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THE TRIBES THAT WANTED TO STAY BEHIND

July 15th, 2015

Rabbi Dunner discusses the tribes who stayed behind in the land of Gilead.

As the time drew closer for the Jews to enter the Promised Land, Moshe was suddenly confronted by a strange request. The tribes of Reuven and Gad suddenly informed him that they preferred to stay on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Moshe reacted furiously, but ultimately concedes, and the two tribes get what they want.

What was really going on here? What did they actually want? Were the two tribes frightened to take part in the conquest, or was something else at play? Why did Moshe react so irately to their request, and compare them to the ‘meraglim’ of 38 years earlier? And how did half of the tribe of Menashe end up being a part of this arrangement?? They appear nowhere in the negotiations, but are suddenly there when the land is portioned out.

Rabbi Dunner takes a look at all the sources, and unpacked this strange story, so that all is clear.

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