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Friday, July 20

The Weekly Shtikle - Matos / Mas'ei

I suppose in light of the recent passing of HaGaon Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, zt"l, it would be fitting to quote a shtikle from his son-in-law le'iluy nishmaso, Yosef Shalom ben Avraham.

In the beginning of Perek 32, the tribes of Gad and Reuven come to Moshe and inform him that the land they had just captured from Sichon and Og is very good grazing land and that they have a lot of cattle. They then proceed to suggest that they inherit that land rather than inheriting land in Eretz Canaan. R' Chayim Kanievsky points out something very intriguing which I'm sure very few would realize. Right before B'nei Gad and B'nei Reuven request the land but after they inform Moshe of its value, there is a "samech," denoting a minor pause. Why would there be a pause in the middle of their conversation? They were talking the whole time, the conversation never shifted.
R' Chayim suggests as follows. The Yerushalmi in the first perek of Bikkurim says that one does bring bikkurim from the land of Gad and Reuven but they do not recite the viduy because it contains the phrase "ha'aretz asher nasata li", the land which You have given me, precluding a land which you took on your own as in the lands of Gad and Reuven. The half tribe of Menasheh on the other hand, even though they also reside on the other side of the Yarden, do say the viduy since they were not with Gad and Reuven in their request but the land was given to them without asking. R' Chayim suggests that Gad and Reuven were aware of this "future" halachah and therefore, they first informed Moshe of the value of the land and how it would be good for them and then they paused, hoping that Moshe would take the hint and offer the land to them so that they may recite the viduy when they bring bikkurim. After they realized that Moshe was not taking the bait, they had to ask for themselves.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Dikdukian: The Interrogative
Al Pi Cheshbon: Splitting up the Animals
AstroTorah: The Lion of the Mikdash by R' Ari Storch

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