Previous Next Home Title Page Index Contents

3 The Oral Teachings

Our ancestors passed the details of the Torah orally from the time of Moses. New circumstances require new interpretations of the laws, which become part of the Oral Law. The laws of the Written Torah are D’raissa from the first writings, and those of the Oral Torah are D’rabbanan from the teachers—the former having precedent over the later in the case of a dispute, but are otherwise considered equally obligatory. Exodus 24:12 is a weak claim for its existence, but there is a necessity to explain the manners of commandments in any religion. Moreover from 2.5.4, we can see that there must be a process of emendation of the written laws even to their exclusion at times. Are there ‘rabbis’ today who consider the global Jewish community in making their decisions? Particularly in remote places the oral law is in the hands of laypersons.

Text 3-1: Exodus 24:12
יב  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה, עֲלֵה אֵלַי הָהָרָה--וֶהְיֵה-שָׁם; וְאֶתְּנָה לְךָ אֶת-לֻחֹת הָאֶבֶן, וְהַתּוֹרָה וְהַמִּצְוָה, אֲשֶׁר כָּתַבְתִּי, לְהוֹרֹתָם.
12 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Come up to Me into the mount and be there; and I will give thee the tables of stone, and the law and the commandment, which I have written, that thou mayest teach them.'

To ‘teach them’ alludes to the Oral Law. Also in Exodus 34:27:

Text 3-2: Exodus 34:27
כז  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה, כְּתָב-לְךָ אֶת-הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה:  כִּי עַל-פִּי הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה, כָּרַתִּי אִתְּךָ בְּרִית--וְאֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל.
27 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Write thou these words, for after these spoken words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.'

Text 3-3: Talmud - Mas. T'murah 14b
I would have written a letter and sent it to R. Joseph [in Babylon] to say that he should not delete the case of drink-offerings [from the above Baraitha],(1) and yet there is no contradiction.(2) Here,(3) we are dealing with drink-offerings which accompany a sacrifice,(4) while there(5) we are dealing with drink-offerings which are brought by themselves.(6) And if he had found [someone] could he have written the letter? Did not R. Abba the son of R. Hiyya b. Abba report in the name of R. Johanan: Those who write the traditional teachings(7) [are punished](8) like those who burn the Torah,(9) and he who learns from them [the writings] receives no reward. And R. Judah b. Nahman the Meturgeman(10) of Resh Lakish gave the following [as exposition]: The verse says: Write thou these words(11) and then says: For after the tenor of these words,(11) thus teaching you that matters received as oral traditions you are not permitted to recite from writing and that written things [Biblical passages] you are not permitted to recite from memory.(12) And the Tanna of the School of R. Ishmael taught: Scripture says, ‘Write thou these words’, implying that ‘these’ words you may write but you may not write traditional laws!(13) — The answer was given: Perhaps the case is different in regard to a new interpretation.(14) For R. Johanan and Resh Lakish used to peruse the book of Aggadah(15) on Sabbaths(16) and explained [their attitude] in this manner: [Scripture says:] It is time for the Lord to work, they have made void thy law,(17) explaining this as follows: It is better that one letter of the Torah(18) should be uprooted than that the whole Torah should be forgotten.

(1) That drink-offerings are indeed offered by day.
(2) With the text cited above: ‘Their meal-offering and drink-offering, which was explained above as meaning that drink-offerings may be offered by night.
(3) In the Baraitha above which includes the case of drink-offerings as being offered by day.
(4) The offering up of a sacrifice rendered the drink-offerings sacred so that they cannot be offered by night, like the sacrifice itself.
(5) The text, ‘Their meal-offering etc.’.
(6) Which were not hallowed by the killing of the sacrifice but were dedicated after the sacrifice had been offered up. In such a case, drink-offerings may be offered for ten days, including the nights.
(7) Halakhahs, v. Glos.
(8) V. R. Gershom.
(9) For it is forbidden to retain oral traditions which have been committed to writing, since they belong to the Oral Law (Rashi). Another explanation of Rashi: These writings are not saved on Sabbath in case of fire.
(10) Lit., ‘interpreter’; his Amora who expounded his lectures, v. Glos. s.v. Amora.
(11) Ex. XXXIV, 27.
(12) Tosaf. asks how then do we recite psalms, and answers that we are only particular as regards the Pentateuch. Furthermore the restriction only applies when we are desirous of acting on behalf of others.
(13) How therefore could R. Dimi have written down the oral tradition with reference to drink-offerings?
(14) The analogy quoted above: ‘And just as peace-offerings are offered by day etc.’ (R. Gershom). Another explanation (Rashi): Any new interpretation which reconciles conflicting Baraithas. Sh. Mek. adds: Another version: The answer was given. The Rabbis rely on what they learn, but since there is forgetfulness, they reduce to writing and when the occasion arises they look into the book.
(15) Homiletic literature.
(16) In order that the Aggadahs might not be forgotten.
(17) Ps. CXIX, 126. When a thing is done in the name of God it is sometimes necessary to nullify the Law. The reason for the prohibition of reducing to writing oral tradition has so far not been satisfactorily explained. For a full discussion of the problem, as well as an attempt to explain the term Halakhahs mentioned in this connection, v. Kaplan, J. The Redaction of the Talmud, pp. 261ff.
(18) I.e., the passage: ‘For after the tenor of these words’ which prohibits the committing to writing of oral traditions.

Because the Oral Law was written down as the lesser of two evils rather than be lost, the Jewish population is on the decline. For example, Judaism has not adapted to a difficult environment for Jewish singles to find each other to marry and to procreate. For example Kohanim are prohibited from marrying converts because they are considered influenced by immorality, yet many converts have even less tolerance for immorality. There is a shortage of Jewish women in remote areas of the world, but the recorded oral law would have men remain single even when there are non-Jews who would adopt traditional Judaism, but no Bet Dins to facilitate conversion. There is a surplus of Jewish women in cities, but the recorded oral law would have them remain single rather than procreate and raise Jewish families.[547] From the story of Ruth we learn how Judaism operated in remote places, acquiring Jewish converts by adherence to family as opposed to bet din conversion. Jewish identity by mother vs. father does not address the case where these families have successfully raised Jewish children that are being ostracized by orthodox congregations because there is not a bet din to facilitate conversions. Also there are numerous women of matrilineal Jewish descent that have no interest in being Jewish, usually due to a dilution of identity through a history of generations of intermarriage.[548] Today the fear seems to be greater that losing a drop of the Torah, i.e. not allowing the oral law to function freely and change again is better than the risk of losing the “entire Torah”. Yet, how can a Jewish child be sacrificed for a chiseled in stone oral law? Rav Kook taught that the Torah applies in the Land of Israel, but outside we are only practicing. All observance outside of Israel is only practice and without real validity so how can anyone question the legitimacy of conversion in the wilderness. If the oral law functioned correctly, “for out of Zion would go the Torah and the word of G-d from Jerusalem.”

Nevertheless, the record of the Oral Torah is a great gift for it reveals the process of discerning the laws of the Torah. Humans are by nature flawed and the Written Torah contains their stories while the Oral Torah reveals their flaws. The Oral Torah enables us to understand the Written Torah if and when the simple written words are flawed by the speaker or even out of context. Examples include Isaiah’s vision of God which we know is prohibited by the Torah and hence, an overstatement by this prophet. Other cases include the non-Jewish idea of sin transference, i.e. the literal giving of sins to a goat, when we know this is a symbolic ritual transforming physical action into spiritual manifestation. Also we know that God forgives sins without the shedding of blood, extending Leviticus’ 17:11. The Oral Torah explains the Written Torah’s context and true meaning. It is simply impossible to know the Torah without it.[549]

There are many techniques in expounding the Written Torah with the Oral Torah. Many of the derivations are read into the text in ways that may not be significant. This is a creative manner as it is taught, the law is not in heaven that you should go up and seek it there, but man decrees and G-d fulfills. Truth evolves even absolute truth. This is the nature of Talmud. Right and wrong can change over time with interpretation. Absolute truth changes accordingly. In observance, we strive to be the best we can be and follow the axiom ‘Less guilt, more joy.’[550] This truth is an evolving determination, since the Oral Torah does not specify what the accepted opinion is!

3.1 Midrash

The Midrash is a commentary on the Bible and part of the Oral Torah. The Midrash is rich in lessons and reveals the endless depth of meaning in Torah. It consists mostly of the Agadah—they are the legends surrounding and explaining the stories in the Torah. It is important that we not become depressed in daily sufferings. Remember the teaching of R. Akiba:

Text 3-4: Eternal Reward for Daily Suffering
He deals strictly with both, even to the great deep. He deals strictly with the righteous, calling them to account for the few wrongs which they commit in this world, in order to lavish bliss upon and give them a goodly reward in the world to come; He grants ease to the wicked and rewards them for the few good deeds which they have performed in this world in order to punish them in the future world.[551]

King David wrote similarly in the Psalms:

Why do the wicked prosper in this world, so that they may be destroyed forever. Similarly, the righteous, suffer, in order that they may live forever in the world to come.

There is a midrash that states that ones food in heaven will be according to ones Torah learning, ones clothes in heaven will be according to the mitzvot kept, and ones drink in heaven will be according to the prayers one uttered.[552] Yet, in the physical world, a tzaddik such as Moses could ‘be a channel for the influx of three kinds of blessing, which come into the world: food – “the manna,” clothing – “the cloud of glory,” and drink – “the well”.’[553] Heaven on Earth is to answer the inexplicable questions as Moses taught. The inexplicable questions are brought forth and answered in the Midrash.

3.1.1 Midrash Rabbah Deuteronomy

3.1.1.1 And this is the blessing - Ve’zot ha’Bracha

This is the last Torah portion and is read on the Shabbas before Simchat Torah, which renews the yearly cycle.[554]

Text 3-5: Midrash Rabbah - Deuteronomy 9:9
9. BEHOLD, THY DAYS APPROACH THAT THOU MUST DIE. R. Aibu said: Moses said: ‘Master of the Universe, with the word [behold](3) with which I have praised Thee in the midst of sixty myriads who hallowed

____________________

(1) E V. ‘For this is the whole of man’.
(2) It is not clear to what this refers. Radal and ‘E.J. explain: that I may enter Eretz Israel. It is more likely, however, that he is referring to death: that I may enter the future life.
(3) Cf. supra, IX, 9.

Deut. 179

Thy name, hast Thou decreed death upon me, as it is said, BEHOLD, THY DAYS APPROACH THAT THOU MUST DIE. In all Thy acts [one sees] measure for measure; [then why dost Thou repay me] a bad measure for a good measure, a short measure for a full measure, a grudging measure for an ample measure? ' Whereupon the Holy One, blessed be He, answered: ' Moses, My use of the expression "behold" is also a good measure, as it is said, Behold, I send an angel before thee (Ex. XXIII, 20); Behold, the righteous shall be requited in the earth (Prov. XI, 31); Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet (Mal. III, 23). And just as you have exalted Me before sixty myriads of people, so too will I exalt you in the time to come in the midst of fifty-five myriads of altogether righteous men,’ as it is said, hen (behold), the numerical value of hen being as follows, [the letter] he, five and nun, fifty.

Text 3-6: Midrash Rabbah - Deuteronomy XI:10

10. R. Johanan said: Scripture refers ten times to the death of Moses, as follows: Behold, thy days approach that thou must die (Deut. XXXI, 14); And die in the mount (ib. XXXII, 50); But I must die (ib. IV, 22); For I know that after my death (ib. XXXI, 29); And how much more after my death (ib. XXXI, 27); Before his death (ib. XXXIII,I);A hundred and twenty years old when he died (ib. XXXIV, 7); So Moses the servant of the Lord died there (ib. 5); Now it came to pass after the death of Moses (Josh. I,1);Moses My servant is dead (ib. 2). This teaches that ten times was it decreed that Moses should not enter Eretz Israel, but the harsh decree was not finally sealed until the High Court1 revealed itself to him and declared: ' It is my decree that you should not pass over,’ [as it is said,] For thou shalt not go over this Jordan (Deut. III, 27). Moses, however, made light of this, saying: ' Israel have many times committed great sins, and whenever I prayed for them, God immediately answered my prayer, as it is said, Let Me alone, that I may destroy them (ib. IX, 14); yet what is written there? And the Lord repented of the evil (Ex. XXXII, 14); I will smite them

____________________

(1) I.e. God as Head of the Court on High.

Deut. 180

with the pestilence, and destroy them (Num. XIV, 12); What is written there? And the Lord said: I have pardoned, etc. (ib. 20). Seeing then that I have not sinned from my youth, does it not stand to reason that when I pray on my own behalf God should answer my prayer?’ And when God saw that Moses made light of the matter and that he was not engaging in prayer, He seized the opportunity to swear by His great Name that Moses should not enter Eretz Israel, as it is said, Therefore (laken) ye shall not bring this assembly (ib. XX, 12), and ’laken’ always implies an oath, as it is said, And therefore (laken) I have sworn unto the house of Eli (I Sam. III, 14). When, however, Moses saw that the decree against him had been sealed, he took a resolve to fast, and drew a small circle(l) and stood therein, and exclaimed: ' I will not move from here until Thou annullest that decree.’[555] What else did Moses do then? He donned sackcloth and wrapped himself with sackcloth and rolled himself in the dust and stood in prayer and supplications before God, until the heavens and the order of nature were shaken. Said they: ' Perhaps it is the desire of God to create His world anew.’ Whereupon a heavenly voice was heard proclaiming: ‘It is not yet God's desire to renew His world... but, In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind--ish’ (Job XII,10), and ‘man’ must surely refer to Moses, as it is said, Now the man Moses was very meek, above all men that were upon the face of the earth (Num. XII, 3). What did God do? At that hour He had it proclaimed in every gate of each of the heavens,(2) and in every Court, that they should not receive Moses’ prayer, nor bring it before Him, because the decree against him had been sealed. Now at that hour God hastily summoned the Angel in charge of Proclamations, Achzeriel - אכזראל by name, and He commanded the ministering angels: ' Descend quickly, bolt all the gates of every heaven, because the voice of the prayer threatens to force its way to heaven.’ And the angels sought to ascend to heaven because of the

____________________

(1) This is reminiscent of the exploits of Honi the Circle Drawer, cf. Ta'an. 23a.
(2) There are seven heavens.

Deut. 181

sound of Moses’ prayer, for his prayer was like a sword which tears and cuts its way through everything, and spares nothing, seeing that his prayer was of the nature of the Ineffable Name – Sham haMeforesh – שם המפורש which he had learnt from Zagzagel - זגזגאל the Master Scribe of the children of heaven – רב וסופר של בני מרום. It is to that hour that [the prophet] alludes when he says, And I heard behind me the voice of a great rushing: Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His place (Ezek. III, 12); and ‘rushing’ surely means trembling, and ’great’ surely refers to Moses, as it is said, Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people (Ex. XI, 3). What is the meaning of, ’Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His place’? When the wheels of the Chariot and the fiery Seraphim saw that God commanded that Moses’ prayer should not be accepted and that He did not respect [Moses’] person, nor grant him more life, nor bring him into Eretz Israel, they exclaimed: ’ Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His place,’ for before Him there is no respecting of persons, great or small. And whence do we know that Moses prayed at this juncture five hundred and fifteen times? For it is said, And I besought (wa-ethhanan) the Lord at that time, saying (Deut. III, 23), the numerical value of ’wa-ethhanan’ is this number. Moses said to God: ' Master of the Universe, the labor and the pains which I have devoted to making Israel believe in Thy name are manifest and known to Thee, to what trouble have I gone with them in connection with the precepts in order to fix for them Torah and precepts. I thought, just as I witnessed the woe, so too will I behold their weal; but now that the weal of Israel has come, Thou sayest to me, " Thou shalt not go over this Jordan" (Deut. XXXI, 2); lo, Thou makest of Thy Torah a fraud. Therein it is written, In the same day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it, for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it; lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin in thee (ib. XXIV, I5). Is this the reward for the forty years’ labor that I went through in order that [Israel] should become a holy and faithful people, as it is said, But Judah yet ruleth with God, and is

____________________


Deut. 182

faithful with the saints’ (Hos. XII, 1)?(1) Samech-Mem[556] the wicked angel, the chief of all the accusing angels, was awaiting the death of Moses every hour, saying, ‘When will the time or the moment arrive for Moses to die, so that I may descend and take away his soul from him.’ And it is of him that David said, The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him (Ps. XXXVII, 32). There is no one among the accusing angels so wicked as Samech-Mem and there is none so righteous among the prophets as Moses, as it is said, And there hath not arisen a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face (Deut. XXXIV, 10). He was like a man who has been invited to a wedding feast, and looks forward to it, saying: ‘When will their rejoicing come that I may share therein.’ So, Samech-Mem the wicked was waiting for Moses’ soul saying, ' When will Michael(2) be weeping and I be filling my mouth with laughter? ' Whereupon Michael replied: ' What, you wicked one, I shall cry, and you laugh!’ as it is said, Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; though I am fallen, I shall arise; though I sit in darkness, the Lord is a light unto me (Micah VII, 8). ’ Though I am fallen,’ because of the demise of Moses, yet, ’I shall arise,’ on account of the leadership displayed by Joshua when he shall have defeated the thirty one kings.(3) ' Though I sit in darkness,’ because of the destruction of the first and the second Temples, yet, ' The Lord is a light unto me, in the days of Messiah. Meanwhile there remained unto Moses only one hour. Whereupon Moses said to God: ' Master of the Universe, if Thou wilt not bring me into Eretz Israel, leave me in this world so that I may live and not die.’ God thereupon said to Moses: ' If I will not slay you in this world, how can I bring you back to life in the World to Come? And what is more, you make of My Torah a fraud, for in My Torah it is written by your hand, And there is none that can deliver out of My hand ' (Deut. XXXII, 39). Said Moses to God: ' Master of the Universe, if Thou wilt not bring me into Eretz

____________________

(1) The A.V. has been retained here, as the Midrash obviously understands it in that sense.
(2) Michael is one of the angels who save people. Cf. Ex. R. XVIII, 5.
(3) Cf. Josh. XII.

Deut. 183

Israel, let me become like the beasts of the field that eat grass and drink water and live and enjoy the world; likewise let my soul be as one of them.’ Whereupon God replied:’ Let it suffice thee ' (ib. III, 26). Moses then prayed: ' Master of the Universe, if not, let me become in this world like the bird that flies about in every direction, and gathers its food daily, and returns to its nest towards evening; let my soul likewise become like one of them.’ Whereupon God answered: ‘Let it suffice thee.’ What is the meaning of ’Let it suffice thee ‘? God said to him: ' You have spoken sufficiently.’ When Moses saw that no creature could save him from the path of death, he thereupon exclaimed, ’ The Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice; a God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and righteous is He’ (ib. XXXII, 4). What did Moses do? He took a scroll and wrote down upon it the Ineffable Name, nor had the Book of Song(1) been completely written down when the moment of Moses’ death arrived. At that hour God said to Gabriel: ' Gabriel, go forth and bring Moses’ soul.’ He, however, replied: ' Master of the Universe, how can I witness the death of him who is equal to sixty myriads, and how can I behave harshly to one who possesses such qualities?’ Then [God] said to Michael: ‘Go forth and bring Moses’ soul.’ He, however, replied: ‘Master of the Universe, I was his teacher, and he my pupil, and I cannot therefore witness his death.’ [God] then said to Samech-Mem the wicked: ' Go forth and bring Moses’ soul.’ Immediately he clothed himself with anger and girded on his sword and wrapped himself with ruthlessness and went forth to meet Moses. When Samech-Mem saw Moses sitting and writing down the Ineffable Name, and how the radiance of his appearance was like unto the sun and he was like unto an angel of the Lord of hosts, he became afraid of Moses and declared: ‘Of a surety, angels cannot take away Moses’ soul.’ Now before Samech-Mem showed himself to Moses, Moses knew of his coming, and when Samech-Mem caught sight of Moses trembling, fear took hold of him, as of a

____________________

(1) Name applied to Deut. XXXII

Deut. 184

woman in travail, and he had not the effrontery to speak to Moses, until Moses said to Samech-Mem,’ There is no peace, saith God, concerning the wicked (Isa. LVII, 21). What are you doing here? ' He replied: ' I have come to take away your soul.’ Moses asked him: ' Who sent you? ' He replied: ' He who created all the creatures.’ Moses then said to him: ‘You shall not take away my soul.’ Whereupon he replied: ‘The souls of all who come into this world are delivered into my hands.’ Whereupon Moses said: ‘I have greater strength than all who come into this world.’ He then asked: ‘And wherein lies your strength?’ Moses replied: ‘I am the son of Amram,(l) and came out from my mother's womb without prepuce, and had no need to be circumcised; and on the very day on which I was born I found myself able to speak and was able to walk and to converse with my father and mother, and I did not even take suck of [my mother's] milk; and when I was three months old I prophesied and declared that I was destined to receive the law from the midst of flames of fire; and [once] when I was walking in the street I entered the palace of the king and removed the crown from his head; and when I was eighty years old I wrought signs and wonders in Egypt and brought forth sixty myriads before the eyes of all Egypt; and I divided the sea into twelve divisions, and I made the bitter waters sweet; and I ascended heaven and trod out a path there, and engaged in battle with the angels, and received the law of fire, and sojourned under [God's] Throne of fire, and took shelter under the pillar of fire, and spoke with God face to face; and I prevailed over the heavenly Familia,(2) and revealed unto the sons of man their secrets,(3) and received the Law from the right hand of God, and taught it to Israel; and I made war on Sihon and Og,(4) the two giants of the heathens to whose ankles the waters of the flood did not reach because of their [great] stature; I caused sun and moon to stand still on high, and I smote them(5) with the staff in my hand and killed them (6); is there

____________________

(1) Cf. Sot. 12a.
(2) Cf. Ex. R. XXVXII, 1.
(3) Cf. Shab. 89a.
(4) Cf. Deut. II, 17-III, II.
(5) I.e. Sihon and Og.
(6) Cf. Sifre on Deut. par. 101.

Deut. 185

any one amongst mankind who is able to do likewise? Away, wicked one, from here, you must not speak thus, go, flee before me, I will not surrender my soul to you.’ Immediately Samech-Mem went back and reported to God. Whereupon God commanded Samech-Mem, ‘Go, and bring Moses’ soul.’ Straightway he drew his sword from the sheath and placed himself at the side of Moses. Immediately Moses became wroth, and taking hold of the staff on which was engraven the Ineffable Name he fell upon Samech-Mem with all his strength until he fled from before him, and he pursued him with the Ineffable Name and removed the beam of glory [halo] from between his eyes and blinded him. Thus much did Moses achieve. At the end of a moment, a heavenly voice was heard, declaring: ‘The end, the time of your death has come.’ Said Moses to God: ‘Master of the Universe, remember the day when Thou didst reveal Thyself unto me in the bush and didst say to me, Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth My people the children of Israel from Egypt (Ex.III, 10); remember the time when I abode on Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights, I implore Thee, do not hand me over into the hand of the Angel of Death.’ Thereupon a heavenly voice was heard saying to him: ' Fear not, I myself will attend to you and your burial.’ At that hour, Moses arose and sanctified himself like the Seraphim, and God came down from the highest heavens to take away the soul of Moses, and with Him were three ministering angels, Michael, Gabriel, and Zagzagel. Michael laid out his bier, Gabriel spread out a fine linen cloth at his bolster, Zagzagel one at his feet; Michael stood at one side and Gabriel at the other side. God said: ' Moses, fold your eyelids over your eyes,’ and he did so. He then said: ‘Place your hands upon your breast,’ and he did so. He then said: ' Put your feet next to one another,’ and he did so. Forthwith the Holy One, blessed be He, summoned the soul from the midst of the body, saying to her: ‘My daughter, I have fixed the period of thy stay in the body of Moses at a hundred and twenty years; now thy end has come, depart, delay not.’ Whereupon she replied: ‘Master

____________________


Deut. 186

of the Universe, I know that Thou art the God of all spirits and all souls, the souls of the dead and the living are in Thy keeping, and Thou hast created and formed me and placed me within the body of Moses for a hundred and twenty years. And now, is there a body in the world purer than the body of Moses in which there has never been an offensive smell, nor worm nor maggot, nor any kind of vermin; therefore I love him and I do not desire to leave him.’ Whereupon God exclaimed: ‘Soul, go forth, do not delay, and I will raise thee to the highest heavens and will place thee under the Throne of Glory next to the Cherubim, Seraphim, and other troops of angels.’ Thereupon the soul replied: ‘Master of the Universe, two angels, Uzah and Azael, came down from near Thy divine Presence and coveted the daughters of the earth and they corrupted their way upon the earth until Thou didst suspend them between earth and heaven. But the son of Amram from the day Thou didst reveal Thyself unto him at the Bush has had no marital relations with his wife,’ as it is said, And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman (Num. XII, 1).(1) ‘I implore Thee let me remain in the body of Moses.’ Thereupon God kissed Moses and took away his soul with a kiss of the mouth, and God, if one might say so, wept [as it is said], Who will rise up for me against the evil-doers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? (Ps. XCIV, 16) And the Holy Spirit said, And there hath not arisen a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses (Deut. XXXIV, 10). The heavens wept and said, The godly man is perished out of the earth (Micah VII, 2). The earth wept and said, And the upright among men is no more (ib.). And when Joshua was looking for his master and did not find him, he also wept and said, Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth, for the faithful fail from among the children of men (Ps. XII, 2). And the ministering angels said, He executed the righteousness of the Lord (Deut. XXXIII, 21). And Israel said, And His ordinances with Israel (ib.). These

____________________

(1) V. Shab. 87a; Yeb. 62a; Ex. R. XIX, 3

Deut. 187

and those said, He entereth into peace, they rest in their beds, each one that walketh in his uprightness (Isa. LVII, 2); The memory of the righteous shall be for a blessing (Prov. X, 7), and his soul for the life of the World to Come. Amen. May this be His will. Blessed be the Lord for ever. Amen and amen.

____________________


Deut. 188

The soul is very attached to the body and is female. The love of the soul for the body teaches us that we need to take care of the body. When the body is unclean the soul is displeased. A healthy, fit, clean body is a joy for the soul.

3.1.2 Midrash Rabbah Shir haShirim

The following story is referred there. [557]

Text 3-7: Midrash on celebrating divorce

A woman was married for many years to her husband, but had not had children. Her husband decided to divorce her, so he went to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, of blessed memory.

Rabbi Shimon told him that just as they celebrated with joy their mutual bond when they got married, so should the severance of their mutual bond be celebrated in joy.

The husband therefore prepared a great feast, at the height of which he called his wife and asked her in his joy to choose whatever she desired of his possessions to be hers, and said that he would not refuse her anything.

What did she do? She served him so much wine that he got drunk and fell asleep on his bed. She then told her servant to take him on his bed into her bedroom in her father's house.

The following morning, when he awoke and found himself in his wife's home, he asked her why he was brought there -- wasn't it clear that he intended to divorce her? She replied, "Didn't you tell me that I could take whatever I wanted? I desire not gold, nor silver, nor precious gems, nor pearls. All I want is you. You yourself are the sole object of my desire."

When the husband heard this, he became once again enamored of his wife, and took her back as before. And in this merit, the Holy One, blessed be He, granted them children.

The story is more accurately translated here:[558]

Text 3-8: Yalkut 16

It happened in Tziddon that someone married a woman and they were married for ten years without children. They came before Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, and the husband wanted to divorce his wife [so he could marry to have children].

The man to his wife, "take any article you want from my house [as a token of gratitude] and go live with your parents."

Rabbi Simon bar Yochai said to the husband, "just as you were married with a feast and a wedding, so too shall you be separated with a feast.

What did the wife do? She made a big feast for her husband and got him to drink too much until eventually he became drunk. Then she called to her maids and said to them, "Take him to my parents' house".

In the middle of the night he woke up and asked his wife, "Where am I? What am I doing here?"

She said, "Did you not say to me, 'any article that I have in my house, you can take to your parent' house?' and hence, I took you because I have no article more precious than you."

When Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai heard of this incident he prayed for them, and they had children.

(YALKUT 16, par. Maase, from psikte)

Text 3-9: Midrash Rabbah - The Song of Songs I:30

30. Another explanation: WE WILL BE GLAD AND REJOICE IN THEE. We have learnt elsewhere5: If a man has married a wife and lived with her ten years and she has not borne him a child, he is not at liberty to neglect the duty [of begetting children]. R. Idi said: It happened once that a woman in Sidon had lived ten years with her husband without bearing him a child. They came to R. Simeon b. Yohai and requested to be parted from one another. He said to them: I adjure you,

____________________

(1) Lit. ‘come and’.
(2) Job XL, XLI.
(3) Ezek. I.
(4) In all these verses the verbs are of the same root as the substantive.
(5) Yeb. 64a.

               S.S. 48

just as you have always shared a festive board together, so do not part save with festivity. They took his advice and kept holiday and made a great feast and drank very freely. Feeling then in a good humour he said to her: ‘My daughter, pick out any article you want in my house and take it with you to your father's house.’ What did she do? When he was asleep she gave an order to her servants and handmaids to lift him up on the bed and take and carry him to her father's house. At midnight he awoke from his sleep, and when the effects of the wine passed from him he said: ' My daughter, where am I? ' She replied: ' You are in my father's house.’ ‘And what am I doing in your father's house?’ he said. She replied: did you not say to me last night, "Take any article you like from my house and go to your father's house "? There is nothing in the world I care for more than you.’ They again went to R. Simeon b. Yohai and he went and prayed for them, and they became fertile. This shows that just as God makes barren women fertile, so the righteous can make barren women fertile. And is not the lesson clear: If a woman on saying to a mere mortal like herself, ‘There is nothing I care for more in the world than you, ' was visited, does it not stand to reason that Israel who wait for the salvation of God every day and say ‘We care for nothing in the world but Thee ‘, will certainly be visited? Hence it is written, WE WILL BE GLAD AND REJOICE IN THEE. They are like a queen whose husband the king, whose sons and sons-in-law went abroad. When they come and tell her, ‘Your sons have returned,’ she replies, ‘What is that to me? Let my daughters-in-law rejoice.’ When her sons-in-law return and they tell her, ' Your sons-in-law are here,’ she replies, ' What is that to me? Let my daughters rejoice.’ But when they say to her ' The king your husband has returned’, she says, ‘This is a real pleasure, joy on joy.’ So in the time to come the prophets will come and say to Jerusalem, Thy sons come from far (Isa. LX, 4), and she will reply, What is that to me? When they say, And thy daughters are borne on the side (ib.), she will say, What is that to me? But when they will say to her, Behold, thy ____________________


               S.S. 49

king cometh unto thee, he is triumphant, and victorious (Zech. IX, 9), she will say, ' This is a real joy,’ as it is written, Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion (ib.), and it is also written, Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion (ib. II, 14). At that moment she will say, I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God  (Isa. LXI, 10).

3.1.3 Mekilta of Rabbi Ishmael

The Mechilta (Mekilta) is a commentary on the Book of Exodus. Interestingly it is halachic as opposed to haggadic like most midrashim. Rabbi Ishmael interprets by finding the relationship of objects based on his rules: see 3.8 Rules of Interpretation, specifically R. Ishmael’s Rules. Nevertheless, as these rules are only an observation of the Rabbi—here is an interesting example of how they can lead one, has vshalom, into a faith in two powers. Hasidic groups follow the principle of faith in the messiah and some even profess a spiritual divinity, while born [559]a human father.559 It would seem that the following is the d’raissa basis for that opinion.

________________________________________
Sent: Wednesday, August 05, 2009 8:44 AM
To: Jeff Spiegel
Subject: Re: Emunah Hochamim

good stuff

http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/vl/mehilta/mehilta03.pdf on page 9 of the pdf [daf 13], 10th line from bottom

“And they believed in Hashem and in His servant Moshe” (Shemot 14:31). The tzaddik points the way to belief in G-d. This is “if they believe in Moshe kal vechomer in Hashem” or “if they do not believe in Hashem, then they will not believe in Moshe.” Rabbi Ishamael’s laws don’t seem to have a provision to extract a belief in G-d to a belief in his servant! Instead a prophet must be tested; hence, Exodus 14:31 is a kasha – difficult. The Mechilta explains:

Text 3-10: Mechilta Ishmael, p.13

“And they believed in Hashem” —before He passed over Mitzrayim they did not fear Hashem, but here, “the people feared Hashem and believed in Hashem and in Moshe his servant” (Exodus 14:31)—if they believe in Moshe kal vechomer in Hashem. This comes to teach you that whoever believes in the faithful shepherd, it is as if he believes in accordance with the statement “He who spoke and the world came to be” etc. Similarly you [might incorrectly] say “And the people murmured against God and Moshe” (Numbers 21:5) -- if they murmured on God kal vechomer on Moshe -- but [conversely] rather, this comes to teach you that whoever talks against the faithful shepherd, is as if he talks against “He who spoke and the world came to be.”[560] Faith is a great thing, for Israel believed in He Who spoke and the world came to be, that as a reward for Israel believing in Hashem the Holy Spirit rested on them and they said the Song, as it is said, “And they believed in Hashem and in Moshe His Servant” [daf 14 now] and it is said, “Then Moshe and the children of Israel will sing.” And likewise you find that Our Father Abraham did not acquire this world and the coming world except in the merit of faith that he believed in Hashem, for it is said, “And he believed in Hashem and it was counted to him for righteousness.”


îëéìúà ãøáé éùîòàì áùìç - îñ' ãåéäé áùìç ôøùä å ã"ä åéøà éùøàì

åéøà éùøàì àú äéã äâãåìä, îéúåú çîåøåú îéúåú îùåðåú æå îæå ìôé ùäáéà òìéäí ëîä îéúåú áéí. ø' éåñé äâìéìé àåîø îðéï ùì÷å äîöøéí áîöøéí òùø îëåú åòì äéí ì÷å çîùéí îëåú, áîöøéí îä äåà àåîø åéàîøå äçøèîéí àì ôøòä àöáò åâå' åòì äéí îäå àåîø åéøà éùøàì àú äéã äâãåìä åâå' ëîä ì÷å áàöáò òùø îëåú àîåø îòúä áîöøéí ì÷å òùø îëåú åòì äéí ì÷å çîùéí îëåú. ø' àìéòæø àåîø îðéï àúä àåîø ùëì îëä åîëä ùì÷å äîöøéí áîöøéí äéúä ùì àøáò îëåú åâå'. ø' ò÷éáà àåîø îðéï àúä àåîø ùëì îëä åîëä ùì÷å äîöøéí áîöøéí äéúä ùì çîù îëåú åëå' åòì äéí ì÷å îàúéí åçîùéí îëåú: åéøàå äòí àú ä', ìùòáø áîöøéí ìà äéå éøàéí ä' àáì ëàï åéøàå äòí àú ä' åéàîéðå áä' åáîùä òáãå àí áîùä äàîéðå ÷ì åçåîø áä'. áà æä ììîãê ùëì îé ùîàîéï áøåòä ðàîï ëàìå îàîéï áîàîø îé ùàîø åäéä äòåìí. ëéåöà áãáø àúä àåîø åéãáø äòí áàìäéí åáîùä (áîãáø ëà ä) àí áàìäéí ãáøå ÷ì åçåîø áîùä àìà æä áà ììîãê ùëì îé ùîãáø áøåòä ðàîï ëàìå îãáø áîé ùàîø åäéä äòåìí: åéàîéðå áä', âãåìä äàîåðä ùäàîéðå éùøàì áîé ùàîø åäéä äòåìí ùáùëø ùäàîéðå éùøàì áä' ùøúä òìéäí øåç ä÷ãù åàîøå ùéøä ùðà' åéàîéðå áä' åáîùä òáãå åðàîø àæ éùéø îùä åáðé éùøàì. åëï àúä îåöà ùìà éøù àáøäí àáéðå äòåìí äæä åäòåìí äáà àìà áæëåú àîðä ùäàîéï áä' ùð' åäàîéï áä' åéçùáä ìå öã÷ä (áøàùéú èå) :



chazaq weematz beavodatekha
Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me'Uman!

________________________________
From: Jeff Spiegel
Sent: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 8:08:10 PM
Subject: FW: Emunah Hochamim

Looks like it is from Mekhilta de Rabbi Ishmael, a distinguished halachic midrash on the Book of Exodus.

It would be interesting to double check the commentary on Exodus 14:31 with the quoted text below. One who believes in the words of Moshe would certainly believe in Hashem, but the reverse doesn't seem necessary.

To believe that Moshe and G-d are comparable in faith seems heretical, certainly to misread the intention of Ex: 14:31.

________________________________________
From: Jeff Spiegel
Sent: Tuesday, August 04, 2009 12:44 PM
Subject: Emunah Hochamim

I found the following on http://yeshmalasot.com/jsite/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/limit,12/limitstart,24/. The following verse is where?, “whoever believes in Hashem is as if he believes in the true shepherd, ‘Moshe’, and whoever believes in the true shepherd is as if he believes in Hashem, Creator of the world” (mekhilta, BeShalakh).

Do you know where in the Midrash this comes from? I am not sure about the following author. Have you heard of him?


-------------------------------------


Midrash Rabbah Exodus 22:3 is:

“And they believed in the Lord, and in His servant Moses” (Exodus XIV, 31). Because of this faith, they were privileged to recite the Song and to have the Shechinah rest upon them, for the words, “Then sang Moses” (ib. XV,1) follow immediately. For this reason should a man recite the blessing for redemption(1) immediately before the Amidah, just as they recited the Song immediately after their [declaration of] faith and the division of the Red Sea. Just as they purified their hearts and uttered Song, for it says, And the people feared the Lord, and they believed, and immediately afterwards, ‘Then sang Moses’, so must a man first purify his heart and then pray. This is what Job said, “Although there is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure” (Job XVI, 17). R. Joshua the priest, son of R. Nehemiah, said: “Is there, then, an impure prayer? No; but he who prays unto God with hands soiled from...”

____________________

(1) The prayer ending gaal Israel just before the ’Amidah.


“To believe in Hashem and not believe in a tzaddik is worthless.”[561] Who was Adam haRishon’s tzaddik, since he was the first man? Adam had to lift himself out of his misery of sin to believe in himself again. Who was Moshe Rabbenu’s tzaddik? He had to be his own for there was none more humble and greater in any generation. A false greater humility would have prevented Moshe from serving Hashem, so humility must be balanced. This explains how Moshe wrote the words at the end of Deuteronomy about himself; he was simply quoting G-d unconsumed by conceit. If one cannot find a tzaddik, be a tzaddik and believe in yourself with your belief in Hashem.[562]


-------------------------------------


The key principle of Emunah Hochamim is to believe in the teachings of the sages, but one can still question them.

---------------------------------

The following takes the literal interpretation of “faith in the tzaddik.” While the text in brown is not correct, the blue text suggests that one can increase ones belief in Hashem by believing in the true shepherd Moses.[563]

Text 3-11: Faith in the tzaddikim
הדפסה שליחה
R. Nati נכתב ע"י

“And they believed in Hashem and in His servant Moshe” (Shemot 14:31).

The Midrash [sic Misquoted, but homer vkol[564]] tells us: ?whoever believes in Hashem is as if he believes in the true shepherd, ‘Moshe,’?[565] and whoever believes in the true shepherd is as if he believes in Hashem, Creator of the world [Mekhilta de Rabbi Ishmael, BeShalakh].

The Talmud teaches: The Torah is acquired by means of 48 qualities. One of these is Emunahs chachamim, "faith in the tzaddikim" (Avot 6:6) [Hasidic interpretation]

The vast majority of these qualities focus on one's diligence and efforts in pursuing Torah study and rectifying bad character traits. However right in the middle of all of these 48 is faith in the Tzaddikim. The Tzaddikim are the ones who transmit the Torah to us, so without faith in their teachings (Correct) we will never be able to acquire the Torah. That being the case of what value is intellectual pursuit and diligent study?

Thus, an integral part of achieving faith in Hashem is only by having faith in the Tzaddik. [Sufficient, but not a necessary condition] How can we with our defective Sekal and lack of Daat in this ever confusing and changing world ever hope to come to choosing right from wrong, what is correct? All the codes of law how do we choose from pure and tamei, kosher from traif, for all this we have to rely on the Tzaddik.

These righteous individuals they who have risen above the mundane and physical restraints and limitations of the defective human sekal they know. We can rely on them, much in the same way as a child relies on a parent whom he look up as all knowing.

“Most seamen are Chassidim” (Kiddushin 82a). “This is because they are in constant danger and are always turning to Hashem” (Rashi, ad. loc.) we can relate this to the crossing of the sea of reeds. The Jews believed in Moshe, the Tazddik, and followed him across. The sea was spilt like walls raising between the tribes. This was symbolic of the “sea of Knowledge” and to dangerous to navigate across it without proper tools ‘navigational aides’ these are the advice of the Tzaddik who guides us on the proper course. Pharaoh on the other hand did not have any belief in the Tzaddik. Yet, he felt that he had the tools with which to cross on his own. As is the case with many today as Artscroll and of the many translations we have a ready access to the deep Ocean of the Torah, we have to be even more careful than before as we sit at home without a Rav to teach us, which was the way until 60 years ago. We will, like Paraoh, who discovered otherwise, being ill trained and ill equipped to handle this turbulent sea, the walls came crashing down upon him and the Mitzrim (Likutey Halakhot, Netilat Yadayim Li'seudah 6:39).

Rebbe Nachman said, “From me you can begin to get a glimpse of the greatness of Hashem” (Tzaddik #284).

The Tzaddik is one who has attained Torah and has acquired Ruach Ha Kodesh. Through our faith in the Tzaddikim, their Holiness can descend upon us and help us achieve greatness in spirituality, and closeness to Hashem. “Even mentioning their names helps us draw from their Holiness” (Likutey Halakhot, Netilat Yadayim li'Seudah 4:6).

‘Adam was the first man and did not have a tzaddik to follow so he had to believe in himself.’[566] Man was created in the image of G-d and the tzaddik at his best tries to present this image.[567] The relationship between G-d and the Tzaddik Emet ideally is that of G-d and his reflection.[568] L’havdil, the pharaoh or king of a country was often considered a deity or the son of a god. Judaism purified this paradigm, but traces remained within the concept of a belief in Moses. There is some resemblance to Gnosticism and the concept of a greater and lesser deity. Here, Aruch Anpin, the personality of G-d as long-faced (patient) is reflected in the suffering messiah as alluded to in Bereshit Rabbati, by Moses ha-Darshal of Narbonne (11th century). Here is a semblance of the special relationship existing between the twine.


The simple interpretation of Exodus 14:31 is that the people believe in G-d and his Servant. Similarly Numbers 21:5 suggests murmuring against G-d and his servant.

Text 3-12: R. Nati commentary on the Mekilta
... whoever believes in Hashem is as if he believes in the true shepherd, ‘Moshe’ {Exodus 14:31: gzera shav – an equivalence with Numbers 21:5} gzera shav from speaking against Hashem is to speak against Moshe} , and whoever believes in the true shepherd is as if he believes in Hashem, Creator of the world (mekhilta, BeShalakh) ... {The underlined, while pashut d’raissa, leads to false conclusions, i.e. faith in two powers à} Thus, an integral part of achieving faith in Hashem is only by having faith in the Tzaddik. {sufficient, but not a necessary condition} ...

Belief in G-d certainly did not require having faith in any man including Moses. First, the Mikilta asks does the verse from Numbers 21:5 mean, “— if they murmured on God, kal vechomer on Moshe,” but then corrects the kal vchomer as that whoever talks against the faithful shepherd (Moshe), is as if he talks against (G-d) “He who spoke and the world came to be.” Returning to the original passage, the Mikilta then asks do we interpret: belief in Hashem leads to faith in his Servant as well as Numbers 21:5 murmuring against Hashem leads to murmuring against his Servant? Instead by a gzera shav, it concludes the opposite, that it is faith in the Servant that can lead to faith in Hashem.

Hasidim use this approach in their dependence on a tzaddik. L’havdil and with magnfication, Christianity uses this principle ad infinitum to the point that there is no salvation before G-d except through the Servant. Nevertheless, should not the context of the Torah be limited the Servant Moses? Also, see Text 3-11: Faith in the tzaddikim.

It would seem that having faith in rules of exogenesis could lead to apostasy.

Faith in Hashem is available to each of us directly. While Moshe served to bring the words of G-d to Israel, he did not serve in the place of Israel's faith in Hashem nor as a second destination. This is a very important principle in Judaism. “The words of the wise men are of greater importance than the wise men themselves. There has never been a Sage entirely free of error for there is no perfect wisdom except G-d’s.”[569] Hence, we are fortunate to have the Targum Onkelos and other works that clarify the obvious while preserving the original meaning of the Torah text.

In all likelihood, the intention of Exodus 14:31 was to point out that people believed in the word of G-d by the hand of Moshe – b’yad Moshe.

3.1.4 Midrash Bereshit Rabbati : Rabbi Moshe ha-Darshan of Narbonne


Text 3-13: Biography
MOSES HA-DARSHAN:

By : Wilhelm Bacher Max Schloessinger

ARTICLE HEADINGS:
As Haggadist.
His Pupils.

French exegete; lived at Narbonne about the middle of the eleventh century. According to a manuscript in the possession of the Alliance Israélite Universelle containing those parts of Abraham Zacuto's "Sefer Yuḥasin" that are omitted in Samuel Shullam's edition (see Isidore Loeb, "Joseph Haccohen et les Chroniqueurs Juifs," in "R. E. J." xvi. 227), Moses was descended from a Narbonne family distinguished for its erudition, his great-grandfather, Abun, his grandfather, Moses ben Abun, and his father, Jacob ben Moses ben Abun (called "ha-Nabi"; see Jew. Encyc. vii. 39), all having been presidents of the Narbonne yeshibah. Moses himself held this position, and after his death it was occupied by his brother Levi (see R. Tam, "Sefer ha-Yashar," ed. Vienna, No. 620, p. 74).

As Haggadist.

Though Moses ha-Darshan was considered a rabbinical authority (R. Tam, l.c.; Abraham ben Isaac, "Sefer ha-Eshkol," ed. Auerbach, i. 143, Halberstadt, 1865), he owes his reputation principally to the fact that together with Tobiah ben Eliezer he was the most prominent representative of midrashic-symbolic Bible exegesis ("derash") in the eleventh century. His work on the Bible, probably sometimes called "Yesod," and known only by quotations found mostly in Rashi's commentaries, contained extracts from earlier haggadic works as well as midrashic explanations of his own. Often the latter were not in harmony with the spirit of the rabbinical Midrash and even contained Christian theological conceptions. Probably the non-preservation of the work was due to an excess of the foreign element in its composition, causing it to be regarded with disfavor. Moreover, as has recently been ascertained by Epstein, it was not a systematically arranged work, but merely a collection of notes made by Moses. For this reason, apparently, it did not have a fixed title, and therefore it is quoted under various names by different authors (see A. Berliner, "Eine Wiederaufgefundene Handschrift," in "Monatsschrift," 1884, p. 221; Zunz, "G. V." 2d ed., p. 302, note E).

The Midrash Bereshit Rabbah Major or Bereshit Rabbah Rabbati, known through quotations by Raymund Martin in his "Pugio Fidei," has many haggadot and haggadic ideas which recall very strongly Moses ha-Darshan's teachings; it is claimed by Zunz (l.c. p. 302) that the midrash was actually the work of Moses. A. Epstein, however, is of the opinion that the final compiler of the midrash, certainly not Moses ha-Darshan, took from the "Yesod" whatever he considered appropriate for his purpose, especially from Moses' midrashic interpretation of the Creation (see A. Epstein, "Bereshit Rabbati," in Berliner's "Magazin," xv. 70). In a similar way the "Yesod" influenced the Midrash Bemidbar Rabbah and the Midrash Tadshe, which latter, in a haggadic-symbolic manner, endeavors to show the parallelism between the world, mankind, and the Tabernacle (Zunz, "G. V." p. 292; Jellinek, "B. H." vol. iii., pp. xxxiii. et seq.). Concerning the Midrash Tadshe, Epstein goes so far as to assume that Moses ha-Darshan was its author ("Beiträge zur Jüdischen Alterthumskunde," p. xi.). Moses ha-Darshan explained some obscure expressions in certain piyyuṭim (Zunz, "Ritus," p. 199; Ziemlich, "Das Machsor von Nürnberg," in Berliner's "Magazin," xiii. 184). He is credited also with a midrash on the Ten Commandments and with a "widdui."

His Pupils.

Moses' son was Judah ha-Darshan ben Moses; probably the Joseph he-Ḥasid mentioned in Samuel ben Jacob ibn Jama''s additions to the "'Aruk" of Nathan ben Jehiel (see S. Buber in "Grätz Jubelschrift," p. 34, s.v. ) was a son of Judah ha-Darshan. It is certain that Nathan ben Jehiel was a pupil of Moses, whose explanations of Talmudical words and passages he cites. Both Abraham Zacuto ("SeferYuḥasin") and the above-mentioned manuscript of the Alliance Israélite Universelle ascribe to Moses three more pupils—Moses 'Anaw, Moses ben Joseph ben Merwan Levi, and Abraham ben Isaac (author of the "Sefer ha-Eshkol"). A. Epstein credits Moses with another pupil, a certain R. Shemaiah, who is quoted sometimes in Bereshit Rabbah Rabbati and in Numbers Rabbah as explaining sayings of Moses ha-Darshan's (l.c. pp. 74 et seq.; comp. p. ii.). He also suggests (l.c.) the identity of this Shemaiah with Shemaiah of Soissons, author of a midrash on Parashat Terumah (published by Berliner in "Monatsschrift," xiii. 224 et seq.), whose cosmological conceptions seem to have been influenced by Moses ha-Darshan.

Bibliography: A. Epstein, Moses ha-Darshan aus Narbonne, Vienna, 1891;
Gross, Gallia Judaica, pp. 214, 410;
M. L. Eisenstadt, in Ha-Meliẓ, xxxi. 196;
W. Bacher, in Winter and Wünsche, Die Jüdische Litteratur, ii. 270, 335;
A. Geiger, Parschandatha, p. 11, Leipsic, 1855.W. B. M. Sc.

Read more: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=854&letter=M&search=darshan#ixzz1a8G1FSvV
“His work on the Bible, probably sometimes called Yesod, and known only by quotations found mostly in Rashi's commentaries, contained extracts from earlier haggadic works as well as midrashic explanations of his own. Often the latter were not in harmony with the spirit of the rabbinical Midrash and even contained Christian theological conceptions. Probably the non-preservation of the work was due to an excess of the foreign element in its composition, causing it to be regarded with disfavor.”[570]

Text 3-14: Pugio Fidei
Pugio Fidei - the dagger of faith. The name is taken from the magnum opus of medieval Dominican orientalist Raymond Martini, which was the standard manual of the time for Dominican missionaries to the Muslims and Jews. The book and this website have the same purpose, namely, to place before the reader motives of credibility for the Catholic faith, with particular attention and devotion to Sacred Scripture. "For the word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any two edged sword (Heb 4:12).”[571]


The following text from R. Moshe ha Darshan is quoted in the Pugio Fidei for missionary purposes.[572] Nevertheless, it preserves a Jewish tradition of the interpretation of Isaiah 53 as messianic! This tradition was prevalent in esoteric circles perhaps dating back before Isaiah. This is also found in the Pesikta Midrash ch.36.

Text 3-15: Suffering Messiah
Said Satan to the Holy One, blessed be he: “Let me accuse the Messiah and his generation.” The Holy One answered: “You cannot prevail against him.” Satan insisted: “O Lord of the universe, give me permission and I shall succeed.” But the Holy One answered: “I shall drive Satan from the world rather than allow one soul of that generation to perish.”

Thereupon the Holy One turned to the Messiah: “Messiah my righteous one, the day will come when the sins of those that are preserved near you will impose a heavy yoke on you. Your eyes will not see the light, your ears will hear the nations of the world emit invectives, your nose will smell decay, your mouth feel a bitter taste, your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth, your skin shrivel upon your bones, your body languish in sighs and in sadness. Are you prepared to assume these burdens? If you take these sufferings upon yourself, well and good; if not, I shall eradicate those [future sinners].”

Answered the Messiah: “Lord of the universe, happily will I take upon myself these sufferings if I know that you will restore to life all those who have died since the days of the first man. And that all those should see salvation who have been devoured by wild animals, and all those who have drowned in oceans and rivers. And that your salvation be extended also to those who have been born prematurely and to those whom you plan to create but have not yet created.”

Thereto the Holy One said: “So be it.” Then took the Messiah lovingly all the sufferings upon himself, as it is said: “He was oppressed but he humbled himself.” (Isa. 53:7).

In the Midrash of R. Moses Hadarshan (on Gen. 37:22) there is this saying of R. Berechiah, a God says to Israel, Ye say unto me, 'We have become orphans and are fatherless' (Lament. 5 : 3), even so the Redeemer whom I shall raise up from you is fatherless; as it is written, ' Behold the man whose name is Branch and out of himself he grows up* (Zech. 6: 12) ; and so said Isaiah, 'And he grew up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground' (Is. 53:2); and on him David said, 'Out of the womb of the morning, thou hast the dew of thy youth' (Ps. 110:3)."

Text 3-16: Faithful Shepherd, feed me - Thomas Benson Pollock
Faithful Shepherd, feed me
in the pastures green;
Faithful Shepherd, lead me
where thy steps are seen.

Hold me fast, and guide me
in the narrow way;
so, with thee beside me,
I shall never stray.

Daily bring me nearer
to the heavenly shore;
may thy love grow dearer,
may I love thee more.

Hallow every pleasure,
sanctify my pain;
be thyself my treasure,
though none else I gain.

Give me joy or sadness,
this be all my care,
that eternal gladness
I with thee may share.

Day by day prepare me
as thou seest best,
then let angels bear me
to thy promised rest.


“During Sukkot, the souls of the seven shepherds of Israel -- Avraham, Yitzhak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aaron, Yoseph, and David haMelech actually leave Gan Eden to partake in the divine light of the earthly Sukkot” (Zohar - Emor 103a).

3.1.5 Pesikta Rabbati

A 9th century Midrash describing suffering.

[They said] The week that the son of David comes to [Israel], they will bring iron columns/beams and put them upon his neck/shoulders until this force [of weight] bends him down, and he will shout and he will cry out until [he gives in and] his voice will rise up great heights, and he will say before Him, Master of the Universe, how much of my Strength will there be and how much of my spirit will there be and how much of my soul will there be, and and how much of my limbs will there be? Am I not flesh and blood?”’

“During the seven year period preceding the coming of the son of David, iron beams will be brought low and loaded upon his neck until the Messiah's body is bent low. Then he will cry and weep, and his voice will rise to the very height of heaven, and he will say to God: Master of the universe, how much can my strength endure? How much can my spirit endure? How much my breath before it ceases? How much can my limbs suffer? Am I not flesh and blood?

It was because of the ordeal of the son of David that David wept, saying My strength is dried up like a potsherd (Ps. 22:16). During the ordeal of the son of David, the Holy One, blessed be He, will say to him: Ephraim, My true Messiah, long ago, ever since the six days of creation, thou didst take this ordeal upon thyself. At this moment, thy pain is like my pain. "At these words, the Messiah will reply: "Now I am reconciled. The servant is content to be like his Master" (Pesikta Rabbati 36:2).36

It is taught, moreover, that in the month of Nisan the Patriarchs will arise and say to the Messiah: Ephraim, our true Messiah, even though we're thy forbears, thou art greater than we because thou didst suffer for the iniquities of our children, and terrible ordeals befell thee... For the sake of Israel thou didst become a laughingstock and a derision among the nations of the earth; and didst sit in darkness, in thick darkness, and thine eyes saw no light, and thy skin cleaved to thy bones, and thy body was as dry as a piece of wood; and thine eyes grew dim from fasting, and thy strength was dried up like a potsherd-all these afflictions on account of the iniquities of our children. Pesikta Rabbati 37:137

This is the suffering of many who live and die.

3.2 Mishnah

3.2.1 Berachot

Memorizing mishnayot strengthens the memory. One learns the use of mnemonics. For example, a mnemonic to remember the following Mishnah is to see three statement pairs.[573]
Text 3-17: Mishnah Berachot 6:1
WHAT BLESSINGS ARE SAID OVER FRUIT? OVER FRUIT OF THE TREE ONE SAYS, WHO CREATEST THE FRUIT OF THE TREE,[574] EXCEPT FOR WINE, OVER WHICH ONE SAYS, WHO CREATEST THE FRUIT OF THE VINE.[575] OVER THAT WHICH GROWS FROM THE GROUND ONE SAYS: WHO CREATEST THE FRUIT OF THE GROUND,[576] EXCEPT OVER BREAD, FOR WHICH ONE SAYS, WHO BRINGEST FORTH BREAD FROM THE EARTH.[577] OVER VEGETABLES ONE SAYS, WHO CREATEST THE FRUIT OF THE GROUND;[578] R. JUDAH, HOWEVER, SAYS: WHO CREATEST DIVERS KINDS OF HERBS.[579]

The term for tree here is Elon, which has the same gematria (91) as the name of G-d, Adonai Havayah. But the blessing is ‘borei pri ha’etz’ – who creates the fruit of the tree. The exception is wine that has the blessing ‘borei pri ha’gaphen’ – who creates the fruit of the vine. However, the blessing over grapes is ‘borei pri ha’etz’. This is because the vine is a perennial that is a tree in Torah classification. The fruit comes from the tree, hence this is the source of its blessing.

Vegetables have their source in the Earth as they are close to the ground. Tubers like carrots or potatoes grow within the ground. The vegetables are annuals and their blessing is ‘borei pri ha’adamah’ – who creates the fruit of the earth. However, for bread one says, ‘hamotzei lechem m’een ha’aretz’ – who brings bread forth from the land. The Mishnah uses the word ‘pas’ for bread, but in the blessing it is ‘lechem’. What do bread and wine have in common that they have distinguished blessings? They are products[580] of God and man together. Partnership is the higher purpose for following the commandments.

The third pair refers to the ‘yarakot’ – the greens or vegetables. They are annuals and come out of the earth. Hence, the blessing is ‘borei pri ha’adamah’. But, Rabbi Yehudah has an additional insight and suggests the blessing is ‘borei menai d’sha’eem’ – who creates diverse grasses. Rabbi Yehudah recognized the greater diversity in the healing properties of herbs and grasses versus the tubers and fruits. Hence, he desired to distinguish them. Nevertheless, the majority say, “borei pri ha’adamah” which determines the law, so as not to make matters too difficult.

Text 3-18: Psalm 104
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.

2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:

3 Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:

4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

6 Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.

7 At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.

8 They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.

9 Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.

10 He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.

11 They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.

12 By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.

13 He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.

14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;

15 And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.

16 The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;

17 Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.

18 The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.

19 He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.

20 Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.

21 The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.

22 The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.

23 Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.

24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

25 So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.

26 There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.

27 These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.

28 That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.

29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.

30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

31 The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.

32 He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.

33 I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

34 My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.

35 Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.
This psalm recognizes the beauty of this world.

G-d answered, “Should not I favor them since I commanded the Jews, ‘You should eat and be satisfied and bless,’ and they bless even on an amount equal to the size of an olive or egg, although they are not satisfied.”[581] Most learn to say a blessing before a meal, this is a rabbinical command, but after a meal is from the Torah. My explanation for the commandment is that one may take for granted the food that he has enjoyed and is thus, reminded to thank G-d, lest he be guilty of theft. Nevertheless the reason of the sages “is that an earthly person finds it hard to appreciate something unless he is first satisfied. Therefore G-d commanded us to praise Him with grace after eating.”[582] My explanation presumes a selfish inclination in man while the sages judge man favorably presuming he needs only to be satisfied to appreciate G-d in the final blessing. Perhaps the later view is greater.[583]

3.2.2 Perkei Avot

3.2.2.1 Avot 1:10


Shemayah and Avtalyon received from them. Shemayah said, love your work, and hate the rabbanut and do not make yourselves known to the authorities.

Hence, we learn that one should enjoy working and show little interest in rabbinical leadership, nor should we make ourselves known to secular authorities.

Shemayah and Avtalyon were converts to Judaism. They knew firsthand of the derision of the rabbanut, and yet rose to be leaders of the entire house of Israel.

The Gemara teaches do not live in a place where rabbis are the secular authorities, because they will not take care of the services of a town as they are likely to be consumed with their studies.

3.2.2.2 Avot 4:14


18. Rabbi Nehorai said: Go as a voluntary exile to a place of Torah, and do not say that the Torah will follow you, for it is your companions who will make it your permanent possession. Do not rely upon your own understanding.

One should move to a place where one is likely to have a family. Sometimes it is hard to know where this place is. In fact it may be in the wilderness, while in the house of Torah one will gain wisdom.

3.2.2.3 Avot 4:15

In Avot 4:15 Rabbi Matya ben Harash said, “Be the first to greet every man; and be a tail amongst lions and be not a head to foxes.”

The Midrash on the Book of Samuel says: “Whereas the lion habitually raises his tail above his head, the fox lowers his head below his tail. And so it is with men: The gentleman respects his inferiors and discerns in them good qualities, whereas the lowbred despises and humiliates his superiors in honor and rank.”[584] Ultimately the gentleman is distinguished by his temperance and by his absence of anger.

Text 3-19: Source Text for the Principle of Ten Sefirot from Avot 5:1
By ten utterances was the world created. And what does this teach us? Surely the world could have been created by one utterance. It means to emphasize that “G-d will exact punishment from the wicked who destroy the world” | “the wicked have ten chances to be repaid for destroying the world”[585] which was created by ten utterances; and will richly reward the righteous who sustain the world which was created by ten utterances.

This teaches that G-d has magnified the creation of the world so that the wicked cannot destroy it in a single step. While this increases the punishment of the wicked, it also permits them a “chance” to repent at each step before they reach ten. G-d rewards the righteous with additional opportunities for good, but these bring additional chances to fall.

Text 3-20: Ten Sayings by which God Created the World
  1. “In the beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth”
  2. “Let there be light”
  3. “Let there be a firmament”
  4. “Let the waters be gathered”
  5. “Let the earth put forth grass”
  6. “Let there be luminaries in the firmament”
  7. “Let the waters swarm with living creatures”
  8. “Let the earth bring forth living creatures”
  9. “Let us make man in our image”
  10. “Behold I have given you every herb.”
  11. “It is not good for man to be alone”

The first and the eleventh are one and the same as the end is “imbedded in the beginning.”[586] Correspondingly, Keter is the first and Daat, the eleventh, in the Tree of Life. Keter refers to the crown or first thought of creation. Daat refers to the knowledge between husband and wife.

Text 3-21: Ten Generations from Avot 5:2
There were Ten Generations from Adam to Noah, to make known how great is G-d’s patience – aruch apayim – ארך אפים, for all these generations provoked him until he brought upon them the waters of the flood. There were Ten Generations from Noah to Abraham to make known how great is G-d’s patience for all these generations provoked Him until our Father Abraham came and received the reward that would have been theirs.

At the highest level, G-d is Aruch Anpin, long face, which alludes to Aruch Apayim, long breaths. G-d is breathing heavy but withholds his anger. He is long faced in patience for the return of his children. Aruch Anpin corresponds to Keter, the crown, the Will of G-d, and that which is most unknown. What is most unknown?

G-d’s sefirah Hesed manifests kindness and mercy. The sefirah of Tiferet is also Rahamim – mercy, since there is a proper degree of forgiveness in Truth, which Jacob practiced with his children. What is unknown is that above Tiferet at the highest level, Hashem exhibits an infinite level of mercy towards his creation. This is the incomprehensible mercy of the Crown of G-d. It is the Aruch Anpin, a long face withholding anger that we cannot know the thoughts behind. The next Mishnah explains that even when G-d provides us with obstacles, there is only love.

Text 3-22: Ten Trials from Avot 5:3
With Ten Trials was our father Abraham tried, and he stood firm through all of them; to make known “how great was the love of our father Abraham” | “how much He loved Abraham, our father”.

There are two possible ways of translating the last stanza of the Mishnah. In the first translation, it is how great Abraham’s love is for G-d, for he maintained it through all trials. Similarly this is the greatness of Abraham’s love for humanity and Israel. In the second translation, we see how great the love of G-d is for Abraham. The trials are a gift for teaching Abraham, and show the concern of a father for training a son.

There is a duality in the ten steps sometimes leading up to G-d, at other times appearing to lead the other way, but in reality providing opportunity for repentance. There is a duality in the reciprocal love of Israel for G-d and G-d for Israel. The names of Hashem with twelve and seventy-two letters have dual forms as well.[587] As the tefillin of man contain praises of G-d so the tefillin of G-d praise Israel. Outside of Israel Jews collect the postage stamps printed in Israel with a longing heart. In Israel, what do the Jews collect? They collect the stamps of the KKL (Keren Kayemet LeYisrael – קרן קימת לישראל), Jewish National Fund (JNF), or Minhelet Ha’am, which sing praises of charity from outside of Israel that helped build up the country.

The Bahir discusses the Ten Sayings:

Text 3-23: Bahir on the Ten Sayings of Creation
Bahir 118: Yud is the Ten Sayings with which the world was created. What are they? They are the Torah of Truth, which includes all worlds. What is the Shin? He said: It is the root of the tree. The letter Shin is like the root of a tree.[588]

Bahir 119: What is this tree that you mentioned? He said: It represents the Powers of the Blessed Holy One, one above the other. Just like a tree brings forth fruit through water, so the Blessed Holy One increases the Powers of the Tree through water. What is the water of the Blessed Holy One? It is wisdom.[589] It is the souls of the righteous. They fly from the fountain to the great pipe, ascend and attach themselves to the Tree. Through what do they fly? Through Israel. When they are good and righteous, the Divine Presence dwells among them. Their deeds then rest in the bosom of the Blessed Holy One, and He makes them fruitful and multiplies them.[590]

Bahir 138: What is the meaning of “a Torah of Truth?” It is that which teaches the Truth of worlds, as well as His deeds in thought. He erected Ten Sayings, and with them the world stands. It is one of them. In man He created ten fingers, paralleling these Ten Sayings. Moses raised his hands and concentrated to some degree on the Attribute that is called Israel, which contains the Torah of Truth. With his ten fingers, he alluded that he was upholding the Ten. For if [G-d] would not help Israel, then the Ten Sayings would not endure every day. For this reason, “Israel prevailed.”

Bahir 179: We learned that there are Ten Spheres and Ten Sayings. Each Sphere has its Saying. It is not surrounded by it, but rather, it surrounds it. This world is like a mustard seed inside a ring. Why? Because of the Spirit that blows upon it, through which it is sustained. If this spirit were to be interrupted for even a moment, the world would be annihilated.

The Ten Sayings sustain our world and creation and also allude to the Ten Sefirot. These are the attributes of G-d manifesting in our world. There is duality, reflection, and partnership here. We beseech G-d, and G-d sustains the world.

The Talmud presents the Ten Sayings of creation in two accounts:[591]

Text 3-24: Ten Creations of the First Day

Rab Judah further said that Rab said: Ten things were created the first day, and they are as follows: heaven and earth, Tohu [chaos], Bohu [desolation], light and darkness, wind and water, the measure of day and the measure of night. Heaven and earth, for it is written: In the beginning God created heaven and earth. Tohu and Bohu, for it is written: And the earth was Tohu and Bohu. Light and darkness: darkness, for it is written: And darkness was upon the face of the deep; light, for it is written: And God said, Let there be light. Wind and water, for it is written: And the wind of God hovered over the face of the waters. The measure of day and the measure of night, for it is written: And there was evening and there was morning, one day. It is taught: Tohu is a green line that encompasses the whole world, out of which darkness proceeds, for it is said: He made darkness His hiding-place round about Him. Bohu, this means the slimy stones that are sunk in the deep, out of which the waters proceed, for it is said: And he shall stretch over it the line of confusion [Tohu] and the plummet of emptiness [Bohu].
...

R. Zulra b. Tobiah said that Rab said: by ten things was the world created: By wisdom – חכמה and by understanding –תבונה , and by reason – דעת, and by strength – כח, and by rebuke –גערה , and by might –גבורה , by righteousness –צדק and by judgment –משפט , by lovingkindness –חסד and by compassion – רחמים. By wisdom and understanding, for it is written: The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; and by understanding established the heavens. By reason, for it is written: By His reason the depths were broken up. By strength and might, for it is written: Who by His strength setteth fast the mountains, Who is girded about with might. By rebuke, for it is written: The pillars of heaven were trembling, but they became astonished at His, rebuke. By righteousness and judgment, for it is written: Righteousness and judgment are the foundation of Thy throne. By loving kindness and compassion, for it is written: Remember, O Lord, Thy compassions and Thy mercies; for they have been from of old. Rab Judah further said: At the time that the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world, it went on expanding like two clues of warp, until the Holy One, blessed be He, rebuked it and brought it to a standstill, for it is said: ‘The pillars of heaven were trembling, but they became astonished at His rebuke’. And that, too, is what Resh Lakish said: What is the meaning of the verse, I am God Almighty? [It means], I am He that said to the world: Enough! Resh Lakish said: When the Holy One, blessed be He, created the sea, it went on expanding, until the Holy One, blessed be He, rebuked it and caused it to dry up, for it is said: He rebuketh the sea and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers.

Text 3-25: Ten Creations of Erev Shabbat
Ten things were created on the eve of the [first] Shabbat at twilight: [592]
  1. The Mouth of the Earth
  2. The Mouth of the Well
  3. The Mouth of the Donkey
  4. The Rainbow
  5. The Manna
  6. The Staff
  7. The Shamir
  8. The Written Characters
  9. The Writing
  10. The Tablets of the Law.
Others include the Demons, the Grave of Moshe, the Ram of our Father Abraham. Others say: also the Tongs made by tongs.

3.2.2.4 Emunah Hochamim

3.2.2.4.1 Mainstream
To believe in the passing down of the teachings or words of the sages is the principle here. This idea has been distorted into an almost idolatrous belief in blindly following the advice of rabbis, or Hasidim following their tzaddikim or even the idea that one is saved by faith in a messiah.[593]

Text 3-26: Nachum Eliezer Rabinowitch
“Torah is greater than priesthood or kingship, for kingship is
acquired with thirty attributes, priesthood with twenty-four, and
Torah with forty-eight.”[594]
Among the forty-eight attributes, the twenty-third is “emunat
ḥakhamim.” Since this Baraita is not part of the Mishnah, there are few
commentaries from the rishonim that explain it. Maḥzor Vitri,
however, explains briefly: “... to believe in the words of the
ḥakhamim, unlike the Sadducees and Boethusians.” Others explain
similarly, that “emunat ḥakhamim” is to believe that we received the
Oral Torah and that it was passed down to us through an unbroken
chain of tradition.

That one should not trust or place ones faith in man is a Torah principle so we know Emunah Hochamim does not mean this. See the discussion on the similarity of spirit.[595],[596]

Text 3-27: R. Yehiel Yaacov Weinberg

“Our Sages listed, among the forty-eight attributes through which
Torah is acquired, “pilpul hatalmidim” (deliberation amongst the
students) and “emunat ḥakhamim,” two concepts which seem to
contradict each other. And, what does emunat ḥakhamim have to do
with acquiring Torah?
“What it means is as follows: If one lacks faith in the words of the
ḥakhamim, he tends to skim over them casually, and arrogantly
dismisses them saying “The Sages just didn’t understand.” The
result is that such a person does not struggle to probe beneath the
surface and to confirm their words. In the end, it becomes clear
that it was he who erred, not they. Indeed, it is a characteristic of
intelligence to believe that it is not they who err, Heaven forbid,
but we, with our short-sightedness and limited knowledge, who are
mistaken. However, to trust simplistically and not exert our minds
with investigative, concentrated thinking, to say blandly “They
knew; we can rely on them without thinking,” is also wrong.
Rather, one must challenge their words with any contradictions or
uncertainties, as if their author is one of us. Through this we arrive
at a more profound and analytic understanding. These two
attributes, emunat ḥakhamim together with unhampered pilpul,
provide the path to acquiring the knowledge of Torah.”

“He must believe the authenticity of their teaching, and not be a scoffer like the Sadducees and the Boethusians.”[597] This does not mean that one has to agree, but one must consider their teachings.[598]

Text 3-28: Nachum Eliezer Rabinowitch
Thus, the roots of emunat ḥakhamim are in wisdom. The
ḥakhamim were masters of wisdom; therefore a person of wisdom can
38 : Ḥakirah, the Flatbush Journal of Jewish Law and Thought
plumb the depths of their words and extract their true meaning.
Concerning this, the Gemara in Bava Batra 12a states, “A wise person is
greater than a prophet...Rav Ashi says, this fact can be seen when it happens
that a great person issues a ruling, and then it is learned that a halakhah
consistent with his ruling was given [by prophecy] to Moshe from Sinai.” Rav
Ashi was asked, “Perhaps it is like a blind person [who finds his way out] via
the arruba1?” i.e., that it happened by chance. They answered, “Did he
not give a reason?” Since he gives an acceptably logical reason for what
he said, it is not like a blind person who chanced upon the opening to
let himself out. He arrived at the correct answer by using his powers
of reasoning, and he merited that his understanding conforms to “the halakhah of Moshe from Sinai.”
...

The distinction between a prophet and a ḥakham is clear enough. When a prophet instructs on divrei reshut - non-obligatory matters, not only are we commanded to obey, but “it is forbidden to have any thoughts of doubt or to contemplate the possibility that the prophecy never took place, and it is forbidden to challenge him excessively” (10:6). With a ḥakham, however, emunat ḥakhamim requires us to clarify and elucidate his every word, and one who does not do so is simply a “fool who believes anything.” If this is true for Torah, then even more so for
divrei reshut. “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but one who acts with wisdom will prevail.”

Hazal hold that prophecy only exists in the land of Israel and since the destruction of the 2nd Temple, prophecy does not exist. Others have considered even outside of Israel that some tzaddikim are prophets, particularly when such leaders are considered messiahs equivalent to Moses, i.e. the Lubavitcher Rebbe, or the Breslover Rebbe.

In the case of a sage like Rabbi Nachman, some of his followers may consider him the Messiah. On the basis of the Messiah being greater than Moshe Rabenu, his followers may accept his words on faith; nevertheless, this is the not the concept of emunat ḥakhamim.

Text 3-29: Nachum Eliezer Rabinowitch on Yeshaya the Elder of Trani
One who has achieved the level of “studying Torah for its
own exalted sake” ( ìùîä ) will have absolute emunat hạkhamim and,
precisely because of this, has a greater obligation to decide between
opposing halakhic views. It is worthwhile to cite the responsa of a
rishon, R. Yeshaya the Elder of Trani z”l:

“First, I would like to reply to Your Honor concerning what you
wrote to me that I should not dispute the great rav, Rabbeinu
Yitzhak zẓ”l. Heaven forbid that I do this! I never saw myself as
disagreeing with him. Who am I? Compared to his disciple I am
but a flea (" ôøòåù àçã "), a simpleton. How could I dare speak
after the king! Nevertheless, this is my approach: Something that
seems incorrect to me, even if Yehoshua ben Nun had stated it I
would disobey him (see Ḥullin 124a). I will not refrain from
speaking my mind, limited though it is, applying to myself the verse
“I state your laws unabashedly even before kings.” Heaven is my
eternal Witness that even when it appears to me that my view is
more correct than that of our predecessors z”l, Heaven forbid that
it should occur to me that “my wisdom has stood by me” (Kohelet
2:9). Rather, I see myself ... as but a midget riding on the shoulders
of these giants. We have been exposed to their great wisdom; we
are taller only by adding a bit of knowledge on top of theirs. Only
by drawing upon their wisdom have we learned to say what we say,
not because we are greater than they.
“But, if because of this we were to say that we may not evaluate the
words of our predecessors, then what should we do when they
themselves disagree; when one prohibits and the other permits? On
whom do we rely? Can mountains be measured on a scale to
determine which is greater? Our only option is to analyze what
each has said, for “both are the words of the living G-d” (Eruvin
13b). We must delve into their words and draw the appropriate
conclusion... the words of the wise men are of greater importance
than the wise men themselves. There has never been a Sage entirely
free of error for there is no perfect wisdom except G-d’s.”

“The words of the wise men are of greater importance than the wise men themselves,” is a principle of emunat hạkhamim.

3.2.2.4.2 Another Stream

The alternative approach seems to ignore the fallibility of all people including Moshe who struck the rock. R. Nachman Z”L in his desire to overcome the three desires leading to sin, 1) Taivas nashon (woman), 2) Taivas mammon (money), 3) Taivas Achilus (eating) chose the last while he was young,[599] perhaps leading to a weaker constitution later in life. Also we know that it is a sin to harm ones own body. Nevertheless, this would not preclude him from being the tzaddik emet or the soul of Moshe rabbenu. R. Nachman said that his soul was no different than any other and that he had the same struggle with Taivas – desires, so that anyone should know that they too can master their evil inclination. Also R. Nachman said that his intellect was even less than average contributing to his struggle to grasp Gemara. Here also he taught that eventually one can succeed. Clearly he was a very humble person, possessing the same quality as Moshe Rabbenu.

3.2.2.4.2.1 Belief in the Tzaddikim

While we are permitted to seek the advice and believe the recommendations of rabbis and tzaddikim, the Torah never intended this to be a second faith.

Text 3-30: Torah Exodus 14:31
And Israel saw the great work, which the Lord did upon the Egyptians; and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.

ùîåú ôø÷ éã ôñå÷ ìà

åéøà éùøàì àú äéã äâãìä àùø òùä éãåã áîöøéí åééøàå äòí àú éãåã åéàîéðå áéãåã åáîùä òáãå: ô

A little crack like believing in the servant Moses would lead almost to apostasy for those who wished to have faith in a human leader like an assistant G-d throughout history. For example, the Samaritans used this text in a marriage formula, “in Moses and his writings, we believe”, already influenced by the crack in faith for G-d alone with faith in the tzaddik emet of G-d. [600] Later translators such as Onkelos would qualify this as, “The people feared the Lord. They believed in the memra of the Lord and in the prophecy of Moses his servant.” Memra would be idolized into the Christian savior from logos.

Text 3-31: Targum Onkelos Exodus 14:31
And Israel saw the great work, which the Lord did upon the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the word - memra of the Lord and in the prophecy of Moses his servant.

àåð÷ìåñ ùîåú ôø÷ éã ôñå÷ ìà

(ìà) åçæà éùøàì éú âáåøú éãà øáúà ãòáã éé áîöøéí åãçéìå òîà îï ÷ãí éé åäéîéðå áîéîøà ãéé åáðáéàåú [åáðáéåú] îùä òáãéä:


See 3.1.3 Mekilta of Rabbi Ishmael on p. 308.
3.2.2.4.2.2 Midrash Exodus 22:3
Text 3-32: Midrash Rabbah - Exodus XXII:3

3. AND THE PEOPLE FEARED THE LORD (XIV, 31). Our Rabbis taught: He who recites the shema’ must mention the division of the Red Sea and the plague of the firstborn in the paragraph beginning with ' True and firm’(1); but if he does not do so, then he need not be made to repeat it. If he omits, however, to make mention of the departure from Egypt, then he must repeat it, for it says, That thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt (Deut. XVI, 3). What is the difference between the departure from Egypt and the dividing of the Red Sea? The departure from Egypt was more difficult, as it says, Or hath God assayed, etc. (ib.IV, 34); also, But you hath the Lord taken, and brought forth out of the iron furnace (ib. 20). A proof that one was more difficult than the other is that in the case of the departure from Egypt it says, I am the Lord thy God (Ex. XX, 2),(2) but in the case of the division of the Red Sea, the name of God is not mentioned at all. Why must he make mention of the division of the Red Sea in the paragraph of ‘True and firm’? Because since it was through His dividing the sea for them that they believed in Him, as it says: And they believed in the Lord, and in His servant Moses (ib. XIV, 31). Because of this faith, they were privileged to recite the Song and to have the Shechinah rest upon them, for the words Then sang Moses (ib. XV,1) follow immediately. For this reason should a man recite the prayer for redemption(3) immediately before the Amidah, just as they recited the Song immediately after their [declaration of] faith and the division of the Red Sea. Just as they purified their hearts and uttered Song, for it says, And the people feared the Lord, and they believed, and immediately afterwards ’ Then sang Moses’, so must a man first purify his heart and then pray. This is what Job said, Although there is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure (XVI, 17). R. Joshua the priest, son of R. Nehemiah, said: Is there, then, an impure prayer? No; but he who prays unto God with hands soiled from violence, is not answered. Why? Because such a prayer is sinful, as it says, And God said unto Noah: The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence (Gen. VI, 13)(4); but since Job never committed any violence, his prayer was pure. For this reason does it say: ’ Although there is no violence in my hands,’ that is to say, because there is no violence in my hands or in my toil, ’my prayer is pure.’ R. Hama b. Hanina said: Whence do we know that the prayer of one who has committed violence is impure? Because it says, And when ye spread forth your hands,... I will not hear (Isa. 1, 15), because your hands are full of blood (ib.). Whence do we know that the prayer of him who removes himself from violence(5) is pure? Because it says, He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart (Ps. XXIV, 4); and what does it say after this? He shall receive a blessing from the Lord (ib. 5).Such is the generation of them that seek after Him (ib.6).
____________________

(1) The paragraph immediately following the shema’ in the morning. These events are also mentioned in the paragraph ' True and faithful ' following the evening recitation of the shema’.
(2) Since God at Revelation only mentions that He brought Israel out of Egypt and not the miracle of the Red Sea, the former must have been the greater miracle.
(3) The prayer ending gaal Israel – redeem Israel, just before the ’amidah.
(4) The idea is apparently: therefore even prayer will not avail.
(5) ‘Violence’ in this whole passage connotes robbery and theft.

3.3 Talmud

3.3.1 Berachot


Text 3-33: Berachot 47b
Our Rabbis taught: Who is an ‘am ha-arez(6) Anyone who does not recite the Shema’ evening and morning. This is the view of R. Eliezer. R. Joshua says: Anyone who does not put on tefillin. Ben ‘Azzai says: Anyone who has not a fringe on his garment. R. Nathan says: Anyone who has not a mezuzah on his door. R. Nathan b. Joseph says: Anyone who has sons and does not bring them up to the study of the Torah. Others say: Even if one has learnt Scripture and Mishnah, if he has not ministered to the disciples of the wise,(7) he is an ‘am ha-arez. R. Huna said: The Halakhah is as laid down by ‘Others’.

Rami b. Hama refused to count to zimmun R. Menashiah b. Tahalifa who could repeat Sifra,(8) Sifre,(9) and Halakhah. When Rami b. Hama died, Raba said: Rami b. Hama died only because he would not count R. Menashiah b. Tahalifa for zimmun. But it has been taught: Others say that even if one has learnt Scripture and Mishnah but has not ministered to the disciples of the wise, he is an ‘am ha-arez? — R. Menashiah b. Tahalifa was different because he used to minister to the Rabbis, and it was Rami b. Hama who did not make proper inquiries about him.[601] According to another version, he used to hear discussions from the mouth of the Rabbis and commit them to memory. and he was therefore like a Rabbinical scholar.

(6) Hence a Cuthean may be reckoned in.
(7) Rashi explains this to mean that he has not learnt Gemara, which explains the Mishnah.
(8) The Midrash on Leviticus.
(9) The Midrash on Deuteronomy.

3.3.2 Pesachim

An am haaretz – person of the land is defined as one who does not perform any one of the following: put up a mezuzah, put on tefillin regularly, wear tzitzit, keep kosher, recite the Shema twice a day, learn Torah, or does not minister to talmudei hochamim.[602] This landsman is not allowed to be a witness at weddings, because he is not considered a “kosher witness”. By orthodox standards most Jews today are in this category. Rude behavior is the norm towards the am haaretz and has caused a tremendous hillul Hashem for haredi. Fortunately, the Talmud is not the Halakha; unfortunately the examples here are no better then the New Testament’s opinions of the Pharisees.[603] Both are hillul Hashem—a desecration of God.
Text 3-34: Pesachim 49b
Our Rabbis taught: Let a man always sell all he has and marry the daughter of a scholar. If he does not find (1) the daughter of a scholar, let him marry the daughter of [one of] the great men of the generation.(2) If he does not find the daughter of [one of] the great men of the generation, let him marry the daughter of the head of synagogues. If he does not find the daughter of the head of synagogues,(3) let him marry the daughter of a charity treasurer. If he does not find the daughter of a charity treasurer, let him marry the daughter of an elementary school-teacher, but let him not marry the daughter of an ‘am ha-arez, because they are detestable and their wives are vermin, and of their daughters it is said, Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast.(4)

It was taught, Rabbi said: An ‘am ha-arez may not eat the flesh of cattle, for it is said, This is the law [Torah] of the beast, and of the fowl;(5) whoever engages in [the study of] the Torah may eat the flesh of beast and fowl, but he who does not engage in [the study of] the Torah may not eat the flesh of beast and fowl.

The idea here is the scholar elevates the animal to a higher form but the am haaretz only consumes the animal into another.

R. Eleazar said: An ‘am ha-arez, it is permitted to stab him [even] on the Day of Atonement which falls on the Sabbath. Said his disciples to him, Master, say to slaughter him [ritually]? He replied: This [ritual slaughter] requires a benediction, whereas that [stabbing] does not require a benediction. R. Eleazar said: One must not join company with an ‘am ha-arez on the road, because it is said, for that [the Torah] is thy life, and the length of thy days:(6) [seeing that] he has no care [pity] for his own life,(7) how much the more for the life of his companions! R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in R. Johanan's name: One may tear an ‘am haarez like a fish! Said R. Samuel b. Isaac: And [this means] along his back.

Words slay a person. Would R. Eleazar be a murderer? One would also wonder why R. Eleazar would keep the Torah to himself rather than share it with other Jews on the road. The Baal Shem Tov would sit with Jewish alcoholics before the Yom Kippur service.

It was taught, R. Akiba said: When I was an ‘am ha-arez(8) I said: I would that I had a scholar [before me], and I would maul him like an ass. Said his disciples to him, Rabbi, say like a dog! The former bites and breaks the bones, while the latter bites but does not break the bones, he answered them.

It was taught, R. Meir used to say: Whoever marries his daughter to an ‘am ha-arez, is as though he bound and laid her before a lion: just as a lion tears [his prey] and devours it and has no shame, so an ‘am ha-arez strikes and cohabits and has no shame.

It was taught, R. Eliezer said: But that we are necessary to them for trade, they would kill us. R. Hiyya taught: Whoever studies(9) the Torah in front of an ‘am ha-arez, is as though he cohabited with his betrothed in his presence,10 for it is said, Moses commanded us a law, an inheritance [morashah] of the congregation of Jacob:11 read not morashah but me'orasah [the betrothed].(12) Greater is the hatred wherewith the ‘amme ha-arez, hate the scholar than the hatred wherewith the heathens hate Israel, and their wives [hate even] more than they.

The wives hate more, because while their husbands are out work, they meet the scholar’s wives in the streets who avoid them and ignore them. The scholar’s wives would not eat of their food or converse with them. This increased their resentment.

It was taught: He who has studied and then abandoned [the Torah] [hates the scholar] more than all of them.(13) Our Rabbis taught: Six things were said of the ‘amme ha-arez’: We do not commit testimony to them; we do not accept testimony from them; we do not reveal a secret to them; we do not appoint them as guardians for orphans; we do not appoint them stewards(14) over charity funds; and we must not join their company on the road. Some say, We do not proclaim their losses too.(15) And the first Tanna?(16) — Virtuous seed may sometimes issue from him, and they will enjoy(17) it, as it is said, He will prepare it, and the just shall put it on.(18)

There is permission granted not to return the losses of an am haaretz here. Other opinions suggest, since his child may be a scholar and benefit from the fruits of the am haaretz father’s labor, his possessions should be returned. Others say they are still his and it would be stealing not to return.

(1) I.e., cannot obtain
(2) Gedole ha-dor, title probably designating the civil leaders of the community. v. Buchler, Sepphoris, p. 9.
(3) [The archi synagogos, the supreme authority over the synagogues in the town; v. Git., Sonc. ed. p. 202, n. 5.]
(4) Deut. XXVII, 21.
(5) Lev. XI, 46.
(6) Deut. XXX, 20.
(7) In that he forsakes the Torah.
(8) R. Akiba was a poor, illiterate shepherd before he became a scholar; v. Ned. 50a.
(9) Lit., ‘engages in’.
(10) So great is the affront which the ‘am ha-arez feels when Torah is studied in his presence, v. Rashi.
(11) Ibid. XXXIII, 4.
(12) Thus the Torah is as the bride of the whole of Israel.
(13) More than any ‘am ha-arez hates the scholar.
(14) The Heb. is the same as in the previous phrase. Epitropos is a steward who looks after another person's estates, etc.
(15) He who finds lost property is bound to proclaim it; if the owner is an ‘am ha-arez, he is not bound to proclaim it.
(16) Why does he omit this?
(17) Lit., ‘eat’.
(18) Job XXVII, 17.

Overall, one wonders whose labor will support all the scholars who deride the am haaretz, believing that God will provide for them if they only study Torah. It is not surprising that there are haredi who take charity or support from amme haaretz, believing their property was naturally meant for his family.

3.3.3 Shabbat


Text 3-35: Shabbat 67a

bazak, bazik, bizbazik, mismasik, kamun kamik

For an abscess one should say thus: 'Let it indeed be cut down, let it indeed be healed, let it indeed be overthrown; Sharlai and Amarlai are those angels who were sent from the land of Sodom8 to heal boils and aches: bazak, bazik, bizbazik, mismasik, kamun kamik,9 thy colour [be confined] within thee, thy colour [be confined] within thee,10 thy seat be within thee,11 thy seed be like a kalut12 and like a mule that is not fruitful and does not increase; so be thou not fruitful nor increase in the body of So-and-so.'13 Against ulcers14 one should say thus: 'A drawn sword and a prepared sling, its name is not Joheb, sickness and pains.' Against a demon one should say thus: 'Thou wast closed up; closed up wast thou. Cursed, broken, and destroyed be Bar Tit, Bar Tame, Bar Tina15 as Shamgez, Mezigaz and Istamai.'

8 Rashi: this is the incantation formula, but they were not actually sent thence.
9 Unintelligible words forming part of the incantation.
10 Let it not change to a deeper red.
11 Let it not spread.
12 An animal with uncloven hoofs (the sign of uncleanness) born of a clean animal. Rashi: one whose semen is locked up, so that he cannot reproduce.
13 Mentioning the mother's name, so that the boils may not increase within the person.
14 Others: epilepsy.
15 Lit., 'the son of clay, son of defilement, son of filth' — names for the demon.

3.3.4 Ta’anit


The word for ‘open’ – פתח in Hebrew is a subset of the word for ‘key’ – מפתח. Based on this the Talmud quotes three verses as ‘keys’ that G-d has not given over to the control of an angel.

Text 3-36: Keys of the Holy One Blessed Be He
R. Johanan said: Three keys the Holy One blessed be He has retained in His own hands and not entrusted to the hand of any messenger, namely, the Key of Rain, the Key of Childbirth, and the Key of the Revival of the Dead. The Key of Rain, for It is written, The Lord will open unto thee His good treasure, the heaven to give the rain of thy land in its season,[604] The Key of Childbirth, for it is written, And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. The Key of the Revival of the Dead, for it is written, And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves.[605] In Palestine they said: Also the Key of Sustenance, for it is said, Thou openest thy hand etc. Why does not R. Johanan include also this [key]? — Because in his view sustenance is [included in] Rain.[606]

The passage from Ezekiel is symbolic of the Israelites. The Key of the Revival of the Dead is to know that this applies to us today who have lost hope. Whenever we see these words in our prayers we must think about reviving our selves back to G-d.

3.3.5 Sotah

The Torah protects a person at the time he is studying from both physical and spiritual dangers. The Mitzvah protects a person from physical harm, but not from the yetzer hara, or the Satan. Women share equally in the reward of Torah learning. By providing time for their husbands to learn or by seeing that their children learn Torah gives them the same reward. Women divide equally the reward of the Garden of Eden with their husbands.

The Gemara gives the example of the difference between mitzvah and Torah. A person is walking along on a dark way. The person fears four things: thieves. These correspond to the four levels of creation, domem – inorganic, tzomach – vegetation, chai – animal life, human life.

One of the worst evils is atzmut – sadness. The origin of this comes from domem – the pit. The lusts come from vegetation. Evil words, lies, slander comes from chai, the animal level, for this is an act of an animal. The forth, haughtiness or conceit, gaivah, comes from human life.

When tragedy or suffering occurs it is also good. This is because of G-d’s name, “Hashem Echad and Shemo Echad”.[607] The name Elohim is for judgment. Hashem’s name is for mercy. Together, they are still one, that is the gematria thirteen, which is ahavah, love. There are two types of suffering of a love. One is when a person makes known his religious identity in the work place and must deal with any prejudices. His example as a proper Jew is a holiness to G-d. The other is the loss of wealth that happens to a religious Jew who spends all his money for the sake of Torah.[608]

When a person commits a sin, has vshalom, any kind of sin, he goes against G-d’s word. The act he does carves into his bones, also into his neshamah, soul. When a person has this sin carved out in his bones, is repentance enough? Tshuvah says only that he will not be punished for it. Rabbi Nachman says the way to rid one of the carvings in the bones is to confess the sins before a Tzaddik, a Talmud Hocham. When he speaks these words, the words come out of his bones. This confession is the final solution. There are four types of evil than emanate from the four types of creation. Say a person has the Atzmut – sadness, he also has the Taavot – evil desires, Lashon Harah – slander, and the Ga’avah – pride. These come from the inorganic, the vegetation life, the animal, and the human. How does the person get rid of them? He comes before a Tzaddik and sees him. When the person in the example came to the lantern, he was no longer afraid of the pits – domem or the thorns – tzomach. When a person sees the Tzaddik, it is like seeing his mother, the mother of the Jews. When he sees the Tzaddik he will drop all his evil ways, drop his sadness, and come to rejoice with the Tzaddik. The second way is to give tzedakah to a Tzaddik. This saves the person from evil words – his fear of wild animals, haughtiness – human ways. This causes the light of day to shine forth and saves the person from the evil tongue and haughtiness.

3.3.6 Sanhedrin

Here Adam Kadmon is described.
Text 3-37: Sanhedrin 38b
Rab Judah said in Rab's name: When the Holy One, blessed be He, wished to create man, He [first] created a company of ministering angels and said to them: Is it your desire that we make a man in our image? They answered: Sovereign of the Universe, what will be his deeds? Such and such will be his deeds, He replied. Thereupon they exclaimed: Sovereign of the Universe, What is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou thinkest of him?(12) Thereupon He stretched out His little finger among them and consumed them with fire. The same thing happened with a second company. The third company said to Him: Sovereign of the Universe, what did it avail the former [angels] that they spoke to Thee [as they did]? the whole world is Thine, and whatsoever that Thou wishest to do therein, do it. When He came to the men of the Age of the flood and of the division [of tongues] whose deeds were corrupt, they said to Him: Lord of the Universe, did not the first [company of angels] speak aright? Even to old age I am the same, and even to hoar hairs will I carry,(13) He retorted.

Rab Judah said in Rab's name: The first man reached from one end of the world to the other, as it is written, Since the day that God created man upon the earth, even from the one end of Heaven unto the other.14 But when he sinned, the Holy One, blessed be He, laid His hand upon him and diminished him, as it is written, Thou hast hemmed me in behind and before, and laid Thy hands upon me.15 R. Eleazar said: The first man reached from earth to heaven, as it is written, Since the day that God created man upon the earth, and from one end of the Heaven [to the other].(16) But when he sinned, the Holy One, blessed be He, laid His hand upon him and diminished him, for it is written, Thou hast hemmed me in behind and before etc.15 But these verses contradict each other! — Both measurements are identical.(17)

Rab Judah also said in Rab's name: The first man spoke Aramaic,(18) for it is written, How weighty are thy thoughts unto me, God.(19) And that is what Resh Lakish meant when he said: What is the meaning of the verse, ‘This is the book of the generations of Adam?(20) It is to intimate that the Holy One, blessed be He, showed him [Adam] every generation and its thinkers,(21) every generation and its sages. When he came to the generation of Rabbi Akiba, he [Adam] rejoiced at his learning but was grieved at his death,(22) and said: How weighty(23) are Thy friends(24) to me, O God.(19)

Rab Judah also said in Rab's name: Adam was a Min,(25) for it is written, And the Lord God called unto Adam and said unto him, Where art thou?(26) i.e., whither has thine heart turned? R. Isaac said: He practised episplasm:(27) For here it is written, But like man, [Adam] they have transgressed the covenant;(28) whilst elsewhere it is said, He hath broken my covenant,(29) R. Nahman said: He denied God.(30) Here it is written, They have transgressed the covenant;(28) whilst elsewhere it is stated, [He hath broken my covenant,(31) and again,] Because they forsook the covenant of the Lord their God.(32)

We learnt elsewhere:(33) R. Eliezer said: Be diligent to learn the Torah and know how to answer an Epikoros.(34) R. Johanan commented: They taught this only with respect to a Gentile Epikoros; with a Jewish Epikoros, it would only make his heresy more pronounced.(35)

R. Johanan sad: In all the passages which the Minim have taken [as grounds] for their heresy,(36) their refutation is found near at hand. Thus: Let us make man in our image,(37) — And God created [sing.] man in His own image;(38) Come, let us go down and there confound their language,(39) — And the Lord came down [sing.] to see the city and the tower;(40) Because there were revealed [plur.] to him God,(41) — Unto God who answereth [sing.] me in the day of my distress;(42) For what great nation is there that hath God so nigh [plur.] unto it, as the Lord our God is [unto us] whensoever we call upon Him [sing.];(43) And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, [like] Israel, whom God went [plur.] to redeem for a people unto himself [sing.],(44) Till thrones were placed and one that was ancient did sit.(45)

Why were these(46) necessary? To teach R. Johanan's dictum; viz.: The Holy One, blessed be He, does nothing without consulting His Heavenly Court,(47) for it is written, The matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the Holy Ones.(48) Now, that is satisfactory for all [the other verses], but how explain Till thrones were placed? — One [throne] was for Himself and one for David.(49) Even as it has been taught: One was for Himself and one for David: this is R. Akiba's view. R. Jose protested to him: Akiba, how long will thou profane the Shechinah?(50) Rather, one [throne] for justice, and the other for mercy. Did he accept [this answer] from him or not? Come and hear! For it has been taught: One is for justice and the other for charity; this is R. Akiba's view. Said R. Eleazar b. Azariah to him: Akiba, what hast thou to do with Aggada? Confine thyself to [the study of] Nega'im and Ohaloth.(51) But one was a throne, the other a footstool: a throne for a seat and a footstool in support of His feet.


(12) Ps. VIII, 5.
(13) Isa. XLVI, 4. I.e., I shall suffer mankind under all conditions.
(14) Deut. IV, 32.
(15) Ps. CXXXIX, 5.
(16) Rashal rightly deletes the bracketed passage, because on this dictum the verse must be read: He created man upon the earth and reaching up to the end of Heaven, i.e., he reached from earth to Heaven.
(17) [The gigantic stature of Adam plays an important part in the system of many Gnostic sects, v. Ginzberg, op. cit. V, 79.]
(18) [This may have been said in justification of the abandonment by the Babylonian Jews of the Hebrew language in favour of Aramaic.]
(19) Ps. CXXXIX, 17. This Psalm deals with the creation of man. reh ‘weighty’, and lhgr ‘thoughts’ are Aramaisms.
(20) Gen. V, 1.
(21) Lit., ‘exponents’.
(22) R. Akiba was executed by Tineius Rufus after being most cruelly tortured. Cf. Ber. 61b.
(23) Perhaps to be understood here with a twofold meaning: weighty = honoured; and weighty = a source of heaviness and grief.
(24) lhgr is probably here taken in its usual Hebrew meaning, "Thy friends’,
(25) V. Glos. V. p. 234, n. 4; it is to be observed that Min is contrasted (in the next passage) with unbeliever.
(26) Gen. III, 9.
(27) I.e., he removed the mark of circumcision.
(28) Hos. VI, 7.
(29) Gen. XVII, 14. with reference to circumcision.
(30) Lit. ‘the fundamental (principle)’.
(31) Gen. XVII, 14. Ms. M. omits the bracketed passage; rightly so, for it is irrelevant.
(32) Jer. XXII, 9, referring to belief in God.
(33) Aboth II, 14.
(34) Who endeavours to draw support from the Torah for his beliefs. [xuruehpt is derived from the personal name, Epicurus, and is adopted by the Talmud for the sake of the play upon the word rep ‘to be free from restraint’. To denote one who denies God and his commandments, v. Herford, Christianity in Talmud p. 120.]
(35) Lit., ‘He is more lawless.’ With him, therefore, discussion is not advised since he is deliberate in his negation and not therefore easily dissuaded (Rashi).
(36) E.g., where God is spoken of in the plural.
(37) Gen. I, 26.
(38) Ibid. 27.
(39) Gen. XI, 7.
(40) Ibid. 5.
(41) Ibid. XXXV, 7.
(42) Ibid. 3.
(43) Deut. IV, 7.
(44) II Sam. VII, 23.
(45) Dan. VII, 9.
(46) Plural forms.
(47) thknp, ‘family'v. p. 675.
(48) Dan. IV, 14.
(49) The Messiah.
(50) By asserting that a human being sit beside Him.
(51) Names of Treatises in the Seder Tohoroth, the most difficult in the whole of the Talmud. V. infra 67b. R. Akiba was a great authority on these laws, whereas his Haggadic interpretations were not always acceptable. [This interpretation involved the same danger as that of R. Akiba's first interpretation in that it tended to obscure the true monotheistic concept of God.]

See 26.13.2 Early messianic ideas in the blue.

3.3.7 Yevamoth


The Talmud is not a collection of True sayings, but of opinion and reason. There are statements that are incorrect, there are suggestions of law that are not law; nevertheless all was included so that it would not be forgotten.


Text 3-38: Yevamoth 62b - 63a


R. Tanhum stated in the name of R. Hanilai: Any man who has no wife lives without joy, without blessing, and without goodness. ‘Without joy’. for it is written. And thou shalt rejoice, thou and thy house.27 ‘Without blessing’, for it is written, To cause a blessing to rest on thy house.28 ‘Without goodness’, for it is written, It is not good that the man should be alone.29

In the West30 it was stated:31 Without Torah and without a [protecting] wall. ‘Without Torah’, for it is written. Is it that I have no help32 in me, and that sound wisdom33 is driven quite from me.34 ‘Without a [protecting] wall’, for it is written, A woman shall encompass a man.35

Raba b. ‘Ulla said:31 Without peace, for it is written, And thou shalt know that thy tent36 is in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation and shalt miss nothing.37

R. Joshua b. Levi said: Whosoever knows his wife to be a God-fearing woman and does not duly visit her is called a sinner; for it is said, And thou shalt know that thy tent is in peace38 etc.39

R. Joshua b. Levi further stated: It is a man's duty to pay a visit to his wife when he starts on a journey; for it is said, And thou shalt know that thy tent is in peace etc.37 Is this40 deduced from here? Surely it is deduced from the following:41 And thy desire shall be to thy husband42 teaches that a woman yearns for her husband when he sets out on a journey! — R. Joseph replied: This43 was required only in the case where her menstruation period was near.44 And how near? Rabbah45 replied: Twelve hours.46 And this47 applies only [when the journey is] for a secular purpose, but when for a religious purpose [it does not apply, since then] people are in a state of anxiety.48 Our Rabbis taught: Concerning a man who loves his wife as himself, who honours her more than himself, who guides his sons and daughters in the right path and arranges for them to be married near the period of their puberty, Scripture says, And thou shalt know that thy tent is in peace.49 Concerning him who loves his neighbours, who befriends his relatives, marries his sister's50 daughter,
____________________
(1) Infra 70a. It is now assumed that whenever one's own child died the grandchild may take his place in exempting his grandfather from the duty of propagation. From this it follows that only living children or grandchildren exempt a man from the duty of further propagation. How then could R. Huna maintain that dead children also exempt one from this duty?
(2) If a man had only one son he is exempt from the duty of propagation if his son had a daughter. If, however, he once had a male and a female who subsequently died he is in any case exempt.
(3) V. Glos.
(4) Tosef. Yeb. VIII.
(5) Cf. supra note 1, final clause.
(6) I.e., a granddaughter cannot take the place of a son to exempt one from the duty of further propagation.
(7) Isa. XLV, 18.
(8) Lit., ‘all the world’, i.e., Abaye and Raba.
(9) Son or daughter.
(10) Others, ‘Abba b. Zabda’. V. She'iltoth. Sec. ha-Berakah.
(11) The discourses being long, R. Shesheth, in his desire not to interrupt them, suppressed his needs and thus impaired his generative organs. V. Bek. 44b.
(12) Gen. XXXI, 43.
(13) Lit., ‘from here’.
(14) I Chron. II, 21.
(15) Judges V, 14.
(16) Ps. LX, 9. As this text implies that the lawgivers were descendants of Judah, Machir (Judges V, 14), a descendant of Manasseh, could not have been the paternal, but only the maternal ancestor of the lawgivers that descended from him. The lawgivers were thus the offspring of the union mentioned in I Chron. II, 21, between Hezron, a descendant of Judah, and a daughter of Machir. This then proves that the sons of one's daughter are also regarded as one's own sons.
(17) Which permits abstention from further propagation after the birth of the prescribed number of children.
(18) I.e., ‘the morning of life’, youth.
(19) I.e., ‘old age’. V. supra n. 5.
(20) Eccl. XI, 6.
(21) Gibbethon, in the territory of Dan.
(22) N.N.W. of Jerusalem.
(23) Through lack of learning.
(24) The disciples of R. Akiba.
(25) vrfxt (rt. rfx , ‘stop’, ‘choke’).
(26) Supra, that the duty of propagation never ceases.
(27) Deut. XIV, 26. House, ,hc refers to one's wife. Cf. Yoma 2a.
(28) Ezek. XLIV, 30. Cf. supra n. 3.
(29) Gen. II, 18.
(30) Palestine.
(31) Concerning the unmarried man.
(32) I.e., ‘a wife’. Cf. A help meet for him, Gen. II, 18.
(33) vhau, , the Torah.
(34) Job VI, 13.
(35) Jer. XXXI, 22. Cf. R.V.
(36) I.e., wife. Cf. M.K. and supra note 3.
(37) Job V, 24.
(38) I.e., ‘that thy wife is in peace with God’ sc. ‘chaste’, or. reading ouka as oka , ‘perfect’.
(39) Ibid., then thou shalt visit etc.
(40) The duty of visiting prior to setting out on a journey.
(41) Lit., ‘from there’.
(42) Gen. III, 16.
(43) The statement as to the duty of visiting.
(44) At the time he sets out on his journey. When no journey is contemplated one must keep away from his wife when the menstruation period is near. V. Shebu. 18b.
(45) Cur. edd., ‘Raba’.
(46) vbug lit., ‘period’. i.e., a whole day or a whole night. If the menstruation occurs during the day, he must keep away throughout that day, and if during the night, he must keep away during all that night.
(47) The duty of visiting prior to setting out on a journey.
(48) Or, ‘they might be preoccupied’ and thus delay the journey and neglect the performance of the religious act.
(49) Job V, 24.
(50) This is a meritorious act, because the affection a man has for his sister will be extended to her daughter, his wife.

Talmud - Mas. Yevamoth 63a

and lends a sela’1 to a poor man in the hour of his need, Scripture says, Then shalt thou call, and the Lord will answer; thou shalt cry and He will say: ‘Here I am’.2

(Mnemonic: Woman and land help this two shoots, tradesmen inferior.)3

R. Eleazar said: Any man who has no wife is no proper man; for it is said, Male and female created He them and called their name Adam.4

R. Eleazar further stated: Any man who owns no land is not a proper man; for it is said, The heavens are the heavens of the Lord; but the earth hath he given to the children of men.5

R. Eleazar further stated: What is the meaning of the Scriptural text, I will make him a help meet for him?6 If he was worthy she is a help to him;7 if he was not worthy she is against him.8 Others say: R. Eleazar pointed out a contradiction: It is written kenegedo9 but we read kenegedo!10 — If he was worthy she is meet for him;10 if he was not worthy she chastises him.9

R. Jose met Elijah and asked him: It is written, I will make him a help;11 how does a woman help a man? The other replied: If a man brings wheat, does he chew the wheat? If flax, does he put on the flax?12 Does she not, then, bring light to his eyes and put him on his feet!

R. Eleazar further stated: What is meant by the Scriptural text, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh?13 This teaches that Adam dwelled - שבא upon every beast and animal but did not know satisfaction (bore, spring forth, have intercourse) until he laid upon Eve.[609]
מלמד שבא אדם על כל בהמה וחיה ולא נתקררה דעתו עד שבא על חוה

Genesis 2:23
כג  וַיֹּאמֶר, הָאָדָם, זֹאת הַפַּעַם עֶצֶם מֵעֲצָמַי, וּבָשָׂר מִבְּשָׂרִי; לְזֹאת יִקָּרֵא אִשָּׁה, כִּי מֵאִישׁ לֻקְחָה-זֹּאת. 23 And the man said: 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'

R. Eleazar further stated: What is meant by the text, And in thee shall the families of the earth be blessed?14 The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Abraham, ‘I have two goodly shoots to engraft15 on you: Ruth the Moabitess and Naamah the Ammonitess’.16 All the families of the earth,14 even the other families who live on the earth are blessed only for Israel's sake. All the nations of the earth,17 even the ships that go from Gaul to Spain are blessed only for Israel's sake.

R. Eleazar further stated: There will be a time when all craftsmen will take up agriculture;18 for it is said, And all that handle the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships; they shall stand upon the land.19

R. Eleazar further stated: No20 occupation is inferior to that of agricultural labour; for it is said, And they shall come down.21

R. Eleazar once saw a plot of land that was ploughed across its width.22 ‘Wert thou to be ploughed along thy length also’,23 he remarked, ‘engaging in business would still be more profitable’. Rab once entered among growing ears of corn. Seeing that they were swaying24 he called out to them, ‘Swing as you will,25 engaging in business brings more profit than you can do’.

Raba said: A hundred zuz26 in business means meat and wine every day; a hundred zuz in land, only salt and vegetables.27 Furthermore it causes him to sleep on the ground28 and embroils him in strife.29

R. Papa said, ‘Sow30 but do not buy,31 even if the cost is the same; there is a blessing in the former. Sell out32 to avoid disgrace;33 but only mattresses, [not] however, a cloak, [since one] might not always again obtain [a suitable one].34 Stop up35 and you will need no repair;36 repair37 and you will not need to rebuild; for whosoever engages in building grows poor. Be quick in buying land; be deliberate in taking a wife. Come down a step in choosing your wife;38 go up a step in selecting your shoshbin.39

R. Eleazar b. Abina40 said: Punishment comes into the world only on Israel's account; for it is said, I have cut off nations, their corners are desolate; I have made their streets waste,41 and this is followed by the text, ‘I said: Surely thou wilt fear Me, thou wilt receive correction’.42

Rab was once taking leave of R. Hiyya. The latter said to him, ‘May the All Merciful deliver you from that which is worse than death’. ‘But is there’ [Rab wondered] ‘anything that is worse than death’? When he went out he considered the matter and found [the following text]: And I find more bitter than death the woman etc.43

Rab was constantly tormented by his wife. If he told her, ‘Prepare me lentils’, she would prepare him small peas; [and if he asked for] small peas, she prepared him lentils. When his son Hiyya grew up he gave her [his father's instruction] in the reverse order.44 ‘Your mother’, Rab once remarked to him, ‘has improved’!45 ‘It was I’, the other replied, ‘who reversed [your orders] to her’. ‘This is what people say’, the first said to him, ‘Thine own offspring teaches thee reason’;46 you, however, must not continue to do so’ for it is said, They have taught their tongue to speak lies, they weary themselves etc’.47

R. Hiyya was constantly tormented by his wife. He, nevertheless, whenever he obtained anything suitable wrapped it up in his scarf and brought it to her. Said Rab to him, ‘But, surely, she is tormenting the Master!’ — ‘It is sufficient for us’, the other replied, ‘that they rear up our children and deliver us
____________________
(1) A coin. V. Glos.
(2) Isa. LVIII, 9. This refers to the preceding text: If then thou seest the naked, that thou cover him (ibid. 7), i.e., helping the poor at the hour of his need; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh (ibid.) implies benefiting relatives including the marriage of a sister's daughter and loving one's neighbours who are regarded as relatives.
(3) The words in the mnemonic correspond to terms outstanding in the respective statements of R. Eleazar, that follow.
(4) Gen. V, 2. Adam == man. Only when the male and female were united were they called Adam.
(5) Ps. CXV, 16, emphasis on man and earth.
(6) Gen. II, 18.
(7) rzg , ‘help’.
(8) usdbf , meet for him may also be rendered ‘against him’.
(9) usdbf (rt. sdb , ‘to strike’).
(10) usdbf meet for him.
(11) Gen. II, 18.
(12) Obviously not. His wife grinds the wheat and spins the flax.
(13) Gen. II, 23, emphasis on This is now.
(14) Ibid. XII, 3, ufrcbu.
(15) lhrcvk in Hif. is of the same rt. ( lrc ) as ufrcbu in Nif.
(16) Both belonged to idolatrous nations and were ‘grafted’ upon the stock of Israel. The former was the ancestress of David (V. Ruth IV, 13ff), and the latter the mother of Rehoboam (v. I Kings XIV, 31) and his distinguished descendants Asa, Jehoshaphat and Hezekiah.
(17) Gen. XVIII, 18.
(18) Lit., ‘they shall stand upon the land’.
(19) Ezek. XXVII, 29.
(20) Lit., ‘not to thee’.
(21) V. supra note 11, emphasis on down.
(22) Apparently as a measure of economy.
(23) I.e., were it to be ploughed ever so many times.
(24) Suggestive of a swaggering motion; pride.
(25) Other readings and interpretations: ‘Eh! thou desirest to be winnowed with the fan’; ‘Thou swingest thyself like a swing’; ‘Swing thyself’ i.e., ‘be as proud as thou wilt’ (v. Aruk and Jast.).
(26) A coin. V. Glos.
(27) vrupj may be compared with Arab. hafire ‘the beginning of a thing’, hence the first stage in the ripening of the corn (cf. Levy), ‘unripe ears’ (v. Rashi); ‘grass’ (Golds.); ‘common vegetables’ (Jast.).
(28) Since he must remain in his field during the night to watch the crops.
(29) With the owners of adjoining fields.
(30) Crops for the requirements of one's household.
(31) Corn in the market.
(32) Possessions or household goods.
(33) Of starvation or begging (v. Rashi). Other readings and interpretations: ‘Buy ready-made cloth and do not wind skeins’ (read khush, for kuzh, ); ‘Buy etc. and do not spin’ (v. Jast. and Aruk).
(34) V. Bah. a.l.
(35) A small hole in a building.
(36) Cf., ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ (Eng. prov.).
(37) If it is too late to stop up the cracks.
(38) A wife of superior position or rank might put on airs. or not be contented with her husband's social or financial position.
(39) The bridegroom's best man. By associating with superior men one has a good example to emulate.
(40) The last two words are missing in Yalkut.
(41) Zeph. III, 6.
(42) Ibid, 7.
(43) Eccl. VII, 26.
(44) So that when his mother, as usual, did the reverse of what she was requested by Hiyya in the name of his father, Rab had exactly what he had wished for.
(45) Lit., ‘improved for you’, (dative of advantage).
(46) The expedient had not occurred to him before his son had thought of it.
(47) Jer. IX, 4.


3.4 Mishneh Torah

Moshe son of Maimon, otherwise known as Maimonedes or the Rambam. In 31.35 Maimonides book of knowledge on p.1731 is a prerequisite background to be able to grow with correct interpretation in Torah learning. Encapsulating his Torah knowledge, the Rambam wrote the Mishneh Torah that is the Talmud’s accepted principles in order that any Jew with a basic level of Hebrew could becom[610] Talmud Hocham:610

Text 3-39: Mishneh Torah Introduction

אָז לֹא-אֵבוֹשׁ--
בְּהַבִּיטִי, אֶל-כָּל-מִצְוֹתֶיךָ
(תהילים קיט,ו). Then, should I not be ashamed--
when I have regard, unto all Thy commandments
(Psalms 119,6).

א כָּל הַמִּצְווֹת שֶׁנִּתְּנוּ לוֹ לְמֹשֶׁה בְּסִינַי--בְּפֵרוּשָׁן נִתְּנוּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמָר "וְאֶתְּנָה לְךָ אֶת-לֻחֹת הָאֶבֶן, וְהַתּוֹרָה וְהַמִּצְוָה" (שמות כד,יב): "תּוֹרָה", זוֹ תּוֹרָה שֶׁבִּכְתָב; וּ"מִצְוָה", זֶה פֵּרוּשָׁהּ. וְצִוָּנוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת הַתּוֹרָה, עַל פִּי הַמִּצְוָה. וּמִצְוָה זוֹ, הִיא הַנִּקְרֵאת תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה. 1 All the commandments that were given to Moshe at Sinai were given together with their interpretation, as it is written "and I will give thee the Tables of Stone, and the Law, and the Commandment" (Exodus 24,12). "Law" is the Written Law; and "Commandment" is its interpretation: We were commanded to fulfill the Law, according to the Commandment. And this Commandment is what is called the Oral Law.
ב כָּל הַתּוֹרָה--כְּתָבָהּ מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ קֹדֶם שֶׁיָּמוּת, בִּכְתָב יָדוֹ. וְנָתַן סֵפֶר לְכָל שֵׁבֶט וְשֵׁבֶט; וְסֵפֶר אֶחָד--נְתָנָהוּ בָּאָרוֹן לְעֵד, שֶׁנֶּאֱמָר "לָקֹחַ, אֵת סֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֶּה, וְשַׂמְתֶּם אֹתוֹ, מִצַּד אֲרוֹן בְּרִית-ה' אֱלֹהֵיכֶם; וְהָיָה-שָׁם בְּךָ, לְעֵד" (דברים לא,כו). 2 The whole of the Law was written down by Moshe Our Teacher before his death, in his own hand. He gave a scroll of the Law to each tribe; and he put another scroll by the Ark for a witness, as it is written "take this book of the Law, and put it by the side of the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee" (Deuteronomy 31,26).
ג וְהַמִּצְוָה, שְׁהִיא פֵּרוּשׁ הַתּוֹרָה--לֹא כְתָבָהּ; אֵלָא צִוָּה בָּהּ לַזְּקֵנִים וְלִיהוֹשׁוּעַ וְלִשְׁאָר כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמָר "אֵת כָּל-הַדָּבָר, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם--אֹתוֹ תִשְׁמְרוּ, לַעֲשׂוֹת . . ." (דברים יג,א). וּמִפְּנֵי זֶה נִקְרֵאת תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה. 3 But the Commandment, which is the interpretation of the Law--he did not write it down, but gave orders concerning it to the elders, to Yehoshua, and to all the rest of Israel, as it is written "all this word which I command you, that shall ye observe to do . . ." (Deuteronomy 13,1). For this reason, it is called the Oral Law.
ד אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִכְתְּבָה תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה, לִמְּדָהּ מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ כֻּלָּהּ בְּבֵית דִּינוֹ לְשִׁבְעִים זְקֵנִים; וְאֶלְעָזָר וּפִינְחָס וִיהוֹשׁוּעַ, שְׁלָשְׁתָּן קִבְּלוּ מִמֹּשֶׁה. וְלִיהוֹשׁוּעַ שְׁהוּא תַּלְמִידוֹ שֶׁלְּמֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ, מָסַר תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה וְצִוָּהוּ עָלֶיהָ; וְכֵן יְהוֹשׁוּעַ, כָּל יְמֵי חַיָּיו לִמַּד עַל פֶּה. 4 Although the Oral Law was not written down, Moshe Our Teacher taught all of it in his court to the seventy elders; and El`azar, Pinehas, and Yehoshua, all three received it from Moshe. And to his student Yehoshua, Moshe Our Teacher passed on the Oral Law and ordered him concerning it. And so Yehoshua throughout his life taught it orally.
ה וּזְקֵנִים רַבִּים קִבְּלוּ מִיְּהוֹשׁוּעַ, וְקִבַּל עֵלִי מִן הַזְּקֵנִים וּמִפִּינְחָס; וּשְׁמוּאֵל קִבַּל מֵעֵלִי וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וְדָוִיד קִבַּל מִשְּׁמוּאֵל וּבֵית דִּינוֹ. וַאֲחִיָּה הַשִּׁילוֹנִי, מִיּוֹצְאֵי מִצְרַיִם הָיָה וְלֵוִי הָיָה, וְשָׁמַע מִמֹּשֶׁה, וְהָיָה קָטָן בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה; וְהוּא קִבַּל מִדָּוִיד וּבֵית דִּינוֹ. 5 Many elders received it from Yehoshua, and Eli received it from the elders and from Pinehas; Shemuel received it from Eli and his court, and David received it from Shemuel and his court. Ahiyah the Shilonite was among those who had come out of Egypt, and was a Levite, and had heard it from Moshe, but was a child in Moshe's time; and he received it from David and his court.
ו אֵלִיָּהוּ קִבַּל מֵאֲחִיָּה הַשִּׁילוֹנִי וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וֶאֱלִישָׁע קִבַּל מֵאֵלִיָּהוּ וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וִיהוֹיָדָע הַכּוֹהֵן קִבַּל מֵאֱלִישָׁע וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וּזְכַרְיָהוּ קִבַּל מִיְּהוֹיָדָע וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וְהוֹשֵׁעַ קִבַּל מִזְּכַרְיָה וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וְעָמוֹס קִבַּל מֵהוֹשֵׁעַ וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וִישַׁעְיָהוּ קִבַּל מֵעָמוֹס וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וּמִיכָה קִבַּל מִיְּשַׁעְיָה וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וְיוֹאֵל קִבַּל מִמִּיכָה וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וְנַחוּם קִבַּל מִיּוֹאֵל וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וַחֲבַקּוּק קִבַּל מִנַּחוּם וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וּצְפַנְיָה קִבַּל מֵחֲבַקּוּק וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וְיִרְמְיָה קִבַּל מִצְּפַנְיָה וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וּבָרוּךְ בֶּן נֵרִיָּה קִבַּל מִיִּרְמְיָה וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וְעֶזְרָא וּבֵית דִּינוֹ קִבְּלוּ מִבָּרוּךְ וּבֵית דִּינוֹ. 6 Eliyahu received it from Ahiyah the Shilonite and his court, Elisha received it from Eliyahu and his court, Yehoyada the Priest received it from Elisha and his court, Zecharyahu received it from Yehoyada and his court, Hoshea received it from Zecharyah and his court, Amos received it from Hoshea and his court, Yeshayahu received it from Amos and his court, Michah received it from Yeshayah and his court, Yoel received it from Michah and his court, Nahum received it from Yoel and his court, Havaqquq received it from Nahum and his court, Tsefanyah received it from Havaqquq and his court, Yirmiyah received it from Tsefanyah and his court, Baruch son of Neriyah received it from Yirmiyah and his court, and Ezra and his court received it from Baruch and his court.
ז בֵּית דִּינוֹ שֶׁלְּעֶזְרָא, הֶם הַנִּקְרָאִין אַנְשֵׁי כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה. וְהֶם חַגַּי זְכַרְיָה וּמַלְאָכִי, וְדָנִיֵּאל חֲנַנְיָה מִישָׁאֵל וַעֲזַרְיָה, וּנְחֶמְיָה בֶּן חֲכַלְיָה, וּמָרְדֳּכַי וּזְרֻבָּבֶל; וְהַרְבֵּה חֲכָמִים עִמָּהֶם, תַּשְׁלוּם מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים זְקֵנִים. הָאַחֲרוֹן מֵהֶם הוּא שִׁמְעוֹן הַצַּדִּיק, וְהוּא הָיָה מִכְּלַל הַמֵּאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים, וְקִבַּל תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה מִכֻּלָּן; וְהוּא הָיָה כּוֹהֵן גָּדוֹל, אַחַר עֶזְרָא. 7 The members of Ezra's court are called the Men of the Great Assembly, and they were Haggai, Zecharyah, Mal'achi, Daniyel Hananyah Mishael and Azaryah, Nehemyah son of Hachalyah, Mordochai, and Zerubavel; and many other sages were with them, numbering altogether one hundred twenty elders. The last of them was Shim`on the Righteous, who was included among the hundred twenty, and received the Oral Law from all of them; he was high priest after Ezra.
ח אַנְטִיגְנוֹס אִישׁ שׂוֹכוֹ וּבֵית דִּינוֹ קִבְּלוּ מִשִּׁמְעוֹן הַצַּדִּיק וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וְיוֹסֵף בֶּן יוֹעֶזֶר אִישׁ צְרֵדָה וְיוֹסֵף בֶּן יוֹחָנָן אִישׁ יְרוּשָׁלַיִם וּבֵית דִּינָם קִבְּלוּ מֵאַנְטִיגְנוֹס וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וִיהוֹשׁוּעַ בֶּן פְּרַחְיָה וְנִתַּאי הָאַרְבֵּלִי וּבֵית דִּינָם קִבְּלוּ מִיּוֹסֵף וְיוֹסֵף וּבֵית דִּינָם, וִיהוּדָה בֶּן טַבַּאי וְשִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן שָׁטָח וּבֵית דִּינָם קִבְּלוּ מִיְּהוֹשׁוּעַ וְנִתַּאי וּבֵית דִּינָם. שְׁמַעְיָה וְאַבְטַלְיוֹן גֵּרֵי הַצֶּדֶק וּבֵית דִּינָם קִבְּלוּ מִיְּהוּדָה וְשִׁמְעוֹן וּבֵית דִּינָם. וְהִלֵּל וְשַׁמַּאי וּבֵית דִּינָם קִבְּלוּ מִשְּׁמַעְיָה וְאַבְטַלְיוֹן וּבֵית דִּינָם. וְרַבַּן יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי וְרַבַּן שִׁמְעוֹן בְּנוֹ שֶׁלְּהִלֵּל קִבְּלוּ מֵהִלֵּל וּבֵית דִּינוֹ. 8 Antignos of Socho and his court received the Oral Law from Shim`on the Righteous and his court, Yosef son of Yoezer of Tseredah and Yosef son of Yohanan of Jerusalem and their court received it from Antignos and his court, Yehoshua son of Perahyah and Nittai the Arbelite and their court received it from Yosef and Yosef and their court, Yehudah son of Tabbai and Shim`on son of Shatah and their court received it from Yehoshua and Nittai and their court. Shemayah and Avtalyon, righteous converts, and their court received it from Yehudah and Shim`on and their court. Hillel and Shammai and their court received it from Shemayah and Avtalyon and their court, and Rabban Yohanan son of Zakkai and Rabban Shim`on the son of Hillel received it from Hillel and his court.
ט חֲמִשָּׁה תַּלְמִידִים הָיוּ לוֹ לְרַבַּן יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי, וְהֶם גְּדוֹלֵי הַחֲכָמִים שֶׁקִּבְּלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ; וְאֵלּוּ הֶם--רִבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר הַגָּדוֹל, וְרִבִּי יְהוֹשׁוּעַ, וְרִבִּי יוֹסֵי הַכּוֹהֵן, וְרִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן נְתַנְאֵל, וְרִבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲרָךְ. וְרִבִּי עֲקִיבָה בֶּן יוֹסֵף קִבַּל מֵרִבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר הַגָּדוֹל, וְיוֹסֵף אָבִיו גֵּר צֶדֶק הָיָה. וְרִבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל וְרִבִּי מֵאִיר בֶּן גֵּר הַצֶּדֶק קִבְּלוּ מֵרִבִּי עֲקִיבָה, וְגַם קִבַּל רִבִּי מֵאִיר וַחֲבֵרָיו מֵרִבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל. 9 Rabban Yohanan son of Zakkai had five students, and they were the greatest among the Torah scholars who received it from him; they were Rabbi Eliezer the Great, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Yose the Priest, Rabbi Shim`on son of Netan'el, and Rabbi El`azar son of Arach. Rabbi Aqivah son of Yosef received it from Rabbi Eliezer the Great, and his father, Yosef, was a righteous convert. Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Meir, the son of a righteous convert, received it from Rabbi Aqivah. Rabbi Meir and his colleagues also received it from Rabbi Yishmael.
י חֲבֵרָיו שֶׁלְּרִבִּי מֵאִיר--הֶם רִבִּי יְהוּדָה, וְרִבִּי יוֹסֵי, וְרִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן, וְרִבִּי נְחֶמְיָה, וְרִבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן שַׁמּוּעַ, וְרִבִּי יוֹחָנָן הַסַּנְדְּלָר, וְשִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן עַזַּאי, וְרִבִּי חֲנַנְיָה בֶּן תְּרַדְיוֹן. וְכֵן קִבְּלוּ חֲבֵרָיו שֶׁלְּרִבִּי עֲקִיבָה מֵרִבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר הַגָּדוֹל; וַחֲבֵרָיו שֶׁלְּרִבִּי עֲקִיבָה--הֶם רִבִּי טַרְפוֹן רִבּוֹ שֶׁלְּרִבִּי יוֹסֵי הַגָּלִילִי, וְרִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן אֶלְעָזָר, וְרִבִּי יוֹחָנָן בֶּן נוּרִי. 10 Rabbi Meir's colleagues were Rabbi Yehudah, Rabbi Yose, Rabbi Shim`on, Rabbi Nehemyah, Rabbi El`azar son of Shammua, Rabbi Yohanan the sandal maker, Shim`on son of Azzai, and Rabbi Hananya son of Teradyon. Rabbi Aqivah's colleagues also received it from Rabbi Eliezer the Great; Rabbi Aqivah's colleagues were Rabbi Tarfon, the teacher of Rabbi Yose the Galilean, Rabbi Shim`on son of El`azar, and Rabbi Yohanan son of Nuri.
יא רַבַּן גַּמְלִיאֵל הַזָּקֵן קִבַּל מֵרַבַּן שִׁמְעוֹן אָבִיו, בְּנוֹ שֶׁלְּהִלֵּל; וְרַבַּן שִׁמְעוֹן בְּנוֹ קִבַּל מִמֶּנּוּ, וְרַבַּן גַּמְלִיאֵל בְּנוֹ קִבַּל מִמֶּנּוּ, וְרַבַּן שִׁמְעוֹן בְּנוֹ קִבַּל מִמֶּנּוּ. וְרִבִּי יְהוּדָה בְּנוֹ שֶׁלְּרַבַּן שִׁמְעוֹן, זֶה הוּא הַנִּקְרָא רַבֵּנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ, וְהוּא קִבַּל מֵאָבִיו, וּמֵרִבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן שַׁמּוּעַ וּמֵרִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן חֲבֵרוֹ. 11 Rabban Gamliel the Elder received it from his father, Rabban Shim`on son of Hillel; his son, Rabban Shim`on, received it from him; his son, Rabban Gamliel, received it from him; and his son, Rabban Shim`on, received it from him. Rabbi Yehudah son of Rabban Shim`on is called Our Holy Teacher, and he received it from his father, and from Rabbi El`azar son of Shammua and from Rabbi Shim`on, his colleague.
יב רַבֵּנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ חִבַּר הַמִּשְׁנָה. וּמִיְּמוֹת מֹשֶׁה וְעַד רַבֵּנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ, לֹא חִבְּרוּ חִבּוּר שֶׁמְּלַמְּדִין אוֹתוֹ בָּרַבִּים בְּתוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה; אֵלָא בְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר, רֹאשׁ בֵּית דִּין אוֹ נָבִיא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בְּאוֹתוֹ הַדּוֹר, כּוֹתֵב לְעַצְמוֹ זִכָּרוֹן בַּשְּׁמוּעוֹת שֶׁשָּׁמַע מֵרִבּוֹתָיו, וְהוּא מְלַמֵּד עַל פֶּה בָּרַבִּים. 12 Our Holy Teacher wrote the Mishnah. From the time of Moshe to Our Holy Teacher, no one had written a work from which the Oral Law was publicly taught. Rather, in each generation, the head of the then-existing court or the prophet of the time wrote down for his private use notes on the traditions he had heard from his teachers, and he taught in public from memory.
יג וְכֵן כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד כּוֹתֵב לְעַצְמוֹ כְּפִי כּוֹחוֹ, מִבֵּאוּר הַתּוֹרָה וּמֵהִלְכּוֹתֶיהָ כְּמוֹ שֶׁשָּׁמַע, וּמִדְּבָרִים שֶׁנִּתְחַדְּשׁוּ בְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר, בְּדִינִים שֶׁלֹּא לְמָדוּם מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה אֵלָא בְּמִדָּה מִשְּׁלוֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה מִדּוֹת וְהִסְכִּימוּ עֲלֵיהֶן בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל. וְכֵן הָיָה הַדָּבָר תָּמִיד, עַד רַבֵּנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ. 13 So too, each one wrote down, according to his ability, parts of the explanation of the Torah and of its laws that he had heard, as well as the new matters that developed in each generation, which had not been received by oral tradition, but had been deduced by applying the Thirteen Principles for Interpreting the Torah, and had been agreed upon by the Great Rabbinical Court. Such had always been done, until the time of Our Holy Teacher.
יד וְהוּא קִבַּץ כָּל הַשְּׁמוּעוֹת וְכָל הַדִּינִין וְכָל הַבֵּאוּרִין וְהַפֵּרוּשִׁין שֶׁשָּׁמְעוּ מִמֹּשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ, וְשֶׁלִּמְּדוּ בֵּית דִּין שֶׁלְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר, בְּכָל הַתּוֹרָה כֻּלָּהּ; וְחִבַּר מֵהַכֹּל סֵפֶר הַמִּשְׁנָה. וְשִׁנְּנוֹ בָּרַבִּים, וְנִגְלָה לְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל; וּכְתָבוּהוּ כֻּלָּם, וְרִבְּצוּ בְּכָל מָקוֹם, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִשְׁתַּכַּח תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל. 14 He gathered together all the traditions, all the enactments, and all the explanations and interpretations that had been heard from Moshe Our Teacher or had been deduced by the courts of all the generations in all matters of the Torah; and he wrote the Book of the Mishnah from all of them. And he taught it in public, and it became known to all Israel; everyone wrote it down and taught it everywhere, so that the Oral Law would not be forgotten by Israel.
טו וְלָמָּה עָשָׂה רַבֵּנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ כָּךְ, וְלֹא הִנִּיחַ הַדָּבָר כְּמוֹת שֶׁהָיָה--לְפִי שֶׁרָאָה שֶׁהַתַּלְמִידִים מִתְמַעֲטִים וְהוֹלְכִים, וְהַצָּרוֹת מִתְחַדְּשׁוֹת וּבָאוֹת, וּמַמְלֶכֶת הָרִשְׁעָה פּוֹשֶׁטֶת בָּעוֹלָם וּמִתְגַּבֶּרֶת, וְיִשְׂרָאֵל מִתְגַּלְגְּלִים וְהוֹלְכִים לַקְּצָווֹת: חִבַּר חִבּוּר אֶחָד לִהְיוֹת בְּיַד כֻּלָּם, כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּלְמְדוּהוּ בִּמְהֵרָה וְלֹא יִשָּׁכַח; וְיָשַׁב כָּל יָמָיו הוּא וּבֵית דִּינוֹ, וְלִמַּד הַמִּשְׁנָה בָּרַבִּים. 15 Why did Our Holy Teacher do so, and did not leave things as they were? Because he saw that the number of students was continuing to go down, calamities were continually happening, wicked government was extending its domain and increasing in power, and the Israelites were wandering and emigrating to remote places. He thus wrote a work to serve as a handbook for all, so that it could be rapidly studied and would not be forgotten; throughout his life, he and his court continued giving public instruction in the Mishnah.
טז וְאֵלּוּ הֶם גְּדוֹלֵי הַחֲכָמִים שֶׁהָיוּ בְּבֵית דִּינוֹ שֶׁלְּרַבֵּנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ וְקִבְּלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ--שִׁמְעוֹן וְגַמְלִיאֵל בָּנָיו, וְרִבִּי אָפֵס, וְרִבִּי חֲנַנְיָה בֶּן חָמָא, וְרִבִּי חִיָּא, וְרָב, וְרִבִּי יַנַּאי, וּבַר קַפָּרָא, וּשְׁמוּאֵל, וְרִבִּי יוֹחָנָן, וְרִבִּי הוֹשַׁעְיָה. אֵלּוּ הֶם הַגְּדוֹלִים שֶׁקִּבְּלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ, וְעִמָּהֶם אֲלָפִים וּרְבָבוֹת מִשְּׁאָר הַחֲכָמִים. 16 Among the greatest Torah scholars who were in Our Holy Teacher's court and who received Torah from him were his sons Shim`on and Gamliel, Rabbi Afes, Rabbi Hananya son of Hama, Rabbi Hiyya, Rav, Rabbi Yannai, bar Qappara, Shemuel, Rabbi Yohanan, and Rabbi Hoshaya. These were the greatest who received it from him, and besides them were thousands and tens of thousands of other Torah scholars.
יז אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵלּוּ הָאַחַד עָשָׂר קִבְּלוּ מֵרַבֵּנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ וְעָמְדוּ בְּמִדְרָשׁוֹ, רִבִּי יוֹחָנָן קָטָן הָיָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ הָיָה תַּלְמִיד לְרִבִּי יַנַּאי וְקִבַּל מִמֶּנּוּ תּוֹרָה. וְכֵן רָב קִבַּל מֵרִבִּי יַנַּאי; וּשְׁמוּאֵל קִבַּל מֵרִבִּי חֲנַנְיָה בֶּן חָמָא. 17 Although these eleven received it from Our Holy Teacher and attended his house of study, Rabbi Yohanan was a child at the time, and later was a student of Rabbi Yannai and received Torah from him. Rav also received it from Rabbi Yannai, and Shemuel received it from Rabbi Hananya son of Hama.
יח רָב חִבַּר סִפְרָא וְסִפְרֵי לְבָאֵר וּלְהוֹדִיעַ עִיקְרֵי הַמִּשְׁנָה, וְרִבִּי חִיָּא חִבַּר הַתּוֹסֶפְתָּא לְבָאֵר עִנְיְנֵי הַמִּשְׁנָה. וְכֵן רִבִּי הוֹשַׁעְיָה וּבַר קַפָּרָא חִבְּרוּ בַּרַּיְתּוֹת לְבָאֵר דִּבְרֵי הַמִּשְׁנָה, וְרִבִּי יוֹחָנָן חִבַּר הַתַּלְמוּד הַיְּרוּשְׁלְמִי בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל אַחַר חָרְבַּן הַבַּיִת בְּקֵרוּב מִשְּׁלוֹשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה. 18 Rav wrote the Sifra and the Sifre to explain and expound the principles of the Mishnah, and Rabbi Hiyya wrote the Tosefta to explain the matters of the Mishnah. So too, Rabbi Hoshaya and bar Qappara wrote alternative oral traditions to explain the text of the Mishnah. Rabbi Yohanan wrote the Jerusalem Talmud in the Land of Israel about three hundred years after the destruction of the Temple.
יט וּמִגְּדוֹלֵי הַחֲכָמִים שֶׁקִּבְּלוּ מֵרָב וּשְׁמוּאֵל--רָב הוּנָא, וְרָב יְהוּדָה, וְרָב נַחְמָן, וְרָב כַּהֲנָא; וּמִגְּדוֹלֵי הַחֲכָמִים שֶׁקִּבְּלוּ מֵרִבִּי יוֹחָנָן--רַבָּה בַּר בַּר חָנָה, וְרִבִּי אַמֵי, וְרִבִּי אַסֵי, וְרָב דִּימֵי, וְרַאבּוּן. 19 Among the greatest Torah scholars who received from Rav and Shemuel were Rav Huna, Rav Yehudah, Rav Nahman, and Rav Kahana; and among the greatest Torah scholars who received from Rabbi Yohanan were Rabbah grandson of Hanah, Rabbi Ame, Rabbi Ase, Rav Dime, and Rabbun.
כ וּמִכְּלַל הַחֲכָמִים שֶׁקִּבְּלוּ מֵרָב הוּנָא וּמֵרָב יְהוּדָה, רַבָּה וְרָב יוֹסֵף. וּמִכְּלַל הַחֲכָמִים שֶׁקִּבְּלוּ מֵרַבָּה וְרָב יוֹסֵף, אַבַּיֵי וְרַבָּא; וּשְׁנֵיהֶם קִבְּלוּ גַּם מֵרָב נַחְמָן. וּמִכְּלַל הַחֲכָמִים שֶׁקִּבְּלוּ מֵרַבָּא, רָב אַשֵׁי וְרַבִּינָא; וּמָר בַּר רָב אַשֵׁי קִבַּל מֵאָבִיו וּמֵרַבִּינָא. 20 Among the Torah scholars who received from Rav Huna and Rav Yehudah were Rabbah and Rav Yosef. And among the Torah scholars who received from Rabbah and Rav Yosef were Abaye and Rava; both of them received from Rav Nahman as well. And among the Torah scholars who received from Rava were Rav Ashe and Rabbina; and Mar son of Rav Ashe received from his father and from Rabbina.
כא נִמְצָא מֵרָב אַשֵׁי עַד מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ--אַרְבָּעִים אִישׁ, וְאֵלּוּ הֶן: (א) רָב אַשֵׁי, (ב) מֵרַבָּא, (ג) מֵרַבָּה, (ד) מֵרָב הוּנָא, (ה) מֵרִבִּי יוֹחָנָן וְרָב וּשְׁמוּאֵל, (ו) מֵרַבֵּנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ, (ז) מֵרַבַּן שִׁמְעוֹן אָבִיו, (ח) מֵרַבַּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אָבִיו, (ט) מֵרַבַּן שִׁמְעוֹן אָבִיו, (י) מֵרַבַּן גַּמְלִיאֵל הַזָּקֵן אָבִיו, (יא) מֵרַבַּן שִׁמְעוֹן אָבִיו, (יב) מֵהִלֵּל אָבִיו וְשַׁמַּאי, (יג) מִשְּׁמַעְיָה וְאַבְטַלְיוֹן, (יד) מִיְּהוּדָה וְשִׁמְעוֹן, (טו) מִיְּהוֹשׁוּעַ וְנִתַּאי, (טז) מִיּוֹסֵף וְיוֹסֵף, (יז) מֵאַנְטִיגְנוֹס, (יח) מִשִּׁמְעוֹן הַצַּדִּיק, (יט) מֵעֶזְרָא, (כ) מִבָּרוּךְ, (כא) מִיִּרְמְיָה, (כב) מִצְּפַנְיָה, (כג) מֵחֲבַקּוּק, (כד) מִנַּחוּם, (כה) מִיּוֹאֵל, (כו) מִמִּיכָה, (כז) מִיְּשַׁעְיָה, (כח) מֵעָמוֹס, (כט) מֵהוֹשֵׁעַ, (ל) מִזְּכַרְיָה, (לא) מִיְּהוֹיָדָע, (לב) מֵאֱלִישָׁע, (לג) מֵאֵלִיָּהוּ, (לד) מֵאֲחִיָּה, (לה) מִדָּוִיד, (לו) מִשְּׁמוּאֵל, (לז) מֵעֵלִי, (לח) מִפִּינְחָס, (לט) מִיְּהוֹשׁוּעַ, (מ) מִמֹּשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ רִבָּן שֶׁלְּכָל הַנְּבִיאִים, מֵעִם ה' אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. 21 Thus, from Rav Ashe back to Moshe Our Teacher, there were forty [generations of] great men; that is to say: (1) Rav Ashe, (2) from Rava, (3) from Rabbah, (4) from Rav Huna, (5) from Rabbi Yohanan, Rav, and Shemuel, (6) from Our Holy Teacher, (7) from his father, Rabban Shim`on, (8) from his father, Rabban Gamliel, (9) from his father, Rabban Shim`on, (10) from his father, Rabban Gamliel the Elder, (11) from his father, Rabban Shim`on, (12) from his father, Hillel, and Shammai, (13) from Shemayah and Avtalyon, (14) from Yehudah and Shim`on, (15) from Yehoshua and Nittai, (16) from Yosef and Yosef, (17) from Antignos, (18) from Shim`on the Righteous, (19) from Ezra, (20) from Baruch, (21) from Yirmiyah, (22) from Tsefanyah, (23) from Havaqquq, (24) from Nahum, (25) from Yoel, (26) from Michah, (27) from Yeshayah, (28) from Amos, (29) from Hosea, (30) from Zecharyah, (31) from Yehoyada, (32) from Elisha, (33) from Eliyahu, (34) from Ahiyah, (35) from David, (36) from Shemuel, (37) from Eli, (38) from Pinehas, (39) from Yehoshua, (40) from Moshe Our Teacher, the greatest of all of the prophets, from the LORD God of Israel.
כב כָּל אֵלּוּ הַחֲכָמִים הַנִּזְכָּרִים, הֶם גְּדוֹלֵי הַדּוֹרוֹת--מֵהֶם רָאשֵׁי יְשִׁיבוֹת, וּמֵהֶם רָאשֵׁי גָּלִיּוֹת, וּמֵהֶם מִסַּנְהֶדְּרֵי גְּדוֹלָה. וְעִמָּהֶם בְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר, אֲלָפִים וּרְבָבוֹת שֶׁשָּׁמְעוּ מֵהֶם וְעִמָּהֶם. 22 All of the Torah scholars mentioned here were the great men of the generations: some of them were heads of Torah colleges, some were exilarchs, and some were members of great sanhedria. Besides them in each generation were thousands and tens of thousands who learned from them and with them.
כג רַבִּינָא וְרָב אַשֵׁי, הֶם סוֹף חַכְמֵי הַתַּלְמוּד; וְרָב אַשֵׁי הוּא שֶׁחִבַּר הַתַּלְמוּד הַבַּבְלִי בְּאֶרֶץ שִׁנְעָר, אַחַר שֶׁחִבַּר רִבִּי יוֹחָנָן הַתַּלְמוּד הַיְּרוּשְׁלְמִי בִּכְמוֹ מֵאָה שָׁנָה. 23 And Rabbina and Rav Ashe are the last of the [authoritative] Torah scholars in the Talmud; it was Rav Ashe who wrote the Babylonian Talmud in the Land of Babylon, about a hundred years after Rabbi Yohanan wrote the Jerusalem Talmud.
כד וְעִנְיַן שְׁנֵי הַתַּלְמוּדִין--הוּא פֵּרוּשׁ דִּבְרֵי הַמִּשְׁנָה וּבֵאוּר עֲמוּקוֹתֶיהָ, וּדְבָרִים שֶׁנִּתְחַדְּשׁוּ בְּכָל בֵּית דִּין וּבֵית דִּין מִיְּמוֹת רַבֵּנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ וְעַד חִבּוּר הַתַּלְמוּד. וּמִשְּׁנֵי הַתַּלְמוּדִין, וּמִן הַתּוֹסֶפְתָּא, וּמִסִּפְרָא וּמִסִּפְרֵי, וּמִן הַתּוֹסֶפְתּוֹת--מִכֻּלָּם יִתְבָּאֵר הָאָסוּר וְהַמֻּתָּר, וְהַטָּמֵא וְהַטָּהוֹר, וְהַחַיָּב וְהַפָּטוּר, וְהַכָּשֵׁר וְהַפָּסוּל, כְּמוֹ שֶׁהִעְתִּיקוּ אִישׁ מִפִּי אִישׁ מִפִּי מֹשֶׁה מִסִּינַי. 24 The subject matter of the two Talmuds is the interpretation of the text of the Mishnah and explanation of its profoundest points and the matters that developed in the various courts from the time of Our Holy Teacher until the writing of the Talmud. From the two Talmuds, and from the Tosefta, and from the Sifra and from the Sifre, and from the Toseftot--from them all--are to be found what is forbidden and what is permitted, what is unclean and what is clean, what is punishable and what is not punishable, what is fit for use and what is unfit for use, according to the unbroken oral tradition from Moshe as received from Sinai.
כה גַּם יִתְבָּאֵר מֵהֶם דְּבָרִים שֶׁגָּזְרוּ חֲכָמִים וּנְבִיאִים שֶׁבְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר, לַעֲשׂוֹת סְיָג לַתּוֹרָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁשָּׁמְעוּ מִמֹּשֶׁה בְּפֵרוּשׁ "וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת-מִשְׁמַרְתִּי" (ויקרא יח,ל), שֶׁאָמַר עֲשׂוּ מִשְׁמֶרֶת לְמִשְׁמַרְתִּי. 25 From them are also found the restrictive legislations enacted by the Torah scholars and prophets in each generation, to serve as a protecting fence around the Law, as learned from Moshe in the interpretation of "ye shall keep my preventive measure" (Leviticus 18,30), which said take preventive measures to preserve my preventive measure.
כו וְכֵן יִתְבָּאֵר מֵהֶם הַמִּנְהָגוֹת וְהַתַּקָּנוֹת שֶׁהִתְקִינוּ אוֹ שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ בְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר, כְּמוֹ שֶׁרָאוּ בֵּית דִּין שֶׁלְּאוֹתוֹ הַדּוֹר, לְפִי שֶׁאָסוּר לָסוּר מֵהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמָר "לֹא תָסוּר, מִכָּל הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר-יַגִּידוּ לְךָ--יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאל" (ראה דברים יז,יא). 26 From them are found as well the customs and affirmative legislations that were enacted or brought into use during the various generations, as the court of each generation saw fit. For it is forbidden to deviate from them, as it is written "thou shalt not turn aside from whatever they shall declare unto thee, neither to the right hand nor to the left" (see Deuteronomy 17,11).
כז וְכֵן מִשְׁפָּטִים וְדִינִין פִּלְאִיִּים שֶׁלֹּא קִבְּלוּ אוֹתָן מִמֹּשֶׁה, וְדָנוּ בָּהֶן בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁלְּאוֹתוֹ הַדּוֹר בַּמִּדּוֹת שֶׁהַתּוֹרָה נִדְרֶשֶׁת בָּהֶן, וּפָסְקוּ אוֹתָן הַזְּקֵנִים, וְגָמְרוּ שֶׁהַדִּין כָּךְ הוּא. הַכֹּל חִבַּר רָב אַשֵׁי בַּתַּלְמוּד, מִיְּמוֹת מֹשֶׁה וְעַד יָמָיו. 27 So too [from them are found] extraordinary interpretative judgments and rules that were not received from Moshe, but that the Great Rabbinical Court of its generation deduced by applying the Principles for Interpreting the Torah and the Elders judged to be appropriate, and decided that such shall be the Law. All of this, from the time of Moshe to his own time, Rav Ashe wrote in the Talmud.
כח וְחִבְּרוּ חַכְמֵי מִשְׁנָה חִבּוּרִין אֲחֵרִים, לְפָרַשׁ דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה: רִבִּי הוֹשַׁעְיָה תַּלְמִידוֹ שֶׁלְּרַבֵּנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ, חִבַּר בֵּאוּר סֵפֶר בְּרֵאשִׁית. וְרִבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל פֵּרַשׁ מֵאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת עַד סוֹף הַתּוֹרָה, וְהוּא הַנִּקְרָא מְכִלְּתָא; וְכֵן רִבִּי עֲקִיבָה חִבַּר מְכִלְּתָא. וַחֲכָמִים אֲחֵרִים אַחֲרֵיהֶם חִבְּרוּ מִדְרָשׁוֹת. וְהַכֹּל חֻבַּר קֹדֶם הַתַּלְמוּד הַבַּבְלִי. 28 The Mishnah scholars wrote other works to interpret the words of the Torah: Rabbi Hoshayah, a student of Our Holy Teacher, wrote an explanation of the Book of Genesis. Rabbi Yishmael wrote a commentary [on the Biblical text] from the beginning of the book of Exodus to the end of the Torah, which is called the Mechilta; and Rabbi Aqivah also wrote a Mechilta. Other Torah scholars later wrote collections of sermonic materials on the Bible. All these were written before the Babylonian Talmud.
כט נִמְצָא רַבִּינָא וְרָב אַשֵׁי וְחַבְרֵיהֶם, סוֹף גְּדוֹלֵי חַכְמֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הַמַּעְתִּיקִים תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה, וְשֶׁגָּזְרוּ גְּזֵרוֹת וְהִתְקִינוּ תַּקָּנוֹת וְהִנְהִיגוּ מִנְהָגוֹת וּפָשְׁטוּ גְּזֵרוֹתָם וְתַקָּנוֹתָם וּמִנְהֲגוֹתָם בְּכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּכָל מְקוֹמוֹת מוֹשְׁבוֹתֵיהֶם. 29 Rabbina and Rav Ashe and their colleagues were thus the last of the great Torah scholars of Israel who wrote down the Oral Law, enacted restrictive legislations, enacted affirmative legislations, and enacted binding customs; and their legislations and customs gained universal acceptance among the people of Israel in all of the places where they settled.
ל וְאַחַר בֵּית דִּינוֹ שֶׁלְּרָב אַשֵׁי, שֶׁחִבַּר הַתַּלְמוּד בִּימֵי בְּנוֹ וּגְמָרוֹ, נִתְפַּזְּרוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּכָל הָאֲרָצוֹת פִּזּוּר יָתֵר, וְהִגִּיעוּ לַקְּצָווֹת וְלָאִיִּים הָרְחוֹקִים; וְרָבְתָה קְטָטָה בָּעוֹלָם, וְנִשְׁתַּבְּשׁוּ הַדְּרָכִים בִּגְיָסוֹת. וְנִתְמַעַט תַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה, וְלֹא נִתְכַּנְּסוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל לִלְמֹד בִּישִׁיבוֹתֵיהֶם אֲלָפִים וּרְבָבוֹת כְּמוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ מִקֹּדֶם. 30 After the court of Rav Ashe, who wrote the Talmud in the time of his son and completed it, the people of Israel scattered throughout all the nations most exceedingly and reached the most remote parts and distant isles, armed struggle became prevalent in the World, and the public ways became clogged with armies. The study of the Torah declined, and the people of Israel ceased to gather in places of study in their thousands and tens of thousands as before.
לא אֵלָא מִתְקַבְּצִים יְחִידִים הַשְּׂרִידִים אֲשֶׁר ה' קוֹרֶא בְּכָל עִיר וְעִיר וּבְכָל מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה, וְעוֹסְקִים בַּתּוֹרָה, וּמְבִינִים בְּחִבּוּרֵי הַחֲכָמִים כֻּלָּם, וְיוֹדְעִים מֵהֶם דֶּרֶךְ הַמִּשְׁפָּט הֵיאַךְ הוּא. 31 But there gathered together a few individuals, the remnant whom the LORD calls in each city and in each town, and occupied themselves with the Torah, understood all the works of the sages, and knew from them the correct way of the Law.
לב וְכָל בֵּית דִּין שֶׁעָמַד אַחַר הַתַּלְמוּד בְּכָל מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה וְגָזַר אוֹ הִתְקִין אוֹ הִנְהִיג לִבְנֵי מְדִינָתוֹ, אוֹ לִבְנֵי מְדִינוֹת--לֹא פָשְׁטוּ מַעֲשָׂיו בְּכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל: מִפְּנֵי רֹחַק מוֹשְׁבוֹתֵיהֶם, וְשִׁבּוּשׁ הַדְּרָכִים; וֶהֱיוֹת בֵּית דִּין שֶׁלְּאוֹתָהּ הַמְּדִינָה יְחִידִים, וּבֵית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁלְּשִׁבְעִים בָּטַל מִכַּמָּה שָׁנִים קֹדֶם חִבּוּר הַתַּלְמוּד. 32 The enacted legislations or enacted customs of the courts that were established in any town after the time of the Talmud for the town's residents or for several towns' residents did not gain the acceptance of all Israel, because of the remoteness of their settlements and the difficulties of travel, and because the members of the court of any particular town were just individuals, and the Great Rabbinical Court of seventy members had ceased to exist several years before the writing of the Talmud.
לג לְפִיכָּךְ אֵין כּוֹפִין אַנְשֵׁי מְדִינָה זוֹ לִנְהֹג בְּמִנְהַג מְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת, וְאֵין אוֹמְרִין לְבֵית דִּין זֶה לִגְזֹר גְּזֵרָה שֶׁגְּזָרָהּ בֵּית דִּין אַחֵר בִּמְדִינָתוֹ. וְכֵן אִם לִמַּד אֶחָד מִן הַגְּאוֹנִים שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ הַמִּשְׁפָּט כָּךְ הוּא, וְנִתְבָּאֵר לְבֵית דִּין אַחֵר שֶׁעָמַד אַחֲרָיו שְׁאֵין זֶה דֶּרֶךְ הַמִּשְׁפָּט הַכָּתוּב בַּתַּלְמוּד--אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לָרִאשׁוֹן, אֵלָא לְמִי שֶׁהַדַּעַת נוֹטָה לִדְבָרָיו, בֵּין רִאשׁוֹן, בֵּין אַחֲרוֹן. 33 So a town's residents are not forced to observe the customs of another town, nor is one court told to enact the restrictive legislations of another court in its town. So too, if one of the Geonim understood that the correct way of the Law was such and such, and it became clear to another court afterwards that this was not the correct way of the Law written in the Talmud, the earlier court is not to be obeyed, but rather what seems more correct, whether earlier or later.
לד וּדְבָרִים הַלָּלוּ, בְּדִינִים וּגְזֵרוֹת וְתַקָּנוֹת וּמִנְהָגוֹת שֶׁנִּתְחַדְּשׁוּ אַחַר חִבּוּר הַתַּלְמוּד. אֲבָל כָּל הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁבַּתַּלְמוּד הַבַּבְלִי, חַיָּבִין כָּל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל לָלֶכֶת בָּהֶם; וְכוֹפִין כָּל עִיר וְעִיר וְכָל מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה לִנְהֹג בְּכָל הַמִּנְהָגוֹת שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁבַּתַּלְמוּד, וְלִגְזֹר גְּזֵרוֹתָם וְלָלֶכֶת בְּתַקָּנוֹתָם. 34 These matters apply to rulings, enactments, and customs that arose after the Talmud had been written. But whatever is in the Babylonian Talmud is binding on all of the people of Israel; and every city and town is forced to observe all the customs observed by the Talmud's scholars and to enact their restrictive legislations and to observe their positive legislations.
לה הוֹאִיל וְכָל אוֹתָן הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁבַּתַּלְמוּד הִסְכִּימוּ עֲלֵיהֶם כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאוֹתָן הַחֲכָמִים שֶׁהִתְקִינוּ אוֹ שֶׁגָּזְרוּ אוֹ שֶׁהִנְהִיגוּ אוֹ שֶׁדָּנוּ דִּין וְלִמְּדוּ שֶׁהַמִּשְׁפָּט כָּךְ הוּא הֶם כָּל חַכְמֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹ רֻבָּן, וְהֶם שֶׁשָּׁמְעוּ הַקַּבָּלָה בְּעִיקְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה כֻּלָּהּ, אִישׁ מִפִּי אִישׁ עַד מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ. 35 For all those matters in the Talmud received the assent of all of Israel, and those sages who enacted the positive and negative legislations, enacted binding customs, ruled the rulings, and found that a certain understanding of the Law was correct constituted all of Israel's Torah scholars, or most of them, and it was they who received the traditions of the Oral Law concerning the fundamentals of the whole Law in unbroken succession back to Moshe Our Teacher.
לו כָּל הַחֲכָמִים שֶׁעָמְדוּ אַחַר חִבּוּר הַתַּלְמוּד וּבָנוּ בּוֹ, וְיָצָא לָהֶם שֵׁם בְּחָכְמָתָם--הֶם הַנִּקְרָאִים גְּאוֹנִים. וְכָל אֵלּוּ הַגְּאוֹנִים שֶׁעָמְדוּ בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבְאֶרֶץ שִׁנְעָר וּבִסְפָרַד וּבְצָרְפַת לִמְּדוּ דֶּרֶךְ הַתַּלְמוּד וְהוֹצִיאוּ לָאוֹר תַּעֲלוּמוֹתָיו וּבֵאֲרוּ עִנְיָנָיו, לְפִי שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ עֲמוּקָה דַּרְכּוֹ עַד לִמְאוֹד. וְעוֹד שְׁהוּא בִּלְשׁוֹן אֲרַמִּי מְעֹרָב עִם לְשׁוֹנוֹת אֲחֵרוֹת, לְפִי שֶׁאוֹתָהּ הַלָּשׁוֹן הָיְתָה בְּרוּרָה לַכֹּל בְּשִׁנְעָר בָּעֵת שֶׁחֻבַּר הַתַּלְמוּד; אֲבָל בִּשְׁאָר הַמְּקוֹמוֹת וְכֵן בְּשִׁנְעָר בִּימֵי הַגְּאוֹנִים, אֵין אָדָם מַכִּיר אוֹתָהּ לָשׁוֹן עַד שֶׁמְּלַמְּדִים אוֹתוֹ. 36 All the Torah scholars who arose after the writing of the Talmud, who studied it deeply, and who became famous for their wisdom are called the Geonim. All those Geonim who arose in the Land of Israel, the Land of Babylon, Spain, and France taught the way of the Talmud, clarified its obscurities, and explained its various topics, for its way is exceedingly profound. And further, the Talmud is written in Aramaic mixed with other languages: for that language had been clearly understood by all in Babylon, at the time when it was written, but in other places as well as in Babylon in the time of the Geonim, no one understood that language until he was taught it.
לז וּשְׁאֵלוֹת רַבּוֹת שׁוֹאֲלִין אַנְשֵׁי כָּל עִיר וְעִיר לְכָל גָּאוֹן שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בִּימֵיהֶם לְפָרַשׁ לָהֶם דְּבָרִים קָשִׁים שֶׁבַּתַּלְמוּד, וְהֶם מְשִׁיבִים לָהֶם כְּפִי חָכְמָתָם; וְאוֹתָן הַשּׁוֹאֲלִין מְקַבְּצִין הַתְּשׁוּבוֹת, וְעוֹשִׂין מֵהֶן סְפָרִים לְהָבִין מֵהֶם. 37 Many questions were asked of each Gaon of the time by the people of various cities, to comment on difficult matters in the Talmud, and they answered according to their wisdom; those who had asked the questions collected the answers, and made them into books for study.
לח גַּם חִבְּרוּ הַגְּאוֹנִים שֶׁבְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר, חִבּוּרִין לְבָאֵר הַתַּלְמוּד: מֵהֶם מִי שֶׁפֵּרַשׁ הֲלָכוֹת יְחִידוֹת, וּמֵהֶם מִי שֶׁפֵּרַשׁ פְּרָקִים יְחִידִים שֶׁנִּתְקַשּׁוּ בְּיָמָיו, וּמֵהֶם מִי שֶׁפֵּרַשׁ מַסֶּכְתּוֹת וּסְדָרִים. 38 The Geonim in every generation also wrote works to explain the Talmud: Some of them commented on a few particular laws, some of them commented on particular chapters that presented difficulties in their time, and some of them commented on Tractates or Orders.
לט וְעוֹד חִבְּרוּ הֲלָכוֹת פְּסוּקוֹת, בְּעִנְיַן הָאָסוּר וְהַמֻּתָּר וְהַחַיָּב וְהַפָּטוּר, בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁהַשָּׁעָה צְרִיכָה לָהֶם, כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ קְרוֹבִין לְמַדַּע מִי שְׁאֵינוּ יָכוֹל לֵירַד לְעָמְקוֹ שֶׁלַּתַּלְמוּד. וְזוֹ הִיא מְלֶאכֶת ה' שֶׁעָשׂוּ בָּהּ כָּל גְּאוֹנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, מִיּוֹם שֶׁחֻבַּר הַתַּלְמוּד וְעַד זְמָן זֶה, שְׁהוּא שָׁנָה שְׁמִינִית אַחַר מֵאָה וְאֶלֶף לְחָרְבָּן. 39 They also wrote collections of settled laws as to what is forbidden and permitted, liable and exempt, according to the needs of the time, so that they could be easily learned by one who is not able to fathom the depths of the Talmud. That is the work of the LORD that all the Geonim of Israel did, from the time the Talmud was written to the present day, which is 1108 years from the Destruction of the Temple [which is 4937 years from Creation, or 1177 C.E.].
מ וּבַזְּמָן הַזֶּה תָּכְפוּ צָרוֹת יְתֵרוֹת, וְדָחֲקָה שָׁעָה אֶת הַכֹּל, וְאָבְדָה חָכְמַת חֲכָמֵינוּ, וּבִינַת נְבוֹנֵינוּ נִסְתַּתְּרָה; לְפִיכָּךְ אוֹתָן הַפֵּרוּשִׁין וְהַתְּשׁוּבוֹת וְהַהֲלָכוֹת שֶׁחִבְּרוּ הַגְּאוֹנִים, וְרָאוּ שְׁהֶם דְּבָרִים מְבֹאָרִים, נִתְקַשּׁוּ בְּיָמֵינוּ, וְאֵין מֵבִין עִנְיְנֵיהֶם כָּרָאוּי אֵלָא מְעַט בְּמִסְפָּר. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר, הַתַּלְמוּד עַצְמוֹ: הַבַּבְלִי, וְהַיְּרוּשְׁלְמִי, וְסִפְרָא, וְסִפְרֵי, וְהַתּוֹסֶפְתּוֹת--שְׁהֶן צְרִיכִין דַּעַת רְחָבָה וְנֶפֶשׁ חֲכָמָה וּזְמָן אָרוּךְ, וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִוָּדַע מֵהֶן הַדֶּרֶךְ הַנְּכוֹחָה בַּדְּבָרִים הָאֲסוּרִין וְהַמֻּתָּרִין וּשְׁאָר דִּינֵי תּוֹרָה הֵיאַךְ הִיא. 40 In our times, severe troubles come one after another, and all are in distress; the wisdom of our Torah scholars has disappeared, and the understanding of our discerning men is hidden. Thus, the commentaries, the responses to questions, and the settled laws that the Geonim wrote, which had once seemed clear, have in our times become hard to understand, so that only a few properly understand them. And one hardly needs to mention the Talmud itself--the Babylonian Talmud, the Jerusalem Talmud, the Sifra, the Sifre, and the Toseftot--which all require a broad mind, a wise soul, and considerable study, before one can correctly know from them what is forbidden or permitted and the other rules of the Torah.
מא וּמִפְּנֵי זֶה נָעַרְתִּי חָצְנִי, אֲנִי מֹשֶׁה בֵּירָב מַיְמוֹן הַסְּפָרַדִּי, וְנִשְׁעַנְתִּי עַל הַצּוּר בָּרוּךְ הוּא, וּבִינוֹתִי בְּכָל אֵלּוּ הַסְּפָרִים; וְרָאִיתִי לְחַבַּר דְּבָרִים הַמִּתְבָּרְרִים מִכָּל אֵלּוּ הַחִבּוּרִין, בְּעִנְיַן הָאָסוּר וְהַמֻּתָּר וְהַטָּמֵא וְהַטָּהוֹר עִם שְׁאָר דִּינֵי תּוֹרָה: כֻּלָּן בְּלָשׁוֹן בְּרוּרָה וְדֶרֶךְ קְצָרָה, עַד שֶׁתְּהֶא תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה כֻּלָּהּ סְדוּרָה בְּפִי הַכֹּל--בְּלֹא קֻשְׁיָה וְלֹא פֵרוּק, וְלֹא זֶה אוֹמֵר בְּכֹה וְזֶה אוֹמֵר בְּכֹה, אֵלָא דְּבָרִים בְּרוּרִים קְרוֹבִים נְכוֹנִים, עַל פִּי הַמִּשְׁפָּט אֲשֶׁר יִתְבָּאֵר מִכָּל אֵלּוּ הַחִבּוּרִין וְהַפֵּרוּשִׁין הַנִּמְצָאִים מִיְּמוֹת רַבֵּנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ וְעַד עַכְשָׁו. 41 For this reason, I, Moshe son of the Rav Maimon the Sephardi, found that the current situation is unbearable; and so, relying on the help of the Rock blessed be He, I intently studied all these books, for I saw fit to write what can be determined from all of these works in regard to what is forbidden and permitted, and unclean and clean, and the other rules of the Torah: Everything in clear language and terse style, so that the whole Oral Law would become thoroughly known to all, without bringing problems and solutions or differences of view, but rather clear, convincing, and correct statements in accordance with the legal rules drawn from all of these works and commentaries that have appeared from the time of Our Holy Teacher to the present.
מב עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ כָּל הַדִּינִין גְּלוּיִין לַקָּטָן וְלַגָּדוֹל בְּדִין כָּל מִצְוָה וּמִצְוָה, וּבְדִין כָּל הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁתִּקְּנוּ חֲכָמִים וּנְבִיאִים: כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁלַּדָּבָר, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יְהֶא אָדָם צָרִיךְ לְחִבּוּר אַחֵר בָּעוֹלָם בְּדִין מִדִּינֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל; אֵלָא יִהְיֶה חִבּוּר זֶה מְקַבֵּץ לְתוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה כֻּלָּהּ, עִם הַתַּקָּנוֹת וְהַמִּנְהָגוֹת וְהַגְּזֵרוֹת שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ מִיְּמוֹת מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ וְעַד חִבּוּר הַתַּלְמוּד, וּכְמוֹ שֶׁפֵּרְשׁוּ לָנוּ הַגְּאוֹנִים בְּכָל חִבּוּרֵיהֶן, שֶׁחִבְּרוּ אַחַר הַתַּלְמוּד. לְפִיכָּךְ קָרָאתִי שֵׁם חִבּוּר זֶה מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה--לְפִי שֶׁאָדָם קוֹרֶא תּוֹרָה שֶׁבִּכְתָב תְּחִלָּה, וְאַחַר כָּךְ קוֹרֶא בְּזֶה, וְיוֹדֵעַ מִמֶּנּוּ תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה כֻּלָּהּ, וְאֵינוּ צָרִיךְ לִקְרוֹת סֵפֶר אַחֵר בֵּינֵיהֶם. 42 This is so that all the rules should be accessible to the small and to the great in the rules of each and every commandment and in the rules of the legislations of the Torah scholars and prophets: in short, so that a person should need no other work in the World in the rules of any of the laws of Israel; but that this work might collect the entire Oral Law, including the positive legislations, the customs, and the negative legislations enacted from the time of Moshe Our Teacher until the writing of the Talmud, as the Geonim interpreted it for us in all of the works of commentary they wrote after the Talmud. Thus, I have called this work the [Complete] Restatement of the [Oral] Law (Mishneh Torah), for a person reads the Written Law first and then reads this work, and knows from it the entire Oral Law, without needing to read any other book between them.
מג וְרָאִיתִי לְחַלַּק חִבּוּר זֶה הֲלָכוֹת הֲלָכוֹת בְּכָל עִנְיָן וְעִנְיָן, וַאֲחַלַּק הַהֲלָכוֹת לִפְרָקִים שֶׁבְּאוֹתוֹ עִנְיָן; וְכָל פֵּרֶק וּפֵרֶק אֲחַלַּק אוֹתוֹ לַהֲלָכוֹת קְטַנּוֹת, כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ סְדוּרִין עַל פֶּה. 43 I have seen fit to divide this work into groups of laws according to topics, and I divide the groups into chapters dealing with one topic; and I divide each chapter into paragraphs, so that they may be learned by heart.
מד אֵלּוּ הַהֲלָכוֹת שֶׁבְּכָל עִנְיָן וְעִנְיָן--יֵשׁ מֵהֶן הֲלָכוֹת שְׁהֶן מִשְׁפְּטֵי מִצְוָה אַחַת בִּלְבָד, וְהִיא הַמִּצְוָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ דִּבְרֵי קַבָּלָה הַרְבֵּה וְהִיא עִנְיָן בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ; וְיֵשׁ מֵהֶן הֲלָכוֹת שְׁהֶן כּוֹלְלִין מִשְׁפְּטֵי מִצְווֹת הַרְבֵּה, אִם יִהְיוּ אוֹתָן הַמִּצְווֹת כֻּלָּן בְּעִנְיָן אֶחָד: מִפְּנֵי שֶׁחִלּוּק חִבּוּר זֶה הוּא לְפִי הָעִנְיָנִים לֹא לְפִי מִנְיַן הַמִּצְווֹת, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר לַקּוֹרֶא בּוֹ. 44 Among the groups in the various topics, some groups include the detailed laws relating to a single Biblical commandment, when the commandment comes with many oral traditions that make up a single topic; and other groups include the detailed laws of many Biblical commandments, when all the commandments are on one topic: For the organization of this work is according to topics, and is not according to the counting of commandments, as will be clear to one who reads it.
מה וּמִנְיַן מִצְווֹת שֶׁלַּתּוֹרָה הַנּוֹהֲגוֹת לְדוֹרוֹת, שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת וּשְׁלוֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה מִצְווֹת: מֵהֶן מִצְווֹת עֲשֵׂה מָאתַיִם שְׁמוֹנֶה וְאַרְבָּעִים, סִימָן לָהֶן מִנְיַן אֵבָרָיו שֶׁלָּאָדָם; וּמֵהֶן מִצְווֹת לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה שְׁלוֹשׁ מֵאוֹת חָמֵשׁ וְשִׁשִּׁים, סִימָן לָהֶן מִנְיַן יְמוֹת הַחַמָּה. 45 The total number of Torah commandments that are obligatory for all generations is 613: 248 of them are positive commandments, whose mnemonic is the number of parts in the human body; 365 of them are negative commandments, whose mnemonic is the number of days in the solar year.

3.5 Shulchan Aruch*


The Thirteen Attributes can be prayed with a minyan, but only recited according to Torah notes without a minyan. Such details are collected and consolidated from all the oral teachings in the Torah.

3.5.1 Volume 1

The blessing Mashiv haruach vmored hageshem is announced before it is read.

3.5.2 Volume 3

The commandment to make the Shabbat Holy (kiddush) means to separate this day from the rest of the week. Hazal instituted the Kiddush prayer over wine as a metaphor for this separation at the beginning of Shabbat and at the end with Havdalah. Nevertheless Kiddush should be recited over bread if wine is not available and should be recited in any case over a food next in line in substitute for bread if there is no bread.

3.6 Mishnah Berurah*

The Mishnah Berurah is a commentary on the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim.

A Jew must dress dignified in accordance with the culture he lives amongst. Hence a Jew should always wear shoes except in a place where the norm is not to wear shoes.

3.7 Halacha

“Judaism is ritual,” a mohel once taught me.[611] The manner that we live guides our identity. That as individuals some can adopt more strict customs like a Nazarite does not allow adding to the Jewish law ad infinitum, nor does it mean that one person is ‘better’ or more ‘righteous’ in the eyes of G-d by their appearance.

‘When the rabbis were in doubt about the legality of certain rituals and practices, they would say:
“Go and see how the people conduct themselves.” (Eruvim 14b)
The conduct of the people in a normal traditional environment
served as a guide for establishing and codifying certain laws and rituals;
indeed “a custom may nullify a law.” (J. Baba Metzia 7a)’[612]

With the majority (80%) of Jews being conservative, reform, and traditional, the Halakha must consider how the majority of people conduct themselves. Halakha also must be more lenient the further out in the wilderness one lives as in the case of Naomi whose sons married Moabites. Similarly, when the elders met Moshe’s father-in-law in the wilderness they took part in a cooked meal with him, even though he was a Midianite priest. Hence, the kashrut laws attempting to limit those living in the wilderness from eating cooked food with non-Jews is not valid.

Examples of oral law in the wilderness:

  1. Conversion should be lenient accepting those committed to Judaism for the sake of their children. The Torah has many examples of Jewish men who married non-Jewish women whose children were Israelites including those of Joseph, Moses, and David. There is no evidence in the Torah to say their wives would have met conversion standards according to the Halakha today. Hence their children are Jews after the fact, a posterior. Furthermore, Isaiah 56 mentions children born to foreigners who keep the Sabbath and minister to Him have a place in the House of G-d.
  2. Miriam led the women singing with tambourines. Hence we know that women can certainly sing their prayers even if men hear their voices while worshipping.
  3. Menorah sculptures are found in front of the Israeli Knesset building as well as thousands of other Jewish institutions. Some forbid the making of menorahs based on a prohibition of making any furniture that is found in the Mishkan. This prohibition does not meet the test of the majority in orthodox, conservative, and reform synagogues as well as Jewish community centers (JCCs) etc.
  4. The founders of Israel, the Bilu movement, established kibbutzim, and men and women danced at the end of their long days of work. Moreover men and women dance together at the vast majority of Jewish weddings worldwide. Hence, we know that Jewish men and women can dance together in public. Joseph Trumpeldor established He-Halutz, the pioneering organization that prepared youth for settlement in Israel. A monument to his service is found at Tel Hai in Israel. As he lay on his deathbed, he said, “Never mind, it is good to die for one’s country.” The religious who were already in Israel who mocked the settler movement as “secular” failed to recognize their authenticity. As Theodore Herzl proclaimed, “Im tirtzu, en zo aggadah” – ‘if you will it, it is not just a dream’, better, “With your Will, this is not just a story.” So with Jews from all backgrounds, hilonim – secular, traditional, datim – religious, even Judeo-Christian volunteers contributed to building up the modern state and land of Israel.
  5. Since we know that music was played in the temple, we know that there is a manner in which it is allowed although not required in synagogues; perhaps to aid in meditation or to increase ruach – spirit in song.
  6. The mehitzah or separation barrier between men and women forfeited its role when inhibiting single Jews from meeting in communities where they were not introduced. Months could be lost waiting to meet somebody even if she was not a match. The intermarriage problem today grows because of this custom and other fences within a community. The source text from Zechariah 12:12-14 refers to the custom of mourning where men and women comfort each other better separately, see below.
  7. Shabbat participation with virtual synagogue services is becoming a reality. Is turning on the service electronically producing anything against the law of malachah – making/working? Current law allows adjustments of thermostats while they are connecting a switch and turning them off while they are disconnected. Diversity in worship provides survival strength to a religion. Folk music based services with tunes from Shlomo Carlebach Z”l to Debbie Friedman Z”l are sweeping synagogues.
  8. Politicizing rabbis in the “Who is Jew” debate for controlling conversion, have forfeited their significance in the process. Jewish weddings are allowed between those in the community without rabbis or their conversions. Elders who are interested in the individuals have replaced them.[613] Educated laypersons that earn their own salary are often less biased then paid clergy. Rabbis who ignore other communities in politicizing their own leaders as potential messiahs forfeit their position. Those who push holidays in honor of their own ancestors are as divisive as those who change prayer customs such as sitting during the Shema or standing during Alenu. Neither inherits the smicha of Moshe to Joshua, both of whom were powerful leaders. Those who achieve significant learning, have a working integrity, and are concerned with the needs of the community receive the transmission of Moshe to Joshua.
  9. An attitude of levity, which has been discouraged in Judaism, is now shown to be beneficial to ones health while seriousness can lead to sickness. Hence the advice in Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, and Perkei Avos must be reinterpreted to allow and encourage laughter whose health benefits can save a life.
  10. Gemara Shabbas discusses to know what to respond to a fool, which is not to respond lest an accusation laid is the fault of oneself. That we are all fools belies the arrogance of this Gemara. Know that one who cuts off another is cut off oneself. In this vein lies the belittlement of the Am Haaretz – the person of the land. The shunning of the commoner has become the shunning of the self-righteous. Who knows how to poskin the law today when the righteous do not avail themselves?
  11. Where there aren’t mohels or scribes how can the majority carry out circumcision and acquire klaf mezuzot? Are klaf mezuzot valid from the Haredi who spit on other Jews?

3.8 Rules of Interpretation

Seven rules preceded Rabbi Ishmael known for use by Rabbi Hillel, but preceded him as well.[614]
Text 3-40: Rabbi Hillel's Seven Rules
1. Kal Va-Chomer:

Argument that reasons: If a rule or fact applies in a situation where there is relatively little reason for it to apply, certainly it applies in a situation where there is more reason for it to apply. For example, in the verse: Moses says, “If Israel, for whom my message is beneficial, will not listen to me, certainly Pharaoh, for whom the message is detrimental, will not listen” (Mizrachi; Sifsei Chachamim).

2. Gezerah shawah:

Argument from analogy. Biblical passages containing synonyms or homonyms are subject, however much they differ in other respects, to identical definitions and applications.

3. Binyan ab mi-katub ehad: Application of a provision found in one passage only to passages which are related to the first in content but do not contain the provision in question.

4. Binyan ab mi-shene ketubim: The same as the preceding except that the provision is generalized from two Biblical passages.

5. Kelal u-Perat and Perat u-kelal: Definition of the general by the particular, and of the particular, and of the particular by the general.



6. Ka-yoze bo mi-makon aher: Similarity in context to another scriptural passage.



7. Dabar ha-lamed me-‘inyano: Interpretation deduced from the context.

Rabbi Ishmael listed thirteen principles by which the written Torah is expounded. These are principles of logic for forming Oral Laws from the Written Law:[615],[616]

Text 3-41: Rabbi Ishmael’s Thirteen Rules for Torah Exposition
  1. Kal Vhomer – קל וחומר If a rule applies in a lighter case, in a more serious case the rule applies. For example, if an act is forbidden on an ordinary festival than it is also forbidden on Yom Kippur. The reverse applies if an act is permitted on Yom Kippur than it is permitted on an ordinary festival.
  2. Gzera Shav – גזרה שוה If there is similarity of words or phrases in two passages, than what is expressed in one applies in the other. This is the logical inference. For example Ex 21:2 says “Hebrew slave” and from Deut. 14:12 where it says, “If your Hebrew brother is sold to you”, we infer that “Hebrew slave” means a slave who is a Hebrew as opposed to a Hebrew who owns a slave.
  3. Binyan Av – בנין אב A principle in a biblical law is applicable to all related laws.
  4. Klal vPrat – כלל ופרט A general proposition followed by a specifying particular. The particular is the rule.
  5. Prat vKlal – ומפרט וכלל A particular term followed by a general proposition. This is general rule derived from a specific rule.
  6. Klal vPrat vKlal ee atah dan eleh cayn haPrat – כלל ופרט וכלל אי אתה דן אלא כעין הפרט A general law limited by a specific application, and then treated again in general terms, must be interpreted according to the tenor of the specific limitation. If there is a specific application of the law in Torah and only one than the general is limited to the specific.
  7. The general which requires elucidation by the particular, and the particular which requires elucidation by the general.
  8. The particular implied in the general and excepted from it for pedagogic purposes elucidates the general as well as the particular.
  9. The particular implied in the general and excepted from it on account of the special regulation which corresponds in concept to the general, is thus isolated to decrease rather than to increase the rigidity of its application.
  10. The particular implied in the general and excepted from it on account of some other special regulation which does not correspond in concept to the general, is thus isolated either to decrease or to increase the rigidity of its application.
  11. The particular implied in the general and excepted from it on account of a new and reversed decision can be referred to the general only in case the passage under consideration makes an explicit reference to it.
  12. Deduction from the context.
  13. When two Biblical passages contradict each other the contradiction in question must be solved by reference to a third passage.

Wherever G-d gives us a prohibition, there is something permissible, which is similar enough to satisfy any inclination we may have. There are always permissible foods that have similar flavors to non-kosher foods.[617]

Here are the last words of Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai while he was with his disciples:[618]

Text 3-42: Last Words of Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai
They said to him: Master, bless us. He said to them:
“May it be [God's] will that the fear of heaven shall be upon you like the fear of flesh and blood.”
His disciples said to him: “Is that all?” He said to them: “If only [you can attain this]!
You can see [how important this is], for when a man wants to commit a transgression,
he says, I hope no man will see me.” At the moment of his departure he said to them:
“Remove the vessels so that they shall not become unclean,
and prepare a throne for Hezekiah the king of Judah who is coming.”

Last words are spoken with truth. To heed them is everything.

There are also the 32 Ben Gallil Laws.[619]

Text 3-43: 32 Ben Gallil Laws

1. Ribbuy (extension): The particles “et”, “gam”, and “af”, which are superfluous indicate that something which is not explicitly stated must be regarded as included in the passage uinder consideration, or that some teaching is implied thereby.


2. Mi’ut (limitation): The particles “ak”, “rak”, and “min”, indicate that something implied by the concept under consideration must be excluded in a specific case.



3. Ribbuy ahar ribbuy (extension after extension): When one extension follows another it indicates that more must be regarded as implied.



4. Mi’ut ahar mi’ut (limitation after limitation): A double limitation indicates that more is to be omitted.



5. Kal va-chomer meforash: “Argumentum a minori ad majus”, or vice versa, and expressly so characterized in the text.



6. Kal va-chomer satum: “Argumentum a minori ad majus” or vice versa, but only implied, not explicitly declared to be one in the text. This and the preceeding rule are contained in the Rules of Hillel number 1.



7. Gezerah shawah: Argument from analogy. Biblical passages containing synonyms or homonyms are subject, however much they differ in other respects, to identical definitions and applications.



8. Binyan ab mi-katub ehad: Application of a provision found in one passage only to passages which are related to the first in content but do not contain the provision in question.



9. Derek Kezarah: Abbreviation is sometimes used in the text when the subject of discussion is self-explanatory.



10. Dabar shehu shanuy (repeated expression): Repitition implies a special meaning.



11. Siddur she-nehlak: Where in the text a clause or sentence not logically divisible is divided by the punctuation, the proper order and the division of the verses must be restored according to the logical connection.



12. Anything introduced as a comparison to illustrate and explain something else itself receives in this way a better explanation and elucidation.



13. When the general is followed by the particular, the latter is specific to the former and merely defines it more exactly. (compare with Hillel #5)



14. Something important is compared with something unimportant to elucidate it and render it more readily intelligible.



15. When two Biblical passages contradict each other the contradiction in question must be solved by reference to a third passage.



16. Dabar meyuhad bi-mekomo: An expression which occurs in only one passage can be explained only by the context. This must have been the original meaning of the rule, although another explanation is given in the examples cited in the baraita.



17. A point which is not clearly explained in the main passage may be better elucidated in another passage.



18. A statement with regard to a part may imply the whole.



19. A statement concerning one thing may hold good with regard to another as well.



20. A stetment concerning one thing may apply only to something else.



21. If one object is compared to two other objects the best part of both the latter forms the tertium quid of comparison.



22. A passage may be supplemented and explained by a parallel passage.



23. A passage serves to elucidate and supplement its parallel passage.



24. When the specific implied in the general is especially excepted from the general, it serves to emphasize some property characterizing the specific.



25. The specific implied in the general is frequently excepted from the general to elucidate some other specific property, and to develop some special teaching concerning it.



26. Mashal (parable).



27. Mi-ma’al: Interpretation through the preceding.



28. Mi-neged: Interpretation through the opposite.



29. Gematria: Interpretation according to the numerical value of the letters.



30. Notarikon: Interpretation by dividing a word into two or more parts.



31. Postposition of the precedent. Many phraes which follow must be regarded as properly preceding, and must be interpreted accordingly in exegesis.



32. May portions of the Bible refer to an earlier period than to the sections which precede them, and vice versa.



These thirty-two rules are united in the so-called Baraita of R. Eliezer b. Jose HaGelili. In the introduction to the Midrash ha-Gadole, where this baraita is given, it contains thirty-three rules. Rule 29 being divided into three, and rule 27 being omitted.

There are also the 42 laws of the Zohar.
The assumption that men and women cannot pray without a mehitzah is based on the inference that praying is the same as mourning. This seems a flawed assumption. Moreover if men and women could not pray together, than it should have stated the more general principle someplace else in the Tanach.
Text 3-44: Zechariah 12:8-14
8. On that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he who is feeble among them shall be as David on that day; and the house of David shall be like a divine being, like the angel of the Lord before them.
9. And it shall come to pass on that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
10. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look towards me, regarding those whom the nations have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only son, and shall be in bitterness over him, as one who is in bitterness for his firstborn.
11. On that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadad-Rimmon in the valley of Megiddo.
12. And the land shall mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves;
13. The family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves;
14. All the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.

Clearly these customs exist for mourning. Nevertheless, they cannot be afforded in general as the importance of the future of the Jewish people that is Jewish singles finding each other and matching up is so important today that any barrier is forfeited. The majority of Jews who founded Israel and their supporters throughout the world represent the baseline of Jewish observance. Fences cannot be added that the majority of Jews do not keep. Fences that are no longer held by the majority of Jews have already fallen and should be removed for the continuance of the people as opposed to their alienation. This doesn’t eliminate the separate sections in the Temple or wherever there is a crush of people where modesty would dictate so.

אֵת כָּל-הַדָּבָר, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם--אֹתוֹ תִשְׁמְרוּ, לַעֲשׂוֹת: לֹא-תֹסֵף עָלָיו, וְלֹא תִגְרַע מִמֶּנּוּ. {פ} Deut. 13:1 All this word which I command you, that shall ye observe to do; thou shalt not add to it, nor diminish from it.

The adding of rules and fences ad infinitum is prohibited. We should not create myths stating that there were yeshivas and rabbis in the biblical period when Jacob studied, other then the custom of studying with ones elders. We do not falsely state that Moses’ father-in-law Jethro was Jewish to legitimize the elders of Israel taking part in his sacrificial meal. Hence, we know that righteous Jews ate cooked foods with non-Jews. We do not falsely claim that Ruth was ‘halakhically’ converted; instead we should use her life as an example of authentic conversion where only one woman served as witness, Naomi, no mikvah, no bet din, and a limited Jewish education. From here we learn that a woman is valid as a kosher witness and that Jewish education can come after conversion. Halakha is about being biblically authentic.

Rav Kook taught that outside of Israel, keeping the mitzvot is merely practice while their intention is within the Land of Israel. Clarifying this is to realize that the commandments were developed for the land of Israel and outside they differ. Examples include the additional days of Passover, Sukkot, and Shavuot. Burial laws such as internment in drilled vaults vs. in the earth directly have fewer consequences since the misery of rainy climates on the decomposing body defeats the blessing of the dry earthly burial in Israel.


[547] Recently in Israel there has been an allowance for artificial insemination of aging Jewish women provided the semen is from a Jewish donor.
[548] This is the case in the state of Utah where for many generations the LDS religious has included Jewish women and their children from Mormon men.
[549] See Text 2-225: Jeremiah 8:8 p.203
[550] Judaism is a communal and family oriented religion. A single Jewish person who is alone should follow this axiom always since s/he does not have the support of a group for encouragement.
[551] Midrash Rabbah Genesis, Ch. 33. Noach .
[552] See 2.3.12









































































Parsha KdoshimKdoshim covers the laws that separate Israel from other nations, those laws that make a holy people. Leviticus 19:9-18 covers laws of civil contact. Leviticus 19:19 is explicit to the species of cattle. Leviticus 19:34 accepts those live amongst you implicitly as converts. Leviticus 20:10-21 covers the laws of morality in relationships.Text 2-98: Leviticus 191. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,2. Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel, and say to them, You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy.3. You shall revere every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths; I am the Lord your God.4. Turn you not to idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods; I am the Lord your God.5. And if you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord, you shall offer it of your own will.6. It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and on the next day; and if anything remains until the third day, it shall be burned in the fire.7. And if it is eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted.8. Therefore every one who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned the consecrated thing of the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.9. And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest.10. And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and stranger; I am the Lord your God.11. You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie one to another.12. And you shall not swear by my name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the Lord.13. You shall not defraud your neighbor, nor rob him; the wages of he who is hired shall not remain with you all night until the morning.14. You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God; I am the Lord.15. You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment; you shall not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty; but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.16. You shall not go up and down as a slanderer among your people; nor shall you stand against the blood of your neighbor; I am the Lord.17. You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall reason with your neighbor, and not allow sin on his account.18. You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.19. You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind; you shall not sow your field with mixed seed; nor shall a garment mixed of linen and woolen come upon you.20. And whoever lies carnally with a woman, who is a slave betrothed to a man, and not wholly redeemed, nor freedom given her; inquiry shall be made; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.21. And he shall bring his guilt offering to the Lord, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, a ram for a guilt offering.22. And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before the Lord for his sin which he has done; and the sin which he has done shall be forgiven him.23. And when you shall come into the land, and shall have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count its fruit as uncircumcised; three years shall it be uncircumcised to you; it shall not be eaten.24. But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy for praise giving to the Lord.25. And in the fifth year shall you eat of its fruit, that it may yield to you its produce; I am the Lord your God.26. You shall not eat any thing with the blood; nor shall you use enchantment, nor observe times.27. You shall not round the corners of your heads, nor shall you mar the corners of your beard.28. You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you; I am the Lord.29. Do not prostitute your daughter, to cause her to be a harlot; lest the land fall to harlotry, and the land become full of wickedness.30. You shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary; I am the Lord.31. Regard not those who are mediums, nor seek after wizards, to be defiled by them; I am the Lord your God.32. You shall rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear your God; I am the Lord.33. And if a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not wrong him.34. But the stranger who dwells with you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.35. You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in measures of length, of weight, or quantity.36. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall you have; I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.37. Therefore shall you observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them; I am the Lord.Text 2-99: Leviticus 201. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,2. Again, you shall say to the people of Israel, Whoever he is of the people of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, who gives any of his seed to Molech; he shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones.3. And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he has given of his seed to Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.4. And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he gives of his seed to Molech, and kill him not;5. Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all who play the harlot after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.6. And the soul who turns after those who are mediums, and after wizards, to play the harlot after them, I will set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.7. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am the Lord your God.8. And you shall keep my statutes, and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you.9. For every one who curses his father or his mother shall be surely put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.10. And the man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.11. And the man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.12. And if a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have committed unnatural sin; their blood shall be upon them.13. If a man also lies with men, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.14. And if a man takes a wife and her mother, it is wickedness; they shall be burned with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.15. And if a man lies with a beast, he shall surely be put to death; and you shall slay the beast.16. And if a woman approaches any beast, and lies down to it, you shall kill the woman, and the beast; they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.17. And if a man shall take his sister, his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people; he has uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.18. And if a man shall lie with a woman having her menstrual sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he has made naked her fountain, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood; and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.19. And you shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, nor of your father’s sister; for he uncovers his near kin; they shall bear their iniquity.20. And if a man shall lie with his uncle’s wife, he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness; they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.21. And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing; he has uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.22. You shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them; that the land, where I bring you to dwell in it, vomit you not out.23. And you shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you; for they committed all these things, and therefore I loathed them.24. But I have said to you, You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess it, a land that flows with milk and honey; I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people.25. You shall therefore differentiate between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean birds and clean; and you shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by bird, or by any manner of living thing that creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.26. And you shall be holy to me; for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from other people, that you should be mine.27. A man or woman who is a medium, or who is a wizard, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones; their blood shall be upon them.The punishments are mentioned to show the spiritual consequence of the violation of the commandment. This is similar to the style of Shaarei Tshuvah. When the Sanhedrin enforced the Torah by witch hunting and execution during the Roman occupation further calamity befell the Jewish people. Hence, only the civil laws of public conduct are enforced while the others are between man and G-d.Numbers – In the Wilderness – Bamidbar p.118
[553] Advice - Likutey Etzot, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, trans. Avraham Greenbaum, p.216
[554] Soncino Midrash Rabbah Deuteronomy, p.179, 1983
[555] Move outside the circle; similar to a summoning circle of protection.
[556] ‘Sammael - סמאל’—this name should not be pronounced to not invoke his wrath, has vshalom. Lambs, baby sheep dissolve the influence.
[557] http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/475984/jewish/A-Joyous-Divorce.htm, Excerpted from The Mystery of Marriage by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh
[558] http://www.shemayisrael.co.il/parsha/feinhandler/archives/bereish2.htm
[559] The Messiah idea in Jewish history, Julius Hillel Greenstone, The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1906.
[560] See 3.8 Rules and Text 3-41: Rabbi Ishmael’s Thirteen Rules for Torah Exposition
[561] Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom, Aryeh Rosenfeld, Tape 29, minute 14 (T. 29:14)
[562] L’havdil, this is easy for Christians who devote themselves in faith to JC.
[563] http://www.mpaths.com/2009/01/faith-in-tzaddikim.html
[564] http://yeshmalasot.com/jsite/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/limit,12/limitstart,24/
[565] Contrarily the text denies the statement, “whoever murmurs against Hashem is as if he murmured against Moshe, kal vhomer”; since this is not from a lesser to a stricter condition.
[566] R. Nachman’s Wisdom, R. Aryeh Rosenfeld commentator
[567] See 11.15 Euphoria and Spiritual Similarity and 11.16 Tzaddik Emet
[568] See Blue Text 2-95
[569] http://www.hakirah.org/Vol%205%20Rabinovitch.pdf
[570] http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=854&letter=M&search=darshan Jewish Encyclopedia
[571] http://www.pugiofidei.com/
[572] Moses ha-Darshan of Narbonne (11th century) as quoted by the Dominican Raymond Martini of Barcelona in his Pugio Fidei (The Dagger of Faith) quoted in The Judaic Tradition, Nahum N. Glatzer, pp. 467-468
[573] Rabbi Psachyah Lichtenstein, Salt Lake City, August 7, 2005
[574] pri haatz
[575] pri hagafen
[576] pri hadamah
[577] hamotzeh lehem meen haaretz
[578] pri hadamah
[579] minai m’zonot
[580] The English word ‘product’ is from the Hebrew word ‘P’ri’ – fruit.
[581] Berachot 20 quoted in Sefer Hamitzvos Hakotzer, p.44
[582] Ibid.
[583] My wife’s insight
[584] Mishnah Avot, Pinchas Kehati, Department for Torah Education and Culture in the Diaspora, Jerusalem, Page 130.
[585] Yaakov Neuman, Salt Lake City, UT, alternatively “the wicked have ten chances for repayment.”
[586] Bahir, Kaplan, Part 2:118, p. 169.
[587] see Names of G-d [TABLES]
[588] Shoresh means root. The Shin all physically looks like a root extending into branches.
[589] Hochmah, the second sefirah
[590] Righteousness leads to fruitfulness either physically or spiritually.
[591] Chagigah 12a
[592] Perkei Avos 5:6
[593] http://www.hakirah.org/Volume%205.htm
[594] Perkei Avos 6:6
[595] See 11.15 Euphoria and Spiritual Similarity
[596] http://www.hakirah.org/Volume%205.htm
[597] Vitry commentary on Perkei Avot 6:6:23rd point
[598] http://www.hakirah.org/Volume%205.htm “What is “Emunat Ḥakhamim?”, Nachum Eliezer Rabinovitch, Fall 2007, Hakira – The Flatbush Journal on Jewish Law and Thought, ISBN: 0-9765665-4-0
[599] Rabbi Aryeh Rosenfeld, Sichos HaRan, tape 1
[600] http://books.google.com/books?id=Zdam8_8t5x8C&pg=PA247&lpg=PA247&dq=%22Faith+in+Moses%22&source=bl&ots=s6jcZ-3dgN&sig=vLIVjPYYIRpfoysa0xOZYOlQdCM&hl=en&ei=dPZ5SpTxEcaGtgeD89SWCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#v=onepage&q=%22Faith%20in%20Moses%22&f=false 7.6 Jewish Faith in Moses, “The New Testament Moses”, John Lierman—Due to the misappropriation of Christianity, the idea of simply believing in Moses became detailed as believing in the words of Moses.
[601] That is to snoop around for the gossip on people, another hillul Hashem.
[602] Rabbi Aryeh Rosenfield audio recording Eyn Yakov Pesachim 2
[603] See Text 26-25 for yet another hillul Hashem
[604] Deuteronomy 28:12
[605] Ezekiel 37:13
[606] Ta’anit 2A-2B
[607] From the prayer Shema Israel.
[608] Breslov, Counting the Omer Tape from Los Angeles in 1986.
[609] Adam slept next to the animals in loneliness. The Hebrew word for intercourse is from bed משכב or מטה or better mashmaesh – משמש, which means to handle. He did not have intercourse until he slept with Eve.
[610] http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/p0000.htm
[611] M(icah) R(osenfeld)
[612] Hebrew: The External Language, William Chomsky, 1957, p.9
[613] A La Mode a French film featuring two teenage orphans who are apprenticed as a tailor and butcher in the Jewish community fund themselves becoming part of the community without any religious background. The tailor orphan marries in a Jewish wedding without a rabbi’s approval.
[614] http://www.betemunah.org/rules.html These are quoted from this website whose author is quite meticulous in his understanding.
[615] For forming realities from truth, World of Prayer, Elie Munk, Vol. 1, pp. 54-56
[616] Encyclopedia of Jewish Concepts, Philip Birnbaum, pp 331-334.
[617] Rabbi Raphael Lapin ‘Chulin Gemara Class’, San Jose, CA.
[618] Berachot 28B
[619] http://www.betemunah.org/rules.html

Previous Next Home Title Page Index Contents