Vol 8.20 - Matot 2 Spanish French Audio Video
The connection between the request of the bnei Gad and bnei Reuvain and the claim of the Spies And the reason that Moshe nevertheless agreed that they could remain on the other side of the Jordan
1. In this week’s Parsha it is told that the descendants of Reuben and the descendants of Gad possessed much livestock and they said to “Moshe, “the land that the L-rd struck down before the congregation of Israel is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock” therefore let “this land be given to your servants as a possession. Do not bring us over the Jordan."
Moshe answered: “Should your brothers go out to war while you settle here? Why do you discourage etc.”
And he also said to them “This is what your fathers did etc.”, as will be explained.
How could they, from the outset have a supposition that they would be given “this land” for which all the Yidden fought for (געשלאגן), and they – the descendants of Gad and the descendants of Reuben – would sit it out when the other Yidden will battle in Eretz Yisroel?
The Or HaChaim haKadosh states that they averted, this very claim, by stating “the land that the L-rd struck down before the congregation of Israel” meaning that since G-d conducts the wars for the Yidden, therefore their help is not critical in the conquest of the other side of the Jordan.
However, Moshe answered them on this that “Shall your brethren go to war while you stay here?” That although it is true that G-d conducts the war, yet one must go into battle. Therefore there is no place to say that your brothers should go to war, and you should sit here.
And Moshe added to this another claim: “Why do you discourage the children of Israel from crossing over to the land etc.?”
That with your sitting out the war, that it will dishearten the other Yidden from entering Eretz Yisroel, since they will interpret that your remaining on this side of the Jordan is due to your fear of the war (and the statement “the land that the L-rd struck down” is just to cover up your fear). This will cause a weakening, also by the other Yidden.
And in continuation to this, Moshe rebuked them: “This is what your fathers did”. That even the spies dissuaded the Yidden from entering Eretz Yisroel, and he concluded: “And behold, you have now risen in place of your fathers etc.”
One must understand:
1. Since their statement “the land that the L-rd struck down” was to avert, that not only that one can conquer Eretz Yisroel, but that it will not entail any hardship, which is the opposite of the claim of the Spies, “We are unable to go up etc.” Therefore, how could Moshe compare them to the Spies, and state: “you have now risen in place of your fathers a society of sinful people etc.”- just because one could interpret that they are remaining on the eastern side of the Jordan, because they are afraid?
2. The descendants of Gad and descendants of Reuben came to Moshe with a request: “If it pleases you . . do not take us across the Jordan." Therefore it is understood that if Moshe would have said to them that he does not want to fulfill their request - that they were ready to enter Eretz Yisroel – and therefore the claim: “Why do you discourage etc.?”would have been nullified. Therefore why did not Moshe, after refusing the request - need to rebuke them and with such lengthiness and detail “This is what your fathers did” – what place is there for this rebuke?
3. After they said “We will then arm ourselves quickly”, Moshe Rabbeinu immediately agreed to this without any further rebuke etc. it therefore comes out that their remaining “here” conformed to the Supernal Intent. Therefore why do we indeed find that because of their remaining on the other side of the Jordan that they were exiled before all the other Yidden, as it states: “An inheritance may be acquired hastily in the beginning, but its end will not be blessed”?
2. One could seemingly answer, that Moshe’s claim was (not just on the reluctance to go to war, but also) on the essential aspect of their choosing for themselves another land beside Eretz Yisroel. And to this end, further claiming that the other land has an advantage over Eretz Yisroel – since it is “land suitable for livestock”.
And this is what Moshe meant by stating: “Why do you discourage the children of Israel . . This is what your fathers did” –
that just as the Spies dissuaded (themselves, and in general) the Yidden from entering Eretz Yisroel,
by saying (not just that “we are unable to go up” etc., but also) “and this is its fruit” (which they said before “However, the people who inhabit the land are mighty etc.”) – denigrating Eretz Yisroel –
that also you – descendants of Gad and the descendants of Reuben – through saying that “this land” is better than Eretz Yisroel, will prevent (themselves and) the other Yidden from going to “the land which the L-rd gave to them”.
(according to this, one can also understand, that which in his claim “This is what your fathers did etc.”, that Moshe mentioned “They went up to the Valley of Eshkol etc.” - For with this he alluded to the “cluster of grapes (Eshkol) that Bnei Yisroel cut from there“ on which the Spies said “and this is its fruit”).
According to this it is also understood that even after descendants of Gad and the descendants of Reuben said “We will then arm ourselves quickly before the children of Israel” and that Moshe acquiesced that their names are counted among the portion of the other side of the Jordan, nevertheless it was considered an undesirable aspect (as aforementioned par 1).
For since Moshe Rabbeinu’s agreement to the condition “If you arm yourselves for battle before the L-rd “was only because then it would not dissuade the other Yidden. Notwithstanding this, regarding the descendants of Gad and the descendants of Reuben themselves, that which “they dwelt outside of Eretz Yisroel” - is considered an undesirable aspect (בלתי רצוי).
Yet it is still not understood:
Moshe’s concern was not just for Yidden as a whole, but for each individual Yid. And certainly for two and a half tribes. Therefore how could he agree to an aspect that would affect the other tribes – and seemingly did not bother him that the descendants of Gad and the descendants of Reuben would not take for themselves a portion in Eretz Yisroel?
3. It states in Chassidut that the descendants of Gad and the descendants of Reuben wanted to stay on the other side of the Jordan and occupy themselves with livestock, for in the occupation of shepherding flocks, there are not so many burdens, and (also) that since they were shepherds that they would be able to connect with G-d.
This is also the reason that the Patriarchs and the Shvatim (besides Joseph) chose to be “shepherds of flocks”, in order to not be bothered with the aspects of this world, and to enable them to constantly be a vehicle for G-dliness.
According to this, the comparison of the aspect of the descendants of Gad and the descendants of Reuben to the viewpoint of the Spies, is understood – even in the Pnimiyut of the matter:
The Spies also wanted to remain in the desert – since they knew that after entering Eretz Yisroel, the Manna would cease and that they would need to rely on bread from the earth – a thing that is connected with many labors like plowing and sowing etc. Therefore, they wanted to remain in the desert, removed from the world, where even their physical food (and drink) was ‘bread from heaven’ (and water from Miriam’s well etc.)
And even though the patriarchs and the Shvatim, conducted themselves so - nevertheless for the Spies it was considered a sin, since this type of conduct had a place before Matan Torah. However after Matan Torah – where the intent of Matan Torah was to make this physical world a receptacle for G-dliness, one must deal with physical aspects to make this world an abode for G-d.
According to this, the question (in par. 2) is even stronger:
How could Moshe, indeed, agree that the descendants of Gad and the descendants of Reuben should remain on the other side of the Jordan and not enter Eretz Yisroel?
4. One can understand this by prefacing – that also after Matan Torah, the Yidden were divided into two categories:
· Those that occupy themselves with Torah study – Yoshvei Ohel
· Business people – Baalei Esek
(Who are compared to) Yissachar and Zevulun:
· Masters of Torah and
· Masters of good deeds.
Seemingly since, as aforementioned, the intent of Matan Torah is to make the world a vehicle for G-dliness, all of the Yidden should be in the category of Baalei Esek?
And the explanation of this is that in order that the Intent of “an abode for G-d” be carried out,
(For the explanation of “abode” is not just that it should be an abode for His Essence (for Himself), but also that in the abode, G-d’s Essence should be visibly revealed)
one must not only have the Avodah of fulfilling Mitzvot with physical objects, through which G-d’s Essence will be drawn down, but also Torah study, which accomplishes that the drawing down of G-d’s Essence (which comes through fulfilling Mitzvot) is revealed.
Therefore there must be “masters of Torah”. For through their Torah study, they imbue an “illumination” (ליכטיקייט) in the fulfillment of Mitzvot of the “masters of good deeds” – that the effluence of G-d’s Essence though good deeds should be visibly revealed.
However, since the effluence of G-d’s Essence is accomplished (primarily) through the (masters of) good deeds, and (the Avodah of the masters of) Torah is (primarily) to enlighten and reveal the aspect of what is accomplished through the fulfillment of Mitzvot – therefore the order was established that the masters of Torah are the minority and that the majority of the Yidden occupy themselves with “and you shall gather your grain” (ואספת דגנך).
5. And this is one of the differences between the aspect of the descendants of Gad and the descendants of Reuben, and the aspect of the Spies:
The Spies wanted that all the Yidden should remain outside of Eretz Yisroel. Therefore, this was the opposite of the Intent (היפך הכוונה).
Whereas the descendants of Gad and the descendants of Reuben who requested that (afterwards) they should remain on the other side of the Jordan, was not contrary to the Intent – since a minority of Yidden must also be in this category (קו).
Yet nevertheless, Moshe said to them: “This is what your fathers did etc.”, since the aspect of the masters of Torah is to illuminate and imbue a vitality (חיות) in the Avodah of the masters of good deeds.
As has been mentioned many times, in the explanation of the “'upper worlds' descending to the 'lower worlds' (Elyonim yordu l'Tachtonim- ירדו לתחתוניםהעליונים) - that the Yoshvei Ohel (the upper ones - עליונים) must descend to the Baalei Esek (the lower ones - תחתונים) and influence them (משפיע).
Therefore their request “Do not bring us over the Jordan” – namely to be completely isolated from Eretz Yisroel – was the opposite of the Intent.
However, afterwards – through the rebuke of Moshe Rabbeinu – when the Mesirat Nefesh
(the conquest of Eretz Yisroel, whose purpose is)
for the Avodah of Eretz Yisroel was instilled in them, as it states: “We will then arm ourselves quickly before the children of Israel”, Moshe agreed that that they should take their inheritance from the other side of the Jordan.
For through the preparedness of “We will then arm ourselves quickly” they showed that their remaining on the other side of the Jordan is (not because of their desire to isolate themselves from the world, but rather) because in the intent of making an abode for G-d in the lower realms itself, they chose the Avodah of “masters of Torah”.
After all of the aforementioned, it was nevertheless, minutely, a diverting of the true Pnimiyut of the Intent. Therefore it is considered a “An inheritance may be acquired hastily (מְבֹחֶלֶת) in the beginning, etc.” which depicts the level of “Tohu/chaos” (תהו) – the opposite of the settling of Tikun (תיקון)
For the primary and Pnimiyut intent is – the drawing down of the Lights into the receptacles – Orot b’keilim – making an abode for G-d, in the lower realms.
M’maamer s.v. uMikneh Rav 5720
MSichas Shabbat Parshat Matot- Masei 5719
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