื™ ื•ืื™ืŸ ืœืš ืžืขื•ืœื” ื‘ื›ืœ ื”ืืจืฆื•ืช ื™ืชืจ ืžืืจืฅ ืžืฆืจื™ื ืฉื ืืžืจ ื›ื’ืŸ ื”ืณ ื›ืืจืฅ ืžืฆืจื™ื ื•ืื™ืŸ ืœืš ืžืขื•ืœื” ื‘ื›ืœ ืืจืฅ ืžืฆืจื™ื ื™ืชืจ ืžืฆื•ืขืŸ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื›ื™ ื”ื™ื• ื‘ืฆืขืŸ ืฉืจื™ื• ื•ืืคื™ืœื• ื”ื›ื™ ื—ื‘ืจื•ืŸ ืžื‘ื•ื ื” ืื—ื“ ืžืฉื‘ืขื” ื‘ืฆื•ืขืŸ

Rather, the meaning of the verse is that Hebron was seven times more fruitful [mevunna] than Zoan. And there is no stonier land in Eretz Yisrael than Hebron. This is evident because they would bury the dead there, just as the forefathers were buried there. This was done only in land that was not suitable for agriculture. And of all the lands, there is none of a higher quality than the land of Egypt, as it is stated: โ€œLike the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egyptโ€ (Genesis 13:10). And there was no higher-quality land in all of the land of Egypt than Zoan, as it is written with regard to Pharaohโ€™s ministers, who would certainly have lived on the finest land in the country: โ€œFor his princes are in Zoanโ€ (Isaiah 30:4). And even so, Hebron was seven times more fruitful than Zoan.

ื•ื—ื‘ืจื•ืŸ ื˜ืจืฉื™ื ื”ื•ื™ ื•ื”ื ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื™ื”ื™ ืžืงืฅ ืืจื‘ืขื™ื ืฉื ื” ื•ื™ืืžืจ ืื‘ืฉืœื•ื ืืœ ื”ืžืœืš ืืœื›ื” ื ื ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื•ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืื•ื™ื ื•ืื™ืชื™ืžื ืจื‘ื” ื‘ืจ ื‘ืจ ื—ื ืŸ ืฉื”ืœืš ืœื”ื‘ื™ื ื›ื‘ืฉื™ื ืžื—ื‘ืจื•ืŸ ื•ืชื ื™ื ืื™ืœื™ื ืžืžื•ืื‘ ื›ื‘ืฉื™ื ืžื—ื‘ืจื•ืŸ ืžื™ื ื” ืื™ื™ื“ื™ ื“ืงืœื™ืฉื ืืจืขื ืขื‘ื“ื” ืจืขื™ื ื•ืฉืžืŸ ืงื ื™ื™ื ื

The Gemara asks: But is the land in Hebron in fact stony? But isnโ€™t it written: โ€œAnd it came to pass at the end of forty years, that Absalom said to the king: I pray, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the Lord, in Hebronโ€ (IIย Samuel 15:7)? And Rav Avya says, and some say that it was Rabba bar bar แธคanan: This means that Absalom went to bring sheep specifically from Hebron. And it is taught in a baraita (Tosefta, Menaแธฅot 9:3): One must bring the choicest animals to the Temple as offerings. Rams are brought from Moab, and sheep are brought from Hebron. This indicates that Hebron has rich land where fat and healthy sheep are raised. The Gemara answers: From this very source it can be proven that Hebron is not suitable for agriculture. Since the earth there is thin, it produces only grass for grazing and fattens the livestock.

ื•ื™ืฉื‘ื• ืžืชื•ืจ ื”ืืจืฅ

The verse states: โ€œAnd they returned from spying out the land at the end of forty days.

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