Monday, November 10, 2014

One nation, One body


Regarding Yehoshua 7, in which a man named Achan took from the consecrated property of the city of Jericho, and the entire nation suffered as a result:

"All Israel are bound together as one body, such that each individual will relate to the community as a limb of the body relates to the body. Just as illness or destruction of one limb causes illness or a defect in the entire body, so, too, when Achan took from the spoils it was considered as though the entire nation had trespassed."

(Commentary of Malbim to Yehoshua 7:1)

Have a great day,

1 comment:

  1. The Or haChaim gives a similar explanation for why Moshe Rabbeinu lost hist special "Face" to face prophecy after the Golden Calf.

    He bases it on the textual variant "כל ישראל ערבים זה בזה" (All of Israel is intermixed, one in the other) found today in the Ein Yaaqov and in Yemenite editions.

    Rather than what the Vilna ed. (Shavuos 39a) reads "... לזה" (All of Israel are guarantors one for anther). Rashi has both "לזה" (Vayiqra 26:37) and a third possibility -- "מזה" (Siddur, 381).

    But in any case, the " בזה" variant, as understood by the Or haChaim, states that Jewish souls all overlap, so that when the masses sin, Moshe is diminished. It would work for Achan's effect on the nation too.