The Ohel Mo'ed Outside the Camp (Part II)

  • Rav Yitzchak Levy

Mikdash

 

 

Lecture 134: THe Ohel Mo'ed outside the camp (Part II)

 

Rav Yitzchak Levi

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

            In the previous shiur, we began to examine Moshe's Ohel Mo'ed, which was found outside the camp. We saw the disagreement between the Rishonim regarding the time period during which that tent was pitched outside the camp, and we considered the implications of the dispute (regarding the relationship between the removal of the tent from the camp and the sin of the Golden Calf).

 

            In this shiur, we will deal with the significance of the existence of Moshe's Ohel Mo'ed outside the camp of Israel, parallel to the existence of the Ohel Mo'ed in the Mishkan in the midst of the camp. Besides the clear connection between this tent and Moshe Rabbeinu, we shall see that the tent has additional significance.

 

THE NATURE OF MOSHE'S OHEL MO'ED OUTSIDE THE CAMP

 

            In order to consider the nature of Moshe's tent outside the camp and its characteristics, we will cite once again the verses that mention this tent for the first time:

 

And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by Mount Chorev. And Moshe would take the tent, and pitch it outside the camp, afar off from the camp, and he called it the Ohel Mo'ed. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the Lord went out to the Ohel Mo'ed, which was outside the camp. And it came to pass, when Moshe went out to the tent that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door and looked after Moshe until he was gone into the tent. And it came to pass, as Moshe entered the Tent, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tent, and spoke with Moshe. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the door of the tent; and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the Lord spoke to Moshe face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he turned back to the camp: but his servant Yehoshua, the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart out of the tent. (Shemot 33:6-11)

 

            These verses lead to the following conclusions:

 

·           First, it is important to emphasize that it is Moshe who calls the tent “Ohel Mo'ed.” In other words, the tent may previously have been called “the tent of Moshe,” and now with the removal of the tent outside the camp Moshe, introduces the name Ohel Mo'ed.

·           Anyone who sought God went out to the Ohel Mo'ed that was pitched outside the camp.

·           The cloudy pillar stood at the door of the tent and talked with Moshe.

·           Special emphasis is placed on the fact that all the people saw the cloudy pillar standing at the door of the tent.

·           God spoke to Moshe face to face in the way that a person speaks with his friend.

 

On the one hand, it is interesting that the revelation takes place at the pillar of cloud at the door of the Ohel Mo'ed, and not inside. On the other hand, according to the plain sense of the text, it is the pillar of cloud that speaks to Moshe!

 

Malbim's understanding of the passage seems to accord with the plain sense of the text:

 

"And Moshe" – When Moshe saw that God removed his Shekhina from among the people, even from those fit for prophecy, such as Aharon and his sons and the elders, he understood that the Shekhina would also not rest upon him as long as he remained in the camp. As Chazal said that as long as Israel were placed under a ban on account of the sin of the golden calf, the Shekhina did not rest upon Moshe. He therefore took the tent, in which he would sit to judge the people and to teach them the statutes of God [for that purpose he had a special tent that was separate from the tent in which his family lived], and he pitched it outside the camp, so that it would be far from the camp, because God would not come into the camp or the adjoining area. And he called it Ohel Mo'ed, as it was set aside (meyu'ad) for God's Shekhina. Until now, it was not called by this name, because God was in the entire camp and the entire camp was designated for God's Shekhina, as it says: "In the entire place where I cause My name to be pronounced, I will come to you," whereas now it was only there that God met with him. And anyone who sought God, to attain the word of God and His goodwill, went out to the Ohel Mo'ed, for in the camp there was no resting of God's Shekhina.

 

            In his commentary, M.D. Cassuto emphasizes another point:

 

Since Moshe saw that now God would not permit the Mishkan to be built according to the original plan, as the people of Israel were not deserving of that, he came up with the idea to prepare something that could temporarily stand in place of the Mishkan, until [God's] anger passed. He could not seclude himself with the Shekhina in the camp of Israel, since the camp had become ritually impure through the sin of idolatry, and God did not want to rest his Shekhina there. For this reason, Moshe took his tent and pitched it outside the camp so that it could serve as a place of meeting between him and God.

 

            According to the Malbim, the tent was taken out of the camp because the Shekhina left the camp in the aftermath of the sin of the golden calf. The tent was removed from the camp in order to make it possible for the Shekhina to continue to meet with Moshe.

 

            According to Cassuto, it is true that the camp was defiled by idolatry and God did not wish to rest His Shekhina in it, but the removal of the tent from the camp had another objective as well. Since in the meantime the Mishkan could not be built, Moshe came up with the idea of preparing something that could temporarily stand in place of the Mishkan until God's anger passed. The tent served, as it were, as a prelude to the Mishkan.[1]

 

            M.D. Cassuto continues:

 

"And he called it the Ohel Mo'ed" – He called it by this name because the real Ohel Mo'ed, namely, the Mishkan, which is already earlier several times called Ohel Mo'ed, did not yet exist, and could not be built at that time. People regularly call the substitute by the name of the thing in place of which it comes. Moshe hoped that God would be willing to meet with him in this Ohel Mo'ed, and he was not disappointed. It was fitting that all of this is stated here, for if not, we would not understand where the words of God from verse 12 and on were said to Moshe, since it does not say that Moshe ascended Mount Sinai or anything else that would point to Moshe's secluding himself in order to hear the word of God.

 

            According to Cassuto, the tent was called Ohel Mo'ed on account of the future Ohel Mo'ed of the Mishkan.

 

            In light of these explanations, let us now examine the other places where this Ohel Mo'ed is mentioned and its characteristics in each place:

 

·           In the story of the complainers (ha-mit'onanim) (Bamidbar 11:16-35):

o   In the command (vv. 16-17), the seventy men are commanded to stand with Moshe in the Ohel Mo'ed. God will speak there to Moshe and put of his spirit upon them.

o   In the execution (vv. 24-25), Moshe stands the seventy men round about the tent and not in it, God comes down in a cloud, speaks to Moshe, and takes of the spirit that is upon him and puts it upon the seventy elders and they prophesize.

 

·           In the story of the Kushite woman, "the Lord came down in the pillar of cloud and stood in the door of the tent" (Bamidbar 12:10-13) – the revelation is in a pillar of a cloud at the door of the Ohel Mo'ed, and with the removal of the cloud from the tent, Miriam is snow white, stricken with tzara'at.

 

·           For Yehoshua's appointment, Moshe and Yehoshua are commanded to present themselves in the Ohel Mo'ed: "And the Lord appeared in the tent in a pillar of a cloud, and the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of the tent" (Devarim 31:14 and on). Here too God reveals himself in a pillar of cloud that is over the door of the tent.

 

Is it possible that the description of the appearance of the cloud in the story of the Kushite woman and the story of Yehoshua's appointment comes to emphasize that this revelation was visible from outside, as it took place at the door of the Ohel Mo'ed? Perhaps also in the story of the complainers, the seventy men stood around about the tent and not in it so that the event should be visible from the outside.

 

To this we should add the special emphasis that the Torah places in the account of the removal of the tent outside the camp to the fact that all the people looked after Moshe until he was gone into the tent, and that they saw the pillar of cloud standing at the door of the tent.

 

According to this understanding, a very important aspect of the removal of the tent is that the people should see with their own eyes that the Shekhina does not meet with Moshe on those various occasions in the camp, but rather outside of it. For this reason, the Torah strongly emphasizes that the cloud was at the door of the tent and that the people saw Moshe and the cloud.

 

It might simply be suggested that this emphasis comes to sharpen the contrast between the tent outside the camp and the Ohel Mo'ed in the camp, where the revelation takes place only in the Holy of Holies, from above the kaporet and between the two keruvim.[2]

 

THE NATURE OF MOSHE'S TENT

 

1. SPECIAL TENT FOR MOSHE'S PROPHECY[3]

 

            It is clear that all the verses that mention Moshe's Ohel Mo'ed are connected to the special quality of Moshe's prophecy.[4] According to Prof. Henshke, the revelation in the tent that was outside the camp stems from what happened at the rock (Shemot 33:12-23), where Moshe asked, "Show me now Your way, that I may know You, that I may find favor in Your sight" and to see the glory of God: "I pray You, show me Your glory." The revelation ends with the words, "And you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen." The revelation here is connected not to the Torah and its commandments, but rather to the comprehension of God's ways and to Moshe's unique level of knowing Him.

 

            Therefore, when Moshe is in the outer tent, he receives his prophecy concerning the ways of knowing God, and with that he leads the people of Israel. It is there that the spirit that rests on him is put on the seventy elders and upon Yehoshua, and anybody seeking God can go there.

 

            According to this, it is possible that God's revelation at Moshe's level remained outside the camp until the end of Moshe's life.

 

            The commentators assign several names to Moshe's tent, which allow us to distinguish between it and the Ohel Mo'ed- Mishkan. In the Torah, both the Mishkan and Moshe's tent are called "Ohel Mo'ed," and thus they are indistinguishable according to their names.

 

            The difference between them lies in the fact that one is in the heart of the camp, whereas the other stands outside the camp. There is also a difference with respect to what transpires in each tent. Wherever mention is made of the Ohel Mo'ed we must ask – based on the identity of the people found there and on what is happening there – whether we are dealing with the Mishkan or with Moshe's tent outside the camp.

 

2. A TENT FOR TORAH STUDY

 

            An interesting distinction between the tents emerges from Onkelos's Aramaic translation of the Torah.

 

            The Ohel Mo'ed of the Mishkan is called "Mishkan Zimna," i.e., the temporary tent – a term that is meant to characterize the Mishkan as opposed to the permanent Temple. Moshe's Ohel Mo'ed, on the other hand, is rendered as "Mishkan Beit Ulpana," i.e., the tent of study, something like a Beit Midrash.

 

            According to this understanding, when the Torah states, "Everyone who sought the Lord went out to the Ohel Mo'ed" (Shemot 33:7), it refers to those wishing to learn Torah.

 

            The Midrash ha-Gadol adopts a similar position:

 

"For the material they had was sufficient for all the work to do it, and too much." Moshe said before the Holy One, blessed be He: Master of the universe, we have completed the work of the Mishkan; what shall we do with the excess? He said to him: Go and make from it a [Beit] Midrash for the Mishkan. This is what is written: "And Moshe would take the tent" – this is Moshe's Beit Midrash. (Shemot 36:7)

 

            It seems from the midrash that Moshe's tent was called Moshe's Beit Midrash.[5]

 

            This might also follow from the passage in Eiruvin (54b), which describes the order in which Torah was taught in the wilderness. According to this passage, Moshe taught the Oral Law to Aharon, and then to the sons of Aharon, and then to the elders of Israel. It is very possible that according to the account there that those learning the Torah would enter a certain place and sit down there, the teaching would take place in Moshe's tent.[6]

 

            Yehoshua's efforts in the tent (Shemot 33:11) – preparing the Beit Midrash, arranging the benches, spreading out the mats, and the like – relate to Moshe's tent, the Ohel Mo'ed.

 

            From all these sources it appears that during the period that Moshe's tent was located outside the camp, there was a tent outside the camp that served as a place of study – sort of a Beit Midrash in which Moshe taught Torah and expounded the Oral Law. This tent was clearly connected in a most essential way to Moshe, who received the Torah and the tablets of Testimony from God, the Written Law and the Oral Law.

 

            The heavy stress found in all the sources on the fact that the tent was a place of Torah study raises the possibility that perhaps in the wake of the sin there was a certain decrease in the direct relationship between the Written Law and the Oral Law. Prior to the sin, they were meant to be entirely uniform.

 

            If the main study of the Oral Law took place in Moshe's tent, it turns out that the Oral law was now separated in a certain sense from the primary site of revelation, the Ohel Mo'ed of the Mishkan.

 

            While Moshe Rabbeinu in his very being joined together the receiving of the Written Law and that of the Oral Law, the primary site of revelation was still from above the kaporet between the two keruvim in the Holy of Holies in the Mishkan.

 

            According to this understanding, there is room to discuss the significance of this separation between the two tents and the two types of revelation.

 

            Yehoshua clearly played a central role in the tent in this connection, and the verse, "But his servant Yehoshua, the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart out of the tent" (Shemot 33:11), was expounded in many midrashim in this context. For example, “Yehoshua arranged the Beit Midrash, the benches and the mats” (Bamidbar Rabba 21:14).

 

            In this context, we can certainly explain the fact that "everyone who sought the Lord went out to the Ohel Mo'ed" relates also to Torah study.

 

            According to this, Moshe's tent outside the camp during the time under discussion was the main site of Torah study. It was there that the Written Law was expounded, and it was there that innovations were made in the Oral Law.

 

            Yehoshua played a central role in this context – "the face of Moshe was like the face of the sun, while the face of Yehoshua was like the face of the moon." The Torah that Moshe received at Sinai was passed on to Yehoshua at the level that Yehoshua was capable of receiving it.[7]

 

3. THE TENT OF "DIBROT"

 

            The Yalkut Shimoni (Beha'alotekha 737) brings a midrash which states: "There were two tents: one tent for service and one tent for 'dibrot' (statements)"

 

            At first glance, this might be understood to mean that from now on it was in this tent that God spoke to Moshe.[8]

 

            Shemuel Hakohen suggests that "dibrot" does not refer to God's communication with Moshe, but to the ten commandments, that is to say, to the broken set of tablets.[9]

 

            Even though the Torah does not relate to the question of what was done with the first set of tablets after Moshe broke them, it is reasonable to assume that the broken pieces were saved in a dignified manner. The Torah emphasizes their sanctity several times:

 

And Moshe turned, and went down from the mountain, and the two tablets of the Testimony were in his hand: tablets written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved upon the tablets. (Shemot 32:15-16)

 

It would seem that the tablets' sanctity led to their being stored away in a respectable place.

 

            One reasonable possibility is that the first set of tablets was placed in the wooden ark that Moshe was commanded to make for them.[10]

 

            As may be recalled, according to Rashi, it was in this ark that the broken tablets were placed, and it was with this ark that the people went out to war; and according to the Ramban, the wooden ark served until the building of the Mishkan.

 

            The question that may be raised according to both views (according to the Ramban, until the building of the Mishkan, and according to Rashi, even afterwards) is where the wooden ark was kept.

           

            According to Rashi, who maintains that there were two parallel arks for an extended period of time, the wooden ark containing the broken set of tablets may have been stored in Moshe's Ohel Mo'ed that was outside the camp.

 

            According to this understanding, it is interesting that the site of Torah study is connected to the place where the broken tablets were kept. It is, as it were, against the background of the word of God and His writing of the ten commandments that the Oral Law was now being taught in the tent of Moshe.

 

4. THE TENT AS A PLACE OF REPENTANCE[11]

 

            In light of the timing of Moshe's pitching his tent outside the camp, it is possible to understand that the whole purpose of taking the tent outside was one of repair and repentance in the wake of the sin of the golden calf.[12] The verse, "Everyone who sought the Lord went out to the Ohel Mo'ed, which was outside the camp," is usually understood to mean that the tent served as a house of study for those seeking the Torah (thus Rashi in the wake of Onkelos, as we saw above), but Targum Yonatan ben Uziel renders the verse as follows:

 

And it came to pass that anyone who repented with a full heart before the Lord went out to the tent of study outside the camp, confessed his sins, and was forgiven.

 

            According to this understanding, "everyone who sought the Lord" refers to penitent sinners.

 

            This expression brings to mind the Torah's words, "But if from there you shall seek the Lord your God, you shall find him" (Devarim 4:29), which also refer to repentance from the sin of idolatry. It turns out, then, that anybody who fully repented his sin would go out to the Ohel Mo'ed that stood outside the camp, confess his sin, seek forgiveness, pray and achieve pardon.

 

            In this sense, the story of how the people of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments and how Moshe pitched his tent outside the camp is an inseparable part of the larger story of Israel's repentance. Thus, this period between the 17th of Tamuz and the 1st of Elul constituted a period of repentance and prayer for individuals and for the community, and not only for Moshe. Indeed, at the end of this period, the people of Israel merited forgiveness and the second set of tablets.

 

            This understanding is reinforced by the words of Targum Yonatan ben Uziel:

 

And Moshe took them [the ornaments] and kept them in his tent of Torah study. He took the tent from there and pitched it outside the camp, distancing it two thousand cubits from the camp of the people who were banned. And he called it the tent of study. And it came to pass that anyone who repented with a full heart before the Lord went out to the tent of study outside the camp, confessed his sins, and was forgiven.

 

            The Targum had earlier explained that the ornaments were engraved with the name of God. Moshe hid them in his tent and then took his tent and pitched it outside the camp. When the penitent sinners of Israel confessed their sin and received forgiveness, these ornaments were returned to them. It is possible that Yehoshua's role, according to this tradition, was also to watch over these ornaments during this interim period.

 

The relationship between the Ohel Mo'ed of the Mishkan and the Ohel Mo'ed of Moshe

 

            Thus far we have discussed various aspects of Moshe's Ohel Mo'ed:

 

·           The time period during which it functioned (when it was removed from the camp and how long it remained there) according to the various positions.

·           Its essence and purpose according to the various sources.

 

To complete the picture, let us now consider the significance of the existence of two parallel tents – the Ohel Mo'ed in the Mishkan in the heart of the camp, and Moshe's Ohel Mo'ed outside the camp.

 

The midrash states with regard to the appointment of the seventy elders:

 

"And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tent" (Bamidbar 11:24). "Round about the tent" – in the tent for "dibrot," which was outside the camp. They made two tents: one tent for service and one tent for "dibrot." The outer tent had the same dimensions as the inner tent, and the Levites served in both with the wagons, as it is stated: "They shall keep My charge" (Vayikra 22:8); "The service of the Ohel Mo'ed, for all the service of the tent" (Bamidbar 18:4). They made two tents. And so too its length was thirty cubits with a width of ten [cubits] like the inner one, for you find: "And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tent." He stood thirty to the north, and thirty to the south, and ten to the east, and Moshe opposite them to the west, each one standing in the space of a cubit. (Yalkut Shimoni, Parashat Beha'alotekha, 737)

 

            Beyond the very existence of two parallel tents, this midrash implies that the outer tent remained in service even after the Mishkan was constructed, and that the Levites served therein. The midrash describes here an essential parallelism, the one tent used for service, the other for "dibrot."

 

            Despite the essential difference between service and "dibrot" in their various senses, the tents were identical in their dimensions, and the Levites served in both with the wagons – that is to say, the two tents were carried and watched over in very similar manner.

 

            The midrash wishes to show that the two tents parallel each other in their names, their dimensions, their form, and in the way they were carried and watched over. For this reason, we should relate to the overall significance of the two tents in parallel fashion.

 

            The meaning of the two tents clearly depends on how we understand Moshe's Ohel Mo'ed outside the camp. We shall suggest several ways of understanding this tent:

 

1. MOSHE'S OHEL MO'ED – A TENT DESIGNATED FOR MOSHE'S PROPHECY; THE OHEL MO'ED IN THE MISHKAN – THE PLACE WHERE GOD MET WITH MOSHE FROM BETWEEN THE TWO KERUVIM[13]

 

            Moshe's Ohel Mo'ed involved God's revelation to Moshe at his special prophetic level, and there God's words to Moshe were directly connected to Moshe's prophecy. The Ohel Mo'ed in the Mishkan involved God's meeting with Moshe from between the two keruvim, and the content of that meeting was connected to Torah and mitzvot.

 

            According to this, if the revelation in Moshe's tent was a continuation of the revelation in the cleft of the rock, the revelation from between the two keruvim was a continuation of the revelation at Mount Sinai. The continuation of the revelation at Mount Sinai was connected to the camp of Israel. It took place in the Mishkan that was set up by Israel through their contributions and actions, and it was directed at all of Israel, with Moshe serving as the intermediary through which God met with all of Israel. The Ohel Mo'ed in the Mishkan was a continuation of God's meeting with Moshe with respect to Torah and mitzvot, whereas Moshe's Ohel Mo'ed outside the Mishkan was directly connected to Moshe's special prophetic level.

 

            In this sense, in Moshe's tent God revealed Himself in direct connection to Moshe's special level, and anyone seeking God who was also interested in cleaving to Moshe went out to that tent. In the Ohel Mo'ed in the Mishkan, in contrast, God revealed Himself through Moshe to all of Israel and on behalf of all of Israel. In this light, this was a continuation of the giving of the Torah and mitzvot which began at Mount Sinai and continued all the years during which Israel wandered in the wilderness in the meeting that took place between God and Moshe from between the two keruvim.

 

            Thus, God's revelation to Moshe in the outer tent always took place outside, at the door of the tent, whereas His revelation to Moshe as the representative of all of Israel always took place inside, in the Holy of Holies from between the two keruvim.

 

2. MOSHE'S OHEL MO'ED – A TENT DESIGNATED FOR TORAH STUDY; THE OHEL MO'ED IN THE MISHKAN – THE PLACE WHERE GOD MET WITH MOSHE

 

            Moshe's tent was distinguished by Torah study, the creation of Torah from below, the Oral Law that expounds and explains the Written Law.

 

            According to this understanding, in the Ohel Mo'ed of the Mishkan, God met with Moshe and gave him Torah and mitzvot. The difference between the two tents reflects the difference between Torah that comes from above and Torah that is created from below.

 

            In the wake of the sin of the golden calf, a certain separation developed between the Torah that comes from above – the Divine revelation to Moshe from between the two keruvim – and the exposition and study of the Torah on the part of Moshe and anyone who seeks God and is interested in clinging to Moshe for this purpose, and this was done in the outer tent.[14]

 

3. THE TENT OF "DIBROT"

 

            It is reasonable to argue that the broken tablets were placed in the wooden ark that was fashioned by Moshe, and it is possible that this ark was kept in Moshe's tent that was pitched outside the camp.

 

            If the second set of tablets rested in the inner ark, and the broken set of tablets rested in the outer ark, then in a certain sense the outer tent served as a reminder of the heavenly reality which the people of Israel lost as a result of their sin.

 

4. A TENT OF REPENTANCE

 

            All of the sources that relate to the outer tent as a tent of repentance emphasize what would be expected in the wake of the sin - namely, Israel's repentance for and repair of that sin. The inner tent, on the other hand, maintained the special connection between God and Israel through the Torah and mitzvot with were given to Moshe as the representative of all of Israel.

 

            When we attempt summarize the various characteristics of the outer tent, it is clearly evident that they all stem from consequences of the sin:

 

·           Moshe's unique level of prophecy is separated from the revelation to Moshe as representative of all of Israel.

·           The study of the Oral Law through study and exposition from below is separated from the receiving of Torah and mitzvot by way of Moshe.

·           The idea of the tent as a place of repentance is directly connected to the process of repair in the aftermath of the sin.

 

Each of the explanations is based on a different understanding of the essence of the tent, but it is possible to see the connection between the various explanations and how they join to form a single totality.

 

Thus, for example, we can understand how Moshe's prophecy and the broken set of tablets that accord with Moshe's level are also connected to the study of Torah on the part of Moshe and all those who wish to cleave to him.

 

All of these join to the temporary reality which is undoubtedly a product of the sin, where Moshe finds himself in the tent that is outside the camp, and events take place there that are connected to Moshe's special level of prophecy and to Torah study from below, and it is possible that the broken set of tablets are found there and that it is a place of repentance.

 

Parallel to this, and especially according to the view that the outer tent stood until the end of the forty year period in the wilderness, God reveals Himself to Moshe from between the two keruvim, and through him meets with all of Israel, and Moshe receives Torah and mitzvot from above.

 

In the next shiur, we will discuss the relationship between the ark and the kaporet and keruvim.

 

 

(Translated by David Strauss)



[1] This approach is clearly more possible according to the Ramban's understanding that the tent was pitched outside the camp already on the 17th of Tamuz.

[2] This understanding has different implications depending on the time period during which the tent stood outside the camp: whether from the 17th of Tamuz to the end of the month of Av, as argued by the Ramban; from Yom Kippur until the setting up of the Mishkan, as maintained by Rashi; or until the end of Israel's forty years in the wilderness.

[3] This understanding is well-explained in Prof. Henschke's article mentioned in the previous shiur, in the note on pp. 33-35.

[4] In Shemot 33:11, it says: "And the Lord spoke to Moshe face to face, as a man speaks to his friend." And similarly in the incident involving Miriam in Bamidbar 12:8: "With him I speak mouth to mouth, manifestly, and not in dark speeches, and the similitude of the Lord does he behold." In the story of the seventy elders and in the incident involving Yehoshua, the subject is the prophecy of Moshe and the setting of Moshe's spirit on the elders or on Yehoshua.

[5] In Yalkut ha-Mekhiri to Mishlei 27:18, Moshe's Ohel Mo'ed is referred to as Moshe's "beit va'ad." Rav Kasher (Torah Sheleima to Parashat Ki-Tisa) notes that in Midrash ha-Afela the tent is called "the tent of wisdom."

Shemuel Hakohen brings in his article (see previous shiur, note 1) the various sources that have been mentioned here, and notes that the term "beit va'ad" is borrowed from the period of Yavneh, where the beit va'ad served as the seat of the Sanhedrin after it was removed from the Chamber of Hewn Stone on the Temple Mount.

[6] So also suggests Shemuel Hakohen in the aforementioned article.

[7] R. Mosheh Lichtenstein, in his book, Tzir ve-Tzon (pp. 87-90) makes a similar argument. According to him, after the sin of the Golden Calf, Moshe understood the depth of the nation's passivity, and that he must take the initiative and wean the people from this reality. To further this end, Moshe removes his tent and pitches it outside the camp, and then: "Everyone who sought the Lord went out to the Ohel Mo'ed, which was outside the camp." In this way, Moshe forced those who sought God's word to engage in active efforts.

In this context, R. Mosheh Lichtenstein cites the words of the Beit ha-Levi, who sees a similar process in the transition from the first set of tablets to the second set, with respect to the creative role of man with respect to Torah.

[8] According to this understanding, there is room to disccuss, what the word of God to Moshe from between the two keruvim was and what God said to him in the outer tent.

According to the viewpoint that the Torah was given in sections (Gittin 60a), was the Torah given during this stage in the outer tent? Designating the inner tent for service and the other tent for "dibrot" may lead to the conclusion that the new sections of the Torah were all given in the outer tent.

[9] In the article mentioned in the previous shiur. We related to the possibility that he raises in previous shiurim. The Torah refers to the ten commandments as the ten "devarim" (so in Shemot 34:28 and in Devarim 4:13). It is Chazal that refers to them as the ten "dibrot" (Berakhot 12b).

[10] We expanded upon the relationship between the various commands in previous shiurim. We mentioned the gemara in Bava Batra 14b, according to which both the broken tablets and the whole tablets rested in the ark, and we noted that the commentators disagree whether the reference is to Betzalel's ark that was set in the Holy of Holies or to the wooden ark fashioned by Moshe.

[11] This approach is finely developed in Prof. Yaakov Efrati's article, cited above.

[12] And especially according to the viewpoint of the Ramban.

[13] This understanding is brought by Prof. Henschke in his article.

[14] See R. Mosheh Lichtenstein, cited above in note 7, who develops this approach.