Esnoga Bet Emunah

4544 Highline Dr. SE

Olympia, WA 98501

United States of America

© 2016


Menorah 5

Esnoga Bet El

102 Broken Arrow Dr.

Paris TN 38242

United States of America

© 2016



Triennial Cycle (Triennial Torah Cycle) / Septennial Cycle (Septennial Torah Cycle)


Three and 1/2 year Lectionary Readings

First Year of the Triennial Reading Cycle

Ab 16, 5776 – Aug 19/20, 2016

First Year of the Shmita Cycle


Candle Lighting and Habdalah Times:


Amarillo, TX, U.S.

Fri. Aug 19 2016 – Candles at 8:13 PM

Sat. Aug 20 2016 – Habdalah 9:09 PM

Austin & Conroe, TX, U.S.

Fri. Aug 19 2016 – Candles at 7:50 PM

Sat. Aug 20 2016 – Habdalah 8:44 PM

Brisbane, Australia

Fri. Aug 19 2016 – Candles at 5:11 PM

Sat. Aug 20 2016 – Habdalah 6:04 PM

Chattanooga, & Cleveland, TN, U.S.

Fri. Aug 19 2016 – Candles at 8:06 PM

Sat. Aug 20 2016 – Habdalah 9:02 PM

Manila & Cebu, Philippines

Fri. Aug 19 2016 – Candles at 5:58 PM

Sat. Aug 20 2016 – Habdalah 6:48 PM

Miami, FL, U.S.

Fri. Aug 19 2016 – Candles at 7:34 PM

Sat. Aug 20 2016 – Habdalah 8:27 PM

Murray, KY, & Paris, TN. U.S.

Fri. Aug 19 2016 – Candles at 7:20 PM

Sat. Aug 20 2016 – Habdalah 8:17 PM

Olympia, WA, U.S.

Fri. Aug 19 2016 – Candles at 7:56 PM

Sat. Aug 20 2016 – Habdalah 9:02 PM

Port Orange, FL, U.S.

Fri. Aug 19 2016 – Candles at 7:32 PM

Sat. Aug 20 2016 – Habdalah 8:35 PM

San Antonio, TX, U.S.

Fri. Aug 19 2016 – Candles at 7:52 PM

Sat. Aug 20 2016 – Habdalah 8:45 PM

Sheboygan  & Manitowoc, WI, US

Fri. Aug 19 2016 – Candles at 7:30 PM

Sat. Aug 20 2016 – Habdalah 8:32 PM

Singapore, Singapore

Fri. Aug 19 2016 – Candles at 6:55 PM

Sat. Aug 20 2016 – Habdalah 7:44 PM

St. Louis, MO, U.S.

Fri. Aug 19 2016 – Candles at 7:32 PM

Sat. Aug 20 2016 – Habdalah 8:30 PM

Tacoma, WA, U.S.

Fri. Aug 19 2016 – Candles at 7:55 PM

Sat. Aug 20 2016 – Habdalah 9:00 PM





For other places see:



Roll of Honor:


His Eminence Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David and beloved wife HH Giberet Batsheva bat Sarah

His Eminence Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu ben Abraham and beloved wife HH Giberet Dr. Elisheba bat Sarah

His Honor Paqid Adon David ben Abraham

His Honor Paqid Adon Ezra ben Abraham and beloved wife HH Giberet Karmela bat Sarah,

His Honor Paqid Adon Tsuriel ben Abraham and beloved wife HH Giberet Gibora bat Sarah

Her Excellency Giberet Sarai bat Sarah & beloved family

His Excellency Adon Barth Lindemann & beloved family

His Excellency Adon John Batchelor & beloved wife

Her Excellency Giberet Leah bat Sarah & beloved mother

Her Excellency Giberet Zahavah bat Sarah & beloved family

His Excellency Adon Gabriel ben Abraham and beloved wife HE Giberet Elisheba bat Sarah

His Excellency Adon Yehoshua ben Abraham and beloved wife HE Giberet Rut bat Sarah

His Excellency Adon Michael ben Yosef and beloved wife HE Giberet Sheba bat Sarah

Her Excellency Giberet Prof. Dr. Emunah bat Sarah & beloved family

His Excellency Adon Robert Dick & beloved wife HE Giberet Cobena Dick

Her Excellency Giberet Jacquelyn Bennett

His Excellency Adon Eliezer ben Abraham and beloved wife HE Giberet Chava bat Sarah

His Excellency Adon Aviner ben Abraham and beloved wife HE Giberet Chagit bat Sarah

His Excellency Adon Ovadya ben Abraham and beloved wife HE Giberet Mirit bat Sarah

His Excellency Adon Jarod Barak Barnum and beloved wife HE Giberet Crystal Barnum

His Excellency Adon Brad Gaskill and beloved wife Cynthia Gaskill

His Excellency Adon Marvin Hyde

His Excellency Adon Scott Allen


For their regular and sacrificial giving, providing the best oil for the lamps, we pray that GOD’s richest blessings be upon their lives and those of their loved ones, together with all Yisrael and her Torah Scholars, amen ve amen!

Also a great thank you and great blessings be upon all who send comments to the list about the contents and commentary of the weekly Torah Seder and allied topics. If you want to subscribe to our list and ensure that you never loose any of our commentaries, or would like your friends also to receive this commentary, please do send me an E-Mail to with your E-Mail or the E-Mail addresses of your friends. Toda Rabba!



We give thanks and praise to God, most blessed be He, fo the good diagnosis of Her Excellency Giberet Rachel bat Sarah (daughter of His Eminence Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David and HaRabbanit Giberet Batsheba bat Sarah)! Barukh HaShem!


We pray for a merciful healing of Her Honor HaRabbanit Giberet Dr. Elisheba bat Sarah who is afflicted with constant debilitating head-aches. Mi Sheberach – He Who blessed our holy and pure Matriarchs, Sarah, Ribkah, Rachel and Leah, will bless Her Honor HaRabbanit Giberet Dr. Elisheba bat Sarah and send her a complete recovery and strengthening of body and soul. Please God heal her, please. Please God heal her, please. Please God heal her, please. Cure her, strengthen her, make her healthy and return her to her original strength, together with all the sick of Yisrael. And may it be so willed, and we will say, Amen ve Amen!


We pray for a merciful healing of Her Excellency Giberet Shanique bat Sarah who is afflicted with Lymphoma cancer. We also pray for her daughter and family. Mi Sheberach – He Who blessed our holy and pure Matriarchs, Sarah, Ribkah, Rachel and Leah, will bless Her Excellency Giberet Shanique bat Sarah and send her a complete recovery with her new experimental treatment. Please God heal her, please. Please God heal her, please. Please God heal her, please. Cure her, strengthen her, make her healthy and return her to her original strength, together with all the sick of Yisrael. And may it be so willed, and we will say, Amen ve Amen!



Blessings Before Torah Study


Blessed are You, Ha-Shem our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us through Your commandments, and commanded us to actively study Torah. Amen!


Please Ha-Shem, our God, sweeten the words of Your Torah in our mouths and in the mouths of all Your people Israel. May we and our offspring, and our offspring's offspring, and all the offspring of Your people, the House of Israel, may we all, together, know Your Name and study Your Torah for the sake of fulfilling Your delight. Blessed are You, Ha-Shem, Who teaches Torah to His people Israel. Amen!


Blessed are You, Ha-Shem our God, King of the universe, Who chose us from all the nations, and gave us the Torah. Blessed are You, Ha-Shem, Giver of the Torah. Amen!


Ha-Shem spoke to Moses, explaining a Commandment. "Speak to Aaron and his sons, and teach them the following Commandment: This is how you should bless the Children of Israel. Say to the Children of Israel:


May Ha-Shem bless you and keep watch over you; - Amen!

May Ha-Shem make His Presence enlighten you, and may He be kind to you; - Amen!

May Ha-Shem bestow favor on you, and grant you peace. – Amen!


This way, the priests will link My Name with the Israelites, and I will bless them."


These are the Laws for which the Torah did not mandate specific amounts: How much growing produce must be left in the corner of the field for the poor; how much of the first fruits must be offered at the Holy Temple; how much one must bring as an offering when one visits the Holy Temple three times a year; how much one must do when doing acts of kindness; and there is no maximum amount of Torah that a person must study.


These are the Laws whose benefits a person can often enjoy even in this world, even though the primary reward is in the Next World: They are: Honouring one's father and mother; doing acts of kindness; early attendance at the place of Torah study -- morning and night; showing hospitality to guests; visiting the sick; providing for the financial needs of a bride; escorting the dead; being very engrossed in prayer; bringing peace between two people, and between husband and wife; but the study of Torah is as great as all of them together. Amen!



Shabbat: “Chiné Avikhá Choléh” - “Behold, your father is sick” &

1st of Seven Sabbaths of Consolation



Torah Reading:

Weekday Torah Reading:

הִנֵּה אָבִיךָ חֹלֶה



“Hiné Avikhá Choléh”

Reader 1 – B’resheet 48:1-3

Reader 1 – B’resheet 49:1-4

“Behold, your father is sick”

Reader 2 – B’resheet 48:4:-6

Reader 2 – B’resheet 49:5-7

“He aquí tu padre está enfermo”

Reader 3 – B’resheet 48:7-9

Reader 3 – B’resheet 49:1-7

B’resheet (Gen) 48:1-22

Reader 4 – B’resheet 48:10-12


Ashlamatah: II Kings 13:14-20, 23

Reader 5 – B’resheet 48:13-16


Special:  Yeshaya (Isaiah) 40:1-26

Reader 6 – B’resheet 48:17-19

Reader 1 – B’resheet 49:1-4

Psalm 40:1-18

Reader 7 – B’resheet 48:20-22

Reader 2 – B’resheet 49:5-7


    Maftir – B’resheet 48:20-22

Reader 3 – B’resheet 49:1-7

N.C.: Mk 4:26-29;

  Acts 13:42-52

                 Isaiah 40:1-26




Rashi & Targum Pseudo Jonathan for: B’Resheet (Genesis) 48:1-22



Targum Pseudo Jonathan

1. Now it came to pass after these incidents that [someone] said to Joseph, "Behold, your father is ill." So he took his two sons with him, Manasseh and Ephraim.

1. And after these things it was told Joseph, Behold, your father is lying ill. And he took his two sons with him., Menasheh and Ephraim.

2. And [someone] told Jacob and said, "Behold, your son Joseph is coming to you." And Israel summoned his strength and sat up on the bed.

2. And it was announced to Ya’aqob, saying, Behold, your son Joseph has come to you: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.

3. And Jacob said to Joseph, "Almighty God appeared to me in Luz, in the land of Canaan, and He blessed me.

3. And Ya’aqob said to Joseph: El Shadai revealed Himself to me at Luz, in the land of Kenaan, and blessed me.

4. And He said to me, 'Behold, I will make you fruitful and cause you to multiply, and I will make you into a congregation of peoples, and I will give this land to your seed after you for an everlasting inheritance.'

4. And He said to me, Behold, I will increase you and multiply you, and make you an assemblage of tribes, and will give this land to your sons after you for an everlasting inheritance.

5. And now, [as for] your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt, until I came to you, to the land of Egypt they are mine. Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine like Reuben and Simeon.

5. And now, your two sons who have been born to you in the land of Mizraim before I came to you into Mizraim are mine; Ephraim and Menasheh as Reuben and Shimeon will be reckoned unto me.

6. But your children, if you beget [any] after them, shall be yours; by their brothers' names they shall be called in their inheritance.

6. And your children whom you may beget after them will be yours; by the name of their brethren will they be called in their inheritance.

7. As for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died to me in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was still a stretch of land to come to Ephrath, and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem."

7. And I beseech you to bury me with my fathers. Rachel died by me suddenly in the land of Kenaan, while there was yet much ground to come to Ephrath; nor could I carry her to bury her in the Double Cave, but I buried her there, in the way of Ephrath which is Bet-Lechem.

8. Then Israel saw Joseph's sons, and he said, "Who are these?"

8. And Israel looked at the sons of Joseph and said, From whom are these born to you?

9. Joseph said to his father, "They are my sons, whom God gave me here." So he said, "Now bring them near to me, so that I may bless them."

9. And Joseph answered his father, They are my sons which the Word of the LORD gave me according to this writing, according to which I took Asenath the daughter of Dinah your daughter to be my wife. And he said, Bring them now near to me, and I will bless them.

10. Now Israel's eyes had become heavy with age, [to the extent that] he could not see. So he drew them near to him, and he kissed them and embraced them.

10. But Israel's eyes were heavy from age, and he could not see. And he brought them to him, and he kissed them and embraced them.

11. And Israel said to Joseph, "I had not expected to see [even] your face, and behold, God has shown me your children too."

11. And Israel said to Joseph, To see thy face I had not reckoned, but, behold, the LORD has also showed me your sons.

12. And Joseph took them out from upon his [Jacob's] knees, and he prostrated himself to the ground.

12. And Joseph brought them out from (between) his knees, and worshipped on his face upon the ground.

13. And Joseph took them both, Ephraim at his right, from Israel's left, and Manasseh at his left, from Israel's right, and he brought [them] near to him.

13. And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right side, which was Israel's left, and Menasheh on his left side, which was Israel's right, and brought them to him.

14. But Israel stretched out his right hand and placed [it] on Ephraim's head, although he was the younger, and his left hand [he placed] on Manasseh's head. He guided his hands deliberately, for Manasseh was the firstborn.

14. And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it upon the head of Ephraim, though he was the younger; and his left hand upon the head of Menasheh, altering his hands, for Menasheh was the firstborn.

15. And he blessed Joseph and said, "God, before Whom my fathers, Abraham and Isaac, walked, God Who sustained me as long as I am alive, until this day,

15. And he blessed Joseph, and said: The Lord, before whom my fathers Abraham and Yitschaq, did serve; the LORD who has fed me since I have been unto this day,

16. may the angel who redeemed me from all harm bless the youths, and may they be called by my name and the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac, and may they multiply abundantly like fish, in the midst of the land."

16. be pleased that the angel whom You did ordain for me, to redeem me from all evil, may bless the children; and let my name be called upon them, and the names of my fathers Abrabam and Yitschaq. And as the fishes of the sea in multiplying are multiplied in the sea, so may the children of Joseph be multiplied abundantly in the midst of the earth.

17. And Joseph saw that his father was placing his right hand on Ephraim's head, and it displeased him. So he held up his father's hand to remove it from upon Ephraim's head [to place it] on Manasseh's head.

17. And Joseph saw that his father placed his right hand upon Ephraim's head; and it was evil before him, and he uplifted his father's hand to remove it from off the head of Ephraim, that it might rest on the head of Menasheh.

18. And Joseph said to his father, "Not so, Father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head."

18. And Joseph said to his father, Not so, my father, for this is the firstborn; lay thy right hand on his head.

19. But his father refused, and he said, "I know, my son, I know; he too will become a people, and he too will be great. But his younger brother will be greater than he, and his children['s fame] will fill the nations."

19. But his father was not willing, and said, I know, my son, I know that he is the firstborn, and also that he will be a great people, and will also be multiplied; yet will his younger brother be greater than he, and his sons be greater among the Gentiles.

20. So he blessed them on that day, saying, "With you, Israel will bless, saying, 'May God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh,' " and he placed Ephraim before Manasseh.

20. And he blessed them in that day, saying, In you, Joseph my son, will the house of Israel bless their infants in the day of their circumcision, saying, The LORD set you as Ephraim and as Menasheh. And in the numbering of the tribes the prince of Ephraim will be numbered before the prince of Menasheh. And he appointed that Ephraim should be before Menasheh.

21. And Israel said to Joseph, "Behold, I am going to die, and God will be with you, and He will return you to the land of your forefathers.

21. And Israel said to Joseph, Behold, my end comes to die. But the Word of the LORD will be your Helper, and restore you to the land of your fathers;

22. And I have given you one portion over your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow."

22. and I, behold, I have given to you the city of Shekhem, one portion for a gift above your brethren, which I took from the hand of the Amorites at the time that you went into the midst of it, and I arose and helped you with my sword and with my bow.




Summary of the Torah Seder – B’Resheet (Gen.) 47:29 – 48:22


·        Ephraim and Manasseh – Gen. 48:1-22



Welcome to the World of P’shat Exegesis


In order to understand the finished work of the P’shat mode of interpretation of the Torah, one needs to take into account that the P’shat is intended to produce a catechetical output, whereby a question/s is/are raised and an answer/a is/are given using the seven Hermeneutic Laws of R. Hillel and as well as the laws of Hebrew Grammar and Hebrew expression.


The Seven Hermeneutic Laws of R. Hillel are as follows



1. Ḳal va-ḥomer: "Argumentum a minori ad majus" or "a majori ad minus"; corresponding to the scholastic proof a fortiori.

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

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

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

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

6. Ka-yoẓe bo mi-maḳom aḥer: Similarity in content to another Scriptural passage.

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


Reading Assignment:


The Torah Anthology: Yalkut Me’Am Lo’Ez - Vol IIIb: Joseph in Egypt

By: Rabbi Yaaqov Culi, Translated by: Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan

Published by: Moznaim Publishing Corp. (New York, 1990)

Vol. 3b – “Joseph in Egypt,” pp. 474-490



Rashi’s Commentary for: B’Resheet (Gen.) 48:1-22


1 that [someone] said to Joseph One of the tellers, and this is an elliptical verse. Some say, however, that Ephraim was accustomed to study with Jacob, and when Jacob became ill in the land of Goshen, Ephraim went to his father to Egypt to tell him.


so he took his two sons with him so that Jacob should bless them before his death.


2 And [someone] told The teller [told] Jacob, but [the text] does not specify who [it was], and many [Scriptural] verses are elliptical.


And Israel summoned his strength He said, “Although he is my son, he is a king; [therefore,] I will bestow honor upon him” [Midrash Tanchuma Vayechi 6]. From here [we learn] that we must bestow honor upon royalty, as Moses bestowed honor upon royalty, [as it is written, that Moses said to Pharaoh,] “Then all these servants of yours will come down to me” (Exod. 11:8), [rather than “You will come down to me”]. And so Elijah [also bestowed honor upon royalty, as it is written]: “And he girded his loins [and ran before Ahab until coming to Jezreel]” (I Kings 18:46). -[from Mechilta Beshallach Section 13]


4 and I will make you into a congregation of peoples He announced to me that another congregation of peoples was to be descended from me. Although he said to me, “A nation and a congregation of nations [shall come into existence from you]” (Gen 35:11) [meaning three nations], by “a nation,” He promised me [the birth of] Benjamin. “A congregation of nations” means two in addition to Benjamin, but no other son was born to me. Thus I learned that one of my tribes was destined to be divided [in two]. So now, I am giving you that gift.-[from Pesikta Rabbathi ch. 3]


5 who were born to you…until I came to you Before I came to you, i.e., those who were born since you left me [and] I came to you.


they are mine They are counted with the rest of my sons, to take a share in the land, each one exactly as each [of my other sons].-[from Baba Bathra 122b-123a]


6 But your children If you have any more [children], they will not be counted among my sons, but will be included among the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, and they will not have a [separate] name like [each of] the [other] tribes as regards the inheritance. Now, although the land [of Israel] was divided according to their heads (the population of each tribe), as it is written: “To the large [tribe] you shall increase its inheritance” (Num. 26: 54); and each man received an equal share, except for the firstborn. Nevertheless, only these (Ephraim and Manasseh) were called tribes [regarding the ability] [to cast a lot in the land according to the number of names of the tribes and [regarding having] a prince for each tribe, and groups [of tribes in the desert] for this one and for that one]. [Note that the bracketed material does not appear in early editions of Rashi.]


7 As for me, when I came from Padan, etc. Although I burden you to take me to be buried in the land of Canaan, and I did not do so to your mother, for she died close to Bethlehem.-[from Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel]


a stretch of land Heb. כִּבְרַת-אֶרֶץ, a measure of land, which is two thousand cubits, equivalent to the measure of the Sabbath boundary (the distance a person may walk on the Sabbath), according to the statement of Rabbi Moshe Hadarshan. [The preceding material should be considered parenthetic. The following is Jacob’s explanation of why he did not bury Rachel in the cave of Machpelah.] You should not say that the rains prevented me from transporting her and burying her in Hebron, [for] it was the dry season, when the earth is riddled and full of holes like a sieve (כְּבָרָה).


and I buried her there And I did not take her even to Bethlehem to bring her into the Land (i.e., into the inhabited region of the Holy Land-[Sifthei Chachamim]), and I know that you hold it against me; but you should know that I buried her there by divine command, so that she would be of assistance to her children. When Nebuzaradan exiles them (the Israelites), and they pass by there, Rachel will emerge from her grave and weep and beg mercy for them, as it is said: “A voice is heard on high, [lamentation, bitter weeping, Rachel is weeping for her children]” (Jer. 31:14). And the Holy One, blessed be He, answers her, “‘There is reward for your work,’ says the Lord,… ‘and the children shall return to their own border’ ” (ibid. verses 15, 16) (Pesikta Rabbathi ch. 3). Onkelos, however, renders [כִּבְרַת-אֶרֶץ as] כְּרוּב אַרְעָא, [meaning:] the measure of plowing in a day [Other editions: [a measure of plowing] of land], and I say that they (people in Biblical times) had a measurement called one full furrow, caruede in Old French, [which is] a land measure, plowed land, as we say: “He plows (כָּרִיב) and plows again” (B.M. 107a); “As much as a fox picks up [on its feet] from a plowed field (מִבֵּי כַּרְבָּא)” (Yoma 43b).


8 Then Israel saw Joseph’s sons-He attempted to bless them, but the Shechinah withdrew from him because of Jeroboam and Ahab, who were destined to be born from Ephraim, and Jehu and his sons, [who were destined to be born] from Manasseh.-[from Tanchuma Vayechi 6] [Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the first king of the Northern Kingdom, and Ahab the son of Omri were notorious idolaters.]


and he said, “Who are these?” Where did these come from [meaning: From whom were they born], that they are unworthy of a blessing?-[from Tanchuma Vayechi 6]


9 here Heb. בּזֶה, lit., in this, or with this. He (Joseph) showed him (Jacob) the document of betrothal and the kethubah, and Joseph prayed for mercy concerning the matter, and the Holy Spirit [returned and] rested upon him (Jacob). -[from Kallah Rabbathi 3:19]


So he said, “Now bring them near to me, so that I may bless them.” This is what Scripture [is referring to when it] states: “And I (the Holy One) trained it into Ephraim; he took them on his arms” (Hosea 11:3). I trained My spirit into Jacob for Ephraim’s sake, and he took them upon his arms.-[from Tanchuma Vayechi 7]


11 I had not expected Heb. א פִלָלְתִּי. I dared not entertain the thought that I would see your face again. פִלָלְתִּי is a word meaning thought, similar to “Bring counsel, deliberate thought (פְלִילָה)” (Isa. 16:3).


12 And Joseph took them out from upon his [Jacob’s] knees After he (Jacob) had kissed them, Joseph took them off his (Jacob’s) knees to sit them down, this one to the right and this one to the left, [to make it easier for his father] to lay his hands upon them and bless them.


and he prostrated himself to the ground when he moved backward from before his father.


13 Ephraim at his right, from Israel’s left If one comes toward his friend, his right is opposite his friend’s left. Since he (Manasseh) is the firstborn, he should be placed on the right for the blessing.-[fromPeskita Rabbathi ch. 3]


14 He guided his hands deliberately Heb. שִׂכֵּל. As the Targum renders: אַחְכִּמִינוּן, he put wisdom into them. Deliberately and with wisdom, he guided his hands for that purpose, and with knowledge, for he knew [full well] that Manasseh was the firstborn, but he nevertheless did not place his right hand upon him.


16 the angel who redeemed me The angel who was usually sent to me in my distress, as the matter is stated: “And an angel of God said to me in a dream, ‘Jacob!…I am the God of Bethel’ ” (Gen. 31:11-13). -[after Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel]


bless the youths Manasseh and Ephraim.


and may they multiply…like fish [Just] like fish, which proliferate and multiply, and are unaffected by the evil eye.-[from Onkelos and Gen. Rabbah 97:3]


17 So he held up his father’s hand He lifted it off his son’s head and held it up with his [own] hand.


19 I know, my son, I know-that he is the firstborn.


he too will become a people, etc.-for Gideon is destined to be descended from him. [Gideon] through whom the Holy One, blessed be He, will perform a miracle.-[from Midrash Tanchuma Vayechi 7]


But his younger brother will be greater than he for Joshua is destined to be descended from him, [and Joshua is] the one who will distribute the inheritances of the land and teach Torah to Israel.-[from Midrash Tanchuma Vayechi 7]


and his children[’s fame] will fill the nations The whole world will be filled when his fame and his name are spread when he stops the sun in Gibeon and the moon in the Valley of Ajalon.-[from Abodah Zarah25a]


20 With you, Israel will bless Whoever wishes to bless his sons, will bless them with their blessing (with a blessing related to them), and a man will say to his son, “May God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.”-[from Sifrei Nasso 18]


and he placed Ephraim Before Manasseh in his blessing, to give him precedence in the groupings [of the tribes in the desert] and [also] at the dedication of [the Tabernacle by] the [tribal] princes.-[from Gen. Rabbah 97:5]


22 And I have given you Since you are taking the trouble to occupy yourself with my burial, I have given you an inheritance where you will be buried. And which is this? This is Shechem, as it is said: “And Joseph’s bones, which the children of Israel had brought up out of Egypt, they buried in Shechem” (Josh. 24:32).


one portion over your brothers Heb. שְׁכֶם אַחַד עַל אַחֶיךָ, the actual [city of] Shechem, which will be for you one share over your brothers. [Accordingly, we render: Shechem, [which is] one [share] over your brothers.]-[from Gen. Rabbah 97:6] Another explanation: “One portion” refers to the birthright, and indicates that his (Joseph’s) sons should take two shares. שְׁכֶם is a word meaning “a portion,” as the Targumrenders. There are many similar instances in Scripture: “For You shall place them as a portion  (שְׁכֶם)” (Ps. 21:13), You shall place my enemies before me as portions; “I will divide a portion (שְׁכֶם)” (ibid. 60: 8); “…murder on the way, שֶׁכְמָה " (Hos. 6:9), [meaning:] each one his share; “to worship Him of one accord אֶחָד) (שְׁכֶם” (Zeph. 3:9), [meaning: in one group].


which I took from the hand of the Amorite From the hand of Esau, who behaved like an Amorite (Gen. Rabbah 97:6). Another explanation [of why Esau is called אֱמֽרִי]: who deceived his father with the sayings(אִמְרֵי) of his mouth.


with my sword and with my bow-When Simeon and Levi slew the men of Shechem, all those [nations] around them (Jacob’s sons) assembled to attack them, and Jacob girded weapons of war against them.-[from Gen. Rabbah 97:6, Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel]


with my sword and with my bow I. e., his cleverness and his prayer.


Ketubim: Targum Tehillim (Psalms) 40:1-18



Targum on the Psalms

1. For the conductor, of David a song.

1. For praise. Of David, a psalm.

2. I have greatly hoped for the Lord, and He extended [His ear] to me and heard my cry.

2. I truly hoped in the LORD, and He turned to me and received my supplication.

3. And He drew me up out of the roaring pit, from the thick mire, and He set my feet upon a rock, He established my steps.

3. And He brought me up from the pit of turmoil, from the mire of filth; and He set my feet on the rock, He made my steps firm.

4. He put a new song into my mouth, a praise to our God, so that many may see and fear, and trust in the Lord.

4. And He put in my mouth a new psalm: Let there be praise before the LORD our God, let many see and fear and hope in the word of the LORD.

5. Praiseworthy is the man who made the Lord his trust, and did not turn to the haughty and those who turn to falsehood.

5. Happy the man who made the LORD his confidence, and did not look toward the disobedient and those who speak falsehood.

6. You have done great things, You, O Lord my God. Your wonders and Your thoughts are for us. There is none to equal You; were I to tell and speak, they would be too many to tell.

6. Many are the miracles that You have done, O LORD my God; Your wonders and favor towards us are impossible to set out; I will recount and speak to You Your praise; they are too great to tell.

7. You desired neither sacrifice nor meal offering; You dug ears for me; a burnt offering or a sin offering You did not request.

7. You do not want sacrifice and offering; You have scooped out ears for me to hear Your redemption; You have not asked for holocaust and sin offering.

8. Then I said, "Behold I have come," with a scroll of a book written for me.

8. Then I said, "Behold, I have entered into eternal life," whenever I occupy myself with the scroll of the book of Torah that was written for my sake.

9. O God, I desired to do Your will and [to have] Your law within my innards.

9. I desire to do Your will, O God; and Your Torah is contained in my deepest self.

10. I brought tidings of righteousness in a great assembly. Behold, I will not withhold my lips, O Lord, You know.

10. I have proclaimed righteousness/generosity in the great assembly; behold, I will not withhold my lips; O LORD my God, You know this.

11. I did not conceal Your charity within my heart; I stated Your faith and Your salvation-I did not withhold Your kindness and truth-to a great assembly.

11. I have not concealed Your my heart, I have uttered Your truth and Your redemption; I have not kept back Your goodness and faithfulness in the great assembly.

12. You, O Lord, do not withhold Your mercies from me; may Your kindness and Your truth always watch me.

12. Therefore You, O LORD, do not withhold Your mercy from me; may Your goodness and truth always keep me.

13. For countless evils have encompassed me; my iniquities have overtaken me and I could not see [them because] they are more numerous than the hairs of my head, and my heart has forsaken me.

13. For evils are strong against me, until they are without number; my sins have overtaken me and I cannot see; they are more numerous than the hairs of my head; and my thoughts have left me.

14. O Lord, be willing to save me; O Lord, hasten to my help.

14. Be pleased, O LORD, to save me; O LORD, hasten to my aid.

15. May those who seek my soul to destroy it be shamed and embarrassed together; may those who seek to harm me retreat and be humiliated.

15. Those who seek to destroy my soul will be ashamed and confused together; those who desire my ruin will turn back and be disgraced.

16. May they be bewildered afterwards because of their shame, those who say about me, "Aha! Aha!"

16. They will become senseless because of their shame those who say to me, "We have rejoiced at his ruin, we rejoiced at his misery."

17. All who seek You shall exult and rejoice; those who love Your salvation shall constantly say, "May the Lord be magnified."

17. All who seek You will rejoice and be glad in Your word; and those who love Your redemption will say continually, "Let the might of the LORD be magnified."

18. But I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my rescuer, my God; do not delay.

18. But I am humble and poor, O LORD; let good be devised for me, You are my help and salvation; O my God, do not delay.




Rashi’s Commentary on Tehillim (Psalms) 40:1-18


2 I have greatly hoped for the Lord in Egypt, and this psalm is meant for all Israel.


and He extended to me His ear.


3 out of the roaring pit From the imprisonment of Egypt and from the roaring of their tumult.


from the thick mire From the sea. היון is an expression of mud, fanyas in Old French (fange in modern French), slime.


He established Heb. כונן, He prepared my steps.


4 a new song The song of the sea.


5 the haughty Heb. רהבים, an expression of haughtiness, as (in Isa. 3:5): “they shall behave haughtily (ירהבו), the youth”; (Song 6:5) “for they have made me haughty (הרהבותי).”


and those who turn to falsehood Those who turn from the straight way to follow the falsehood of pagan deities; e tornons in Old French, and those who turn away; in modern French, et se tournant.


6 Your wonders and Your thoughts are for us You created Your world for us; You split the sea for us, and You thought for us to benefit us in our end [by keeping us] in the desert for forty years because of the Amorites, who cut down the trees and made their land desolate when they heard that Israel was coming out to go to inherit their land.


There is none to equal You We cannot compare any king or savior to You. The expression ערך is like (Lev. 27: 12): “valuation (כערכך),” a prizjjr in Old French, to estimate, [a priser, in modern French].


were I to tell and speak Were I to come and tell and speak, they would be too many to tell.


7 You desired neither sacrifice nor meal offering on the day of the giving of the Torah, as the matter that is stated (in Exod. 19:5): “And now, if you will earnestly hearken to My voice, etc.,” and likewise (in Jer. 7:22) Scripture states: “For neither did I speak with your forefathers nor did I command them, etc., concerning a burnt offering or a sacrifice.” I said, (Lev. 1:2) “If...from among you,” but I did not require it as an obligation to burden you. The daily sacrifices and the additional sacrifices are only to bring Me pleasure, that I ordained and My will was performed, but it is a small matter.


You dug ears for me saying, “Hearken to My voice.”


You dug You made them hollow [enabling me] to hear.


8 Then at the time of the giving of the Torah, behold I came to You to be bound in Your covenant. (Exod. 24:7): “We will do and hear,” and this matter is written as testimony concerning me in the scroll of the book, i.e., in the Law of Moses.


9 and [to have] Your law within my innards Even my food is according to Your law; I ate neither unclean beasts nor untithed produce.


10 I brought tidings of righteousness The song by the sea, the song by the well (Num. 21:17-20), and the song of Deborah (Jud. 5).


I will not withhold Heb. אכלא, I will not withhold, an expression of (Gen. 8:2): “And the rain was restrained (ויכלא).”


12 do not withhold Your mercies Heb. לא תכלא, do not withhold.


watch me Heb. יצרוני, watch me.


13 have encompassed Heb. אפפו, have surrounded.


15 to destroy it Heb. לספותה, to destroy it, as we translate (in Deut. 2:14): “until the entire generation...had vanished, עד דסף כל־דרא.


16 may they be bewildered [as translated,] may they be bewildered.


afterwards because of their shame Heb. על־עקב. When they receive their shame in the wake of everything [they have done], in the measure that they measured out and in the way they walked against Me. עקב is like (below 77:20): “and your steps (ועקבותיך) were not known”; (Song 1:8), “go your way in the footsteps of (בעקבי) the flocks.” They are all an expression of footsteps, in French traces, footprints on the heel.


those who say about me, “Aha! Aha!” Those who say about me and for me, “Aha!” When trouble comes, they pray for our misfortune.


18 poor Every expression of poor and needy in Psalms refers only to Israel.


may...think of me Heb יחשב. May He pay heed to me to think of my poverty and neediness, to save me. Pensa in French, to think.



Meditation from the Psalms

Psalms ‎‎40:1-18

By: H. Em. Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David


The preceding Psalms described David in the throes of his debilitating malady. This Psalm is the joyous song he composed when he returned to full health.[1] It is not an ordinary composition; but rather a very special שיר חדש, a new song,[2] for it describes David's unflagging faith which he renewed and refreshed.[3]


The first twelve verses of this Psalm would indicate that David was at the height of bliss when he uttered these words. [The ecstasy and the eloquence justify the description 'a new song' used in v. 4.] But, if we read beyond v. 12, we see that the song was written when the Psalmist was beset by many dangers and sorely in need of deliverance.[4] In the midst of these woes David finds strength and inspiration in the many previous occasions when God rescued him. Thereby HaShem demonstrated to David that He is the One who grants victory, by endowing man with spiritual fortitude with which to withstand all earthly tribulations. This illustrates the unique power of David to extract rapturous joy from the depths of adversity.[5]


Rashi and the Midrash emphasize another important dimension of this psalm, which addresses itself to all of Israel. In the Egyptian bondage, the nation was crippled by harsh slavery. Only by virtue of their intense, enduring faithfulness (אֱמוּנָתְךָ ) were the Israelites liberated and given the opportunity to sing a new song at the sea.[6]


In addition, this Psalm alludes to the future Messianic redemption which will be the result of Israel's extraordinary faithfulness and which will stimulate unprecedented waves of fresh song and jubilation.[7]


I would like to use the following pasuk to delve more deeply into the idea of oral law:


Tehillim (Psalms) 40:9 I delight to do Thy will, O my God; yea, Thy law is in my inmost parts.'


Chazal teach that the written law is like the physical world and the oral law is like the spiritual world. One is written on parchment and the other is in the hearts and minds of the pious. This paper was written to show that the scripture assumes that there is an oral law, and that without the oral law, the scriptures are incomplete.


I believe that one of the most telling arguments for the requirement of an oral law, other than the command of Torah, is the tradition that gives us the pronunciation of the words of the Torah.


The words written in a Torah scroll are written without any vowel markings. This means that any word in the Torah has potentially many meanings, depending on what vowels are applied to the consonants to form the sounds of the word. We have a tradition which teaches us how the words are pronounced. This tradition, found in the oral law, defines the meaning of each word in the Torah!


Thus, all the Christian and Jewish translations of the Torah rely on this tradition for their translations. Without this tradition it would be impossible to make a translation of the Torah. Without this tradition there would be anarchy in the translations and in the pronunciation of the words. Without this tradition it would be impossible to know what HaShem is telling us through His Torah.


Each word, in the Torah, can be read and made to mean almost anything, depending on the vowels one introduces. The first verse in chapter two of Genesis reads: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished.” It can also be read as: “Thus the heavens and the earth were destroyed.” Thus we see that without an oral tradition to teach us the vowels and the sounds of the words, it would be impossible for us to understand their meaning.


Adam and Eve


The first oral law was given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The oral command was:


Bereshit (Genesis) 2:15-17 HaShem took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And HaShem commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."


Not only was this an oral command, but it also was a chok, a command without a reason, and for which we can not even deduce a reason.[8] This first oral command declared all fruit to be kosher except the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.




Consider that ALL of the commands given by HaShem prior to Sinai, were all oral. This includes the command for the first Passover, the command to build Noah's ark, and all of the commands kept by Abraham:


Bereshit (Genesis) 26:5 Because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws."


Here we have Abraham keeping all of HaShem's laws, more than four hundred years before the written Torah was given!


The Temple


To emphasize the requirement that we must have an oral law, I would like to give a few examples to illustrate that the Torah can not stand alone. There can be no sola scriptura!


The Temple buildings are not described in enough detail to build one without the oral law!


In the making of the tabernacle the size and shape of many items is not sufficiently described in Exodus to reproduce them; however, HaShem told Moshe in:


Shemot (Exodus 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.


And again in:


Shemot (Exodus) 25: 31 And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same. 32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side: 33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick. 34 And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers. 35 And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick. 36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold. 37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it. 38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold. 39 Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels. 40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.


There would have to be an oral description given to the workmen if they were to produce the items according to the pattern. The written description in the Torah is not sufficient for reproduction of size and shape. This oral description is said to have been handed down to the next generation by the seventy elders.


The Sabbath


HaShem has forbidden us to work on Shabbat:


Shemot (Exodus) 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of HaShem thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:11 For in six days HaShem made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore HaShem blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.


The problem, of course, is that the Torah does NOT define what work is. So, without an oral law, we do not know whether we can mow the lawn or tend our garden. Yet, with an oral law, we know that both are forbidden. The oral law defines work as:


The Thirty-nine Melachot (works) Forbidden on Shabbat



1. Sowing

2. Plowing

3. Reaping

4. Binding sheaves

5. Threshing

6. Winnowing

7. Selecting

8. Grinding

9. Sifting

10. Kneading

11. Baking

12. Shearing wool

13. Washing wool

14. Beating wool

15. Dyeing wool

16. Spinning

17. Weaving

18. Making two loops

19. Weaving two threads

20. Separating two threads

21. Tying

22. Untying

23. Sewing two stitches

24. Tearing

25. Trapping

26. Slaughtering

27. Flaying

28. Salting meat

29. Curing hide

30. Scraping hide

31. Cutting hide up

32. Writing two letters

33. Erasing two letters

34. Building

35. Tearing a building down

36. Extinguishing a fire

37. Kindling a fire

38. Hitting with a hammer

39. Taking an object from the private domain to the public, or transporting an object in the public domain.







Thus we see that it is impossible to fulfill the requirements of the Torah without the oral law.


In the Prophets we see that HaShem acknowledges the oral law and explicitly restates it as a command:


Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 17:21 Thus saith HaShem; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; 22 Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.


To understand this pasuk (verse), please recall that Yirmeyahu was written about 800 years AFTER the Torah was given on Mt. Sinai. This means that HaShem could have included this command in the written Torah. The question is, why did He give it orally? The answer is found in the understanding that EVERY one of the Torah’s 613 commands require the oral law to teach us HOW to obey the written command. Thus the Torah tells us not to work on Shabbat and the oral law comes to tell us HOW not to work.


The Torah never commands us not to buy or sell on the Sabbath, however, it was obviously a prohibition in:


Ezra-Nechemiah (Nehemiah) 13:15-22 In those days I saw men in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day. Men from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah. I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, "What is this wicked thing you are doing--desecrating the Sabbath day? Didn't your forefathers do the same things, so that our HaShem brought all this calamity upon us and upon this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath." When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day. Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem. But I warned them and said, "Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will lay hands on you." From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath. Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember me for this also, O my G-d, and show mercy to me according to your great love.


In this next passage we see some women preparing spices and resting on the Sabbath. The Torah does not forbid us to prepare a body for burial on the Sabbath; so, why do these women rest?


Luqas (Luke) 23:56 - 24:1 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.


Baba Bathra 100b An objection was raised: [It has been stated that] they said unto him, ‘If so, such [procedure] should be permitted on the Sabbath also’. Now, if it is said [that the ceremonial is to take place] in the graveyard and on the first day [only], [for] what [purpose] is the graveyard required on the Sabbath? — In [the case of] a town which is near a graveyard [and the dead] was brought [to burial] at twilight.




So, the women observed the oral law and rested on the Sabbath rather than preparing Yeshua's body. Notice that they rested "in obedience to the commandment".


A Sabbath Day’s Journey


A Sabbath day's journey is not found in the Tanach, yet it is clearly part of the oral law:


II Luqas (Acts) 1:4-12 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For Yochanan (John) baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Yeshua, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk from the city.


Eiruvin 42a R. Nahman stated in the name of Shmuel: If a man was walking and did not know where the Sabbath limit ended he may walk a distance of two thousand moderate paces; and this constitutes for him the Sabbath limit.




The Oral law says:


There are four fast days: Tammuz 17, Av 9, Tishri 3, and Tevet 10. The entire Talmud tractate of Taanit contains the details of these fasts. The Tanach records these fasts as though they were contained in the written Torah:


Zechariah 7:2-5 The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech, together with their men, to entreat HaShem By asking the priests of the house of G-d Almighty and the prophets, "Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?" Then the word of HaShem Almighty came to me: "Ask all the people of the land and the priests, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?


None of these four fasts is mentioned anywhere in the Tanach, except here. Yet no one disputes that they are required to fast on these four days, because they understand the validity of the oral law.


The only fast in the Torah concerned Yom HaKippurim in the seventh month. Note how HaShem will change the meaning of this oral law:


Zechariah 8:19 This is what HaShem Almighty says: "The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace."


Thus we see that the oral law is accepted by the Jewish people and that these fasts are assumed to be true by the prophet Zechariah.


Now let’s look at our most solemn fast of the year. We see this fast in the Nazarean Codicil:


II Luqas (Acts) 27:5-10 When we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia. There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board. We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea. Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast. So Paul warned them, "Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also."


The Torah never commands a fast. How then do we know that there is a day of fasting which is so great as to be known as “the fast”? The Torah says:


Vayikra (Leviticus) 16:29 "This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work--whether native-born or an alien living among you--


Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:27 "The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to HaShem by fire.


Bamidbar (Numbers) 29:7 "'On the tenth day of this seventh month hold a sacred assembly. You must deny yourselves and do no work.


The Mishna says:


Yoma Chapter 8, Mishna 1: On the Day of Atonement eating, drinking, washing, anointing, putting on sandals, and sexual intercourse are forbidden...


It is the Torah Shebaal Peh, the Oral Torah that supplies the details. These are but a few examples of why, without the Oral Law, the Written Torah has no meaning.


Moshe spent those forty days and nights receiving the Oral Law, in its entirety, with all the details and nuances, so that in future generations, should there be an outstanding scholar who might extrapolate and infer from what he has received by the Mesorah, (the transmission of the Torah) .... that, too, was what Moshe learned on Sinai from HaShem.


The Torah commands the Jewish people to perform a number of different commandments, the violation of which could lead to severe punishment, including a death penalty. Yet, even with the severity of laws such as the refraining from work on the Sabbath, no details are given as to the practical applications of correct compliance. This can be problematic. If the law does not stipulate what is permitted and what is forbidden, how can it possibly be observed? Already in the days of Moshe it is recorded [Bamidbar (Numbers).15:32-36] that a man, who went out to pick up sticks on the Sabbath, was punished by stoning. This is quite a sentence. Where do we read in the Torah that the ‘work’ that this man did was forbidden? We don’t find it. The Torah doesn’t say it. Nonetheless, when he performed his forbidden deed it was recognized by everyone as a violation of the Sabbath. He was imprisoned awaiting response to an inquiry to HaShem as to what should be this man’s punishment. The penalty came back and it was most severe. This man DIED for disobeying the oral law, and the death penalty was explicitly handed down by HaShem!


The story of Ruth is read at the time of the giving of the Torah so that we might know that the written Torah and the oral Torah, are together one Torah, and one is not possible without the other. For David, the anointed of HaShem unto all generations, was descended from a Moabite woman, and his legitimacy depended on the oral Torah, which declared that only a Moabite man was prohibited from entering the fold of Israel, but not a Moabite woman. On the foundations of the House of David, the whole people of Israel is supported. All this could only come about through the authority of the oral Torah.


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:3 No Ammonite or Moabite or any of his descendants may enter the assembly of HaShem, even down to the tenth generation.


Kosher Slaughter


The existence of the oral tradition is alluded to in the Written Law in numerous places. For example: The Torah says: (Deut. 12:20) "When HaShem expands your borders as He promised you, and your natural desire to eat meat asserts itself, so that you say; 'I wish to eat meat', you may eat as much meat as you wish, you need only slaughter your cattle and small animals, in the manner I have commanded you." Nowhere in the Written Torah is such a manner described. So what is the manner in which we are supposed to slaughter cattle?


Rashi puts it this way:


you may slaughter... as I have commanded you We learn [from here] that there is a commandment regarding slaughtering, how one must slaughter. [Since this commandment is not written in the Torah we deduce that] these are the laws of ritual slaughtering given orally to Moses on [Mount] Sinai.[9]


Though the laws of slaughtering cattle are not explained in the Written Torah, they are described in detail in the Oral Law. The written law can be understood ONLY in conjunction with the oral law.


The Torah says:


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:21 If the place where HaShem your HaShem chooses to put his Name is too far away from you, you may slaughter animals, as I commanded you, from the herds and flocks HaShem has given you, as I have commanded you, and in your own towns you may eat as much of them as you want.


'You shall slaughter <the animal> as I commanded you'.


Nowhere in the Torah do we find HaShem commanding Moshe about the laws of Shechita (slaughter).




The Torah says:

'Seven days shall you dwell in a succah'


Where is the source of how to build the succah, it's height, its size, the acceptable materials that may be used and the definition of the essential parts of the succah? The Written Torah is silent on all this, and yet every Jew knows what a succah should look like.


The Torah says:


Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:40 and ye have taken to yourselves on the first day the fruit of a beautiful tree, branches of palms, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of a brook, and have rejoiced before HaShem your God seven days.


'And you shall take for yourselves the fruit of a beautiful tree’


What fruit does the Torah mean? Where is there any reference in the Torah to the citron, the etrog? There is none, and yet Jews the world over know what an etrog is!


Succah 35a. Our Rabbis have taught, ‘The fruit of a goodly tree’ implies a tree the taste of whose ‘fruit’ and ‘wood’ is the same. Say then that it is the etrog. Might it not be said to be pepper, as it has been taught. ‘R. Meir used to say, From the implication of the text, And ye have planted all manner of trees, do I not know that the reference is to a tree for food? What then does Scripture teach by the [next phrase] "for food"? [That the reference is to] a tree the taste of whose fruit and wood is the same. Say then that it is pepper. This is to teach you that the pepper tree is subject to the law of ‘orlah and that the Land of Israel lacks nothing, as it is said, Thou shalt not lack anything in it’? — There [pepper is excluded] since it is impossible [to use it], For how shall he proceed? If he take one [pepper seed], it is unrecognizable; if he takes two or three, the Divine Law surely said, one ‘fruit’ and not two or three fruits. [Its use] therefore is impossible.


Rabbi said, Read not hadar but ha-dir; just as the stable contains large and small [animals], perfect and blemished ones, so also [the fruit spoken of must have] large and small, perfect and blemished. Have not then other fruits large and small, perfect and blemished? — It is this rather that was meant: Before the small ones come, the large are still existent [on the tree].


R. Abbahu said, Read not hadar, but ha-dar, a fruit which remains upon its tree from year to year. Ben ‘Azzai said, Read not hadar, but hudor for in Greek water is called hudor. Now what fruit is it that grows by every water? Say, of course, it is the etrog.




Chanukah is a Rabbinic feast with an historical account in the apocryphal books of first and second Maccabees. There is no mention of this feast in the Tanach, yet Yeshua observed Chanukah. Clearly, Yeshua observed the oral law:


Yochanan (John) 10:22-23 Then came the Feast of Dedication (Chanukah) at Jerusalem. It was winter, And Yeshua was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade.


The observing and celebrating of Chanukah is based solely on the oral law as delivered by our judges. Yet, Jews worldwide, for two millenniums have faithfully carried out the decree of the judges. It should be noted that we have an accurate written record of this oral law in:


1 Maccabees 4:58-59 Then Judah, his brothers, and the whole congregation of Israel decreed that the rededication of the altar should be observed with joy and gladness at the same season each year, for eight days, beginning on the twenty-fifth of Kislev.


The verbal tally between the Torah and this chapter of Psalms is:  Come - בוא, Strong’s number 0935. In our Torah portion, David saw that Joseph was coming to his father, and in our psalm David wrote about the Messiah coming, being revealed, in the Torah. Joseph represent the Messiah ben Joseph and thus David can be seen as taking his inspiration for our chapter of Psalms from our Torah portion. It is only in the oral Torah that we find the Messiah ben Joseph spelled out and His role revealed, though He is in the Tanach, just not by name.



Ashlamatah: II Kings 13:14-20, 23




14. Now Elisha became ill with the illness he was to die of; and Joash the king of Israel went down to him and wept on his face, and said, "My master, my master, Israel's chariots and riders!"

14. And Elisha was sick with his sickness by which he was to die, and Joash the King of Israel went down unto him and he wept before his face and said: “My father, my father, to whom there was more good for Israel in his prayer than chariots and horsemen.”

15. And Elisha said to him, "Fetch a bow and arrows." And he fetched him a bow and arrows.

15. And Elisha said to him “Take the bow and the arrows." And he took for him the bow and the arrows.

16. And he said to the king of Israel, "Place your hand on the bow," and he placed his hand; and Elisha placed his hands on the king's hands.

16. And he said to the king of Israel: "Bring down your hand upon the bow." And he brought down's his hand, and Elisha placed his hands upon the hands of the king.

17. And he said, "Open the window to the east," and he opened it; and Elisha said, "Shoot!" And he shot. And he said, "[This is] an arrow of salvation from the Lord, and an arrow of victory over Aram, and you shall strike the Arameans in Aphek until they are completely annihilated."

17. And he said: "Open the window to the east." And he opened (it). And Elisha said: "Shoot." And he shot. And he said: "This arrow will be madefor us salvation from before the Lord, and this arrow will be made for us victory over the men of Aram." And you will strike down the men of Aram in Aphek until you will destroy them utterly."

18. And he said, "Take the arrows." And he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, "Strike at the ground," and he struck three times and stopped.

18. And he said: "Take the arrows." And he took and said to the king of Israel: "Strike the ground." And he struck three times, and he stopped.

19. And the man of God was incensed against him, and he said, "You should have struck five or six times, then you would strike the Arameans until you would annihilate them completely, but now, you shall strike the Arameans but three times."  {P}

19. And the prophet of the Lord was angry at him, and he said: "It is proper for you to strike five or six times. Then you would have struck down the men of Aram until you destroyed them utterly. And now three times you will strike down the men of Aram."    {P}

20. ¶ And Elisha died and they buried him, and Moabite bands would invade the land at the beginning of the year.

20. ¶ And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the army of Moab was coming into the land at the coming in of the year.

21. And it came to pass that they were burying a man, and behold, they saw the band, and they threw the man into Elisha's grave, and he went and touched Elisha's bones, and he came to life and stood up on his feet.     {P}

21. And while they were burying a man, behold they saw the army and threw the man in the tomb of Elisha. And the man went and drew near the bones of Elisha, and he revived and stood up on his feet.     {P}

22. ¶ Now Hazael the king of Aram oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz.

22. And Hazael the king of Aram oppressed Israel all the days of lehoahaz.  ¶

23. And the Lord was gracious and merciful to them, and he turned to them for the sake of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and He did not want to destroy them, and He did not cast them off from His presence until now.

23. And the Lord had pity upon them and had mercy upon them. And He turned by His Memra to do good to them on account of His covenant that was with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And He was not willing to destroy them, and He did not exile them from the land of the house of his Shekinah until now.

24. And Hazael died, and his son Ben-Hadad reigned in his stead.      

24. And Hazael the king of Aram died, and Ben-Hadad his son ruled in his place.      {P}

25. And Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz returned and took the cities from the hand of Ben- Hadad the son of Hazael, which he had taken from the hand of His father Jehoahaz in battle; Joash beat him three times and recovered the cities of Israel.  {P}

25. And Iehoash the son of Iehoahaz returned and took the cities from the hand of Ben-Hadad the son of Hazael that he took from the hand of 1ehoahaz his father in battle. Three times Ioash struck him down, and he recovered the cities of Israel. {P}




Rashi’s Commentary on II Kings 13:14-20, 23


17 “Open the window to the east Opposite the land of Aram, as it is said, (Is. 9:11) “Aram from the east.”


“Shoot!” and he shot This follows Jonathan.


And he said, “This is an arrow of salvation...” Elisha said, This arrow is a symbol of salvation for Israel.


in Aphek the name of the city. 


19 And he said, You should have struck five or six times [lit. to strike five or six times.]


then Had you done so, you would have struck Aram five or six times, for as a symbol of victory, I placed your hands on the bow. 


20 would invade the land were wont to come and plunder the land.


at the beginning of the year Jonathan [renders]: at the entrance of the year. At the return of the year, when the earth is still full of vegetation, and there is food for their animals, it is customary for bands to set out.



Special Ashlamatah: Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 40:1-26

First Shabbat of Seven Shabatot of Consolation/Strengthening




1. ¶ "Console, console My people," says your God.

1. ¶ Prophets, prophesy consolations to My people, says your God.

2. Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her, for she has become full [from] her host, for her iniquity has been appeased, for she has taken from the hand of the Lord double for all her sins.    {S}

2. Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and prophesy to her that she is about to be filled with people of her exiles, that her sins have been forgiven her, that she has taken a cup of consolations before the LORD as if she suffered two for one for all her sins. {S}

3. A voice calls, "In the desert, clear the way of the Lord, straighten out in the wilderness, a highway for our God."

3. A voice of one who cries: “In the wilderness clear the way before the people of the LORD, level in the desert highways before the congregation of our God.

4. Every valley shall be raised, and every mountain and hill shall be lowered, and the crooked terrain shall become a plain and the close mountains a champaigne.

4. All the valleys will be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground will become a plain and a baked place a vale.

5. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see that the mouth of the Lord spoke.    {P}

5. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all the sons of flesh will see it together, for by the Memra of the LORD it is so decreed.” {P}

6. ¶ A voice says, "Call!" and it says, "What shall I call?" "All flesh is grass, and all its kindness is like the blossom of the field.

6. ¶ A voice of one who says, “Prophesy!” And he answered and said, “What will I prophesy?” All the wicked/Lawless are as the grass, and all their strength like the chaff of the field.

7. The grass shall dry out, the blossom shall wilt, for a wind from the Lord has blown upon it; behold the people is grass.

7. The grass withers, its flower fades, for the spirit from the LORD blows upon it; surely the wicked/Lawless among the people are reckoned as the grass.

8. The grass shall dry out, the blossom shall wilt, but the word of our God shall last forever.    {S}

8. The wicked/Lawless dies, his conceptions perish; but the Word of our God stands forever. {S}

9. Upon a lofty mountain ascend, O herald of Zion, raise your voice with strength, O herald of Jerusalem; raise [your voice], fear not; say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!"

9. Get you up to a high mountain, prophets who herald good tidings to Zion; lift up your voice with force, you who herald good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up, fear not; say to the cities of the house of Judah, “The kingdom of your God is revealed!”

10. Behold the Lord God shall come with a strong [hand], and His arm rules for Him; behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense is before Him.

10. Behold, the LORD God is revealed with strength, and the strength of His mighty arm rules before Him; behold, the reward of those who perform His Memra is with him, all those whose deeds are disclosed before Him.

11. Like a shepherd [who] tends his flock, with his arm he gathers lambs, and in his bosom he carries [them], the nursing ones he leads.   {S}

11. Like the shepherd who feeds his flock, he gathers lambs in his arm, he carries tender ones in his bosom, and leads nursing ewes gently. {S}

12. Who measured water with his gait, and measured the heavens with his span, and measured by thirds the dust of the earth, and weighed mountains with a scale and hills with a balance?

12. Who says these things? One who lives, speaks and acts, before whom all the waters of the world are reckoned as the drop in the hollow of hand and the length of the heavens as if with the span established, the dust of the earth as if measured in a measure and the mountains as if indeed weighed and the hills, behold just as in the balance.

13. Who meted the spirit of the Lord, and His adviser who informs Him?

13. Who established the holy spirit in the mouth of all the prophets, is it not the LORD? And to the righteous/ generous who perform His Memra He makes known the words of His pleasure.

14. With whom did He take counsel give him to understand, and teach him in the way of justice, and teach him knowledge, and the way of understandings did He let him know?

14. Those who besought before Him, He caused to apprehend wisdom and taught them the path of judgment and gave their sons the Law and showed the way of understanding to their son’s sons.

15. Behold the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and like dust on a balance are they counted; behold the islands are like fine [dust] that blows away.

15. Behold, the peoples are like the drop from a bucket, and are accounted like dust on the scales; behold, the islands are like the fine dust which flies.

16. And the Lebanon-there is not enough to burn, and its beasts-there is not enough for burnt offerings.    {P}

16. The trees of Lebanon will not supply sufficient (wood) for burning, nor are the beasts that are in it enough for a burn offering. {P}

17. ¶ All the nations are as nought before Him; as things of nought and vanity are they regarded by Him.

17. ¶ All the peoples, their deeds are as nothing; they are accounted extirpation and destruction before Him.

18. And to whom do you compare God, and what likeness do you arrange for Him?

18. Why are you planning to contend before God, or what likeness do you prepare before Him?

19. The graven image, the craftsman has melted, and the smith plates it with gold, and chains of silver he attaches.

19. Behold the image! The workman makes it, and the smith overlays it with gold, and the smith attaches silver chains to it.

20. He who is accustomed to select, chooses a tree that does not rot; he seeks for himself a skilled craftsman, to prepare a graven image, which will not move.   {S}

20. He cuts down a laurel, he chooses the wood that rot does not attack; he seeks out a skillful craftsman to set up an image that will not move. {S}

21. Do you not know, have you not heard has it not been told to you from the beginning? Do you not understandthe foundations of the earth?

21. Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has not the fact of creation’s orders been told you from the beginning? Will you not understand, so as to fear before Him who created the foundations of the earth?

22. It is He Who sits above the circle of the earth, and whose inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heaven like a curtain, and He spread them out like a tent to dwell.

22. It is He who makes the Shekhinah of His glory dwell in the strong height, and all the inhabitants of the earth are reckoned before Him as grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a trifle and spreads them like a tent of glory for His Shekhinah’s house;

23. Who brings princes to nought, judges of the land He made like a thing of nought.

23. Who hands over rulers to weakness, and makes the judges of the earth as nothing.

24. Even [as though] they were not planted, even [as though] they were not sown, even [as though] their trunk was not rooted in the earth; and also He blew on them, and they dried up, and a tempest shall carry them away like straw.    {S}

24. Although they grow, although they increase, although their sons are exalted in the earth, He sends His anger among them, and they are ashamed and His Memra, as the whirlwind the chaff, will scatter them.   {S}

25. "Now, to whom will you compare Me that I should be equal?" says the Holy One.

25. Whom then will you liken before Me, and compare (Me): says the Holy One.

26. Lift up your eyes on high and see, who created these, who takes out their host by number; all of them He calls by name; because of His great might and because He is strong in power, no one is missing.   {S}

26. Lift up your eyes to the height and see, so as to fear before Him who created these, who brings out the forces of heaven by number, calling to all of them by their names; by an abundance of prodigies and because He is strong in force not one from its order is missing. {S}




Rashi’s Commentary for: Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 40:1-26


1 Console, console My people He returns to his future prophecies; since from here to the end of the Book are words of consolations, this section separated them from the prophecies of retribution. Console, you, My prophets, console My people.


2 for she has become full [from] her host Jonathan renders: She is destined to become full from the people of the exiles, as though it would say, “She has become full from her host.” Others interpret צְבָאָה like (Job 7: 1), “Is there not a time (צָבָא) for man on the earth?”


has been appeased Heb. נִרְצָה , has been appeased.


for she has taken etc. [Jonathan paraphrases:] For she has received a cup of consolation from before the Lord as though she has been punished doubly for all her sins. According to its simple meaning, it is possible to explain, ‘for she received double punishment.’ Now if you ask, how is it the standard of the Holy One, blessed be He, to pay back a person double his sin, I will tell you that we find an explicit verse (Jer. 16:18): “And I will pay first the doubling of their iniquity and their sin.”


3 A voice The Holy Spirit calls, “In the desert, the way to Jerusalem.”


clear the way of the Lord for her exiles to return to her midst. [The Warsaw edition yields:]


Clear the way of the Lord The way of Jerusalem for her exiles to return to her midst.


4 Every valley shall be raised and the mountain shall be lowered, thus resulting in a smooth, even, and easily traversed road.


and the close mountains Heb. רְכָסִים , mountains close to each other, and because of their proximity, the descent between them is steep and it is not slanted, that it should be easy to descend and ascend. ([The word] רְכָסִים is translated by Jonathan as ‘banks,’ an expression of height like the banks of a river.)


close mountains Heb. רְכָסִים . Comp. (Ex. 28:28) “And they shall fasten (וְיִרְכְּסוּ) the breastplate.”


a champaigne Canpayne in O.F., a smooth and even terrain.


6 A voice from the Holy One, blessed be He, says to me, “Call!”


and it says My spirit says to Him, “What shall I call?” And the voice answers him, “Call this, all flesh is grass. All those who are haughty their greatness shall be turned over and become like grass. ([Manuscripts yield:] All the princes of the kingdom their greatness shall be turned over and shall wither away [lit. shall end] like grass.)


and all its kindness is like the blossom of the field For “the kindness of the nations is sin” (Prov. 14:34). [Ed. note: We have inverted the order of Rashi and followed the order of K’li Paz and Parshandatha, to connect the second part of the verse with the first. Rashi’s explanation of the second part follows his first explanation of the first part. In the Lublin edition, the second explanation of the first part of the verse interrupts the sequence.] (Another explanation is: All flesh is grass.) A person’s end is to die; therefore, if he says to do kindness, he is like the blossom of the field, that is cut off and dries, and one must not rely on him, for he has no power to fulfill his promise, perhaps he will die, for, just as the grass dries out and the blossom wilts, so is it that when a man dies, his promise is null, but the word of our God shall last for He is living and existing, and He has the power to fulfill. Therefore, “Upon a lofty mountain ascend and herald, O herald of Zion, for the promise of the tidings emanates from the mouth of Him Who lives forever.”


7 shall wilt Heb. נָבֵל , wilt.


9 O herald of Zion Heb. מְבַשֶּׂרֶת . The prophets who herald Zion. [This is the feminine form.] Elsewhere (infra 52:7), he says, “the feet of the herald (מְבַשֵּׂר) .” [This is the masculine form.] This denotes that if they are worthy, he will be as swift as a male. If they are not worthy, he will be as weak as a female and will delay his steps until the end.


10 shall come with a strong [hand] to mete out retribution upon the heathens. ([Mss. read:] Upon the nations.)


behold His reward is with Him It is prepared with Him for the righteous.


and His recompense [lit. His deed,] the recompense for the deed, which He is obliged to give them.


11 Like a shepherd [who] tends his flock Like a shepherd who tends his flock; with his arm he gathers lambs, and he carries them in his bosom.


the nursing ones he leads [Jonathan renders:] The nursing ones he leads gently, the nursing sheep. he leads Heb. יְנַהֵל , lit. he shall lead, like מְנַהֵל , he leads.


12 Who measured etc. He had the power to do all this, and surely He has the power to keep these promises.


with his gait Heb. בְּשָׁעֳלוֹ , with his walking, as it is said (Habakkuk 3: 15): “You trod with Your horses in the sea.” Comp. (Num. 22:24) “In the path (בְּמִשְׁעוֹל) of the vineyards, a path (for walking).” Another explanation is that שַׁעַל is the name of a receptacle. Comp. (Ezekiel 13:19) “For measures (בְּשַׁעֲלוֹ) of barley.”


measured Amolad in O.F., an expression of measure and number. Comp. (Ex. 5:18) “And the number (וְתֽכֶן) of bricks you shall give.”


and measured by thirds Heb. בַּשָּׁלִשׁ , and measured by thirds, one third wilderness, one third civilization, and one third seas and rivers. Another interpretation: בַּשָּׁלִשׁ , from the thumb to the middle finger, the third of the fingers. Menahem explains it as the name of a vessel. Comp. (Ps. 80:6) “And You gave them to drink tears with a vessel (שָׁלִישׁ) .”


and weighed mountains with a scale Everything according to the earth, a heavy mountain He inserted into hard earth, and the light ones into soft earth.


13 Who meted the Holy Spirit in the mouth of the prophets? The Lord prepared it, and He is worthy of belief.


and His adviser who informs Him [and the one with whom He takes counsel He informs] of His spirit. So did Jonathan render it. [Who meted out the spirit? The Lord, and the one with whom He takes counsel He informs him, i.e., the righteous in whom God confides, He informs of His plans for the future.] But, according to its context, וְאִישׁ עֲצָתוֹ refers back to the beginning of the verse. Who meted out His spirit and who is His adviser who informs the Holy One, blessed be He, of counsel?


14 With whom did He take counsel and give him to understand With which of the heathens ([mss., K’li Paz:] nations) did He take counsel, as He took counsel with the prophets, as it is said concerning Abraham (Gen. 18: 17): “Do I conceal from Abraham...?”


and give him to understand, and teach him in the way of justice With which one of the heathens ([mss., K’li Paz:] nations) did He do so, that He taught him wisdom as He did to Abraham, to whom He gave a heart to recognize Him by himself and to understand the Torah, as it is said (ibid. 26:5): “And he kept My charge,” and Scripture states further (ibid. 18:19), “For he commands etc.” And his kidneys would pour forth wisdom to him, as it is said (Ps. 16:7): “Even at night my kidneys chastised me.”


(With whom did He take counsel and who gave Him to understand [With which man did He take counsel and which] man gave the Holy One, blessed be He, [to understand?] Behold all the nations are like a drop in a bucket, and how could they teach Him?)


15 Behold the nations are like a drop from a bucket And are not worthy to Him to appoint some of them as prophets to reveal His secret.


like a drop from a bucket Heb. כְּמַר , like a bitter drop that drips from the bottom of the bucket, bitter from the putrid water that is embedded in the bucket and the decay of the wood, limonede in O.F.


and like the dust of a balance for the copper corrodes and wears off.


like fine fine dust. that blows away [lit. that will be taken.] Like dust that is picked up and goes up through the wind, like fine dust that is carried away.


16 there is not enough to burn on His altar.


and its beasts (the beasts) of the Lebanon there is not enough for burnt offerings. Another explanation is:


And the Lebanon etc. to expiate the iniquity of the heathens.


17 All the nations are as naught before Him In His eyes they are as naught, and are not regarded by Him.


19 melted Heb. נָסַךְ , an expression of melting (מַסֵּכָה) .


the craftsman has melted The ironsmith has cast it from iron or from copper, and then the goldsmith plates it with plates of gold and covers it from above.


and chains Heb. וּרְתֻקוֹת , and chains.


20 He who is accustomed to select הַמְסֻכָּן תְּרוּמָה . Or, if he comes to make it of wood, one who is accustomed to discern between a durable tree and other trees, chooses a tree that does not decay quickly.


He who is accustomed Heb. הַמְסֻכָּן . Comp. (Num. 22:30) “Have I been accustomed (הַהַסְכֵּן הִסְכַּנְתִּי) ?”


to select Heb. תְּרוּמָה , separation, selection of the trees.


21 Do you not know...the foundations of the earth Who founded it, and you should have worshipped Him.


22 the circle Heb. חוּג , an expression similar to (infra 44:13) “And with a compass (וּבַמְּחוּגָה) ,” a circle (compass in O.F.).


and whose inhabitants are to Him [lit. before Him] like grasshoppers.


like a curtain Heb. כַדּֽק , a curtain, toile in French.


24 Even [as though] they were not planted They are even as though they were not planted.


even [as though] they were not sown And still more than this, that they shall be uprooted and plucked out, as if they were not sown. Sowing is less than planting.


their trunk is not rooted in the earth When they will be plucked out, the trunk will not take root in the ground that it will grow up anew. Every שֽׁרֶשׁ , root, in Scripture is accented on the first letter, and the ‘reish’ is vowelized with a ‘pattah’ [segol]. This one, however, is accented on the latter syllable and it is vowelized with a ‘kamatz katan’ [tzeireh] because it is a verb, present tense, [enracinant in French] being rooted.


26 who created these All the host that you will see on high.


because of His great might that He has, and that He is strong in power, no one of His host is missing, that He does not call by name.




(Chapters of the Fathers)

Pereq Hei

Mishnah 5:18

By: Hakham Yitschaq ben Moshe Magriso


Whoever leads many people to righteousness/generosity, no sin will come about through his hand. Whoever leads many people to sin will not be given the opportunity to repent. Moses was righteous/generous, and he led many people to righteousness/generosity; therefore, the merit of the masses is attributed to him. It is thus written: “He worked for righteousness towards God ,  and His justice in Israel (Deut. 33:21). Jereboam sinned and caused many people to sin; therefore the sins of the masses are attributed to him. It is thus written: “Because of the sins of Jereboam (ben Nabat), because he sinned and he caused Israel to sin” (I Kings 15:30).


Here we are discussing one who leads many people to righteousness/generosity (Mezakeh Eth HaRabbim). This means that he causes the public to keep the commandments, do good deeds, improve their ways, and walk the right road. When a person does this, no sin can come about through his hand.


Even if such a person wants to sin, Providence keeps the sin from him, and prevents him from committing it. If he would sin, the people whom he brought to do good would be in Paradise (Gan Eden) because of his efforts, and he would be in purgatory. This is not a logical situation, and therefore Providence does not let him sin. He therefore does not go to purgatory.


Conversely, when a person causes others to sin, he is not given the opportunity to repent. Normally when a person sins, and then wants to repent, Providence helps him. The Talmud thus teaches, "If one comes to purify himself, [the heavens] help him" When a person tries to cleanse himself of sin and repent, Providence helps him in every way possible ..


This, however, is not true when a person causes others to sin. In such a case, he is left alone, and Providence neither helps him nor hinders him.


The logic for this is the same as that above. The people whom he caused to sin will be in purgatory because of his efforts. How can he, at the same time, be in Paradise? Therefore, Providence does not help him repent and have a portion in Paradise.


Some authorities interpret the statement, "He is not given an opportunity to repent," somewhat differently. According to them, Providence does not allow him to repent at all. Since such a person has caused many others to sin, his guilt is so great that he is denied the opportunity to repent. He thus dies without repenting, and is annihilated completely.


An example of this was Pharaoh. God did not let him repent, because he caused much evil for the Israelites, causing them to worship idols.


When a person brings many others to do good, the merit of all these people is counted toward him. We thus find that Moses caused the entire nation of Israel to become God's servants, and therefore, the merit of all Israel is attributed to him. It is thus written, "He worked for righteousness/generosity toward God, and for His justice in Israel" (Deuteronomy 33 :21).


Obviously, Moses himself also did much good, keeping all the commandments and doing many good deeds. But besides this, he brought justice to Israel. It was he who taught Israel the various laws (mishpatim) through which justice is executed. Because of his efforts, all Israel kept the Torah; so it is counted as if Moses did everything that they all did.


Conversely, when a person causes many others to sin, it is counted as if he himself had committed all the sins. We find this in the case of Jeroboam ben Nevat, who not .only sinned himself, but also caused many others to sin. He did this by making calves (agalim) of gold, which were ultimately worshiped as idols (1 Kings 12 :28,30).


The Scripture counts it as if the sin committed by all Israel was committed by Jeroboam himself. It is thus written, "Because of the sins of Jeroboam, who sinned and caused Israel to sin" (1 Kings 15:30). The verse could have just as easily said, "Because Jeroboam sinned, and because he caused Israel to sin." Indeed, this would appear more logical, since if he :" sinned", he obviously had "sins". Therefore, speaking of "the sins of Jeroboam" is redundant.

The verse tells us that besides his own sins which were counted against him, the sins of all Israel were considered among his sins.




(Chapters of the Fathers)

Pereq Hei

Mishnah 5:19

By: Hakham Yitschaq ben Moshe Magriso


Whoever has these three traits is a disciple of Abraham and [he who has] three other traits, is a disciple of the wicked Balaam. A good eye, a humble spirit, and a contrite soul [are traits of] Abraham's disciples. A bad eye, a pompous spirit, and gross soul [are traits] of Balaam’s disciples. What is the difference between Abraham's disciples and Balaam’s disciples? Abraham's disciples eat in this world and inherit the World to Come. It is thus written, "To endow My friends with substance, I will fill their treasuries” (Proverbs 8:21). But the disciplies of Balaam inherit purgatory and descend to the pit of destruction. It is thus written, "You, God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction. Men of blood and fraud will not live out half their days, but I will trust in You" (Psalms 55:24).


The master now tells us of the good traits that a person must cultivate. If he gains these traits, he will inherit the World to Come. This is because all Judaism depends on having good traits. Conversely, if a person has bad traits, he can lose both this world and the next. Therefore, they must be carefully avoided.

The world's first prophet and religious leader was Abraham. Since Abraham was distinguished by his good character, the master calls the person who has good traits a student of Abraham. This is because he learned good traits from Abraham.


Similarly, the first prophet whom the gentile nations had was Balaam. But Balaam was distinguished by his bad character. Therefore, the master speaks of a person with bad character as a student of Balaam. Such a person has learned his ways from Balaam.


The master now speaks of three traits that are essential to Judaism, all of which were found in Abraham.


1.      “A good eye (A’ayin Tob).” Having a good eye means being happy with what one has and not looking for more. For such a person, even the little he has seems like much in his eyes. A person having this good trait will never envy his neighbor's possessions, and he certainly will not steal, swindle, cheat, or violate any of the Torah's prohibitions regarding monetary transactions.


Abraham had this good trait. We thus saw that when he fought for Sodom, he defeated their enemies and regained their possessions. When the king of Sodom pleaded with Abraham to return the people whom Abraham had taken back from the enemy, but to keep the property, Abraham's answer was, "I will not take a thread nor a shoelace from all that is yours" (Genesis 14:23). Abraham told the king that he did not want anything, but would return all the property up to the last penny.


This shows to what extent Abraham had the above mentioned trait of a good eye. All the property was actually his, since he had recovered it in battle. Still, he did not want to keep any of it.


2.      "A humble spirit" (Ruach Nemokah). This denotes the trait 'Of humility (anavah). This trait is like an illuminated staircase upon which one can climb and attain all other good traits. It is the doorway to the fear of God and observance of the commandments.


For example, if a person is wealthy, he has many opportunities to give charity and do good with his money. If he is humble, he thanks God every hour for giving him this great opportunity. Here God has given him so much, that whatever good he does is insufficient. He does not take pride in his wealth, realizing that no matter how much good he does, he can never repay God for all the good He has done for him. We find this trait in Abraham, who said, "I am dust and ashes" (Genesis 18:27).


3.      "A contrite soul" (nefesh shefelah). The desire and will of the individual is referred to as the "soul" (nefesh), as it is written, "You may eat meat according to the full desire of your soul (nefesh)" (Deuteronomy 12:20). When a person has the good trait of possessing a "contrite soul," his desires and appetites are modest and few. Such a person does not pursue the vices of this world, and he separates himself from all luxuries, thus avoiding violations of the Divine Law. When a person pursues worldly pleasures, he can commit all sorts of sins, even committing adultery.


We find that Abraham had this trait, since he said to Sarah, "Now I know that you are a beautiful woman" (Genesis 12:11). Abraham was so removed from worldly desires that until he went to Egypt, he never even looked at his wife to see that she was beautiful.


These are the three good traits, and when one strives for them, he is considered to be a "student of Abraham." Opposing them are three bad traits, which are their antithesis. A person who has these bad traits is considered to be a “student of Balaam.”


1.      "A bad eye" (A’ayin HaRa). This means that such a person has a bad eye when it comes to looking at other people's possessions. Balaam had this trait, and we see that he came running to Balak when he was asked to curse the Israelites, although he knew that it was not God's will. But because of this trait, he went, spurred on by the promise of the money that Balak had promised to give.


We thus see that his words to Balak were, "If Balak would give me his house filled with silver and gold" (Numbers 22:18). From his words, we can see what he had in his mind. His only interest was to be paid as handsomely as possible.


2.      "A pompous spirit". This is the trait of pride (ga’avah). This was also a trait of Baiaam. He therefore spoke in a boastful fashion, calling his prophecy, "The world is he who hears God's words, who knows the mind of the Most High" (Numbers 24:16).


3.      "A gross soul" (Nefesh Rachavah). This means that he was a person who would do as he pleased, indulging all his desires. We thus see that Balaam gave the people of Moab advice that if they wished to overcome the Israelites, they should cause the young men of Israel to become sexually involved with the Moabite women (cf. Numbers 25:1). Obviously, a person who would use lewdness (zenuth) as a weapon was a lascivious person (zanai) himself. Our sages thus teach that Balaam committed bestiality with his she-donkey.


These are the three bad traits which typified Balaam, and one who has these traits is considered his student.


God furthermore said that when a person fears Him and adheres to the traits of Abraham, then in this world he enjoys the interest (peroth) on his good deeds (maasim tobim), while the principal remains credited to him for the World to Come. God thus said, "To endow My friends with substance (yesh), I will fill their treasuries"  (Proverbs 8 :21).


When a person has the qualities of Abraham, he is considered God's friend. We thus see that God called Abraham His friend, and He thus speaks of "the offspring of Abraham, My friend" (Isaiah 41:8). This indicates that anyone who strives to emulate Abraham is called a friend of God.


God says that He will endow such people with the World to Come (Olam HaBa), which is called "substance" (yesh). The Future World is called "substance" since its good is eternal. The pleasures of this world cannot be called "substance", since they are trivial and temporary.


God also says, "I will fill their treasuries." He is saying that He will provide a livelihood for His "friends" even in the temporal world, so that they will be able to serve Him properly.


The wicked, on the other hand, who emulate Balaam, will inherit purgatory for their bad deeds. Moreover, in this world, their lives will be shortened, and they will not live out even half their days. It is thus written, "You, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction. Men of blood and fraud will not live out half their days, but I will trust in You" (Psalms 55:24).


King David used to pray for the downfall of the wicked who lived in his time, such as Doag and Achitophel. He prayed, "Lord of the Universe. I pray that the wicked be brought down into hell. They are men involved in blood and schemes (tachbuloth). May they not reach even the middle of their lives. The normal lifespan of a human is seventy years (Psalms 90:10). I pray that these criminals not live out their thirty-fifth year."


The Talmud notes that King David's prayers were answered and that Doag died at the age of thirty-four, and that Achitophel died at thirty-three.


A heretic (min) once asked Rabbi Chanina, "How old was Balaam when he was killed?”


Rabbi Chanina replied that the Torah does not specify his age, but it is written, "Men of blood and deceit will not live out half their days" (Psalms 55:24). It is therefore certain that he did not live more than thirty-five years. Probably, he lived to be thirty-four.


The heretic replied, "What you say is true. I saw a genealogy of Balaam, where it is written, 'Balam was thirty-three years old when he was killed by General Pinchas."



Verbal Tallies

By: H. Em. Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

& H.H. Giberet Dr. Elisheba bat Sarah


Beresheet (Genesis) 48:1-22

Tehillim (Psalms) 40

Melachim bet (II Kings) 13:14-20, 23

Mk 4:26-29, Acts 13:42-52


The verbal tallies between the Torah and the Psalm are:

Told / Said - אמר, Strong’s number 0559.

Told / Declare - נגד, Strong’s number 05046.

Come - בוא, Strong’s number 0935.


The verbal tallies between the Torah and the Ashlamata are:

Told / Said - אמר, Strong’s number 0559.

Father - אב, Strong’s number 01.

Took - לקח, Strong’s number 03947.


Beresheet (Genesis) 48:1 And it came to pass after these things, that one told <0559> (8799) Joseph, Behold, thy father <01> is sick <02470> (8802): and he took <03947> (8799) with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

2  And one told <05046> (8686) Jacob, and said <0559> (8799), Behold, thy son Joseph cometh <0935> (8802) unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.


Tehillim (Psalms) 40:5 Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare <05046> (8686) and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

Tehillim (Psalms) 40:7 Then said <0559> (8804) I, Lo, I come <0935> (8804): in the volume of the book it is written of me,


Melachim bet (II Kings) 13:14 Now Elisha was fallen sick <02470> (8804) of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said <0559> (8799), O my father <01>, my father <01>, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.

Melachim bet (II Kings) 13:15 And Elisha said <0559> (8799) unto him, Take <03947> (8798) bow and arrows. And he took <03947> (8799) unto him bow and arrows.






Torah Reading

Gen. 48:1-22




II Kings 13:14-20, 23



Gen. 48:1
Gen. 48:9
Gen. 48:15
Gen. 48:16
Gen. 48:17
Gen. 48:18
Gen. 48:19
Gen. 48:21

2 Ki. 13:14



Gen. 48:15
Gen. 48:16

2Ki 13:23



Gen. 48:9
Gen. 48:11
Gen. 48:15
Gen. 48:20
Gen. 48:21

Ps. 40:3
Ps. 40:5
Ps. 40:8
Ps. 40:17

2 Ki. 13:19


told, said

Gen. 48:1
Gen. 48:3
Gen. 48:4
Gen. 48:8
Gen. 48:9
Gen. 48:11
Gen. 48:15
Gen. 48:18
Gen. 48:19
Gen. 48:20
Gen. 48:21

Ps. 40:7
Ps. 40:10
Ps. 40:15
Ps. 40:16

2 Ki. 13:14
2 Ki. 13:15
2 Ki. 13:16
2 Ki. 13:17
2 Ki. 13:18
2 Ki. 13:19


land, earth, ground

Gen. 48:3
Gen. 48:4
Gen. 48:5
Gen. 48:7
Gen. 48:12
Gen. 48:16
Gen. 48:21

2 Ki. 13:18
2 Ki. 13:20


who, which

Gen. 48:9
Gen. 48:15
Gen. 48:22

Ps. 40:4

2 Ki. 13:14


come, go

Gen. 48:2
Gen. 48:5
Gen. 48:7

Ps. 40:7

2 Ki. 13:20



Gen. 48:14
Gen. 48:17
Gen. 48:22

2 Ki. 13:16



Ps. 40:1
Ps. 40:3
Ps. 40:4
Ps. 40:5
Ps. 40:9
Ps. 40:11
Ps. 40:13
Ps. 40:16

2 Ki. 13:17



Gen. 48:2
Gen. 48:3

2Ki 13:23



Gen. 48:15
Gen. 48:16

2Ki 13:23



Gen. 48:2
Gen. 48:8
Gen. 48:10
Gen. 48:11
Gen. 48:13
Gen. 48:14
Gen. 48:20
Gen. 48:21

2 Ki. 13:14
2 Ki. 13:16
2 Ki. 13:18
2 Ki. 14:23


take, took

Gen. 48:1
Gen. 48:9
Gen. 48:13
Gen. 48:22

2 Ki. 13:15
2 Ki. 13:18



Gen. 48:7
Gen. 48:21

2 Ki. 13:14
2 Ki. 13:20


give, make, gave

Gen. 48:4
Gen. 48:9
Gen. 48:22

Ps. 40:3


before, until

Gen. 48:5

Ps. 40:12

2 Ki. 13:17
2 Ki. 13:19



more than, over

Gen. 48:7
Gen. 48:22

Ps. 40:15

2 Ki. 13:14



Gen. 48:5

2 Ki. 13:19



Gen. 48:7

2 Ki. 13:20



Gen. 48:22

2 Ki. 13:15
2 Ki. 13:16


appeared, see

Gen. 48:3
Gen. 48:8
Gen. 48:10
Gen. 48:11
Gen. 48:17

Ps. 40:3
Ps. 40:12



Gen. 48:18
Gen. 48:20

Ps. 40:4

2 Ki. 13:16



Gen. 48:1

2 Ki. 13:14







Torah Reading

Gen. 48:1-22




II Kings 13:14-20, 23


Mishnah of Mark,

1-2 Peter, & Jude

Mk 4:26-29

Remes/Gemara of


and James

Acts 13:42-52



Gen 48:4

Acts 13:46
Acts 13:48



2Ki 13:19 

Mk. 4:26



Mk. 4:26


land, earth,


Gen. 48:3
Gen. 48:4
Gen. 48:5
Gen. 48:7
Gen. 48:12
Gen. 48:16
Gen. 48:21

2 Ki. 13:18
2 Ki. 13:20

Mk. 4:26
Mk. 4:28

Acts 13:47



Gen 48:4 
Gen 48:19

Acts 13:46
Acts 13:47
Acts 13:48


see, seeing,


Gen 48:8
Gen 48:17  
Gen 48:19

Mar 4:27

Act 13:45


speak, say

Gen. 48:1
Gen. 48:3
Gen. 48:4
Gen. 48:8
Gen. 48:9
Gen. 48:11
Gen. 48:15
Gen. 48:18
Gen. 48:19
Gen. 48:20
Gen. 48:21

Ps. 40:7
Ps. 40:10
Ps. 40:15
Ps. 40:16

2 Ki. 13:14
2 Ki. 13:15
2 Ki. 13:16
2 Ki. 13:17
2 Ki. 13:18
2 Ki. 13:19

Act 13:46


come, came

Gen 48:1
Gen 48:2
Gen 48:5
Gen 48:7 

2Ki 13:20

Acts 13:44
Acts 13:51



Gen 48:15
Gen 48:20

Mk. 4:27



Gen. 48:9
Gen. 48:11
Gen. 48:15
Gen. 48:20
Gen. 48:21

Ps. 40:3
Ps. 40:5
Ps. 40:8
Ps. 40:17

2 Ki. 13:19

Mk. 4:26

Acts 13:43
Acts 13:44
Acts 13:46


behold, see

Gen. 48:3
Gen. 48:8
Gen. 48:10
Gen. 48:11
Gen. 48:17

Ps. 40:3
Ps. 40:12

Acts 13:46



Ps. 40:1
Ps. 40:3
Ps. 40:4
Ps. 40:5
Ps. 40:9
Ps. 40:11
Ps. 40:13
Ps. 40:16

2 Ki. 13:17

Acts 13:47
Acts 13:48
Acts 13:49


spoke, speak

Psa 40:5 

Acts 13:42
Acts 13:45
Acts 13:46


speak, say

Gen 48:2
Gen 48:20

Psa 40:15

Mk. 4:26

Acts 13:46



Gen 48:6
Gen 48:16 

Psa 40:4


all, whole,

Gen 48:16 

Psa 40:16

Acts 13:44



Gen. 48:1
Gen. 48:9
Gen. 48:15
Gen. 48:16
Gen. 48:17
Gen. 48:18
Gen. 48:19
Gen. 48:21

2 Ki. 13:14


did, done,


Gen 48:4
Gen 48:20

Psa 40:5
Psa 40:8

πολύς  / 


great, many

Gen 48:16

Psa 40:3
Psa 40:5
Psa 40:10

Acts 13:43



Psa 40:2

Acts 13:51



Mar 4:28

Act 13:46 


words, things

Gen 48:1

Acts 13:42



Gen 48:16

Psa 40:13




Gen 48:4

Psa 40:10

Acts 13:43



2Ki 13:17

Acts 13:47













Sidra Of B’resheet (Gen.) Gen 48:1-22

“Chiné Avikhá Choléh” “Behold, your father is sick”

By: H. Em. Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu ben Abraham &

H. Em. Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai


Hakham Tsefet’s School of Peshat

(Mk 4:26-29)

Mishnah א:א


And he (Yeshua) said, “The kingdom/Governance of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep through[10] the night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”[11]



Hakham Shaul’s School of Remes

(2 Luqas – Acts 13:42-52)

Pereq א:א


As Hakham Shaul and Paqid Bar-Nechamah were going out, the people kept begging that these things might be elucidated to them on the next Sabbath. Now when the meeting of the Synagogue had broken up, many of the Jews and of the God-fearing Gentiles[12] followed Hakham Shaul and Paqid Bar-Nechamah, who, speaking to them, were urging them to continue in the grace of God.


The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the Torah of the Lord.[13] But when (some of) the Jews[14] (Tz’dukim – Sadducees and the School of Shammai) saw the congregations, they were filled with zeal and began trying to contradict the things spoken by Hakham Shaul, and were insulting (him). Hakham Shaul and Paqid Bar-Nechamah spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the Torah of God be spoken to the Gentiles by you first; since you repudiate (the Mesorah -  Oral Torah) it and judge yourselves unworthy of the Olam HaBa, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us,” for the Lord God[15] says, It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up (and make stand) the tribes of Ya’aqob and to restore the preserved ones of Yisrael; I will also make You a light of the nations, So that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth(Yesha’yahu – Isa. 49:6).


When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the Torah of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life became faithfully obedient (Jews). And the Torah of the Lord was being spread through the whole region. But, some of the Jews (from the Shammite School)[16] incited the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city, and instigated a persecution against Hakham Shaul and Paqid Bar-Nechamah, and drove them out of their district. But they shook off the dust of their feet in protest against them and went on to Iconium.[17] And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Divine Presence (Shekinah).




Nazarean Codicil to be read in conjunction with the following Torah Seder:


Gen 48:1-22

Psa. 40:1-18

II Kings 13:14-20, 23

Mk 4:26-29

Acts 13:42-52



Commentary to Hakham Tsefet’s School of Peshat

The Adversary and the Kingdom/Governance of G-d


Mk 4:28. For of itself does the earth bear fruit, first a blade, then an ear, then full grain in the ear.


We open the Peshat commentary with a question. Why does satan (the adversary) oppose the Kingdom/Governance of G-d?


We must first determine the identity of the adversary or “satan.” The Biblical phrase “satan” is usually a direct translation of the word שָׂטָן satan, pronounced “saw-tawn.”[18] The Greek Σατανᾶς Satanas, pronounced “sat-an-as”[19] is derived from the Hebrew שָׂטָן satan. In Christian literature “satan” is the archenemy of G-d. Jewish thoughts of “satan” do not make “satan” into the arch villain of G-d but the part of the human being referred to as the Yetser HaRa.


Gen. 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion…


We must understand that the “image” and “likeness” of the present passage in no way implies that G-d is a corporeal being as we are. The Sages (Hakhamim) teach us that we cannot read the opening chapters of B’resheet is the absolute literal (Peshat) sense. This does not mean that we cannot derive Peshat information from them, as we will see. From the cited passage of B’resheet, we learn that the plurality “us” does not relate to a “trinitarian” divinity proposed by christian scholars and teachers. Nor, does the Hebrew word צֶלֶםtselem or דְּמוּתdemuwth   in any way imply that there is or ever will be a divinity of corporeal substance.[20]


The phrase “For the earth yields crops by itself,” captures the “mystery” (So’od) in Peshat vocabulary. The earth possesses the energy and ability to cause things to grow because G-d has vested it with these powers.


B’resheet (Ge) 1:11 And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth." And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.


These passages reveal even deeper truths than our Peshat will allow us to comment on here. However, we can see even from Peshat, that the earth is able, of itself to grow produce as Hakham Tsefet, in our pericope has suggested. Therefore, whatever comes from the earth possess a special bestowal of energy to reproduce “after its own species.” Consequently, man has come from the earth with the capacity to reproduce “after his own species.” The Ramban[21] shows in his commentary to B’resheet 1:26 that when G-d says “let us,” He is entering into a partnership with the earth in the creation of man. As such, man has the earthly capacity to reproduce himself through his seed in the same way that the fruit tree produces “after its kind.” Therefore, the “image” and “likeness” can be taken to mean that man has some physiognomies that he received from the earth and some more sublime characteristics he received from G-d. Because man is dualistic in his composite nature, he alone can capture the essence of the spiritual (abstract) world and bring it into the mundane sphere of life. While there is a great deal of work to be done in the area of “tikun,” meaning repair, we must also remember that man is given an initial mission to “have dominion, be fruitful, and multiply.” These commands are not mere “cultural mandates” as some have purported. Judaism accepts these “mandates” as mitzvoth (commandments) making them obligatory. And the mitzvah to be fruitful and multiply can have deeper meanings, but we see that the idea is to build a community under the authority of G-d’s mitzvot. 

Of its own Species

In our attempt to understand and determine the identity of the adversary, we must look into man’s purpose. The Biblical refrain וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי “and God said let there be” occurs repeatedly in the opening chapter of B’resheet. As we noted above, we see with each remark, that G-d is investing a specific energy and Law (Torah/Nomos) into the infrastructure of the Universe. This truth compounds the question because it alters or amplifies the question. If the earth is a part of the Structured Universe, which demands that we keep the Torah, why is it adversely obsessed with returning man to the “dust of the earth?” In a measure the “earth” the adversary (satan) wants us dead if we fail to observe the mitzvoth.


Because man’s composition he is caught between the earth and the heavens, man’s activities unlike G-ds, fall into four classes.[22]


  1. Purposeless
  2. Unimportant
  3. Vanity
  4. Good Works


In a measure, the “earth” the adversary (satan) wants us dead, or wants its dirt from those who are not productively building the earth and the universe. In other words, when we do not produce (a principle law of the earth/structured universe) we fall into decay, which is the earths way of recycling. This is equally true regardless of whether we are speaking of vegetable or animal life. The man who operates “without purpose,” involved in the “unimportant” the adversarial earth pursues that man involved in “vain activity” because he is not building the Kingdom of God or “ruling” in the Governance of G-d.


Those activities, which are deemed “good works,” are necessary and useful to obtain a specified goal. Therefore, before we can define with clarity “good works” we need to understand “works” as they appear in the Biblical Texts.


We have included the English Standard version and our own translation for comparison.


English Standard Version

Translation by H. Em. Rabbi Dr Eliyahu b Abraham

Eph. 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Eph 2:8-10 It is by God’s loving-kindness that brought you (Gentiles) to wholeness[23] by becoming faithfully obedient Jews, this is not by your own merit but a gift of God.[24] You are not made whole by human attempts to please God,[25] so that anyone can boast. For we (Jews) are His (God’s) workmanship, created in union with Yeshua HaMashiach for a life of good works, according to the halakhot (Laws) of the Torah, which God has prepared beforehand that we[26] (Jews and Gentiles) should walk (halakh)[27] in them.


The “gift of G-d” is the Torah, as can be seen in our footnotes. G-d’s loving-kindness gave us the Gift of the Torah as an eternal spiritual gift. This “gift” was given to the Jewish people first.[28] Because our translation of Ephesians 2:8-10 purports the truth that the Gentiles must become fully obedient Jews, we take up the age-old battle between “works” and “grace.” Firstly, we must realize that the Gift of the Torah is never to be rescinded.[29] Furthermore, we must accept the fact that the structure of the entire universe is built upon the Nomos/Oral Torah. These spoken words (Oral Torah) are captured from time to time in the written text. The refrain וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי “and God said let there be…” cited above is a perfect example. However, the written text has not captured all the words that G-d used to create the universe. Consequently, we must accept the Oral Torah as a means for understanding the will of G-d as well as the power of creation. The English Standard Version of the Bible says that “salvation” (being made whole)[30] is a “gift of G-d” and not of “works,” therefore, we need some clarity as to what “works” are being discussed. The proper way to understand the phrase “works” in the present context is, as we have translated the phrase “human attempts to please God.” If we accept that, no human works devoid of the Torah can please G-d we have a perfect understanding of Hakham Shaul’s intention. In other words, when we hermeneutically understand these words aright, we understand that we must join G-d’s gift of the Torah with the idea of “being made whole” (salvation).[31] Works that men contrive or imagine apart from the Torah can NEVER produce “salvation,” bring a man to “spiritual wholeness” or bring us into connection with G-d.


Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the Mesorah (of the Master), for it is the virtuous power of God bringing redemption to everyone who is faithfully obedient, (to the Mesorah) Chiefly by the Jewish Hakhamim[32] and also by the Jewish Hakhamim of the Hellenists (in Diaspora).[33]


Hakham Shaul’s words are straightforward here. It is the Mesorah of G-d that brings the ability to “be made whole,” (be “saved”).


The Midrashic text of Matityahu, the commentary to the Malchut Shamayim[34] (Kingdom/Governance of G-d) addresses this question with the same vocabulary as our cited texts.


Matt. 19:25-26 When his (Yeshua’s) talmidim (disciples) heard (Yeshua’s midrash on the rich man), they were overwhelmingly amazed, saying, “Who has the power (δύναταιdunatai) to be made spiritually whole (saved)? But Yeshua understood their amazement, and said to them, With men this is impossible (ἀδύνατόνadunaton);[35] but with God all things are possible (δυνατάdunata).


Now we see that “salvation,” “being made spiritually whole” is impossible with man. Or, man does not have the capacity (ἀδύνατόνadunaton); of his own accord apart from the Gift of the Torah (G-d’s δύναταιdunatai) to be “saved,” made spiritually whole. Therefore, a man’s works apart from the Gift of the Torah is powerless and are considered the “works of the flesh.” The “works of the flesh” are man’s attempt to “save” himself without the instruction of the Torah, Oral or Written.

Case Law

Judaism is a “faith” if we can call it that, built upon precedent. Therefore, we have cited a textual, hermeneutic argument above, which needs “case law” to finalize our controversy.


B’resheet (Gen.) 3:7-10 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they (of their own accord trying to atone for their sin) sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the voice (Dabar/Logos/Memra) of the Lord God (Oral Torah) walking in the garden in the ruach (breath)[36] of the day, and the man and his wife were hidden[37] from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you" (being unable to see Adam)? And he said, "I heard the your voice (Dabar/Logos/Memra) in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I was hidden (because of my sin).”


Adam’s sin hid him from the “Presence (face) of G-d.” G-d could no longer see Adam and Chava because they had violated the mitzvot of G-d. However, our point (case Law) rests upon the fact that Adam took it upon himself to atone for his wrong by covering himself with a fig leaf. The fig leaf depicts Adam’s “works of the flesh,” and “human attempts to please God” or an attempt to atone for his sin apart from the Torah. Therefore, we see the precedential law, which demonstrated that the activities contrived apart from Torah render a man dead to G-d. We understand by later passages that G-d taught Adam the appropriate way to atone for sin when he made “skins” for Adam and Chava.[38]

Rule or Fall

Adam was created to rule. The Hebrew word “rule” is radah. The Hebrew word for “fall” or descend is yarad. The Hebrew text of B’resheet 1:26 says “And let them have dominion” ve-yiradoo.[39] Here “ve-yiradoo” is a polyvalent containing a trilateral consonantal root.  Therefore, “ve-yiradoo” can mean that he could either yarad – descend or radad - rule.[40]


Adam’s right to “rule” was dependent upon his right standing with G-d! Those who do not have a “right standing” with G-d are not qualified or able to rule in the Kingdom/Governance of G-d! In other words, those who flagrantly violate the mandates of the Torah cannot be “rulers” in the Governance of G-d.[41] Those Hakhamim who are “shomer HaTorah,” are the Torah’s “guardians” can “rule” (radah). But, those who refuse to observe the mitzvot are destined to fall (yarad). It is these unproductive souls that the adversary, the earth, wishes to consume.


The Communion, presence, and power of G-d that Adam possessed were lost with his violation of the Torah mandate. The whole of Adam's (humanities) existence is dependent on his relationship with G-d through the Torah. Without a true and proper relationship with G-d, man does not warrant existence at all. ALL men who do not seek to establish a correct relationship with G-d through the Torah warrant DEATH. Therefore, the earth seeks to consume the “workers of iniquity” those who have no works of Torah.



Are we “saved” by “grace”? Yes the “grace” loving-kindness of G-d gave us the gift of eternal “salvation” through the “Gift of the Torah” as opposed to the “works of the flesh,” man’s attempt to please G-d apart from the Torah.




Commentary to Hakham Shaul’s School of Remes


The text of this week’s II Luqas (Acts) is perplexing and difficult to read without the appropriate context. Hakham Shaul and Paqid Bar-Nechamah are having overwhelming success in Antioch. They have been asked to come back and speak for the second Shabbat.  


The allegory unfolds from one of the essential Psalm.


The Psalmist – sons of Korah connect with Hakham Shaul’s words… since you repudiate it (the Mesorah -  Oral Torah) and judge yourselves unworthy of the Olam HaBa.[42]


Psa 49:8 - A brother cannot redeem a man; he cannot give his ransom to God. The redemption of their soul will be too dear, and unattainable forever. Will he live yet forever and not see the Pit?


Who are those who have forfeited their share in the Olam HaBa, and how does this explain the present allegory?


Hakham Shaul and Paqid Bar-Nechamah have won the favor of the dominant portion of the Jewish Congregation.  However, the Tzdukim – Sadducees still has prominence among the Jewish people of the Diaspora. Or as we have footnoted, the Jewish people in the diaspora have yet to hear of the favor G-d has shown to the Gentiles in allowing them to become partakers in the Olam HaBa. Last week’s pericope we saw that “some of the branches,” i.e the Tzdukim – Sadducees were broken off so that the Gentiles could be grafted in.[43] This week’s pericope shows a confrontation with the Tzdukim – Sadducees. 


Hakham Shaul makes a seminal statement that we must understand in terms of allegory and hermeneutics.


Hakham Shaul and Paqid Bar-Nechamah spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the Torah of God be spoken to the Gentiles by you (the Jewish people) first;


This phrase is also used by Hakham Shaul in his letter to the Romans.


Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the Mesorah (of the Master), for it is the virtuous power of God bringing redemption to everyone who is faithfully obedient, (to the Mesorah) Chiefly by the Jewish Hakhamim[44] and also by the Jewish Hakhamim of the Hellenists (in Diaspora).[45]


Translations usually suggest that the Mesorah is to be taught “to the Jew first.” This statement is overbearingly problematic.


Romans 3:1 Then what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? Great in every respect. First of all, they were entrusted with the oracles of God (Mesorah).


Obviously, the translators have made a big blunder in translating Romans 1:16 “to the Jew first.” The Jewish people do not need teaching on what they already know. Of course, the so-called scholars will try to bend the words to make Messiah into some fabrication of pagan deism, but we understand that this is not only nonsense, but also an absolute lie. Because the Jews are the recipients of the Oracles of G-d i.e. the Mesorah, it only stands to reason that the Mesorah be taught CHIEFLY by the JEWISH PEOPLE!!!! The inference is simply stated. The Mesorah MUST be passed down – transmitted from Jewish Hakhamim to talmidim. This includes the “Gentiles” who would teach Torah/Mesorah to others. But the main point is that they MUST be first taught by a Jewish Hakham!

Chiefly by the Jewish Hakhamim…

How can we translate the verse as we have? Upon consultation with some Greek parsing lexicons, it seems that the words Ioudaious - Jews (adjective, masc. sing.) and Hellini - Greeks (noun, masc. sing) in Romans 1:16 are both in the dative case. We realize that the grammar lesson will not be appreciated by everyone, and for this we surely apologize. However, proof needs substantiation. 

Now concerning the dative case, particularly in Classical and Koine Greek, has a particular use - i.e. the instrumental case. In Wikipedia for example, under "Dative case" - about the middle of the page states:


In some languages, the dative case has assimilated the functions of other now-extinct cases. In Ancient Greek, the dative has the functions of the Proto-Indo-European locative and instrumental as well as those of the original dative.


Further, in the same article of Wikipedia under "Greek - Instrumental", it states:


Dativus Instrumenti: The dativus instrumenti, or the 'dative of instrument,' is when the dative is used to denote an instrument or means of a certain action (or, more accurately, as the instrumental case). For example:

"με κτείνει δόλῳ." (Homer, Odyssey 9.407) "He kills me with a bait (i.e., by means of a bait)."


Notice that the case of Dative of Instrument needs to be translated into English either with the propositions “with” or “by.” Consequently, we MUST translate the text as we have, “Chiefly by the Jewish Hakhamim.”


We see that there is a repudiation of the Mesorah by some of the Jewish people. This is easily accounted for by saying that the Jewish Shammaite School were vehemently opposed to the Mesorah taught by the School of Hillel.


Shabbat 17a And another? When one vintages [grapes] for the vat [I.C., to manufacture wine], Shammai maintains: It is made fit (to become unclean]; while Hillel ruled, It is not made fit.[46] Said Hillel to Shammai: Why must one vintage [grapes] in purity,[47] yet not gather [olives] in purity? If you provoke me, he replied, I will decree uncleanness in the case of olive gathering too. A sword was planted in the Beth Hamidrash and it was proclaimed, ‘He who would enter, let him enter, but he who would depart, let him not depart!’[48] And on that day Hillel sat submissive before Shammai, like one of the disciples,[49] and it was as grievous to Israel[50] as the day when the [golden] calf was made. Now, Shammai and Hillel enacted [this measure], but they would not accept it from them; but their disciples came[51] and enacted it, and it was accepted from them.[52]


Hakham Shaul was most likely of Shammaite persuasion in his early years as a Paqid. Here we see that his Jewish audience wants to contradict him. If Hakham Shaul’s allegoric statement in 2 Luqas (Acts) 22:3 is understood clearly we can perceive the contention.


2 Luqas (Acts) 22:3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel (allegory for the school of Hillel), strictly according to the Torah/Mesorah of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today.


In review of the two Schools of thought, we see that the Shammite School wanted to “save” Yisrael. While this is a most noble undertaking, the School of Shammai overlooked some key principles in the Tanakh.


  1. Firstly, Yosef as the “savior” of the Gentile world did so before “saving” his own people. From this we derive a principle that the healing of the world is prerequisite as a Jewish enterprise.
  2. Secondly, the Prophets clearly prophesied that Yisrael would be a light to the nations as noted above.
  3. Thirdly, as a light to the nations the B’ne Yisrael establish themselves as the Kings and Priests of the Olam Haba.


Therefore, the statement… “Since you repudiate it (the Mesorah - Oral Torah of Hillel) and judge yourselves unworthy of the Olam HaBa, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles,” now makes sense. The Jewish Hakhamim who will not teach the Torah to the Gentiles have to bear the consequence. Likewise, we must remember that the allegory of Hakham Shaul is like the allegorical speech of the Nebi’im (Prophets). The Nebi’im often told people the extremes of a punishment to generate a fear/or awe of G-d.


Pharaoh’s hardheartedness is understood allegorically as a gentile taking “salvation” into his own hands. Or, casting the Torah aside and believing that it is not an essential part of their redemption.


In summary, the Jewish people are the path to salvation/redemption for the gentiles. In bringing redemption to the Gentiles the Jewish people guarantee their place in the Olam HaBa.



We have seen from the Peshat argument that the Torah is essential for making G-d’s people whole. Here in 2 Luqas we have seen that the Nefesh Yehudi is the conduit for the Oral Torah. Therefore, we opine that those who have the Nefesh Yehudi have also received the Oral Torah as a way of life. The Torah, Oral and Written teach man the path of G-d. Man apart from the Torah is hidden and alienated from G-d’s presence. The Power of G-d to “salvation” being spiritually made whole is the Torah. The Breath of G-d, which taught Adam his daily lesson (daily bread) in Gan Eden, was the Oral Torah. Before there can be a return to Eden we must return to the “ground-works,” “Good Works” of the Torah.


Yeshua HaMashiach HaNotsri from the (city of) Branches[53] with the Oral Torah/Spirit of Prophecy[54] and with miracle working power:[55] who went about doing good works, and healing all that were oppressed by the shedim (demons); for God’s Shekinah (presence) was with him.


If this was the work of the Master, can his talmidim do less than he did?


Amen V’Amen




Questions for Understanding and Reflection


  1. From all the readings for this Shabbat which verse or verses impressed your heart and fired your imagination?
  2. Taking into consideration all the readings for this Shabbat what is the prophetic statement for this week?



Blessing After Torah Study


Barúch Atáh Adonai, Elohénu Meléch HaOlám,

Ashér Natán Lánu Torát Emét, V'Chayéi Olám Natá B'Tochénu.

Barúch Atáh Adonái, Notén HaToráh. Amen!

Blessed is Ha-Shem our GOD, King of the universe,

Who has given us a teaching of truth, implanting within us eternal life.

Blessed is Ha-Shem, Giver of the Torah. Amen!

“Now unto Him who is able to preserve you faultless, and spotless, and to establish you without a blemish,

before His majesty, with joy, [namely,] the only one GOD, our Deliverer, by means of Yeshua the Messiah our Master, be praise, and dominion, and honor, and majesty, both now and in all ages. Amen!”




Next Sabbath:


Shabbat: “Vayiqrá Ya’aqób” - “And called Jacob” &

2nd of Seven Sabbaths of Consolation/Strengthening



Torah Reading:

Weekday Torah Reading:

וַיִּקְרָא יַעֲקֹב



“Vayiqra Ya’aqob”

Reader 1 – B’resheet 49:1-4

Reader 1 – B’resheet 49:27-29

“And called Jacob”

Reader 2 – B’resheet 49:5-7

Reader 2 – B’resheet 49:29-31

“Y llamó Jacob”

Reader 3 – B’resheet 49:8-10

Reader 3 – B’resheet 49:31-33

B’resheet (Gen) 49:1-26

Reader 4 – B’resheet 49:11-13


Ashlamatah: Is 55:3-12 + 56:8

Reader 5 – B’resheet 49:15-18


Special: Yeshayahu 44:14 – 51:3

Reader 6 – B’resheet 49:19-21

Reader 1 – B’resheet 49:27-29

Psalm 41:1-4

Reader 7 – B’resheet 49:22-26

Reader 2 – B’resheet 49:29-31


    Maftir – B’resheet 49:22-26

Reader 3 – B’resheet 49:31-33

N.C.: Mk 4:30-34; Lk 13:18-19

  Acts 14:1-7

                 Isaiah 44:14 – 51:3


Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu ben Abraham

[1] Radak; Sforno

[2] v. 4

[3] v. 2

[4] Kabbalistically, this chapter of Psalms is used as a strong prayer for protection against evil people.

[5] Hirsch

[6] Az Yashir, the song at the sea, symbolizes the birth of the Jewish people. It marks the first time that the nation, acting as one, recognized both their redemption and their redeemer. One cannot find any other place in Jewish history where, unified, the People of Israel burst spontaneously into song praising HaShem and his miracles.

[7] This introduction was excerpted and edited from:  The ArtScroll Tanach Series, Tehillim, A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources. Commentary by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer, Translation by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer in collaboration with Rabbi Nosson Scherman.

[8] S.R. Hirsch, The Pentateuch

[9] Sifrei; Chullim 28a

[10] Wallace, D. B. (1996). Greek Grammar, Beyond the Basics, An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. pp. 202-3

[11] We make note here of the absence of the Luqan Tosefta. Hakham Shaul omits this material in the Luqan Tosefta undoubtedly because he feels that the information has been adequately covered in the Peshat of the Marqan text. Therefore, we will comment without the “additional” materials.

[12] Here the Greek word cannot refer to the Righteous gentile. Had Hakham Shaul wished to make this point he would have clearly told us that these Gentiles were “converts “without the added phrase σεβομένων (σέβωsebomai). Consequently, these Gentiles lack conversion, which as we have noted in the past is forbidden by the School of Shammai. Likewise, we see that the message of 2 Luqas 10:28 has yet to reach this region of the diaspora. (see footnote below)

[13] Here the “Word of the L-rd can only be a reference to the Torah, Oral and Written. Likewise, Kύριοςkurios must be a reference to HaShem and not to the Master. This can be confirmed as we continue to read where Hakham Shaul cites Yesha’yahu (Isa) 49:6

[14] This cannot be taken as general statement, meaning that All the Jewish people were angry and jealous. Because the characteristic is anti-Gentile we can determine that this is the House/School of Shammai. This is deduced from context, Severah - logical deduction, Drash -  deduced halakhah and the 7th rule of Hillel’s Hermeneutics, 7. Dabar ha-lamed me-'inyano: Interpretation deduced from the context.

[15] We have pieced together the context, which comes from Yesha’yahu 49:5 to determine how to translate the speaker.

[16] We read in 2 Luqas 10 how Hakham Tsefet had pointed out that the dogma of Shammai had kept the Jewish people from interacting with the Gentiles. 2 Luqas 10:28 And he said to them, You know that it is a forbidden[16] thing for a man, a Jew to keep company with or to come near to one of another nation. But G-d has shown me not to call any man common or unclean (but his kitchen is unclean). See Tebet 16, 5773. Harvey Falk shows from Jewish sources that Shammai’s predilection for opposition against the Gentiles was as serious as the sin of the Golden calf (b. Shab. 17a). Shammai was vehemently opposed to “Gentile Redemption.” Furthermore, the day he took office as Av Bet Din he enacted eighteen rules for his School. In the discussion on clean and unclean liquids and hands, Shammai declares the Gentile and their lands unclean. From this ruling we see that when the Jewish people entered Eretz Yisrael they shook the dust of the foreign nation off their feet (m. Kel. 1:6-9). The Mishnah, Tosefta and Gemara are cryptic in that we do not understand the full discussion that took place between Shammai and Hillel. However, the House of Shammai was vehemently opposed to the possible interaction of Jew and gentile. The eighteen rules fostered greater separation between Jew and Gentile.

[17] “little image” or “icon.”

[18] cf. Strong’s H7854

[19] cf. Strong’s G4567

[20] For discussions from a Jewish perspective, please refer to Maimonides, M. (1956). The Guide for the Perplexed (Second Edition ed.). (M. Friedlander, Trans.) Dover Publications, Inc.

[21] Ramban. (2008 ). The Torah; with Ramban’s Commentary Translated, Annotated, and Elucidated, (Vol. Sefer Beresheet). Artscroll Series, Mesorah Publications ltd. pp. 72 – 6

[22] Maimonides, M. (1956). The Guide for the Perplexed (Second Edition ed.). (M. Friedlander, Trans.) Dover Publications, Inc. p. 307

[23] cf. Strong’s G4982, “save,” “make whole,” “heal,” “be whole,” and translated miscellaneously three times. Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (G4982). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.

[24] The “gift” of G-d (המתת אלוהים - Mattat Elohim), which brings the Jew and Gentile is the Torah/Oral and Written. The Torah is referred to as the (תורה המתת) Mattan Torah – the gift of Torah.

[25] We have translated ἔργων from ἔργονergon “works” as human attempts at pleasing G-d. These ἔργων are not qualified with either good or bad. However, the text clearly states that these ἔργων are not sufficient to please G-d. We will see that we must have ἔργοις ἀγαθοῖς “good works” before any ἔργων can be considered to be of value before G-d.

[26] We here should be understood as the Jewish people. However, when the Gentile becomes Jewish the “we” is extended to them. Therefore, “we” (collectively) live by the mandates of the Torah.

[27] Halakhah, then, is the "way" a Jew is directed to behave in every aspect of life, encompassing civil, criminal, and religious law. In actual fact, Halakhah is used more as a synonym for the Oral Law (Torah Shebal Peh). Halakhah includes three subdivisions: Gezierah, Takkanah, and Minhag (see entries for each of these terms for more information).

[28] cf. Rom 3:2, Heb. 5:15, 1 Pe4:11

[29] Even the “new (renewed) covenant” as outlined by the prophets is based on the Torah/Law being written on the tablets of the heart. cf. Yermi’yahu (Jer.) 31:31–34

[30] See Strong’s below

[31] cf. Strong’s G4982, “save,” “make whole,” “heal,” “be whole,” and translated miscellaneously three times. Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (G4982). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.

[32] The inference is simply stated. The Mesorah MUST be passed down – transmitted from Jewish Hakhamim to talmidim. This includes the “Gentiles” who would teach Torah/Mesorah. They MUST be first taught by a Jewish Hakham!

[33] The sense of the verse means, in modern terms that the MESORAH will be carried chiefly by the Orthodox Nazarean Jews, and also by the Reform and Conservative Jews.

[34] Lit. Kingdom of Heaven. Matityahu uses this Midrashic phrase to avoid taking G-d’s name in vain.

[35] ἀδύνατόν, from ἀδύνατοςadunatos meaning “impossible” or “without the power/ability,” or “unable.” Here the context is man apart from the Torah.

[36] This refers to the time of day when G-d breathed the Oral Torah to Adam and Havah. Or, the time of day when they received their lesson from the Oral Torah – the breathing of Logos/Memra.

[37] B’resheet Rabbah VIII:4 R. Berekiah said: When the Holy One, blessed be He, came to create Adam, He saw righteous/generous and wicked arising from him. Said He: If I create him, wicked men will spring from him; if I do not create him, how are the righteous/generous to spring from him? 'What then did the Lord do? He removed the way of the wicked out of His sight and associated the quality of mercy with Himself and created him, as it is written, For the Lord regards the way of the righteous/generous, but the way of the wicked tobed- E.V. shall perish (Ps. I, 6): what does tobed mean? He destroyed it (ibbedah) from before His sight and associated the quality of mercy with Himself and created him. R. Hanina did not say this, but [he said that] when He came to create Adam He took counsel with the ministering angels, saying to them, LET US MAKE MAN. What shall his character be? asked they. Righteous/generous men will spring from him, He answered, as it is written, For the Lord knows (yodea) the way of the righteous, which means that the Lord made known (hodia) the way of the righteous/generous to the ministering angels; But the way of the wicked will perish: He destroyed [hid] it from them. He revealed to them that the righteous/generous would arise from him, but He did not reveal to them that the wicked would spring from him, for had He revealed to them that the wicked would spring from him; the quality of Justice would not have permitted him to be created.

[38] cf. B’resheet (Gen.) 3:20

[39] cf. B’resheet (Gen.) 1:26  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ וְיִרְדּוּ בִדְגַת הַיָּם וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל־הָאָרֶץ וּבְכָל־הָרֶמֶשׂ הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל־הָאָרֶץ

[40] For a more in-depth look at this thought see HaLevi, S. (1997). The Life Story of Adam and Havah, A New Targum of Gen 1:26-5:5. New Jersey: Jason Aronson Inc. pp. 57-

[41] This is because Adam “descends” rather than maintain rule. The Targumaic translation of B’resheet 1:26 imply that Adam and Chava “descend from the throne of G-d.” This language tells us that Adam stood at the Throne of G-d, meaning that he possessed a place of authority. But, because of his disobedience he “fell/descended” from his place of authority. Therefore, we see that all humanity that fails to occupy his place in G-d descends and is therefore, food for the earth’s decomposition process.

[42] 2 Luqas (Acts) 13:46

[43] Rom. 11:17-18 But if some of the branches (i.e. the Tzdukim) were broken off, and you (Gentiles), being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the wholesome branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.

[44] The inference is simply stated. The Mesorah MUST be passed down – transmitted from Jewish Hakhamim to talmidim. This includes the “Gentiles” who would teach Torah/Mesorah. They MUST be first taught by a Jewish Hakham!

[45] The sense of the verse means, in modern terms that the MESORAH will be carried chiefly by the Orthodox Nazarean Jews, and also by the Reform and Conservative Jews.

[46] V. P. 45, nn. 1 and 4.

[47] You maintain that grapes are fit to become defiled, and therefore must be vintaged into ritually clean baskets: why then do you not insist upon it when the olives are gathered too, for surely the same reasoning applies?

[48] This was the practice when a vote was taken upon any question; Halevi, Doroth, I, 3, p. 585 n. 18.

[49] I.e., the assembly voted against him-of course the actual expression is not to be understood literally.

[50] In view of the humility to which Hillel, who was the Nasi, had been subjected.

[51] At the assembly in the house of Hananiah b. Hezekiah b. Garon.

[52] Hence it is one of the eighteen measures.

[53] There is a great deal of controversy concerning the title “Nazareth” as the place where Yeshua “grew up” or resided during his early years. Nazareth is not mentioned in any Jewish literature i.e. Mishnah, Talmud, Midrash or Josephus. The etymology of the word seems to be related to the idea that Messiah would be from the stock or “branch” of David. Further research shows that נָצַר also means to guard or watch. Therefore, it is suggested that the “City of Branches” or the “City of “Guardians” or “City of Watchmen” is Tzfat. Consequently, this would make Tzfat the actual place of Yeshua’s early residence. This interpretation seems to be more in line with the thought of Yeshua being from the “branch” of Jessie (Davidic stock). Given the Remes interpretation of the present materials we would suggest that Yeshua was the “guardian, watchman of the “soul,” “Oral Torah,” “Wisdom” – Hokhmah and Tzfat was the “secret garden” or “garden of secrets” (So’od).

[54] Messiah Must be a Prophet “like Moshe” (De. 18:15-19)

[55] Verbal connection to Zech 10:6.

While we see the miracle working power, this is Not a proof that Yeshua was Messiah. We have no need of wonders or miracles as a proof for Messiah. As the Rambam has written, cf. Rambam, M. M. (1998). Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah (Vol. 1:4). (R. E. Touger, Trans.) Moznaim Publishing Corp. p. 294ff