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(Length: 1:09, 2 MB)

Debarim: Was Moses Pleading G-d or Scolding Israel?

Rabbi Ya'aqob Menashe
Thursday, July 27, 2017/Ab 4, 5777

אלה הדברים אשר דבר משה אל כל ישראל ב...די זהב "These are the words that Moses spoke in ... Di Zahab" (Debarim 1:1). The words Di Zahab, can be read as Dai Zahab, which mean respectively, "enough" and "gold". Rashi tells us that these are words of rebuke and Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, is listing all the places where the Children of Israel sinned.

The Gemara of Berakhoth (32a) tells us that Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, spoke to the Holy One blessed be He and said, "Master of the Universe, the silver and gold (Zahab) which you poured onto Israel, until they said "Enough!" (Dai), that is what caused them to make the golden calf".

This explanation seems to say that Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, was pleading on behalf of the Jewish people. This is the exact opposite of the explanation that it was intended as a reproach. In fact, what is taking place is that when speaking to G-d he used this in the defence of the Jewish people. However, when speaking to the Jewish people he used it as a reproach to indicate to them that they had received so much and responded by turning the gifts they received into sins against G-d.

(See Benayahu, Berakhoth 32a)

Devarim, Debarim, Parasha

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