hebrew
1)

What is the meaning of the word "Keidmah"?

1.

Rashi: It means 'on the east side' as Degel Machaneh Yehudah was the first to travel. 1


1

Rashi: Which is synonymous with 'in front' or 'first'; and the west is therefore called "Achor" ('at the back' or 'last').

2)

Why did specifically Yisachar and Zevulun join Yehudah to form Degel Machaneh Yehudah?

1.

Ramban (on Pasuk 2): Together with the three tribes of Degel Machaneh Re'uven - Reuven, Shimon and Gad, they comprised the sons of Le'ah - including Gad, 1 the firstborn of her maidservant Zilpah.


1

To replace Levi, who did not encamp in sync with the other tribes (Refer to Vay'chi, Bereishis, 12:1:1:1*).

3)

Why did the three tribes that comprised Degel Machaneh Yehudah (Yehudah, Yisachar an Zevulun) encamp specifically in the east?

1.

Ramban #2 (citing Midrash Rabah) 1 : Hashem said to Moshe: 'Yehudah, the designated sovereign, 2 shall encamp in the east, from where light comes to the world; next to him, is Yisachar, the master of Torah, 3 and then Zevulun, the master of wealth. 4 They will travel first!' 5


1

Refer also to 2:2:4:2.

2

Which is called 'light' (See R. Chavel's footnotes).

3

See R. Chavel's footnotes.

4

See Bereishis 49:13 and Devarim 33:19. See also R. Chavel's footnotes, who explains that Torah and wealth are also called 'light.'

5

Ibid.: As the Pasuk writes in Michah, 2:13 "Vaya'avor Malkam Lifneihem, va'Hashem be'Rosham".

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