Devarim (Pisqa'ot 1-25)

Pisqa’ 25

Pisqa’ 251


“What will befall us up there?

Our brothers have weakened our resolve, saying:” (Dt.1:28)

They said to him:

Master Moses!

Had we heard such opinions of yours from others,

we would have paid no attention!

But from people whose sons are our sons

and whose daughters are our daughters?


“A great nation” (Dt.1:28)—

this teaches that

[the Canaanites] were tall in stature.

“And numerous” (Dt.1:28)—

this teaches that

their population was numerous.

“Great cities, fortified to the Heavens” (Dt.1:28)—

Rabban Shimon b.Gamliel says:

The Scriptures do, at times, employ hyperbole.

For it is said:

“Listen Israel!

You are crossing the Jordan today to dispossess

nations greater and mightier than yourself” (Dt.9:1).

But what the All-Present said to Father Abraham—

“I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the Heavens” (Gn.26:4),

“And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth” (Gn.13:16)—

that is no hyperbole!

“And also we saw there the children of the Giants” (benei `anaqim; Dt.1:28)—

this teaches that they saw there

giants on top of (`al gabei) Giants,

in line with what is said:

“Therefore have they enhanced (`anaqtemo) their pride” (ga’awah;2 Ps.73:6).


“So I said to you” (Dt.1:29)—

Moses said to them:

Not on my own do I speak to you!

Rather, from the mouth of the Holy One do I speak to you!3

“Have no dread or fear of them” (Dt.1:29).

Why not?

“For HASHEM, your God, is going before you” (Dt.1:29)

Moses said to them:

The One who worked wonders for you in Egypt,

and all these other wonders,

will in the future work wonders for you

when you enter the Land.

“Like all that he did for you in Egypt,

before your very eyes” (Dt.1:30)

If you can’t place trust in the future redemption,

place it in the [record of the] past!

  1. H:46; JN1:64-65.
  2. Note the double assonance: benei `anaqim/`anaqteimo and `al gabei/ga’awah.
  3. Cf. Pisqa’ 5:1, 9.1,19.1