Testing A Navi – Part 2


 לע”נ הקדוש ר’ ארי פולד ז”ל הי”ד 

The סמ”ג, the יראים, the טור and other ruled that the איסור of לא תנסו is not to test Hashem to see if He will reward us for mitzvos. This opinion is difficult to understand because where do we see in the pasuk that the Jews had done a mitzva and were waiting to see if Hashem would reward them? 

In Sefer Shoftim [6, 39] it says: Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—  look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.”  And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.  Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.”  That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

How was it permitted for Gideon to test Hashem when the pasuk says לא תנסו את השם – DON’T test Hashem? 

The Chinuch [מצוה תכ”ד] first rules like the Rambam that one must not test a Navi. Then he continues and says that this איסור also includes testing Hashem to see if He will reward us for the mitzvos we perform. The Ramban says the same. 

How are these two seemingly unrelated mitzvos included in the same pasuk?