Thursday, June 22, 2006

Meraglim and minyan - how many?

The Torah uses a double expression of 'ish echad ish echad' to describe the meraglim sent by each sheivet. Common knowledge is that one spy was sent from each sheivet; however, Tosfos (Sota 34a) cites the opinion of R' Akiva quoted in the Yerushalmi who derives from the double language that in actuality 2 spies (ish-ish) went from each sheivet for a total of 24 (R' Yishmael disagrees). The difficulty with this approach is that we learn that 10 people form a minyan from the fact that the 10 bad meraglim are called an eidah - according to R' Akiva, there were many more than 10 bad spies! (R' Akiva Eiger).


  1. Maybe Rabbi Akiva holds you need 20 for a minyan :-)

  2. my spin on this here:


  3. Anonymous9:53 PM

    You were mechavein (sort of) to R. Akiva Eiger in Sotah, who on that Tosafos cites to the first Mishna in Sanhedrin that an Eidah is ten (from which we derive 23 for a Sanhedrin ketana).

    Acc. to R. Akiva (the tanna), why does the Torah list only twelve names at the beginning of the parsha when actually 24 were sent? The Torah Temimah answers that only the important, prominent ones were mentioned by name; the less prominent remained anonymous.

    The possuk in 14:27 describes the "edah hara'ah" as those that caused Yisrael to complain to Hashem -- asher henah malinim alai. (See Rashi there -- ahswer hemah malinim -- es Yisrael alai.) So the edah ha raah were those who cause Bnei Yisrael to sin and complain to Hashem.

    Perhaps the less prominent 12 were not involved in or not responsible for causing Bnei Yisroel to complain. It is only the leaders, the chasuvim named at the the beginning of the parsha (minus Calev and Yehoshua, of course) who did so.

  4. Anonymous2:44 PM

    Tosfos in shabbos asks why does a city only need 600000(l'shitosey)to be a rshus harabim if in the midber there was also women,eruv rav etc.His teretz that we only count those explictly mentioned in the pesukim could perhaps answer here also.

  5. Anonymous9:23 AM

    Best regards from NY! » »