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INSIGHT: The Word of Many (or Enough, or Much) MeaningsThe Prayer Bank!Onkelos Versus Rashi

A Look from On High

A Look from On High

“I begged HaShem,” Moshe continued. “PLEASE, let me cross over the Jordan, NOW!… so that at least I may see the good parts of the land – Jerusalem and the Beis HaMikdash!”

“But it was not meant to be,” Moshe continued. “HaShem silenced me as He thundered, ‘Rav Loch – Enough! Case closed!’”

“Moshe Rabbeinu!” someone in the crowd piped up. “Does this mean that after all these years of leading us, you will not even be allowed to see the Promised Land?”

Moshe responded, “Listen! Although I will not have the opportunity to step into the Holy Land, HaShem was kind enough to allow me to climb Mount Nevo, right outside Eretz Yisrael. From on top of that mountain HaShem promised me a miraculous gift of sight – not only will I see the good parts of the land, as I have requested, but I will be able to have a perfect vision of the entire Land of Israel – in all directions – north, east, west and south!”

“Wow! Sure sounds like Moshe Rabbeinu will have a built-in, powerful, state-of-the-art, super-duper, high range, telescopic telescope!”

Moshe then turned to his faithful student Yehoshua, as he continued to address the crowd, “Do not think even for a moment that you will be left as sheep without a shepherd. Hashem instructed me to pass on the leadership to Yehoshua. Indeed, he is a worthy successor to lead you into the Promised Land.”

Hi… It’s me. Benny.


Did you know that…


YES 3! 
This hardly ever happens.

Shazak insight

The Word of Many (or Enough, or Much) Meanings

Back in Parshas Chukas we mentioned a computer term called WYSIWYG, which stands for What You See Is What You Get. The words of the Torah certainly does not fit that. It’s WYSINWYGWhat You See is Not What You Get. There are sooo many hidden secrets within every single word of the Torah.

The words “Rav Lach,” in our Pasuk is a perfect example:

Notice, when HaShem says to Moshe “Rav Loch,” we simply translate it as “Enough for you.” In other words, “Stop it already… enough of your prayers.” Rashi though tells us another meaning: “Rav Lach – there is much reward for you, in the World to Come!’” So, “Rav” is translated “much.”

The Talmud (Sotah 13b) tells us another fascinating meaning of “Rav.” Think about a Rabbi – let’s call him Rabbi Yosef. In Hebrew it’s Rav Yosef. So, HaShem is telling Moshe not to worry about the future of Bnei Yisrael – since “Rav Lach,” – there is another Rav, a.k.a. Rabbi, who will lead Bnei Yisrael – it’s Yehoshua!”

Now, it makes perfect sense why the very next Pasuk talks about Moshe’s successor Yehoshua, who would lead the nation.

So, there you have it… one word Rav – meaning, “enough,” “much,” or “Rabbi.” It’s WYSINWYGWhat You See is Not What You Get.

(כט) ונשב בגיא, ר”ל שאחרי ששמע התשובה הזאת לא התפלל עוד שיכנס לארץ רק נתישבו בגי ששם היתה קבורת משה, כמ”ש ויקבר אותו בגי בארץ מואב מול בית פעור… ונקבר שם להכניע שרו של בית פעור כמ”ש חז”ל: מלבי”ם


BTW: HaShem’s response to Moshe concludes with a Pasuk that seems to be out of place. It’s “And we lived in the valley, opposite Baal Peor.” As you recall from back at the end of Parshas Balak, Baal Peor was the idol worship [Moshe Rabbeinu fought against. So here, it’s as if HaShem is telling Moshe, “Even after you pass away, you still have a job to accomplish… here! It’s to combat Avodah Zarah – idol worship!” (For more about this, refer to Shazak Parsha – in the last Parsha – Parshas V’Zos HaBrachah.)

Shazak insight

The Prayer Bank!

ואתחנן. תקט”ו תפלות עשה על זה הדבר כמנין ואתחנן אעפ”כ לא קבל הקדוש ברוך הוא תפלתו: דברים רבה

Get ready for a great question:

Why did HaShem wait for Moshe to complete 515 prayers? Why not stop him after the first? Or at least after several dozen prayers? Why wait until after prayer # 515?! Seems like a waste of some good prayers.

The lesson is clear:

There is absolutely no such thing as a “wasted” or unanswered prayer! Let us explain:

You’ve heard of a bank. There is a money bank, where people would deposit money to use at a later time; a food bank, for poor people who are hungry and have no way to feed themselves; a blood bank, where people donate blood and have it ready for a sick person in need.

And, believe it or not, there is a PRAYER BANK! Indeed, when a person prays to HaShem, and HaShem does not grant his request for whatever reason He may see fit, that person’s prayers do not go to waste. Instead, there are stored in this “prayer bank,” ready to be used at some different time for just the right person.

Perhaps that is why HaShem did not interrupt Moshe’s prayers. It’s very possible that Moshe’s 515 prayers were needed to save the Jewish people in the future. Who knows if our very existence today is thanks to Moshe Rabbeinu’s 515 prayers?

Shazak insight

Onkelos Versus Rashi

By now, you should be familiar with Rashi (1040-1104), the most famous commentary on Chumash.

How about the great translator of the Chumash called Onkelos? Well, this great Rabbi lived almost one thousand years before Rashi (35-120). He was a convert to Judaism and a member of a royal Roman family – not a combination you often come across. His translation of the Torah into Aramaic (the language of the Talmud) is known as “Targum Onkelos,” and it is printed in just about every Chumash.

There seems to be a running “argument” between Rashi and Onkelos regarding the translation of the word “Na” (נא).

Take our Pasuk, for example:

Moshe says, “Let me pass, Na, into the good land on the other side of the Jordan…”

Rashi translates, “Let me pass please….”

Onkelos translates “Let me pass now…” (BTW: doesn’t “Na” sound and look like the English word “now”?)

In this case, both translations fit beautifully. Moshe pleads to HaShem, “Let me PLEASE cross over NOW before it’s too late!”

Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

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