Were Reuben and Gad Right to Ask Moses for Land on the Other Side of the Jordan?

Wherever Jews live, God lives within them.

From Reuben and Gad Ask for Land, by Arthur Boyd Houghton. Wikimedia.

From Reuben and Gad Ask for Land, by Arthur Boyd Houghton. Wikimedia.

Atar Hadari
Observation
July 16 2015
About the author

Atar Hadari’s Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems of H. N. Bialik (Syracuse University Press) was a finalist for the American Literary Translators’ Association Award. His Lives of the Dead: Poems of Hanoch Levin earned a PEN Translates award and was released in 2019 by Arc Publications. He was ordained by Rabbi Daniel Landes and is completing a PhD on William Tyndale’s translation of Deuteronomy.


The question at the heart of this week’s double reading of Matot-Masey (Numbers 30:2 – 36:13) strikes at the heart of what the Torah as a whole is actually about. At the very beginning of Genesis, Rashi opens his magisterial commentary with this hypothesis:

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More about: Hebrew Bible, Rashi, Religion & Holidays, The Monthly Portion