Shlach Lecha: Chapter 4

Zelophehad was gathering sticks


Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Shimon talk about the sin of the man who gathered sticks on the Shabbat and who died in his own sin. Since he received his punishment of death, his sin was forgiven; this made it difficult for Moses to know what sentence to give his daughters. We learn that a person must never exchange the Tree of Life for the world, and that the Ark, Malchut, and the Torah, Zeir Anpin, exist as one. The Ark is the abode for the Torah. Moses had wanted to find out if the Tree of Life existed in the promised land, but his spies brought him only fruits from regular trees. Rabbi Yitzchak says that faithful messengers refresh the soul of their master.