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August 2, 2016 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Mattot

In this week’s portion, two and a half tribes propose to build on the east bank of the Jordan (instead of further west where the other tribes are going).  Moses flips out, and is only appeased after the tribes agree to fight with the other tribes for the rest of the land.

Why is Moses so ticked off?  Arama notes that “the latter do not once mention the name of God… They attributed their future to their own physical efforts and capabilities.”

This is not consistent with the overall goal of the Hebrews’ mission.  Arama writes that “the task of the Jewish nation is to engage only in those activities of a mundane nature that further achievement of its ultimate destiny… making worldly matters into an end in themselves [] will not lead to the achievement of Israel’s purpose in taking possedsion of the holy land.”

In other words, even if the two tribes have not committed any specific sin, their mentality is not really what Moses wants out of the Jews, and seems (to Moses) likely to yield bad results in the future.

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