This D’var Torah should be a Zechus L’Ilui Nishmas my sister, Kayla Rus Bas Bunim Tuvia A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my paternal grandfather Moshe Ben Yosef A”H, my paternal grandmother Channah Freidel Bas Avraham A”H, my uncle Reuven Nachum Ben Moshe & my great aunt Rivkah Sorah Bas Zev Yehuda HaKohein,
It should also be in Zechus L’Refuah Shileimah for:
-My father Bunim Tuvia Ben Channa Freidel
-My grandmother Shulamis Bas Etta
-MY BROTHER: MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO BEN CHAYA ROCHEL
-Mordechai Shlomo Ben Sarah Tili
-Noam Shmuel Ben Simcha
-HaRav Shlomo Ben Shayna Zelda
_R’ Simcha Yitzchak Ben Mirela Liyatka
-Chaya Rochel Ettel Bas Shulamis
-And all of the Cholei Yisrael, especially those suffering from COVID-19 and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for an Aliyah of the holy Neshamos of HaRav HaGa’on V’Sar HaTorah Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim Ben HaRav Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky A”H, Dovid Avraham Ben Chiya Kehas—R’ Dovid Winiarz ZT”L, Miriam Liba Bas Aharon—Rebbetzin Weiss A”H, as well as the Neshamos of those whose lives were taken by terrorists (Hashem Yikom Damam), COVID-19, and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for success for Tzaha”l as well as the rest of Am Yisrael, in Eretz Yisrael and in the Galus.
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Parsha Paradise/פרשה פרדס – Bamidbar: What is a Degel? What were the “Signs”? 🚩🦁🧔🏻🐃🦅 “אִישׁ עַל־מַחֲנֵהוּ וְאִישׁ עַל־דִּגְלוֹ”
When the Torah describes the traveling and encampments of the B’nei Yisrael, it states a line made famous by Shabbos Zemer, Kol Mikadeish, “אִישׁ עַל־מַחֲנֵהוּ וְאִישׁ עַל־דִּגְלוֹ”-“a man according to his camp, and man according to his Degel” [Bamidbar 1:52]. But, what exactly is a “Degel”? Does “Degel” literally mean flag or does it actually mean something else?
Moreover, in the Torah’s second mention of these Degalim, it states as follows:
“אִ֣ישׁ עַל־דִּגְל֤וֹ בְאֹתֹת֙ לְבֵ֣ית אֲבֹתָ֔ם יַֽחֲנ֖וּ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל מִנֶּ֕גֶד סָבִ֥יב לְאֹֽהֶל־מוֹעֵ֖ד יַֽחֲנֽוּ”
“Each man according to his Degel with the signs of the household of their fathers shall the B’nei Yisrael camp; some distance surrounding the Tent of Meeting they shall encamp” [Bamidbar 2:2].
The next question is what exactly these Osos or “signs” refer to. Once again, what were the Degalim, and what were the signs of each Degalim?
While we commonly translate Degel as flag, based on the true imagery we have of the way the B’nei Yisrael traveled, Rashi, in his comments on the “signs,” explains that each Degel had cloths, i.e. flags/banners, whose colors depended on the tribal stones on the Choshen worn by the Kohein Gadol. In other words, it seems from Rashi that the “signs” are a reference to the colored flags and the Degel appears to refer to the different “divisions” of tribes.
Ibn Ezra and Rashbam explain that the signs on the banners were actually images or icons corresponding to the leading tribe of each division, i.e. lion (Yehudah), ox (Yosef), human (Reuvein), eagle (Dan).
Rashbam specifies that these logos were featured on the “Neis” (flag, banner, flagpole) of each “Degel,” again, the presumption being that each Degel, i.e. each division, had a flag.
Netziv explains differently that really, each tribe and each “Beis Av,” or family-clan within the tribe, had its own flag. The clan’s flag resembled the tribe’s in color and picture, but also had Osos, Hebrew letters, numbering them. These letters, argues Netziv, were the “signs.”
Chizkuni explains that each flag, besides for the colors, had different letters of the names of the Avos, allocated and scattered throughout the divisions. These, according to Chizkuni, were the “signs of the household of their fathers,” i.e. their forefathers.
As far as how the leaders of the four divisions (three tribes per Degel) were “chosen,” Ba’al HaTurim points out that the Remez to these Degel leaders can be found back in the Birchas Yaakov, Yaakov’s last blessings to his sons. Whomever Yaakov spoke to, “L’Nochach,” i.e. in second person, i.e. “you,” ended up as a leader for a division. There were only sons addressed this way (everyone else was addressed in third person). These four were Reuvein, Yehudah, Dan, and Yosef.
While we are referring to Yaakov Avinu’s last words to his sons, Rashi suggests another explanation for the “signs of their father’s household,” according to the Midrash Tanchuma.
He explains that Yaakov instructed the B’nei Yisrael to escort his Aron (casket) in a particular formation. According to these sane signs of their father, they were to also travel, surrounding the Aron HaKodesh and the Torah, in fulfillment of the will of their father Yaakov and their other Father in Heaven.
This arrangement can perhaps be better appreciated with the following Sod.
The Kabbalistic work, Sha’arei Orah [Sha’ar 5, Sefirah 6, 17-19] cites our Pasuk to explain that just like we are one nation but can be broken down into our own divisions and flags, Hashem too, is One Entity, but relates to the world with His own Degalim, “flags.” Sometimes, He relates to us using His Degel of Chessed. At other times, He hoists a Degel of Din. And then, at other points, Rachamim. Each of the Degalim have a role and purpose. They all attest to different components of Hashem’s Unity.
In the same way, the Degalim of Am Yisrael represent different missions, different components of the single team and nation that is Am Yisrael.
We should all be Zocheh to actualize the beauty of the Torah-centered “diversity” and simultaneously unity of Am Yisrael and Hashem should rest His Shechinah among us once again with our return to Eretz Yisrael and the coming of Moshiach, Bimheirah BiYomeinu! Have a wonderful Shabbos and a wonderful Shavuos.
-Yehoshua Shmuel Eisenberg