Vort from the Rav: Beha’alosekha

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Bamidbar 10:35

וַיְהִי בִּנְסֹעַ הָאָרֹן – So it was, when the ark set out.

We are suddenly confronted with the parashah bracketed by the inverted nuns. The letters are inverted because what follows is a story which inverted our historical process. Alas, the parashah is really one sad tale which changes Jewish history completely. The parashah of וַיְהִי בִנְסֹעַ הָאָרֹן  did not seem misplaced before the great reversal took place, before the Jews alienated God, before they fell from Him, before they had doubts and sent the spies. Indeed, it was the continuation of the great story of the final, triumphal messianic march into the Land of Israel, which was supposed to take place approximately 3,500 years ago. There would have been no need for an inverted nun at the beginning and an inverted nun at the end. The verse would have been the climax of the whole story, not an inversion. Jewish history would have taken a different course. Had Moses entered the Land of Israel, our history would never have been taken from us. The messianic era would have commenced with the conquest of the Land of Israel by Moses. (Vision and Leadership, p. 166, 171).

According to the Tanna Rebbi, these two verses constitute a book in and of itself: that there are in fact seven books of Moses instead of five (Shabbos 116a). However, these two verses in reality constitute the first and last verses of a book that Moses had yet to write regarding the victorious battles and the great salvation that would lead to the ultimate redemption. Had Moses led Israel into the Promised Land, this book would have been completed. Because Moses never entered the land, Israel’s history took a precipitous turn and all that remains are these two verses. (Birchas Yitzchak, pp. 212-213).

About Arnold Lustiger

Dr. Arnold Lustiger is a research scientist and has edited multiple volumes of the Rav's Torah, including the recently published Chumash Mesoras HaRav.

One comment

  1. Is that “Tanna Rebbe” supposed to be “Tolner Rebbe”, either Rabbi Yitzchok Twersky zt”l, the Rav’s son-in-law or his father, ie the Rav’s mechuten?

    (If I caught a typo, just correct rather than approving this comment.)

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