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You Stand Here This Day—— PARSHA NITZAVIM
August 29, 2013, 4:49 pm
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The parsha begins ”You stand this day all of you before Yhv”h Elohech”a”. The sages say the day referred to here is Rosh Hashanah.

As every word of the Torah is precious. One can find so much meaning to its voice. Its written ” Not with you alone will I make this covenant and this oath; But with him who stands here with us this day before Yhv”h Elohech”a and also with him who is not here with us this day” (29:13-14). The Torah is Eternal as hinted by ” also with him who is not here with us this day”.

Its further written ”you will enter into covenant with Yhv”h Elohech”a, and into his oath, which the Yhv”h Elohech”a makes with you this day. That He may establish you today for a Nation to himself ”. This is what it is to be the Nation of Israel. The nation of GOD. Who here makes a covenant with us. Concerning this Covenant a few verses later GOD reminds us ”It should come to pass, when one hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart, Yhv”h will not spare him (18-20).

This warning concerns those who simply don’t care about Judaism. They say, “ I will be fine , If I live my life any way I want to, God does not care what we do. “

Apparently God isn’t that tolerant. As for such a one He uses the metaphor of wormwood.

This helps us to understand and explain god’s great anger at times against the Jewish people ?

The Parsha clearly tells us one thing that is sure to arouse Divine wrath as its written :

Because they forsook the covenant of HaShem, the G-d of their fathers, which He made with them when He

brought them forth out of the land of Egypt. “

(Devarim 29:17-24)

   Now standing in front of the Jewish people are noble men but they are not educated in Divine wisdom-Torah Knowledge. Many even naked of knowledge of Torah law. Only with knowledge is one given free choice. One would not know that the creator has forbidden growing two different types of plants close together unless one read this in the Torah. Then we know what to do. Without this knowledge there is not free choice. Without knowledge of the Torah one ends up with a different kind of life, so the generations changed. Most of us have heard stories of our religious ancestors. But a lack of Torah knowledge can rip away faith in the Divine God, the giver of the Law from generations. Creating a Jewish culture with different values not necessarily focused concerning piety, holiness, or respect for Torah, which is their heritage. Jewish youths found delight and closeness to God meditating on the Midrash (Ancient Jewish spiritual texts). When the House of learning Torah was the community gathering place. Today instead they gather at basketball games and parties. Yet the mitzvoth are not profane or ordinary, but they are Holy purifying and sanctifying the Jewish people revealing Godliness and also in all worlds. In a generation where every one wants to be part of the fad and fashion and no one wants to be left out. It is difficult to live as an individual with the uniqueness and distinctiveness of the one God and one people. Thus there is intermarriage, indifference and assimilation. Yet there are those that see GOD as omnipotent and believe it is under his laws, values and concepts we must love. Others can be found among our people that do not believe in a God that is effected by man. It will be between these and those that the future of the Jewish people and The State of Israel will be decided. Will Jerusalem be a reflection of the Heavens of Holiness; this cannot be accomplished by secularism alone, nor by impassionate religion resulting from spiritual starvation, creating a comfortable convenient Judaism. Which is something like playing ” Charade ”. In our parsha stands the famous words 

What is hidden is for Yhv”h our God, and

what is revealed is for us and our children

forever, to fulfill all the words of this Torah”

(Devarim 29:28)

There are certain very elevated levels of God’s revelations which are entirely beyond human comprehension and perceptions. It is forbidden for us to delve into these matters at all. They are “what is hidden is for Yhv”h our God.” The highest levels are not for us – they are only for GOD Himself.

What is hidden is for Yhv”h our God”

Our sages say “One who looks into these four concepts, it would have more merciful for him not to have been born: what exists

above the boundaries of Creation; what is below those boundaries; what existed before Creation; and what will exist after Creation ceases

to be. And one who does not respect his Master’s honor, it would have been more merciful for him if he had not come into the world to begin with” (Chagigah 11b). Our Sages also tell us, “Until this level, you have permission to understand and discuss.From here and above, you do not have permission to discuss. For this is what it says in the Book of Ben Sira: ‘What is above you, do not in quire into, and what is covered up for you, do not investigate. Reflect on what is permitted for you; you have nothing to do with hidden matters’” (Chagigah 13a) “It is GOD’s honor to conceal those matters” (Mishle 25:2). “What is hidden is for Yhv”h our God,” This also refers to the the impact of our mitzvot in the higher worlds, which we cannot see. If we knew how great the results of the mitzvot were upon grown of your own soul and the fixing they make in all worlds we would loose our free will. So this providence is hidden.

In the Midrash on the Book of Vayikra Rabbi Yishmael said, come see how severe is the Day of Judgment. A Jew who has learned the Bible but not Mishnah is approached for judgment, Because he has not studied Mishnah, “the Holy One, blessed be He, turns His Face away from him… Next to approach is one who has learned two or three [of the six] Orders [of the Mishnah]. The Holy One, blessed be He, says to him, ‘My son, all the halachot (meaning the Mishnayot), why did you not study them?’ Then one approaches who has learned halachot (the entire Mishnah ). He says to him, ‘My son, why did you not study Torat Cohanim’. This line of questioning continues until a Torah scholar fluent in the Talmud approaches. GOD says to him, “My son, since you engaged in Talmud, did you also study the Maaseh Merkavah (the secrets of the Divine Chariot) ? ”

What is revealed is for us and our children forever” refers to

the aspects of the Torah including its secrets that are our portion which is “required” of us are that which can be applied to enhancing our service of GOD doing God’s Commandments. Only by this may we achieve complete fulfillment of the mitzvot. As Rabbi Hayyim Vital explains that the glory and beauty of Torah lies in comprehension

of its profound spiritual meaning. Only through the study of the secrets of the Torah can and will the true inner reasons of the commandments become revealed. Without this knowledge it is not possible for us to understand much about the commandments, but only a very limited perspective. Many times “halachah” (Jewish Law)

is based on deep, esoteric Kabbalistic secrets. Our great Sefardic Torah sages like the Hidda and the Ben Ish Chai explained many of these Kabbalistic practices found in halachah and revealed more then were know to most men in the European Jewish comunities. in their words we are guided by to this day.

For example how does Tefillin and Sitzet work. What is the method of obtaining prayer of “Ruach ha Kodesh” (The Holy Spirit). The answers to these questions can only be found in the secrets of the Torah. The Arizal explains that the mitzvot we do bring repair to this world. When we fulfill a mitzvah, we bring together the letters of GOD’s Name. This is called “yichud” (unifying). When we sin, we tear them apart, causing “perud” (separation).

 

The parsha concludes saying ” love Yhv”h Elohech”a, and that you may obey his voice, and that you may cleave to him; for he is your life, and the length of your days; that you may live in the land which Yhv”h swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

So let us all , as in this parsa accept upon ourselves the kingship of GOD this RoshHashanah, and become the nation of Israel spoken of here in our parsha so that we may see the words in our parsha fulfilled ”. And Yhv”h Elohech”a will put all these curses upon your enemies, and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.” (7:30) With the arrival of our righteous Mashiach quickly in our days.



2 Rabbis 2 very different ways booth very HOLY !

Of the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva only 4 survived the plague. They are

Rabbi Yuhuda Judah bar Ilai 

Rabbi Simon b.Yochai

Rabbi Meir

Rabbi Nachemya”h

Rabbi Yosi 

Rabbi Simon b.Yochai  and Rabbi Yehuda were discussing the political situation of their day. Rabbi Simon b.Yochai  derided and condemned the Romans. Rabbi Yehuda  praised them for their public works. Rabbi Yehuda was appointed by the Romans as the leader at all Rabbinic gatherings, for having praised them. Rabbi Shimon was force to flee in to hiding for the 13 years in the cave.

This is about Rabbi Judah bar Ilai and Rabbi Simon b.Yochai.

Rabbi Yehuda bar Ilai  is the most frequently mentioned Sage in the Mishnah.

God gave both the power to work miracles.

They lived at the same time but were very different.

 I was at Rabbi Yuhuda’s grave a while ago and we all were aware of the Tremendous power of his soul that dwells there.

Every mishna in only the name of Rabbi Yuhuda is Rabbi Yuhuda bar Ilai , He is referred to as the “Chasid” in the Talmud.

יהודה בר אלעאי =345 =משה

Rabbi Yuhuda bar Ilai was ordained by Rebbe Yehuda ben Baba (The only one of the sages to survive Alexander Yani’s persecutions) as he sacrificed his life (as one of the 10 martyrs killed by the Romans).

what this all means I do not know

there is something deep going on here !

It was taught: It was a tree which spread over all living things [footnote: i.e., over the whole world]. R. Judah b. R. Ilai said: The tree of life covered a five hundred years’ journey, and all the primeval waters branched out in streams under it. R. Judan said in the name of R. Judah b. R. Ila’i: Not only its boughs but even its trunk was a five hundred years’ journey. (Midrash Rabbah – Genesis XV:6)

After Akiba’s death, however, R. Judah b. Baba ordained Eleazar, together with Meïr, Jose b. Ḥalafta, Judah b. Ila’i, and Simon b.Yochai, at a secluded spot between Usha and Shefar’am. The ordainer was detected in the act and brutally slain; but the ordained escaped, and eventually became the custodians and disseminators of Jewish tradition (Sanh. 13b; ‘Ab. Zarah 8b).

Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan, reporting R. Judah b. Ila’i: See what a difference there is between the earlier and the later generations. The earlier generations made the study of the Torah their main concern and their ordinary work subsidiary to it, and both prospered in their hands. The later generations made their ordinary work their main concern and their study of the Torah subsidiary, and neither prospered in their hands.

Rabbah b. Bar Hanah further said in the name of R. Johanan reporting R. Judah b. Ila’i: Observe the difference between the earlier and the later generations. The earlier generations used to bring in their produce by way of the kitchen-garden14 purposely in order to make it liable to tithe, whereas the later generations bring in their produce by way of roofs or courtyards or enclosures in order to make it exempt from tithe. For R. Jannai has said: Untithed produce is not subject to tithing15 until it has come within sight of the house, since it says. I have put away the hallowed things out of my house.16 R. Johanan, however, says that even [sight of] a courtyard imposes the obligation, as it says, That they may eat within thy gates and be satisfied.17

There is no contradiction: one statement refers to one who stays long and strains himself, the other to one who stays long without straining himself. This may be illustrated by what a certain matron said to R. Judah b. R. Ila’i: Your face is [red] like that of pig-breeders and usurers,6 to which he replied: On my faith, both [occupations] are forbidden me, but there are twenty-four privies between my lodging and the Beth ha-Midrash, and when I go there I test myself in all of them.7

Rab Judah also said:8 Three things shorten a man’s days and years: To be given a scroll of the Law to read from and to refuse, to be given a cup of benediction to say grace over and to refuse, and to assume airs of authority. ‘To be given a scroll of the Law to read from and to refuse’, as it is written: For that is thy life and the length of thy days.9 ‘To be given a cup of benediction to say grace over and to refuse’, as it is written: I will bless them that bless thee.10 ‘To assume airs of authority’, as R. Hama b. Hanina said: Why did Joseph die before his brethren?11 Because he assumed airs of authority.

Rab Judah also said in the name of Rab: There are three things for which one should supplicate: a good king, a good year, and a good dream.12 ‘A good king’, as it is written: A king’s heart is in the hands of the Lord as the water-courses.13 ‘A good year’, as it is written: The eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.14 ‘A good dream’, as it is written; Wherefore cause Thou me to dream15 and make me to live.16

Our Rabbis taught: Croup comes to the world on account of [neglect of] tithes.1 R. Eleazar b. R. Jose said: On account of slander. Said Raba-others maintain, R. Joshua b. Levi-what verse [teaches this]? But the king shall rejoice in God: Everyone that sweareth by him shall glory; For the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped [yissaker].2 The scholars propounded: Does R. Eleazar son of R. Jose say, [Only] on account of slander, or perhaps on account of slander too? — Come and hear: For when our Rabbis entered the ‘vineyard’ in Yabneh,3 R. Judah, R. Eleazar son of R. Jose and R. Simeon were present, and this question was raised before them: why does this affliction commence in the bowels and end in the throat? Thereupon R. Judah son of R. Ila’i, the first speaker on all occasions4 answered and said: Though the kidneys counsel, the heart gives understanding,5 and the tongue gives form,6 yet the mouth completes it. R. Eleazar son of R. Jose answered: Because they eat unclean food therewith. ‘Unclean food!’ can you think so?7 Rather [say] because they eat unfit food.8 R. Simeon answered and said, As a punishment for the neglect of study.9 Said they to him. Let women prove it!10 -That is because they restrain their husbands [from study]. Let Gentiles prove it!11 -That is because they restrain Israel. Let children prove it! — That is because they make their fathers to neglect [study].12 Then let school-children prove it!-There it is as R. Gorion. For R. Gorion-others state, R. Joseph son of R. Shemaiah-said: When there are righteous men in the generation, the righteous are seized [by death] for the [sins of the] generation; when there are no righteous in a generation, school-children are seized for the generation.13 R. Isaac b. Ze’iri others state, R. Simeon b. Neizra-said: Which verse [teaches this]? If thou know not, O thou, fairest among women, Go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, etc.,14 and we interpret this as [referring to] the goats which are taken in pledge for the [debts of the] shepherds. Thus this proves that he said on account of slander too. This proves it.

Now, why is he [R. Judah son of R. Ila’i] called the first speaker on all occasions?-For R. Judah, R. Jose, and R. Simeon were sitting, and Judah, a son of proselytes, was sitting near them. R. Judah commenced [the discussion] by observing, ‘How fine are the works of this people!15 They have made streets, they have built bridges, they have erected baths.’ R. Jose was silent. R. Simeon b. Yohai answered and said, ‘All that they made they made for themselves; they built market-places, to set harlots in them; baths, to rejuvenate themselves; bridges, to levy tolls for them.’ Now, Judah the son of proselytes went and related their talk,16 which reached17 the government. They decreed: Judah, who exalted [us], shall be exalted,18 Jose, who was silent, shall be exiled to Sepphoris;19 Simeon, who censured, let him be executed. So they went and hid in a cave. A miracle occurred.

Rabbah b. Bar Hana in the name of R. Johanan, on the authority of R. Judah b. Ila’i, said: Rome is designed to fall into the hands of Persia, that may be concluded by inference a minori ad majus: If in the case of the first Sanctuary, which the sons of Shem [Solomon] built and the Chaldeans destroyed, the Chaldeans fell into the hands of the Persians,37 then how much more should this be so with the second Sanctuary, which the Persians built and the Romans destroyed, that the Romans should fall into the hands of the Persians.38 Rab said: Persia will fall into the hands of Rome. Thereupon R. Kahana and R. Assi asked of Rab: [Shall] the builders fall into the hands of the destroyers? — He said to them: Yes, it is the decree of the King.39 Others say: He replied to them: They too are guilty for they destroyed the synagogues. It has also been taught in accord with the above, Persia will fall into the hands of Rome, first because they destroyed the synagogues, and then because it is the King’s decree that the builders fall into the hands of the destroyers. Rab also said: The son of David will not come until the wicked kingdom of Rome will have spread [its sway] over the whole world for nine months, as it is said: Therefore will He give them up, until the time that she who travaileth hath brought forth; then the residue of his brethren shall return with the children of Israel.40

R. Judah b. Ila’i expounded, If [the roof of] a house is breached, and he placed a Sukkah-covering over it, it25 is valid.26 R. Ishmael son of R. Jose said to him, Master, explain [thy words]. Thus my father27 explained it: If there are four cubits28 it25 is invalid,26 if less than four cubits, it is valid.

R. Judah b. Ila’i expounded, Abruma29 is permitted. R. Ishmael son of R. Jose said to him, Master, explain [thy words]. Thus said my father, Those from such and such a place are forbidden,30 and from such and such a place are permitted.31 This is analogous to that which Abaye said; the zahantha32 of Bab Nahara33 are permitted. What is the reason? If you will say that it is because there is a swift current there, and an unclean fish, since it has no spinal cord, cannot exist therein, [it could be retorted that] we see that they do exist [in rivers with rapid currents]. Will you then say that it is because it has salt water, and ‘an unclean fish, since it has no scales, cannot exist [in salt water, it could be retorted that] we see that they do exist? — The reason in fact is that the muddy nature of this river does not allow unclean fish to breed in it. Rabina said, But at the present time that the River Ethan34 and the River Gamda flow therein, they35 are forbidden.36

If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews. They said to him: If he comes from the other tribes, you can prevail over him, but if he is from the tribe of Judah or of Benjamin, Ephraim or Manasseh, you will not prevail over him. ‘Judah’, as it is written, Thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies.19 The others, because it is written of them, Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy might.20

But falling thou shalt fall.21 R. Judah b. Ila’i drew a lesson from this verse, Saying: Why are two fallings mentioned here? Haman’s friends said to him: This people is likened to the dust and it is likened to the stars. When they go down, they go down to the dust, and when they rise they rise to the stars. Came the king’s chamberlains and hastened [wa-yabhilu] to bring Haman.22 The use of this word [wa-yabhilu]23 tells us that they brought him all in confusion [behalah].

For we are sold, I and my people etc . . . For the adversary cares24 not that the king is endamaged.25 She said to him: This adversary cares not for the damage of the king. He was angry with Vashti and killed her,26 and he is angry with me and wants to kill me.

It has been taught: R. Simon b. Yohai said: Come and see how beloved are Israel in the sight of God, in that to every place to which they were exiled the Shechinah went with them. They were exiled to Egypt and the Shechinah was with them, as it says, Did I reveal myself unto the house of thy father when they were in Egypt.4 They were exiled to Babylon, and the Shechinah was with them, as it says, for your sake I was sent to Babylon.5 And when they will be redeemed in the future, the Shechinah will be with them, as it says, Then the Lord thy God will return [with] thy captivity.6 It does not say here we-heshib [and he shall bring back] but we-shab [and he shall return]. This teaches us that the Holy One, blessed be He, will return with them from the places of exile.

Beth Shammai said to Beth Hillel: If she was lame or blind, does one say of her: ‘Beautiful and graceful bride’? Whereas the Torah3 said, ‘Keep thee far from a false matter.’4 Said Beth Hillel to Beth Shammai: According to your words,5 if one has made a bad purchase in the market, should one praise it6 in his eyes or depreciate it?7 Surely,8 one should praise it in his eyes. Therefore,9 the Sages said: Always should the disposition of man be pleasant with people. — When R. Dimi came,10 he said: Thus they sing before the bride in the West:11 no powder12 and no paint13 and no waving14 [of the hair], and still a graceful gazelle. When the Rabbis ordained R. Zera they sang before him thus: No powder and no paint and no waving [of the hair], and still a graceful gazelle. When the Rabbis ordained R. Ammi and R. Assi they sang before them thus: Such as these, such as these ordain unto us, [but] do not ordain unto us of the perverters15 or babblers,16 and some say: of the half-scholars17 or one-third-scholars.18 When R. Abbahu came from the Academy to the court of the Emperor,19 hand-maids20 from the Imperial house went out towards him and sang before him thus, ‘Prince of his people, leader of his nation, shining light,21 blessed be thy coming in peace!’ They tell of R. Judah b. Ila’i that he used to take a myrtle twig and dance before the bride and say: ‘Beautiful and graceful bride.’ R. Samuel the son of R. Isaac danced with three [twigs].22 R. Zera said: The old man is putting us to shame.23 When he24 died,25 a pillar of fire came between him and the whole [of the rest of the] world. And there is a tradition that a pillar of fire has made such a separation26 only either for one in a generation or for two in a generation only.27 R. Zera said: His twig28 [benefited] the old man, and some say: His habit29 [benefited] the old man, and some say: his folly30 [benefited] the old man. — R. Aha took31 her32 on his shoulder and danced [with her]. The Rabbis said to him: May we [also] do it? He said to them: If they33 are on you34 like a beam,35 [then it is] all right. and if not, [you may] not. R. Samuel b. Nahmani said [that] R. Jonathan said: it is allowed to look intently at the face of the bride all the seven [days]36 in order to make her beloved to her husband.37 But the law is not according to him. Our Rabbis taught: One causes a funeral procession38 to make way39 for a bridal procession,40 and both of them41 for the King of Israel. One tells of King Agrippa that he made way for a bride, and the Sages praised him. — They praised him — from this it would seem that he did well. Did not R. Ashi say: Even according to him, who says [that] if a king forgoes his honour, his honour is forgone, if a king forgoes his honour, his honour is not forgone. for a Master said:42 ‘Thou shalt set a king over thee,’43 [this means] that his awe shall be over thee?44 — It was [at] a cross-road.45 Our Rabbis taught: One interrupts46 the study of the Torah for the sake of a funeral procession47 and the leading48 of the bride [under the bridal canopy]. They tell of R. Judah b. Ila’i that he interrupted the study of the Torah for the sake of a funeral procession49 and the leading50 of the bride [under the bridal canopy]. This applies only51 when there are not sufficient people at the funeral procession,52 but if there are sufficient people one does not interrupt [the study of the Torah].53

. It was recorded of R. Judah b. Ila’i that he used to suspend the study of the Torah for escorting a dead body to the burying place and a bride to the canopy. When does this rule [regarding the dead] apply? When there are not present sufficient numbers [to pay him due honour]; but if sufficient numbers are available, [the study of the Torah] is not suspended. What numbers are sufficient?-R. Samuel b. Inia said in the name of Rab: Twelve thousand and [in addition] six thousand trumpets, or, as according to another version, twelve thousand men of whom six thousand have trumpets. Ulla said: Enough to make a procession extending from the burying ground to the town gate. R. Shesheth said: The withdrawal of the Torah1 should correspond to its delivery:2 as its delivery was in the presence of sixty myriads, so its withdrawal should be accompanied by sixty myriads. This applies to one who knew by heart Scripture and Mishnah; but for one who [also] taught the Mishnah there is no limit.3

They tell of R. Judah b. Ila’i that he used to take a myrtle twig and dance before the bride and say: ‘Beautiful and graceful bride.’ R. Samuel the son of R. Isaac danced with three [twigs].22 R. Zera said: The old man is putting us to shame.23 When he24 died,25 a pillar of fire came between him and the whole [of the rest of the] world. And there is a tradition that a pillar of fire has made such a separation26 only either for one in a generation or for two in a generation only.27 R. Zera said: His twig28 [benefited] the old man, and some say: His habit29 [benefited] the old man, and some say: his folly30 [benefited] the old man. — R. Aha took31 her32 on his shoulder and danced [with her]. The Rabbis said to him: May we [also] do it? He said to them: If they33 are on you34 like a beam,35 [then it is] all right. and if not, [you may] not. R. Samuel b. Nahmani said [that] R. Jonathan said: it is allowed to look intently at the face of the bride all the seven [days]36 in order to make her beloved to her husband.37 But the law is not according to him. Our Rabbis taught: One causes a funeral procession38 to make way39 for a bridal procession,40 and both of them41 for the King of Israel. One tells of King Agrippa that he made way for a bride, and the Sages praised him. — They praised him — from this it would seem that he did well. Did not R. Ashi say: Even according to him, who says [that] if a king forgoes his honour, his honour is forgone, if a king forgoes his honour, his honour is not forgone. for a Master said:42 ‘Thou shalt set a king over thee,’43

Rabbah b. Bar Hanah reported R. Johanan as saying in the name of Rabbi Judah b. Ila’i: What a difference we can observe between the earlier generations and the later! (By the earlier generations he means Beth Shammai, and by the later R. Dosa). For it has been taught : ‘A woman who has been carried away captive may still eat terumah,9 according to the ruling of R. Dosa. Said R. Dosa: What after all has this Arab done to her? Because he squeezed her breasts, has he disqualified her for marrying a priest?’10 Rabbah b. Bar Hanah further quoted R. Johanan as saying in the name of Rabbi Judah b. Ila’i: What a difference we can observe between the earlier generations and the later! The earlier generations used to bring in their produce by way of the kitchen garden11 so as to make it liable to tithe, whereas the later generations bring in their produce over roofs and through enclosures so as not to make it liable for tithe, R. Jannai laid down that tebel12 is not liable for tithe13 until it has come in front of the house, since it says, I have put away the hallowed things out of mine house.14 R. Johanan, however, says that even a courtyard15 imposes the liability, as it says, That they may eat within thy gates and be filled.16

It has been stated: R. Isaac b. Joseph said in R. Johanan’s name: The halachah is as R. Judah. R. Aha son of R. Huna said in R. Shesheth’s name: The halachah is as R. Jose.28 Now, did R. Johanan really say this? But R. Johanan said, The halachah rests with an anonymous Mishnah, and we have learnt, HIS TEACHER, WHO INSTRUCTED HIM IN WISDOM!29 — What is meant by WISDOM? The greater part of one’s knowledge.

Our Rabbis taught: They who occupy themselves with the Bible [alone] are but of indifferent merit;30 with Mishnah, are indeed meritorious, and are rewarded for it; with Gemara31 — there can be nothing more meritorious; yet run always to the Mishnah more than to the Gemara. Now, this is self-contradictory. You say, ‘with Gemara — there can be nothing more meritorious;’ and then you say, ‘Yet run always to the Mishnah more than to the Gemara!’ — Said R. Johanan:

This teaching1 was taught in the days of Rabbi; thereupon everyone forsook the Mishnah and went to the Gemara; hence he subsequently taught them, ‘Yet run always to the Mishnah more than to the Gemara.’2 How was that inferred?3 — Even as R. Judah son of R. Ila’i expounded: What is the meaning of, Shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins?4 ‘Shew my people their transgression’ refers to scholars, whose unwitting errors5 are accounted as intentional faults;6 ‘and the house of Israel their sins’ — to the ignorant, whose intentional sins are accounted to them as unwitting errors. And that is the meaning of what we learnt: R. Judah said: Be heedful of the [Talmud],7 for an error in Talmud is accounted as intentional.

R. Judah son of R. Ila’i taught: What is meant by the verse, Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word?8 — This refers to scholars; Your brethren said, to students of Scripture; that hate you — to students of the Mishnah;9 that cast you out — to the ignorant.10 [Yet] lest you say, their hope [of future joy] is destroyed, and their prospects frustrated, Scripture states , And we shall see your joy.11 Lest you think, Israel shall be ashamed, — therefore it is stated, and they shall be ashamed: the idolaters shall be ashamed, whilst Israel shall rejoice.

Wherever an incident is related of a ‘pious man’, either Judah b. Baba or Judah b. Ila’i is meant. (Tem. 16b).]

R.Samuel b. Nahmani said in R. Jonathan’s name: What is meant by the verse, Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised?4 — ‘Grace is deceitful’ refers to [the trial of] Joseph; ‘and beauty is vain’, to Boaz; while ‘and a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised’, to the case of Palti son of Layish. Another interpretation is: ‘Grace is deceitful’, refers to the generation of Moses;5 ‘and beauty is vain’ to that of Joshua; ‘and she that feareth the Lord shall be praised’, to that of Hezekiah.6 Others Say: ‘Grace is deceitful’, refers to the generations of Moses and Joshua; ‘and beauty is vain’, to the generation of Hezekiah; while ‘she that feareth the Lord shall be praised’. refers to the generation of R. Judah son of R. Ila’i, of whose time it was said that [though the poverty was so great that] six of his disciples had to cover themselves with one garment between them, yet they studied the Torah.7 MISHNAH. IF A DEATH OCCURS IN HIS [THE KING’S] FAMILY, HE MUST NOT GO OUT OF THE DOOR OF HIS PALACE. R. JUDAH SAID: IF HE WISHES TO FOLLOW THE BIER, HE MAY, EVEN AS WE FIND IN THE CASE OF DAVID, WHO FOLLOWED THE BIER OF ABNER, AS IT IS WRITTEN, AND KING DAVID FOLLOWED THE BIER.8 BUT THEY [THE RABBIS] ANSWERED: [THIS IS NO PROOF, FOR] THAT WAS BUT TO PACIFY THE PEOPLE.9 AND WHEN THE MOURNERS’ MEAL10 [AFTER THE FUNERAL] IS GIVEN TO HIM, ALL THE PEOPLE RECLINE ON THE GROUND, AND HE SITS ON THE DARGESH.11

MISHNAH. OATHS ARE OF TWO KINDS, SUBDIVIDED INTO FOUR;1 THE LAWS CONCERNING THE DISCOVERY OF HAVING [UNCONSCIOUSLY] SINNED THROUGH UNCLEANNESS ARE OF TWO KINDS, SUBDIVIDED INTO FOUR;2 THE LAWS CONCERNING CARRYING ON THE SABBATH ARE OF TWO KINDS, SUBDIVIDED INTO FOUR;3 THE SHADES OF LEPROUS AFFECTIONS ARE OF TWO KINDS, SUBDIVIDED INTO FOUR.4

WHERE5 THERE IS KNOWLEDGE AT THE BEGINNING AND AT THE END BUT FORGETFULNESS BETWEEN,6 A ‘SLIDING SCALES’ SACRIFICE IS BROUGHT.7 WHERE THERE IS KNOWLEDGE AT THE BEGINNING BUT NOT AT THE END, THE GOAT THE BLOOD OF WHICH IS SPRINKLED WITHIN THE VEIL ON THE DAY OF ATONEMENT8 TOGETHER WITH THE DAY OF ATONEMENT ITSELF HOLD THE SIN IN SUSPENSE9 UNTIL IT BECOME KNOWN TO THE SINNER, AND HE BRINGS THE ‘SLIDING SCALE’ SACRIFICE. WHERE THERE IS NO KNOWLEDGE AT THE BEGINNING BUT THERE IS KNOWLEDGE AT THE END, THE GOAT SACRIFICED ON THE OUTER ALTAR TOGETHER WITH THE DAY OF ATONEMENT ITSELF BRING HIM FORGIVENESS;10 FOR IT IS SAID: ‘[ONE HE-GOAT FOR A SIN-OFFERING] BESIDE THE SIN-OFFERING OF ATONEMENT’:11 [THEY ARE LIKENED TO ONE ANOTHER SO THAT WE MAY DEDUCE THAT] BOTH ATONE FOR SIMILAR KINDS OF SIN: JUST AS THE ‘INNER’ GOAT12 ATONES ONLY FOR AN UNCONSCIOUS SIN — WHERE THERE WAS KNOWLEDGE [AT THE BEGINNING], SO THE ‘OUTER’13 GOAT ATONES ONLY FOR AN UNCONSCIOUS SIN — WHERE THERE WAS KNOWLEDGE [AT THE END]. WHERE THERE IS NO KNOWLEDGE EITHER AT THE BEGINNING OR AT THE END, THE GOATS OFFERED AS SIN-OFFERINGS ON FESTIVALS AND NEW MOONS BRING ATONEMENT. THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. JUDAH [B. ILA’I]. R. SIMEON [B. YOHAI] HOLDS THAT THE FESTIVAL GOATS ALONE AND NOT THE NEW MOON GOATS ATONE FOR THIS CLASS OF UNCONSCIOUS OFFENCE.14 AND FOR WHAT DO THE NEW MOON GOATS BRING ATONEMENT? —

Rabbi (R. Judah ha-Nassi), in compiling the Mishnah, drew upon earlier collections, of which each Tanna possessed one. An anonymous Mishnah is based upon R. Meir’s collection, though not necessarily reflecting R. Meir’s views. For this interpretation. v. Weiss, Dor. Vol. II, pp. 51f; Strack, Introduction to Talmud and Midrash, p. 21, The Tosefta, as its name implies (‘addition’) is a further elaboration and development of Tannaitic teaching, closely allied to the Mishnah. The relation of the Mishnah to the Tosefta is a problem which has so far remained unsolved; v. Strack, op. cit., pp. 74ff. The Sifra (also called ohbvf ,ru,) is the traditional interpretation of Leviticus, to which is prefaced an exposition of the Thirteen Principles of Hermeneutics of the School of R. Ishmael. Though ascribed here to R. Judah b. Ila’i, our version contains many additions by later teachers, and its final compilation is generally assigned to R. Hiyya. It is also occasionally referred to as the Sifra debe Rab (of the College of Rab). Whether this is to indicate Rab’s authorship is one of the literary problems, among others, which the Sifra presents. (V. Weiss, op. cit pp. 193 seqq.) The Sifre contains the commentary on Num. V to the end of Deut. This too contains additions later than R. Simeon, to whom it is here ascribed, and is a composite work shaped by the School of Rab (v. Weiss, op. cit.), but in any case the Sifre now extant is not identical with the Talmudic Sifre.

(3) Hence, since both are anonymous passages in the Sifre, R. Simeon is the author of both.

view of R. Jacob, who holds that the violation of a negative precept involving no action is not punishable by lashes? Perhaps it is reflecting the view of R. Judah [b. Ila’i], who holds that this transgression is not punishable by lashes, because Scripture has come to appoint a positive precept to follow the negative precept,10 but otherwise it would be punishable by lashes. For it is taught: Ye shall let nothing remain until the morning; but that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire:11 Scripture has come to appoint the positive precept to follow the negative precept to teach us that this negative precept is not punishable by lashes, — this is the opinion of R. Judah. R. Jacob says, this is not the reason;12 but rather because it is a negative precept not involving action, and the disregard of a negative precept not involving action is not punishable by lashes.13

R. Ashi said, I have observed that scribes who are most particular add a vertical stroke to the roof of the letter heth,11 and suspend the [inner] leg of the letter he. They add a vertical stroke to the roof of the letter heth, signifying thereby that He lives in the heights of the word.12 And they suspend the [inner] leg of the letter he for the reason given in the following discussion. For R. Judah the patriarch asked R. Ammi, What is the meaning of the verse, Trust ye in the Lord for ever; for in Yah the Lord is an everlasting rock?13 He replied, It implies that if one puts his trust in the Holy One, blessed be He, behold He is unto him as a refuge in this world and in the world to come. This, retorted the other, was my difficulty: why does the verse say in Yah and not Yah? The reason is as was expounded by R. Judah b. R. Ila’i. [Yah, he said,] refers to the two worlds which the Holy One, blessed be He, created, one with the letter he and the other with the letter yod. Yet I do not know whether the future world was created with the yod and this world with the he or this world with the yod and the future world with the he; but since it is written, These are the generations of the heaven and of the earth when they were created:14 read not be-hibare’am,15 when they were created, but be-he bera’am,16 He created them with the he; hence I may say that this world was created with the he and the future world with the yod. And wherefore was this world created with the he? — Because it is like an exedra17 and whosoever wishes to go astray18 may do so. And wherefore is the [left] leg [of the he] suspended? — To indicate that whosoever repents is permitted to re-enter.19 And why should he not re-enter by the same [way as he went out]? — Such an opportunity would not arise;20 and this is consistent with Resh Lakish’s view. For Resh Lakish said, What is the meaning of the verse, If it concerneth the scorners, He scorneth them, but unto the humble He giveth grace?21 If a man comes to purify himself, they assist him; but if he comes to defile himself, they open the door for him. And wherefore has [the letter he] a coronet? — Because the Holy One, blessed be He, says, If a man repents I will set a crown upon him. And why was the future world created with the letter yod? — Because the righteous men therein are but few.22 And why is its head bent low? — Because the righteous men therein hang their heads low, for the good deeds of one are not like [the good deeds of] the other.23

GEMARA. R. Tarfon was sitting and asked this question: What [is the reason for the difference in law] between [what is offered] before the ‘Omer and [what is offered] before the Two Loaves?12 Said Judah b. Nehemiah before him, No; you can say [that what is offered] before the ‘Omer [is invalid]. for the prohibition [of the new corn] does not admit of any exception to the private individual,13 but can you say so [of what is offered] before the Two Loaves, seeing that the prohibition does admit of an exception to the private individual?14 R. Tarfon remained silent, and at once the face of Judah b. Nehemiah brightened with joy. Thereupon R. Akiba said to him, ‘Judah. your face has brightened with joy because you have refuted the Sage; I wonder whether you will live long’ — Said R. Judah b. Ila’i, ‘This happened a fortnight before the Passover,15 and when I came up for the ‘Azereth16 festival I enquired after Judah b. Nehemiah and was told that he had passed away’.

GEMARA. This question was asked before12 R. Judah b. Ila’i: How do we know that if a man said, ‘I take upon myself to offer Sixty-one tenths’, he must bring sixty in one vessel and the one in another vessel? R. Judah b. Ila’i, the chief speaker on all occasions,13 opened the discussion and said, Since we find that the congregation bring on the first day of the Feast [of Tabernacles] when it falls on a Sabbath sixty-one tenths, it is enough for an individual that [his meal-offering] be less by one tenth than that of the congregation. R. Simeon said to him, But some of these [sixty-one tenths] are for the bullocks and the rams and some for the lambs, with some the mixture is thick and with some it is thin,14 some are mingled in the morning and some in the evening,15 and they may not be mixed one with the other! Thereupon [R. Judah] said to him, You explain it. He replied, It is written, And every meal-offering mingled with oil or dry:16 thus the Torah says, Bring a meal-offering that can be mingled [in one vessel]. To this he objected saying, Can sixty be mingled [in one vessel] and not sixty-one? He replied, So it is with all the measures prescribed by the Sages: a man may immerse himself in forty se’ahs [of water], but he may not immerse himself in forty se’ahs less one kortob; an egg’s bulk of food can convey food-uncleanness, but an egg’s bulk of food less one sesame seed cannot convey food-uncleanness; [a cloth that is] three handbreadths square is susceptible to midras-uncleanness,17

. Rabbi, in whose house the above incident about the mule occurred. Chronologically it is very difficult to accept that R. Judah b. Ila’i held a position in the household of R. Judah the prince (or Rabbi). V. however Tosaf. s.v. tbhhrun.

It has been taught: All the ‘grape-clusters’ who arose in Israel from the days of Moses until the death of Joseph b. Jo’ezer of Zereda were free from all dofi [taint].33 From that time onward some matter of taint was found in them.34 But has it not been taught: There is the story of a certain hasid35 who groaned [from a pain] in his heart, and when the doctors were consulted they said that there was no remedy for him unless he sucked hot milk from [a goat36 every morning]. They brought a goat and bound it to the feet of his bed and he used to suck milk from it. Next day his friends came to visit him. When they saw the goat they exclaimed: ‘A robber in arms is in the house37 and shall we go in to visit him?’ [They38 left him immediately. When he died] they sat down and made investigation and found no other sin in him except that of [the keeping of] the goat. He [the hasid] too at his death said: ‘I myself know that I have not sinned except in the keeping of this goat, having thus transgressed the teaching of my colleagues’. For the Sages taught: One must not rear small cattle in the Land of Israel. And it is also an established fact with us that wherever the Talmud speaks of a certain hasid it refers either to R. Judah b. Baba or R. Judah b. Ila’i. Now [these] Rabbis39 lived many generations after Joseph b. Jo’ezer of Zereda.40

Said R. Joseph: [The word dofi here means] dispute, [e.g., the dispute] relating to ‘laying on of hands’.1 But does not Joseph b. Jo’ezer himself differ with reference to the law of laying on of hands?2 — When he differed it was in his latter years, when his me

, R. Judah b. Ila’i and R. Judah b. Baba, and it says here that no sin was found in them.

Midrash Raba

. THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH. Beth Shammai maintain: The heaven was first created; while Beth Hillel hold: The earth was first created. In the view of Beth Shammai this is parallel to the case of a king who first made his throne and then his footstool, for it is written, The heaven is My Throne, and the earth is My footstool (Isa. LXVI, 1). On the view of Beth Hillel this is to be compared to a king who builds a palace; after building the nether portion he builds the upper, for it is written, In the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven (Gen. II, 4). R. Judah b. R. Ilai said: This supports Beth Hillel, viz. Of old Thou didst lay the foundations of the earth, which is followed by, And the heavens are the work of Thy hands (Ps. CII, 26). R. Hanin said: From the very text which [apparently] supports Beth Shammai,7 Beth Hillelrefute them, viz. And the earth was (Gen. I, 2), meaning

____________________

(1) Eth is the sign of the acc.

(2) A town in Judea. By a play on words this name is frequently connected with gam zu, ‘ this too,’ because whatever happened Nahum would say, ‘this too shall be for good ‘ (v. Ta’an. 21a).

(3) Which extend and add to the verse.

(4) I.e. without the sign of the accusative they might be regarded as nominatives and additional subjects of’ created’, or (‘E.J.) as in apposition to ‘ God ‘.

(5) The n of ofn may be causative: if you find it empty, it is through your own fault (Mah.).

(6) V. Hag. 12a where this is repeated with some variations.

(7) Viz. our text, in which heaven comes first.

Gen. 13

that it had already existed [before heaven].1 R. Johanan, reporting the Sages, said: As regards creation, heaven was first; as regards completion, earth was first. Said R. Tanhuma: I will state the grounds [of this opinion]: as regards creation heaven was first, as it is written, IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE HEAVEN; whereas in respect of completion earth took precedence, for it is written, In the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven. R. Simeon observed: I am amazed that the fathers of the world2 engage in controversy over this matter, for surely both were created [simultaneously] like a pot and its lid, [as it is written], When I call unto them [sc. heaven and earth], they stand up together (Isa. XLVIII, 13). R. Eleazar b. R. Simeon observed: If my father’s view is right, why is the earth sometimes given precedence over the heaven, and sometimes heaven over earth? In fact it teaches that they are equal to each other.3

Everywhere Abraham is mentioned before Isaac, and Isaac before Jacob; yet in one place it says, Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham (Lev. XXVI, 42): this teaches that the three are on a par.

R. Judah b. R. Ilai said: There will be neither a day nor a Gehenna, but fire shall come forth from the body of the wicked himself and burn him up. What is the proof? Ye conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble, your breath is a fire that shalI devour you

If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place (Eccl. X, 4). This refers to Noah. Noah argued: Just as I entered the Ark only when I was permitted, so may I not go out save with permission. R. Judah b. R. Ilai said: Had I been there I would have broken it and gone out! Noah, however, said: I entered with permission and I will leave with permission. Thus: Come thou into the ark- And Noah went in; Go forth from the Ark-And Noah went forth.

R. Judah, R. Nehemiah, and the Rabbis comment. R. Judah says: It refers to the children who are buried early in life through the sins of their fathers in this world. In the Hereafter they will range themselves with the band of the righteous, while their fathers will be ranged with the band of the wicked. They will speak before Him: ‘Lord of the universe, did we not die early only because of the sins of our fathers? Let our fathers come over to us through our merits.’1 He replies to them, ‘ Your fathers sinned also after your death, and their wrongdoings accuse them.’ R. Judah b. R. Ilai said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi: At that time Elijah (may he be remembered for good) will be there to suggest a defence. He will say to the children: ‘Speak before Him, “Lord of the universe, which Attribute of Thine predominates, that of Grace or Punishment? Surely the Attribute of Grace is great and that of Punishment small, yet we died through the sins of our fathers. If then the Attribute of Grace exceeds the other, how much more should our fathers come over to us!”’ Therefore he says to them, ‘Well have you pleaded; let them come over to you’; as it is written, And they shall live with their children, and shall return (Zech. X, 9), which means that they returned from the descent to Gehinnom and were rescued through the merit of their children. Therefore every man is under the obligation to teach his son Torah that he may rescue

him from Gehinnom.

R. Samuel b. Nahman interpreted the verse in connection with David. When Solomon built the Temple, he wanted fire to descend from heaven [to consume the offerings], but it did not descend. He offered a thousand sacrifices, but it did not descend. He offered twenty-four prayers, but it did not descend. Finally he said, Remember the good deeds of David Thy servant (II Chron. VI, 42), and immediately fire descended, as it is stated, Now when

____________________

(1) By that question he evinced lack of faith.

(2) E.V. ‘ In Thine anger’.

(3) E.V. ‘He’.

(4) The dead patriarchs were able to secure mercy for Israel whereas Moses had been unsuccessful.

Eccl. 113

Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven (ib. VII, 1). R. Judah b. R. Ilai and the Rabbis differ in their explanation. R. Judah b. R. Ilai said: David came to life at that time; the Rabbis said: Solomon brought his coffin. They are, however, not really at variance1; because he who said that David came to life at that time is supported by what David declared with his own mouth, viz. O Lord, Thou broughtest up my soul from the netherworld (Ps. XXX, 4),2 and another verse declares, O Lord God, turn not away the face of Thine anointed (II Chron. VI, 42), i.e. who liveth before Thee.3 The other opinion, that Solomon brought David’s coffin, is supported by the text, ‘Remember the good deeds of David Thy servant.’ 4 Concerning that occasion it is said, WHEREFORE PRAISED THE DEAD THAT ARE ALREADY DEAD MORE THAN THE LIVING THAT ARE YET ALIVE, as, e.g., myself [Solomon] and my contemporaries.5

An idolater saw R. Judah b. R. Ilai, and, noticing that his face shone, exclaimed, ‘ This man is one of three things: he is either intoxicated, or a usurer, or a breeder of pigs.’ R. Judah b. R. Ilai heard the remark and said, ‘A curse upon you! I am none of these three things. I am not a usurer, for it is written, Thou shalt not lend upon interest to thy brother (Deut. XXIII, 20); nor am I a breeder of pigs because this is forbidden to a son of Israel, as we have learnt in the Mishnah: It is not right to breed pigs in any place whatever.2 Nor am I intoxicated, for even the four cups of wine which I drink on the night of Passover3 give me a headache from Passover to Pentecost.’4 ‘Why, then, is your face so bright?’ he asked; and the Rabbi answered, ‘My study of Torah brightens my face, as it is written, A MAN’S WISDOM MAKETH HIS FACE TO SHINE.’

R. Judah said in the name of R. Ilai: If I had been there I would have wound a rope of wool around [Solomon’s] neck, and when he said, ‘ Fetch me a sword,’ had she [the child’s mother] not been filled with compassion for the babe, he would already have been strangled; and concerning that time it states, WOE TO THEE, O LAND, WHEN THY KING IS A BOY.2 Then [Solomon] in his wisdom began a concluding argument3 and said, ‘Was it for nothing that the Holy One, blessed be He, created for man two eyes, two ears, two legs, and two hands? The Holy One, blessed be He, foresaw that this case was to happen.’4 So he did not tarry,5 but [immediately] said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it (ib. 27). Concerning that time it states, HAPPY ART THOU O LAND, WHEN THY KING IS A FREE MAN, AND THY PRINCES EAT IN DUE SEASON (X, 17)6: viz. [they have their enjoyment] in the time of the World to Come, AND NOT IN DRUNKENNESS: in his strength, and not in his weakness. 7 Then the king answered and said: ‘Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it’; and the

Our Rabbis taught: It is related that once when a certain pious man was praying by the roadside, an officer came by and greeted him and he did not return his greeting. So he waited for him till he had finished his prayer. When he had finished his prayer he said to him: Fool!31 is it not written in your Law, Only take heed to thyself and keep thy soul diligently,32 and it is also written, Take ye therefore good heed unto your souls?33 When I greeted you why did you not return my greeting? If I had cut off your head with my sword, who would have demanded satisfaction for your blood from me? He replied to him: Be patient and I will explain to you. If, [he went on], you had been standing before an earthly king and your friend had come and given you greeting, would you

have returned it? No, he replied. And if you had returned his greeting, what would they have done to you? They would have cut off my head with the sword, he replied. He then said to him: Have we not here then an a fortiori argument: If [you would have behaved] in this way when standing before an earthly king who is here today and tomorrow in the grave, how much more so I when standing before the supreme King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, who endures for all eternity? Forthwith the officer accepted his explanation, and the pious man returned to his home in peace.

And R. Isaac said [commenting on this]: The worm is as painful to the dead as a needle in the flesh of the living? [He replied]: It is explained that they know their own pain, they do not know the pain of others. Is that so? Has it not been taught: It is related that a certain pious man gave a denar to a poor man on the eve of New Year in a year of drought, and his wife scolded him, and he went and passed the night in the cemetery, and he heard two spirits conversing with one another. Said one to her companion: My dear, come and let us wander about the world and let us hear from behind the curtain10 what suffering is coming on the world.11 Said her companion to her: I am not able, because I am buried in a matting of reeds.12 But do you go, and whatever you hear tell me. So the other went and wandered about and returned. Said her companion to her: My dear, what have you heard from behind the curtain? She replied: I heard that whoever sows after the first rainfall13 will have his crop smitten by hail. So the man went and did not sow till after the second rainfall,14 with the result that everyone else’s crop was smitten and his was not smitten.15 The next year he again went and passed the night in the cemetery, and heard the two spirits conversing with one another. Said one to her companion: Come and let us wander about the world and hear from behind the curtain what punishment is coming upon the world. Said the other to her: My dear, did I not tell you that I am not able because I am buried in a matting of reeds? But do you go, and whatever you hear, come and tell me. So the other one went and wandered about the world and returned. She said to her: My dear, what have you heard from behind the curtain? She replied: I heard that whoever sows after the later rain will have his crop smitten with blight. So the man went and sowed after the first rain with the result that everyone else’s crop was blighted and his was not blighted.16 Said his wife to him: How is it that last year everyone else’s crop was smitten and yours was not smitten, and this year everyone else’s crop is blighted and yours is not blighted? So he related to her all his experiences. The story goes that shortly afterwards a quarrel broke out between the wife of that pious man and the mother of the child,17 and the former said to the latter, Come and I will show you your daughter buried in a matting of reeds. The next year the man again went and spent the night in the cemetery and heard those conversing together. One said: My dear, come and let us wander about the world and hear from behind the curtain what suffering is coming upon the world. Said the other: My dear, leave me alone; our conversation has already been heard among the living. This would prove that they know? — Perhaps some other man after his decease went and told them.

Our Rabbis taught: It happened that a certain pious man4 ransomed an Israelite maiden [from captivity]; at the inn he made her lie at his feet. On the morrow he went down, had a ritual bath, and learnt with his disciples. Said he to them, ‘When I made her lie at my feet, of what did you suspect me?’ ‘We thought, perhaps there is a disciple amongst us who[se character] is not clearly known5 to our Master.’6 ‘When I descended and had a ritual bath, of what did you suspect me?’ ‘We thought, perhaps through the fatigue of the journey the Master was visited by nocturnal pollution.’ ‘By the [Temple] Service!’ exclaimed he to them, ‘it was even so. And just as you judged me favourably, so may the Omnipresent judge you favourably.’

Our Rabbis taught:2 There was once a certain pious person3 who suffered with his heart, and the doctors on being consulted said that there was no remedy for him unless he sucked warm milk every morning. A goat was therefore brought to him and fastened to the legs of the bed, and he sucked from it every morning. After some days his colleagues came to visit him, but as soon as they noticed the goat fastened to the legs of the bed they turned back and said: ‘An armed robber4 is in the house of this man, how can we come in to [see] him?’ They thereupon sat down and inquired into his conduct, but they did not find any fault in him except this sin about the goat. He also at the time of his death proclaimed: ‘I know that no sin can be imputed to me save that of the goat, when I transgressed against the words of my colleagues.’

Raba further objected [from the following]: It once happened that a certain pious man bought an article from two persons without knowing from whom he had bought it, and when he consulted R. Tarfon, the latter said to him: ‘Leave the purchase money among them and depart’, but when he came to R. Akiba he said to him: ‘There is no remedy for you unless you pay each of them.’ Now, if you assume that a [false] oath was taken here, would a pious man swear falsely?12 Nor can you say that he first took an oath and subsequently became a pious man, since wherever we say that ‘it once happened with a certain pious man,’ he was either R. Judah b. Baba or R. Judah b. Il’ai,13 and, as is well known, R. Judah b. Baba and R. Judah b. Il’ai were pious men from the very beginning!14 — [The ruling of the Mishnah] must therefore be in accordance with R. Tarfon, for R. Tarfon would agree where a false oath was taken,15 the reason being that Scripture stated, And give it unto him to whom it appertaineth in the day of his trespass offering.16 but R. Akiba maintained that even where no oath was taken, a fine has to be imposed.

Raba further objected [from the following]: It once happened that a certain pious man bought an article from two persons without knowing from whom he had bought it, and when he consulted R. Tarfon, the latter said to him: ‘Leave the purchase money among them and depart’, but when he came to R. Akiba he said to him: ‘There is no remedy for you unless you pay each of them.’ Now, if you assume that a [false] oath was taken here, would a pious man swear falsely?12 Nor can you say that he first took an oath and subsequently became a pious man, since wherever we say that ‘it once happened with a certain pious man,’ he was either R. Judah b. Baba or R. Judah b. Il’ai,13 and, as is well known, R. Judah b. Baba and R. Judah b. Il’ai were pious men from the very beginning!14 — [The ruling of the Mishnah] must therefore be in accordance with R. Tarfon, for R. Tarfon would agree where a false oath was taken,15 the reason being that Scripture stated, And give it unto him to whom it appertaineth in the day of his trespass offering.16 but R. Akiba maintained that even where no oath was taken, a fine has to be imposed.

GEMARA. [TO THE BUILDING OF A PORTER’S LODGE.] This would seem to show that a porter’s lodge is an improvement: yet how can this be, seeing that there was a certain pious man11 with whom Elijah used to converse until he made a porter’s lodge, after which he did not converse with him any more?12 — There is no contradiction; in the one case we suppose the lodge to be inside [the courtyard], in the other outside.13 Or if you like I can say that in both cases we suppose the lodge to be outside, and still there is no difficulty, because in the one case there is a door and in the other there is no door.14 Or again we may suppose that in both cases there is a door, and still there is no difficulty, because in the one case there is a latch15 and the other there is no latch. Or again I may say that in both cases there is a latch and still there is no difficulty, because in the one case the latch is inside and in the other outside.16 HE MAY BE COMPELLED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE COST OF A PORTER’S LODGE AND A DOOR. It has been taught: Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel Says: Not all courtyards require a porter’s lodge; a courtyard which abuts on the public thoroughfare requires a lodge, but one which does not abut on the public thoroughfare17 does not require such a lodge. The Rabbis, however, hold that [it does, because] sometimes in a crowd people force their way in.

An objection was raised [from the following]: There was a certain pious man among the heathen named Job, but he [thought that he had] come into this world only to receive [here] his reward, and when the Holy One, blessed be He, brought chastisements upon him, he began to curse and blaspheme, so the Holy One, blessed be He, doubled his reward in this world so as to expel him from the world to come. There is a difference on this point between Tannaim, as it has been taught: R. Eliezer says that Job was in the days ‘of the judging of the judges,’7 as it says [in the book of Job], Behold all of you together have seen it; why then are ye become altogether vain?8 What generation is it that is altogether vain? You must say, the generation where there is a ‘judging of the judges’.9 R. Joshua b. Korhah says: Job was in the time of Ahasuerus, for it says, And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job.10 What was the generation in which fair women were sought out? You must say that this was the generation of Ahasuerus. But perhaps he was in the time of David [in connection with whom] it is written, So they sought for a fair damsel?11 — In the case of David [the search was only] in all the border of Israel, in the case of Ahasuerus, in all the land. R. Nathan says that Job was in the time of the kingdom of Sheba, since it says , The Sabaeans fell on them and took them away.12 The Sages say that he was in the time of the Chaldeans, as it says, The Chaldeans made three bands.13 Some say that Job lived in the time of Jacob and married Dinah the daughter of Jacob. [The proof is that] it is written here [in the book of Job], Thou speakest as one of the impious women [nebaloth] speaketh,14 and it is written in another place [in connection with Dinah], Because he had wrought folly [nebelah] it, Israel.15 All these Tannaim agree that Job was from Israel, except those who say [that he lived in the days of Jacob]. [This must be so,] for if you suppose that [they regarded him as] a heathen, [the question would arise,] after the death of Moses how could the Divine Presence rest upon a heathen,16 seeing that a Master has said, Moses prayed that the Divine Presence should not rest on gentiles, and God granted his request as it says, That we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth..17

ONE MUST NOT GO TO THE TEHUM TO AWAIT NIGHTFALL. Our Rabbis taught: It once happened that a breach was made in the field of a pious man and he decided to fence it about, when he recalled that it was the Sabbath, so he refrained and did not repair it; thereupon a miracle was performed for him, a caper bush grew up there, whence he and his household derived their livelihood.

In 1949, many Jews — residents from Tzfat came to the cave of Rabbi Yehuda ben Ila’i, and buried soap from the fat of Jews that were made by the German Nazis; it was brought by one of the immigrants to Israel.

The grave of Rabbi Yehuda Bar Ila’i was publicized within Jewish Life during the Middle Ages. Many pilgrams visited [his grave] and mentioned it. R’ Menachem HaHevroni in 1218 was the first to mention it [in his book] “By The Vineyards.”

So…wrapping up part 1 of this post, I’ve discovered that there’s not much physical evidence that Jews were made into soap, though there was a public burial ceremony at R’ Yehuda Bar Ila’i’s cave in 1949.

And…the burial cave of R’ Yehuda Bar Ila’i predates the Ari, and is already mentioned in the Middle Ages.



PARSHA — , SECRET PARSHAT KI TAVO,

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Ci Tavo בס”ד

This parsha is most appropriate before Rosh Hashanah. Our parsha begins discussing the offering of the First fruits of the soil as a thanksgiving offering. By this offering we affirm that YHV”H is our God, and that we walk in his ways. Then the parsha warns all Yisreal of the curse we inherit if we neglect to fulfill what the Torah asks of us or if we do what it has forbidden to us. Also we are informed of the blessings we will have if if we do what is asked of us in the torah. It becomes clear its either one or the other. The Magid of Koznitz teaches that from doubt one can come to confusion of thoughts this is the main curse as because of this one may cannot achieve cleaving to GOD.1 One must be a master of spiritual war against confusion of thoughts.2 The ways of GOD are not as our own so many times one may not see the blessings or these curses but be sure enough in God’s way, according to his Timing they will come. The Torah is a covenant, contract and set forth here are part of its terms. So let us realize by reading the curses, that which has already come upon us, and also remember what GOD did to Pharoe and all his country. The Ramchal teaches the curses in our parsha are contained in 53 verses, corresponding to the 53 parsha of the Torah itself. Alluding to the fact one can lose everything eternal. 53 is the numerical value of ”gan” referring to Gan Aden (Garden of Eden). These curses allude to the judgment of the World to Come. The first curses (in parsha Bichucoty) are concerning judgments in this world, they are in 32 verses.3 In the world to come one has alot more to lose.

 

 

 

Remember and understand what is written in our parsha ” You have seen all that the Yhv”h did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land. The great trials which your eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles. Yet the Lord has not given you a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, until this day. (29:1-3) This alludes to the fact that we do not have knowledge of spiritual awareness readily accessible to our human form. For if we did we would never think of transgressing. It is for this reason that so many waste their lives not involving themselves at all with the work of their soul for which purpose they were created. If our perceptions were not as they are there would be no free will. One must always force themselves to think, meditate so as to attain awareness of GOD and their true Divine nature. That we are the people who GOD took through the desert 40 years and our shoes and clothing did not wear out. He provided us Manna from heaven and a miraculous well of water that followed us where ever we went. Then we will be faithful to GOD and the terms of this covenant. Concerning the blessings of the Torah the Zohar teaches us David woke at midnight and praised the GOD until the name ascended upon it’s throne at the hour when the light of the day appeared. If you work to establish the Holy name all the blessings of heaven will abide with you.4 Aretz Yisrael receives flow of blessing from the supernal land, the Spiritual realms. If we do the spiritual things GOD asks of us we will be sure to see the Torah’s blessings.5 Then all the people of the earth will see that GOD’s name is called upon us with the arrival of the Messiah quickly in our days.

 

 

 

1. 1Avodat Yisrael p.1

 

 

 

1. 2Avodat Yisrael p. 10

 

 

 

1. 3Tikunim Chadashim-Ramcha’l p.101

 

 

 

1. 4Zohar Bichukoty p113a

 

 

 

1. 5Shoshon Sodot



Ki tetze—- Ci Tatze AMAKAK AND ECONOMIC INJUSTICE

Ki tetze Bs”d

  It says in the parsha. ”You shall not have in your bag different weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house different measures, a large and a small. But you shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shall you have; that your days may be lengthened in the land which Yhv”h Elohech”a gives you. For all who do such things, and all who do unrighteously, are an abomination to Yhv”h Elohech”a. ” (25:13-16) The prophets say much concerning social injustice and economic oppression. Isaiah says:

Woe to those who join house to house and field to field, they draw close till there is no place, and you will be settled alone in the midst of the land “ (5:8)

They create a situation where there is no where for the poor man to live, as Rashi explains. This type of action is robbing the poor of their land. They allow themselves to act in this selfish way by denying that the land actually belongs to GOD, and that the poor inherently have a right to a place to live as explained by the Radak and Ibn Ezra. By joining field to field the small independent farmer is put out of business by large commercial industrial farming corporations. In safer Eliyahu, Eliyahu ha Novi (Elijah the Prophet) says that because of interest taken on houses, and stealing fields from this there will be orphans and widows in sackcloth.1 Its written in our parsha  “When you besiege a city for many days to wage war against it to seize it, do not destroy its trees by swinging an axe against them, for from it you will eat, and you shall not cut it down; is the tree of the field a man that it should enter the siege before you? Only a tree that you know is not a food tree, it you may destroy and cut down, and build a bulwark against the city that makes war with you, until it is conquered. (Deuteronomy 20:19-20) The verse  “Is the tree of the field a man ?” Some say one should read it as, “for a man is a tree of a field” Here the Torah teaches us the importance of not wasting. One may not simply destroy something because one wants to. In today’s society and commercial environment throwing away food is a norm of society. More than 40% of all food is thrown away. This is not a Torah approach by any means.

Rashi teaches us that the commandment of having ”a perfect and just weight”. Is in The Torah next to the commandment of destroying Amalak. So to teach us Amalek comes when Yisrael is not honest in their Business practices. The Magid of Koznitz teaches that if your ”yetzer hora” (evil inclination) says to you “teshuva” (returning to GOD) of sinners is of no value, be happy with the pleasures of this world. Live only for today, who knows what tomorrow will really bring. Your ”yetzer Hora” (evil inclination) tells you things as these so to make you fall into sadness over your service of GOD, making your heart bitter toward things of the כבוד (glory of) GOD. Know that it is because of these things that that GOD told us to ”remember what Amalak did to you on the way”. Remember what Amalek did to you by the way, when you came forth out of Egypt; How he met you by the way, and struck at your rear, all who were feeble behind you, when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear Elohem”e. Therefore it shall be, when Yhv”h Elohech”a has given you rest from all your enemies around, in the land which Yhv”h Elohech”a gives you for an inheritance to possess, that you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget it. ”(25:-17-19)

Yuhuda is Givurah (severity), but the seed of Yisrael is rachamim (mercy). Because of this they need to draw upon themselves the flow of “din” (judgment) so their hearts will remember to war with the nations. Amalak will arouse great jealousy in Yisrael by the sword . This is all necessary as again the nature of Yisrael is “rachamim” not “din”, its not their nature to war as their nature is peace. It’s for this same reason Rabbi Akiva as said before will recognize his enemy from the past. (A incarnation of Rabbi Akiva, who suffered so much under the Romans. Will come back in the end of days) These things are necessary to arouse the anger needed that will allow vengeance to be taken on the enemies of Yisrael.3 Peace has been offered many times by Israel to the Palestinians and the Arab world in general. For the most part the Palestinians have only responded with rockets. Concerning this it must be said that the Palestinians are not our baby that we have to nurse along so to give birth to a Palestinian state. They are an enemy state that daily shoots rockets at us, so should be dealt with appropriately. We need to wage total war when attacked. This seems to be all they understand. As good will gestures like leaving Gaza have only brought more rockets. This is no game. One must never forget that the Ramba”m teaches in his Mishna Torah that the Jewish people when they enter the land of Israel are responsible then to fulfill 3 mitvot (laws) : Appointing a king over themselves, to wipe out the descendants of Amalak and build GOD’s House (the Temple).4 With our righteous Mashiach quickly in our days

1. 1Safer Eliyahu-Atzorot Midrashim p.26

 

 

 

1. 2Avodat Yisrael p.22

 

 

 

1. 3safer ha paliyah



PARSHA SHOFTIM— TEACHINGS FOR TODAY AND TILL REDEMPTION
BIG SECRETS IN PARSHA SHOFTIM call to action

UPDATED August 25th 2015

Shoftim Bs”d

It says in our parsha “Judges and officers shall you appoint in all your gates, which Yhv”h elohech”a gives you, for your tribes; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.” (16:18)

With the establishment of the State of Isreal in our days. For the Jewish people, these words once again take on a very important and urgent significance. As in our parsha is the original “Political science”. A unique system of “checks and balances” between kings, Prophets, Priests and Sages. The foundations of Rabbinic authority are from our parsha.

The prophet Hosea warns us concerning this:

Hear the words of YHVH oh children of Israel, for YHVH has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, for there is neither truth nor loving kindness nor knowledge of ELOHEME in the land” (4:1)

The land is given to do righteousness and justice upon but instead the opposite is being done swearing and lying, thus says the Radak. You should know that the sages teach us three things are given on condition, the land of Israel, the Holy Temple and the kingdom of David. ” These are given on the condition you keep my covenant”.1 The land is God’s, on this condition he gave it to us. It is not an outright gift. Our presence in the land of Israel depends on our observing the commandments. Rabbi Arbanel says that the phrase ” inhabitants of the land ” tells us of GOD’s concern with commandments pertaining to the land. The land is the source of GOD’s mercy to the poor who are major beneficiaries of the laws pertaining to the land. We need leaders of the Jewish people whose primary concern is looking after the well being of Israel and NOT managing their own personal finances, lining their pockets with gold. We need blessed leaders who genuinely are God fearing with a Holy mission to fulfill. When a politician, judge or anyone in a civic position acts with spiritual purpose, working his public role for a Divine mission and objective, then the driving Holy force will transform evil to Good in this world and make the world a better place to live in.

But a politician whose actions are guided by only “what’s in it for me”, this is the reason for there being so much dissatisfaction with public officials all over the world.

  Israel is supposed to be a country created by God to be a teacher of mankind. In Chupat Eliyahu we learn 3 gifts GOD gave to Yisrael, but they are recieved through yesurim (sufferings). These gifts are Torah, Aretz Yisrael and Olam Haba. The building of the bait ha Mikdash (the Holy Temple) is an inheritance in merit of Torah learning.2 One must never forget that the Ramba”m teaches in his Mishna Torah that the Jewish people when they enter the land of Israel are responsible then to fulfill 3 mitvot (laws): Appointing a king over themselves, to wipe out the descendants of Amalak and build GOD’s House (the Temple).3 The last of the 613 commandments in the Torah, is that every Jew must write a Torah scroll as it is written “And now, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the Children of Israel, place it in their mouths, in order that this song shall be a witness for Me among the Jewish people.” In this week’s parsha we are told that the king of Israel must write a copy of the Torah scroll and keep it with him.  This is a special obligation for the king, A Jewish king is commanded to have two Torah scrolls: one to place in his treasury and one to carry with him always. The Torah scroll in the treasury shows that the Torah is our nations greatest treasure, for the truth it embodies and it stands as a witness to the supernatural experience all the Hebrews shared at Mount Sinai. When the king returns to his treasury and would look into this Torah it would remind him of the highest ideals, as there stands the Torah in its Pristine Holy nature above and beyond this world. As when a person encounters the realities of life one’s ideals may become tarnished. The message of the Kings second Sefer Torah, kept in his treasury is to remind him and preserve the lofty principles that worldly concerns threaten to block from one’s understanding and vision. The Talmud explains, prophets outlived kings, because power and authority “buries its bearers.” Rashi says, When one arrogently conciders themselves greater than other people, one’s time on earth is cut short. So it is written in our parsha “That the king may learn to fear the GOD, so to keep all the words of this teachings. so that his heart be not haughty over his brothers… and that he may long endure in his kingship “ . One of the secrets to a long life is not see oneself above other people but be with them.


 The prophet Micah says:

Hear this You heads of the house of Yaakov, and you rulers of the house of Yisrael who condemn justice and pervert all that is straight ” (3:9)

The Radak explains that this rebuke is directed at the heads, the rulers of Israel, because of their perversion of justice. The Metsudat David comments that what ever is straight, these judges say is crooked. When will they learn 4000 years of Jewish history clearly shows us Israel only prospers when they and their leaders observe the Torah. to deny this is to deny Jewish history and the Bible itself.This is obvious to anyone who reads the Bible.when A coalition of 350 rabbis labeled the former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as ”anti-Jewish” and “hostile to Judaism” following his orders to act against two synagogues and a Chabad mobile unit. How can such a man come to stand as the leader of the nation of Israel ? How can Israel police officers trample young protestors while on horseback like what happened in Atzmona ? The leaders of Israel cannot be allowed to make a desecration of the name of God by their actions. Of this the Prophet Isiah warns us :

  14. Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men, who rule this people who is in Jerusalem.
15. (K) Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come to us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hidden ourselves;
16. Therefore thus said the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation; he who believes shall not make haste.
17. Judgment also will I lay by a line, and righteousness by a plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18. And your covenant with death shall be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then you shall be trampled down by it (Chapter 28)

Israeli Politicians promise strong policy and deliver like leftists. Lies has been the “modus operandi” since the Oslo accords. Theres no need to give the Fatah Palestinian Authority money to pay an entire year’s salary to 3,500 members of Hamas’s terrorist forces. amounting to $16 million.Who can imagine a worse desecration of graves of Jewish martyrs who died in the Arab terrorist attacks than releasing terrorists as “good will gestures”, It says in our parsha :

: “And if they reject your peace offer, but will make war against you, then you shall besiege them painfully;” (20:12)

The former head of the Israeli army Ehud Barak many times has said its time to give away parts of Jerusalem, they want to give Parts of Yahudah and Shomron to the terrorists. What do they want, more rockets ?

Once American presidential candidate Mike Huckabee when in Israel stated “it concerns him ”that some in the U.S. tell Israelis they can’t live where they want in their own country.” , “a Palestinian state in the middle of the Jewish homeland is ”virtually unrealistic.”, It should seem pretty obvious to any rational person now. As Fatah and hamas are together in the Palestinian government together and Hamas openly calls for the killing of all the Jews and not stopping war with Israel till they seize all the land of Israel and that goal is accomplished. Nothing is gained by pretending the Palestinians are people who peace can be made with, especially with the Terrorist Islamic state now at Israel’s Syrian border. TODAY THE P.M. OF THE UK EVEN RECOGNIZED THAT RADICAL ISLAM (ISIS, HAMAS ,ISLAMIC JIHAD) IS A THREAT TO ALL HUMANITY.

We need to focus on as Moshe Ya’alon and others have been arguing that even unauthorized outposts ”are completely legal,” and we need to look into the organization Peace Now and other foundations for taking money from foreign powers intent on swaying Israeli public opinion and government policies.

We need to do more Mitzvot and good deeds so to nullify the power of the evil inclination which is the S”M  (S”M is the abbreviation of the name of the angel of destruction. It is forbidden to pronounce the names of any angel except for those recited in general daily prayer and whose names we also give to people.) But If, God forbid a person is overwhelmed by the power of the evil inclination to at certain point it may require, God forbid, a person to need the death penalty by the sword to atone for their sin. As by the death penalty the power of the S”M in him is cut off and nullified.

This is what is written, (Isaiah 34:5) “For my sword has been sated in the heavens.” First my sword will be sated in the heavens from the blood of the minister of Edom which is the S”M, and afterwards, “It shall descend upon Edom.” This means upon His nation below (similar to what is written “And on that day that Hashem will deal with the hosts of heaven above and upon the kings of the earth upon the earth.” (Isaiah 24:21)

The sword of the Holy One Blessed be He is the sword of the death penalty at times even when there is not a Sanhedrin to sentence people to death, like in our days the judgement is make by Holy One Blessed be He and carried out by the four letters of the name of God.

It should not be that the Israeli government allowed Sderot to be a “ghost town” and those who remain to be killed by Hamas hands because of their failure to act strongly. It is time the Israeli government stop supplying their sworn enemies with water, electricity and food. Let their patron state Iran build for them power plants and water desalination plants, instead of giving them weapons. Now is the time to seal the Palestinian entity off and deal with it as with a enemy state: ban Palestinian migrant workers, stop issuing any visas to Palestinians, block all shipments, and wage total war when attacked. Israel must retaliate with full force upon any infringement of Israeli security. Isreal must fulfill the words of our parsha “Judges and officers shall you appoint in all your gates, which Yhv”h elohech”a gives you, for your tribes; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.” (16:18). Then we will see as its written in our parsha “I will raise up for them a Prophet from among their brothers, like you, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall declare to them all that I shall command him. “ (18:18) With our righteous mashiach quickly in our days.

 



PARSHA REAH-Re’eh DO WHAT GOD WANTS AND ALL WILL BE “OK”
August 1, 2013, 1:53 pm
Filed under: PARSHA REAH | Tags: , , , , , ,

  

UPDATED                                    AUG 20th,    2017

Raey bs”d

 

 

Our parshah focuses on “The Place.” God will choose” for his future Temple. When the God wants The Torah to refer to this, singular location, it uses the term   “The place that God will choose ”

It is interesting, on one hand the Torah lets us know The God has a particular place in mind, but in Torah the definitive place is not affirmed, revealed. No place in particular is specified; Jerusalem is never mentioned by name. This combination of the assurance that such a place will indeed be chosen, yet the place itself is unknown, leave the reader of the Torah to notice this strange and unsettling combination.

We are introduced to the Idea of a of PLACE of Holiness in Sefer Shemot, with Moses at the burning bush:

“Remove your shoes from your feet, for the PLACE on which you stand is HOLY” (3:5)

Sometime the Holiness of the the Place is only temporary; it vanishes when God’s manifestation departs from the vicinity. Like at the burning bush and at Mt. Similarly with the Tabernacle in the Desert which was set up in many locations. When the Tabernacle was dismantled and the camp disbanded, the “kidushah” (Holiness) disappeared leaving not a trace. This is seen from in Megilla (9b):

” The sanctity of Shilo is fully released, whereas the sanctity of Jerusalem is never released.”

Shilo a the place that the Tabernacle stood for approximately 300 years from Joshua’s time (Joshua ch.18) to the time of Samuel (I Samuel ch.1-4). Yet the sanctity of Shilo is fully released after the Tabernacle was no longer there.

Futher directing us towards building the Holy Temple the Torah says :

“You shall not act as you have acted here, every man as he pleases, because you have not yet come to the resting place (Menucha) and allotted land (Nachalla) that the Lord your God is given you. When you cross the Jordan and settle in the land … then you must bring everything that I command you to the place that the Lord your God chooses to establish His name…” (Devarim 12:8-11)

In Jerusalem everything changes. The city itself is Holy. It is ,  the eternal chosen  place for His Name to dwell upon in His Temple. The “Kedusha” (Holiness) is and forever will be permanent. Just as regards the rest of Eretz Yisrael and it’s  Shmittah produce, their sanctity will never lapse as the Rambam points out (Hil. Beit Habechira 6:16) Rambam further explains that :

“The (Temple) Altar is on a precise location, never to be adjusted. It is tradition that the place upon which King David and Solomon built their altar at the threshing floor of Aravna (see II Samuel ch.24) was the very site upon which Avraham built the altar upon which he bound Isaac; the same site upon which Noah built an altar when he came out  from the Ark and that was the same altar upon which Cain and Abel offered their sacrifices, and it was there that Adam offered sacrifices when he was created, and from that very site, he was created. The sages said: Man was created from the place of his atonement.” (Rambam Hil. Beit Habechira 2:2)

Jerusalem is special because God chose it. God chose Jerusalem because it is the most significant place upon the globe! The God spoke through out forefather, Yaakov, at this Holy Place when he said concerning it “This is none other than the House of God; This is the doorway to Heaven.” (Bereshit 28:17)

In our parsha we are told of a blessing in fulfilling God’s commandments “ Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse” (Deuteronomy 11:26). So it is every day in fulfilling the commandments.This promise can be a blessing or a curse. If we keep the commandments, it is a blessing, but if not, ownership of the land will be a curse to us, for the nations’ jealousy will be aroused in anger against those who dwell in the land. As the the right to dwell in the land is conditional upon doing what God wants, and not transgressing God’s laws.

  The reward is the Holy one’s blessing, Blessed is His Name. Heaven forbid in not fulfilling the commandments we are asking for the curse. Not fulfilling the commandments we are told is as worshiping other God’s as its written ”if you will not obey the commandments of yhv”h Elohache”m, but turn aside from the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which you do not know (Deuteronomy 11:28) . This is similar as written in the psalms “They do not know, nor will they understand; they walk in darkness”(Psalms 82:5). We have been given the way of life by God in his commandments, this is our way, the way of out forefathers, peace unto them. To act in any other way would be to act irrationally, by the wind of folly. Its truly a way we “do not know”, because if one knew where that path leads they would certainly stay clear of it. 

GOD commands in our parsha us not to “add to or subtract from the Torah”. Torah is perfect. If we change the Torah what we have left will no longer be Judaism. Rather some religion of our own making which is as the spiritual cesspool of a false prophet. Which undermines the very foundations of the Torah its moral and spiritual nature.

   The Torah given at Sinai was given in the utmost clarity about GOD as the Source of it’s revelation and content. Even a prophet can never add or subtract anything from the Torah. A prophet can only temporarily suspend the laws of the Torah, as Eliyahu did on Mt. Carmel. The Torah will never change, challenging this principle challenges the very foundation on which the Torah is based. The Divine nature of the Torah. This was done in Germany with the creation of Reform and conservative Judaism before the holocaust and all know what happened there.

At the Sinai experience the entire nation reached the highest levels of prophecy. This provided us with the base to our belief in GOD and His Torah.

All the principles we need to apply to any new situation are already contained within the Torah, there cannot be any new situation can’t be understood by these principles.

Someone who causes others to sin is worse than someone who physically murders, for a murderer only kills a body in this world, one who causes others to sin is depriving, murdering the person from their portion in the World to Come. Just as there is a Torah obligation to save a person’s physical life, there is a similar obligation to save his life spiritually.

     It is a positive command to listen the Sages’ explanation of the Torah, as the verse states “according to that which they will teach you, you should do.” There is also a command not to dispute the Sages’ rulings, as the verse states “do not go away from that which they will tell you left or right.”

The Torah was given in such a way that it requires the Sages to explain its laws.

The Sanhedrin during the 2nd Temple period and before prepared the Torah laws for codification. The Sages of each generation are not as great as a previous generation. So their ruling have binding authority on subsequent generations. A Sage who refuses to accept the final decision of the Sages and continues to tell people the law according to his own opinion which opposes the rulings accepted by the sages undermines the whole chain of continuity and viability of the Torah on earth and threatens GOD’s entire plan for the world. Such a person gets the death penalty (even now in some way from Heaven). As he is as a false prophet and murderer taking away one’s portion in the world to come. As these false “Rabbis” with their own opinions are denying the wisdom of the sages of Yisrael who’s intellects were operating at a level called רוח הקדש (The Holy Spirit), a phenomenally high spiritual level, which allows access to a much higher plane of understanding than normal intellect.

The early sages of the Sanhedrin who gave us the foundation of the codification of Torah law had to speak a majority of the languages of the world, understand science, medicine, astrology, astonomy and be familiar idolatrous practices of the time in order to decide their status.   

Members of the Sanhedrin had to be lovers of people, well liked and in good standing in the community. They had to be outraged by oppression and all manner of untruth and moral perversion, feel themselves accountable to GOD rather than man. They had to be physically attractive, trustworthy, and wealthy yet not materialistic.

3 times in the parsha it is said to rejoice. “shall rejoice before Yhv”h “(12:12) and “you shall rejoice in all that you put your hand to, you and your households, because Yhv’h Elohache”m has blessed you. (12:7) . As our Father Avraham did we should rejoice in our portion which is our blessing. Serve God in Joy. Not just doing the mitzvot, but doing them Joyfully, as a true expression of love. We should put great thought into our mitzvot so to beautify them. Concerning this we are instructed that Nothing illuminates the eyes of a man as secrets of the Torah. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochi said secrets are the “light”. If one learns correctly they will pray correctly, do mitzvot correctly all in simcha in good spirit. If one prays and knows “cavanot”(spiritual intention) of Teffila there is no greater joy in the world than this.1 Whoever can perform the “mitzvot” as is proper, and his words are correct arrouses God. But “sadeekem” who have knowledge concerning the essence of the meaning of the physical requirements of the Mitzvot and their words, and know how to have “cavana” (proper intent) in their hearts and are arroused in the “mitzvot”. They get blessings from the place of thought, and God is close to them. When they call to God he is ready and there for them. They interact with Divine providence.2 Rejoice doing the mitzvot to the best of your ability. This will result in the blessing mentioned in the first verse of parsha.

What exactly is this blessing ? In the Parsha the very famous verse

 “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a special people to himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.” This chosen nature given to Yisrael by God in this verse does not say Yisrael will be exceptionally safe or exceptionally forgiven for their sins. The exceptional nature of Israel is that the eye of God is always upon them so to correct them for their transgression so to raise them continually to a higher level of existence spiritually so that they may fulfill their purpose in the world. Concerning this Rabbi Yuhuda ha Nassi says : ” Consider 3 things and you will not be ruled by sin. There is a seeing eye above, a hearing ear and all your deeds are written in a book”. Even with this  oversight-judgement of Israel their history is “exceptional” in the historical context of the nations. There are no more Amorites, the Roman empire is long gone, Sparta is fallen, Bavel is no more but Yisrael and the Hebrews are still a very powerful force in the world. The nation of Israel is exceptionally blessed !


The result of the blessing for one thing is we will be Holy people as it is written “Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own treasure among all peoples; for all the earth is mine; And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.(Exudus 19:5-6) To reach this blessing the path is spelled out in the laws of the Torah. Together these laws make the path that is “ right in the eyes of Yhv”h Elohech”a “(13:19). Know, There are those who serve God as slaves, they do not cleave in the Ayn-sof , except by histashalut (gradual unfolding). While those who serve God out of love cleave in God with out any “meshach” (screen-filter) separating.3 In the parsha we are told a way to help us fulfill the way of the Torah as its written “And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Yhv”h Elohech”a redeemed you ” (15:15). By remembering we were slaves, we can appreciate our freedom and rejoice in the way of the Torah. And by remembering the strong arm by which God redeemed us from Egypt with miracles while plaguing the Egyptians, and finally drowning them in the sea. We can realize the greatness of God and the love he has for us and thus we can Love God as is proper, and be in awe of him. Then we will be sure to see our righteous Mashiach quickly in our days.