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Friday, July 10

The Weekly Shtikle - Pinechas

NEW FEATURE: Please see the Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup below.

After being informed of his impending death, Moshe requests of HaShem to appoint a new leader who will fill his position when he leaves this world.. He beseeches of HaShem (27:17) that B'nei Yisroel not be "like a flock of sheep with now shepherd."


Malbi"m explains that if a herd of sheep were without a shepherd, they would still consider the goat at the head their leader and follow him wherever he goes. This, however, is a inadequate form of leadership for the goat is simply one of them whom they chose to follow. They a leader who is above them, a higher being who knows what they don't know and sees what they don't see, to guide them.


This was the point Moshe was making. It would not have sufficed to appoint just anybody to fill Moshe's position. Being followed does not make one a leader. This was the error of Korach and his democratic approach to leadership. "All of the nation is holy," he claimed, "and who are you to assume the leadership?" But Moshe was not simply one of the group. He was on a higher level than the rest and thus, a true leader. He was well aware that even in his absence, B'nei Yisroel were in need of such a leader. Therefore, HaShem chose Yehoshua whom He Himself proclaimed to be a "man of spirit," an individual who had spent all his life in Moshe's footsteps and was now ready to fill his shoes.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Dikdukian: Yericho / Yereicho
Dikdukian: Achi / Achei
Al Pi Cheshbon: Counting the Judges
Al Pi Cheshbon: Probability of the Goral


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al Pi Cheshbon: Probability of the Goral

Nice try, but your math is wrong. Each Nasi's draw is not an independent event, but a conditional event.
To give you an example of your flawed reasoning: suppose you had 3 balls in a jar labeled 1, 2, and 3, and you wanted to know what the probability was of persons 1, 2 and 3 selecting the ball that corresponded to the correct person (Person 1 picking "1", then person 2 picking "2", then person 3 picking "3", IN EXACT ORDER). There are only four possible outcomes: 1,2,3 ; 1,3; 2; and 3 - since once a ball is picked incorrectly, we stop. Thus the probability is 1/4. According to your math, the probability would be 1/6, which is wrong.
Put another way, what is the probability of rolling a die twice and getting a 1, and then another 1. This is NOT the same as the probability of rolling two dice and getting two 1's, which is 1/36!! These two events are not independent; the probability is 1/11.

7/10/2009 7:04 PM  
Blogger Shtikler said...

I have to respectfully disagree. I believe yours is the math that is flawed. The fact that you choose to halt the trial when you see that the outcome will not be "true" should have no bearing on the probability.

Look at it this way: Suppose those three people in the ball example took the balls but didn't look at them and afterwards, we look to see if they chose the correct ones. Surely, there you will agree the probability is 1/6. Are you suggesting that simply changing the manner in which you conduct the same test will affect the probability? I think that's rather preposterous.

Anyway, don't take my word for it. The omnipotent Wikipedia seems to agree. The first example they give about rolling a die twice seems to be in direct contradiction to what you wrote above.

7/31/2009 2:12 AM  
Blogger Shtikler said...

Not sure why you didn't post this on Al Pi Cheshbon. Was it because I did not allow Anonymous commenting? Well, I just changed that and also posted our exchange as comments there.

7/31/2009 2:21 AM  

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