Vol 19.03 - Devarim 3 Spanish French Audio Video
|Hebrew Text: Chumash|
(5739) Rashi (Deut. 1:11): "May Hashem add to you a thousandfold as many as you are"
1. On the verse (Deut. 1:11):
"May the L-rd G-d of your forefathers add to you a thousandfold as many as you are, and may He bless you, as He spoke concerning you!”
Rashi cites the words:
“May… add to you a thousandfold as many as you are”
“What is (the purpose of) repeating further (in the verse): “And He will bless you, as He has spoken concerning you?” However, they (the Israelites) said to him, “Moshe, you are limiting our blessings (i.e., our numbers being multiplied only a thousandfold). The Holy One, blessed is He, already promised to Avraham (Gen. 13:16), 'so that if a man will be able to count (the dust of the earth, so will your seed be counted)!’” (Moshe) replied to them: “This (blessing of a thousandfold) is mine, but He will bless you as He spoke concerning you!”
The source of Rashi’s comment is from the Sifrei and the Midrash.
In the Sifrei, it states:
“They said to him: Our teacher, Moshe, we do not want you to bless us. The Holy One Blessed be He promised Avraham Avinu, “I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and I will make your seed like the dust of the earth" — and you set a limit to our blessing! (He answered: This is my blessing).
(The Sifrei then states an analogy of a king, which will be explained in Par. 2)
Thus did Moshe say to Israel: "May the L-rd, the G-d of your fathers, add to you, such as you are, a thousand times." This is my (blessing to you). As far as yours is concerned, (Ibid.) "and may He bless you as He spoke to you" — as the sand of the seas, and the growth of the earth, and as the fish of the ocean, and as the stars of the heavens, for a multitude”.
(The Midrash states:
“This is what they said to him: Our teacher, Moshe, The Holy One, blessed is He has not set a limit to our blessing, yet you say a thousandfold? Moshe said to them, “That which I blessed you is my blessing. This is my (blessing to you). When the Holy One Blessed be He comes. He will bless you as He spoke to you")
Broadly learning the Pshat (simple meaning) in Rashi, as well as in the Sifrei and Midrash, the claim of the Yidden was:
G-d’s blessing was without limit and that Yidden will comprise an unlimited number. Therefore, why did Moshe bless them with a blessing (“May… add to you a thousandfold as many as you are”) which has a limit, a boundary?
According to this, it is not understood:
Why did he not begin with explaining the claim of the Yidden to Moshe, like in the Sifrei and Midrash?
Especially since, it is not Rashi’s style, in his commentary, to explain the actual difficulty in the verse, but rather to immediately begin with the explanation of the words of the verse, as has been mentioned many times.
2. One must also understand (and primarily so) that which the commentators ask, “What is the purpose of Moshe’s blessing”?
The blessing of “a thousandfold” incudes and is nullified to G-d’s blessing (“as He spoke concerning you!”) which is without boundary and limitation ()?
This is even more so and a kal v’chomer from the well-known principle that ‘two hundred includes one hundred ()”.
The commentators answer this question:
However, these answers only fit according to the Sifrei and Midrash.
In the Sifrei, he cites an analogy:
“A king had many possessions and a young son, and he (the king) had to go abroad. He said: If I leave my possessions in the hand of my son, he will squander them. Therefore, I will appoint a guardian until he grows up. When grew up . . the caretaker said to him: Everything I have given you has only been of mine. What your father left for you is in keeping for you”.
From this it is understood, that G-d’s blessing is not in the same time (nor in the same standing and condition of the son) when the blessing of the guardian – Moshe – is in effect.
Similarly, It is also understood from the wording of the Midrash in the analogy, “When the king comes” and in its lesson “when G-d comes” that the two blessings are in two different times.
However, regarding Rashi, who explains the simple understanding of the verse, and who states plainly
“This (blessing of a thousandfold) is mine but He will bless you as He spoke concerning you! “
and does not even allude to one of the aforementioned explanations, it is understood that that there is a simple reason for this, according to Rashi’s explanation – one that Rashi does not even have to allude to.
3. The explanation of this is:
According to the simple understanding of the verse (even according to the homily of the Sifrei and Midrash) there is no question why Moshe limits the blessing to “a thousandfold” when G-d’s blessing was that there is no boundary and limitation to their number. For a person, as great as he is, is nevertheless a limited being.
To note, from that which has been explained at length, that from limited things (מוגבל׳דיקע זאכן) one cannot accumulate a multitude that will be without actual limitation and number. For example, the duration of time cannot be without an end and limitation. For time is comprised of minutes, hours and days etc. Therefore, it will be that one “Bli Gevul” (“boundlessness”/בלי גבול) is greater than another “boundlessness/Bli Gevul” (the Bli Gevul of hours, where each hour is comprised of many moments – compared to the Bli Gevul of moments, and so forth). There cannot be one Bli Gevul that is greater than the other Bli Gevul. See the reference there in the writings of the Tzemach Tzedek, for this is not the place to discuss it.
4. In general, plainly it is speaking in the Sifrei and Midrash (not regarding actual “boundlessness/Bli Gevul”, but) regarding an exceedingly large number. G-d’s blessing, “I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and I will make your seed like the dust of the earth” (not mentioning a number) means that they will be such an enormous multitude (ריבוי מופלג) that is very hard to count.
This is similar to the “sands of the sea” (which was the promise to Avraham Avinu, “like the sand that is at the edge of the sea”, and as the Sifrei also explains here, “like the sand of the seas”) which has number. However, its number is so exceedingly large that if one were to count it, it would be, “unable to count due to its multitude”.
This is as is proven by the verse:
“Yosef piled up grain like the sand of the sea - in great abundance, until they gave up counting it, for there were no (more) numbers”.
For although it is understood that the “food of seven years” that Yosef amassed and “put within it (i.e. each city the grain of the fields around it)” was limited. Nevertheless, it was an enormous multitude. Therefore “the accountants” gave up counting for “there were no (more) numbers”- of the numbers that accountants use.
This was (according to Sifrei and Midrash) the claim to Moshe, “a thousandfold”, is “limiting our blessings”. Moshe is limiting their blessing, and it is a much smaller number than G-d stated. A “thousandfold” can be counted.
However, in the simple understanding of the verse, this is not (such) a question. For a thousandfold times the number of Yidden, at that time, is an exceedingly enormous multitude. Therefore, Rashi does not begin his comment like the Sifrei and Midrash with “they said to him”.
However, since there is a question on the verse:
“What is (the purpose of) repeating further (in the verse): “And He will bless you, as He has spoken concerning you?”
this necessitates the reply – “However they said to him” (אלא אמרו לו), as will be explained.
5. The Yidden at that time numbered six hundred thousand men between the age of twenty and sixty years old. In addition, there were men younger than twenty and those older than sixty, as well as women and children. Therefore, the number was approximately two million. A “thousandfold” times this number is approximately two billion! According to the simple understanding of the verse, it does not make sense that one should come with a claim, “how is it that one people – only numbers two billion people”.
Moreover, and this is primary:
Normally, the word “a thousandfold” does not specifically mean a thousand. Rather it refers to many times over the amount, including even more than a thousand. One can also explain this simply, here, in Moshe’s words.
Especially, since the number of Yidden that can be on the face of the planet, is not the same number as the stars of the heavens and the dust of the earth (and the sand of the sea). For the surface area of the land of the earth, has a specific measure
(“The size of the world is six thousand Parsa'ot”. Note: where a parsa is ~2.5 miles. However, Rambam states that the circumference of the earth is twenty-four thousand “mil”. Current science has the circumference equaling 24,901 miles.)
and the area of a person is four Amot. Therefore, one can calculate and estimate how many people can exist within the entire area of the land mass of the earth. Especially since there already exists, and will exist (even in the Future) other nations, and animals, homes, fields and vineyards etc. Moreover and primarily – Yidden – who will live in their proper place (according to Torah) – in Eretz Yisroel. This is, indeed, the desired place (ארץ הצבי). However, it is only a part of the entire land mass. Therefore, it is understood that the number of people that can live in the area of the globe, is much smaller than the enormous multitude of the dust of the earth, and the sand of the sea (especially when totaled together).
In the simple understanding of the verse, the blessing, “May . . add to you a thousandfold as many as you are” does not contradict G-d’s aforementioned blessing. For the multitude in G-d’s blessing, was said as a figure of speech (a borrowed manner - דרך השאלה) not actually – like the stars of the heavens, the dust of the earth (and the sands of the sea). On the other hand, a thousandfold can also refer to (as a figure of speech) an infinite number.
However, since it again states, “and may He bless you, as He spoke concerning you!” this proves that Moshe had to add this, in response to the claim and question of the Yidden. Therefore, Rashi states that the Yidden said,
“Moshe, you are limiting our blessings. The Holy One, blessed is He, already promised to Abraham, ‘so that if a man will be able to count etc.’”.
6. On the verse,
“So that if a man will be able to count”.
“Just as it is impossible for the dust to be counted, so will your seed not be counted”.
According to this it is understood that G-d’s blessing was not that they should number as much as the dust of the earth, but rather that due to their enormous multitude they will not be counted, just like dust which is not counted. This was the Yidden’s question, “you are limiting our blessings”. Since G-d promised that it will be such a multitude that would not be normal, at all, to count, as it states,
“So will your seed not be counted”,
how can Moshe come and say a number, “a thousandfold as many as you are” - that they will indeed be counted?
Although “a thousandfold as many as you are”, can mean an enormous multitude (ריבוי עצום)
(and as aforementioned, that this could mean (as an exaggeration) even more than one thousand times more) –
it is, nevertheless, an aspect of limitation. They are counted and measured with a comparison and connection (ערך ויחס) to the number which they numbered at that time, “a thousandfold as many as you are”.
This is the difference between the Sifrei and Midrash, and Rashi:
(Which is why the Sifrei, prefaces the (latter) verse, “I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens”, to explain that even the verse, “I will make your seed like the dust of the earth” refers to the enormous multitude of this blessing).
(not the verse “like the stars of the heavens”, or “like the sands of the sea”, of which the aspect of a number is applicable, as aforementioned, but rather)
the verse “if a man will be able to count etc.,”, as aforementioned.
7. On this Moshe answered, “This (blessing of a thousandfold) is mine, but He will bless you as He spoke concerning you!”:
This blessing which he is giving is also that “(G-d) should increase” - the blessing that G-d gives. However, this blessing is “mine” - he (Moshe) is saying it. Therefore, Moshe’s blessing is seen (and therefore also said) with a limitation.
“But He (G-d) will bless you as He spoke concerning you!”. The blessing will be fulfilled as G-d blessed “concerning you”, that “if a man will be able to count etc.”
The reasoning for this is also explained in the wording of, “May… add to you a thousandfold as many as you are”:
Moshe, being a mortal, a finite being in place and in a specific time, cannot “remove” himself from limitation, from the number of Yidden “as you are”, which he actually sees and blesses them. Therefore, His blessing is “May… add to you a thousandfold as many as you are”.
This is not so in G-d’s blessing. Since G-d is not limited, at all, His promise (to Avraham) is “if a man will be able to count (the dust of the earth), so will your seed be counted”. G-d sees them, (even) at that time, how they will be in a condition of boundlessness - “if a man will be able to count etc.”
An example (however, not entirely exact) of the matter is:
G-d said the Ten Commandments to the Yidden in one utterance (בדיבור אחד). Yet afterward, each command of the same Ten Commandments was said individually.
8. From the homiletic style of Torah in Rashi's commentary (Yayina shel Torah):
It is explained in the writings of the Arizal (which this Motzai Shabbat, the fifth of Av, is his yahrzeit) on the aforementioned statement that Moshe said,
“Until now is mine, but from now on, He will bless you as He spoke concerning you”
“(The name) “Moshe” is the gematria (numerical value) of E-l Shad-dai”,
and when the letters are “milayim”/filled
(“Like this: (the name “E-l Shad-dai” written as) Alef, Lamed; Shin Dalet Yud, and adding 1 which represents the entire phrase)”
“it adds up to the gematria of “Alef” (אלף) one thousand, and this represents the Alef of Bina”.
(כי מש"ה בגימטריא א"ל שד"י, ובהיותם מליאים כזה, אל"ף למ"ד, שי"ן דל"ת יו"ד, עם הכולל, יעלו בגימטריא אלף, והיא האל"ף של בינה, כי שם הם שני שמות הנזכר, בסוד אלף בית אלף בינה. והנה כחו של משה היה עד אימא, ולכן ברכם באלף פעמים. וז"ש להם, ע"כ משלי, מכאן ואילך ויברך אתכם מבחי' אבא עילאה)
(Note: Chochmah and Bina albeit inseparable, they have individual roots in the Koach HaMaskil (the innate power of intellect), which is higher than both Sefirot and is symbolized by the word “Peleh/Wonder” which is a rearrangement of the letters of the word “Alef” and has the numerical value of one thousand. Therefore, not only is Chochmah united with the Koach HaMaskil and is alluded to by the letter Alef/Teacher, but so too Binah is drawn from that level and is also alluded to by the letter Alef”).
The power of Moshe was “until Eima” (Awe) (a reference for Bina). “Therefore he blessed them one thousand times”. Therefore, he states, “Until now is mine, but from now on, He will bless you as He spoke concerning you - from the level of Abba Ila’ah (Supernal Wisdom)”.
Even in this, one sees the correlation of the simple understanding of the verse with Pnimiyut HaTorah.
One could say that the reasoning of this is:
The aspect of boundlessness (בלי קצבה)
(according to the explanation of the Sifrei and Midrash), even though, it does not mean an actual unlimited number, but rather is a figure of speech, as aforementioned, nevertheless
refers to the aspect of “unlimited number” (אין מספר), even as a figure of speech. For it is stated in the Torah of Truth (תורת אמת), a true aspect. This means that when Torah says that Yidden will be like the stars of the heavens, and the dust of the earth and sands of the sea, an enormous multitude which is “unable to count due to its multitude”. This is because, in their root, the “unable to count” is taken from the true unlimited number (בלי מספר האמיתי). However, it is in a manner of how it descends into the world (which is limited). Therefore, this comes down in a manner of “unable to count due to its multitude”.
In other words, the limitation and number, in that which Yidden are like the stars of the heavens and the dust of the earth and sands of the sea, is not due to themselves and their aspects. Rather it is due to that which they have come down into the worlds, even until this world (בעולמות ביז בעוה״ז). Yet in truth and in Pnimiyut, their aspect (their root, Above - ) is true unlimited number (בלי מספר האמיתי).
According to this it comes out, according to the Sifrei and Midrash, that the enormous multitude of Yidden –
that they are like the stars of the heavens, the dust of the earth and sands of the sea which is “unable to count due to its multitude” -
is taken from the level of Supernal infinity (בל״ג למעלה), from the worlds of the G-dly Ein Sof, that are higher than Atzilut.
However, the limited multitude which even in common language is called “number”, has its root Above in the level of boundary (גבול), the Ten Sefirot of Atzilut.
9. Even when speaking of Yidden when they are not so much of an enormous multitude, like according to Rashi’s view, there is a difference between Moshe’s blessing and G-d’s blessing:
Since all aspects have a root Above, it is understood the root of the these two aforementioned aspects, Above, is from such a level where there is a “spiritual receptacle”/”Keli” (כלי) (Atzilut) which from there begins the aspect of division and boundary – and consequently, number. Therefore, this also descends below in actual boundary and number (even in common language).
(Whereas, from its root, as it comes from the level of “spiritual light”/”Or” which is above Keilim - in other words from the place where there are no vessels. From that level, it descends even below into an aspect of unlimited number (בלי מספר) (in relation to the world). A multitude – like the stars of the heavens, the dust of the earth and the sand of the sea).
The difference between the two manners is whether one discerns the aspect of the Keilim or not.
Accordingly, it comes out that
(Note: This is a reference to the Kabbalistic term:
This refers to the “lights” (orot) of the Sefirot (חיוהי: הן האורות), which (like souls) animate the “vessels” (kelim) of the Sefirot. They are not merely connected to G‑d: they are one with Him.
This refers to the “vessels” (kelim) of the Sefirot which emanate from G‑d (וגרמוהי: הן הכלים), and which (like bodies to souls) serve as receptors to the “lights” (orot) of the Sefirot. They are also one with Him — in them, i.e., in the Ten Sefirot of Atzilut.
they are all (one with the (infinite) Ein Sof-light, for they are) Divinity. Which is not the case in the Worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, and so on. See https://www.chabad.org/library/tanya/tanya_cdo/aid/7965/jewish/Epistle-20.htm )
In contrast, Moshe’s blessing where the aspect of boundary and number is discerned – this is from the level of Bina, from where the aspect of a Keli/vessel is discerned.
Through study in Torah regarding both manners –
(for as the Arizal said, that specifically in these latter generations is it permitted and it is a Mitzvah to reveal this wisdom, and which in our days has been revealed in Torat HaChassidut and in a manner that they should “be sustained from it“ (יתפרנסון מיניה). – Chassidut Chabad)
Which is, in general, the Ein Sof (infinite aspect) of Torah, higher from the scope of number, and in a manner of One Torah (תורה אחת), we will merit to see the time of,
“And the number of the children of Israel shall be . . which shall neither be measured nor counted”,
which will be in the Future, soon, mamosh.
MSichas Shabbat Parshat Devarim 5736
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