Skip to content

Three Doubles in Beha’aloscha

Double Count in Bechaaloscha

No this is not tennis; its Hebrew. Hebrew is like no other language. Deeper studies are very nuanced and sometimes the Rabbis examine the letters, their shapes, the space they occupy and even the space they don’t occupy. It creates some very interesting ideas.

Once while studying for this website I was looking at Hebrew stats — word counts and similar stuff.  I noted a stat called “double count”. I was clueless; so I asked around about this stat and this is what was told to me.

“In the Hebrew, words are sometimes found duplicated. It is often the end of one sentence bumped up against the beginning of the next. E.g. “… was Noah. Noah began to…”.

In any other language or philosophy, such doubling would go unnoticed. But Chabad philosophy seeks meaning in every detail, so they include this in their statistics,”

Therefore, for no other purpose than it’s cool and I personally wanted a list of these occurrences. I am posting all the Scriptures, English translations and what little information I have found about them beginning here. Follow up posts will be in their respective parsha.

Parsha Beha’aloscha contains three double counts. They are listed below:

Numbers (B’Midbar) 8:16

טז כִּי֩ נְתֻנִ֨ים נְתֻנִ֥ים הֵ֨מָּה֙ לִ֔י מִתּ֖וֹךְ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל תַּ֩חַת֩ פִּטְרַ֨ת כָּל־רֶ֜חֶם בְּכ֥וֹר כֹּל֙ מִבְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לָקַ֥חְתִּי אֹתָ֖ם לִֽי:

16 For they are wholly given unto Me from among the children of Israel; instead of all that openeth the womb, even the first-born of all the children of Israel, have I taken them unto Me.

נְתֻנִ֨ים נְתֻנִ֥ים is translated as “wholly given” or “given ones, given” in many translations it’s ignored. lit.’for they are given,given‘ Rashi states, [the double expression denoting] given over for [the service of] carrying and given over for the singing [in the Temple]. – [Midrash Aggadah]

In another commentary it is translated as “formally assigned” — that is, “assigned as subordinates.” 1

This is the 10th double in BeMidbar and the 74th in Torah.

Numbers (B’Midbar) 9:10

י דַּבֵּ֛ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר אִ֣ישׁ אִ֣ישׁ כִּי־יִֽהְיֶ֥ה טָמֵ֣א ׀ לָנֶ֡פֶשׁ אוֹ֩ בְדֶ֨רֶךְ רְחֹקָ֜ה לָכֶ֗ם א֚וֹ לְדֹרֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם וְעָ֥שָׂה פֶ֖סַח לַֽיהוָֹֽה:

10 ‘Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: If any man of you or of your generations shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD;

אִ֣ישׁ אִ֣ישׁ is translated as “any man“, “any one of you“, or “any male“; lit. “man, man“, “male, male“, or “male, man

Rashi says nothing about this double.

This is the 11th double in BeMidbar and the 75th in Torah.

Numbers (B’Midbar) 12:14

יד וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה וְאָבִיהָ יָרֹק יָרַק בְּפָנֶיהָ הֲלֹא תִכָּלֵם שִׁבְעַת יָמִים תִּסָּגֵר שִׁבְעַת יָמִים מִחוּץ לַֽמַּֽחֲנֶה וְאַחַר תֵּֽאָסֵֽף:

14 And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘If her father had but spit in her face, should she not hide in shame seven days? let her be shut up without the camp seven days, and after that she shall be brought in again.’

יָרֹק יָרַק is translated as “had but spit“; lit. “spit, spit

Rashi makes no statement about this double. If we look closely it is the same Hebrew letters but the vowel points are different.

This is the 12th double in BeMidbar and the 76th in Torah.

After reading this you may want to return to Parsha Beha’alotcha


  1. “Etz Hayim Torah and Commentary”. © 1999 The Jewish Publication Society. NY P.818

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.