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Massah and Meribah

Moses Strikes the Rock in Exodus and Numbers: One Story or Two?

In Numbers 20, when the Israelites are without water, God tells Moses to get water from a stone, which he does by striking it, and is punished. Yet in Exodus 17, Moses does the same thing and the story ends positively. What is the relationship between these two accounts? Remarkably, R. Joseph Bekhor Shor says that they are two accounts of the same story.

Prof.

Jonathan Jacobs

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The Grain and Pomegranates of Mei Merivah (מי מריבה)

If the people are thirsty for lack of water, why complain to Moses that they “have no grain or pomegranates”? Together with other textual anomalies, this narrative discontinuity suggests that interwoven into the water-at-Merivah story is a fragment from a different story: the missing opening verses of the non-Priestly account of the spies.

Prof. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Who Were the Levites?

The Torah describes the Levites as a landless Israelite tribe who inherited their position by responding to Moses’ call to take vengeance against sinning Israelites. This account masks a more complicated historical process.

Prof.

Mark Leuchter

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Preparing for Sinai: God and Israel Test Each Other

The opening of the wilderness-wandering story in Exodus uses the Leitwort נ-ס-ה to underline the process of reciprocal testing between Israel and God as preparation for the Sinai event. This testing parallels that of the wilderness-wandering story in Numbers, which uses the Leitworter נ-ס-ע and נ-ש-א to underline the process of preparation Israel goes through before entering the land.

Dr.

Shani Tzoref

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Lechu Neranena: From the Story of the Spies to the Return of the Judahite Exiles

A New Reading of Psalm 95

Prof. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Moses Dies at the Age of 120 — Was It Premature?

The end of Deuteronomy recounts that at an age of one hundred and twenty Moses says he is no longer able/allowed to lead the people’s journey and will therefore not be carrying them on to cross the Jordan (Deut 31:2). According to other places in the Torah, however, Moses dies because of a sin – his or of the people.

Dr.

Gili Kugler

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