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What's the Difference between: Kahal, Eidah and Bnei Yisrael


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Sivan 1, 5778
One last question: Sometimes the scriptures say ’HaEdat’ other times ’Edat Yisrael’ sometimes it says ’Bnei Yisrael’ or just ’Bnei’ other times the term ’Kol’ is added. So who is left out in each of these occassions or who belongs to the group? And does this mean that when spoken to such groups the command being given only applies to them, or to the whole kahal?
As we wrote, the Malbim explains that "eda" refers to the chosen or appointed, and "kahal" to the general gathering. Bnei Yisrael generally refers to the entire nation (not necessarily gathered together), and sometimes the word "kol" (all) is added for additional stress. Occasionally, Bnei Yisrael (literally "Sons of Israel") refers only to men, and not women, but it must be understood in each place from its context and/or the oral tradition.
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