Thursday, June 15, 2017

how the barclay's center asifa answers chasam sofer's question on our parsha

Chasam Sofer (d"h nitma rosh) makes the interesting observation that even though  Klal Yisrael accepted the report of the mergalim and wanted to return to Egypt, they never lost their faith in Hashem.  In fact, when the people were told that Hashem disapproved of their attitude and that they were wrong, the ma'apilim did a 180 degree turn and took off for Eretz Yisrael without waiting for Moshe and the aron.  Despite the clamor of "nitna rosh v'nashuva Mitzrayma," no one actually disobeyed Hashem and left.  How do you square this apparent emunah with the acceptance of the report of the mergalim?

To anyone following news in the Jewish world during the past ,the answer is obvious.  The meraglim proved that their path was not one of rebellion -- aderaba, their path was the true ratzon Hashem. Klal Yisrael gathered in the Barclay's Center in the desert, and one by one each of the leaders, each of the meraglim, stood up and explained that Hashem wanted them to return to galus.  How can you go to Eretz Yisrael when the Torah says that there would be a 400 year galus of which only 210 years had passed?  How can you go to Eretz Yisrael when Hashem had told Moshe to ask for a 3 day leave -- no more -- from Pharoah and Mitzrayim to do avodah in the desert?   How can you go to Eretz Yisrael when the strength and might of the nations that are there shows that Hashem does not want them to be conquered yet?  When the time is right, surely Hashem will weaken those nations and taking the land will be a cakewalk.  The proofs are all there -- pesukim, Hashem's own directive, there was probably some lomdus too.  The only source that proved contrary was "vayo'el Moshe," Moshe's own desire to get to the land, as getting to the land must be part of some personal agenda on his part. 

The punchline to the story is that all those "proofs" were of course wrong and Moshe got it right.  When the people realized they had been led astray and understood what Hashem truly wanted, the regret was enormous.

To end on a more positive note, a vort from another member of the Sofer family: "Aloh na'aleh v'yarashnu osah ki yachol nuchal lah."  Why the double-language?  The message would be complete with just either the first half or the second half of the pasuk?  R' Shimon Sofer explains the pasuk as follows: "aloh na'aleh" -- we have to elevate ourselves, increase our commitment to Torah, increase our emunah, and then "yachol nuchal lah," we will be able to conquer the land. 


  1. Beautiful!

    I envisioned Korach's plaint about the tallis shekulo techeiles as an outwardly respectful letter addressed to "Rashkebeha"g Moshe ben Amram haLevi" explaining, in a few points, why the undersigned feel that his clear ruling on that tallis is incorrect, and bedecked by 253 signatures. Underneath is a postscript explaining that "whole I am appending my signature, I just want to make clear that I really nullify my opinion before that of Moshe and I am just asking for clarification", signed On ben Peles heReuvaini.

  2. So are we going to see, on the various chareidi blogs, "Please be mispallel for Harav Hagaon Hatzadick So-and-So, who spoke at the asifa, and is now suffering from a strange ailment involving his tongue, his umbilicus, and strange worms."?

    1. Halevai we would be zocheh to such open Hashgacha...