Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Abarbanel's Survey of Moshe's Sin, pt iii

Abarbanel continues his survey of opinions on the identity Moshe's sin by Mei Merivah. (See previous segment here.)

5) That he sinned by hitting twice as opposed to once. Once would not have been a sin. This is difficult for the reason the Ibn Ezra gives -- Aharon did not even hit once, for Moshe was the one who hit. And even so, Aharon was punished.

{The same question might apply to the theory that the sin was hitting even once. And indeed, Midrash Rabba is troubled by this issue, and answers that indeed Aharon did not sin, and the pasuk later comes and praises him, retracting from the accusation, though he still was punished on account of this:

ולמה נתפש אהרן?
שנאמר: ויאמר ה' אל משה יען לא האמנתם בי.
משל לבעל חוב שבא ליטול גורנו של לוה ונטל שלו ושל שכנו.
אמר לו הלוה: אם אני חייב שכני מה חטא?
אף כך אמר משה רבנו: אני הקפדתי אהרן מה חטא?
לפיכך הכתוב מקלסו: (דברים לג) וללוי אמר תומיך ואוריך לאיש חסידך אשר נסיתו במסה.

But even without that, we can say that both were responsible for the events as they went down, and Aharon was also an actor in the events and good have int
ervened or held back Moshe.

6) Some men say that Moshe and Aharon's sin was that they did not sing praises on the water coming out of the rock, yet Israel did sing praises. And therefore Moshe and Aharon were punished that they did not enter the land in the company of Israel. And these people say that {in the next perek, Bemidbar 21}
יז אָז יָשִׁיר יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֶת-הַשִּׁירָה הַזֹּאת: עֲלִי בְאֵר, עֱנוּ-לָהּ. 17 Then sang Israel this song: Spring up, O well--sing ye unto it--
יח בְּאֵר חֲפָרוּהָ שָׂרִים, כָּרוּהָ נְדִיבֵי הָעָם, בִּמְחֹקֵק, בְּמִשְׁעֲנֹתָם; וּמִמִּדְבָּר, מַתָּנָה. 18 The well, which the princes digged, which the nobles of the people delved, with the sceptre, and with their staves. And from the wilderness to Mattanah;
יט וּמִמַּתָּנָה, נַחֲלִיאֵל; וּמִנַּחֲלִיאֵל, בָּמוֹת. 19 and from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth;
כ וּמִבָּמוֹת, הַגַּיְא אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׂדֵה מוֹאָב--רֹאשׁ, הַפִּסְגָּה; וְנִשְׁקָפָה, עַל-פְּנֵי הַיְשִׁימֹן. {פ} 20 and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the field of Moab, by the top of Pisgah, which looketh down upon the desert. {P}
that אָז יָשִׁיר יִשְׂרָאֵל and בְּאֵר חֲפָרוּהָ שָׂרִים is about this rock, and this time.

But the matter is not so, for there were many travels from Kadesh, which is in Midbar Tzin, until the well about which was the matter of the water and the song, and as Abarbanel will explain in its place.

7) From other people, who hold like Ibn Ezra wrote, that Israel said that they should bring water out of a different rock, such that we will see if "from this {other} rock we will bring out water." And Moshe was afraid to switch the word of Hashem from the rock which He has told him. And since they did not bring it out of the rock which they asked of him, they were punished. And this is the idea of lo heemantem and velo kidashtem.

And this explanation is also not correct, for the verse states meritem pi {rebelled against My Word}, and if they did {exactly} what He had commanded, they did not rebel against the Mouth of Hashem.

{We might answer metonymy, as Shadal suggested.}

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