Thoughts from Kollel KLAL


The passuk states concerning the seventy elders, “ואצלתי מן הרוח אשר עליך ושמתי עליהם” which Onkelos and Rashi explain, “and I will increase from the spirit which is upon you and I will place upon them.” Here Onkelos translates the lashon of ואצלתי as רבוי-increase. In Parshas Toldos, when Eisav recognized that Yaakov took the berachos he said to his father Yitzchok, “הלא אצלת לי ברכה” which Onkelos translates “have you not left (עזב) for me a berachah?” Rashi explains, “Have you not separated (הפרשה) for me a berachah?” Why do both Onkelos and Rashi explain here with the lashon of רבוי-increase?

The Nefesh HaGer brings from Rashi that at that time Moshe was similar to a candle on top of a Menorah which is used to light up all the candles, yet it itself does not lessen. The Ramban brings a mashal from the Beraishis Rabbah: a king gives over an orchard to his servant to protect and he pays him for guarding it. Sometime later the watchman says, “I do not want to guard it by myself, bring others to guard it together with me.” The king responds, “I gave you my own orchard to guard and I gave to you all its fruits as payment, and now you say bring others to guard together with me? I will bring others to guard with you but know that I am not giving them payment for guarding from my own money. Rather from the money which I gave to you they will take their payment.”

Hashem said to Moshe, “I gave to you a spirit and knowledge to care for My children and I did not want anyone else to have this responsibility, in order that you should be the only one in charge. Now you are asking for others to help you, know that I am not giving to them from Myself anything at all. Rather I will increase from the spirit that is upon you and add to them as well, so you won’t be missing anything at all.”

Both Onkelos and Rashi do not explain ואצלתי מן הרוח and I will leave or separate because this would connote that something was taken away from Moshe and given to the seventy elders. However, this is not so, as Hashem sent a shefa which Moshe did yet have until now, by increasing the spirit of prophecy to Moshe, in order for Moshe to give over to the elders through him.

The Derashas HaRan explains that Hashem did not send prophecy directly to the seventy elders because they were not fitting to receive prophecy on their own right. Hashem performs miracles with something which exists and adds to it, as we find by Elisha. Elisha asked the woman, “Do you have anything in your house?” She responded, “Only a small amount of oil.” He said “go borrow vessels and bring them all to fill up from that little bit of oil.” So too Moshe was the source from which the shefa was increased and sent to the others.

The Derashas HaRan adds that a Talmid Chachom is comparable to the Beis HaMikdash; just as the Beis HaMikdash was the place where Hashem brought down shefa to the world, as a pipe sending out good, so too the Talmid Chachomim are the intermediary between Hashem and Bnei Yisrael, transmitting shefa to people. They bring prophecy, wisdom and growth from Hashem to Bnei Yisrael.

May we recognize and appreciate the Talmidei Chachomim who continuously transmit the shefa of Hashem to each of us!

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