Friday, May 12, 2006
The yichus of the megadef
We have been discussing the opinion of the Ramban who held that the child of the ‘ish mitzri’ was Jewish but with a ‘pagum’ status, as opposed to the opinion of the Chachmei Tzorfas who held he was a nochri until he was megayeir. Putting aside the Litvishe lomdus for a few minutes, the Divrei Elimelech has an interesting spin on the parsha. Rashi teaches that the parsha of the mekallel took place at the same time as the parsha of the mekoshesh eitzim; in fact they were cell mates in prison together. If we assume that the mekoshesh episode took place chronologically where the parsha appears (which is the opinion of Ramban in P’ Shlach; Rashi disagrees), then both episodes of mekoshesh and mekallel occurred immediately after the story of the meraglim. Why did this issue of the mekallel not having a place in the camp only arise then? The Divrei Elimelech explains that at the time of mattan Torah, ‘paska zuhamasam’, there was a spiritual elevation of the entire people. This effectively negated the ‘pgam’ that was the result of the relationship of the “ish mitzri” with his Jewish wife. However, after the episode of the meraglim, when the nation fell from this high spiritual level, the mekallel once again faced the stigma of being a ‘pagum’ and was rejected from the camp of the tribe of Dan. Although he was Jewish, the camps were based on the familial relationship of mishpacha, which follows the father’s yichus.