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Meditation from the Psalms 95

Meditation from the Psalms
Psalms ‎‎95:1-11
By: H.Em. Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

 

This is the sixth of the eleven psalms which Moshe composed. He dedicated it to the tribe of Issachar,1a family of scholars who were constantly immersed in the joyous song of Torah.2

This psalm is composed of two parts. The first seven verses are the Psalmist’s call to his people: Come with alacrity
to sing to G-d, praise Him, to thank Him, to acknowledge Him as the sole Creator and Guiding Force, of the universe in general and of Israel in particular. True, in our present state of exile and subjugation we seem to be forsaken, but this situation is only temporary, it can change today! if we but heed His call.3

The second section is in the form of a direct exhortation from G-d to Israel, in which He recalls the disastrous results of our ancestor’s sins in the Wilderness and urges us not to emulate that course.

Only the joyous song of Torah study can lift Israel out of present wilderness of exile. Surely Israel will be redeemed
when every Jew turns to his brother and declares: “Let us strive for spiritual excellence and ecstasy and sing joyously to HaShem!”

On the eve of the Sabbath, the holiest of days, when Israel is granted a glimmer of the future world of spiritual bliss, it is customary to welcome the Sabbath with the welcoming service that begins with this psalm and its call:4

Come! Let us sing to HaShem.5

Our Psalm speaks of our ancestor’s sins in the wilderness in an interesting pasuk that I would like to examine in
greater detail:

Tehillim (Psalms) 95:8 Harden not your heart, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness;

In the listing of the wilderness stops, in Bamidbar 33, Meribah and Massah are not mentioned. They are mentioned
elsewhere and our Sages have taught that these were other names for Rephidim or for Kadesh. Let’s examine these
two places with their events and then sort out the difference between these two places which were separated by
forty years, but had such a close connection that they are linked together.

Bamidbar (Numbers) 33:14 They left the powerful city – wild place (Alush6) and camped at the railing or Weakness place (lax in Torah study) (Rephidim camp #10), where there was no water for the people to drink.7

There is an alternate opinion that Meribah was at the Kadesh camp:

Bamidbar (Numbers) 33:36 They left the giant’s backbone – rooster’s crow or city (Ezion Geber8) and camped at the Sanctuary (Kadesh camp #32), in the Desert of the crag – to prick – (Zin). The Targum calls this location Kedem.
9

1. Spring of judgment10

2. Waters of Meribah (strife)11

3. Miriam died here12

4. They arrived on Nisan 1, 2484

Targum Pseudo Jonathan for Bamidbar (Numbers) 33:36. thence to the wilderness of Zin; at the Iron
Mount, which is Rekem;

Several events occurred at this stop, including:

1. There was no water to drink.133. “Why was it called Shittim?” He said, “Shittim was its actual name.” Rebbi Yehoshua said, “[It was called this] because they were involved in something senseless (shtus).”16

4. This place was called Massah and Meribah because the people quarreled17 and tested18
HaShem.19

5. The Amalekites attacked the Israelites here.20
One interesting point as to why Amalek without provocation
attacks the nation of Israel in their way to freedom is that given by the name where this incident took place – “Rephidim.” The name “Rephidim” indicates that the Israelites had become lax “RAFAH” in their faith (they became weak (reefu) in Torah.”).
21
As a result of this shortcoming Amalek was able to attack.
The Israelites were RAFAH (Lax) in the Torah. That is, they did not ask for Torah just as they asked for bread and water. Since the entire point of the Exodus was that they would receive the Torah, their first
complaint should have been, “Why is it taking so long before HaShem gives us His Torah?” But we see that no such complaint was ever made.

Now let’s examine some of the pesukim (verses) where these two places are mentioned.

Shemot (Exodus) 17:1-8 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, by their stages, according to the commandment of HaShem, and encamped in Rephidim; and there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Wherefore the people strove with Moshe, and said: ‘Give us water that we may drink.’ And Moshe said unto them: ‘Why strive ye with me? wherefore do ye try HaShem?’ 3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moshe, and said: ‘Wherefore hast thou brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?’ 4 And Moshe cried unto HaShem, saying: ‘What shall I do unto this people? they are almost ready to stone me.’ 5 And HaShem said unto Moshe: ‘Pass on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thy hand, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink.’ And Moshe did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And the name of the place was called Massah, andMeribah, because of the striving of the children of Israel, and because they tried HaShem, saying: ‘Is HaShem among us, or not?’ 8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

Shemot 17 gives us a rather detailed account of the lack of water and Moshe’s error in striking the rock, followed by Amalek’s attack.

Bamidbar (Numbers) 20:1-13 And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month; and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there. 2 And there was no water for the congregation; and they assembled themselves together against Moshe and against Aaron. 3 And the people strove with Moshe, and spoke, saying: ‘Would that we had perished when our brethren perished before HaShem! 4 And why have ye brought the assembly of HaShem
into this wilderness, to die there, we and our cattle? 5 And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates;
neither is there any water to drink.’ 6 And Moshe and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tent of meeting, and fell upon their faces; and the glory of HaShem appeared unto them. 7 And HaShem spoke unto Moshe, saying: 8 ‘Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes, that it give forth its water; and thou shalt bring forth tothem water out of the rock; so thou shalt give the congregation and their cattle drink.’ 9 And Moshe took the
rod from before HaShem, as He commanded him. 10 And Moshe and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said unto them: ‘Hear now, ye rebels; are we to bring you forth water out of this rock?’ 11 And Moshe lifted up his hand, and smote the rock with his rod twice; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle. 12 And HaShem said unto Moshe and Aaron: ‘Because ye believed not in Me, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.’ 13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the children of Israel strove with HaShem, and He was sanctified in them. 2. Moshe14 strikes the rock at Horeb and water came out.15

3. “Why was it called Shittim?” He said, “Shittim was its actual name.” Rebbi Yehoshua said, “[It was called this] because they were involved in something senseless (shtus).”16

4. This place was called Massah and Meribah because the people quarreled17and tested18 HaShem.19

5. The Amalekites attacked the Israelites here.

20
One interesting point as to why Amalek without provocation
attacks the nation of Israel in their way to freedom is that given by the name where this incident took place
– “Rephidim.” The name “Rephidim” indicates that the Israelites had become lax “RAFAH” in their
faith (they became weak (reefu) in Torah.”).
21
As a result of this shortcoming Amalek was able to attack.
The Israelites were RAFAH (Lax) in the Torah. That is, they did not ask for Torah just as they asked for
bread and water. Since the entire point of the Exodus was that they would receive the Torah, their first
complaint should have been, “Why is it taking so long before HaShem gives us His Torah?” But we see
that no such complaint was ever made.

Now let’s examine some of the pesukim (verses) where these two places are mentioned.

Shemot (Exodus) 17:1-8 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of
Sin, by their stages, according to the commandment of HaShem, and encamped in Rephidim; and there was
no water for the people to drink. 2 Wherefore the people strove with Moshe, and said: ‘Give us water that we
may drink.’ And Moshe said unto them: ‘Why strive ye with me? wherefore do ye try HaShem?’ 3 And the
people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moshe, and said: ‘Wherefore hast thou
brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?’ 4 And Moshe cried unto
HaShem, saying: ‘What shall I do unto this people? they are almost ready to stone me.’ 5 And HaShem said
unto Moshe: ‘Pass on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith
thou smotest the river, take in thy hand, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in
Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink.’ And
Moshe did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And the name of the place was called Massah, and
Meribah, because of the striving of the children of Israel, and because they tried HaShem, saying: ‘Is
HaShem among us, or not?’ 8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

Shemot 17 gives us a rather detailed account of the lack of water and Moshe’s error in striking the rock, followed
by Amalek’s attack.

Bamidbar (Numbers) 20:1-13 And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came into the
wilderness of Zin in the first month; and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried
there. 2 And there was no water for the congregation; and they assembled themselves together against
Moshe and against Aaron. 3 And the people strove with Moshe, and spoke, saying: ‘Would that we had
perished when our brethren perished before HaShem! 4 And why have ye brought the assembly of HaShem
into this wilderness, to die there, we and our cattle? 5 And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of
Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates;
neither is there any water to drink.’ 6 And Moshe and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the
door of the tent of meeting, and fell upon their faces; and the glory of HaShem appeared unto them. 7 And
HaShem spoke unto Moshe, saying: 8 ‘Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, thou, and Aaron thy
brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes, that it give forth its water; and thou shalt bring forth them water out of the rock; so thou shalt give the congregation and their cattle drink.’ 9 And Moshe took the rod from before HaShem, as He commanded him. 10 And Moshe and Aaron gathered the assembly together
before the rock, and he said unto them: ‘Hear now, ye rebels; are we to bring you forth water out of this rock?’ 11 And Moshe lifted up his hand, and smote the rock with his rod twice; and water came forth
abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle. 12 And HaShem said unto Moshe and Aaron:
‘Because ye believed not in Me, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not
bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.’ 13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the
children of Israel strove with HaShem, and He was sanctified in them.

Bamidbar 20 adds considerable detail about the attitude of the Bne Israel as they contended with HaShem and with
Moshe. Note that the name of HaShem, of the attribute of lovingkindness, is used repeatedly in this passage. The
name ‘Elohim’, representing the attribute of judgment, is not used. This suggests that HaShem is showing us His
kindness at the very hour that we are contending that He is not taking care of us!

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 33:8 And of Levi he said: Thy Thummim and Thy Urim be with Thy holy one, whom
Thou didst prove at Massah, with whom Thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah;

Devarim 33 indicates that there was strife and contention which caused Rephidim to acquire two new names;
Massah and Meribah.

Tehillim (Psalms) 81:8 Thou didst call in trouble, and I rescued thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder; I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah 9 Hear, O My people, and I will admonish thee: O Israel, if thou wouldest hearken unto Me!

Tehillim chapter 81 is the psalm we traditionally recite on Rosh HaShanah, ‘Judgment Day’. This suggests that when we test HaShem it is a sin which deserves the judgment of The King.

Tehillim (Psalms) 106:32 They angered Him also at the waters of Meribah, and it went ill with Moshe because of them; 33 For they embittered his spirit, and he spoke rashly with his lips.

Tehillim chapter 106 teaches us that the people’s actions at Meribah were reflected in their leader’s judgment. Their
sin was the catalyst to prevent Moshe from entering the Promised Land.

Meribah will also play a significant role in the future as the southern border of Israel as we can see form Ezekiel’s prophecy:

Yehezechel (Ezekiel) 48:28 And by the border of Gad, at the south side southward, the border shall be even from Tamar unto the waters of Meribath-kadesh, to the Brook, unto the Great Sea.

There is a clear connection between the story of the Waters of Meribah, a saga that took place in Kadesh in the
wilderness of Zin, and the events of Massah and Meribah recounted in Exodus 17, that transpired at Rephidim in
the wilderness of Zin. In both narratives the people demand water; Moshe turns to HaShem, who instructs him to
draw water for the people from a rock. The central differences between the two stories are as follows: at Massah
and Meribah HaShem instructed Moshe to strike the rock, whereas at the Waters of Meribah He instructed him to
speak to the rock; at Massah and Meribah Moshe did what HaShem commanded, whereas at the Waters of
Meribah, instead of speaking, he acted in diametrical opposition to HaShem’s command and struck the rock twice.
The Yalkut Shimoni lends us the following insight:

It says, “Order the rock”, in Bamidbar 20:8, it does not say “strike”, rather, “order”. He said to him: When a lad is young, his Rabbi strikes him to teach him, but once he grows up, he reproves him with
words. Thus, the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moshe: When this rock was young, you struck it“Strike the rock”,22 but now “order the rock”; teach it one lesson and it will give out water.

The homilist compares the rock to a youngster. When the lad is still young, the Rabbi uses his rod to teach him a
lesson, but as the lad matures, the Rabbi must set aside the staff and proceed to educate through words.23
So, too, at Rephidim, mentioned in Exodus, Moshe was supposed to strike the rock, whereas at Kadesh, the story recounted in
Numbers, he was to speak to it.

It seems that the midrash saw a further metaphor in the rock itself. The rock symbolizes the people of Israel. At Rephidim, during the first year after the exodus from Egypt, the people were like a young lad. By the time of the episode at Kadesh, forty years later, the people had matured. Indeed there is substantiation in Scripture for
interpreting the homily this way. The people’s demand at Rephidim is viewed by Moshe and HaShem as a test that
HaShem put to the people. Moshe asks the people: “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you try HaShem?”;24 and the place is called Massah and Meribah,25“because the Israelites quarreled and because they tried HaShem,saying, ‘Is HaShem present among us or not?’”.26

The Sages also note the people’s spiritual weakness in this
episode: “Why the name ‘Rephidim’? Rabbi Joshua says: They were lax27about the Torah”.28 When such is the
spiritual condition of the people, they must be treated like a small child and therefore Moshe is commanded to
strike the rock.

In contrast, at Kadesh the Torah does not view the people’s request as a sign of their lack of faith or their desire to
try HaShem. They indeed had a quarrel with HaShem there, but they did not attempt to try Him: “Those are the
Waters of Meribah [“Quarrel”] – meaning that the Israelites quarreled with HaShem – through which He affirmed
His sanctity”.29
The Sages understood this and interpreted the verse, “The Israelites arrived in a body at the wilderness of Zin” (Num. 20:1): “‘As a body’ – upright and willing”.30
In this HaShem saw mature behavior, and in accordance with this condition of the people He instructed Moshe to speak to the rock, not to strike it. Even though Moshe was not supposed to strike the rock, he was commanded to take his staff, and thus HaShem
underscores the people’s transition from infancy to maturity, as if to say: In the past you were young and in need of the rod; but now that you have matured, it is no longer necessary.

Having explained the homily, it remains to be asked about Moshe, Why did he not speak to the rock, but rather
went so far even as to strike it twice? Was he not aware of the process of maturing that the people had undergone
all those years in the desert? We would suggest that, unlike HaShem who sees all, Moshe continued to absorb the
people’s bitter complaints daily and therefore found it difficult to perceive the change that had taken place. Finding
himself in the same situation he had experienced forty years earlier, not only did he fail to perceive the maturing of
the people, from his point of view he even saw somewhat of a regression, insofar as nothing had changed in their
behavior over such a long span of time. This situation frustrated him, and he took out his frustration by uttering harsh words, “Listen, you rebels”,31 hitting the rock not once but twice.

HaShem viewed Moshe’ inability to perceive the process of maturing that the people had undergone as a sign of failure of his leadership and therefore His reaction was to say: “Because you did not trust Me enough to affirm My sanctity in the sight of the Israelite people, therefore you shall not lead this congregation into the land that I have given them”.32

As we study the places listed in Bamidbar chapter 33, we shall see that this was not only the journey of that generation, but the journey of the last generation as well. These are the stages of our redemption! Rabbenu Bachya explains that during the final redemption many Jews will go out in the desert and pass through these places, and
HaShem will sustain them and direct them as He did for the Israelites in the desert. The double mentioning of “their starting points”, in Shemot 33:1-2, is an allusion to the two Exoduses, first from the Egyptian exile, and then the final exile.

The whole trip the Bne of Israel take from Mitzrayim (Egypt) to the Promised Land is understood spiritually as a metaphor for the journey that we all take from leaving the straits of the birth canal, to the many years of our life that we spend trying to do the right thing (traveling in the desert and messing up for forty years), to the moment of our own death (The Promised Land).

Each Jew’s life may be analyzed in terms of these forty-two journeys of Bne Israel from Egypt to Israel. In other
words, it is possible to identify each person’s journey through life with the forty-two stages of the journey described
in Bamidbar chapter 33.

Bamidbar (Numbers) 33:1-2 “These are the journeys of Bne Israel who went forth from the land of Egypt according to their legions under the hand of Moshe and Aharon. Moshe wrote motza’aihem / their goings- forth le’masai’hem / according to their journeys . . . and these are masai’hem / their journeys le’motza’aihem / according to their goings-forth.”

R’ Shlomo Halberstam z”l33
asks: What is added by “their goings-forth”? The main focus of the parasha appears to be on Bne Israel’s journeys! Also, what is added by mentioning that Bne Israel went forth from Egypt? Surely we
already know this! Finally, why is the order of the words reversed, first “their goings-forth according to their journeys” and then “their journeys according to their goings-forth”?

Our parasha alludes to all of the major exiles that Bne Israel were destined to undergo in their history: The initial
letters of “Eleh masei Bne Israel” – “These are the journeys of Bne Israel” allude to the four exiles of the Jewish
people: alef-Edom (Rome – our current exile); mem-Madai (Persia); bet-Bavel (Babylon); and yud-Yavan (Greece).
But the verse also alludes to our redemption.

R’ Halberstam taught that the word “their goings-forth” alludes to the future “goings-forth” of Bne Israel, i.e., our
future redemptions. The placement of “their journeys” before “according to their goings-forth” alludes to the fact
that our constant travels in exile hasten the eventual “going-forth”. And, lest one lose faith in the redemption
because of our suffering, Moshe mentioned that Bne Israel already went forth from Egypt. Surely, then, we will be
redeemed again.34

And these are their journeys according to their starting places (Num.33:2) The Hebrew word for starting
places or departures (motza’eihem) comes from the same root as descendants, alluding to the future redemption and
the ingathering of the exiles that will occur in the Messianic era. At that time, all forty-two journeys made by the
Children of Israel in the desert will be duplicated by the Jewish people as they make their way back to the Land of
Israel.35

The forty-two journeys, therefore, relate to forty-two states of leaving Mitzrayim (personal or national restrictions

32
Bamidbar (Numbers) 20:12
33
the “Bobover Rebbe”
34
Likkutei Kerem Shlomo Vol. I
35
Abarbanel BS”D (B’Siyata D’Shamaya)‎
Aramaic: With the help of Heaven and confinements), before we reach the true and ultimate freedom of f Jericho, the Messianic redemption.

These stages are not only a record of the past, but also an allusion to the future exiles and the ultimate
redemption through Mashiach.

Hopefully we now have some perspective of our psalm and of this place called Massah and Meribah. The lessons
to be learned form Massah and Meribah is to trust HaShem completely, and to avoid even the appearance of a test.
Our Torah portion speaks of the Aaronic benediction where we trust HaShem to bless36 us through the Priestly
leadership – a clear reference to Moshe’s Priestly leadership. Our Torah portion goes on to speak of the offerings
given by the tribal leadership for the service of the Mishkan. This was another opportunity for Moshe to Trust
HaShem in the face of an unexpected offering. We also read this portion at Chanukah, a time when the Levites
were leaders in a fight against a monumental foe bent on severing our relationship to time and to holiness (kadesh).
Kadesh as a place where Moshe was to sanctify HaShem before the Bne Israel. Moshe was unable to sanctify
HaShem because of anger.

In the end, we must return to Kadesh and we avoid contention so that Moshe’s succesor, the Mashiach, will be able
to Sanctify HaShem before us. Have we learned the lesson? Have we absorbed the trust that HaShem expects of us?
The miracle of Chanukah was the last light of the miraculous that was to sustain us through more than two millenia
of the current exile. Have we used that light to see in the darkness? To see though our present circumstances and
still percieve HaShem and His hand?

It is no coincidence that the annual Parashat Masei, Bamidbar chapter 33, coincides every year with the three weeks
of mourning (for the Temple) between Tammuz 17 and Av 9, for these are the Torah portions of exile. As we
have entered this time period, it is no wonder that our Psalmist wants us to keep these events in mind.

Rabbenu Bachya tells us that “All the predictions of our prophets concerning the redemption of the future clearly
indicate that this redemption will largely reflect earlier redemptions. The more we know about the redemption from
Egypt, etc., the better we can picture how the redemption of the future will develop”.

Footnotes:

1
Moshe blesses (our verbal tally with the Torah portion) each tribe according to their own special qualities. To the tribes of Zebulun and
Issachar, he said: “Rejoice Zebulun when you go out and Issachar in your tents”. Rashi quotes from the Midrash that these two tribes had a
special partnership. The tribe of Zebulun engaged in commerce and supported the tribe of Issachar in their Torah studies. Moses therefore
blessed the tribe of Zebulun that they should be happy to go out and do business. For in this way they had an equal share in the Torah study
of the tribe of Issachar who were able to dwell in their tents of study. Obviously, this is not a black or white situation. For every individual, it
is different how much time he will need to spend on his worldly occupation and how much time he will be able to dedicate toward his Torah
studies. There are many factors that play a role in a person’s division of time between Torah study and work, and it is impossible to provide a
general rule. However, there is one rule that applies to everyone. As it says (Pirkei Avos 1:15): “Make your Torah study fixed.” Whether a
person can dedicate a lot of time or only a little, the approach to the study of Torah should be that Torah study is my primary occupation in
life, whereas my worldly occupation is only a means to make a living. With such an approach, a person will always seek to maximize his
Torah study and minimize his involvement in business affairs. And in this way, he will be able to acquire as much Torah as he can study.
2
See Radak on 91:1.
3
Tehillim 95:7
4
Radak – These opening remarks are excerpted, and edited, from: The ArtScroll Tanach Series, Tehillim, A new translation with a
commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources. Commentary by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer, Translation by
Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer in collaboration with Rabbi Nosson Scherman.

5
Every week, on the eve of the Sabbath, the Jew abandons his pursuit of and preoccupation with the material world and envelops himself in
the spirit of the Sabbath. The Sages of Talmudic times would don their finest clothing and get up with the approach of the Sabbath, saying,
“Let us go out to greet the Sabbath queen” (Shabbat 119a). This custom was broadened by the holy Kabbalist masters of sixteenth century
Safed who would literally walk out to the fields to greet the incoming Sabbath. The custom of reciting the six mizmorim (Psalms chapters 95-
99 and 29), which is now known universally as Kabbalat Shabbat.
6
Ibid.
7
There is no water except Torah. Babba Kamma 82a
8
from: Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible by William Smith.
9
Targum Pseudo Jonathan for Bamidbar (Numbers) ) 21:1
10
Beresheet (Genesis) 14:7
11
Bamidbar (Numbers) 20:12-14, 20:24, Bamidbar (Numbers) 27:14, and Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32:51
12
Bamidbar (Numbers) 20:1
13
Shemot (Exodus) 17:1
14
The Egyptians saw that Israel’s saviour would be punished through water; so Pharaoh arose and decreed, Every son that is born ye shall
cast into the river. After they had thrown Moshe [into the water], they said: ‘We do not see that sign any longer’; they thereupon rescinded
their decree. But they knew not that he was to be punished through the water of Meribah. – Sotah 12b

15
Shemot (Exodus) 17:6
16
Bechorot 5b
17
“waters of contention”
18
Our Hakhamim maintain the actual test at Massah was that the Israelites, in effect, said to G-d: If You give us water, we will follow You. If
not, we are free to leave You. – Midrash Rabbah – Exodus 26:2
19
Shemot (Exodus) 17:7, Devarim (Deuteronomy) 33:8, Tehillim (Psalms) 81:8, Tehillim (Psalms) 95:8, Tehillim (Psalms) 106:32.
20
Shemot (Exodus) 17:8
21
Bechorot 5b

15
Shemot (Exodus) 17:6
16
Bechorot 5b
17
“waters of contention”
18
Our Hakhamim maintain the actual test at Massah was that the Israelites, in effect, said to G-d: If You give us water, we will follow You. If
not, we are free to leave You. – Midrash Rabbah – Exodus 26:2
19
Shemot (Exodus) 17:7, Devarim (Deuteronomy) 33:8, Tehillim (Psalms) 81:8, Tehillim (Psalms) 95:8, Tehillim (Psalms) 106:32.
20
Shemot (Exodus) 17:8
21
Bechorot 5b

32
Bamidbar (Numbers) 20:12
33
the “Bobover Rebbe”
34
Likkutei Kerem Shlomo Vol. I
35
Abarbanel

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