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).