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Ask the rabbi Shabbat and Holidays Sefer Bamidbar

Weekly Parsha Behatlocha

Rabbi Yoel LiebermanSivan 26, 5780
12
Question
Thank you. Have a good week. From the weekly Parasha: 1. What is the deeper meaning of the clouds? Were they the same size or different? 2. Why did the jewish people want meat? What is the deeper meaning of this desire for meat? Was it special meat? Thanks
Answer
ב"ה Shalom The Midrash Tanchuma (Shlach 3) tells us there were seven clouds. One would go before them during the day, there was another above them, the third is derived from the Pasuk in Shlach , Bamidbar 14:14) ,and the 4th is derived from another Passuk 'which says (Bamidbar 9:19) and when your cloud prolongs (it's hovering ) over you, the fifth is mentioned "and when the cloud ascends "and if the cloud does not ascend" is the 6th, "and the cloud of Hashem " is on the Mishkan (Shemot 40) is number 7. In the Midrash Rabba (Bamidbar 1) there is another description from R. Hoshaya who says 4 clouds protected from 4 directions,and additional 5th was above them and the 6th beneath them and the seventh went 3 days ahead of them clearing the snakes, the scorpions and the serpents, straightening out the protruding hills or filling in the pits. Rashi to Devarim 8:4 adds that the clouds would iron their clothing and would also cause the clothing of the children to grow in size as the children grew. In regard to the meat, Rashi (Bamidbar 11:4)says that it was just an excuse aroused by the Erev Rav to instigate against Hashem because they really had meat. Of course there is more to delve into in regard to the meat, because the Torah does not say that they were hungry for meat or even that they had a desire for meat. The Torah says they a "Ta'avah" a lust for meat which refers to a very low level animal like need for a physical thing instead of aspiring for the spiritual. All the best
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