Glossary

A

Abba, Rabbi Hiyya bar 
Rabbi Hiyya bar Abba’s Textual Trigger
The verse that triggers R. Hiyya bar Abba’s derashah is Psalm 127:5:

Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them; they shall not be put to shame when they speak with their enemies in the gate. אשרי הגבר אשר מלא את אשפתו מהם לא יבושו כי ידברו את אויבים בשער.
The gemara then asks, “?מאי את אויבים בשער”-“What is [the meaning of] “with their enemies at the gate”?-and then continues with R. Hiyya bar Abba’s derashah.

Akedat Yitzhak is the Torah commentary written by Rav Yitzhak Arama, c. 1420-1494, rabbi, preacher, and philosopher in Spain. After the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, he went to Naples, Italy, where he died.

ANE Bread Offerings: A good summary of the place of bread offerings in Ancient Near Eastern religions and the differences between those practices and Israelite practices can be found in Prof. Jacob Milgrom’s magisterial commentary on VaYiqra in the Anchor Bible Series. Specifically, seeThe Anchor Bible: Leviticus 23-27: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary by Jacob Milgrom. Doubleday: New York, et. al., 2001, p. 2092.

Aram: This is evidenced in see Hoshea 12:13: “וַיִּבְרַח יַעֲקֹב שְׂדֵה אֲרָם…” (“Then Ya‘aqov had to flee to the land of Aram…”). Aram there refers to the land where Lavan lived and Ya‘aqov came to sojourn.

Asher, Rav Yaaqov ben (c. 1275-c. 1340) was one of the central halakhists and commentators of the medieval period. Raised in Germany, where he studied under his father, Rav Asher ben Yehiel (the “Rosh”), he fled with his father and family to Spain in 1303 to escape the anti-Semitic Rindfleisch massacres. R. Yaaqov’s most significant literary legacy is in halakhah: his abridgment of his father’s rulings (“Pisqei HaRosh”) and, most significantly, his code, the Arba‘ah Turim (or, “Tur”, for short). This work remains a basic text in halakhic study to this day and its innovative system of organization was the basis for Rav Yoseph Caro’s Shulhan Arukh. The centrality of this work led R. Yaaqov to become referred to simply, as “Ba‘al Ha-Turim”, also the title given to his Torah commentary.

B

Bemidbar 6:13-15 במדבר ו:יג-טו
This is the ritual for the nazirite: On the day that his term as a nazirite is completed, he shall bring it to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. As his offering to Hashem he shall present: one male lamb in its first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering; one ewe lamb in its first year, without blemish, for a purification offering; one ram without blemish for a well-being offering; a basket of unleavened cakes of choice flour with oil mixed in, and unleavened wafers spread with oil and the proper meal offerings and libations. וְזֹאת תּוֹרַת הַנָּזִיר בְּיוֹם מְלֹאת יְמֵי נִזְרוֹ יָבִיא אֹתוֹ אֶל פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד: וְהִקְרִיב אֶת קָרְבָּנוֹ לַיהֹוָה כֶּבֶשׂ בֶּן שְׁנָתוֹ תָמִים אֶחָד לְעֹלָה וְכַבְשָׂה אַחַת בַּת שְׁנָתָהּ תְּמִימָה לְחַטָּאת וְאַיִל אֶחָד תָּמִים לִשְׁלָמִים: וְסַל מַצּוֹת סֹלֶת חַלֹּת בְּלוּלֹת בַּשֶּׁמֶן וּרְקִיקֵי מַצּוֹת מְשֻׁחִים בַּשָּׁמֶן וּמִנְחָתָם וְנִסְכֵּיהֶם:

Bemidbar 9:6-8 במדבר ט:ו-ח
But there were some men who were impure by a corpse, so that they could not make the Pesah sacrifice on that day. Drawing near Moshe and before Aharon on that day, those men said unto him, “We are impure by a corpse, but why should we lose out, so as not to bring Hashem’s offering in its season with the Israelites?” Moshe said unto them, “Stand by, so that I may hear what Hashem commands you.” ַיְהִי אֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ טְמֵאִים לְנֶפֶשׁ אָדָם וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לַעֲשֹׂת הַפֶּסַח בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וַיִּקְרְבוּ לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה וְלִפְנֵי אַהֲרֹן בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא: וַיֹּאמְרוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים הָהֵמָּה אֵלָיו אֲנַחְנוּ טְמֵאִים לְנֶפֶשׁ אָדָם לָמָּה נִגָּרַע לְבִלְתִּי הַקְרִב אֶת קָרְבַּן יְהֹוָה בְּמֹעֲדוֹ בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל: וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם מֹשֶׁה עִמְדוּ וְאֶשְׁמְעָה מַה יְצַוֶּה יְהֹוָה לָכֶם:

Bemidbar 13:32-14:2 במדבר יג:גב-יד:ב
They spread slander about the land they had scouted to the children of Israel, saying, “the land which we traversed to scout it is a land that devours its inhabitants and all the people we saw in it are huge. We saw Nephilim there – the Anaqites are Nephilim; we were in our own eyes as grasshoppers, and so were we in their eyes. The whole congregation raised its voice and they cried that night. And all the children of Israel complained against Mosheh and against Aharon, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt; or in this desert if only we would die!” וַיּוֹצִיאוּ דִּבַּת הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר תָּרוּ אֹתָהּ אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר עָבַרְנוּ בָהּ לָתוּר אֹתָהּ אֶרֶץ אֹכֶלֶת יוֹשְׁבֶיהָ הִוא וְכָל הָעָם אֲשֶׁר רָאִינוּ בְתוֹכָהּ אַנְשֵׁי מִדּוֹת: וְשָׁם רָאִינוּ אֶת הַנְּפִילִים בְּנֵי עֲנָק מִן הַנְּפִלִים וַנְּהִי בְעֵינֵינוּ כַּחֲגָבִים וְכֵן הָיִינוּ בְּעֵינֵיהֶם: וַתִּשָּׂא כָּל הָעֵדָה וַיִּתְּנוּ אֶת קוֹלָם וַיִּבְכּוּ הָעָם בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא: וַיִּלֹּנוּ עַל מֹשֶׁה וְעַל אַהֲרֹן כֹּל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֲלֵהֶם כָּל הָעֵדָה לוּ מַתְנוּ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם אוֹ בַּמִּדְבָּר הַזֶּה לוּ מָתְנוּ:

Bemidbar 14:2 במדבר יד:ב
All the Israelites complained against Moshe and against Aharon, saying to them, “if only we had died in Egypt, or if only we would die in this desert!” ַיִּלֹּנוּ עַל מֹשֶׁה וְעַל אַהֲרֹן כֹּל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֲלֵהֶם כָּל הָעֵדָה לוּ מַתְנוּ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם אוֹ בַּמִּדְבָּר הַזֶּה לוּ מָתְנוּ:

Bemidbar 14:27 במדבר יד:כז
[God speaking]: “How much longer shall that wicked community keep murmuring against me? Very well, I have heeded the incessant murmuring of the Israelites against Me.” עַד מָתַי לָעֵדָה הָרָעָה הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר הֵמָּה מַלִּינִים עָלָי אֶת תְּלֻנּוֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר הֵמָּה מַלִּינִים עָלַי שָׁמָעְתִּי:

Bemidbar 16:1-4 במדבר טז:א-ד
Now Korah, son of Izhar son of Kehat son of Levi, took, along with Datan and Aviram, sons of Eliav, and ‘On, son of Pelet-descendents of Reuven; and they rose up before Moshe, with 250 Israelites, chieftains of the community, the elect of the assembly, men of renown. They assembled upon Moshe and upon Aharon, and said to them. “You have too much! For the whole community-all of them-are holy, Hashem is among them. Why do you raise yourselves above Hashem’s congregation?” When Moshe heard it, he fell upon his face… וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח בֶּן יִצְהָר בֶּן קְהָת בֶּן לֵוִי וְדָתָן וַאֲבִירָם בְּנֵי אֱלִיאָב וְאוֹן בֶּן פֶּלֶת בְּנֵי רְאוּבֵן: וַיָּקֻמוּ לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה וַאֲנָשִׁים מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתָיִם נְשִׂיאֵי עֵדָה קְרִאֵי מוֹעֵד אַנְשֵׁי שֵׁם: וַיִּקָּהֲלוּ עַל מֹשֶׁה וְעַל אַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֲלֵהֶם רַב לָכֶם כִּי כָל הָעֵדָה כֻּלָּם קְדֹשִׁים וּבְתוֹכָם יְהֹוָה וּמַדּוּעַ תִּתְנַשְּׂאוּ עַל קְהַל יְהֹוָה: וַיִּשְׁמַע מֹשֶׁה וַיִּפֹּל עַל פָּנָיו…:

Bemidbar 19:19 במדבר יט:יט
The pure person shall sprinkle it on the impure person on the third day and the seventh day, thus cleansing him by the seventh day. He shall then wash his clothes and bathe in water, and at nightfall he shall be pure. וְהִזָּה הַטָּהֹר עַל הַטָּמֵא בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וְחִטְּאוֹ בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וְכִבֶּס בְּגָדָיו וְרָחַץ בַּמַּיִם וְטָהֵר בָּעָרֶב:

Onqelos, ibid. אונקלוס, שם
Note that Onqelos uses the same root (ד.כ.י.) to translate both “הַטָּהֹר/וְטָהֵר” and our word, “וְחִטְּאוֹ”, indicating that he sees them as synonymous. וידי דכיא על מסאבא ביומא תליתאה וביומא שביעאה וידכיניה ביומא שביעאה ויצבע לבושוהי ויסחי במיא וידכי ברמשא:

Rashi, ibid. רש”י, שם
“Thus cleansing him by the seventh day”-this is the conclusion of his purification. “וחטאו ביום השביעי” – הוא גמר טהרתו:

Bemidbar 20:2 במדבר כ:ב
The community had no water and they gathered against Moshe and against Aharon. וְלֹא הָיָה מַיִם לָעֵדָה וַיִּקָּהֲלוּ עַל מֹשֶׁה וְעַל אַהֲרֹן:

Bemidbar 29:35-30:1 במדבר פרק כט:לה-ל:א
On the eighth day you shall have an assembly; no task of work shall you do. And you shall offer up a burnt offering, a fire offering, a fragrant odor to YHWH, one bull, one ram, seven unblemished, year-old lambs. Their grain offering and their libations – for the bull, for the ram, and for the lambs, by their number, according to their rule. And one sin-offering goat, besides the perpetual burnt offering and its grain offering and its libation. These shall you do for YHWH in your fixed seasons, besides your vows and your donations, as your burnt offerings and your grain offerings and your libations and your communion sacrifices. And Mosheh said to the Israelites as all that YHWH had commanded Mosheh. בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי עֲצֶרֶת תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם כָּל מְלֶאכֶת עֲבֹדָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ: וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם עֹלָה אִשֵּׁה רֵיחַ נִיחֹחַ לַיהֹוָה פַּר אֶחָד אַיִל אֶחָד כְּבָשִׂים בְּנֵי שָׁנָה שִׁבְעָה תְּמִימִם: מִנְחָתָם וְנִסְכֵּיהֶם לַפָּר לָאַיִל וְלַכְּבָשִׂים בְּמִסְפָּרָם כַּמִּשְׁפָּט: וּשְׂעִיר חַטָּאת אֶחָד מִלְּבַד עֹלַת הַתָּמִיד וּמִנְחָתָהּ וְנִסְכָּהּ: אֵלֶּה תַּעֲשׂוּ לַיהֹוָה בְּמוֹעֲדֵיכֶם לְבַד מִנִּדְרֵיכֶם וְנִדְבֹתֵיכֶם לְעֹלֹתֵיכֶם וּלְמִנְחֹתֵיכֶם וּלְנִסְכֵּיכֶם וּלְשַׁלְמֵיכֶם: וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה אֶת מֹשֶׁה:

Bemidbar 36:1-3 במדבר לו:א-ג
The family heads of the clan of the descendants of Gil‘ad, son of Makhir, son of Menasheh, of the clans of Yoseph’s descendants, drew near and spoke before Moshe, and before the chieftains, Israelite family heads. They said, “Hashem commanded my lord to give the land for inheritance by lot to the Israelites; and my lord was commanded by Hashem to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters. Now, if they marry persons from another Israelite tribe, then their inheritance will be lost from our ancestral inheritance, and will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry, so that it will be lost from our allotted inheritance. וַיִּקְרְבוּ רָאשֵׁי הָאָבוֹת לְמִשְׁפַּחַת בְּנֵי גִלְעָד בֶּן מָכִיר בֶּן מְנַשֶּׁה מִמִּשְׁפְּחֹת בְּנֵי יוֹסֵף וַיְדַבְּרוּ לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה וְלִפְנֵי הַנְּשִׂאִים רָאשֵׁי אָבוֹת לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל: וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶת אֲדֹנִי צִוָּה יְהֹוָה לָתֵת אֶת הָאָרֶץ בְּנַחֲלָה בְּגוֹרָל לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַאדֹנִי צֻוָּה בַיהֹוָה לָתֵת אֶת נַחֲלַת צְלָפְחָד אָחִינוּ לִבְנֹתָיו: וְהָיוּ לְאֶחָד מִבְּנֵי שִׁבְטֵי בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְנָשִׁים וְנִגְרְעָה נַחֲלָתָן מִנַּחֲלַת אֲבֹתֵינוּ וְנוֹסַף עַל נַחֲלַת הַמַּטֶּה אֲשֶׁר תִּהְיֶינָה לָהֶם וּמִגֹּרַל נַחֲלָתֵנוּ יִגָּרֵעַ:

Bemidbar Rabbah is a late midrashic compilation on the book of Bemidbar. More precisely, it is two separate works which were later brought together. The first part, covering the first eight chapters of Bemidbar, seems to have been compiled in the early parts of the 12th century and was highly influenced by the works of Mosheh ha-Darshan, of Narbonne (Provence). The second part, covering chapters 9-36 of Bemidbar, is thought to have been compiled in the 9th century, supplemented with some later emendations. It shows strong similarities with its parallel texts in the Tanhuma, and, like it, was organized according to the triennial Torah reading cycle that was operative in Eretz Yisrael. These two midrashim were apparently joined by a copyist in the early 13th century and scholars think that the first sage to refer to the unified work is the Ramban.

Bereishit 1:29 בראשית ט:ו
God said, “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon all the earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit; they shall be yours for food.” שֹׁפֵךְ דַּם הָאָדָם
בָּאָדָם דָּמוֹ יִשָּׁפֵךְ
כִּי בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים עָשָׂה אֶת הָאָדָם:

Bereishit 6.13 בראשית ו:י”ג
God said to Noah, “I have decided to put an end to all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence from them, so I am about to destroy the earth.” וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים לְנֹחַ קֵץ כָּל בָּשָׂר בָּא לְפָנַי כִּי מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ חָמָס מִפְּנֵיהֶם וְהִנְנִי מַשְׁחִיתָם אֶת הָאָרֶץ:

Bereishit 6:1-4 בראשית ו:א-ד
“When people began to increase on earth and daughters were born to them, the divine beings saw how beautiful the daughters of men were and took wives from among those that pleased them. Hashem said, ‘My breath shall not abide in man forever, since he too is flesh; let the days allowed him be 120 years. It was in those days, and later, too, that the Nephilim appeared on earth, when the divine beings cohabited with the daughters of men, who bore them offspring. They were the mighty ones of old, notorious men.”

“וַיְהִי כִּי הֵחֵל הָאָדָם לָרֹב עַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה וּבָנוֹת יֻלְּדוּ לָהֶם. וַיִּרְאוּ בְנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים אֶת בְּנוֹת הָאָדָם כִּי טֹבֹת הֵנָּה וַיִּקְחוּ לָהֶם נָשִׁים מִכֹּל אֲשֶׁר בָּחָרוּ. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה לֹא יָדוֹן רוּחִי בָאָדָם לְעֹלָם בְּשַׁגַּם הוּא בָשָׂר וְהָיוּ יָמָיו מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה. הַנְּפִלִים הָיוּ בָאָרֶץ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם וְגַם אַחֲרֵי כֵן אֲשֶׁר יָבֹאוּ בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים אֶל בְּנוֹת הָאָדָם וְיָלְדוּ לָהֶם הֵמָּה הַגִּבֹּרִים אֲשֶׁר מֵעוֹלָם אַנְשֵׁי הַשֵּׁם.”

Bereishit 6.18
בראשית ו:יח

…וּבָאתָ אֶל הַתֵּבָה אַתָּה וּבָנֶיךָ וְאִשְׁתְּךָ וּנְשֵׁי בָנֶיךָ אִתָּךְ:

Bereishit 8.16 בראשית ח:ט”ז
צֵא מִן הַתֵּבָה אַתָּה וְאִשְׁתְּךָ וּבָנֶיךָ וּנְשֵׁי בָנֶיךָ אִתָּךְ:

Bereishit 8.18 בראשית ח:יח
וַיֵּצֵא נֹחַ וּבָנָיו וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּנְשֵׁי בָנָיו אִתּוֹ:

Bereishit 9:6 בראשית ט:ו
Whoever sheds human blood,
by a human shall his blood be shed,
for in His image did God make the human being.

שֹׁפֵךְ דַּם הָאָדָם
בָּאָדָם דָּמוֹ יִשָּׁפֵךְ
כִּי בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים עָשָׂה אֶת הָאָדָם:

Bereishit 9.20-21 בראשית ט:כ-כא
Noah, the tiller of soil, began to plant a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk and he uncovered himself within his tent. וַיָּחֶל נֹחַ אִישׁ הָאֲדָמָה וַיִּטַּע כָּרֶם: וַיֵּשְׁתְּ מִן הַיַּיִן וַיִּשְׁכָּר וַיִּתְגַּל בְּתוֹךְ אָהֳלֹה:

Bereishit 9.22 בראשית ט:כב
Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside. וַיַּרְא חָם אֲבִי כְנַעַן אֵת עֶרְוַת אָבִיו וַיַּגֵּד לִשְׁנֵי אֶחָיו בַּחוּץ:

Bereishit 9.25 בראשית ט:כה
He said, “Cursed be Canaan; the lowest of slaves shall he be to his brothers.” וַיֹּאמֶר אָרוּר כְּנָעַן עֶבֶד עֲבָדִים יִהְיֶה לְאֶחָיו:
Noah says this immediately upon waking up from his drunken stupor and realizing that Ham violated him. A little bit later, verse 10:6 shows that Canaan was one of Ham’s four sons, so this curse is a poetic curse on Ham applied to his descendants.

Bereishit 24:6-8
Avraham answered [his servant]: “On no account must you take my son back there! Hashem, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from my native land, who promised me on oath, saying ‘I will assign this land to your offspring’-He will send His angel before you, and you will get a wife for my son from there. And if the woman does not consent to follow you, you shall then be clear of this oath to me, but do not take my son back there.” ַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אַבְרָהָם הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּן תָּשִׁיב אֶת בְּנִי שָׁמָּה: יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם אֲשֶׁר לְקָחַנִי מִבֵּית אָבִי וּמֵאֶרֶץ מוֹלַדְתִּי וַאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לִי וַאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לִי לֵאמֹר לְזַרְעֲךָ אֶתֵּן אֶת הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת הוּא יִשְׁלַח מַלְאָכוֹ לְפָנֶיךָ וְלָקַחְתָּ אִשָּׁה לִבְנִי מִשָּׁם: וְאִם לֹא תֹאבֶה הָאִשָּׁה לָלֶכֶת אַחֲרֶיךָ וְנִקִּיתָ מִשְּׁבֻעָתִי זֹאת רַק אֶת בְּנִי לֹא תָשֵׁב שָׁמָּה:

Bereishit 28:12 בראשית כח:יב
“He had a dream: A ladder was set on the ground and its top reached to the sky and angels of God were ascending and descending it.” וַיַּחֲלֹם וְהִנֵּה סֻלָּם מֻצָּב אַרְצָה וְרֹאשׁוֹ מַגִּיעַ הַשָּׁמָיְמָה וְהִנֵּה מַלְאֲכֵי אֱלֹהִים עֹלִים וְיֹרְדִים בּוֹ:

Bereishit 31:10-12 בראשית לא:י-יב
“Once, at the mating time of the flocks, I had a dream in which I saw that the he-goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled, and mottled. And in the dream an angel of God said to me, ‘Ya‘aqov!’, and I said, ‘Here I am!’ And he said, ‘Note well that all the he-goats which are mating with the flock are streaked, speckled, and mottled, for I have noticed all the Lavan has been doing to you.'” וַיְהִי בְּעֵת יַחֵם הַצֹּאן וָאֶשָּׂא עֵינַי וָאֵרֶא בַּחֲלוֹם וְהִנֵּה הָעֲתֻּדִים הָעֹלִים עַל הַצֹּאן עֲקֻדִּים נְקֻדִּים וּבְרֻדִּים: וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי מַלְאַךְ הָאֱלֹהִים בַּחֲלוֹם, ‘יַעֲקֹב!’ וָאֹמַר ‘הִנֵּנִי’: וַיֹּאמֶר ‘שָׂא נָא עֵינֶיךָ וּרְאֵה כָּל הָעֲתֻּדִים הָעֹלִים עַל הַצֹּאן עֲקֻדִּים נְקֻדִּים וּבְרֻדִּים כִּי רָאִיתִי אֵת כָּל אֲשֶׁר לָבָן עֹשֶׂה לָּךְ:'””

34: Bereishit
The Story of the Rape of Dinah בראשית לד

And Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne unto Yaaqov, went out to see the daughters of the land. And Shehem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her and he took her, lay with her, and raped her. His soul cleaving unto Dinah the daughter of Yaaqov and being in love with the maiden, he spoke tenderly to the maiden. So Shehem said to his father Hamor, saying: “Get me this girl as a wife.” Now Yaaqov heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter, but since his sons were with his cattle in the field, Yaaqov kept silent until they came. And Hamor the father of Shehem went out unto Yaaqov to speak with him. Meanwhile, the sons of Yaaqov came in from the field when they heard, and the men were distressed and very angry, because he had committed an outrage in Israel in lying with Yaaqov’s daughter-such a thing should not be done!

And Hamor spoke with them, saying, “My son Shehem longs for your daughter with his life. Please give her to him as a wife. Intermarry with us; give your daughters to us and take our daughters for you. And you will dwell with us and the land shall be before you; dwell, trade, and acquire possessions it.” And Shehem said unto her father and unto her brothers, “Let me find favor in your eyes, and I will give you whatever you tell me. Ask me for the highest bride-price, as well as gifts, and I will give whatever you tell me; just give me the maiden for a wife.”

Yaaqov’s sons answered Shechem and Hamor his father, speaking with guile, because he had defiled Dinah their sister, and said unto them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that is a disgrace for us. Only on this condition will we consent to you: if you will be as we are, that each of your males be circumcised, then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people. But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then will we take our daughter, and go.” Their words pleased Hamor and Shehem, Hamor’s son. The youth lost no time in doing the thing, because he desired Yaaqov’s daughter-and he was the most respected in his father’s house.

Hamor and Shehem his son came to the gate of their city, and spoke with the men of their city, saying, “These people are peaceable with us; let them settle in the land and trade in it, for the land is large enough for them. We shall take their daughters as wives, and give them our daughters. But only on this condition will the men consent to settle among us and be as one people-if each of our males is circumcised, as they are circumcised. Their cattle, their substance and all their beasts will be ours if only we consent to them, so that they will settle among us.” All who went out of the gate of his city heeded Hamor and Shehem his son, and all males-all who went out of the gate of his city-were circumcised.

On the third day, when they were in pain, two of Yaaqov’s sons, Shimon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took each one his sword, and came confidently upon the city and slew all the males. They slew Hamor and Shehem his son with the sword, took Dinah out of Shehem’s house, and left. The sons of Yaaqov came upon the slain and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their flocks, herds, and asses, and that which was in the city and that which was in the field; all their wealth, all their children, and their wives they took as captives and booty, as well as all that was in the houses.

Yaaqov said to Shimon and Levi, “You have brought me trouble, making me odious to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, when mine are few in number, such that if they unite against me and smite me, I and my house will be destroyed.” But they said, “Should our sister be treated as a whore!?”

(א) וַתֵּצֵא דִינָה בַּת לֵאָה אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה לְיַעֲקֹב לִרְאוֹת בִּבְנוֹת הָאָרֶץ: (ב) וַיַּרְא אֹתָהּ שְׁכֶם בֶּן חֲמוֹר הַחִוִּי נְשִׂיא הָאָרֶץ וַיִּקַּח אֹתָהּ וַיִּשְׁכַּב אֹתָהּ וַיְעַנֶּהָ: (ג) וַתִּדְבַּק נַפְשׁוֹ בְּדִינָה בַּת יַעֲקֹב וַיֶּאֱהַב אֶת הַנַּעֲרָ וַיְדַבֵּר עַל לֵב הנַּעֲרָ: (ד) וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁכֶם אֶל חֲמוֹר אָבִיו לֵאמֹר קַח לִי אֶת הַיַּלְדָּה הַזֹּאת לְאִשָּׁה: (ה) וְיַעֲקֹב שָׁמַע כִּי טִמֵּא אֶת דִּינָה בִתּוֹ וּבָנָיו הָיוּ אֶת מִקְנֵהוּ בַּשָּׂדֶה וְהֶחֱרִשׁ יַעֲקֹב עַד בֹּאָם: (ו) וַיֵּצֵא חֲמוֹר אֲבִי שְׁכֶם אֶל יַעֲקֹב לְדַבֵּר אִתּוֹ: (ז) וּבְנֵי יַעֲקֹב בָּאוּ מִן הַשָּׂדֶה כְּשָׁמְעָם וַיִּתְעַצְּבוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים וַיִּחַר לָהֶם מְאֹד כִּי נְבָלָה עָשָׂה בְיִשְׂרָאֵל לִשְׁכַּב אֶת בַּת יַעֲקֹב וְכֵן לֹא יֵעָשֶׂה:

(ח) וַיְדַבֵּר חֲמוֹר אִתָּם לֵאמֹר שְׁכֶם בְּנִי חָשְׁקָה נַפְשׁוֹ בְּבִתְּכֶם תְּנוּ נָא אֹתָהּ לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה: (ט) וְהִתְחַתְּנוּ אֹתָנוּ בְּנֹתֵיכֶם תִּתְּנוּ לָנוּ וְאֶת בְּנֹתֵינוּ תִּקְחוּ לָכֶם: (י) וְאִתָּנוּ תֵּשֵׁבוּ וְהָאָרֶץ תִּהְיֶה לִפְנֵיכֶם שְׁבוּ וּסְחָרוּהָ וְהֵאָחֲזוּ בָּהּ: (יא) וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁכֶם אֶל אָבִיהָ וְאֶל אַחֶיהָ אֶמְצָא חֵן בְּעֵינֵיכֶם וַאֲשֶׁר תֹּאמְרוּ אֵלַי אֶתֵּן: (יב) הַרְבּוּ עָלַי מְאֹד מֹהַר וּמַתָּן וְאֶתְּנָה כַּאֲשֶׁר תֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָי וּתְנוּ לִי אֶת הַנַּעֲרָ לְאִשָּׁה:

(יג) וַיַּעֲנוּ בְנֵי יַעֲקֹב אֶת שְׁכֶם וְאֶת חֲמוֹר אָבִיו בְּמִרְמָה וַיְדַבֵּרוּ אֲשֶׁר טִמֵּא אֵת דִּינָה אֲחֹתָם: (יד) וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֲלֵיהֶם לֹא נוּכַל לַעֲשׂוֹת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה לָתֵת אֶת אֲחֹתֵנוּ לְאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר לוֹ עָרְלָה כִּי חֶרְפָּה הִוא לָנוּ: (טו) אַךְ בְּזֹאת נֵאוֹת לָכֶם אִם תִּהְיוּ כָמֹנוּ לְהִמֹּל לָכֶם כָּל זָכָר: (טז) וְנָתַנּוּ אֶת בְּנֹתֵינוּ לָכֶם וְאֶת בְּנֹתֵיכֶם נִקַּח לָנוּ וְיָשַׁבְנוּ אִתְּכֶם וְהָיִינוּ לְעַם אֶחָד: (יז) וְאִם לֹא תִשְׁמְעוּ אֵלֵינוּ לְהִמּוֹל וְלָקַחְנוּ אֶת בִּתֵּנוּ וְהָלָכְנוּ: (יח) וַיִּיטְבוּ דִבְרֵיהֶם בְּעֵינֵי חֲמוֹר וּבְעֵינֵי שְׁכֶם בֶּן חֲמוֹר: (יט) וְלֹא אֵחַר הַנַּעַר לַעֲשׂוֹת הַדָּבָר כִּי חָפֵץ בְּבַת יַעֲקֹב וְהוּא נִכְבָּד מִכֹּל בֵּית אָבִיו:

(כ) וַיָּבֹא חֲמוֹר וּשְׁכֶם בְּנוֹ אֶל שַׁעַר עִירָם וַיְדַבְּרוּ אֶל אַנְשֵׁי עִירָם לֵאמֹר: (כא) הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה שְׁלֵמִים הֵם אִתָּנוּ וְיֵשְׁבוּ בָאָרֶץ וְיִסְחֲרוּ אֹתָהּ וְהָאָרֶץ הִנֵּה רַחֲבַת יָדַיִם לִפְנֵיהֶם אֶת בְּנֹתָם נִקַּח לָנוּ לְנָשִׁים וְאֶת בְּנֹתֵינוּ נִתֵּן לָהֶם: (כב) אַךְ בְּזֹאת יֵאֹתוּ לָנוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים לָשֶׁבֶת אִתָּנוּ לִהְיוֹת לְעַם אֶחָד בְּהִמּוֹל לָנוּ כָּל זָכָר כַּאֲשֶׁר הֵם נִמֹּלִים: (כג) מִקְנֵהֶם וְקִנְיָנָם וְכָל בְּהֶמְתָּם הֲלוֹא לָנוּ הֵם אַךְ נֵאוֹתָה לָהֶם וְיֵשְׁבוּ אִתָּנוּ: (כד) וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל חֲמוֹר וְאֶל שְׁכֶם בְּנוֹ כָּל יֹצְאֵי שַׁעַר עִירוֹ וַיִּמֹּלוּ כָּל זָכָר כָּל יֹצְאֵי שַׁעַר עִירוֹ:

(כה) וַיְהִי בַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי בִּהְיוֹתָם כֹּאֲבִים וַיִּקְחוּ שְׁנֵי בְנֵי יַעֲקֹב שִׁמְעוֹן וְלֵוִי אֲחֵי דִינָה אִישׁ חַרְבּוֹ וַיָּבֹאוּ עַל הָעִיר בֶּטַח וַיַּהַרְגוּ כָּל זָכָר: (כו) וְאֶת חֲמוֹר וְאֶת שְׁכֶם בְּנוֹ הָרְגוּ לְפִי חָרֶב וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת דִּינָה מִבֵּית שְׁכֶם וַיֵּצֵאוּ: (כז) בְּנֵי יַעֲקֹב בָּאוּ עַל הַחֲלָלִים וַיָּבֹזּוּ הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר טִמְּאוּ אֲחוֹתָם: (כח) אֶת צֹאנָם וְאֶת בְּקָרָם וְאֶת חֲמֹרֵיהֶם וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר בָּעִיר וְאֶת אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׂדֶה לָקָחוּ: (כט) וְאֶת כָּל חֵילָם וְאֶת כָּל טַפָּם וְאֶת נְשֵׁיהֶם שָׁבוּ וַיָּבֹזּוּ וְאֵת כָּל אֲשֶׁר בַּבָּיִת:

(ל) וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֶל שִׁמְעוֹן וְאֶל לֵוִי עֲכַרְתֶּם אֹתִי לְהַבְאִישֵׁנִי בְּיֹשֵׁב הָאָרֶץ בַּכְּנַעֲנִי וּבַפְּרִזִּי וַאֲנִי מְתֵי מִסְפָּר וְנֶאֶסְפוּ עָלַי וְהִכּוּנִי וְנִשְׁמַדְתִּי אֲנִי וּבֵיתִי: (לא) וַיֹּאמְרוּ הַכְזוֹנָה יַעֲשֶׂה אֶת אֲחוֹתֵנוּ

Bereishit 34.5 בראשית לד:ה
Ya‘akov heard that he had defiled his daughter Dina, but since his sons were in the field with his cattle, Ya‘akov kept silent until they came home. וְיַעֲקֹב שָׁמַע כִּי טִמֵּא אֶת דִּינָה בִתּוֹ וּבָנָיו הָיוּ אֶת מִקְנֵהוּ בַּשָּׂדֶה וְהֶחֱרִשׁ יַעֲקֹב עַד בֹּאָם:

Bereishit Rabbah is the Amoraic midrash aggadah on Bereishit.

Buber, Martin (1878-1965) was one of the foremost Jewish thinkers of the 20th century. Born in Vienna to the renowned Midrash scholar Solomon Buber, he studied philosophy at the University of Berlin and subsequently wrote prolifically on the Bible, Hasidisim, and theology. He eschewed classical philosophical terminology as too objectifying, and emphasized, instead, theology and religiosity based on dialogue, covenantal relationship, and presence. His short masterpiece, I and Thou (1923) proposed that one’s humanity reaches its full expression – the “I” – in “I-Thou” relationships of mutuality, directness, response, and responsibility, while it remains fragmentary in “I-It” relationships, in which each entity is self-contained, dichotomized from the “It”, and oriented to relationships of power and control. Buber was also a Zionist leader, a vocal participant in the early Zionist Congresses, and an ardent proponent of a humanist socialism that emphasized the sharing relationships between people, rather than the centralized state, per se. He advocated cooperation with the Arabs of Palestine and was a leader of the Berit Shalom organization, which supported a bi-national Jewish-Arab state. He made aliyah in 1938, taught philosophy at the Hebrew University, and was active in educational and communal affairs in the early days of the State of Israel. His thought left a significant impact on many 20th century philosophers, including Reinhold Neibuhr, Karl Barth, Paul Tillich, and Emmanuel Levinas.

Burying the Dead as “חֶסֶד של אֶמֶת”
Commenting on Ya‘aqov’s deathbed instructions to Yoseph, the midrash says:

Bereishit Rabbah 96:5
בראשית רבה פרשה צו:ה

“And treat me with kindness and truth” (Bereishit 47:29): But is there such thing as kindness of lying, such that he should say, “kindness and truth”?! Why is it so? A common adage says, “When your friend’s child dies, bear it; when your friend dies, cast it off.” He said to him: If you show me kindness after my death – that is kindness of truth. “ועשית עמדי חסד ואמת”, וכי יש חסד של שקר שהוא אמר חסד ואמת? למה כן? משל הדיוט אומר “מית בריה דרחמך טעון, מת רחמך פרוק”, אמר לו אם תעשה לי חסד לאחר מיתתי הוא חסד של אמת. This adage is cynical commoners’ wisdom, saying that one should suffer with one’s friends for their losses, because they will be able to repay you the support when you are bereaved. However, when your friends die, there is no reason to exert yourself on their behalf, because they won’t be able to re-pay it. This is the opposite of the Rabbinic ideal, which is emphasized by Ya‘aqov here: true kindness is that which cannot be repaid, i.e., burying the dead.

C

D

Devarim 12:23 דברים יב:כג
But make sure that you do not partake of the blood, for the blood is the life, and you must not consume the life with the flesh. רַק חֲזַק לְבִלְתִּי אֲכֹל הַדָּם כִּי הַדָּם הוּא הַנָּפֶשׁ וְלֹא תֹאכַל הַנֶּפֶשׁ עִם הַבָּשָׂר:

Devarim 17:14-20: The Commandment Regarding Establishing a King דברים י”ז:י”ד-כ
If, after you have entered the land that Hashem your God has assigned to you, and taken possession of it and settled in it, you decide, “I will set a king over me, as do all the nations about me,” you shall be free to set a king over yourself, one chosen by Hashem your God. Be sure to set as king over yourself one of your own people; you must not set a foreigner over you, one who is not your kinsman. Moreover, he shall not keep many horses or send people back to Egypt to add to his horses, since Hashem has warned you, “You must not go back that way again.” And he shall not have many wives, lest his heart go astray, nor shall he amass silver and gold to excess. When he is seated on his royal throne, he shall have a copy of the Torah written for him on a scroll by the Levitical priests. Let it remain with him and let him read in it all his life, so that he may learn to revere Hashem his God, to observe faithfully every work of this Torah as well as these laws. Thus he will not act haughtily toward his fellows or deviate from the Instruction to the right or to the left, to the end that he and his descendants may reign long in the midst of Israel.
(יד) כִּי תָבֹא אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ וִירִשְׁתָּהּ וְיָשַׁבְתָּה בָּהּ וְאָמַרְתָּ אָשִׂימָה עָלַי מֶלֶךְ כְּכָל הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתָי: (טו) שׂוֹם תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בּוֹ מִקֶּרֶב אַחֶיךָ תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ לֹא תוּכַל לָתֵת עָלֶיךָ אִישׁ נָכְרִי אֲשֶׁר לֹא אָחִיךָ הוּא: (טז) רַק לֹא יַרְבֶּה לּוֹ סוּסִים וְלֹא יָשִׁיב אֶת הָעָם מִצְרַיְמָה לְמַעַן הַרְבּוֹת סוּס וַיהֹוָה אָמַר לָכֶם לֹא תֹסִפוּן לָשׁוּב בַּדֶּרֶךְ הַזֶּה עוֹד: (יז) וְלֹא יַרְבֶּה לּוֹ נָשִׁים וְלֹא יָסוּר לְבָבוֹ וְכֶסֶף וְזָהָב לֹא יַרְבֶּה לּוֹ מְאֹד: (יח) וְהָיָה כְשִׁבְתּוֹ עַל כִּסֵּא מַמְלַכְתּוֹ וְכָתַב לוֹ אֶת מִשְׁנֵה הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת עַל סֵפֶר מִלִּפְנֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים הַלְוִיִּם: (יט) וְהָיְתָה עִמּוֹ וְקָרָא בוֹ כָּל יְמֵי חַיָּיו לְמַעַן יִלְמַד לְיִרְאָה אֶת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָיו לִשְׁמֹר אֶת כָּל דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת וְאֶת הַחֻקִּים הָאֵלֶּה לַעֲשֹׂתָם: (כ) לְבִלְתִּי רוּם לְבָבוֹ מֵאֶחָיו וּלְבִלְתִּי סוּר מִן הַמִּצְוָה יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאול לְמַעַן יַאֲרִיךְ יָמִים עַל מַמְלַכְתּוֹ הוּא וּבָנָיו בְּקֶרֶב יִשְׂרָאֵל:

Devarim 22:23-24: Case 1 דברים כב:כג-כד
In the case of a virgin who is engaged to a man: if a man comes upon her in town and lies with her, you shall take the two of them out to the gate of that town and stone them to death-the maiden because she did not cry for help in the town, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. Thus you will sweep away evil from your midst. כִּי יִהְיֶה נַעֲרָ בְתוּלָה מְאֹרָשָׂה לְאִישׁ וּמְצָאָהּ אִישׁ בָּעִיר וְשָׁכַב עִמָּהּ: וְהוֹצֵאתֶם אֶת שְׁנֵיהֶם אֶל שַׁעַר הָעִיר הַהִוא וּסקַלְתֶּם אֹתָם בָּאֲבָנִים וָמֵתוּ אֶת הַנַּעֲרָ עַל דְּבַר אֲשֶׁר לֹא צָעֲקָה בָעִיר וְאֶת הָאִישׁ עַל דְּבַר אֲשֶׁר עִנָּה אֶת אֵשֶׁת רֵעֵהוּ וּבִעַרְתָּ הָרָע מִקִּרְבֶּךָ:

Devarim 22:25-27: Case 2 דברים כב:כה-כז
But if the man comes upon the engaged maiden in the open country, and the man lies with her by force, only the man who lay with her shall die, but you shall do nothing to the maiden. The maiden did not incur the death penalty, for this case is like that of a man attacking another and murdering him. He came upon her in the open; though the engaged maiden cried for help, there was no one to save her. וְאִם בַּשָּׂדֶה יִמְצָא הָאִישׁ אֶת הַנַּעֲרָ הַמְאֹרָשָׂה וְהֶחֱזִיק בָּהּ הָאִישׁ וְשָׁכַב עִמָּהּ וּמֵת הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר שָׁכַב עִמָּהּ לְבַדּוֹ: וְלַנַּעֲרָ לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה דָבָר אֵין לַנַּעֲרָ חֵטְא מָוֶת כִּי כַּאֲשֶׁר יָקוּם אִישׁ עַל רֵעֵהוּ וּרְצָחוֹ נֶפֶשׁ כֵּן הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה: כִּי בַשָּׂדֶה מְצָאָהּ צָעֲקָה הַנַּעֲרָ הַמְאֹרָשָׂה וְאֵין מוֹשִׁיעַ לָהּ:

Devarim 32:30 דברים לב:ל
How can it be that one chases a thousand, and two put 10,000 to flight, unless their Rock had sold them out, Hashem had delivered them up? אֵיכָה יִרְדֹּף אֶחָד אֶלֶף וּשְׁנַיִם יָנִיסוּ רְבָבָה אִם לֹא כִּי צוּרָם מְכָרָם וַיהֹוָה הִסְגִּירָם:

Devarim 33:6-25 דברים לג:ו-כה
Let Reuben live and not die though his numbers are few.

And this for Yehudah, and he said: Hear, Hashem, the voice of Yehudah, and bring him to his people. Though his hands strive for him, be a help against his foes.

And of Levi he said: Let Your Tummim and Urim be with Your holy one, whom You tested at Massah, challenged at the waters of Merivah. Who said of his father, and mother: “I have not seen him;” neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew he his own children. Your word alone they observed and kept Your covenant. They shall teach Yaaqov Your laws, and Israel Your instructions; they shall put incense before You, and whole-offerings on Your altar. Bless, Hashem, his substance, and accept the work of his hands; smite the loins of his foes and of them that hate him, that they rise not again.

Of Benjamin he said: Beloved of Hashem, he shall dwell securely beside Him; He protects him all the day and dwells between his shoulders.

And of Yoseph he said: Blessed of Hashem be his land; with the bounty of dew from heaven and of the deep that couches beneath. With the bounteous yield of the sun, and the bounteous crop of the moons; With the tops of the ancient mountains, and for the bounty of the everlasting hills; with the bounty of the earth and its fullness, and the favor the Presence in the bush. May these rest on the head of Yoseph on the crown of the prince among his brethren. Like a firstling ox is his majesty; his horns are the horns of the wild-ox; with them he shall gore the peoples, the ends of the earth one and all. These are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Menasheh.

And of Zevulun he said: Rejoice, Zevulun, in your journeys, Yissahar, in your tents. They shall call peoples to the mountain, where they offer sacrifices of righteousness; for they shall nurse from the abundance of the seas, and the hidden treasures of the sand.

And of Gad he said: Blessed be He who enlarges Gad! Poised is he as a lion to tear off arm and scalp. He chose the best for himself, for there a portion of a ruler was reserved, where came the heads of the people. He executed Hashem’s judgments, and His decisions for Israel.

And of Dan he said: Dan is a lion’s whelp that leaps forth from Bashan.

And of Naphtali he said: O Naphtali, sated with favor, and full with Hashem’s blessing. Take possession on the west and the south.

And of Asher he said: Blessed be Asher above sons; let him be the favored of his brethren; may he dip his foot in oil. May iron and brass be your bars and your security last all your days.

יְחִי רְאוּבֵן וְאַל יָמֹת וִיהִי מְתָיו מִסְפָּר: ס
וְזֹאת לִיהוּדָה וַיֹּאמַר שְׁמַע יְהֹוָה קוֹל יְהוּדָה וְאֶל עַמּוֹ תְּבִיאֶנּוּ יָדָיו רָב לוֹ וְעֵזֶר מִצָּרָיו תִּהְיֶה: ס

וּלְלֵוִי אָמַר תֻּמֶּיךָ וְאוּרֶיךָ לְאִישׁ חֲסִידֶךָ אֲשֶׁר נִסִּיתוֹ בְּמַסָּה תְּרִיבֵהוּ עַל מֵי מְרִיבָה: הָאֹמֵר לְאָבִיו וּלְאִמּוֹ לֹא רְאִיתִיו וְאֶת אֶחָיו לֹא הִכִּיר וְאֶת בָּנָיו לֹא יָדָע כִּי שָׁמְרוּ אִמְרָתֶךָ וּבְרִיתְךָ יִנְצֹרוּ:
יוֹרוּ מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ לְיַעֲקֹב וְתוֹרָתְךָ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל יָשִׂימוּ קְטוֹרָה בְּאַפֶּךָ וְכָלִיל עַל מִזְבְּחֶךָ:
בָּרֵךְ יְהֹוָה חֵילוֹ וּפֹעַל יָדָיו תִּרְצֶה מְחַץ מָתְנַיִם קָמָיו וּמְשַׂנְאָיו מִן יְקוּמוּן: ס

לְבִנְיָמִן אָמַר יְדִיד יְהֹוָה יִשְׁכֹּן לָבֶטַח עָלָיו חֹפֵף עָלָיו כָּל הַיּוֹם וּבֵין כְּתֵפָיו שָׁכֵן: ס

וּלְיוֹסֵף אָמַר מְבֹרֶכֶת יְהֹוָה אַרְצוֹ מִמֶּגֶד שָׁמַיִם מִטָּל וּמִתְּהוֹם רֹבֶצֶת תָּחַת:
וּמִמֶּגֶד תְּבוּאֹת שָׁמֶשׁ וּמִמֶּגֶד גֶּרֶשׁ יְרָחִים:
וּמֵרֹאשׁ הַרְרֵי קֶדֶם וּמִמֶּגֶד גִּבְעוֹת עוֹלָם:
וּמִמֶּגֶד אֶרֶץ וּמְלֹאָהּ וּרְצוֹן שֹׁכְנִי סְנֶה תָּבוֹאתָה לְרֹאשׁ יוֹסֵף וּלְקָדְקֹד נְזִיר אֶחָיו:
בְּכוֹר שׁוֹרוֹ הָדָר לוֹ וְקַרְנֵי רְאֵם קַרְנָיו בָּהֶם עַמִּים יְנַגַּח יַחְדָּו אַפְסֵי אָרֶץ וְהֵם רִבְבוֹת אֶפְרַיִם וְהֵם אַלְפֵי מְנַשֶּׁה: ס

וְלִזְבוּלֻן אָמַר שְׂמַח זְבוּלֻן בְּצֵאתֶךָ וְיִשָּׂשכָר בְּאֹהָלֶיךָ:
עַמִּים הַר יִקְרָאוּ שָׁם יִזְבְּחוּ זִבְחֵי צֶדֶק כִּי שֶׁפַע יַמִּים יִינָקוּ וּשְׂפוּנֵי טְמוּנֵי חוֹל: ס

וּלְגָד אָמַר בָּרוּךְ מַרְחִיב גָּד כְּלָבִיא שָׁכֵן וְטָרַף זְרוֹעַ אַף קָדְקֹד:
וַיַּרְא רֵאשִׁית לוֹ כִּי שָׁם חֶלְקַת מְחֹקֵק סָפוּן וַיֵּתֵא רָאשֵׁי עָם צִדְקַת יְהֹוָה עָשָׂה וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו עִם יִשְׂרָאֵל: ס

וּלְדָן אָמַר דָּן גּוּר אַרְיֵה יְזַנֵּק מִן הַבָּשָׁן:

וּלְנַפְתָּלִי אָמַר נַפְתָּלִי שְׂבַע רָצוֹן וּמָלֵא בִּרְכַּת יְהֹוָה יָם וְדָרוֹם יְרָשָׁה: ס

וּלְאָשֵׁר אָמַר בָּרוּךְ מִבָּנִים אָשֵׁר יְהִי רְצוּי אֶחָיו וְטֹבֵל בַּשֶּׁמֶן רַגְלוֹ
בַּרְזֶל וּנְחֹשֶׁת מִנְעָלֶיךָ וּכְיָמֶיךָ דָּבְאֶךָ:

E

Eikhah 2:1
איכה ב:א
How can it be! In wrath, the Lord has clouded Fair Zion, has cast down from heaven to earth Israel’s majesty, and has not remembered His Footstool on His day of wrath. אֵיכָה יָעִיב בְּאַפּוֹ אֲדֹנָי אֶת בַּת צִיּוֹן הִשְׁלִיךְ מִשָּׁמַיִם אֶרֶץ תִּפְאֶרֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא זָכַר הֲדֹם רַגְלָיו בְּיוֹם אַפּוֹ:

Eikhah 4:1-2 איכה ד:א-ב
How can it be! The gold is dimmed, changed is the finest gold. The hallowed stones are spilled at every street corner.
The children of Zion-so precious, hallowed like gold-how can it be! They are thought of as like clay pitchers, the work of a potter’s hand!

אֵיכָה יוּעַם זָהָב יִשְׁנֶא הַכֶּתֶם הַטּוֹב תִּשְׁתַּפֵּכְנָה אַבְנֵי קֹדֶשׁ בְּרֹאשׁ כָּל חוּצוֹת: ס
בְּנֵי צִיּוֹן הַיְקָרִים הַמְסֻלָּאִים בַּפָּז אֵיכָה נֶחְשְׁבוּ לְנִבְלֵי חֶרֶשׂ מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי יוֹצֵר: ס
Enough Water for One: This famous moral dilemma originates, in Rabbinic sources, in the Sifra and is later paralleled in the Talmud Bavli, Bava Metzia 62a.

Sifra, Behar, Parashah 5:3 ספרא, בהר, פרשה ה:ג
“Your kinsman shall live with you” (Vayiqra 25:36).
Ben Petori expounded as follows: If two were walking in the desert and they have only one canteen of water, such that if one of them drinks it, he will make it to the settlement, but if they both drink, they will both die:
Ben Petori expounded, they should both drink and die, as it says, “Your kinsman shall live with you”.
R. Aqiva said to him, “Your kinsman shall live with you”-your life takes precedence over your fellow’s life. “וְחֵי אָחִיךָ עִמָּך” (ויקרא כ”ה:ל”ו).
זו דרש בן פטורי: שנים שהיו הולכים במדבר ואין ביד אחד אלא קיתון של מים; אם שותהו אחד, מגיע ליישוב, ואם שותים אותו שנים, שניהם מתים.
דרש בן פטירי, ישתו שתיהם וימותו, שנאמר, “וְחֵי אָחִיךָ עִמָּך”.
אמר לו ר’ עקיבא, “וְחֵי אָחִיךָ עִמָּך”-חייך קודמים לחיי חבירך.

Epstein, Rav Baruch Ha-Levi 1860-1942, Russia, authored the Torah Temimah, a Torah commentary in which on each verse, he cites numerous passages from the Talmudim and tannaitic midrashim that refer to that verse, and then offers his own explanations of those Rabbinic statements. In its pre-computer time, this work was a prodigious demonstration of the phenomenal memory that R. Epstein had shown ever since his youth, when he studied under his father, the halakhic authority Rav Yehiel Mihkel Epstein, author of the Arukh HaShulhan, and under his uncle, the Netziv. R. Epstein was offered rabbinic positions in large cities, but declined them, maintaining a job in a bank and learning Torah in his spare time. His writings, including letters and his memoirMekor Baruch, indicate favorable attitudes toward Modernity.

Esther 4:12-16
אסתר ד:יב-טז

When Mordekhai was told what Esther had said, Mordekhai had this message delivered to Esther: “Do not imagine that you, of all the Jews, will escape with your life by being held in the king’s palace. On the contrary, if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from elsewhere, while you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows? Perhaps you have attained your royal position for a time like this!” Then Esther sent back this answer to Mordekhai: “Go, assemble all the Jews in Shushan and fast on my behalf; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day, and my maidens and I will observe the same fast. Then I shall go to the king-though it is contrary to the laws-and if I perish, I perish!” וַיַּגִּידוּ לְמָרְדֳּכָי אֵת דִּבְרֵי אֶסְתֵּר. וַיֹּאמֶר מָרְדֳּכַי לְהָשִׁיב אֶל אֶסְתֵּר: “אַל תְּדַמִּי בְנַפְשֵׁךְ לְהִמָּלֵט בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ מִכָּל הַיְּהוּדִים. כִּי אִם הַחֲרֵשׁ תַּחֲרִישִׁי בָּעֵת הַזֹּאת רֶוַח וְהַצָּלָה יַעֲמוֹד לַיְּהוּדִים מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר וְאַתְּ וּבֵית אָבִיךְ תֹּאבֵדוּ וּמִי יוֹדֵעַ אִם לְעֵת כָּזֹאת הִגַּעַתְּ לַמַּלְכוּת!” וַתֹּאמֶר אֶסְתֵּר לְהָשִׁיב אֶל מָרְדֳּכָי: “לֵךְ, כְּנוֹס אֶת כָּל הַיְּהוּדִים הַנִּמְצְאִים בְּשׁוּשָׁן וְצוּמוּ עָלַי וְאַל תֹּאכְלוּ וְאַל תִּשְׁתּוּ שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים לַיְלָה וָיוֹם גַּם אֲנִי וְנַעֲרֹתַי אָצוּם כֵּן וּבְכֵן אָבוֹא אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר לֹא כַדָּת וְכַאֲשֶׁר אָבַדְתִּי אָבָדְתִּי!”

F

G

Gershom’s Name 
Exodus 2:22 שמות ב:כב
And she bore a son and he called his name Gershom, for he said, “I was a sojourner in a foreign land.” וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַיִּקְרָא אֶת שְׁמוֹ גֵּרְשֹׁם כִּי אָמַר גֵּר הָיִיתִי בְּאֶרֶץ נָכְרִיָּה:

The Gihon River 
Bereishit 2:10-14 בראשית פרק ב:י-יד
A river runs out of Eden to water the garden, and from there splits off into four streams. The name of one is Pishon…And the name of the second river is Gihon, the one that winds through all the land of Cush. And the name of the third river is Hideqel…and the fourth river is Euphrates.
וְנָהָר יֹצֵא מֵעֵדֶן לְהַשְׁקוֹת אֶת הַגָּן וּמִשָּׁם יִפָּרֵד וְהָיָה לְאַרְבָּעָה רָאשִׁים: שֵׁם הָאֶחָד פִּישׁוֹן…וְשֵׁם הַנָּהָר הַשֵּׁנִי גִּיחוֹן הוּא הַסּוֹבֵב אֵת כָּל אֶרֶץ כּוּשׁ: וְשֵׁם הַנָּהָר הַשְּׁלִישִׁי חִדֶּקֶל…וְהַנָּהָר הָרְבִיעִי הוּא פְרָת:

I Kings 1:32-39 מלכים א פרק א:לב-לט
Then King David said, “Call to me Zadoq the Priest, Natan the Prophet, and Benayahu ben Yehoyada,” so they came before the king. The king said to them, “take with you your lord’s servants, and have my son Solomon ride on my mule and bring him down to Gihon. There, Zadoq the Priest and Natan the Priest shall anoint him king over Israel, and you shall sound the shofar and say, “Long live King Solomon!” Then follow him up as he comes and sits on my throne, for he shall succeed me as king; him did I designate to be ruler over Israel and Judah. Benayahu ben Yehoyada answered the king, saying, “Amen! So may YHWH, God of my lord the king, say. As YHWH has been with my lord the king, so may He be with Solomon, and may He make his throne even greater than the throne of my lord, King David. Then Zadoq the Priest and Natan the Prophet and Benayahu ben Yehoyada went down with the Keretites and Peletites and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule and they led him to Gihon. Zadoq the Priest took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon and they sounded the shofar, and the whole nation said, “Long live King Solomon!”… וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד קִרְאוּ לִי לְצָדוֹק הַכֹּהֵן וּלְנָתָן הַנָּבִיא וְלִבְנָיָהוּ בֶּן יְהוֹיָדָע וַיָּבֹאוּ לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ: וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ לָהֶם קְחוּ עִמָּכֶם אֶת עַבְדֵי אֲדֹנֵיכֶם וְהִרְכַּבְתֶּם אֶת שְׁלֹמֹה בְנִי עַל הַפִּרְדָּה אֲשֶׁר לִי וְהוֹרַדְתֶּם אֹתוֹ אֶל גִּחוֹן: וּמָשַׁח אֹתוֹ שָׁם צָדוֹק הַכֹּהֵן וְנָתָן הַנָּבִיא לְמֶלֶךְ עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל וּתְקַעְתֶּם בַּשּׁוֹפָר וַאֲמַרְתֶּם יְחִי הַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה: וַעֲלִיתֶם אַחֲרָיו וּבָא וְיָשַׁב עַל כִּסְאִי וְהוּא יִמְלֹךְ תַּחְתָּי וְאֹתוֹ צִוִּיתִי לִהְיוֹת נָגִיד עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל יְהוּדָה: וַיַּעַן בְּנָיָהוּ בֶן יְהוֹיָדָע אֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר אָמֵן כֵּן יֹאמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ: כַּאֲשֶׁר הָיָה יְהֹוָה עִם אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ כֵּן יִהְיֶה עִם שְׁלֹמֹה וִיגַדֵּל אֶת כִּסְאוֹ מִכִּסֵּא אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד: וַיֵּרֶד צָדוֹק הַכֹּהֵן וְנָתָן הַנָּבִיא וּבְנָיָהוּ בֶן יְהוֹיָדָע וְהַכְּרֵתִי וְהַפְּלֵתִי וַיַּרְכִּבוּ אֶת שְׁלֹמֹה עַל פִּרְדַּת הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד וַיֹּלִכוּ אֹתוֹ עַל גִּחוֹן: וַיִּקַּח צָדוֹק הַכֹּהֵן אֶת קֶרֶן הַשֶּׁמֶן מִן הָאֹהֶל וַיִּמְשַׁח אֶת שְׁלֹמֹה וַיִּתְקְעוּ בַּשּׁוֹפָר וַיֹּאמְרוּ כָּל הָעָם יְחִי הַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה…

Gittin 55b-56a: The Story of Qamtza and Bar Qamtza 
Talmud Bavli Gittin 55b-56a בבלי גיטין נה:ב-נו:א
On account of Qamtza and Bar Qamtza Jerusalem was destroyed: A certain man had a friend Qamtza and an enemy Bar Qamtza. He was having a dinner-party, so he said to his servant, “Go and bring Qamtza.” He brought Bar Qamtza. When he found him sitting there he said to him, “You’re my enemy; what are you doing here!? Get out!” He said back to him: Since I am here, let me stay and I will pay you for whatever I eat and drink.” He said no. He said, “I’ll give you half the cost of the party.” He said no. He said, “I’ll pay for the whole party.” He said no, and took his hand escorted him out. He said, “Since our Rabbis were sitting there and did not stop him, this shows that they agreed with him. I’ll go inform against them to the government. He went and said to the Emperor, “The Jews are rebelling against you!” He said, “Says who?” He said to him, “Send them a sacrifice and see whether they will offer it.” So he sent with him a thirdling calf. On the way he made a blemish on its upper lip (or, some say, on the withered part of its eye)-a place which is a blemish according to us, but not a blemish according to them. The Rabbis were inclined to offer it anyway, for the sake of peace with the government. Said Rabbi Zekhariah ben Avqulas to them: “But people will say that blemished animals are offered on the altar!” Then they were inclined to kill [Bar Qamtza] so that he wouldn’t go talk, but R. Zekhariah ben Avqulas said to them, “But then people will say that one who makes a blemish on consecrated animals is executed!”
R. Yohanan remarked, “R. Zekhariah ben Avqulas’s ‘humility’ destroyed our House, burned our Temple, and exiled us from our land.”
אקמצא ובר קמצא חרוב ירושלים:
דההוא גברא דרחמיה קמצא ובעל דבביה בר קמצא, עבד סעודתא, אמר ליה לשמעיה: “זיל אייתי לי קמצא.” אזל אייתי ליה בר קמצא. אתא אשכחיה דהוה יתיב, אמר ליה: “מכדי ההוא גברא בעל דבבא דההוא גברא הוא, מאי בעית הכא!? קום פוק!” אמר ליה, “הואיל ואתאי שבקן, ויהיבנא לך דמי מה דאכילנא ושתינא.” אמר ליה: לא. אמר ליה: “יהיבנא לך דמי פלגא דסעודתיך!” אמר ליה: לא. אמר ליה: “יהיבנא לך דמי כולה סעודתיך!” א”ל: לא. נקטיה בידיה ואוקמיה ואפקיה. אמר: “הואיל והוו יתבי רבנן ולא מחו ביה, שמע מינה קא ניחא להו, איזיל איכול בהו קורצא בי מלכא.” אזל אמר ליה לקיסר: “מרדו בך יהודאי!” א”ל: “מי יימר?” א”ל: “שדר להו קורבנא, חזית אי מקרבין ליה.” אזל שדר בידיה עגלא תלתא. בהדי דקאתי שדא ביה מומא בניב שפתים, ואמרי לה בדוקין שבעין, דוכתא דלדידן הוה מומא ולדידהו לאו מומא הוא. סבור רבנן לקרוביה משום שלום מלכות, אמר להו רבי זכריה בן אבקולס, “יאמרו: ‘בעלי מומין קריבין לגבי מזבח!'” סבור למיקטליה, דלא ליזיל ולימא, אמר להו רבי זכריה, “יאמרו: ‘מטיל מום בקדשים יהרג!'”
אמר רבי יוחנן: ענוותנותו של רבי זכריה בן אבקולס, החריבה את ביתנו, ושרפה את היכלנו, והגליתנו מארצנו.

God’s Protective Cloud
God’s cloud protecting the Israelites from the Egyptians at the Sea of Reeds:
Exodus 14:19 שמות יד:יט
The angel of God, who had been going ahead of the Israelite camp, now moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them, and stood behind them. וַיִּסַּע מַלְאַךְ הָאֱלֹהִים הַהֹלֵךְ לִפְנֵי מַחֲנֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֵּלֶךְ מֵאַחֲרֵיהֶם וַיִּסַּע עַמּוּד הֶעָנָן מִפְּנֵיהֶם וַיַּעֲמֹד מֵאַחֲרֵיהֶם:
God’s cloud filling the Tabernacle upon its dedication:
Exodus 40:35 שמות מ:לה
Moses was not able to come into the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud abode upon it, and the Glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. וְלֹא יָכֹל מֹשֶׁה לָבוֹא אֶל אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד כִּי שָׁכַן עָלָיו הֶעָנָן וּכְבוֹד יְהֹוָה מָלֵא אֶת הַמִּשְׁכָּן:
God speaking to Moses from the cloud at the Tent of Meeting:
Exodus 33:9 שמות לג:ט
And it came to pass, when Moses entered into the Tent, the pillar of cloud descended, and stood at the door of the Tent; and the Lord spoke with Moses. וְהָיָה כְּבֹא מֹשֶׁה הָאֹהֱלָה יֵרֵד עַמּוּד הֶעָנָן וְעָמַד פֶּתַח הָאֹהֶל וְדִבֶּר עִם מֹשֶׁה:
God leading the Israelites through the desert with the cloud:
Exodus 40:36-38 שמות מ:לו-לח
When the cloud lifted from over the Tabernacle, the Israelites went onward, on all their journeys. But if the cloud did not lift, they would not go out until the day that it did lift. For the cloud of the Lord was over the Tabernacle by day, and fire would be in it by night, in the view of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys. וּבְהֵעָלוֹת הֶעָנָן מֵעַל הַמִּשְׁכָּן יִסְעוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּכֹל מַסְעֵיהֶם: וְאִם לֹא יֵעָלֶה הֶעָנָן וְלֹא יִסְעוּ עַד יוֹם הֵעָלֹתוֹ: כִּי עֲנַן יְהֹוָה עַל הַמִּשְׁכָּן יוֹמָם וְאֵשׁ תִּהְיֶה לַיְלָה בּוֹ לְעֵינֵי כָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּכָל מַסְעֵיהֶם:
The cloud and fire at Revelation:
Exodus 19:16-18 שמות יט:טז-יח
On the third day, as morning broke, there was thunder and lightning and a thick cloud upon the mountain, and a very loud blast of the shofar; and all the people who were in the camp trembled. Moses led the people out of the camp toward God; and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mt. Sinai was all in smoke, for the Lord had descended upon it in fire; its smoke rose like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. וַיְהִי בַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי בִּהְיֹת הַבֹּקֶר וַיְהִי קֹלֹת וּבְרָקִים וְעָנָן כָּבֵד עַל הָהָר וְקֹל שֹׁפָר חָזָק מְאֹד וַיֶּחֱרַד כָּל הָעָם אֲשֶׁר בַּמַּחֲנֶה: וַיּוֹצֵא מֹשֶׁה אֶת הָעָם לִקְרַאת הָאֱלֹהִים מִן הַמַּחֲנֶה וַיִּתְיַצְּבוּ בְּתַחְתִּית הָהָר: וְהַר סִינַי עָשַׁן כֻּלּוֹ מִפְּנֵי אֲשֶׁר יָרַד עָלָיו יְהֹוָה בָּאֵשׁ וַיַּעַל עֲשָׁנוֹ כְּעֶשֶׁן הַכִּבְשָׁן וַיֶּחֱרַד כָּל הָהָר מְאֹד:

Greatest Principal of the Torah
The Sifra (Qedoshim, Parashah 2, Chapter 4) teaches the following midrash, that is also brought in the later textsBereishit Rabbah (24:7) and the Talmud Yerushalmi (Nedarim 9:4/41c), as well as in Rashi’s commentary on VaYiqra 19:18.
“Love your neighbor as yourself”: R. Aqiva said this is the Torah’s great principle.
Ben Azzai said, “This is the record of Adam’s line” (Bereishit 5:1)-this is an even greater principle. “וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ”: רבי עקיבא אומר, זה כלל גדול בתורה.
בן עזאי אומר, “זֶה סֵפֶר תּוֹלְדֹת אָדָם” (בראשית ה:א)-זה כלל גדול מזה.

H

Hagigah 6a-b
Talmud Bavli Hagigah 6a-b
R. Yishmael and R. Akiva on Successive Revelation

Talmud Bavli Hagigah 6a-b תלמוד בבלי חגיגה ו:א-ב
It is taught: R. Yishma’el says: principles were said at Sinai, details at the Tent of Meeting. R. Akiva says: principles and details were said at Sinai, reviewed at the Tent of Meeting, and repeated again in ‘Arvot Moav. תניא, רבי ישמעאל אומר: כללות נאמרו בסיני פרטות באהל מועד, ורבי עקיבא אומר: כללות ופרטות נאמרו בסיני, ונשנו באהל מועד, ונשתלשו בערבות מואב.

Ha-Kohen, Rabbi Zadok, of Lublin (1823-1900), was a prolific and influential Hasidic master and author. Though raised and schooled in a Lithuanian rabbinic family, he became a disciple of the Hasidic sage Rabbi Mordekhai Yoseph Leiner of Izbicha, author of Mei Shiloah. In books such as Zidkat ha-Zaddik (1902), Mahashavot Haruz (1912), Resisei Lailah (1913), his five-volume collection of sermons Peri Zaddik, and others, Rabbi Zadok’s writings are centrally concerned with thinking, specifically, self-consciousness as a process for reaching unity with God. Understanding God’s presence and word to be continuously and imperceptibly flowing into the human mind, R. Zadok stressed the importance of channeling one’s thoughts to knowing God, a knowledge path that will necessarily be different for each person, but that, for everyone, requires emotional and intellectual integration and conscious response to one’s own failures as a source for growth and learning.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin is a prominent Israeli-American Modern Orthodox rabbi. He was the founding rabbi of the Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan and since the early 1980s has served as the Chief Rabbi of Efrat, in Israel. He is also the Dean of Ohr Torah Institutions, an umbrella including Midreshet Lindenbaum, Yeshivat Hamivtar, and several high schools and other Israeli educational institutions.

His comments on Ya‘aqov and Lavan can be found in his Haggadah Commentary: The Passover Haggadah: With a Traditional and Contemporary Commentary. New York: Ktav, 1983, pp. 73-75. There, Rabbi Riskin eloquently develops the idea regarding Lavan’s role in the Haggadah.

Halakhot on Attitude for a Judge 
Shulhan Arukh Yoreh De‘ah 242:14 שולחן ערוך יורה דעה רמב:י”ד
Any sage who arrives at [the ability to give] instruction, yet does not instruct-such a person is preventing Torah and placing stumbling-blocks before the masses, and about such a person it is said, “numerous are her victims” (Proverbs 7:26). כל חכם שהגיע להוראה ואינו מורה, הרי זה מונע תורה ונותן מכשולות לפני רבים, ועליו נאמר: ועצומים כל הרוגיה (משלי ז, כו).

Shulhan Arukh Hoshen Mishpat 8:3 שולחן ערוך חושן משפט ח:ג
The way of the early sages was to flee from being appointed, and to strongly resist sitting in judgment until they knew that there was no one as worthy as they, and that if they restrained from judging, the line would become corrupted. Nevertheless, they wouldn’t sit in judgment until the people and the elders would press heavily upon them. דרך חכמים הראשונים, בורחים מלהתמנות, ודוחקים עצמם הרבה שלא לישב בדין עד שידעו שאין שם ראוי כמוהו ושאם ימנעו עצמם מהדין תתקלקל השורה, ואף על פי כן ה) לא היו יושבים בדין עד שהיו מכבידים עליהם העם והזקינים ומפצירים בם.

Hava
Bereishit 3:20
The first woman is given the name Hava in Bereishit 3:20:
Adam named his wife Hava, because she was the mother of all the living. וַיִּקְרָא הָאָדָם שֵׁם אִשְׁתּוֹ חַוָּה כִּי הִוא הָיְתָה אֵם כָּל חָי:
HaZaL (חז”ל): is an acronym for Hakhameinu Zikhronam Livrakhah (חכמינו זכרונם לברכה), which means, “Our Sages, may their memory be for a blessing”. It is a common term to refer to the rabbis of the Mishnah, Talmud and Midrashic literature.

Herzl, Theodor (1860-1904, central Europe) was the father of political Zionism. Raised in a secular Jewish Hungarian home, he was an author with a keen sensitivity to social issues who became concerned with “the Jewish problem” upon he witnessing growing anti-Semitism in France, where he lived as the Paris correspondent for a Viennese newspaper. The scene of the riots shouting “Death to the Jews” after the sham 1895 treason trial of Jewish army captain Alfred Dreyfus convinced Herzl that the only solution was a mass Jewish exodus and establishment of a Jewish state, ideally in the Land of Israel. He spent the remaining nine years of his life engaged in a vigorous effort to realize this dream. He met extensively with leading Jewish philanthropists, such as the Rothschilds, conducted diplomatic negotiations to procure support of European, Turkish, and Egyptian governments, lobbied Jewish communal leaders throughout Europe, and published polemical works such as The Jewish State and Old-New Land aimed at rallying Jewish support. Though slowed by numerous setbacks, including questions of his sanity, Herzl achieved true progress, convening several Zionist Congresses, spearheading the formation of a political body (the World Zionist Organization) to direct political and financial negotiations and Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel, and chartering of a Zionist bank, which became the precursor to Bank Leumi. Despite great opposition from all sides, Herzl’s plan for a modern, technologically advanced, European-style, largely cooperative society came to fruition less than 50 years after his death, with the establishment of the State of Israel. The motto of Old-New Land, “If you will it, it is no dream” reflected his prophetic vision and intense dedication and came to be the slogan of the Zionist movement that he built from an insignificant fringe into a political force that came to represent the Jewish people.

Heschel, Abraham Joshua (1907-1972) was one of the most prominent religious theologians and ethical models of the 20th Century. A scion of Hasidic dynasties, he was a direct descendent of sages such as The Maggid of Mezeritch and Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Apt (the “Ohev Yisroel) and was himself a prodigy, showing Talmudic mastery as a child in Warsaw. His prolific career began in pre-war Europe and then in America, where he taught at Hebrew Union College, which saved him from the Holocaust, and at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was Professor of Jewish Ethics and Mysticism from 1945 to 1972. In his scholarly work, Heschel demonstrated an astonishing breadth, writing works in lyrically beautiful prose in four different languages that were scholarly breakthroughs in virtually every area of Jewish studies: Bible (The Prophets, in German); Talmud/Midrash (his three-volume Hebrew opus, Torah Min Ha-Shamayim ba-Aspaqlaria Shel ha-Dorot); medieval philosophy (Maimonides); Hasidut (his two-volume Yiddish opus, Kotzk, and the English A Passion for Truth); theology (Man is Not Alone and God in Search of Man); prayer (Man’s Quest for God). Running through these diverse works, though, are consistent themes of God’s divine pathos for human beings; the importance of human beings feeling radical amazement at the mystery of God’s presence in the world; and the imperative of sincerity-living a life that reflects the holiness of creation. In that light, his religious model was not only in scholarship, but perhaps even more through his social and political activism, through which he was at the forefront of American clerical opposition to the Vietnam War, for the release of Soviet Jews, and for the eradication of bigotry against African-Americans. In this, his scholarship, worship, and activism were one, as he commented on his participation in the Alabama bus boycott: “For many of us the march from Selma to Montgomery was both protest and prayer. Legs are not lips, and walking is not kneeling. And yet our legs uttered songs. Even without words, our march was worship. I felt my legs were praying.”

Hirsch, Rabbi Samson Raphael (1808-1888), was a leading molder of neo-Orthodox Judaism in Germany and the figure most strongly associated with its flourishing. Steeped in Talmudic learning and university-educated, Hirsch advocated a worldview under the banner of Torah ‘im Derekh Eretz – Torah with “worldliness” (Pirqei Avot 2:2) – i.e., secular education. In this way, he advocated that Jews be culturally enlightened while observing the mitzvot, and admitted cosmetic or aesthetic modernization in ritual, such as synagogue choir singing and preaching in German, while vigorously opposing any reform to Judaism’s faith principles, mitzvah observance, or the use of Hebrew in prayer and study. Despite deep disputes with leaders of Reform, he resisted official schism until an 1844 Reform synod decided to annul several mitzvot, especially regarding kashrut and marriage; thereafter, Hirsch became a leader of the Orthodox secessionist camp. Among his prolific literary output, most prominent are his Nineteen Letters on Judaism, addressing the relationship of Judaism to world culture; Horeb, a treatise on symbolic meanings of the mitzvot; and commentaries on the Bible and the siddur. All of these works have been translated from German into English. He insisted on the eternal and inviolable nature of the Torah and its laws, comparing the Torah to nature, whose facts are absolute regardless of one’s ability to comprehend them. It is essential to pursue such understanding, but the mitzvot remain true and static, independent of changes in individuals, cultures, or historical processes.

Hutner, Rav Yitzchak 1906-1980, was born in Poland, studied in the illustrious Lithuanian yeshivah of Slobodka and its spin-off in Hevron, Israel, wrote and studied in Kovno and the University of Berlin, before settling in New York in 1934, where he headed the Chaim Berlin Yeshivah for four decades, turning it into one of the leading “Lithuanian” yeshivot in the world. His lasting literary legacy is the Pachad Yitzchak, his eight volumes of Hebrew essays organized around the Jewish holidays and based on oral derashot delivered in Yiddish in the yeshivah. Master of a broad range of eclectic disciples, from rigorous Talmudism to Hasidic wisdom to poetry and philosophy, he was known for his enigmatic personality, independent thought, dominating persona, and a sui generis unification of the many apparent contradictions he embodied into a unique and recognizable style. He died in Israel, where he lived the last years of his life.

I

Ibn Ezra, Rav Avraham, 1089-c. 1164, Spain, was a Bible commentator, Hebrew grammarian, and paytan (author of liturgical poems). Steeped in the Spanish rationalist traditions of philosophy and mathematics, Ibn Ezra interpreted the Bible according to its plain, contextual meaning (peshat), and rigorous, grammatical analysis. His comments frequently include ascerbic rejections of interpretations he deemed incorrect, as well as of their authors. He lived most of his life in abject poverty and wandered throughout Europe. Perhaps his most famous piyyut is the shabbat song “צמאה נפשי”.

J

Judges 20:3 שופטים כ:ג
The Binyaminites heard that the Israelites had ascended to Mitzpah; the Israelites said, “Speak up! How could it be that such an evil thing happened?!” וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ בְּנֵי בִנְיָמִן כִּי עָלוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הַמִּצְפָּה וַיֹּאמְרוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל דַּבְּרוּ אֵיכָה נִהְיְתָה הָרָעָה הַזֹּאת:

K

Keli Yekar is a commentary on the Torah by Rav Ephraim Shelomo ben Aharon (1550-1619), who was born in Luntschitz (Leczyca), Poland, studied under Rav Shelomo Luria (the Maharshal) in Lublin, and served as Rosh Yeshivah in Lvov (Lemberg), and head of the Beit Din of Prague. During his life he won wide renown as a preacher, often excoriating wealthy people for their materialism and those poor people who accepted tzedaqah without attempting to provide for themselves. He also expressed strong criticism of the pilpul methods of Talmud study as being neglectful of truth. Keli Yekar (whose name comes from Proverbs 20:15) is his most famous work, has often been printed in editions of Miqre’ot Gedolot, and remains popular to this day. He also published several volumes of sermons.

Kohelet Rabbah, Parashah 3 קהלת רבה פרשה ג
R. Yitzhak said: It would have been appropriate for Israel, at the time they left Egypt, to be given the Torah immediately, but the Holy Blessed One said, “My children’s radiant glow has not developed yet. They just went out from mud and bricks; they cannot receive the Torah immediately.” A parable: what does it resemble? To a king whose son got up from his illness. They said to him, “Your son should go to school.” He said, “My son’s radiant glow has not come back yet and you say that he should go to school? Let him rejuvenate himself for two or three months with food and drink and get back to health. Then he’ll go to school. So, too, the Holy Blessed One said, “My children’s radiant glow has not developed yet. They just went out from mud and bricks, and I’m going to give them the Torah!? Let them rejuvenate themselves for two or three months with manna, the well, and fowl; after that, I’ll give them the Torah. When? “In the third month…” (Exodus 19:1). א”ר יצחק ראויין היו ישראל בשעה שיצאו ממצרים שתנתן להם תורה מיד אלא אמר הקב”ה עדיין לא בא זיוון של בני משעבוד טיט ולבנים יצאו ואין יכולין לקבל תורה מיד מלה”ד למלך שעמד בנו מחליו ואמרו לו ילך בנך לאיסכולי שלו אמר עדיין לא בא זיוו של בני ואתה אומר ילך בנך לאיסכולי שלו אלא יתעדן בני שנים ושלשה ירחים במאכל ובמשתה ויבריא ואחר כך ילך לאיסכולי שלו, כך אמר הקב”ה עדיין לא בא זיוון של בני משעבוד טיט ולבנים יצאו ואני נותן להם את התורה אלא יתעדנו בני ב’ וג’ חדשים במן ובאר ושלו ואח”כ אני נותן להם את התורה אימתי “בחדש השלישי” (שמות יט:א).

Korah Background: This story of the spies, filling the 13th-14th chapters of Numbers, does not directly lead into the story of Korah, which starts at the beginning of chapter 16. Chapter 15 is a legal passage loosely connected to its narrative context but essentially unrelated to the issue at hand. Therefore, in the narrative flow of the book of Numbers, the people’s reaction to the spies’ pessimistic report, which fills the entirety of chapter 14, constitutes the immediate background to Korah’s challenge.

L

Leibowitz, Dr. Nehama (1905-1997) had probably the most substantial influence on the Jewish study of Bible of anyone in the 20th century. Born to an Orthodox family in Riga, Latvia (including her brother, the philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz), she immigrated to Palestine in 1930 after earning a doctorate from the University of Berlin. In Israel, she taught at a religious Zionist teachers’ college and, later, at Tel Aviv University, where she was a full professor, as well as in other places. Her pedagogic influence spread well beyond the walls of any institution, though. Beginning in 1942, she distributed “pages” of questions on the weekly Torah portion to anyone who requested them. Readers would send them back to her, and she would personally review them and send them back with notes. Thousands of Jews in Israel and in the Diaspora and of all sorts of religious affiliation, counted themselves as her students because of this regular correspondence. These sheets became the basis for her volumes of “Studies”, published in both Hebrew and English. She also had a Torah commentary radio show on “Qol Yisrael”. She began her teaching career at a time when the academic world denigrated the classical Bible commentators as fancifully deaf to the literal meaning of the Biblical text, and when religious educators rejected academic methods of close reading as heretical. Leibowitz’s contributed a response to both of these phenomena: she trained students to play close attention to the ambiguities and curiosities in the Biblical text itself, without jumping straight to the commentators, and then to read the commentators equally closely, demonstrating that they always respond to textual difficulties. She almost single-handedly restored study of the classical commentators to prominence both in academia and in religious education. For these efforts, she was awarded the Israel Prize in 1956. An ardent Zionist, she turned down lucrative invitations to lecture in the Diaspora, refusing to leave the Land of Israel. Eschewing affect and formality, she insisted that her students call her Nehama, and preferred to be described not as a professor, but just as a “מורה” (“teacher”), which is the only word inscribed on her gravestone.

M

Mecklenburg, Rav Yaaqov Tzvi (1785-1865), rabbi in Koenigsburg, East Prussia, authored a Bible commentary called HaKetav Ve-haKabbalah (“The Writ and the Received Tradition”). As indicated by its name, its chief goal was to show that the oral tradition conforms to the meaning of the written Torah.

The Mekhilta, or, more properly, the Mekhilta D’Rabbi Yishmael, is a collection of tannaitic midrash on the Sefer Shemot, starting with the middle of Parashat Bo (chapter 12) and continuing through Parashat Mishpatim and a small amount of material on Ki Tissa and VaYaqhel. It contains primarily halakhic midrashim, and although it also contains a significant amount of midrash aggadah, the work as a whole is referred to as a Midrash Halakhah. The Mekhilta is one of the earliest extant midrashic works we have and was compiled by the end of the 4th century CE.

Midrash Sifrei: Devarim 12 ספרי דברים י”ב
“The trouble of you” teaches that they were troublemakers. One person would see the second winning in a legal dispute, so he would say, “I have witnesses to bring” or “I have evidence to bring”. [If the judge said,] “Tomorrow I will rule,” [he would say,] “I’ll add more judges.” That’s why it says, “the trouble of you”-to teach that they were troublemakers.

“טרחכם” מלמד שהיו טרחנים. היה אחד מהם רואה שני נוצח בדין אומר, יש לי עדים להביא, יש לי ראיות להביא. למחר אני דן מוסיף אני עליכם דיינים. לכך נאמר, “טרחכם”-מלמד שהיו טרחנים.

**”Your burden” teaches that they were “undergarments”. If [Mosheh] left early, they would say, “Why did Amram’s son leave? Maybe he’s not satisfied at home.” If he left late, they would say, “Why didn’t Amram’s son leave? What do you think? He’s sitting and scheming against you, making plans against you”….That’s why it says, “your burden”-to teach that they were “undergarments”. **”ומשאכם” מלמד שהיו אפיקורוסים. הקדים משה לצאת, אמרו, “מה ראה בן עמרם לצאת? שמא אינו שפוי בתוך ביתו? איחר לצאת אמרו, “מה ראה בן עמרם שלא לצאת? מה אתם סבורים? יושב ויועץ עליכם עצות ומחשב עליכם מחשבות”…לכך נאמר “ומשאכם”- מלמד שהיו אפיקורוסים.
“Your strife” teaches that they were murmerers. One would pay one sela in order to take two or two in order to take three. That’s why it says, “your strife”-to teach that they were murmerers.

“וריבכם” מלמד שהיו רוננים. היה אחד מהם מוציא סלע בשביל ליטול שנים, שנים בשביל ליטול שלשה. לכך נאמר “וריבכם”-מלמד שהיו רונני.

** The word that appears in printed editions of this midrash, as well as in Rashi’s commentary to the Torah, is “אפיקורוסים”-“Apiqorosim”, which, in early texts, refers to followers of Epicurean philosophy, and in later texts, is used generally for “heretics”. However, I have translated it here as “undergarments”, following the Berlin, Rome, London, and Oxford manuscripts, which record versions of the word “אפיקרסים”, which means “undergarment”, “night-gown”, or “sheet”. I follow this version because more manuscripts have this word and so does the Targum Yonatan. Moreover, I think that it makes more sense in the context of the midrash. All Tannaitic mentions of Apioqorosim refer to followers of Epicureanism, a missionizing philosophy that denied God’s providence, reward or punishment for human behavior, or any other involvement in human affairs. (See Mishnah Pirqei Avot 2:14; midrash Sifrei Bemidbar 112, and Mishnah Sanhedrin 10:1. For more depth, see our teacher Jenny Labendz’s article, “‘Know What to Answer the Epicurean’: A Diachronic Study of the ‘Apiqoros in Rabbinic Literature,” published in the Hebrew Union College Annual 73 (2003). Jenny first called to my attention that the word in our midrash is not “‘Apiqorosim”.) Our midrash’s particular description of the Israelites’ bad behavior seems to have nothing to do with Epicureanism.

Nevertheless, we may wonder how later scribes and readers, such as Rashi, who did think that our midrash was talking about Apiqorosim, understood the text. I suggest the following: In the Amoraic world, where Epicureanism was fading and no longer a threat, the Amoraim were left to define these “Apiqorosim”. The Talmud defines “Apiqoros” as one who defames scholars-“המבזה תלמידי חכמים” (Sanhedrin 99b; also, Yerushalmi Sanhedrin 10:1/27d). Therefore, when they read the mishnah that teaches that Apiqorosim have no share in the world-to-come (Mishnah Sanhedrin 10:1), they understood that one who maliciously defames leaders undermines the ability of society to function and that person has no share in the idyllic future of a utopian civilization-one that is realized via respect and civility. Those who thought that our midrash referred to Apiqorosim focused on the disrespect the midrash shows the people showing to Mosheh. Mosheh lashes out, unable any longer to bear their contempt for authority.

Mishnah Menahot 5:1 משנה מנחות ה:א
All meal-offerings are brought as matzah, except for the hametz in the Thanksgiving and Two Loaves [of Shavuot], which are brought as hametz… כל המנחות באות מצה חוץ מחמץ שבתודה ושתי הלחם שהן באות חמץ…

Mishnah Pesahim 10:4 משנה פסחים י:ד
They mix him the second cup, and here the child asks his father.
If the child has no mental capacity, his father should teach him:
“How different is this night from all other nights!
On all other nights, we eat hametz or matzah, but tonight, only matzah.
On all other nights, we eat all other vegetables, but tonight, only bitter herbs.
On all other nights, we eat meat roasted, stewed, or boiled, but tonight, only roasted.
On all other nights, we dip once, but tonight, twice.
According to the mental capacity of the child, his father should teach him.
We begin with degradation and conclude with praise, and interpret from “Arami ‘oved avi” through the entire parashah. מָזְגוּ לוֹ כוֹס שֵׁנִי, וְכָאן הַבֵּן שׁוֹאֵל אָבִיו.
וְאִם אֵין דַּעַת בַּבֵּן, אָבִיו מְלַמְּדוֹ:
“מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת!
שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלּוֹ מַצָּה.
שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנּוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר.
שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין בָּשָׂר צָלִי, שָׁלוּק, וּמְבֻשָּׁל, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלּוֹ צָלִי.
שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ מַטְבִּילִין פַּעַם אַחַת, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעָמִים.
וּלְפִי דַעְתּוֹ שֶׁלּ בֵּן, אָבִיו מְלַמְּדוֹ.
מַתְחִיל בִּגְנוּת וּמְסַיֵּם בְּשֶׁבַח, וְדוֹרֵשׁ מֵ”אֲרַמִּי אוֹבֵד אָבִי”, עַד שֶׁיִּגְמוֹר כָּל הַפָּרָשָׁה כֻלָּהּ:

Mishnah Sheqalim 4:1 משנה שקלים ד:א
What would they do with the Temple tax? They would use it to buy the continual offerings and the additional offerings with their libations, the sheaf offering, the two loaves, the showbread, and all communal sacrifices… התרומה מה היו עושין בה? לוקחין בה תמידין ומוספין ונסכיהם העומר ושתי הלחם ולחם הפנים וכל קרבנות הצבור…

Moshe Seeing God
Shemot 33:23 שמות לג:כג
“Then I will take My hand away and you will see My back, but My face may not be seen.” וַהֲסִרֹתִי אֶת כַּפִּי וְרָאִיתָ אֶת אֲחֹרָי וּפָנַי לֹא יֵרָאוּ:
Bemidbar 12:8 במדבר יב:ח
“With [Mosheh] I speak mouth to mouth, plainly and not in riddles, and he beholds the likeness of Hashem…” פֶּה אֶל פֶּה אֲדַבֶּר בּוֹ וּמַרְאֶה וְלֹא בְחִידֹת וּתְמֻנַת יְהֹוָה יַבִּיט…

N

Netziv (נצי”ב) is the acronym representing the name of Rav Naphtali Tzvi Yehudah Berlin, 1817-1893, who served as Rosh Yeshivah at the reknowned yeshivah in Volozhin, Russia, for 40 years, during which time he transformed it into a religious center for all of Russian Jewry and the “Lithuanian” yeshivah par excellence in whose image yeshivot to this today try to model themselves. The Netziv, following the tradition of the Vilna Gaon, placed great curricular emphasis on primary sources, bringing study of halakhic midrashim, the Talmud Yerushalmi, and the writings of the Geonim-the Babylonian sages who lived closest to the time of the Talmud-to a place of unusual prominence in Talmudic learning. Accordingly, he taught the Talmud in order, without skipping any passages, unlike other rabbis who often focus only on areas they find more interesting. He also introduced a daily shiur on Parashat HaShavua into the yeshivah, aimed at demonstrating that traditional Rabbinic understandings of the Torah conform to the Torah’s plain meaning (peshat). His Torah commentary, Ha‘Ameq Davar, is based on those shiurim. His other writings include ‘Emeq HaNetziv (a commentary on the halakhic midrash Sifrei), Ha‘Ameq She’elah (a commentary on halakhic code She’iltot, of Rav Ahai Gaon), and Meshiv Davar (halakhic responsa). He publicly identified with Zionism, encouraging Torah-observant Jews to make aliyah and maintain high standards of Torah observance in the growing Jewish community in the Land of Israel.

Netziv’s Midrashic Source
The Netziv writes as follows:

“May Hashem lift up His face…”
Here, “His face” means “His attributes”, which are referred to as a face in that the form of His face changes according to human behavior, whether with a joyous or a furious face, or what-have-you. “ישא ה’ פניו…”
כאן, משמעות ‘פניו’ מדותיו, שמכונים פנים, באשר לפי מדת האדם משתנה צורת הפנים. אם בפנים צוהלות או נזעמות וכדו’… Although he makes no mention of a midrash, his words echo the following tradition from the Mekhilta (BeShallah, “VaYisa‘ Par‘oh”, 2):
“…and in the morning you shall behold the glory of Hashem.” (Shemot 16:7)

From here you learn that with a shining face was the Manna given to Israel. The quail, which they requested with full stomachs, was given to them with a dark face, but the Manna, which they requested legitimately, was given to them with a shining face.

“ובקר וראיתם את כבוד ה'” (שמות ט”ז:ז)

מכאן אתה למד שבפנים מאירות ניתן המן לישראל. השלו ששאלו אותו ממלא מעים ניתן להם בפנים חשכות, אבל המן ששאלו אותו כהלכה ניתן להם בפנים מאירות:

This midrash is paralleled in the Talmud Bavli, Yoma 75a-b:

“Mosheh continued: ‘Since it is Hashem who will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread in the morning to the full…” (Shemot 16:8)
It was taught in the name of R. Yehoshua ben Qorhah: meat, which they demanded inappropriately, was given to them inappropriately; bread, which they demanded appropriately, was given to them appropriately. “ויאמר משה בתת ה’ לכם בערב בשר לאכל ולחם בבקר לשבע” (שמות ט”ז:ח).
תנא משמיה דרבי יהושע בן קרחה: בשר ששאלו שלא כהוגן – ניתן להם שלא כהוגן, לחם ששאלו כהוגן – ניתן להם כהוגן.

It is difficult to say with any certainty that the Netziv had this midrash in mind when he penned his comments to our verse. In his commentary on the Talmud, Meromei Sadeh, he says nothing on this passage, and in his commentary to the Mekhilta, Birkat HeNetziv, he writes only that one should see the comments of Rashi and Ramban to verses which are the subject the midrash, Shemot 16:6-7. Neither Rashi nor Ramban says anything that can bring us any closer to establishing a clear paper trail from the Netziv to this midrash. Nevertheless, the connection is suggestive and we can at least say that the idea articulated by the Netziv on our verse in Bemidbar was already developed in this midrash. For a fine analysis of the Mekhilta passage, see Daniel Boyarin, Intertextuality and the Reading of Midrash, pp. 49-56.
Editor’s note: Thanks to Professor Yaakov Elman for directing us to the Mekhilta passage and to Boyarin’s discussion thereto.

O

Targum Onqelos is the standard Aramaic translation of the Tanakh. It apparently dates from the second century, C.E., and is attributed to Onqelos HaGer (“the Convert”), whom the Talmud reports was a nephew of Titus, but converted to Judasim and became a student of Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua, the great Tannaim. There is some scholarly suspicion about this historical figure, in part since his name so closely resembles that of Aqila, who translated the Tanakh into Greek. Be that as it may, the book very quickly became widely accepted and canonical both in the Land of Israel and in Babylonia and in many communities, certainly in earlier generations, it was read publicly in synagogue on shabbat morning, following the Torah reading verse-by-verse. To this day, it is published aside the text of the Torah in most editions of the Humash and many Jews fufill the halakhah (Shulhan Arukh, OH 285:1) to read Parashat HaShavua with translation every week by reading Targum Onqelos alongside the Torah. It is known for its close, literal rendering of the Hebrew text, albeit with a strong tendency to alter anthropomorphic language.

Or HaHayyim is a Torah commentary written by Rav Hayyim ben Mosheh Attar (1696-1743), a Moroccan rabbi and kabbalist who traveled exensively in Italy encouraging aliyah to the Land of Israel as a way of hastening the Messianic redemption, and finally settled in Israel in 1741. There he taught advanced Torah students-among them the great Hayyim Yoseph David Azulai (the HIDA)-in Akko, Peqi’in, and Jerusalem for the last years of his life. Or HaHayyim is distinguished as a commentary that reads the whole Torah, including the mitzvot, as an allegory for the relationship between God and the Jewish People. The particulars of these allegories are often influenced by Kabbalah. This commentary became so central in Hasidic curricula that for many it was the commentary that they learned with the Torah. To this day, it is referred to in such circles as “Or HaHayyim HaQadosh” (“The Holy Or HaHayyim”). Among his other published works is the Peri To’ar, an important halakhic commentary on the Yoreh De’ah section of the Shulhan Arukh.

P

Pirqei de-Rabbi Eliezer is a late midrashic work mostly structured as a chronological, continuous retelling of the stories of the Torah, from Creation up to the middle of the desert wandering period. Unlike most midrashic works, which are complications of myriad traditions, PRE is a unified creation of one author. It is written in Hebrew and shows heavy influences of earlier midrashic literature, Second Temple period Apocryphal, Pseudepigraphal, and apocalyptic literature, the Talmud Yerushalmi and the Talmud Bavli. Scholars conclude from PRE’s knowledge of halakhot innovated during the Byzantine period, its descriptions of the Muslim Omayyad dynasty, and other evidence, that it was composed during the first half of the 8th Century CE in the Land of Israel. Our version of PRE is believed to be incomplete.

Q

Qorban Ha-‘Edah is a commentary on the Talmud Yerushalmi (Mo‘ed and Nashim) by Rabbi David ben Naphtali Hirsch Fraenkel, 1707-1762, who was Rabbi of Dessau, Germany, and, starting in 1743, Chief Rabbi of Berlin. The philosopher Moses Mendelssohn was his student. In Qorban Ha-‘Edah, his magnum opus, he attempts to elucidate the plain meaning of the text of the Yerushalmi in a similar style as Rashi’s commentary on the Talmud Bavli. This commentary has become one of the two standard commentaries of the Yerushalmi and is printed alongside the text in the standard, Vilna printing of the Yerushalmi. He also penned another commentary to the Yerushalmi called Shirei Qorban that, in the style of the Tosafot on the Bavli, provides deeper analysis of the text, including reconciliations of contradictions.

R

RaMBaM, Rav Mosheh ben Maimon, also known as Maimonides, 1135-1204, Spain and Egypt, is one of the most significant figures in Jewish intellectual history. In his 20s, he authored a significant commentary on the Mishnah that is still used widely today. He was the dominant halakhic authority of his place and time and left an unrivaled imprint on later halakhah with his Mishneh Torah, the first systematic code of Jewish law ever written, which summarized Talmudic law and organized it into topical categories. This code is a cornerstone of all later halakhic writing and whole fields of yeshivah learning revolve around it. The Rambam’s other central sphere of influence was in philosophy; it is possible to say that he is the epicenter of all Jewish philosophy. In addition to important philosophical sections of his Mishnah commentary and Mishneh Torah, his philosophic opus is The Guide for the Perplexed, a 3-part philosophical work directed at Jews struggling to reconcile their education in Aristotelian philosophy, of which Rambam was a follower, with traditional Jewish beliefs and doctrines.

Rambam Hil. Teshuvah 5:4 רמב”ם הלכות תשובה ה:ד
If God had decreed for people to be righteous or wicked, or if there were anything that pulled people from birth to any one of the many ways, knowledges, character traits, or deeds, as the stupid astrologers fabricate from their minds, how could He have commanded us, by way of the prophets, ‘do this’ and ‘don’t do that’, ‘improve your ways’, and ‘don’t follow wicked people’?!… אילו האל היה גוזר על האדם להיות צדיק או רשע או אילו היה שם דבר שמושך את האדם בעיקר תולדתו לדרך מן הדרכים או למדע מן המדעות או לדעה מן הדעות או למעשה מן המעשים כמו שבודים מלבם הטפשים הוברי שמים היאך היה מצוה לנו על ידי הנביאים עשה כך ואל תעשה כך הטיבו דרכיכם ואל תלכו אחרי רשעכם…

RaMBaN, Rav Moshe ben Nahman, 1194-1270, was one of the most important figures in Medieval Jewish religious history. He wrote significant commentaries on the Talmud and the Bible that remain central in Torah learning today. He was the pre-eminent halakhic authority of Spain and made aliyah to Eretz Yisrael at the end of his life.

RaShBaM, Rav Shemuel ben Meir, 1083-1174, Ramerupt, France, was the grandson and student of Rashi. He wrote a commentary to the entire Bible, but only the section on the Torah is extant. It remains one of the most frequently studied Torah commentaries and is printed in most editions of the Miqra’ot Gedolot. Rashbam insisted that the Torah should be explained literally, in terms of its plain meaning (peshat) and objected to his grandfather’s frequent use of midrash to explain Biblical passages. Rashbam was also a Talmudist and halakhic authority, many of whose rulings are recorded by later sages among the tosafot. His comments on the last chapter of Pesahim and most of Bava Batra are printed in standard editions of the Talmud where Rashi’s comments usually appear. Rashbam taught and sometimes disputed with his younger brother, Rabbenu Tam.

RaShi: (Rav Shlomo Yitzchaki), 1040 – 1105, Troyes, France, is one of the most important figures in all of Rabbinic Judaism. His indispensable commentaries on the Bible and the Talmud serve as the basis for most subsequent commentaries and are included in traditional printed editions of those texts. His Torah commentary selects and weaves Talmudic and midrashic sources, with his own explanatory glosses.

Reasons for Shabbat
The terms “זֵכֶר לֽמַעֲשֵׂה בֽרֵאשִׁית” (“a remembrance of the creation of the world”) and “זֵכֶר לִיצִיאַת מִצְרָיִם” (“a remembrance of the exodus from Egypt”) do not actually appear in the Torah, but are Rabbinic approximations of the Torah’s explanations for Shabbat. The statements emerge from the two versions of the Ten Commandments, which famously give different explanations for the reason for the commandment of Shabbat: in Shemot we rest because God rested on the 7th day, while in Devarim we rest so that our slaves rest and we remember that God took us out of slavery.

Shemot 20:11 שמות כ:י”א
For in six days Hashem made heaven and earth and sea, and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day; therefore, Hashem blessed the Shabbat day and sanctified it. כִּי שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת הָאָרֶץ אֶת הַיָּם וְאֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר בָּם וַיָּנַח בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי עַל כֵּן בֵּרַךְ יְהֹוָה אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וַיְקַדְּשֵׁהוּ:
Devarim 5:14-15 דברים ה:י”ד-ט”ו
…so that your male and female slave may rest as you do. Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and Hashem your God freed you from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm; therefore, Hashem your God has commanded you to observe the Shabbat day. …לְמַעַן יָנוּחַ עַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתְךָ כָּמוֹךָ:
וְזָכַרְתָּ כִּי עֶבֶד הָיִיתָ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וַיֹּצִאֲךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מִשָּׁם בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה עַל כֵּן צִוְּךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת: The phrase “זֵכֶר לֽמַעֲשֵׂה בֽרֵאשִׁית” appears in the siddur, in the “מָגֵן אָבוֹת” paragraph that the Hazzan chants after the Friday night ‘Amidah, in summary and recapitulation of the ‘Amidah. The phrase also appears in description of Shabbat in the midrash Shemot Rabbah 19:7. It can also be found in Ibn Ezra’s comment on Shemot 20:1 and the Ramban’s comments on 20:7, 21:2, 34:21, and Devarim 5:14.
The phrase “זֵכֶר לִיצִיאַת מִצְרָיִם” appears in the Qiddush for Shabbat evening and Qiddush for Festival evenings. An example of this phrase’s use to refer to Shabbat in Rabbinic literature is Devarim Rabbah (Parashat Devarim 18). See also the Ramban’s comments to Shemot 34:21 and Devarim 5:14 and 16:2.

Rema (רמ”א) is an acronym for Rav Mosheh Isserles (רב משה איסרלס), Krakow, Poland, c. 1530-1572, one of Judaism’s most significant halakhic authorities. His most significant contribution to halakhah was in supplementing Rav Yoseph Caro’s codes with Ashkenazic traditions; Rema considered Caro’s works superb except for their insignificant attention to Ashkenazi rulings. The first of these works is his Darkhei Mosheh, supplementing Caro’s opus Beit Yoseph, which elucidating the background to Rav Yaaqov ben Asher’s Arba’ah Turim (Tur) and details the further developments of the laws codified there. Rema’s other work of this sort is his “Mappah” (“Tablecloth”), glosses added to Caro’s code, the Shulhan Arukh (“Set Table”). With the additions in place, Caro/Rema’s works became the central texts of halakhic authority, a stature they retain to this day. Rema also authored Torat ha-Hattat, covering laws of permitted and forbidden things, as well as 91 responsa and the philosophical works Mehir Yayin and Torat ha-‘Olah, which sought to explain that Jewish philosophy and Qabbalah were really identical systems, just using different language. His halakhic rulings emphasized the strong authority of minhag (common practice), even when it seemingly conflicts with dominant rulings, and recognized financial stress as a significant legal indicator for leniency.

Returning to Egypt
Talmud Yerushalmi Sukkah 5:1/55b תלמוד ירושלמי סוכה ה:א/נה:ב
R. Shimon ben Yohai taught: in three places Israel was warned not to return to the land of Egypt. תני רבי שמעון בן יוחי בשלשה מקומות הוזהרו ישראל שלא לשוב ארץ מצרים. In the continuation of the gemara there, R. Shimon cites the following three verses. The first is right before the splitting of the Sea of Reeds, the second is among the commandments for a king, and the third is part of the curses to befall Israel if they reject the mitzvot.
Shemot 14:13 שמות יד:יג
Mosheh said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand up and see the deliverance of H, which he will work for you today; for the Egypt which you see today – you will never see them again.” וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל הָעָם אַל תִּירָאוּ הִתְיַצְּבוּ וּרְאוּ אֶת יְשׁוּעַת יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה לָכֶם הַיּוֹם כִּי אֲשֶׁר רְאִיתֶם אֶת מִצְרַיִם הַיּוֹם לֹא תֹסִיפוּ לִרְאֹתָם עוֹד עַד עוֹלָם:
Devarim 17:16 דברים יז:טז
But he may not keep many horses for himself, and he may not return the people to Egypt in order to proliferate horses, for H said to you, “You may never again return that way.” רַק לֹא יַרְבֶּה לּוֹ סוּסִים וְלֹא יָשִׁיב אֶת הָעָם מִצְרַיְמָה לְמַעַן הַרְבּוֹת סוּס וַיהֹוָה אָמַר לָכֶם לֹא תֹסִפוּן לָשׁוּב בַּדֶּרֶךְ הַזֶּה עוֹד:
Devarim 28:68 דברים כח:סח
H will send you back to Egypt in galleys, by the way which I told you you would never see again, and you will try to sell yourselves there to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there won’t even be any buyers. וֶהֱשִׁיבְךָ יְהֹוָה מִצְרַיִם בָּאֳנִיּוֹת בַּדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר אָמַרְתִּי לְךָ לֹא תֹסִיף עוֹד לִרְאֹתָהּ וְהִתְמַכַּרְתֶּם שָׁם לְאֹיְבֶיךָ לַעֲבָדִים וְלִשְׁפָחוֹת וְאֵין קֹנֶה:

Reward for Walking-“שכר פסיעות” 
The concept of reward for walking a farther distance to pray comes from the following gemara:
Talmud Bavli Sotah 22a תלמוד בבלי סוטה כב.
R. Yohanan said: We have learned about…receiving reward from a widow…for that one widow who had a synagogue in her neighborhood, but every day would come to pray in R. Yohanan’s beit midrash. He said to her, “My daughter, isn’t there a synagogue in your neighborhood?” She said to him, “Rabbi, do I not have reward for footsteps?” אמר רבי יוחנן: למדנו…וקיבול שכר מאלמנה…דההיא אלמנה דהואי בי כנישתא בשיבבותה, כל יומא הות אתיא ומצלה בי מדרשיה דר’ יוחנן, אמר לה: בתי, לא בית הכנסת בשיבבותך? אמרה ליה: רבי, ולא שכר פסיעות יש לי? This concept is brought as halakhah. Here, for example, are the words of R. Yechiel Michel Epstein (Lithuania, 1829-1907), in his compendium, Arukh haShulhan (Orah Hayim 90:15).
If there are two synagogues in the town, there is more reward for the one who walks to the farther one, because he is rewarded for the footsteps [Sotah 22a]. ואם יש שני בתי כנסיות בעיר יש יותר שכר לההולך להרחוקה דמשלמים לו שכר פסיעות [סוטה כ”ב.] Similar formulations may be found in the Magen Avraham (OH 90:22) and Mishnah Berurah (OH 90:37).

Riskin, Rabbi Shlomo is a prominent Israeli-American Modern Orthodox rabbi. He was the founding rabbi of the Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan and since the early 1980s has served as the Chief Rabbi of Efrat, in Israel. He is also the Dean of Ohr Torah Institutions, an umbrella including Midreshet Lindenbaum, Yeshivat Hamivtar, and several high schools and other Israeli educational institutions.

His comments on Ya‘aqov and Lavan can be found in his Haggadah Commentary: The Passover Haggadah: With a Traditional and Contemporary Commentary. New York: Ktav, 1983, pp. 73-75. There, Rabbi Riskin eloquently develops the idea regarding Lavan’s role in the Haggadah.

The Ritba (Rabbi Yom Tov ben Avraham Ishbilli – i.e., from Seville), c. 1250-1330, was an important Talmudic commentator and halakhist. A dayyan (judge) in Saragossa, he became the pre-eminent Rabbinic leader of Spain after the deaths of his teachers, Rav Aharon ha-Levi of Barcelona, and the Rashba. His commentary to the Talmud occupies a prominent place in Talmudic study to this day, and his responsa are still studied as well.

Rosenzweig, Franz (1886-1929, Germany) was one of the Modernity’s most influential Jewish thinkers. Born to an assimilated family whose minimal Jewish practice was largely driven by reactions to anti-Semitism, Rosenzweig, educated in philosophy at Germany’s finest universities, almost converted to Christianity in 1913, reasoning that he and his friends were Jews only in name, but not culturally different from their Christian contemporaries. However, opting to become a Christian “as a Jew,” i.e., by reenacting Judaism’s consummation in Christianity, he decided to attend Yom Kippur services in a small, Eastern European-style Orthodox synagogue in Berlin. His moving experience there led him to reverse his decision and to affirm and recover Judaism for himself and others like him. Thereafter, he devoted himself to Jewish education and Jewish philosophy. The former centered on the Jewish Free House of Learning (“Lehrhaus”), which pioneered the reclaiming of classical Jewish texts by Western Jewish intelligentsia who saw themselves as Jewishly “homeless”. His major philosophical work, Star of Redemption (1921) emphasized revelation not as a past, historical event that produced universal truths, but as God’s continuous entry into relationship with human beings, which they, in turn, enter actively from the point of their experience. He came to see mitzvot as expressions of the divine-human love relationship to which Jews should remain open, even if “not yet” able to accept, for they could become compelling expressions at later points of life. Over the last years of his life, during which his health deteriorated greatly, Rosenzweig corresponded extensively with his friend, the philosopher Martin Buber, and collaborated with him on a new German translation of the Bible, which Buber completed in the 1950s in Israel.

S

The Sefat Emet is the collection of Torah teachings of R. Yehudah Leib Alter, 1847-1905, Gur, Poland, the 3nd Rebbe of the Gerer Hasidic dynasty, a post he held for the last 35 years of his life. The Sefat Emet , arranged as a collection of the Rebbe’s derashot on Parashat HaShavua and the holidays, is renowned less for its originality than for its remarkable combination of intellectual and psychological depth with accessibility. The derashot revisit familiar Hasidic themes (absent the emphasis on Kabbalah found in much of Hasidut), but articulate them with a rare lucidity of expression that leads many to consider this work the greatest literary achievement of Polish Hasidut. The “playing field” for the derashot in the Sefat Emet tends to be the language of the Torah itself, and the chief concerns of the work are moral application of the Torah, human psychology, and inner spiritual life, especially undiscovered wells of “Jewishness” that drive Jews in our life and worship. The Sefat Emet is considered to be “Hasidut for the masses”, enjoying wide popularity within Hasidic communities and also being one of the most commonly studied Hasidic works among non-Hasidim.

Sefer ha-Hinnukh (“The Book of Education”) is a book listing and explaining the 613 commandments of the Torah. Published anonymously in 13th century Spain, scholars still do not know who authored it. Arranged according the weekly Torah portion, this book was written for laypeople, to familiarize them with the mitzvot and their reasons. To that end, it avoids the philosophical or mystical explorations used by his predecessors, limiting itself to description of the laws’ requirements and ethical purposes. It has been published into many languages, including English.

Sforno, Rav Ovadiah, c. 1470-c. 1550, Italy, was a Bible commentator and philosopher. His commentary on the Torah is included in most editions of Miqra’ot Gedolot and he wrote on several other books of the Bible, as well. Sforno’s commentary is characterized by terse expression and adherence to the plain, literal meaning of the text (peshat), as well as short comments explaining ethical or philosophical implications of the text. He avoided mystically-oriented interpretations. He also wrote a philosophical work called Or Ammim, which attempted to refute Aristotle on matters which he deemed incompatible with the Bible, but to reconcile them where possible.

Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayim 624-5

Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayim, 624:5, gloss of the Rema שולחן ערוך, אורח חיים תרכד:ה, הגהת הרמ”א
…Those who are meticulous start immediately after Yom Kippur to make the sukkah, in order to go from mitzvah to mitzvah.
…והמדקדקים מתחילים מיד במוצאי י”כ בעשיית הסוכה, כדי לצאת ממצוה אל מצוה.
Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayim, 625:1, gloss of the Rema שולחן ערוך, אורח חיים תרכה:א, הגהת הרמ”א
…It is a mitzvah to prepare the sukkah immediately after Yom Kippur, because one should not delay a mitzvah that comes to one’s hands. …ומצוה לתקן הסוכה מיד לאחר יום כפור, דמצוה הבאה לידו אל יחמיצנה.

Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayim 670:2 שולחן ערוך אורח חיים סימן תרע סעיף ב
The proliferation of festive meals that people do [on Hanukah] are optional meals, for they did not establish these days for feasts and rejoicing.
Gloss [of the Rema]: But some say that there is a bit of a mitzvah in the proliferation of feasts, because the dedication of the altar was on those days. ריבוי הסעודות שמרבים בהם הם סעודות הרשות, שלא קבעום למשתה ושמחה.
הגה: וי”א שיש קצת מצוה ברבוי הסעודות, משום דבאותן הימים היה חנוכת המזבח.

Shemot 2:14 שמות ב:יד
[The fighting Israelite] retorted, “Who made you chief and ruler over us!? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian!?” And Mosheh was frightened and thought, “then the matter is known.” וַיֹּאמֶר, “מִי שָׂמְךָ לְאִישׁ שַׂר וְשֹׁפֵט עָלֵינוּ!? הַלְהָרְגֵנִי אַתָּה אֹמֵר כַּאֲשֶׁר הָרַגְתָּ אֶת הַמִּצְרִי!?” וַיִּירָא מֹשֶׁה וַיֹּאמַר, “אָכֵן נוֹדַע הַדָּבָר.”

Shemot 3:13 שמות ג:יג
Moshe said to God, “When I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל הָאֱלֹהִים, “הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי בָא אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתִּי לָהֶם, ‘אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם שְׁלָחַנִי אֲלֵיכֶם’, וְאָמְרוּ לִי ‘מַה שְּׁמוֹ?’ מָה אֹמַר אֲלֵהֶם?”

Shemot 5:2 שמות ה:ב
And Pharaoh said, “Who is H, that I should listen to his voice to send out Israel?! I don’t know H and I will not send off Israel!” וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה מִי יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר אֶשְׁמַע בְּקֹלוֹ לְשַׁלַּח אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא יָדַעְתִּי אֶת יְהֹוָה וְגַם אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא אֲשַׁלֵּחַ:

Shemot 14:10-15 שמות יד:י-טו
As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites caught sight of the Egyptians advancing upon them. Greatly frightened, the Israelites cried out to Hashem. And they said to Moshe, “Was it for want of graves in Egypt that you brought us to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt!? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us be, and we will serve the Egyptians, for it is better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness’?” But Moshe said to the people, “Have no fear! Stand by and witness the deliverance which Hashem will work for you today, for the Egyptians whom you see today you will never see again. Hashem will battle for you; you hold your peace!” Then Hashem said to Mosheh, “Why do you cry out to Me? Tell the Israelites to go forward!” וּפַרְעֹה הִקְרִיב וַיִּשְׂאוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת עֵינֵיהֶם וְהִנֵּה מִצְרַיִם נֹסֵעַ אַחֲרֵיהֶם וַיִּירְאוּ מְאֹד וַיִּצְעֲקוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל יְהֹוָה: וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל מֹשֶׁה הַמִבְּלִי אֵין קְבָרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם לְקַחְתָּנוּ לָמוּת בַּמִּדְבָּר מַה זֹּאת עָשִׂיתָ לָּנוּ לְהוֹצִיאָנוּ מִמִּצְרָיִם: הֲלֹא זֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְנוּ אֵלֶיךָ בְמִצְרַיִם לֵאמֹר חֲדַל מִמֶּנּוּ וְנַעַבְדָה אֶת מִצְרָיִם כִּי טוֹב לָנוּ עֲבֹד אֶת מִצְרַיִם מִמֻּתֵנוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר: וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל הָעָם אַל תִּירָאוּ הִתְיַצְּבוּ וּרְאוּ אֶת יְשׁוּעַת יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה לָכֶם הַיּוֹם כִּי אֲשֶׁר רְאִיתֶם אֶת מִצְרַיִם הַיּוֹם לֹא תֹסִיפוּ לִרְאֹתָם עוֹד עַד עוֹלָם: יְהֹוָה יִלָּחֵם לָכֶם וְאַתֶּם תַּחֲרִישׁוּן:וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל מֹשֶׁה מַה תִּצְעַק אֵלָי דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִסָּעוּ:

Shemot 15:23-25 שמות טו:כג-כה
They came to Marah, but they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter (marim); that is why it was named Marah. And the people murmured against Moshe, saying, “What shall we drink?” So he cried out to Hashem, and Hashem showed him a piece of wood; he threw it into the water and the water became sweet… וַיָּבֹאוּ מָרָתָה וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לִשְׁתֹּת מַיִם מִמָּרָה כִּי מָרִים הֵם עַל כֵּן קָרָא שְׁמָהּ מָרָה: וַיִּלֹּנוּ הָעָם עַל מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר מַה נִּשְׁתֶּה: וַיִּצְעַק אֶל יְהֹוָה וַיּוֹרֵהוּ יְהֹוָה עֵץ וַיַּשְׁלֵךְ אֶל הַמַּיִם וַיִּמְתְּקוּ הַמָּיִם…

Shemot 17:3 שמות יז:ג
But the people thirsted there for water and the people murmured against Moshe and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” וַיִּצְמָא שָׁם הָעָם לַמַּיִם וַיָּלֶן הָעָם עַל מֹשֶׁה וַיֹּאמֶר לָמָּה זֶּה הֶעֱלִיתָנוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם לְהָמִית אֹתִי וְאֶת בָּנַי וְאֶת מִקְנַי בַּצָּמָא:

Shemot 24:3 שמות כד:ג
Mosheh went and related to the people all the commands of Hashem and all the rules. All the people answered in one voice, saying, “All the things that Hashem has commanded we will do!” וַיָּבֹא מֹשֶׁה וַיְסַפֵּר לָעָם אֵת כָּל דִּבְרֵי יְהֹוָה וְאֵת כָּל הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים וַיַּעַן כָּל הָעָם קוֹל אֶחָד וַיֹּאמְרוּ כָּל הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה נַעֲשֶׂה.

Devarim 4:44 דברים פרק ד:מד
This is the Teaching that Mosheh put before the Israelites. וְזֹאת הַתּוֹרָה אֲשֶׁר שָׂם מֹשֶׁה לִפְנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:

Devarim 31:19 דברים פרק לא:יט
Therefore, write down this poem and teach it to the people of Israel; put it in their mouths, in order that this poem may be My witness against the people of Israel. וְעַתָּה כִּתְבוּ לָכֶם אֶת הַשִּׁירָה הַזֹּאת וְלַמְּדָהּ אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל שִׂימָהּ בְּפִיהֶם לְמַעַן תִּהְיֶה לִּי הַשִּׁירָה הַזֹּאת לְעֵד בִּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:

Shemot 31:16 שמות לא:טז
The Israelite people shall keep the shabbat, observing the shabbat throughout the ages as an eternal covenant. וְשָׁמְרוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת לְדֹרֹתָם בְּרִית עוֹלָם:

Shemot 36:3 שמות לו:ג
They took over from Mosheh all the gifts that the Israelites had brought, to carry out the tasks connected with the service of the sanctuary, but they continued to bring voluntary offerings to him morning after morning. וַיִּקְחוּ מִלִּפְנֵי משֶׁה אֵת כָּל הַתְּרוּמָה אֲשֶׁר הֵבִיאוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לִמְלֶאכֶת עֲבֹדַת הַקֹּדֶשׁ לַעֲשׂת אֹתָהּ וְהֵם הֵבִיאוּ אֵלָיו עוֹד נְדָבָה בַּבֹּקֶר בַּבֹּקֶר:

Shemot 36:3-7 שמות לו:ג-ז
They took over from Moses all the gifts that the Israelites had brought, to carry out the tasks connected with the service of the sanctuary. But when these continued to bring freewill offerings to him morning after morning, all the artisans who were engaged in the tasks of the sanctuary came, each from the task upon which he was engaged, and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than is needed for the tasks entailed in the work that the Lord has commanded to be done.” Moses thereupon had this proclamation made throughout the camp: “Let no man or woman make further effort toward gifts for the sanctuary!” So the people stopped bringing: their effort had been more than enough for all the tasks to be done. (ג) וַיִּקְחוּ מִלִּפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה אֵת כָּל הַתְּרוּמָה אֲשֶׁר הֵבִיאוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לִמְלֶאכֶת עֲבֹדַת הַקֹּדֶשׁ לַעֲשֹׂת אֹתָהּ וְהֵם הֵבִיאוּ אֵלָיו עוֹד נְדָבָה בַּבֹּקֶר בַּבֹּקֶר: (ד) וַיָּבֹאוּ כָּל הַחֲכָמִים הָעֹשִׂים אֵת כָּל מְלֶאכֶת הַקֹּדֶשׁ אִישׁ אִישׁ מִמְּלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר הֵמָּה עֹשִׂים:
(ה) וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר מַרְבִּים הָעָם לְהָבִיא מִדֵּי הָעֲבֹדָה לַמְּלָאכָה אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְקֹוָק לַעֲשֹׂת אֹתָהּ:
(ו) וַיְצַו מֹשֶׁה וַיַּעֲבִירוּ קוֹל בַּמַּחֲנֶה לֵאמֹר אִישׁ וְאִשָּׁה אַל יַעֲשׂוּ עוֹד מְלָאכָה לִתְרוּמַת הַקֹּדֶשׁ וַיִּכָּלֵא הָעָם מֵהָבִיא: (ז) וְהַמְּלָאכָה הָיְתָה דַיָּם לְכָל הַמְּלָאכָה לַעֲשׂוֹת אֹתָהּ וְהוֹתֵר: ס

Shemot Chapter 16 שמות פרק טז
(2) In the wilderness, the whole Israelite community murmured against Moshe and Aharon.

(7) [Moshe and Aharon speaking:] “…and in the morning you shall behold the Glory of Hashem, because He has heard your murmurings against Hashem. For who are we that you should murmur against us? (8) Since it is Hashem,” Moshe continued, “who will give you flesh to eat in the evening and bread in the morning to the full, because Hashem has heard the murmurings you utter against Him, what is our part? Your murmuring is not against us, but against Hashem!” (ב) וַיִּלּוֹנוּ כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל מֹשֶׁה וְעַל אַהֲרֹן בַּמִּדְבָּר:

(ז) וּבֹקֶר וּרְאִיתֶם אֶת כְּבוֹד יְהֹוָה בְּשָׁמְעוֹ אֶת תְּלֻנֹּתֵיכֶם עַל יְהֹוָה וְנַחְנוּ מָה כִּי תַלִּינוּ עָלֵינוּ: (ח) וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה בְּתֵת יְהֹוָה לָכֶם בָּעֶרֶב בָּשָׂר לֶאֱכֹל וְלֶחֶם בַּבֹּקֶר לִשְׂבֹּעַ בִּשְׁמֹעַ יְהֹוָה אֶת תְּלֻנֹּתֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם מַלִּינִם עָלָיו וְנַחְנוּ מָה לֹא עָלֵינוּ תְלֻנֹּתֵיכֶם כִּי עַל יְהֹוָה:
The Sifra is the halakhic midrash on the book of VaYiqra, organizing tannaitic teachings according to the order of VaYiqra. The name “Sifra”, which is Aramaic for “the book”, was first used to refer to this work in the Geonic period (c. 600-1000). The Sifra is also referred to as Sifra D’vei Rav and Torat Kohanim by many later commentators.

Soloveitchik, Rabbi Joseph B. (1903-1993) was one of modernity’s most important and Jewish thinkers and the chief intellectual and spiritual architect of American Modern Orthodoxy. Born in Belarus into a family of great Rabbinic renown, he followed his grandfather, Rav Chaim of Brisk, who pioneered the “Brisker” method of Talmud study, which emphasizes rigorous conceptual analysis and precise classification of halakhic principles and dominates yeshivah learning to this day. After breaking with rabbinic convention by earning a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Berlin, focusing on the neo-Kantian thought of Hermann Cohen, Rav Soloveitchik emigrated to the U.S., where he served for decades as Chief Rabbi of Boston and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, in New York. It was there that he rose to larger-than-life prominence, overseeing the ordination of over 1,000 rabbis, delivering incisive and sophisticated Talmud shiurim-the first of their kind in English, as opposed to Yiddish-and wielding considerable communal influence. Over time, his disciples began to refer to him simply as “The Rav”, an appellation applied to him to this day in Modern Orthodox circles. Although he lectured widely, he followed a perfectionist family tradition not to publish much. However, two philosophical works published in his lifetime became instant classics: Halakhic Man-a philosophical statement of the worldview implied by the Brisker method in learning-and The Lonely Man of Faith-an existentialist statement regarding the warring tensions of majesty and humility in religious experience. Prominent in his thinking are the claims that human creativity is the manifestation of being created in the image of God and that living a life of halakhah is the Jew’s way of fully realizing that creative potential. Two points of controversy in his life were his vigorous embrace of Zionism, articulately expressed in the essay “Kol Dodi Dofek”, and his founding of the Maimonides School, in Boston, which combined rigorous Jewish and secular studies, and was also among the first institutions to teach Talmud to girls alongside boys.

T

Talmud Bavli, Menahot 43b: Commentary by the Sefat Emet 
“…for tekhelet resembles the sea” – Rashi explained, “for in it miracles were done for Israel”. Apparently, Rashi thought that tekhelet really looks just like the heavenly firmament, and if so, [wondered], why does the Talmud hangs one item on the next? Necessarily, then, it must be to recall each of those items. However, much more simply, it seems that each one only resembles that which resembles: tekhelet to the sea and the sea to the heavenly firmament, but not tekhelet to the heavenly firmament, and so on.
שהתכלת דומה לים פרש”י שנעשו בו נסים לישראל כנראה דס”ל לרש”י שהתכלת דומה ממש לרקיע א”כ למה תלינהו בש”ס חד בחבירו ע”כ לזכור כל אלו ג”כ אבל פשוט נראה שהכל רק דומה לדומה תכלת לים וים לרקיע אבל תכלת לרקיע לא וכן כולם.

Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 17a תלמוד בבלי סנהדרין יז:א
Our Rabbis have taught: “Two men had remained in camp” (Bemidbar 11:26): Some say they remained in the bin, for, when The Holy One said to Mosheh, “Gather Me 70 men from the elders of Israel”, Mosheh said: “How should I do it? If I pick six from each tribe, there will be two extra. If I pick five from each tribe, there will be ten too few. If I pick six from some tribes and five from others, I’ll foment jealousy between the tribes.” What did he do? He picked six from each and brought 72 slips. On 70 he wrote “Elder” and two he left blank. He mixed them up and put them in a bin. He said to them, “Come, take your slips.” To everyone whose hand drew “Elder” he said, “God has already sanctified you!” To everyone whose hand drew a blank, he said, “The Omnipresent did not want you; what can I do for you?!”

תנו רבנן: “וישארו שני אנשים במחנה” (במדבר י”א:כ”ו)-
יש אומרים בקלפי נשתיירו. שבשעה שאמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא למשה אספה לי שבעים איש מזקני ישראל אמר משה: כיצד אעשה? אברור ששה מכל שבט ושבט – נמצאו שנים יתירים, אברור חמשה חמשה מכל שבט ושבט – נמצאו עשרה חסרים, אברור ששה משבט זה וחמשה משבט זה – הריני מטיל קנאה בין השבטים, מה עשה? בירר ששה ששה, והביא שבעים ושנים פיתקין, על שבעים כתב זקן ושנים הניח חלק, בללן ונתנן בקלפי, אמר להם: בואו וטלו פיתקיכם! כל מי שעלה בידו זקן אמר: כבר קידשך שמים, מי שעלה בידו חלק – אמר: המקום לא חפץ בך, אני מה אעשה לך?

…R. Shimon said, they were left in the camp. When The Holy One said to Mosheh, “Gather Me 70 men from the elders of Israel”, Eldad and Medad said, “We’re not worthy for such greatness.” Said the Holy One, “Since you made yourselves small, I will add greatness upon your greatness.” What greatness was added? The other prophets prophesied and stopped, while they prophesied but did not stop.

…רבי שמעון אומר: במחנה נשתיירו. בשעה שאמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא למשה: אספה לי שבעים איש אמרו אלדד ומידד: אין אנו ראויין לאותה גדולה, אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא: הואיל ומיעטתם עצמכם – הריני מוסיף גדולה על גדולתכם. ומה גדולה הוסיף להם – שהנביאים כולן נתנבאו ופסקו, והם נתנבאו ולא פסק.

Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 45a תלמוד בבלי סנהדרין מה:א
Said Rav Nahman, said Rabbah bar Avuh: Scripture said, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (VaYiqra 19:18)-choose for him a good death. אמר רב נחמן אמר רבה בר אבוה: אמר קרא, “ואהבת לרעך כמוך” (ויקרא יט:יח) – ברור לו מיתה יפה.

For an explication of this gemara, see Michael Rosenberg’s devar torah on this site for Parashat Qedoshim, 5764, “The Prohibition of Taking Revenge”.

Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 74a תלמוד בבלי מסכת סנהדרין עד/א
It is taught: R. Yonatan b. Shaul says: If a “pursuer” is pursuing someone in order to kill him, and one can save him via one of his limbs and doesn’t save-he is executed on his account. תניא, רבי יונתן בן שאול אומר: רודף שהיה רודף אחר חבירו להורגו, ויכול להצילו באחד מאבריו ולא הציל – נהרג עליו.

Talmud Bavli Shabbat 21b תלמוד בבלי מסכת שבת דף כא/ב
When the Greeks entered the Temple, the defiled all the oil in the Temple. When the Hasmonean Kingdom became strong and was victorious, they checked and found only one jug of oil that had the seal of the High Priest and had only enough to light for one day. A miracle was done for them and they lit from it for eight days. The next year, they established them as festive days of praise and thanksgiving.
שכשנכנסו יוונים להיכל טמאו כל השמנים שבהיכל, וכשגברה מלכות בית חשמונאי ונצחום בדקו ולא מצאו אלא פך אחד של שמן שהיה מונח בחותמו של כהן גדול ולא היה בו אלא להדליק יום אחד. נעשה בו נס והדליקו ממנו שמונה ימים. לשנה אחרת קבעום ועשאום ימים טובים בהלל והודאה

Talmud Bavli Shabbat 22b תלמוד בבלי מסכת שבת דף כב/ב
[Regarding the Ner Tamid]: “Outside of the curtain of the testimony…shall [Aharon] set it up” (VaYiqra 24:3). But did [God] really need the light? Isn’t it true that all 40 years that the Children of Israel walked in the desert they walked only with [God’s] light?! Rather, it is testimony to anyone at all who comes by that the Shekhinah dwells with Israel. “מחוץ לפרוכת העדת…יערך” (ויקרא כד:ג):
וכי לאורה הוא צריך? והלא כל ארבעים שנה שהלכו בני ישראל במדבר לא הלכו אלא לאורו?! אלא, עדות היא לבאי עולם שהשכינה שורה בישראל.

Talmud Bavli Shabbat 88a תלמוד בבלי שבת פח/א
R. Simai expounded: When Israel said “We will do” before “we will hear”, 600,000 Administering Angels came and affixed two crowns on each and every Israelite-one for “We will do” and one for “We will hear”. When Israel sinned, 1,200,000 Angels of Destruction came and broke them off, as it is said, “So the Israelites remained stripped of the finery from Mt. Horev on” (Shemot 33:6). דרש רבי סימאי: בשעה שהקדימו ישראל נעשה לנשמע, באו ששים ריבוא של מלאכי השרת, לכל אחד ואחד מישראל קשרו לו שני כתרים, אחד כנגד נעשה ואחד כנגד נשמע. וכיון שחטאו ישראל, ירדו מאה ועשרים ריבוא מלאכי חבלה, ופירקום. שנאמר “ויתנצלו בני ישראל את עדים מהר חורב” (שמות לג:ו).

Talmud Bavli Ta‘anit 30b תלמוד בבלי תענית ל:
[Mishnah:] R. Shimon b. Gamaliel said: There were no greater days for Israel than the 15th of Av and Yom ha-Kippurim.
[Gemara:] That makes sense for Yom ha-Kippurim, for it has forgiveness and pardon, and is the day in which the later tablets were given. [משנה:] אמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל: לא היו ימים טובים לישראל כחמשה עשר באב וכיום הכפורים.”
[גמרא:] בשלמא יום הכפורים – משום דאית ביה סליחה ומחילה, יום שניתנו בו לוחות האחרונות.

Talmud Yerushalmi Nedarim 3:2/37d: Two Statements Said Simultaneously תלמוד ירושלמי נדרים ג:ב/לז:ד
“Emptiness” and “falsehood” were both said in one statement – that which is impossible for a mouth to say and for an ear to hear.

“Remember” (Shemot 20:8) and “Guard” (Devarim 5:12) were both said in one statement – that which is impossible for a mouth to say and for an ear to hear.

“Those who desecrate [the Shabbat] shall surely die” (Shemot 31:14) and “[on the Shabbat day,] two unblemished year-old lambs…” (Bemidbar 28:9) were both said in one statement – that which is impossible for a mouth to say and for an ear to hear.

“Do not reveal the nakedness of your brother’s wife” (VaYiqra 18:16) and “her husband’s brother shall come to her” (Devarim 25:5) were both said in one statement.

“No inheritance shall pass from one tribe to another tribe (Bemidbar 36:9) and “Every daughter who inherits a portion” (ibid., 8) were both said in one statement.

“Tassels shall you make for yourself” (Devarim 22:12) and “Do not wear cloth mixed [of linen and wool together]” (ibid., 11) were both said in one statement.

Likewise, he says, “One thing said God; it is two that I have heard” (Psalms 62:12) and it is written, “Is My word not like fire” says Hashem, “and like a hammer that shatters rock!?” (Yirmiyahu 23:29).

“שוא” ו”שקר” שניה[ן] נאמרו בדיבו[ר] אחד מה שאי איפשר לפה לומר ולא לאוזן לשמוע.

“זכור” (שמות כ:ח) ו”שמור” (דברים ה:יב) שניה[ן] בדבור אחד נאמרו מה שאי אפשר לפה לומר ולא לאוזן לשמוע.

“מחלליה מות יומת” (שמות לא:יד) ו”שני כבשים בני שנה תמימים” (במדבר כח:ט) נאמרו בדיבור אחד מה שאי איפשר לפה לומר ולא לאוזן לשמוע.

“ערות אשת אחיך לא תגלה” (ויקרא יח:טז), “יבמה יבא עליה” (דברים כה:ה) שניהן נאמרו בדיבור אחד.

ו”לא תסוב נחלה ממטה למטה אחר” (במדבר לו:ט) ו”כל בת יורשת נחלה” (שם, ח) שניהן בדיבור אחד.

“גדילין תעשה לך” (דברים כב:יב), “לא תלבש שעטנז” (שם, יא) שניהן בדיבור אחד נאמרו.

וכן הוא אומר אחת דיבר אלהים בדיבור שתים זו שמענו (תהילים סב:יב) וכתיב, “הלא כה דברי כאש נאם יי’ וכפטיש יפוצץ סלע (ירמיה כג:כט)”

Ten Commandments -The Two Versions 
דברים פרק ה – פרשת ואתחנן שמות פרק כ – פרשת יתרו
(ו) אָנֹכִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים לֹא יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים עַל פָּנָי:
(ז) לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה לְךָ פֶסֶל כָּל תְּמוּנָה אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִמַּעַל וַאֲשֶׁר בָּאָרֶץ מִתָּחַת וַאֲשֶׁר בַּמַּיִם מִתַּחַת לָאָרֶץ:
(ח) לֹא תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לָהֶם וְלֹא תָעָבְדֵם כִּי אָנֹכִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֵל קַנָּא פֹּקֵד עֲוֹן אָבוֹת עַל בָּנִים וְעַל שִׁלֵּשִׁים וְעַל רִבֵּעִים לְשֹׂנְאָי:
(ט) וְעֹשֶׂה חֶסֶד לַאֲלָפִים לְאֹהֲבַי וּלְשֹׁמְרֵי מִצְוֹתָי: ס
(י) לֹא תִשָּׂא אֶת שֵׁם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לַשָּׁוְא כִּי לֹא יְנַקֶּה יְהֹוָה אֵת אֲשֶׁר יִשָּׂא אֶת שְׁמוֹ לַשָּׁוְא: ס
(יא) שָׁמוֹר אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְקַדְּשׁוֹ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוְּךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ:
(יב) שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תַּעֲבֹד וְעָשִׂיתָ כָּל מְלַאכְתֶּךָ:
(יג) וְיוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבָּת לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה כָל מְלָאכָה אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ וְעַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתֶךָ וְשׁוֹרְךָ וַחֲמֹרְךָ וְכָל בְּהֶמְתֶּךָ וְגֵרְךָ אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ לְמַעַן יָנוּחַ עַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתְךָ כָּמוֹךָ:
(יד) וְזָכַרְתָּ כִּי עֶבֶד הָיִיתָ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וַיֹּצִאֲךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מִשָּׁם בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה עַל כֵּן צִוְּךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת: ס

(טו) כַּבֵּד אֶת אָבִיךָ וְאֶת אִמֶּךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוְּךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְמַעַן יַאֲרִיכֻן יָמֶיךָ וּלְמַעַן יִיטַב לָךְ עַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ: ס
(טז) לֹא תִּרְצָח ס
וְלֹא תִּנְאָף ס
וְלֹא תִּגְנֹב ס
וְלֹא תַעֲנֶה בְרֵעֲךָ עֵד שָׁוְא: ס
(יז) וְלֹא תַחְמֹד אֵשֶׁת רֵעֶךָ ס וְלֹא תִתְאַוֶּה בֵּית רֵעֶךָ שָׂדֵהוּ וְעַבְדּוֹ וַאֲמָתוֹ שׁוֹרוֹ וַחֲמֹרוֹ וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר לְרֵעֶךָ:ס

(ב) אָנֹכִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים לֹא יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים עַל פָּנָי:
(ג) לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה לְךָ פֶסֶל וְכָל תְּמוּנָה אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִמַּעַל וַאֲשֶׁר בָּאָרֶץ מִתָּחַת וַאֲשֶׁר בַּמַּיִם מִתַּחַת לָאָרֶץ:
(ד) לֹא תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לָהֶם וְלֹא תָעָבְדֵם כִּי אָנֹכִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֵל קַנָּא פֹּקֵד עֲוֹן אָבֹת עַל בָּנִים עַל שִׁלֵּשִׁים וְעַל רִבֵּעִים לְשֹׂנְאָי:
(ה) וְעֹשֶׂה חֶסֶד לַאֲלָפִים לְאֹהֲבַי וּלְשֹׁמְרֵי מִצְוֹתָי: ס
(ו) לֹא תִשָּׂא אֶת שֵׁם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לַשָּׁוְא כִּי לֹא יְנַקֶּה יְהֹוָה אֵת אֲשֶׁר יִשָּׂא אֶת שְׁמוֹ לַשָּׁוְא: פ
(ז) זָכוֹר אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְקַדְּשׁוֹ:
(ח) שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תַּעֲבֹד וְעָשִׂיתָ כָּל מְלַאכְתֶּךָ:
(ט) וְיוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבָּת לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה כָל מְלָאכָה אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ עַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתְךָ וּבְהֶמְתֶּךָ וְגֵרְךָ אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ:
(י) כִּי שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת הָאָרֶץ אֶת הַיָּם וְאֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר בָּם וַיָּנַח בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי עַל כֵּן בֵּרַךְ יְהֹוָה אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וַיְקַדְּשֵׁהוּ: ס
(יא) כַּבֵּד אֶת אָבִיךָ וְאֶת אִמֶּךָ לְמַעַן יַאֲרִכוּן יָמֶיךָ עַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ: ס
(יב) לֹא תִּרְצָח ס
לֹא תִּנְאָף ס
לֹא תִּגְנֹב ס
לֹא תַעֲנֶה בְרֵעֲךָ עֵד שָׁקֶר: ס
(יג) לֹא תַחְמֹד בֵּית רֵעֶךָ ס לֹא תַחְמֹד אֵשֶׁת רֵעֶךָ וְעַבְדּוֹ וַאֲמָתוֹ וְשׁוֹרוֹ וַחֲמֹרוֹ וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר לְרֵעֶךָ:פ

The Torah’s Description of the First Set of Tablets: 
Shemot 31:18 שמות לא:יח
He gave Mosheh, when He finished speaking with him on Mt. Sinai, the two tablets of the Pact, tablets of stone inscribed with the finger of God. וַיִּתֵּן אֶל מֹשֶׁה כְּכַלֹּתוֹ לְדַבֵּר אִתּוֹ בְּהַר סִינַי שְׁנֵי לֻחֹת הָעֵדֻת לֻחֹת אֶבֶן כְּתֻבִים בְּאֶצְבַּע אֱלֹהִים:
Shemot 32:15-16 שמות לב:טו-טז
Then Mosheh turned and went down from the mountain, with the two tablets of the Pact in his hand, tablets inscribed on both their surfaces: they were inscribed on one side and on the other. The tablets were God’s work and the writing was God’s writing, engraved on the tablets. וַיִּפֶן וַיֵּרֶד מֹשֶׁה מִן הָהָר וּשְׁנֵי לֻחֹת הָעֵדֻת בְּיָדוֹ לֻחֹת כְּתֻבִים מִשְּׁנֵי עֶבְרֵיהֶם מִזֶּה וּמִזֶּה הֵם כְּתֻבִים: וְהַלֻּחֹת מַעֲשֵׂה אֱלֹהִים הֵמָּה וְהַמִּכְתָּב מִכְתַּב אֱלֹהִים הוּא חָרוּת עַל הַלֻּחֹת:

The Torah’s Description of the Second Set of Tablets:
Shemot 34:1 שמות לד:א
Hashem said to Mosheh, “Carve yourself two stone tablets like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you shattered.” וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל מֹשֶׁה פְּסָל לְךָ שְׁנֵי לֻחֹת אֲבָנִים כָּרִאשֹׁנִים וְכָתַבְתִּי עַל הַלֻּחֹת אֶת הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ עַל הַלֻּחֹת הָרִאשֹׁנִים אֲשֶׁר שִׁבַּרְתָּ:
Devarim 10:1 דברים י:א
At that time, Hashem said to me, “Carve yourself two stone tablets like the first; come up to Me on the mountain and make yourself a wooden ark.” בָּעֵת הַהִוא אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי פְּסָל לְךָ שְׁנֵי לוּחֹת אֲבָנִים כָּרִאשֹׁנִים וַעֲלֵה אֵלַי הָהָרָה וְעָשִׂיתָ לְּךָ אֲרוֹן עֵץ:

The Tosafot are the Talmudic commentaries of 12th-14th century northern France. Following on the heels of Rashi’s Talmud commentary, which smoothed out rough edges in the flow of the text, his grandsons and their disciples revolutionized the study of Talmud with their introduction of dialectic, raising difficulties between different discussions (sugyot) in different places and resolving them by proposing distinctions between the cases. They thereby generated new halakhic conclusions that, in turn, spawned further debate and application. The intellectual force behind the Tosafist school was Rashi’s grandson, Yaaqov ben Meir (Remerupt, France, 1100-1171), known universally as Rabbenu Tam.* Through his many disciples, the most prominent of whom was his nephew, R. Yitzhaq of Dampierre (“the Ri,” 1120-1200), this approach to learning quickly conquered Ashkenazi culture and, in time, even dominated the Spanish learning of Ramban and his followers. Study of Tosafot became so central toward understanding the Talmud, that when the first printed editions of the Talmud were produced in the late 15th century, the printers flanked the text of the Talmud with Rashi’s commentary on one side and Tosafot on the other-the same format used in all standard printings of the Talmud to our day.
*This nickname is borrowed from Bereishit 25:27, which describes our forefather Yaaqov as “אִיש תָּם יֹשֵב אֹהָלִים”-“a plain man dwelling in tents”; the Rabbis (Bereishit Rabbah 63:10) explained that verse to mean that Yaaqov dwelt in the “tents” of Torah, i.e., he was the yeshivah student par excellence. Therefore, the nickname “Rabbenu Tam” is more than a cute word-play, rather, it expresses that its bearer embodied Torah prowess of mythic proportions.

Tradition that Qeturah is Hagar: Bereishit Rabbah 61:4 teaches: “‘ושמה קטורה’–רב אמר, זו הגר” (“‘and her name was Qeturah”-Rav said, This is Hagar”).
On our verse (24:62), Rashi comments, “‘מבוא באר לחי ראי’ – שהלך להביא הגר לאברהם אביו שישאנה” (“‘From Be’er Lahai Ro‘i’-he went to bring Hagar to Avraham his father, so that he would marry her”).

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VaYiqra 7:23-24 ויקרא ז:כג-כד
Speak to the Israelite people, saying, “You shall eat no helev of ox or sheep or goat. Helev from animals that died or were torn by beasts may be put to any use, but you must not eat it. דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר כָּל חֵלֶב שׁוֹר וְכֶשֶׂב וָעֵז לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ: וְחֵלֶב נְבֵלָה וְחֵלֶב טְרֵפָה יֵעָשֶׂה לְכָל מְלָאכָה וְאָכֹל לֹא תֹאכְלֻהוּ:
VaYiqra 10:1-2 ויקרא י:א-ב
Now Aharon’s sons Nadav and Avihu each took his fire pan, put fire in it, and laid incense on it; and they offered before God strange fire, which He had not commanded them. And fire came forth from God and consumed them; thus they died before God. וַיִּקְחוּ בְנֵי אַהֲרֹן נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ וַיִּתְּנוּ בָהֵן אֵשׁ וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלֶיהָ קְטֹרֶת וַיַּקְרִבוּ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֵשׁ זָרָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא צִוָּה אֹתָם: וַתֵּצֵא אֵשׁ מִלִּפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וַתֹּאכַל אוֹתָם וַיָּמֻתוּ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה:

VaYiqra 15:14-15 ויקרא טו:יד-טו
On the eighth day, he shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons and come before Hashem at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and give them to the priest. The priest shall offer them, the one as a purification offering and the other as a burnt offering; thus the priest shall make expiation on his behalf, for his seminal discharge, before Hashem. וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי יִקַּח לוֹ שְׁתֵּי תֹרִים אוֹ שְׁנֵי בְּנֵי יוֹנָה וּבָא לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֶל פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וּנְתָנָם אֶל הַכֹּהֵן: וְעָשָׂה אֹתָם הַכֹּהֵן אֶחָד חַטָּאת וְהָאֶחָד עֹלָה וְכִפֶּר עָלָיו הַכֹּהֵן לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה מִזּוֹבוֹ:

VaYiqra 16:5-10 ויקרא טז:ה-י
And from the Israelite community he shall take two he-goats for a sin-offering and a ram for a burnt offering. Aharon is to offer his own bull of sin offering, to make expiation for himself and for his household. Aharon shall take the two he-goats and let them stand before the Lord at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and he shall place lots upon the two goats, one marked for the Lord, which he is to offer as a sin offering, while the goat designated by lot for Azazel shall be left standing alive before the Lord, to make expiation with it and send it off to the wilderness for Azazel. וּמֵאֵת עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יִקַּח שְׁנֵי שְׂעִירֵי עִזִּים לְחַטָּאת וְאַיִל אֶחָד לְעֹלָה: וְהִקְרִיב אַהֲרֹן אֶת פַּר הַחַטָּאת אֲשֶׁר לוֹ וְכִפֶּר בַּעֲדוֹ וּבְעַד בֵּיתוֹ: וְלָקַח אֶת שְׁנֵי הַשְּׂעִירִם וְהֶעֱמִיד אֹתָם לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד: וְנָתַן אַהֲרֹן עַל שְׁנֵי הַשְּׂעִירִם גּוֹרָלוֹת גּוֹרָל אֶחָד לַיהֹוָה וְגוֹרָל אֶחָד לַעֲזָאזֵל: וְהִקְרִיב אַהֲרֹן אֶת הַשָּׂעִיר אֲשֶׁר עָלָה עָלָיו הַגּוֹרָל לַיהֹוָה וְעָשָׂהוּ חַטָּאת: וְהַשָּׂעִיר אֲשֶׁר עָלָה עָלָיו הַגּוֹרָל לַעֲזָאזֵל יָעֳמַד חַי לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה לְכַפֵּר עָלָיו לְשַׁלַּח אֹתוֹ לַעֲזָאזֵל הַמִּדְבָּרָה:

VaYiqra 16:5-10 ויקרא טז:כ-כ”ו
When he has finished purging the Shrine, the Tent of Meeting, and the altar, the live goat shall be brought forward. Aharon shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat and confess over it all the iniquities and transgressions of the Israelites, whatever their sins, putting them on the head of the goat; and it shall be sent off to the wilderness through a designated man. Thus the goat shall carry on it all their iniquities to an inaccessible region; and the goat shall be set free in the wilderness. And Aharon shall go into the Tent of Meeting, take off the linen vestments that he put on when he entered the Shrine, and leave them there. He shall bathe his body in water in the holy precinct and put on his vestments; then he shall come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, making expiation for himself and for the people. The fat of the sin offering he shall turn into smoke on the altar. He who set the Azazel goat free shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water; after that he may re-enter the camp. וְכִלָּה מִכַּפֵּר אֶת הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְאֶת אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וְאֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְהִקְרִיב אֶת הַשָּׂעִיר הֶחָי: וְסָמַךְ אַהֲרֹן אֶת שְּׁתֵי ידו יָדָיו עַל רֹאשׁ הַשָּׂעִיר הַחַי וְהִתְוַדָּה עָלָיו אֶת כָּל עֲוֹנֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת כָּל פִּשְׁעֵיהֶם לְכָל חַטֹּאתָם וְנָתַן אֹתָם עַל רֹאשׁ הַשָּׂעִיר וְשִׁלַּח בְּיַד אִישׁ עִתִּי הַמִּדְבָּרָה: וְנָשָׂא הַשָּׂעִיר עָלָיו אֶת כָּל עֲוֹנֹתָם אֶל אֶרֶץ גְּזֵרָה וְשִׁלַּח אֶת הַשָּׂעִיר בַּמִּדְבָּר: וּבָא אַהֲרֹן אֶל אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וּפָשַׁט אֶת בִּגְדֵי הַבָּד אֲשֶׁר לָבַשׁ בְּבֹאוֹ אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְהִנִּיחָם שָׁם: וְרָחַץ אֶת בְּשָׂרוֹ בַמַּיִם בְּמָקוֹם קָדוֹשׁ וְלָבַשׁ אֶת בְּגָדָיו וְיָצָא וְעָשָׂה אֶת עֹלָתוֹ וְאֶת עֹלַת הָעָם וְכִפֶּר בַּעֲדוֹ וּבְעַד הָעָם: וְאֵת חֵלֶב הַחַטָּאת יַקְטִיר הַמִּזְבֵּחָה: וְהַמְשַׁלֵּחַ אֶת הַשָּׂעִיר לַעֲזָאזֵל יְכַבֵּס בְּגָדָיו וְרָחַץ אֶת בְּשָׂרוֹ בַּמָּיִם וְאַחֲרֵי כֵן יָבוֹא אֶל הַמַּחֲנֶה:

VaYiqra 17:7 ויקרא יז:ז
They shall no longer offer their sacrifices to the goat-demons after whom they stray. This shall be to them a law for all time, throughout the ages. וְלֹא יִזְבְּחוּ עוֹד אֶת זִבְחֵיהֶם לַשְּׂעִירִם אֲשֶׁר הֵם זֹנִים אַחֲרֵיהֶם חֻקַּת עוֹלָם תִּהְיֶה זֹּאת לָהֶם לְדֹרֹתָם:

VaYiqra 17:10-14 ויקרא יז:י-יד
And if anyone of the house of Israel or of the strangers who reside among them partakes of any blood, I will set My face against the person who partakes of the blood, and I will cut him off from among his kin. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have assigned it to you for making expiation for your lives upon the altar; it is the blood, as life, that effects expiation. Therefore, I say to the Israelite people: No person among you shall partake of blood, nor shall the stranger who resides among you partake of blood. And if any Israelite or any stranger who resides among them hunts down an animal or a bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. For the life of all flesh-its blood is its life. Therefore, I say to the Israelite people: You shall not partake of the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Anyone who partakes of it shall be cut off. וְאִישׁ אִישׁ מִבֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִן הַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכָם אֲשֶׁר יֹאכַל כָּל דָּם וְנָתַתִּי פָנַי בַּנֶּפֶשׁ הָאֹכֶלֶת אֶת הַדָּם וְהִכְרַתִּי אֹתָהּ מִקֶּרֶב עַמָּהּ: כִּי נֶפֶשׁ הַבָּשָׂר בַּדָּם הִוא וַאֲנִי נְתַתִּיו לָכֶם עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לְכַפֵּר עַל נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם כִּי הַדָּם הוּא בַּנֶּפֶשׁ יְכַפֵּר: עַל כֵּן אָמַרְתִּי לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כָּל נֶפֶשׁ מִכֶּם לֹא תֹאכַל דָּם וְהַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכְכֶם לֹא יֹאכַל דָּם: וְאִישׁ אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִן הַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכָם אֲשֶׁר יָצוּד צֵיד חַיָּה אוֹ עוֹף אֲשֶׁר יֵאָכֵל וְשָׁפַךְ אֶת דָּמוֹ וְכִסָּהוּ בֶּעָפָר: כִּי נֶפֶשׁ כָּל בָּשָׂר דָּמוֹ בְנַפְשׁוֹ הוּא וָאֹמַר לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל דַּם כָּל בָּשָׂר לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ כִּי נֶפֶשׁ כָּל בָּשָׂר דָּמוֹ הִוא כָּל אֹכְלָיו יִכָּרֵת:
VaYiqra 24:5-9 ויקרא כד:ה-ט
You shall take choice flour and bake of it 12 loaves, 2/10 of a measure for each loaf. Place them on the pure table before Hashem in two rows, six to a row. With each row you shall place pure frankincense, which is to be a token offering for the bread, as an offering by fire to Hashem. He shall arrange them before Hashem regularly, every shabbat day-it is an eternal covenant on the part of the Israelites. They shall belong to Aharon and his sons, who shall eat them in the sacred precinct; for they are his as most holy things from Hashem’s offerings by fire, an eternal statute. (ה) וְלָקַחְתָּ סֹלֶת וְאָפִיתָ אֹתָהּ שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה חַלּוֹת שְׁנֵי עֶשְׂרֹנִים יִהְיֶה הַחַלָּה הָאֶחָת: (ו) וְשַׂמְתָּ אוֹתָם שְׁתַּיִם מַעֲרָכוֹת שֵׁשׁ הַמַּעֲרָכֶת עַל הַשֻּׁלְחָן הַטָּהֹר לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה: (ז) וְנָתַתָּ עַל הַמַּעֲרֶכֶת לְבֹנָה זַכָּה וְהָיְתָה לַלֶּחֶם לְאַזְכָּרָה אִשֶּׁה לַיהֹוָה: (ח) בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת יַעַרְכֶנּוּ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה תָּמִיד מֵאֵת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּרִית עוֹלָם: (ט) וְהָיְתָה לְאַהֲרֹן וּלְבָנָיו וַאֲכָלֻהוּ בְּמָקוֹם קָדֹשׁ כִּי קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים הוּא לוֹ מֵאִשֵּׁי יְהֹוָה חָק עוֹלָם:

The Vilna Gaon, Rav Eliyahu ben Shlomo, 1720 – 1797, Vilna, Lithuania, was one of the most significant figures in the intellectual history of Judaim of the last few hundred years. Also known commonly as the “GRA” (גר”א-an acronym for גאון רבי אליהו/Gaon Rabbi Eliyahu), he earned the title “Gaon”, meaning “genius”, in reflection of his staggering command of Rabbinic and Kaablistic literature. His halakhic writings reflect a commitment to original sources-establishing the early, Talmudic bases for all subsequent positions. In addition to his prowess in Torah learning, he ascribed importance to worldly knowledge and wrote books on grammar and mathematics. He fiercely opposed the spread of Hasidut, which arose in his lifetime, on account of its alleged laxity regarding halakhah and tradition. The Lithuanian yeshivah model developed by his students, particularly R. Chaim of Volozhin, continues to bear his imprint to this day.

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Where Did Aharon Die?

Parashat Mas‘ei (Bemidbar 33:30-39)

And they traveled from Hashmona and encamped at Moserot.
And they traveled from Moserot and encamped at Benei Ya‘aqan.
And they traveled from Benei Ya‘aqan and encamped at Hor haGidgod.
And they traveled from Hor haGidgod and encamped at Yotvat.
And they traveled from Yotvat and encamped at ‘Avronah.
And they traveled from ‘Avronah and encamped at ‘Etzion Gaver.
And they traveled from ‘Etzion Gaver and encamped in the Wilderness of Tzin, which is Qadesh.
And they traveled from Qadesh and encamped at Hor haHar, at the edge of the land of Edom.
And Aharon the Priest ascended Hor haHar by the word of H and died there in the 40th year of the exodus of the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, in the fifth month, on the first of the month.
And Aharon was 123 years old at his death at Hor haHar. וַיִּסְעוּ מֵחַשְׁמֹנָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּמֹסֵרוֹת:
וַיִּסְעוּ מִמֹּסֵרוֹת וַיַּחֲנוּ בִּבְנֵי יַעֲקָן:
וַיִּסְעוּ מִבְּנֵי יַעֲקָן וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּחֹר הַגִּדְגָּד:
וַיִּסְעוּ מֵחֹר הַגִּדְגָּד וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּיָטְבָתָה:
וַיִּסְעוּ מִיָּטְבָתָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּעַבְרֹנָה:
וַיִּסְעוּ מֵעַבְרֹנָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּעֶצְיוֹן גָּבֶר:
וַיִּסְעוּ מֵעֶצְיוֹן גָּבֶר וַיַּחֲנוּ בְמִדְבַּר צִן הִוא קָדֵשׁ:
וַיִּסְעוּ מִקָּדֵשׁ וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּהֹר הָהָר בִּקְצֵה אֶרֶץ אֱדוֹם:
וַיַּעַל אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן אֶל הֹר הָהָר עַל פִּי יְקֹוָק וַיָּמָת שָׁם בִּשְׁנַת הָאַרְבָּעִים לְצֵאת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַחֲמִישִׁי בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ:
וְאַהֲרֹן בֶּן שָׁלֹשׁ וְעֶשְׂרִים וּמְאַת שָׁנָה בְּמֹתוֹ בְּהֹר הָהָר:

Parashat ‘Eqev (Devarim 10:6-7)

And the children of Israel traveled from the wells of Benei Ya‘aqan to Moserah; there Aharon died and was buried there, and his son El‘azar ministered in his stead. From there they traveled to Gudgod and from Gudgod to Yotvat, a land of brooks of water. בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל נָסְעוּ מִבְּאֵרֹת בְּנֵי יַעֲקָן מוֹסֵרָה שָׁם מֵת אַהֲרֹן וַיִּקָּבֵר שָׁם וַיְכַהֵן אֶלְעָזָר בְּנוֹ תַּחְתָּיו: מִשָּׁם נָסְעוּ הַגֻּדְגֹּדָה וּמִן הַגֻּדְגֹּדָה יָטְבָתָה אֶרֶץ נַחֲלֵי מָיִם:
The Hebrew “שָׁם מֵת אַהֲרֹן”, in context, means “there Aharon died”, as translated here. However, grammatically, it could mean “there Aharon was dead”. This grammatical ambiguity will be the key for the Mekhilta’s resolution of the apparent contradiction.

Mekhilta d’R. Yishmael, BeShallah
(VaYisa 1, s.v., “VaYasa Mosheh”) ּמכילתא דרבי ישמעאל, בשלח
(מס’ דויסע פרשה א ד”ה ויסע משה)

Likewise, we find that they returned eight stations for Aharon’s dignity, for his burial, as is said, “And the children of Israel traveled from the wells of Benei Ya‘aqan to Moserah; there Aharon died…” (Dev. 10:6). But did he die at Moserah? Didn’t he actually die at Hor haHar, as is said, “And Aharon the Priest ascended [Hor haHar by the word of H and died there]” (Bemidbar 33:38)? What is meant by “there Aharon was dead and was buried there” (Dev., ibid.)? It teaches that they turned backward eight stations for Aharon’s dignity, for his burial, as is said, “And they traveled from Moserot and encamped at Benei Ya‘aqan…and they encamped at Hor haGidgod, and they traveled from Hor haGidgod and encamped at Yotvat, and they traveled from Yotvat and encamped at ‘Avronah, and they traveled from ‘Avronah and encamped at ‘Etzion Gaver, and they traveled from ‘Etzion Gaver and encamped at the Wilderness of Tzin, which is Qadesh, and they traveled from Qadesh, and encamped at Hor haHar (Bemidbar 33:31-37). וכן מצינו שחזרו לכבודו של אהרן לקבורתו שמונה מסעות שנ’ “ובני ישראל נסעו מבארות בני יעקן [מוסרה] שם מת אהרן וגו'” (דברים י:ו). וכי במוסרה מת והלא לא מת אלא בהר ההר, שנ’ “ויעל אהרן הכהן וגו'” (במדבר לג:לח)? ומה ת”ל “שם מת אהרן ויקבר שם” אלא מלמד שחזרו לאחוריהם לכבודו של אהרן לקבורתו שמונה מסעות, שנ’ “ויסעו ממוסרות ויחנו בבני יעקן…ויחנו בחור הגדגד, ויסעו מחור הגדגד ויחנו ביטבתה ויסעו מיטבתה ויחנו בעברונה, ויסעו מעברונה ויחנו בעציון גבר, ויסעו מעציון גבר ויחנו במדבר צין הוא קדש, ויסעו מקדש ויחנו בהר ההר” (במדבר לג:לא-לז).

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Yehezqel 44:7 יחזקאל מד:ז
…[You have committed abominations,] admitting aliens, uncircumcised of spirit and uncircumcised of flesh, to be in My sanctuary and profane My very Temple, when you offer up My food-the helev and the blood. בַּהֲבִיאֲכֶם בְּנֵי נֵכָר עַרְלֵי לֵב וְעַרְלֵי בָשָׂר לִהְיוֹת בְּמִקְדָּשִׁי לְחַלְּלוֹ אֶת בֵּיתִי בְּהַקְרִיבְכֶם אֶת לַחְמִי חֵלֶב וָדָם…

Yitro’s Departure from the Israelites
The Torah is unclear as to the circumstances of Yitro’s departure from the Israelites. The simplest read of parashah indicates that after the establishment of the justice system, Mosheh sent Yitro on his way (Shemot 18:27):

Then Mosheh sent his father-in-law off and he went to his own land. וַיְשַׁלַּח מֹשֶׁה אֶת חֹתְנוֹ וַיֵּלֶךְ לוֹ אֶל אַרְצוֹ.
However, Bemidbar 10:29-32 indicates that Yitro declined Mosheh’s request that he continue with them, and returned to his people solely of his own choice:

Mosheh said to Hovav b. Re‘u’el the Midianite, Mosheh’s father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place of which Hashem has said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will be generous with you, for Hashem has promised to be generous to Israel.” He replied, “I will not gom but will return to my native land.” He said, “Please do not leave us, inasmuch as you know where we should camp in the wilderness and can be our eyes. So if you come with us, we will extend to you the same bounty that Hashem grants us.” וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה לְחֹבָב בֶּן רְעוּאֵל הַמִּדְיָנִי חֹתֵן מֹשֶׁה נֹסְעִים אֲנַחְנוּ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֹתוֹ אֶתֵּן לָכֶם לְכָה אִתָּנוּ וְהֵטַבְנוּ לָךְ כִּי יְהֹוָה דִּבֶּר טוֹב עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל: וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לֹא אֵלֵךְ כִּי אִם אֶל אַרְצִי וְאֶל מוֹלַדְתִּי אֵלֵךְ: וַיֹּאמֶר אַל נָא תַּעֲזֹב אֹתָנוּ כִּי עַל כֵּן יָדַעְתָּ חֲנֹתֵנוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר וְהָיִיתָ לָּנוּ לְעֵינָיִם: וְהָיָה כִּי תֵלֵךְ עִמָּנוּ וְהָיָה הַטּוֹב הַהוּא אֲשֶׁר יֵיטִיב יְהֹוָה עִמָּנוּ וְהֵטַבְנוּ לָךְ:

Yitzhak, Rabbi Levi of Berdichev (c. 1740-1810) was one of the leading rabbis and zaddikim in the third generation of the Hasidiism. One of the intimate disciples of the Maggid of Mezhirech, Rabbi Levi Yitzhak held several rabbinic posts, in which he fell into recurring battles with local mitnaggedim (opponents of Hasidism) before moving in 1785 to Berdichev, where he served until his death and earned his great renown. Rabbi Levi Yitzhak was instrumental in the establishment of Hasidism in central Poland and its flourishing in Lithuania and the Ukraine. His teachings, as found in his collection of sermons, Kedushat Levi, stress the principles of joy and devekut (“cleaving”) to God, especially in the act of prayer, which should aim to reach hitpashetut ha-gashmiyyut (“disrobing of physicality”), such that one dwells alone in one’s spirit, free of bodily trappings. He was a populist leader, sometimes traveling throughout the land with his minyan to introduce people to the joy in mitzvot and to recruit them to Hasidism. He stressed the good in humanity, stressing the preference of admonishing people through positive reinforcement, to help them elevate themselves to better conduct.

Sources Comparing Yoseph to an Ox

Targum Yerushalmi (an interpretive translation) to Bereishit 49:6
תרגום ירושלמי בראשית מט:ו

…and when they pleased, they sold Yoseph their brother, who was compared to an ox. …וברעותהון זבינו יוסף אחיהון דמתיל לתורא.
Rashi on Bereishit 49:6 רש”י, בראשית מט:ו
“When they pleased, they uprooted an ox.”-They wanted to uproot Yoseph, who is called “ox”, as it is said, “Like a firstling ox in his majesty” (Devarim 33:17) “וברצונם עקרו שור” – רצו לעקור את יוסף שנקרא שור, שנאמר, “בכור שורו הדר לו” (דברים לג:יז).

Z

Zohar: The Zohar is the central work in the literature of Qabbalah (Jewish mysticism). Composed in the late 13th century, it was mythically attributed to the tanna (Mishnaic sage) Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai.

Zornberg , Dr. Avivah Gottlieb (1944- ), a native of Glasgow, Scotland and product of a prominent rabbinic family, has been a popular and widely recognized teacher of Torah in her home Jerusalem and around the English-speaking world since 1980. Holding a Ph.D. in English Literature from Cambridge University and degrees from Gateshead Seminary and Jerusalem Michlala, she taught English Literature at the Hebrew University from 1969 to 1976. Her approach centers on utilizing the tools of midrash, literary theory, and psychoanalysis to unpack the thick psychodynamics of the Biblical text. This approach is manifest in her two award-winning books, Genesis: the Beginning of Desire (Doubleday, 1995) and The Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodus (Doubleday 2001). Her lectures and books attract wide excitement from learned Jews as well as newcomers to the Bible.

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