SEVENTY WISE MEN

June 19th, 2019

As part of the process of organizing the leadership of the Jewish nation, in Beha’alotecha Moses is instructed to form a council of seventy sages. The Talmud struggles to understand the number 70 – the nation was divided into 12 tribes, and 70 is not divisible by 12. Rabbi Dunner reveals the significance of both 12 and 70, offering a remarkable view of how these numbers relate to the destiny of the Jewish nation, embedded into narratives that long predate the Exodus from Egypt.

Once the elders were chosen, two renegade “elders” prophesied in the Israelite camp and were reported to Moses. Rabbi Dunner delves into this strange episode; with the aid of the Or Hachaim commentary he explains the dynamics behind it, and the repercussions.

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