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Shabbat Parashat Pinchas 5780

Parashat Hashavua: Who Are the Moshlim?

Harav Yosef Carmel

We have been discussing the land captured by Sichon from Parashat Chukat, and the subject will continue through the beginning of Sefer Devarim. In general, there is a discussion with some detail into the journeys and travails of Bnei Yisrael on the eastern side of the Jordan River. First we will summarize this sojourn, then we will find the unifying theme.

A. Moshe sent messengers to the King of Edom, asking for permission to traverse his land; the request was adamantly rejected (Bamidbar 20:14-21). Hashem commanded Bnei Yisrael not to start up with Edom, and so they went around their land and arrived at the border of Moav, the Arnon Stream (Devarim 2:1-9).

B. At the border of Moav, Bnei Yisrael were commanded not to fight with Moav (Devarim 2:17-23).

C. Next, Moshe was warned not to start up with Amon either (ibid. 19).

D. Moshe called out to Sichon in peace to allow Bnei Yisrael to pass through their land. Sichon massed his troops, and Moshe leads a successful battle against Sichon and took his land, while staying away from the land of Moav and Amon (Bamidbar 21:21-25).

E. The Torah quotes the Song of “the Moshlim,” which mentions Moav’s loss in battle to Sichon (Bamidbar 21:27-30).

F. Balak tried to hire Bilam to curse Bnei Yisrael (ibid. 22:2-24:25).

G. The daughters of Moav and Midian caused members of Bnei Yisrael to sin in Shittim. Moshe was commanded to take revenge against Midian (ibid. 25:1-9; ibid.16-18).

H. The daughters of Tzlofchad firmly attempted to hold on to the inheritance of land in Eretz Yisrael due to their father (ibid. 27:1-11).

I. Moshe sent representatives of each of the tribes to take revenge against the Midianites, including killing Bilam (ibid. 31:1-8).

J. The tribes of Gad and Reuven requested to receive their portion of land in the area of Gilead, on the eastern side of the Jordan (ibid. 32:1-32).

K. Half of the tribe of Menashe also received a portion in the land on the eastern side of the Jordan (ibid. 32:40-42).  

As a means of introduction, we will look at the word moshlim, who are the people who make declarations about the cities of Sichon and their battles. In Modern Hebrew this can mean rulers, such as governors, and also can refer to writers of metaphors. Certainly these cannot be the full meanings of the word here, because then these people would not need to be highlighted in our holy Torah. We suggest that they were highly spiritual people, with some having divine inspiration and some of them being close to prophecy. One of them was actually a great prophet, who might have even been on the level of prophecy of Moshe Rabbeinu – Bilam the Sorcerer (see Sifrei, Devarim 357:10).

There is another example of a non-Jew who was close to prophecy – Elifaz HaTeimani, one of Iyov’s friends (see his introduction to his speech to Iyov – Iyov 4:12-16). To his credit, Elifaz did not claim to have clear prophecy but speaks of his divine encounter of a significant type. We will continue on this theme in future weeks.
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Dedication

We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

 

Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Yisrael ben Rivka

Refael Yitchak ben Chana

Netanel Ilan ben Sheina Tzipora

Netanel ben Sarah Zehava

Meira bat Esther

Yair Menachem ben Yehudit Chana

Rivka Reena bat Gruna Natna

Lillian bat Fortune

Yafa bat Rachel Yente

Eliezer Yosef ben Chana Liba

Ro'i Moshe Elchanan ben Gina Devra

Esther Michal bat Gitel

Yehudit Sarah bat Rachel

 

Together with all cholei Yisrael

 

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

those who fell in wars

for our homeland

 

Eretz Hemdah's beloved friends

and Members of

Eretz Hemdah's Amutah

 

Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar 10 5771

 

Rav Reuven Aberman z"l

 Tishrei 9     5776

 

Mr. Shmuel Shemesh  z"l
Sivan 17 5774

 

R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8    5776

 

Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat R’ Moshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10       5774

 

Rav Asher Wasserteil z"l

Kislev 9   5769

 

R'  Meir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l

&

Mrs. Sara Brachfeld z"l

Tevet 16 5780

  

R'  Yaakov ben Abraham & Aisha

and

Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l

 

Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13 5778

 

Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23    5777

 

Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton)

Polin z"l

Tamuz 19     5778

 

R' Abraham Klein z"l

Iyar 18 5779

 

Mina Presser z"l

 bat Harav David and Bina

24 Tammuz

and members of her family

who perished in the shoah

Al Kiddush Hashem

  

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in loving memory of
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