hebrew
1)

What was Bil'am referring to when he said "ki'Nechalim Nitayu"?

1.

Rashi: 'Like rivers that flow long distances'.

2.

Seforno: The Batei Kenesiyos and the Batei-Midrash for the multitude of Yisrael are comparable to rivers that are planted next to fields to water them, And the Torah-leaders draw from those who study to teach the mdonkeyes; Similarly, those who Daven are comparable to gardens that grow beside the river, which do not cease to provide fruit. 1

3.

Targum Onkelos: 'Like the fertile garden on the banks of the River P'ras'.

4.

Targum Yonasan: 'B'nei Yisrael who congregate in groups to study Torah are like self-generating rivers'.

5.

Refer to 24:5:1:6*.

6.

Da'as Zekenim (5), Hadar Zekenim (1): Just like rivers spread to here and here, so Yisrael multiply and need to spread tents and widen them


1

Seforno: As the Gemara states in Rosh Hashanah, 17b - 'A covenant was made with the thirteen Midos that they never come back empty-handed!'.

2)

What was Bil'am referring to when he said "ke'Ganos alei Nahar"?

1.

Targum Yonasan: 'And like gardens that are planted on pools of water are their Talmidim who study Torah in groups in their Batei-Midrash ... '.

2.

Refer to 24:5:1:6*.

3)

What was Bil'am referring to when he said "ka'Ahalim Nata Hashem"?

1.

Rashi #1 (citing Targum Onkelos) and Rashbam: 'Like the aloes (a spice) that Hashem planted in Gan Eden'. 1

2.

Rashi #2: 'Like the heaven that Hashem stretched like a tent'. 2

3.

Ramban (on Pasuk 7): The current Pesukim are praising Eretz Yisrael, comparing it to a fertile garden and to a spring of water that will not dry up.

4.

Refer to 24:6:5:1.

5.

Da'as Zekenim (5), Hadar Zekenim (1): Like the esteemed matters that Hashem planted in Gan Eden (Bereishis 2:8)


1

Rashbam: And as in Tehilim, 45:9.

2

Rashi: As in Yeshayah, 40:22,

4)

Why did Bil'am compare Yisrael to a cedar-tree beside water?

1.

Targum Yonasan: Yisrael will rise over and above the other nations, like a cedar-tree planted beside water.

2.

Just as a cedar-tree thrives next to water, so too, do Yisrael thrive when they study Torah. (EC)

3.

Refer to 24:6:5:1.

5)

What did Bil'am really have in mind when he blessed Yisrael?

1.

Rashi (in Ta'anis in 20a) and Da'as Zekenim (both citing Sanhedrin, 105a): He wanted to say the exact opposite of the B'rachos that he was now stating 1 : 'They should not have Batei Keneisiyos and Batei-Midrashos ... '. 2 The Shechinah should not rest on them - [so he blessed] "Mishkenosecha Yisrael." Their kingdom should not last


1

In order to break the connection between Yisrael and the Shechinah - See Sifsei Chachamim.

2

Refer to 24:6:5:1*.

3

And it is in connection with this that the Torah writes in Ki Seitzei, 23:6 "Vayahafoch Hashem es ha'Kelalah li'Verachah".

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