Numbers 20
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1  The Israelites arrived in a body at the wilderness of Zin on the first new moon, and the people stayed at Kadesh. Miriam died there and was buried there.

א  וַיָּבֹאוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל כָּל־הָעֵדָה מִדְבַּר־צִן בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן וַיֵּשֶׁב הָעָם בְּקָדֵשׁ וַתָּמָת שָׁם מִרְיָם וַתִּקָּבֵר שָׁם׃

2  The community was without water, and they joined against Moshe and Aharon.

ב  וְלֹא־הָיָה מַיִם לָעֵדָה וַיִּקָּהֲלוּ עַל־מֹשֶׁה וְעַל־אַהֲרֹן׃

3  The people quarreled with Moshe, saying, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished at the instance of Hashem!

ג  וַיָּרֶב הָעָם עִם־מֹשֶׁה וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֵאמֹר וְלוּ גָוַעְנוּ בִּגְוַע אַחֵינוּ לִפְנֵי יְהוָה׃

4  Why have you brought Hashem’s congregation into this wilderness for us and our beasts to die there?

ד  וְלָמָה הֲבֵאתֶם אֶת־קְהַל יְהוָה אֶל־הַמִּדְבָּר הַזֶּה לָמוּת שָׁם אֲנַחְנוּ וּבְעִירֵנוּ׃

5  Why did you make us leave Egypt to bring us to this wretched place, a place with no grain or figs or vines or pomegranates? There is not even water to drink!”

ה  וְלָמָה הֶעֱלִיתֻנוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם לְהָבִיא אֹתָנוּ אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם הָרָע הַזֶּה לֹא מְקוֹם זֶרַע וּתְאֵנָה וְגֶפֶן וְרִמּוֹן וּמַיִם אַיִן לִשְׁתּוֹת׃

6  Moshe and Aharon came away from the congregation to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and fell on their faces. The Presence of Hashem appeared to them,

ו  וַיָּבֹא מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן מִפְּנֵי הַקָּהָל אֶל־פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וַיִּפְּלוּ עַל־פְּנֵיהֶם וַיֵּרָא כְבוֹד־יְהוָה אֲלֵיהֶם׃

7  and Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying,

ז  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃

8  “You and your brother Aharon take the rod and assemble the community, and before their very eyes order the rock to yield its water. Thus you shall produce water for them from the rock and provide drink for the congregation and their beasts.”

ח  קַח אֶת־הַמַּטֶּה וְהַקְהֵל אֶת־הָעֵדָה אַתָּה וְאַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ וְדִבַּרְתֶּם אֶל־הַסֶּלַע לְעֵינֵיהֶם וְנָתַן מֵימָיו וְהוֹצֵאתָ לָהֶם מַיִם מִן־הַסֶּלַע וְהִשְׁקִיתָ אֶת־הָעֵדָה וְאֶת־בְּעִירָם׃

9  Moshe took the rod from before Hashem, as He had commanded him.

ט  וַיִּקַּח מֹשֶׁה אֶת־הַמַּטֶּה מִלִּפְנֵי יְהוָה כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּהוּ׃

10  Moshe and Aharon assembled the congregation in front of the rock; and he said to them, “Listen, you rebels, shall we get water for you out of this rock?”

י  וַיַּקְהִלוּ מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן אֶת־הַקָּהָל אֶל־פְּנֵי הַסָּלַע וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם שִׁמְעוּ־נָא הַמֹּרִים הֲמִן־הַסֶּלַע הַזֶּה נוֹצִיא לָכֶם מָיִם׃

11  And Moshe raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod. Out came copious water, and the community and their beasts drank.

יא  וַיָּרֶם מֹשֶׁה אֶת־יָדוֹ וַיַּךְ אֶת־הַסֶּלַע בְּמַטֵּהוּ פַּעֲמָיִם וַיֵּצְאוּ מַיִם רַבִּים וַתֵּשְׁתְּ הָעֵדָה וּבְעִירָם׃

12  But Hashem said to Moshe and Aharon, “Because you did not trust Me enough to affirm My sanctity in the sight of B’nei Yisrael, therefore you shall not lead this congregation into the land that I have given them.”

va-YO-mer a-do-NAI el mo-SHEH v’-el a-ha-RON YA-an lo he-e-man-TEM BEE l’-HAK-dee-SHAY-nee l’-ay-NAY b’-NAY yis-ra-AYL la-KHAYN LO ta-VEE-u et ha-ka-HAL ha-ZEH el ha-A-retz a-sher na-TA-tee la-HEM

יב  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל־אַהֲרֹן יַעַן לֹא־הֶאֱמַנְתֶּם בִּי לְהַקְדִּישֵׁנִי לְעֵינֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לָכֵן לֹא תָבִיאוּ אֶת־הַקָּהָל הַזֶּה אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־נָתַתִּי לָהֶם׃

20:12   Because you did not trust Me

The account of Moshe hitting the rock to get water for his people is one of the most perplexing stories in the entire Bible. Hashem tells him to speak to the rock in order to bring forth water, but Moshe hits the rock instead and is punished by being prevented from entering the Land of Israel, “because you did not trust Me enough to affirm My sanctity in the sight of the B’nei Yisrael.” What could be so terrible about hitting the rock instead of speaking to it? One explanation, given by Rashi, is that while Moshe understood that the water flowing from the rock was God’s doing, he did not make this sufficiently clear to the rest of the Children of Israel. Instead of hitting the rock, which implied that it was his own power that brought forth the water, Moshe should have spoken to it.  By failing to do this, he missed an opportunity to attribute greatness to Hashem. It is not enough for us to recognize Hashem in our lives or within history; we have a duty to make sure others recognize Him as well.1 comment

13  Those are the Waters of Meribah—meaning that the Israelites quarrelled with Hashem—through which He affirmed His sanctity.

יג  הֵמָּה מֵי מְרִיבָה אֲשֶׁר־רָבוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־יְהוָה וַיִּקָּדֵשׁ בָּם׃

14  From Kadesh, Moshe sent messengers to the king of Edom: “Thus says your brother Yisrael: You know all the hardships that have befallen us;

יד  וַיִּשְׁלַח מֹשֶׁה מַלְאָכִים מִקָּדֵשׁ אֶל־מֶלֶךְ אֱדוֹם כֹּה אָמַר אָחִיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל אַתָּה יָדַעְתָּ אֵת כָּל־הַתְּלָאָה אֲשֶׁר מְצָאָתְנוּ׃

15  that our ancestors went down to Egypt, that we dwelt in Egypt a long time, and that the Egyptians dealt harshly with us and our ancestors.

טו  וַיֵּרְדוּ אֲבֹתֵינוּ מִצְרַיְמָה וַנֵּשֶׁב בְּמִצְרַיִם יָמִים רַבִּים וַיָּרֵעוּ לָנוּ מִצְרַיִם וְלַאֲבֹתֵינוּ׃

16  We cried to Hashem and He heard our plea, and He sent a messenger who freed us from Egypt. Now we are in Kadesh, the town on the border of your territory.

טז  וַנִּצְעַק אֶל־יְהוָה וַיִּשְׁמַע קֹלֵנוּ וַיִּשְׁלַח מַלְאָךְ וַיֹּצִאֵנוּ מִמִּצְרָיִם וְהִנֵּה אֲנַחְנוּ בְקָדֵשׁ עִיר קְצֵה גְבוּלֶךָ׃

17  Allow us, then, to cross your country. We will not pass through fields or vineyards, and we will not drink water from wells. We will follow the king’s highway, turning off neither to the right nor to the left until we have crossed your territory.”

יז  נַעְבְּרָה־נָּא בְאַרְצֶךָ לֹא נַעֲבֹר בְּשָׂדֶה וּבְכֶרֶם וְלֹא נִשְׁתֶּה מֵי בְאֵר דֶּרֶךְ הַמֶּלֶךְ נֵלֵךְ לֹא נִטֶּה יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאול עַד אֲשֶׁר־נַעֲבֹר גְּבוּלֶךָ׃

18  But Edom answered him, “You shall not pass through us, else we will go out against you with the sword.”

יח  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אֱדוֹם לֹא תַעֲבֹר בִּי פֶּן־בַּחֶרֶב אֵצֵא לִקְרָאתֶךָ׃

19  “We will keep to the beaten track,” the Israelites said to them, “and if we or our cattle drink your water, we will pay for it. We ask only for passage on foot—it is but a small matter.”

יט  וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּמְסִלָּה נַעֲלֶה וְאִם־מֵימֶיךָ נִשְׁתֶּה אֲנִי וּמִקְנַי וְנָתַתִּי מִכְרָם רַק אֵין־דָּבָר בְּרַגְלַי אֶעֱבֹרָה׃

20  But they replied, “You shall not pass through!” And Edom went out against them in heavy force, strongly armed.

כ  וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא תַעֲבֹר וַיֵּצֵא אֱדוֹם לִקְרָאתוֹ בְּעַם כָּבֵד וּבְיָד חֲזָקָה׃

21  So Edom would not let Yisrael cross their territory, and Yisrael turned away from them.

כא  וַיְמָאֵן אֱדוֹם נְתֹן אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲבֹר בִּגְבֻלוֹ וַיֵּט יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵעָלָיו׃

22  Setting out from Kadesh, the Israelites arrived in a body at Mount Hor.

כב  וַיִּסְעוּ מִקָּדֵשׁ וַיָּבֹאוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל כָּל־הָעֵדָה הֹר הָהָר׃

23  At Mount Hor, on the boundary of the land of Edom, Hashem said to Moshe and Aharon,

כג  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל־אַהֲרֹן בְּהֹר הָהָר עַל־גְּבוּל אֶרֶץ־אֱדוֹם לֵאמֹר׃

24  “Let Aharonbe gathered to his kin: he is not to enter the land that I have assigned to B’nei Yisrael, because you disobeyed my command about the waters of Meribah.

כד  יֵאָסֵף אַהֲרֹן אֶל־עַמָּיו כִּי לֹא יָבֹא אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל אֲשֶׁר־מְרִיתֶם אֶת־פִּי לְמֵי מְרִיבָה׃

25  Take Aharon and his son Elazar and bring them up on Mount Hor.

KAKH et a-ha-RON v’-et el-a-ZAR b’-NO v’-HA-al o-TAM hor ha-HAR

כה  קַח אֶת־אַהֲרֹן וְאֶת־אֶלְעָזָר בְּנוֹ וְהַעַל אֹתָם הֹר הָהָר׃

26  Strip Aharon of his vestments and put them on his son Elazar. There Aharon shall be gathered unto the dead.”

כו  וְהַפְשֵׁט אֶת־אַהֲרֹן אֶת־בְּגָדָיו וְהִלְבַּשְׁתָּם אֶת־אֶלְעָזָר בְּנוֹ וְאַהֲרֹן יֵאָסֵף וּמֵת שָׁם׃

27  Moshe did as Hashem had commanded. They ascended Mount Hor in the sight of the whole community.

כז  וַיַּעַשׂ מֹשֶׁה כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה וַיַּעֲלוּ אֶל־הֹר הָהָר לְעֵינֵי כָּל־הָעֵדָה׃

28  Moshe stripped Aharon of his vestments and put them on his son Elazar, and Aharon died there on the summit of the mountain. When Moshe and Elazar came down from the mountain,

כח  וַיַּפְשֵׁט מֹשֶׁה אֶת־אַהֲרֹן אֶת־בְּגָדָיו וַיַּלְבֵּשׁ אֹתָם אֶת־אֶלְעָזָר בְּנוֹ וַיָּמָת אַהֲרֹן שָׁם בְּרֹאשׁ הָהָר וַיֵּרֶד מֹשֶׁה וְאֶלְעָזָר מִן־הָהָר׃

29  the whole community knew that Aharon had breathed his last. All the house of Yisrael bewailed Aharon thirty days.

 

כט  וַיִּרְאוּ כָּל־הָעֵדָה כִּי גָוַע אַהֲרֹן וַיִּבְכּוּ אֶת־אַהֲרֹן שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם כֹּל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

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Numbers 20

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