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

Iyar 06, 5776 – May 13/14, 2016

First Year of the Shmita Cycle


Candle Lighting and Habdalah Times:


Amarillo, TX, U.S.

Fri. May 13 2016 – Candles at 8:25 PM

Sat. May 14 2016 – Habdalah 9:26 PM

Austin & Conroe, TX, U.S.

Fri. May 13 2016 – Candles at 7:59 PM

Sat. May 14 2016 – Habdalah 8:57 PM

Brisbane, Australia

Fri. May 13 2016 – Candles at 4:50 PM

Sat. May 14 2016 – Habdalah 5:44 PM

Chattanooga, & Cleveland, TN, U.S.

Fri. May 13 2016 – Candles at 8:19 PM

Sat. May 14 2016 – Habdalah 9:20 PM

Manila & Cebu, Philippines

Fri. May 13 2016 – Candles at 5:58 PM

Sat. May 14 2016 – Habdalah 6:50 PM

Miami, FL, U.S.

Fri. May 13 2016 – Candles at 7:41 PM

Sat. May 14 2016 – Habdalah 8:36 PM

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

Fri. May 13 2016 – Candles at 7:34 PM

Sat. May 14 2016 – Habdalah 8:36 PM

Olympia, WA, U.S.

Fri. May 13 2016 – Candles at 8:21 PM

Sat. May 14 2016 – Habdalah 9:35 PM

Port Orange, FL, U.S.

Fri. May 13 2016 – Candles at 7:50 PM

Sat. May 14 2016 – Habdalah 8:47 PM

San Antonio, TX, U.S.

Fri. May 13 2016 – Candles at 8:00 PM

Sat. May 14 2016 – Habdalah 8:58 PM

Sheboygan  & Manitowoc, WI, US

Fri. May 13 2016 – Candles at 7:50 PM

Sat. May 14 2016 – Habdalah 8:59 PM

Singapore, Singapore

Fri. May 13 2016 – Candles at 6:48 PM

Sat. May 14 2016 – Habdalah 7:39 PM

St. Louis, MO, U.S.

Fri. May 13 2016 – Candles at 7:47 PM

Sat. May 14 2016 – Habdalah 8:51 PM

Tacoma, WA, U.S.

Fri. May 13 2016 – Candles at 8:20 PM

Sat. May 14 2016 – Habdalah 9:34 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 Yoel ben Abraham and beloved wife HH Giberet Rivka bat Dorit

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


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!



Shabbat: “VaYar’ Adonai”

Sabbath: “And saw Adonai”


Shabbat “Vayehi BaShanah” – “And It Came to Pass in the Year”



Torah Reading:

Weekday Torah Reading:

וַיַּרְא יְהוָה



“VaYar’ Adonai”

Reader 1 – B’Resheet 29:31-30:2

Reader 1 – B’resheet 31:3-5

“And saw Ha-Shem”

Reader 2 – B’Resheet 30:3-13

Reader 2 – B’resheet 31:6-8

“Y vió Ha-Shem”

Reader 3 – B’Resheet 30:14-21

Reader 3 – B’resheet 31:9-13

B’resheet (Gen.) 29:31 – 30:21 +

Gen. 30:22 – 31:2

Reader 4 – B’Resheet 30:22-27


Ashlamatah: 1 Sam. 1:2-11 + 2:28

Reader 5 – B’Resheet 30:28-34


Special: Ezekiel 20:1-20

Reader 6 – B’Resheet 30:35-40

Reader 1 – B’resheet 31:3-5

Psalm 25:1 – 26:12

Reader 7 – B’Resheet 30:41-31:2

Reader 2 – B’resheet 31:6-8


    Maftir – B’Resheet 30:43-31:2

Reader 3 – B’resheet 31:9-13

N.C.: Jude 1-3, Luke 6:19-26,

Acts 8:39 – 9:22

                   Isaiah 60:1-22



Evening Counting of the Omer Day 21

Then read the following:


Day of the Omer







Iyar 6


Compassion united with Humility


But to every one of us is given loving-kindness (chesed) according to the measure of the gift of Messiah.[1] Therefore, He (God) says, "When he ascended[2] up on high, [3] he led captivity captive and gave gifts to men You have received gifts among men, yes, among the rebellious also, that the Lord God might tabernacleShakan there." (Ps. 68:18).



Blessings Before Torah Study


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


Please Ha-Shem, our G-d, 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 desire. Blessed are You, Ha-Shem, Who teaches Torah to His people Israel. Amen!


Blessed are You, Ha-Shem our G-d, 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!



Rashi & Targum Pseudo Jonathan

for: B’resheet (Genesis) 29:31 - 31:2


Rashi’s Translation

Targum Pseudo Jonathan

31. And the Lord saw that Leah was hated, so He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.

31. And it was revealed before the LORD that Leah was not loved in the sight of Ya’aqob; and He said in His Word that sons should be given her, and that Rachel should be barren.

32. And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she named him Reuben, for she said, "Because the Lord has seen my affliction, for now my husband will love me."

32. And Leah conceived and bare a son, and called his name Reuben: for she said, My affliction was manifest before the LORD, therefore now will my husband love me; for my affliction has been manifested before the LORD as will be the affliction of my children before the LORD when they will be enslaved in the land of the Mizraee.

33. And she conceived again and bore a son, and she said, "Since the Lord has heard that I am hated, He gave me this one too." So she named him Simeon.

33. And she conceived again, and bare a son. And she said, Because it was heard before the LORD that I was hated, and He gave me this also: and so will be heard before Him the voice of my children when they will be enslaved in Mizraim. And she called his name Shimeon.

34. And she conceived again and bore a son, and she said, "Now this time my husband will be attached to me, for I have borne him three sons; therefore, He named him Levi.

34. And she conceived again, and bare a son, and said, This time will my husband be united to me, because I have borne him three sons; and thus will it be that my children will be united to serve before the LORD: therefore she called his name Levi.

35. And she conceived again and bore a son, and she said, "This time, I will thank the Lord! Therefore, she named him Judah, and [then] she stopped bearing.

35. And she conceived again, and bare a son, and said, This time will I give praise before the LORD; for from this my son kings will come forth, and from him will spring David the king, who will offer praise before the LORD; therefore she called his name Jehudah. And she ceased to bear.



1. And Rachel saw that she had not borne [any children] to Jacob, and Rachel envied her sister, and she said to Jacob, "Give me children, and if not, I am dead."

1. And Rachel saw that she bare not to Ya’aqob, and Rachel was envious of her sister, and said to Ya’aqob, Pray before the LORD that He give me children; and if not, my life I will reckon as the dead.

2. And Jacob became angry with Rachel, and he said, "Am I instead of God, Who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?"

2. And the anger of Ya’aqob was stong against Rachel, and he said, Why do you ask of me? Ask before the LORD, from before whom are children, and who has restrained from you the fruit of the womb.

3. So she said, "Here is my maidservant Bilhah; come to her, and she will bear [children] on my knees, so that I, too, will be built up from her."

3. And she said, Behold my handmaid Bilhah, enter with her, that she may bear, and I may increase and may be built up from her.

4. So she gave him her maidservant Bilhah for a wife, and Jacob came to her.

4. And she made her handmaid Bilhah free, and delivered her to him, and Ya’aqob entered with her.

5. And Bilhah conceived, and she bore Jacob a son.

5. And Bilhah conceived, and bare a son to Ya’aqob.

6. And Rachel said, "God has judged me, and He has also hearkened to my voice and has given me a son"; so she named him Dan.

6. And Rachel said, The LORD has judged me in His good mercies; He has also heard the voice of my prayer, and given me a son; and so it is to be that He will judge by the hand of Shimshon bar Manovach, who will be of his seed; and has he not delivered into his hand the people of the Philistaee? Therefore she called his name Dan.

7. And Bilhah, Rachel's maidservant, conceived again and bore Jacob a second son.

7. And Bilhah the handmaid of Leah conceived again and bare a second son to Ya’aqob.

8. And Rachel said, "[With] divine bonds I have been joined to my sister; I have also prevailed"; so she named him Naftali.

8. And Rachel said, With affliction afflicted was I before the LORD in prayer; therefore He has received my request that I might have a son as my sister, and has given me two. Even so are my children to be redeemed from the hand of their enemies when they will afflict themselves in prayer before the LORD; and she called his name Naphtali.

9. When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing [children], she took her maidservant Zilpah, and gave her to Jacob for a wife.

9. And Leah saw that she had ceased from bearing, and she made Zilpha her handmaid free, and gave her unto Ya’aqob to wife.

10. And Zilpah, Leah's maidservant, bore Jacob a son.

10. And Zilpha the handmaid of Leah conceived, and bare Ya’aqob a son;

11. And Leah said, "Luck has come"; so she named him Gad.

11. and Leah said, Good fortune comes; His children will surely inherit their habitation on the east side of Jarden: and she called his name Gad.

JERUSALEM: And Leah said, Good success Comes; for the feastings of the Gentiles are to be cut off: and she called his name Gad..

12. And Zilpah, Leah's maidservant, bore Jacob a second son.

12. And Zilpha the handmaid of Leah bare a second son to Ya’aqob.

13. And Leah said, "Because of my good fortune, for women have declared me fortunate"; so she named him Asher.

13. And Leah said, Praise will be mine: for the daughters of Israel will praise me, as his children will be praised before the LORD for the goodness of the fruit of His land; and she called his name Asher.

14. Reuben went in the days of the wheat harvest, and he found dudaim in the field and brought them to Leah, his mother, and Rachel said to Leah, "Now give me some of your son's dudaim."

14. And Reuben went in the days of Sivan, in the time of wheat harvest, and found (Yaveruchin) mandrakes in the field; and he brought them to Leah his mother. And Rachel said to Leah, Give me now of your son's mandrakes.

15. And she said to her, "Is it a small matter that you have taken my husband, that [you wish] also to take my son's dudaim?" So Rachel said, "Therefore, he shall sleep with you tonight as payment for your son's dudaim."

15. And she said to her, Is it a little thing that you have taken my husband, and you seek to take also my son's mandrakes? And Rachel said, Therefore will he lie with you this night for your son's mandrakes.

JERUSALEM: For a week he will consort with you.

16. When Jacob came from the field in the evening, and Leah came forth toward him, and she said, "You shall come to me, because I have hired you with my son's dudaim," and he slept with her on that night.

16. And Ya’aqob came from the field at evening. And Leah heard the voice of the braying of the ass, and knew that Ya’aqob had come, and Leah went forth to meet him, and said, You will enter with me, because hiring I have hired you with my son's mandrakes from Rachel my sister.

17. And God hearkened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son.

17. And he lay with her that night. And the LORD heard the prayer of Leah, and she conceived, and bare to Ya’aqob a fifth son.

18. And Leah said, "God has given [me] my reward for I have given my maidservant to my husband"; so she named him Issachar.

18. And Leah said, The LORD has given me my reward, for that I gave my handmaid to my husband; even so will his children receive a good reward, because they will occupy themselves with the Law. And she called his name Issakar.

19. And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son.

19. And Leah conceived again, and bare a sixth son to Ya’aqob; and said, The LORD has endowed me with a good dowry by children. This time will the habitation of my husband be with me, because I have borne him six sons: and thus will his children receive a good portion. And she called his name Zebulun.

20. And Leah said, "God has given me a good portion. This time, my husband will live with me, for I have borne him six sons"; so she named him Zebulun.

20. - - -

21. And afterwards, she bore a daughter, and she named her Dinah.

21. And afterward she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah; for she said, Judgement is from before the LORD, that there will be from me a half of the tribes; but from Rahel my sister will go forth two tribes, even as they will proceed (in like manner) from each of the handmaids. And the prayer of Leah was heard before the LORD; and the infants were changed In their wombs; and Joseph was given to the womb of Rachel, and Dinah to the womb of Leah.

22. And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and He opened her womb.

22. And the remembrance of Rachel came before the LORD, and the voice of her prayer was heard before Him; and He said in his Word that He would give her sons.

JERUSALEM: Four keys are held in the hand of the LORD of all the world, even the LORD, and He will not deliver them either to angel or to saraph; the key of the rain, the key of the provender, the key of the sepulchre, the key of barrenness. The key of rain: for thus the Scripture expounds, The LORD will open unto you His good treasure. The key of provender: for thus the Scripture expounds, You open Your hand. The key of the sepulchre: for thus the Scripture expounds, When I will open your sepulchre. The key of barrenness Scripture expounds, And Elohim remebered Rachel. And the Word of the LORD remembered Rachel in His good compassions, and the Word of the LORD heard the voice of her prayer, and He said in His Word that He would give her children.

23. And she conceived and bore a son, and she said, "God has taken away my reproach."

23. And she conceived and, bare a son, and said, The LORD has gathered off my reproach, even as Yehoshua the son of Joseph will gather off the reproach of Mizraim from the sons of Israel, and will circumcise them beyond Yarden.

24. So she named him Joseph, saying, "May the Lord grant me yet another son!"

24. And she called his name Yoseph, saying, The LORD will add me yet another son to this one.

25. It came to pass when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, "Send me away, and I will go to my place and to my land.

25. And it was when Rachel had borne Yoseph, Ya’aqob said by the Holy Spirit concerning the house of Yoseph, They are to be as a flame to consume the house of Esau; and he said, Therefore will I not be afraid of Esau and his legions. And he, said unto Laban, Send me away, and I will go to my place and to my country.

26. Give [me] my wives and my children for whom I worked for you, and I will go, for you know my work, which I have worked for you."

26. Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served you, and I will go; for you know my service with which I have served you.

27. And Laban said to him, "If only I have now found favor in your eyes! I have divined, and the Lord has blessed me for your sake."

27. But Laban said to him, If now I have found grace in your eyes, I have observed by divination that the LORD has blessed me for your sake.

JERUSALEM: I have observed by divination that the LORD has blessed me for your sake.

28. Then he said, "Specify your wages for me, and I will give [them]."

28. And he said, Appoint your wages with me, and I will give you.

29. And he said to him, "You know how I have worked for you and how your livestock was with me.

29. And he said to him, You know how I have served you, and how your cattle have been kept by me:

30. For the little that you had before me has increased in multitude, and the Lord blessed you upon my arrival; but now, when will I, too, provide [something] for my household?"

30. for the little flock which you had before me has increased greatly, and the LORD has blessed you at my foot, that I have been profitable to you from (the time of) my coming into your house. And now when will I do the work for which I am bound, to nourish the men of my house?

31. And he said, "What shall I give you?" And Jacob said, "You shall give me nothing; if you do this thing for me, I will return, I will pasture your flocks, [and] I will watch [them].

31. And he said, What will I give you? And Ya’aqob said, You will not give me anything else, (but) do me this thing, and I will return and pasture your flock, and keep them.

32. I will pass throughout all your flocks today, removing from there every speckled and spotted kid, and every brown lamb among the sheep, and [every] spotted and speckled [one from] among the goats, and this shall be my wages.

32. I will pass through your whole flock today, and will set apart every lamb streaked and spotted, and every black lamb among the lambs, and spotted and streaked among the goats, and they will be my wages.

JERUSALEM: Every lamb spotted and streaked, and every black lamb among the lambs, and the spotted and streaked among the goats.

33. And my righteousness will testify for me at a future date for it will come upon my wages before you. Whatever is not speckled or spotted among the goats or brown among the sheep [shall be counted as] stolen with me."

33. And my righteousness/generosity will testify for me tomorrow, when my wages will be brought before you. Every one which is not streaked or spotted among the goats, or black among the lambs, will be as if it had been a theft of mine.

34. And Laban said, "Very well! If only it would be as you say!"

34. And Laban said to him, Well, let it be according to your word.

35. And he removed on that day the ringed and the spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats, whichever had white on it, and all the brown [from] among the sheep, and he gave [them] into the hands of his sons.

35. And he separated that day the goats which were marked in their feet, and the spotted, and all the goats streaked or spotted, every one which had a white place in him, and every black one among the lambs, and gave them into the hand of his sons.

36. And he set three days' journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob tended Laban's remaining animals.

36. And he set a journey of three days between his flocks and (those of) Ya’aqob. And Ya’aqob tended the flock of Laban, the old and the feeble which were left.

37. And Jacob took himself moist rod[s] of trembling poplar and hazelnut, and chestnut, and he peeled white streaks upon them, baring the white that was on the rods.

37. And Ya’aqob took to him a rod of flowering poplar, and of almond, and of the plane tree, and peeled in them white peelings to disclose the white which was in the rods.

38. And he thrust the rods that he had peeled, into the gutters in the watering troughs where the animals would come to drink opposite the [other] animals, and they would come into heat when they came to drink.

38. And the rods which he had peeled, he fixed in the canals, in the troughs of water; at the place to which they brought the flocks to water, there placed he them over against the flock that they might conceive when they came to drink.

39. And the flocks came into heat by the rods, and the animals bore ringed, spotted, and striped [young].

39. And the sheep conceived over against the rods, and the sheep produced such as were marked in their feet, and spotted and white in their backs.

40. And Jacob separated the sheep, and he turned the faces of the animals toward the ringed one[s] and every brown one among Laban's animals, and he made himself flocks by himself, and he did not place them with Laban's animals.

40. And the lambs did Ya’aqob set apart, and place in front of the flocks; all the various coloured and the black among Laban's sheep he set for himself a flock apart, and did not mix them with the sheep of Laban.

41. And it came to pass, that whenever the animals that were bearing their first would come into heat, Jacob would place the rods in the troughs, before the eyes of the animals, [in order] to bring them into heat by [means of] the rods.

41. And it was that whenever the early (prime) sheep conceived, Ya’aqob set the rods in the canals before the eyes of the sheep, that they might conceive before the rods.

42. But if the animals would delay, he would not place them, so that the ones that delayed were Laban's, and the ones that bore their first became Jacob's.

42. But with the late sheep he did not set them; and the late sheep were Laban's and the early ones Ya’aqob's.

43. And the man became exceedingly wealthy, and he had prolific animals, and maidservants and manservants, and camels and donkeys.

43. And the man increased greatly, and had a multitude of flocks, and handmaids and servants, and camels, and asses.



1. And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, "Jacob has taken all that belonged to our father, and from what belonged to our father, he has amassed this entire fortune."

1. But he heard the words of the sons of Laban, saying, Ya’aqob has taken all that was our father's; and from that which was our father's he has made himself all the glory of these riches.

2. And Jacob saw Laban's countenance, that he was not disposed toward him as [he had been] yesterday and the day before.

2. And Ya’aqob observed the looks of Laban and, behold, they were not peaceful toward him as yesterday and as before it.




Summary of the Torah Seder – B’resheet (Genesis) ‎‎‎29:31 - 31:2


                                                ·        The birth of Jacob’s children – Gen. 29:31 – 30:21

·        Birth of Joseph – Genesis 30:22-24

·        Ya’aqob’s Wages – Genesis 30:25-43

·        Laban’s sons and Laban’s anger – Genesis 31:1-2



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 IIIa: The Twelve Tribes

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

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

Vol. 3a – “The Twelve Tribes,” pp. 62-89



Rashi’s Commentary for:  B’resheet (Genesis) ‎‎‎‎‎‎‎29:31 – 31:2


32 and she named him Reuben -(Ber. 7b) Our Sages explained: She said, “Look at the difference between my son and the son of my father-in-law, who sold the birthright to Jacob (above 25:33). This one (Reuben) did not sell it to Joseph, but he nevertheless did not contend against him but sought to take him out of the pit.”


34 this time my husband will be attached Heb. יִלָּוֶה . Since the Matriarchs were prophetesses, they knew that twelve tribes would emanate from Jacob, and that he would marry four wives, she said, “From now on, he will find no fault with me for I have contributed my share in (producing) sons.”-[from Bereisheet Rabbathi, attributed to Rabbi Moshe Hadarshan, Midrash Aggadah] [I.e., three sons were thought to be each wife’s share of the twelve.]


therefore Whoever is referred to with the expression עַל-כֵּן had a large population, except Levi, because the Ark destroyed many of them.- [from Gen. Rabbah 71:4]


He named him Levi [I wondered why] it is written concerning this one, “and he named,” while concerning all [the others], it is written, “and she named.” There is an aggadic midrash in Deuteronomy Rabbah, [which relates] how the Holy One, blessed be He, sent Gabriel and he brought him (Levi) before Him, and He gave him this name, and He gave him the twenty-four priestly gifts; and because he accompanied him (לִוָּהוּ) with gifts, he named him Levi.


35 This time, I will thank since I have taken more than my share. Consequently, I must offer up thanks.-[from Gen. Rabbah 71:4]


Chapter 30


1 and Rachel envied her sister She envied her good deeds. She said, “If she had not been more righteous/generous than I, she would not have merited children” (Gen. Rabbah 71:5).


Give me Did your father [not] do that for your mother? Did he not pray for her?-[from Gen. Rabbah 71:7]


I am dead From here [we learn] that whoever has no children is counted as dead.-[from Gen. Rabbah 71:6]


2 Am I instead of God Am I in His place?


Who has withheld from you You say that I should do as my father did. I am not like my father. My father had no sons [at the time he prayed], but I have sons. [It is thus apparent that] He has withheld [children] from you, not from me.-[from Gen. Rabbah 71:7]


3 on my knees As the Targum renders: and I will rear [them].


so that I, too, will be built up What is [the meaning of] “too”? She said to him, “Your grandfather Abraham had sons from Hagar; yet he girded his loins (he prayed fervently) on Sarah’s behalf.” He replied, “My grandmother brought her rival into her house.” She said, “If this matter is holding things up (prevents me from having children), here is my maidservant.”-[from Gen. Rabbah 71:7]


so that I, too, will be built up from her like Sarah.-[from Gen. Rabbah 71:7]


6 God has judged me He judged me, declared me guilty, and then declared me innocent.-[from Gen. Rabbah 71:7].


8 divine bonds Heb. נַפְתּוּלֵי אֱלֽהִים . Menachem ben Saruk (p. 147) classified it in the grouping of Num. 19:15, “a cover bound (פָּתִיל) .” With bonds from the Omnipresent, I have joined my sister to merit children. But I interpret it as an expression of “perverse and crooked (וּפְתַלְתּֽל) .” (Deut. 32:5). I have stubbornly pleaded many tortuous pleas to the Omnipresent to be equal to my sister.


I have also prevailed He yielded to my importunities. Onkelos, however, rendered it as an expression of prayer (תְּפִלָּה) : נַפְתּוּלֵי אֱלֽהִים נִפְתַּלְתִּי . Requests beloved to Him were accepted on my behalf, and I was answered like my sister. נִפְתַּלְתִּי means: my prayer was accepted. There are many aggadic midrashim that interpret this phrase with the method of notarikon, (i.e., each group of letters represents a word).


10 And Zilpah...bore In the case of all of them (i. e., all Jacob’s wives), conception is mentioned, except for Zilpah, because she was the youngest of them all and so young in years that her pregnancy was not noticed. In order to deceive Jacob, Laban gave her to Leah, so that he would not perceive that they were bringing in Leah, for this was their custom, to give the older maidservant to the older [daughter] and the younger [maidservant] to the younger [daughter].-[from Gen. Rabbah 71:9]


11 “Luck has come” Heb. בָּא גָּד . Good luck has come [Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel] similar to (Shab. 67b) ”May my fate be lucky (גָד גַדִּי) and not fatigued,” and similar to this (Isa. 65:11), “who set a table for Gad.” According to the Aggadah [Midrash Aggadah in the name of “some say”], he was born circumcised גָּד , meaning “cut off”), like Dan. 4:11, “cut down (גּֽדוּ) the tree,” but I do not know why it is written as one word (בָּגָד) [in our verse]. Another explanation: Why is it read as one word? בָּגָד is like בָָּגַדְתָּ בִּי , you betrayed me when you came to my handmaid, as a man who has betrayed (בָּגַד) the wife of his youth.


14 in the days of the wheat harvest [This is] to tell the praise of the [progenitors of] the tribes. It was harvest time, and he did not stretch out his hand upon stolen property, to bring wheat or barley, but only upon an ownerless thing, which no one cares about.-[from Gen. Rabbah 72:2]


dudaim - (Sanh. 99b) Sigli. This is an herb, [called] jasmine in Arabic.


15 that [you wish] also to take my son’s dudaim? This is a question: and [do you wish] to do this also, to take also my son’s dudaim? The Targum for this is וּלְמֵיסַב , and to take.


Therefore, he shall sleep with you tonight Tonight’s cohabitation belonged to me, but I will give it to you in lieu of your son’s dudaim. Since she treated the cohabitation of the righteous/generous man lightly, she did not merit to be buried with him.-[from Gen. Rabbah 72:3]


16 I have hired you I gave Rachel her payment.-[from Targum Jonathan]


on that night Heb. בַָּלַיְלָה הוּא . The Holy One, blessed be He, assisted that Issachar should be born from that union.-[from Niddah 31a]


17 And God hearkened to Leah That she desired and was seeking means to increase the number of tribes.-[from Gen. Rabbah 72:5]


20 a good portion Heb. זֶבֶד טוֹב . [To be interpreted] according to its Aramaic translation [ חוּלַק טַב , a good portion].


will live with me An expression of a dwelling place; herberjerie in O. F.; lodging, abode, home. From now on, his principal dwelling will be only with me, because I have as many sons as all his [other] wives have.


21 Dinah Our Sages explained that Leah pronounced judgment (דָּנָה) upon herself. [She reasoned:] If this is a male, my sister Rachel will not be [esteemed even] as one of the handmaids. So she prayed over him, and he was turned into a female (Ber. 60a).


 22 And God remembered Rachel -(Gen. Rabbah 73:4) He remembered for her that she gave over her signs to her sister [Leah] and that she was troubled lest she fall into Esau’s lot, perhaps Jacob would divorce her because she had no children. The wicked Esau also got that idea when he heard that she had no children. This is what the payetan incorporated [into his poem for the first day of Rosh Hashanah, entitled אֶבֶן חוּג ]: When the ruddy one (Esau) saw that she (Rachel) had not experienced birth pangs, he wished to take her for himself, and she was terrified.

23 has taken away Heb. אָסַף He took it into a place where it would not be seen, and similarly (Isa. 4:1): “take away (אֱסֽף) our reproach”; (Ex. 9:19): “and will not be taken in (יֵאָסֵף) the house”; (Joel 4:15): “have withdrawn (אָסְפוּ) their shining”; (Isa. 60:20): “shall your moon be gathered in (יֵאָסֵף) ,” [meaning that] it will not be hidden.


my reproach For I was put to shame, having been barren, and [people] were saying about me that I would fall to the lot of the wicked Esau (Tan. Buber, Vayetze 20). The Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 73:5) [explains it thus:] As long as a woman has no child, she has no one to blame for her faults. As soon as she has a child, she blames him. “Who broke this dish?” “Your child!” “Who ate these figs?” “Your child!”


24 May the Lord grant me yet another son She knew through prophecy that Jacob was destined to establish only twelve tribes. She said, “May it be His will that the one he is destined to establish be from me.” Therefore, she prayed only for another son [and no more].-[from Gen. Rabbah 72:6]


25 when Rachel had borne Joseph When the adversary of Esau was born, as it is said (Obadiah 1:18): “And the house of Jacob shall be fire and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau shall become stubble.” Fire without a flame does not burn anything a distance away. As soon as Joseph was born, Jacob trusted in the Holy One, blessed be He and desired to return [to Canaan].-[from B.B. 123b, Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel, Gen. Rabbah 73:7]


26 Give [me] my wives, etc. I do not wish to leave without permission.-[from Zohar vol. 1, 158b]


27 I have divined He was a diviner. [He said:] I ascertained with my divination that a blessing came to me through you. When you came here, I had no sons, as it is said (above, 29: 6): “and behold, his daughter Rachel is coming with the sheep” (is it possible that he has sons, yet sends his daughter along with the shepherds?). Now, however, he had sons, as it is said (31:1): “And he heard the words of Laban’s sons.”- [from Tanchuma Shemoth 16]


28 Specify your wages Heb. נָקְבָה , [to be interpreted] as the Targum renders: פָָּרֵישׁ אַגְרָךְ , specify your wages.


29 and how your livestock was with me The small amount of your livestock that came into my hands—how many were they?


30 upon my arrival lit., to my foot, with my foot; because of the arrival of my foot, the blessing came to you, like (Exod. 11:8): “the people that follow you (בְּרַגְלֶיךָ) ”; (Jud. 8:5): “to the people that follow me (בְּרַגְלִי) ,” who come with me.-[from Gen. Rabbah 73:8]


when will I, too, provide [something] for my household For the needs of my household. Now only my children work for my needs, and I too must work with them to assist them. This is the meaning of “too.”


32 speckled Heb. נָקֽד , spotted with small patches like dots, poynture in Old French, speckled.


spotted Heb. טָלוּא , an expression of patches, wide spots.


brown-Heb. חוּם , [Onkelos renders] שְׁחוּם , somewhat reddish, rosso in Italian, reddish brown, russet. In the language of the Mishnah (B.B. 83b): “[If someone purchases] red (שְׁחַמְתִּית) [wheat] and it was found to be white,” regarding grain.


and this shall be my wages Those that will be born from now on speckled or spotted among the goats or brown among the sheep shall be mine. Those that are here now, separate from them and entrust them with your sons, so that you do not say to me concerning those born from now on, “These were there from the beginning,” and furthermore, so that you should not say to me, “Through the males that are speckled and spotted, the females will give birth to similar animals from now on.”


33 And my righteousness will testify for me, etc. If you suspect me of taking anything of yours, my righteousness will testify for me. My righteousness will come and testify about my wages before you, that you will find in my flock only speckled and spotted ones, and whatever you find among them that is not speckled or spotted or brown, I have obviously stolen from you, and [only] through theft is it in my possession.


34 Very well! Heb. הֵן , an expression denoting the acceptance of terms.


If only it would be as you say If only you would want this!


35 And he removed [I.e.,] Laban [removed] on that day, etc.


the male goats Heb. הַתְּיָשִׁים , male goats.


whichever had white on it whichever had white patches on it.


and he gave [them] [I.e.] Laban [gave them] into the hands of his sons.


36 Laban’s remaining animals The weakest among them, the sick and the barren, which are only leftovers, he gave over to him.


37 rod[s] of trembling poplar This is a tree named לִבְנֶה , as it is said (Hosea 4:13): “under oaks and trembling poplars (וְלִבְנֶה) ” and I believe that לבנה is the one called trenble in Old French, trembling poplar and aspen, which is white (לָבָן) .


moist When it was moist.


and hazelnut And he took also a rod of לוּז , a tree upon which small nuts grow, coldre in Old French, hazelnut.


and chestnut - c(h)astanyer in Old French, chestnut.


streaks Many peelings, for it made it spotted.


baring the white-When he peeled it, its white appeared and was bared in the place where it was peeled.


38 And he thrust Heb. וַּיַּצֵג . The Targum renders וְדָעִיץ , an Aramaic term denoting thrusting and sticking in, of which there are many [examples] in the Talmud, [e.g.] (Shab. 50b): “he inserted it (דָּצָהּ) and pulled it out”; and (Chul. 93b): “If he thrust (דָץ) something into it.” [The word] דָּצָהּ is like דְּעָצָהּ , but it is a contracted form.


into the gutters Where the water was running, in pools made in the ground in which to water the flocks.-[from Mishnath Rabbi Eliezer, ch. 7]


where...would come, etc. In the gutters where the animals would come to drink, he thrust the rods opposite the animals.-[from Targumim]


and they would come into heat, etc. - (Gen. Rabbah 73:10) The animal would see the rods, and she would be startled backwards. Then the male would mount her and she would give birth to offspring similar to him. Rabbi Hoshaya says: The water would become sperm in their innards, and they did not require a male, and that is the meaning of וַיֵחַמְנָה וגוֹ . (I.e, in this word, there is a combination of masculine and feminine forms, as mentioned by Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra.)


39 by the rods At the sight of the rods.


ringed Unusual in the place where they are bound. Those are the joints of their forelegs and hind legs.


40 And Jacob separated the sheep Those born ringed or speckled he divided and separated for himself, and he made them [in a formation of] each flock separately, and he led the ringed flock ahead of the [ordinary] animals, and the faces of the animals following them gazed at them. This is what Scripture says [further]: “and he turned the faces of the animals toward the ringed one[s],” that the faces of the animals were directed toward the ringed ones and toward every brown one that he found in Laban’s flocks.


and he made himself flocks As I explained.


41 that were bearing their first הַמְקֻשָּׁרוֹת . [To be interpreted] according to the Targum: Those who were giving birth to their first, but [for this interpretation] there is no evidence in Scripture. (Machbereth Menachem p. 160), however, associated it with (II Sam. 15:31): “Ahithophel is among the conspirators (בַּקּוֹשְׁרִים) ”; (ibid. 12): “And the conspiracy (הַקֶּשֶׁר) was strong.” Those who bind themselves together to hasten their conception.


42 But if...would delay Heb. וּבְהַעֲטִיף , a term denoting delay, as the Targum renders וּבְלַקְשׁוּת , but Menachem (Machbereth Menachem p. 132) associated it with (Isa. 3:22): “the tunics and the wraps (וְהַמַּעֲטָפוֹת) ,” a term denoting a wrap, meaning that they enwrapped themselves in their skin and their wool, and they did not desire to come into heat through the males.


43 prolific animals Heb רַבּוֹת . They were fruitful and multiplied more than other animals.-[from Tanchuma Buber, Vayetze 24]


and maidservants and manservants He would sell his animals at a high price and purchase all these for himself.-[from Gen. Rabbah 74:5]


Chapter 31


1 he has amassed Heb. עָשָָׂה , lit., made, acquired, like (I Sam. 14:48) “And he gathered (וַיַעַשׂ) an army, and he smote Amalek.”



Ketubim: Psalms ‎‎‎25:1-22 & 26:1-12


Rashi’s Translation


1. Of David. To You, O Lord, I will lift up my soul.

1. Of David. Before you, O LORD, I lift up my soul in prayer.

2. My God, I trusted in You; let me not be ashamed. Nor shall my enemies rejoice over me.

2. O my God, in You I have put my trust; I will not be disappointed; my foes will not rejoice over me.

3. Neither shall any of those who hope for You be ashamed; let those who betray [to the extent of] destitution be ashamed.

3. Truly, all who look to You will not be disappointed; robbers and rogues will be disappointed.

4. O Lord, let me know Your ways; teach me Your paths.

4. Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths.

5. Direct me with Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; I hope for You all day long.

5. Lead me by Your merit and teach me, for You are God, my redemption; in You I have placed my hope every day.

6. Remember Your mercies, O Lord, and Your kindnesses, for they have been since time immemorial.

6. Remember Your mercies, O LORD, and Your favors, for they are eternal.

7. The sins of my youth and my transgressions, do not remember; what is worthy of Your kindness, You remember for me, for the sake of Your goodness, O Lord.

7. The sins of my youth and my transgressions do not remember; according to Your goodness remember me, because of Your grace, O LORD.

8. The Lord is good and upright; therefore, He leads sinners on the road.

8. Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He teaches sinners on the path.

9. He leads the humble with just rules and He teaches the humble His way.

9. He guides the humble in judgment; and teaches the humble his way.

10. All the Lord's ways are kindness and truth for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

10. All the ways of the LORD are kindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimony.

11. For Your name's sake, O Lord, You shall forgive my iniquity, for it is great.

11. Because of Your name, O LORD, You will forgive my sin, for it is great.

12. Who is this man who fears the Lord? He will guide him on the road that he chooses.

12. Who is the man who is reverent in the presence of the LORD? He will teach him the way he has chosen.

13. His soul shall abide in prosperity, and his seed shall inherit the earth.

13. His soul will lodge in kindness, and his children will inherit the earth.

14. The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and His covenant is to let them know [it].

14. The mystery of the LORD is revealed to those who fear Him; and His covenant is to instruct them.

15. My eyes are always to God for He will take my feet out of the net.

15. My eyes look always before the LORD, for He will bring my feet out of the trap.

16. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am alone and poor.

16. Look towards me and have mercy on me, for I am alone and afflicted.

17. The troubles of my heart have increased; deliver me from my straits.

17. The troubles of my heart have spread; bring me out of my anguish.

18. See my affliction and my toil, and forgive all my sins.

18. See my pain and vexation, and forgive all my sins.

19. See my enemies for they have increased, and they hate me with unjust hatred.

19. See my foes, for they have become many; and the enmity that the rapacious have towards me.

20. Guard my soul and save me; let me not be shamed for I have taken refuge in You.

20. Keep my soul and save me; I would not be disappointed because I hoped in you.

21. Sincerity and uprightness shall guard me, for I have hoped for You.

21. Innocence and honesty will guard me, for I hoped in Your Word.

22. O God, redeem Israel from all its troubles.

22. Redeem Israel, O LORD, from all his troubles.



1. Of David. Judge me, O Lord, for I have walked with sincerity, and I trusted in the Lord; I shall not falter.

1. Of David. Judge me, O LORD, for I have walked in my innocence; and in the LORD I have hoped [and trusted; I will not be shaken.

2. Test me, O Lord, and try me; refine my reins and my heart.

2. Try me, O LORD, and prove me; purify my inmost thoughts.

3. For Your kindness is before my eyes, and I walked in Your truth.

3. Because Your goodness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth.

4. I did not sit with dishonest men, neither did I go with hypocrites.

4. I have not reclined to dine with lying men; and I will not enter with those who hide themselves to do evil.

5. I hated the congregation of the evildoers, and I did not sit with the wicked.

5. I hate the gathering of evildoers, and with the wicked I will not recline to dine.

6. I washed my hands with cleanliness, and I encompassed Your altar, O Lord.

6. I will sanctify my hands by my merit, and I have gone around your altar, O LORD.

7. To proclaim thanksgiving with a loud voice and to recite all Your wonders.

7. To make heard the sound of praise, and to tell of all Your wonders.

8. O Lord, I love the dwelling of Your house and the place of the residence of Your glory.

8. O LORD, I love the dwelling of Your sanctuary, and the place of Your glorious tabernacle.

9. Gather not my soul with sinners nor my life with men of blood,

9. My soul will not gather with the sinners, nor my life with the men who shed blood.

10. in whose hands are plots and whose right hand is full of bribery.

10. In whose hands is the purpose of sinning; their right hands are full of bribes.

11. But I walk with sincerity; redeem me and be gracious to me.

11. But I will go about in my innocence; redeem me and have mercy on me.

12. My foot stood on a straight path; I will bless the Lord in assemblies.

12. My foot stands upright; in the gathering of the righteous/generous I will bless the LORD.





Rashi’s Commentary on Psalms ‎‎‎‎25:1-22 & 26:1-12


1 I will lift up my soul I will direct my heart.


3 those who betray [to the extent of] destitution Robbers and impounders, who leave the poor destitute of their property, as (above 7:5): “and I stripped my adversary into emptiness (ריקם) .”


5 Direct me Heb. הדריבני , adreza moy in Old French.


I hope for You all day long That is this world, which is day for the nations of the world and night for Israel.


6 for they have been since time immemorial Since the days of Adam, to whom You said, (Gen. 2:17), “for on the day that you eat from it you must die,” but You gave him Your day, which is a thousand years.


7 what is worthy of Your kindness, You remember for me What is deserving of Your kindness remember for me. These are the good deeds on my record.


8 The Lord is good and upright and wishes to exonerate His creatures.


therefore, He leads sinners on the road of repentance. Another explanation: He leads sinners, meaning murderers [who flee to the cities of refuge], as it is said (in Deut. 19:3): “You shall prepare for yourself the road, etc.” Refuge, refuge,” was written at the crossroads, etc., as is stated in Makkoth, chapter 2 (10b).


11 For Your name’s sake [For the sake of Your] great [name], forgive my iniquity...


for it is great For it is fitting for a great One to forgive great iniquity.


12 Who is this man who fears the Lord? The Holy One, blessed be He, will guide him on the road that he chooses; that is the good road.


13 His soul shall abide in prosperity When he abides in the grave, his soul shall abide in prosperity.


16 for I am alone and poor and the eyes of the public are directed toward me, and compared to them, I am a single person. Therefore, turn to me and be gracious to me because my prayer is necessary for the salvation of all Israel.


18 See my affliction and my toil and through them, forgive all my sins.


19 and they hate me with unjust hatred Heb. חמס , unlawful.


shall guard me Heb. יצרוני , shall watch me.


21 shall guard me Heb. יצרוני , shall watch me.


1 Judge me And elsewhere (143:2) he says, “You shall not enter judgment [with Your servant].” Said David: When You judge the wicked, judge me, for compared to the wicked, I am a righteous man, but when You judge the righteous/generous, do not bring me into judgment.


4 and...with hypocrites who go into hidden places to do their deeds in the dark.


neither did I go I am not accustomed to come and enter their assembly.


6 with cleanliness For there is no robbery [involved] in my fulfillment of the commandments.


7 To proclaim Heb. לַשְׁמִעַ , like לְהַשְׁמִיעַ .


all Your wonders This refers to Hallel, which contains mention of the past, mention of Gog and Magog, mention of the Messianic era, and mention of the future.


10 plots Heb. זמה . Every זמה in Scripture is an expression of a plan, some for good and some for evil.


12 My foot stood on a straight path Heb. במישור , on a straight path.



Meditation from the Psalms

Psalms 25:1-22 & 26:1-12

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


Psalms chapter 25 presents us with one of the finest examples of David’s lifelong struggle to keep to the ‘The Path of the Upright’. David begs for divine assistance to help him keep his ways straight, pure, and truthful. As such, this psalm may be considered as an introduction to Psalm 26 wherein David asks to be tested to demonstrate whether he has succeeded in reaching the Mesillat Yesharim.[4]


Radak notes that this is the first psalm which is arranged according to the Aleph-Beit, i.e. the first letters of the respective verses are in alphabetical order. Radak comments that the reason for this order is not known. Perhaps it was put into David’s mouth that way when he was inspired by the holy spirit. More likely the alphabetical sequence demonstrates the importance of the psalm [showing that the lessons of the psalm are a fundamental program for life as basic and essential as the alphabet itself.] The sequence lacks the letters ק ,ו,ב, beth, vav, and kuf; and two verses begin with ר, ‘reish’. Some say that the ב, ‘beth’ of בף, and the ו, ‘vav’ of ולמדני [5] are considered opening letters even though they do not appear at the beginning of the respective verses.


The superscription ascribes this psalm to David. This psalm is often understood to be an introduction to the next psalm, Psalm 26, wherein David asks to be tested to demonstrate whether he has succeeded in reaching “the path of the just”.[6]


The essence of David's lifelong aspiration is condensed into Psalms chapter 26. Perfect innocence, purity, clarity of vision, truth, separation from evil, cleanliness, zeal; all of these find expression in this composition. David yearned for these traits so that he would he deemed worthy of constructing the shrine of human perfection, the Beit HaMikdash. ‘HaShem, I love the House in which You dwell, and the place in which Your glory resides’.[7]


Late in his career, after a lifetime of arduous preparation, David thought that he had attained the perfection of the patriarchs, Abraham, Yitzchak and Yaaqob. He asked G-d to let him prove his worth by testing him.


G-d acquiesced by tempting David with Bath Sheba, a test that showed that David had not yet achieved flawlessness.[8]


Psalm 26 was composed after David's failure and he uses its verses to convey a double message. On the one hand, David requests a test and explains why he feels ready for it. On the other hand, he expresses his feelings of repentance and remorse after his failure.[9]


The superscription of this psalm ascribes it’s authorship to David.


The verbal tally between our psalm and Torah portion, is: Saw / Indeed / Look – ראה. In both our seder and our chapter of Psalms we find HaShem looking into the mundane lives of the devout, and acting. David is focusing on this word and the Torah and relating it to his own life as a commentary on the Torah portion.


The Midrash provides a most interesting interpretation of verse eight of our psalm:


Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XXIII:13 THEN YE SHALL APPOINT YOU CITIES OF REFUGE... THAT THE MANSLAYER... MAY FLEE THITHER (XXXV, 11). This bears on the Scriptural texts, Good and upright is the Lord, therefore doth He instruct sinners in the way (Psalm 25:8).


I would like to expound just a bit on this topic of the Arei HaMiklat הַמִּקְלָט עָרֵי, the Cities of Refuge.[10]


The month of Elul[11] is related to exile and exile is also the penalty for inadvertently killing someone. Why is exile the penalty for killing someone unintentionally? How are the cities of refuge the place for those who do not have blood on their hands? How is this month of Elul related to the cities of refuge, that were intended to be the exilic home of the unintentional manslayer?


When it is proven that a person killed unintentionally, he is banished to one of the six cities of refuge (Arei HaMiklat) or one of the forty-two[12] Levitical cities[13], to protect him from the vengeance of the slain man’s relatives. He must stay there and not leave the city or its city limits for any reason whatsoever until the death of the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) who served at the time that he was sentenced to exile, as the Torah teaches:


Bamidbar (Numbers) 35:6 And the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites, they shall be the six cities of refuge, which ye shall give for the manslayer to flee thither; and beside them ye shall give forty and two cities.


The above passage is where we find the first usage of miklat מקלט, normally translated as “refuge”. Now the Midrash comes to tell us about this pasuk:


Makkoth 9b Whither are they banished? To the three cities situated on the yonder side of the Jordan and three cities situated in the land of Canaan, as ordained, ye shall give three cities beyond the Jordan and three cities in the land of Canaan; they shall be cities of refuge. Not until three cities were selected in the land of Israel did the [first] three cities beyond the Jordan receive fugitives, as ordained, [and of these cities which ye shall give] six cities for refuge shall they be unto you which means that [they did] not [function] until all six could simultaneously afford asylum. And direct roads were made leading from one to the other, as ordained, thou shalt prepare thee a way and divide the borders of thy land. Into three parts. And two [ordained] scholar — disciples were delegated to escort the manslayer in case anyone attempted to slay him on the way, and that they might speak to him. R. Meir says: he may [even] plead his cause himself, as it is ordained, and this is the word of the slayer. R. Jose b. Judah says: to begin with, a slayer was sent in advance to [one of] the cities of refuge, whether he had slain in error or with intent. Then the court sent and brought him thence. Whoever was found guilty of a capital crime the court had executed, and whoever was found not guilty of a capital crime they acquitted. Whoever was found liable to banishment they restored to his place [of refuge] as it is ordained, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of refuge whither he was fled


Ir Miklat, City of Refuge, is one of only two mitzvot that the Torah labels chukat mishpat. This is an almost paradoxical term, with mishpat being that kind of mitzva that is logical, based on common sense, easy to understand, and with a chok being that kind of mitzva whose reasons are not given to us, nor can we completely figure them out on our own.


As an interesting aside: In the Torah portion which speaks of the Arei HaMiklat (Cities of Refuge), it mentions the Arei HaMiklat exactly ten time! These ten are beautifully divided into five and five.[14] The Torah first talks about unintentional manslaughter and then mentions miklat five times. Then the Torah speaks about intentional murder before returning to manslaughter. When the Torah returns to manslaughter it mentions miklat five additional times.[15]


Now we know that HaShem always acts midda kneged midda (measure for measure). There is a direct correlation between the crime and the punishment. Why is galut, exile, the correction for one who kills inadvertently?


The midda kneged midda is like this: If a man causes another man to lose his makom, his place, in this world, the Torah mandates that this unintentional manslayer must lose his makom, his place, by going into galut. The manslayer must leave his home, community, job, and friends (his makom, his “place”) and flee to one the cities of refuge to remain in exile until the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest, dies. Thus we see that exile is a great kindness from HaShem that enables us to correct that which we have blemished in this world.


HaShem lessened the discomfort of those who were exiled to the cities of refuge by sending them to cities where the Levites were also landless, thus both kinds of landless people are dwelling together, and more importantly, learning Torah together.


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 19:2-4 Three cities you shall set aside within the land that HaShem your G-d is giving you as an inheritance... and they shall be for all murderers to escape to. This is the murderer who shall flee there, and live: one who strikes his fellow unintentionally...


The person who kills unintentionally doesn’t have an appreciation of life, as evidenced by his careless actions. Therefore, his punishment is to go to the City of Refuge.


Who lives in the Cities of Refuge? The Levites. What did the Levites do with their time? They worked in the Beit HaMikdash,[16] they sang in the Beit HaMikdash, and they were the teachers of Torah. The person who killed unintentionally would now have the opportunity to get an appreciation of what one can do with life. Such an experience will forever change the person. Seeing a Levite who spends his evening, morning, and afternoon immersed in Torah and mitzvot will change his view of life.


The Torah is telling us that there is some connection between the sin of the unintentional manslayer and the Kohen Gadol, by linking the exile of the manslayer with the death of the Kohen Gadol. But what in the connection between the manslayer and the Kohen Gadol?


The Torah prohibits using stones touched by iron for the Mizbeach, the altar, because iron, which is used to form weapons, is responsible for loss of human life. If even an unintentional murder takes place it indicates that the Beit HaMikdash is not fulfilling its role. The Kohen Gadol, the guardian of the Beit HaMikdash, is also at fault to a certain degree, and he too shares in the punishment of manslayer. The Kohen Gadol should be beseeching HaShem for both the one who dies and the one who killed. Only the Kohen Gadol goes into the Holy of Holies – HaMakom – The Place par excellence! Only the Kohen Gadol can give the one who has lost his place – a place – in The Place.


Elul contains the idea of teshuva, repentance, as alluded to by its very name. The letters of the word Elul are also the initial letters[17], in Hebrew, of the words Ina Leyado VeSamti Lecha (אִנָּה לְיָדוֹ--וְשַׂמְתִּי לְךָ) - “[G-d] caused it to happen, and I will provide [a place] for you [to which he can flee”.[18] In this passage we encounter the cities of refuge. Thus we have a connection between the cities of refuge as a place of refuge in space and Elul as a place of refuge in time:


Shemot (Exodus) 21:13 And if a man lie not in wait, but G-d cause it to come to hand; then I will provide a place (makom) whither he may flee.


Avot 4:14 Exile yourself to a place of Torah.


Elul is, therefore, a city of refuge in time. This haven in time is the entire month of Elul, where the Bne Israel[19] takes shelter each year to rectify their spiritual shortcomings. Elul is the month of repentance, when assessment is made of the past year’s service to HaShem. It serves as a spiritual “city of refuge” where atonement for wrong-doing may be found. Even a person who sinned intentionally can find refuge in the month of Elul. Just as the city of refuge protected an intentional killer until his trial, so too does Elul provide sanctuary to an intentional sinner until Rosh HaShana.


All of the above aspects are paralleled in Elul. With every transgression, with every sin, a Jew sheds blood: he deprives his G-dly soul of its vitality. Yet atonement is always possible if the person will exile himself to the “city of refuge”, in the dimension of time, the month of Elul. Exile means to leave “your land, your birthplace, and your father’s house”; the spiritual equivalent of which is to leave one’s desires, one’s character traits, and the conclusions reached by the human intellect, anything which is a barrier to total submission to the yoke of heaven. In short, a Jew must flee and wander from his egocentric existence and embrace a new life founded on the conclusions of true soul-searching and repentance. Then such galut is an atonement, both for intentional and unintentional transgressions, and one is saved from the seekers of vengeance, from any unfavorable pronouncements of heavenly justice for one’s sins.


Not only must cities of refuge be built, but, the Rambam writes, “the court is obliged to define the paths that lead to the cities of refuge, to repair them and to broaden them...” In spiritual terms, this corresponds to the paths whereby one reaches the spiritual city of refuge, the month of Elul.[20]


Because Elul is the preparation for Rosh HaShanah, the anniversary of the world’s creation, the service of Elul is associated with three things which maintain the world: Torah, prayer, and deeds of loving kindness.[21] They are the “paths” to the refuge of Elul, and are alluded to in it’s name. As elaborated on earlier, the letters of Elul are the initial letters of “[G-d] caused it to happen, and I will provide for you”. Although this refers to the general service of Elul as a “city of refuge” for one’s misdeeds of the past year, it also refers to the more particular aspect of Torah, as our Sages say, “The words of Torah provide refuge”.[22]


Someone who kills a person by mistake is not subject to death, but exile, therefore “I will assign you a place (makom) to which he can flee”.[23] Note that it says ‘a place’ (makom) and not ‘a city of refuge’.


Exile is also a form of atonement:


Makkoth 2b R. Johanan said that the sanction for this (substitutive penalty of a flogging) may be obtained by argument a fortiori, thus: Now, what do we find in the case of one who had effected his intended act [of murder]? He is not banished. Is it not then logical [to argue from this] that zomemim who had not [actually] effected their intended act should not be banished?


But does not this [very] argument point to a reverse conclusion? For is it not logical [to argue] that he who had effected the intended act [of murder] is not to go into banishment, so as not to obtain the possibility of atonement; whereas the zomemim who have not effected their intended act, should be allowed to go into banishment, so as to obtain the possibility of atonement? Hence the derivation as from the text, given by Resh Lakish, is the best.


Adam and Chava


Adam and Chava went into galut, exile, from Gan Eden, after they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Their consumption of this fruit resulted in their eventual death and their galut from Gan Eden. Adam and Chava had to leave their makom, their ideal place.


Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XXIII:13 THEN YE SHALL APPOINT YOU CITIES OF REFUGE... THAT THE MANSLAYER... MAY FLEE THITHER (XXXV, 11). This bears on the Scriptural texts, Good and upright is the Lord, therefore doth He instruct sinners in the way (Ps. XXV, 8). Remember, O Lord, Thy compassions and Thy mercies (ib. 6). David says: Sovereign of the Universe! Were it not for Thy mercies which came to the timely assistance of Adam, he could not have survived. For it says, In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Gen. II, 17), but Thou didst not do so unto him. Thou didst merely exclude him from the Garden of Eden and he lived nine hundred and thirty years, and only then did he die. What didst Thou do to him? Thou didst merely drive him from the Garden of Eden; as it says, So He drove out the man (ib. III, 24). Why was he driven out? Because he brought death upon future generations, and deserved to die immediately, but Thou didst have compassion upon him and didst drive him out, as is the fate of one who commits murder in error, such a man having to be an exile from his own home to the cities of refuge. Consequently, it says, ‘Remember, O Lord, Thy compassions and Thy mercies,’ for they have been from of old (Ps. XXV, 6).


Pirke D’Rebbi Eliezer[24] points out that when Adam was sent out of Gan Eden, he was exiled to Har HaMoriah.[25] According to some opinions in Chazal[26] this took place immediately after the judgment which took place on the sixth day of creation, before the beginning of that first Shabbat.


Har Moriah is the place of the Temple. It is the place of the Akeida.[27] It is the ultimate place of Torah. It was in the Temple that the tablets of the testimony and the Torah scroll written by Moshe were kept. Thus we learn that when Adam inadvertently killed the world he was exiled from his makom to a place of Torah.


Kayin and Hevel


After Kayin killed Abel he was condemned to wander in galut. He had to leave “his makom”. This passage is particularly interesting because Kayin expresses the fact that this is an extremely severe punishment:


Bereshit (Genesis) 4:9 And HaShem said unto Kayin, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. 13 And Kayin said unto HaShem, My punishment is greater than I can bear.


Kayin will eventually be killed by Lamech. In the meantime, his exile had no end, unlike the Torah requirement for the unintentional manslayer who was released when the Kohen Gadol died. So, why did Kayin escape the death penalty? The answer has two parts.


  1.  Since there were no witnesses to the crime, a Bet Din[28] would not be able to convict. Hence, he had the status of an unintentional manslayer and was condemned to galut.
  2. When a man is guilty of murder, HaShem gives the guilty verdict and He applies the penalty. Hence Kayin was killed, midda-kneged-midda,[29] by Lamech. Chazal teach that HaShem normally executes this penalty within one year of the time of the crime.


Yosef and His Brothers


When Israel and his family went into galut, if was shortly after Yosef’s brothers desired to kill him, but sold him instead. This is a very similar situation to the manslayer. Indeed, the Midrash even links these events with the cities of refuge:


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis LXXXIV:15 AND THE MAN SAID. LET US GO TO DOTHAN. For such are the designs of the Almighty. AND THEY SAW HIM AFAR OFF, etc. (XXXVII, 18). Said they: ‘Let us kill him by inciting the dogs against him’. AND THEY SAID ONE TO ANOTHER: BEHOLD, THIS DREAMER COMETH (XXXVII, 19). The Rabbi said: They exclaimed, ‘Behold, it is he, who is coming wrapt in his dreams!’ R. Levi said: They exclaimed that this one was to ensnare them into serving [foreign] overlords. COME NOW THEREFORE, AND LET US SLAY HIM... AND WE SHALL SEE WHAT WILL BECOME OF HIS DREAMS (XXXVII, 20). Said the Holy One, blessed be He, to them: Ye say, AND WE SHALL SEE, and I say, WE SHALL SEE: indeed we shall see whose words will be fulfilled.’


15. AND REUBEN HEARD IT, etc. (XXXVII, 21). Now where had he been? R. Judah said: Every one of them attended his father one day, and that day it was Reuben’s turn. R. Nehemiah said: [Reuben reasoned]: I am the firstborn and I alone will be held responsible for the crime. The Rabbis said: [Reuben reasoned]: He includes me with my brethren, and I am not to rescue him! I thought that I had been expelled [from the company of my brethren] on account of that incident, yet he counts me together with my brethren-And, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars (Gen. XXXVII, 9)-shall I then not deliver him! Said the Holy One, blessed be. He, to him: ‘Thou wast the first to engage in life saving: by thy life! the cities of refuge will be set up [first] nowhere else than within thy borders’; thus it is written, Bezer in the wilderness, in the table-land, for the Reubenites, etc. (Deut. IV, 43).


Moshe and the Egyptian


Moshe killed the Egyptian then he needed to flee to Midian. Remember that Moshe was a Hebrew who was adopted by an Egyptian and raised as a prince in Paro’s palace. When he went into galut for killing the Egyptian, he was leaving his parents, his adopted parents, and his status as a prince. His galut took him to Midian where he became a shepherd and a stranger in a strange land.


Shemot (Exodus) 2:11 And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. 13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? 14 And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. 15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.


Why did not Moshe deserve the death penalty? Why was he treated as an unintentional manslayer when he clearly intended to kill him?


Rashi says that Moshe killed the Egyptian with the explicit Divine Name (Shem HaMaforash).[30] The Malbim explains that a non-Jew who strikes a Jew is subject to the death penalty, but not at human hands, death from Heaven. This Moshe facilitated by invoking the Shem HaMaforash. Thus we see that Moshe was merely the conduit for HaShem to slay the Egyptian who was mistreating a Jew. Because Moshe was the conduit, the Torah tells us that Moshe slew the Egyptian.


Now, if you have difficulty with this explanation, consider that HaShem did not inflict any penalty on Moshe except galut, the penalty for unintentionally killing a man. Further, Moshe would later be chosen to be “king” of the Jews and to be the leader of the Jewish people for forty years. This is not the normal penalty for a murderer. Since HaShem dealt with Moshe midda-kneged-midda – measure-for-measure, we know that Moshe was only guilty of unintentional killing.


Midrash Rabbah - Deuteronomy II:29 THEN MOSES SEPARATED. R. Aibo said: When Moses fled he began to sing a song, as it is said, And dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well  (Ex. II, 15). Just as Israel sang a song by a well, so too Moses sang a song by a well. R. Levi said: [He sang a song] because the section dealing with the homicide’s [flight] to the Cities of Refuge was carried into effect through him.


Unintentional manslayers went into galut because of their sin. They were forced to leave their makom, their place, because they caused others to lose their place in this world. The goal of the galut is the tikkun, the correction, of the individual that can be found in Torah. The reason for galut in the cities of refuge was to force the manslayer to study Torah and confront the mitzvot twenty-four hours a day because they failed to pay proper attention to what they were doing, which resulted in someone’s inadvertent death. The constant interaction between the manslayer and the Levites would be life-changing and would enable the manslayer to change his heart.


From this, we understand the Temple’s destruction and ensuing galut, for which we mourn, on Tisha B’Ab. Exile is analogous to a city of refuge. Just as the inadvertent manslayer exiled himself to a city of refuge, so too, the Jewish people were exiled because of inadvertent sins. Their tikkun is found in their study of Torah.


At this point, we can shed new light on what lies behind Simchat Torah, which Chazal combined together with Shemini Atzeret, the day after Succoth. In Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:41, the Torah relates that Moshe before his passing, set aside the three ‘Arei Miklat’ cities of refuge, on the eastern side of the Jordan. Immediately afterwards in Devarim 4:44, the pasukim teaches, ‘And this is the law which Moshe set before the children of Israel’. The Baal HaTurim points out that this pasuk comes to teach that a person must exile one’s self to a place of Torah, as is taught in:


Avot 4:14 Exile yourself to a place of Torah.


Rabbeinu Bachya points out that the pasukim come to teach me that Torah protects a person even more than an ‘Ir HaMiklat’ (city of refuge) for the ‘Ir HaMiklat’ saves only for a sin done inadvertently while Torah saves from all sin. Furthermore, the Midrash describes a dialogue between Klal Israel and HaShem in which Klal Israel want to know how they will atone for their sins when the existence of cities of refuge will cease. HaShem’s answer is that there will always be Torah!


We can now appreciate Chazal’s choosing the day that follows Succoth as ‘Simchat Torah’. When we leave the succah that serves us as a refuge when we are forced to exile; we are distraught as to where our salvation will come from. Therefore, Chazal made sure that we will choose this day to reach the greatest intimacy with the Torah, thereby appreciating its special quality of serving as our salvation and refuge at all times. These are certainly appropriate thought when we begin again the cycle of Torah reading with Bereshit and learn about Adam and Kayin having had to undergo their respective exiles. We must remember that we have Torah that serves as the greatest refuge.


In an allegorical sense, there exist six “cities of refuge” for the spiritual manslayer. Life, in the true and ultimate sense, is connection with The Source;[31] an act of transgression against the divine will is a subtle form of manslaying, as it hinders the flow of vitality from HaShem to His creation. The words of the Torah, say Chazal, are the “cities of refuge” for the destroyer of spiritual life; if he flees into the Torah and immerses himself in it, the Torah will protect him from the adverse results of his deed.


Makkoth 10a A Tanna taught: A disciple who goes into banishment is joined in exile by his master, in accordance with the text, and that fleeing unto one of these cities he might live,[32] which means — provide him with whatever he needs to live.[33] R. Ze’ira remarked that this is the basis of the dictum, ‘Let no one teach Mishnah to a disciple that is unworthy’. R. Johanan said: A master who goes into banishment is joined in exile by his College. But that cannot be correct, seeing that R. Johanan said: Whence can it be shown [Scripturally] that the study of the Torah affords asylum?[34] From the verse, [Then Moses separated three cities . . .] Bezer in the wilderness . . . Ramoth... and Golan . . ., which is followed by, and this-the law which Moses set before the children of Israel?[35] — This [discrepancy] is not difficult [to explain]. One [of his sayings] is applicable to the scholar who maintains his learning in practice, while the other saying is applicable to him who does not maintain it in practice. Or, if you will, I might say that ‘asylum’ means refuge from the Angel of Death, as told of R. Hisda who was sitting and rehearsing his studies in the school-house and the Angel of Death could not approach him, as his mouth would not cease rehearsing. He [thereupon] perched upon a cedar of the school-house and, as the cedar cracked under him, R. Hisda paused and the Angel overpowered him.[36]


May HaShem open our hearts and our eyes to appreciate and see the depth of His Torah as our city of refuge!



Ashlamatah: ‎‎1 Sam. 1:2-11 + 2:28




1. ¶  And there was one man from Ramathaim Zophim, from Mt. Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

1. ¶ And there was a certain man from Ramah, from the students of the prophets from the hill country of the house of Ephraim. And his name was Elkanah, the son of Jehoram, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, a man dividing a share in the holy things in the hill country of the house of Ephraim.

2. And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah and the name of the second was Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

2. And he had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the second was Peninnah. And Peninnah had sons. and Hannah had no sons

3. And that man was wont to go up from his city from appointed time to appointed time, to prostrate himself and to slaughter (peace offerings) to the Lord of Hosts in Shiloh, and there the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinhas, were serving the Lord.

3. And that man went up from his city from the time of festival to festivals to worship and to sacrifice before theLORD of hosts in Shiloh. And there the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were serving before' the LORD.

4. And when it was the day, and Elkanah slaughtered (peace offerings), and he would give to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters portions.

4. And it was the day of the festival and Elkanah sacrificed, and he gave portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters.

5. And to Hannah he would give one choice portion, for he loved Hannah, and the Lord had shut up her womb.

5. And he gave to Hannah one choice portion, for he loved Hannah. And from before the LORD a child was withheld from her

6. And her rival would frequently anger her, in order to make her complain, for the Lord had shut up her womb.

6. And her rival was provoking her, also angering her, so as to make her jealous because from before the LORD a child was withheld from her.

7.  And so he would do year by year, as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, so she would anger her, and she wept and would not eat.

7. And so it was happening year by year in the time when she went up to the house of the sanctuary of the LORD. Thus she was angering her; and she was weeping and not eating.  

8. And Elkanah her husband said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?"

8. And Elkanah, her husband, said to her: "Hannah, why are you weeping? And why are you not eating? And why is your heart sad to you? Is not my good will to you more than ten sons?"

9. And Hannah arose after eating and after drinking, and Eli the priest was sitting on the chair beside the doorpost of the Temple of the Lord.

9. And Hannah arose after she had eaten in Shiloh and after they had drunk. And Eli the priest was sitting upon the chair by the side of the doorpost of the temple of the LORD.

10. And she was bitter in spirit, and she prayed to the Lord, and wept.

10. And she was bitter of soul and was praying before the LORD and weeping very much.

11. And she vowed a vow, and said: to Lord of Hosts, if You will look upon the affliction of Your bondswoman, and You will remember me, and You will not forget Your bondswoman and You will give Your bondswoman a man-child, and I shall give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.

11. And she swore an oath and said: "LORD of hosts, indeed the affliction of Your handmaid was uncovered before You, and let my memory come in before You. And may You not keep your handmaid far away. And may You give to Your handmaid a son in the midst of the sons of men. And I will hand over him, who will be servingbefore the LORD all the days of his life. And the dominion of man will not be upon him.

12. And it was, as she prayed long before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth.

12. And from the time that she prayed very much before the LORD, Eli was waiting for her until she stopped

13. But Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving, and her voice was not heard, and Eli thought her to be a drunken woman.

13. And Hannah was praying in her  heart only. Her lips were moving, and her voice was not being heard. And Eli considered her like a drunken woman.

14. And Eli said to her: Until when will you be drunk? Throw off your wine from upon yourself.

14. And Eli said to her: "How long are you demented? Will you not let your wine evaporate from you?"

15. And Hannah answered and said: No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit, and neither new wine nor old wine have I drunk, and I poured out my soul before the Lord.

15. And Hannah answered and said: "No, my master. I am a woman anguished of spirit. And new and old wine I have not drunk. And I have told the sorrow of my soul in prayer before the LORD.

16. Deliver not your bondswoman before the unscrupulous woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and my vexation have I spoken until now.

16. Do not rebuke your handmaid before the daughter of wickedness for from the abundance of my jealousy and my anger I have prolonged prayer until now." 

17. And Eli answered and said: Go in peace, and the God of Israel will grant your request which you have asked of Him.

17. And Eli answered and said: "Go in peace. And may the God of Israel grant your request that you requested from before Him."

18. And she said: May your bondswoman find favor in your eyes; and the woman went on her way and ate, and her face was not (sad) anymore.

18. And she said: "Let your handmaid find favor in your eyes." And the woman went on her way, and she ate and her face was no longer sad

19. And they arose early in the morning, and prostrated themselves before the Lord: and they returned and came to their house, to Ramah, and Elkanah knew Hannah, his wife, and the Lord remembered her.

19. And they got up early in the morning and worshipped before the LORD and turned and went to their house toRamah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and her memory went in before the LORD.

20. And it was, when the time came about, after Hannah had conceived, that she bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, because (she said); "I asked him of the Lord."

20. And it happened at the time of the completing of the days that Hannah became pregnant and bore a son. And she called his name "Samuel," for she said: "From before the LORD I asked for him."

21. And the man, Elkanah and his entire household, went up to slaughter to the Lord, the sacrifice of the days and his vow.

21. And the man Elkanah and all the men of his house went up to sacrifice before the LORD the sacrifice of the festival and to fulfil his vow.

22. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband: "Until the child is weaned, then I shall bring him, and he shall appear before the Lord, and abide there forever.

22. And Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband: "Until the child is weaned and I bring him and he be seen before the LORD and live there forever."

23. And Elkanah her husband said to her: "Do what seems good to you. Stay until you have weaned him, only, may the Lord fulfill His word." And the woman stayed and nursed her son, until she weaned him.

23. And Elkanah her husband said to her: "Do what is good in your eyes. Wait until you wean him. But may the LORD fulfil His words.” And the woman waited and nursed her son until she weaned him.

24. And she brought him with her when she had weaned him, with three bulls, and one ephah of meal, and an earthenware jug of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord, to Shiloh, and the child was young.

24. And she brought him up with her when she weaned him, with three bulls and one measure of flour and a skin of wine. And she brought him to the house of the sanctuary of the LORD, to Shiloh. And the child was very young

25. And they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.

25. And they slaughtered the bull and brought the child unto Eli.

26. And she said, "Please, my lord! As surely as your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here with you, to pray to the Lord.

26. And she said: "Please, my master, by your life, my master, I am the woman who stood with you here to pray before the LORD.

27. For this child did I pray, and the Lord granted me my request, which I asked of Him.

27. for this child I prayed, and the LORD granted me my request that I requested from before Him.

28. And I also have lent him to the Lord; all the days which he will be alive, he is borrowed by the Lord." And he prostrated himself there to the Lord.   {S}

28. And I have handed over him who will be serving before the LORD. All the days that he lives, he will be serving before the LORD. And he worshipped before the Lord there. {S}



1. And Hannah prayed and said: "My heart has rejoiced through the Lord; My horn has been raised by the Lord. My mouth is opened wide against my enemies, For I have rejoiced in Your salvation.

1. And Hannah prayed in a spirit of prophecy and said: "Now Samuel my son is to be a prophet on behalf of Israel. In his days they will be saved from the hand of the Philistines, and by his hands signs and mighty deeds will be done for them. Therefore my heart is strong in the portion that the LORD has given to me. And also Heman, the son of Joel, the son of my son Samuel who is to arise - he and his fourteen sons are to be speaking in song by means of lyres and lutes with their brothers the Levites to give praise in the house of the sanctuary. Therefore my horn is exalted in the gift that the LORD has appointed for me. And also concerning the marvellous revenge that will be against the Philistines who are to bring the ark on a new cart, and with it the guilt offering. Therefore the assembly of Israel will say: 'Let my mouth be open to speak great things against my enemies, for I rejoice in Your saving power."'

2. There is none as holy as the Lord, For there is none besides You; And there is no rock like our God.

2. Concerning Sennacharib the king of Assyria - she prophesied and said that he and all his armies would come up against Jerusalem, and a great sign would be worked on him; there the corpses of his camp would fall. Therefore all the nations, peoples, and language groups will confess and say: "There is not one who is holy except the LORD, for there is no one apart from You;" and Your people will say: "There is no one who is strong except our God.”

3. Do not increasingly speak haughtily; Let not arrogance come out of your mouth, For the Lord is a God of thoughts, And to Him are deeds counted.

3. Concerning Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon - she prophesied and said: "You Chaldeans and all the peoples who are to rule in Israel, do not say many boastful things. Let not blasphemies go forth from your mouth, for the all-knowing God is the LORD and upon all His works he fixes judgment. And also to you He is to repay the revenge of your sins.”

4. The bows of the mighty are broken; And those who stumbled, are girded with strength.

4. Concerning the kingdoms of Greece - she prophesied and said: "The bows of the Greek warriors will be broken; and those of the house ‎‎of the Hasmonean who were weak - mighty deeds will be done for them.”

5. Those who were satiated have hired themselves out for bread, While the hungry have ceased. While the barren woman has born seven, She that had many children, has been bereaved.

5. Concerning the sons of Haman - she prophesied and said: ‎‎"Those who were filled up on bread and growing in wealth and abounding in money have become poor; they have returned to working as laborers for bread, the food of their mouth. Mordecai and Esther who were needy became rich and forgot their poverty; they returned to being free persons. So Jerusalem, which was like a barren woman, is to be filled with her exiled people. And Rome, which was filled with great numbers of people - her armies will cease to be; she will be desolate and destroyed.

6. . The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and raises up.

6. All these are the mighty works of the LORD, who ispowerful in the world. He puts to death and speaks so as to make alive; He brings down to Sheol, and He is also ready to bring up in eternal life.'.

7. The Lord impoverishes and makes rich. He humbles; He also exalts.

7. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He humbles, also He exalts.

8. He lifts the poor from the dust; From the dunghill, He raises the pauper, To seat them with princes, And a seat of honor He causes them to inherit, For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, And He placed the world upon them.

8. He raises up the poor from the dust, from the dunghill He exalts the needy one, to make them dwell with the righteous/generous ones, the chiefs of the world; and he bequeaths to them thrones of glory. For before the LORD the deeds of the sons of men are revealed. He has established Gehenna below for the wicked ones. And the just ones - those doing His good pleasure, He has established the world for them»

9. The feet of His pious ones He will guard, And the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, For not by strength will man prevail.

9. He will keep away from Gehenna the bodies of His servants, the righteous/generous ones. And the wicked ones will walk about in Gehenna in the darkness, to make it known that there is no one in whom there is strength having claim for the day of judgment"

10. Those who strive with the Lord will be broken; Upon him will He thunder in Heaven; The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. And He will grant strength to His King, And raise the horn of His anointed one.  {P}

10. The LORD will shatter the enemies who rise up to do harm to His people. The Lord blasts down upon them from the heavens with a loud voice. He will exact just revenge from Gog and the army of the violent nations who come with him from the ends of the earth. And He will give power to His king and will magnify the kingdom of his anointed one (Messiah).” {P}

11. ¶ And Elkanah went to Ramah, to his house, and the child was serving the Lord before Eli the priest.

11. ¶ And Elkanah went to Ramah, to his house. And the boy was serving before the LORD during the life of Eli the priest.

12. And Eli's sons, unscrupulous men, knew not the Lord.

12. And the sons of Eli were evil men. They did not know to fear from before the LORD

13. And this was the due of the priests from the people: (whenever) any man would slaughter a sacrifice, the servant of the priest would come when (one) cooked the flesh, with a three-pronged fork in his hand.

13. And the custom of the priests from the people - every man who was slaughtering a sacrificial animal, and the young man of the priest was coming, when the meat was boiling, and his three-pronged fork (was) in his hand,

14. And he would thrust into the fire-pot, or into the pot, or into the cauldron, or into the pan, everything which the fork would pick up, the priest would take therewith; so would they do to all Israel who came there in Shiloh.

14. and he set it in the pan or in the cauldron or in the pot or in the cooking vessel. Everything that the fork brought up, the priest took for himself. Thus they were doing to all Israel who were coming to sacrifice there in Shiloh.

15. Also, before they would make the fat smoke, and the servant of the priest would come, and would say to the man who slaughtered, 'Give meat to roast for the priest, and he will not take from you cooked meat, but raw.

15. Even before the fat pieces were brought to the altar the young man of the priest was coming and saying to the man who was slaughtering: "Give the meat to the priest to roast. And he will not take from you boiled meat but when it is fresh."

16. And (if) the man said to him, 'Let them make the fat smoke now, and (then) take for yourself, as your soul desires,' And he would say, 'No, but now you shall give. And if not, I shall take by force.'

16. And the man said to him: "Wait until the fat pieces be brought up, and take for yourself according to the good pleasure of your soul." And he said to him that "Now you will give it; and if not, they will take from you against your will."

17. And the sin of the lads was great before the Lord, for the men despised the offering of the Lord.

17. And the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for the men robbed the sacrifices of the LORD.

18. And Samuel was serving before the Lord, being a lad girded with a linen robe.

18. And Samuel was serving before the LORD; the young man was girt with a sleeved tunic of linen.

19. And a small robe his mother would make for him, and she would bring it up to him from appointed time to appointed time, when she ascended with her husband, to slaughter the sacrifice of the (festive) days.

19. And his mother was making for him a little robe and bringing it up to him from the time of festival to festival when she went up with her husband to sacrifice the sacrifice of the festival

20. And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and he would say, "May the Lord grant you seed from this woman," because of the request which he had requested of the Lord, and they would go to his place.

20. And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife. And he said: "May the LORD raise up for you worthy sons from this woman on account of the petition that he asked from before the LORD." And they went to their place.

21. For the Lord remembered Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the lad Samuel grew up with the Lord.   {S}

21. For the memory of Hannah entered before the LORD and she became pregnant and bore three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew up, serving the LORD. {S}

22. Now, Eli had become very old, and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and that they would lie with the women who congregated at the entrance of the tent of meeting.

22. And Eli was very old. And he heard everything that his sons were doing to all Israel and that they were sleeping with the women who came to pray at the gate of the tent of meeting.

23. And he said to them: "Why do you do the likes of these things, for I hear evil reports about you, from all these people.

23. And he said to them: ‎‎"Why are you acting according to these deeds so that I hear these evil deeds of you from all the people?

24. No, my sons, for the rumor which I hear the Lord's people spreading, is not good.

24. No, my sons. For the report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading about is not good.

25. If man will sin to man, the judge will judge him. If, however, he will sin against God, who will intercede in the judgment in his behalf?" But they would not hearken to their father's voice, for the Lord desired to kill them.

25. If a man will sin against a man, will he not come before the judge. and he will hear their words. and he will decide between them? And if the man will sin before the LORD, from whom will he seek and it will be forgiven to him?” And they did not accept the word of their father, for it was the good pleasure from before the LORD to kill them.

26. And the lad, Samuel, was growing up, and bettering himself both with the Lord and with people.   {P}

26. And the boy Samuel continued to grow, and his name was good. His ways were right before the LORD. and his works were upright among the sons of man    {P}

27. ¶ And a man of God came to Eli, and he said to him: "So said the Lord: 'Did I appear to the house of your father, when they were in Egypt, (enslaved) to the house of Pharaoh?

27. ¶ And the prophet of the LORD came unto Eli and said to him: "Thus says the LORD: 'I indeed revealed Myself to the house of your father, when they were in Egypt and were enslaved to the house of Pharaoh.

28. And did I choose him from all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer up (sacrifices) on My altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before Me? And did I give to the house of your father all the fire-offerings of the children of Israel?

28. And I took delight in" him from all the tribes of Israel before Me, to be a priest, to bring up sacrifice upon My altar, to burn sweet-smelling incense, to wear the ephod, to serve before Me. And I gave to the house of your father all the offerings of the sons of Israel.

29. Why (then,) do you kick at My sacrifice, and at My meal offering which I commanded in My dwelling place, and you honored your sons above Me, before My people, to feed yourselves from the first part of every offering of Israel?

29. Why are you robbing My holy sacrificial offering and My offering that I appointed to offer before Me in My temple? And you honor your own sons first of all to have them eat from the first of all the offering of Israel My people.

30. Therefore," says the Lord, God of Israel, "I said, 'Your house and the house of your father will walk before Me forever,' but now, says the Lord: Far be it from Me, for those who honor Me shall I honor, and those who despise Me will be disgraced.

30. Thus said the LORD God of Israel: 'Indeed I said:

"Your house and the house of your father will serve before Me forever. And now the Lord says: 'My judgments are truth for those who act honorably before Me I will honor, and those who act despicably against My name will become demented

31. Behold days are coming when I shall cut off your arm and the arm of your father's house, that there shall not be an elder in your household.

31. Behold the days are coming, and I will cut off thestrength of your seed and the strength of the seed of the house of your father from being old in your house.

32. And you will look upon a rival (in My) dwelling place in all (the days) which (God) will do good to Israel, and there will not be an elder in your household all of the days.

32. And you will be considering and you will be seeing the sorrow that will come upon the men of your house because of the sins that you have sinned in My temple. And afterwards prosperity will come over Israel. and there will not be an old man in your house all the days.

33. Yet every man of yours shall I not cut off from My altar, to disappoint you and to sadden your heart; and all those raised in your house will die as young men.

33. A man I will not cut off for you from My altar to darken your eye and to grieve your soul. And all the multitude of your household, the young men, will be killed.

34. And this is the sign to you, that which will befall your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas; in one day both of them will die.

34. And this is the sign to you, which will come unto your two sons, unto Hophni and Phinehas. In one day the two of them will be killed

35. And I shall raise up for Myself a faithful priest, who will do as is in My heart and in My mind, and I shall build for him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed all of the days.

35. And I will raise up before Me a faithful priest who will act according to My Memra and according to Mygood pleasure. And I will raise up for him a lasting kingdom, and he will server' before My anointed one (Messiah) all the days.

36. And it will be that everyone who is left in your house, will come to prostrate himself before him for a silver piece and a morsel of bread, and will say, "Take me now into one of the priestly divisions in order to eat a morsel of bread."   {P}

36. And everyone who is left in your house will come bow low for himself for a coin of silver and a piece of bread. And he will say: "Appoint me now to one of the watches of the priests to eat a piece of bread." {P}





Rashi’s Commentary for: 1 Sam. 1:2-11 + 2:28


And there was one man It all follows the order, i.e., Moses gave over the Torah to Joshua, and Joshua to the Elders, and each judge to his successor, until it reached Eli, by whom it was given over to Samuel, as we learned in the Mishnah (Abot 1:1): and the Elders gave it over to the Prophets.


from Ramathaim Zophim There were two hills, each visible to the other. (Meg. 14a) Jonathan, however, renders ‘Zophim’ of the disciples of the Prophets.


Elkanah Elkanah was a Levite of the sons of Ebiasaf the son of Korah. Thus his ancestry is recorded in Chron. (I, 6:7 12).


an Ephraimite Jonathan renders: on the mountain of the House of Ephraim. Midrash Aggadah (M.S. 1:16): Ephrathi, a palace dweller, a nobleman, an important person, like (the Talmudic word ‘aperion’, used in B.M. 119a): Let us extend ‘aperion’ to Rabbi Simon. An expression of favor.


3 And that man was wont to go up This is the present tense. He would go up from one appointed season to another appointed season, to Shiloh. Midrash Aggadah (M.S. 1: 1,5,7): The route he followed this year he did not follow the next year, in order to publicize (his pilgrimage) to the Israelites that they should do likewise.


4 And when it was the day And it was the festive day.[after Jonathan].


מנה אחת אפים one choice portion: a portion which is fit to be accepted with a friendly countenance.


6 And her rival Her husband’s other wife, Peninnah.


frequently anger her: Anger after anger, always. Therefore, it is written: ‘also anger.’ She would say to her, “Did you buy your older son a cloak today, or your younger son a shirt?”


in order to make her complain: (Literally, to make her storm.) Our rabbis explain, “in order to make her storm” that she pray. And Peninnah had good intentions.


her womb: Lit., opposite her womb, and so is every expression of the word בעד .


7 And so he would do: I.e., Elkanah.


year by year: He would give her a choice portion to demonstrate to her that he loved her and her rival would anger her more and more according to the affection which her husband demonstrated to her.


8 better to you: Don’t I love you more dearly...


..than (I love) ten sons: that Peninnah has borne to me?


after eating (אכלה) . The הא is not dotted and the אלף is voweled with a short קמץ , and it is like אחרי אכול , meaning after eating in Shiloh and after drinking, and this expression is properly used both for masculine and feminine.


9 after eating ‘After eating’ is a gerund. It is constructed like לאכלה (Lev. 25:6) to eat, an expression equivalent to לאכול an infinitive.


and Eli the priest was sitting on the chair: The defective spelling denotes that on that day, he was seated on a huge chair, for he was appointed judge over Israel.


beside the doorpost: lit. on the doorpost.


11 O Lord of Hosts: Why was this Name designated here? (The answer is as follows:) She said before Him: O Lord of the universe, You created two hosts in Your world. The heavenly beings do not multiply, neither do they die, while the earthly beings both multiply and die. If I am of the earthly beings let me multiply, and if I am of the heavenly beings let me not die. I found this explanation in the Aggadah of Rabbi Jose the Galilean. Our sages in tractate Ber. (31b), however, expounded what they expounded: Until then there was no person who called the Holy One, blessed be He, “Hosts.” (Why then, did Hannah call Him by this Name?) But, so said she before Him: “O Lord of the universe, from all the hosts which You created in Your world, do You find it difficult to grant me one son?”


if You will look: (Lit., if seeing You will see.) In tractate Ber., our sages expounded what they expounded.


Your bondswoman: which is stated three times in this verse, corresponds to the three precepts which a woman is commanded to observe.


A man child: (Lit., seed of men, meaning) righteous/generous men, as it is written (Kings I:2: 32): “Upon two righteous/generous men.” אנשים also means important men, as it is written (Deut. 1:13): wise and known men.


and I shall give him to the Lord: that he be fit to be given to the Lord.


and no razor shall come upon his head: (translation follows K, however,) Jonathan renders: and the fear of man will not be upon him.


12 watched her mouth: He waited for her to stop. Jonathan renders thus: and Eli waited for her until she stopped.


watched: an expression of waiting, as in (Gen. 37:11) “and his father awaited the thing,” and (Job 14:16) “You do not wait for my sin.”


13 and Eli thought her to be a drunken woman: for they were not accustomed to praying silently.


15 Not my lord: You are not a lord in this instance. You yourself have revealed that the holy spirit is not resting upon you, otherwise you would know that I am not intoxicated from wine.


I am a woman of sorrowful spirit: like Sarah (who was childless) [old editions of Rashi].


16 Deliver not your bondswoman: Considering the fact that she spoke harshly to him, she returned to appease him so that he deliver her not, unprotected and disgraced, at the mercy of her rival, the unscrupulous woman.


for out of the abundance of my complaint: have I spoken harshly before you.


my complaint (lit., my speech.) In some instances, it is an expression of grief of heart. Another explanation is, according to the Targum, as follows: for out of the abundance of my provocation and my vexation, have I prolonged my prayer until now.


and my vexation: which my rival vexes me.


Deliver not: (Lit. do not give.) An expression of delivery, like, “deliver me not unto the will of my adversaries” (Ps. 27:12).


17 your request ( שלתך , instead of שאלתך ). The ‘alef’ is missing to expound in this word an expression of ‘children,’ as in Deut. 27:57: ובשליתה “and against her young, which came out, etc.”


will grant your request: He announced to her that her prayer had been accepted.


18 May your bondswoman find favor: to beg mercy for her.


and her face was not (sad) anymore: (Lit., and she no longer had her face, meaning) the face of anger.


19 and came to their house, and Elkanah knew: From here is deduced that a traveler is forbidden to have marital relations.


20 when the time came about: (After the seasons and the days.) The minimum of seasons is two and the minimum of days is also two. Hence, she gave birth after six months and two days. From here it is deduced that a woman who gives birth after seven months, can give birth after a fraction of the seventh month of pregnancy.


Samuel: El after the name of God, and in reference to the incident, he was so called, for I asked him of the Lord.


21 the sacrifice of the days: of the appointed seasons. his vow: The vows which he made between pilgrimage festivals, he would sacrifice on the following festival.


22 Until the child is weaned: after twenty two months (other versions, twenty four), for that is the time of nursing a child.


and abide there forever: “Forever” in the Levitic sense means fifty years, as it says, (Num. 8:25), “and from the age of fifty years he shall return from the host of the work.” Figuring as follows, we determine that Samuel’s lifetime was fifty- two years. Eli judged Israel for forty years (see 4:18), and on the day of Hannah’s prayer, he was appointed judge (See above v. 9). By subtracting the year in which Hannah conceived Samuel, there remain thirty nine years. Samuel governed Israel from the time of Eli’s death for thirteen years, figuring thus: On the day of Eli’s death, the Ark was abducted, and it remained in the field of the Philistines for seven months (below 6:1). From there, it was brought to Kiriath-jearim, where it remained until David took it out of there after he had reigned seven years in Hebron over Judah, and all Israel had accepted him as their king. And it is written: And is was, from the day that the Ark abode in Kiriath-jearim that the time was long, for it was twenty years, etc. (below 7:2). Subtract from them seven years which David reigned in Hebron. We find that from the time that the Ark was abducted until Saul’s death, were thirteen years and seven months, and Samuel died four months before Saul.


23 only, may the Lord fulfill His word: Since you asked of Him seed of righteous/generrous men (above v. 11), and Eli announced to you through divine inspiration: (above v. 17) “The God of Israel will grant your request,” may the Lord fulfill His word. This is according to the simple interpretation. The Midrash Agadah, however, explains thus: Rabbi Nehemiah said in the name of Rabbi Samuel, the son of Rabbi Isaac: Every day, a divine voice would resound throughout the world, and say: A righteous man is destined to arise, and his name will be Samuel. Thereupon, every woman who bore a son, would name him Samuel. As soon as they saw his deeds, they would say, “This is not Samuel.” When our Samuel was born, however, and people saw his deeds, they said, “It seems that this one is the expected righteous/generous man.” This is what Elkanah meant when he said, ‘May the Lord fulfill His word,’ that this be the righteous/generous Samuel.


24 and one ephah of meal I heard from Rabbi Isaac Halevi, that she brought one ephah of meal, which is equivalent to three seahs, from which to extract three tenths of an ephah of fine flour, which are required for one bull (Num. 15:8), as we learned in the Mishnah (Men. 76b): The showbread was made of twenty-four tenths of an ephah from twenty-four seahs; i.e., 1 tenth part of an ephah of fine flour from a seah of wheat.


and an earthenware jug of wine: for a drink offering. והנער נער and the child was young (after Jonathan).


25 and they brought the child to Eli to see that his prophecy was fulfilled. And our sages, however, expounded what they expounded, that he decided a point of law, that a priest is unnecessary for sacrificial slaughter, as it is stated in Tractate Ber. (31b).


26 Please, my lord: Take care of him that he become your disciple. And according to the Midrash of our sages, not to punish him with death.


27 For this child did I pray: Do not say, “This one shall die and another one shall be given to you.”


28 And I also have lent him to the Lord like a person who lends a utensil to his master, or lends him his son to serve him.


he is borrowed empunte in French, i.e., you have no right to punish him, for the Lord has become a borrower over him, since I have lent him to Him, and He must return him to me.


And he prostrated himself Samuel, and some say Elkanah.


Chapter 2


1 My mouth is opened wide against my enemies against Peninnah.


2 And there is no rock like our God. There is no artist like our God, Who makes a form within a form (Ber. 10a).


3 Do not increasingly speak haughtily All those who are haughty when good fortune shines upon them. And according to the peshat, she is speaking for the benefit of Peninnah, who behaved haughtily toward her. According to the derash, however, we follow J’s translation.


arrogance (Lit.) strong speech. Others explain it as an expression of falsehood, something which is removed from the truth, like ויעתק “and he moved from there to the mountain” (Gen. 12:8). We, therefore, render: Let not falsehood come out of your mouth.


For the Lord is a God of thoughts He knows what is in your heart.


And to Him are deeds counted All men’s deeds are counted before Him. Heb. ‘nithk’nu,’ an expression of number, like: and the number (tochen) of bricks shall you give (Ex. 5:18).


4 The bows of the mighty are broken, etc. So is the custom of the Most Holy, blessed be He. He weakens the mighty, and strengthens the weak. He sates the hungry and starves those who are satiated.


5 Those who were satiated and do not need to hire themselves out for any work, He starves them, and they must hire themselves out for their daily bread, while the hungry who would toil and weary themselves for food...


...have ceased from their toil. While the barren woman has born seven, she that had many children has been bereaved and buries her children. Hannah bore seven, as it is stated: For the Lord remembered Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters (2:21). When Hannah bore four, Peninnah buried eight, and when she conceived and bore a fifth child, Peninnah prostrated herself at her feet, and begged for mercy. Consequently, they lived, and were therefore called on her name. This is Rabbi Nehemiah’s opinion. Rabbi Judah says: Grandchildren are considered like children, (and she saw Samuel’s two sons). Some say: the numerical value of שבעה (seven) is equivalent to that of שמואל , (thus: ש =300, ב =2, ע =70, ה =5, totaling 377. Likewise, ש =300, מ =40, ו =6, א =1, ל =30, totaling 377).


9 His pious ones It is spelled חסידו , His pious one. It is read חסידיו , His pious ones, i.e., either a single one or many. Likewise, “Those who strive with the Lord will be broken.” This reading is מריביו , those who strive with Him. The spelling is מריבו , he who strives with Him, i.e., either one or many.


10 Upon him will he thunder in Heaven The spelling is עלו , they have ascended, even if they have ascended to the heavens, He thunders upon and casts them down.


will judge the ends of the earth will judge them; in old French, jostizier.


11 was serving the Lord before Eli the priest: (The Talmud asks, “Did Samuel actually serve the Lord?” Didn’t he serve before Eli? [He was too young to serve the Lord!] We therefore deduce) from here that whoever serves before a Torah scholar, is considered as though he had served before the Divine Presence.


13 the due of the priests They themselves established this law, since they rightfully inherited only the breast and the thigh of the peace offering.


14 or into the pot דוד is a [small] pot.


or into the cauldron קלחת is a large pot. 17 כי נאצו , an expression of being despised.


18 robe (Hebrew ephod.) kardut of linen (Jonathan). This is an expression meaning a robe (מעיל) , for Jonathan renders ‘m’ilim’ in the passage, “for so were the virgins wont to wear robes (m’ilim) kardutin.


19 And a small robe his mother would make for him from year to year.


20 And Eli would bless Elkanah this is the present tense (i.e., he would bless him every year).


because of the request which he had requested for himself a son. And Eli would say to him, “May the Lord grant seed, etc.” May it be the Divine Will that all the children which you will have, will be from this righteous woman. This is (therefore) an inverted sentence.


22 that they would lie This is explained according to the ordinary sense of the passage. Our rabbis, however, said: Since they delayed the sacrifice of their birds, (i.e., of the women who had given birth, or had had an issue. v. Lev. 22:6 8,15:29), and they (the women) would wait until they would see their birds being offered, the Scripture charges them as though they had lain with them.


24 which I hear the Lord’s people spreading The rumor which the Lord’s people are spreading about you. This is an expression similar to: “And they caused to be proclaimed in the camp” (Ex. 36:6). Hence, they let out a rumor about you, which is not good.


25 will judge him (Heb. ‘ufil’lo,’) an expression of judgment, like (Ex. 21:22): and he shall pay as the judges determine (bi-flilim).


the judge Heb. elohim.


for the Lord desired to kill them For their verdict had already been sealed. Before the verdict is sealed, however, the Scripture states: For I desire not the death of one who dies (Ezek. 17:32).


27 And a man of God came: (The Sifrei informs us that the man of God mentioned here) was Elkanah.


Did I appear to the house of your father From here (we deduce) that Aaron prophesied in Egypt. What was the prophecy? It is that which is stated (Ezek. 20:7), And I said to them: Each man, cast away the detestable things upon which his eyes gaze, and with the idols of Egypt, defile not yourselves.


Did I appear Did you know that I gave to Aaron this favor and greatness? 29 אשר צויתי מעון which I commanded in My dwelling place.


to feed yourselves from the first part, etc. (lit., and you honor your sons above Me to feed yourselves from the first part of every offering of Israel to My people.) This is an inverted sentence, (to be explained thus): and you honor your sons above Me before My people, i.e., in the eyes of My people, you honored your son above me. And what is the honor? To feed yourselves from the first part of every offering of Israel. Your meal preceded My meal, as it is stated: Also before they caused the fat to smoke, etc. (above, verse 15).


to feed yourselves (Heb. ‘l’havriachem’) An expression of a meal, similar to: Please let my sister feed me bread (Heb. ‘v’thavreni’).


before My people This reverts to: And you honor your sons above Me. You showed to My people that you are more honored than I. And with what have you shown this? To feed yourselves from the first part of My offering.


30 I said (Heb. ‘amor amarti’) Twice I assigned greatness to the sons of Ithamar. Concerning the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari, it is stated: Under the hand of Ithamar, the son of Aaron the Priest. (Num. 4:23, 33). And Eli was one of the descendants of Ithamar. This I found in M.S.(8:3). I have, however, heard a more fitting version, as follows: I said: Your house and your father’s house, etc. Originally, I gave the high priesthood to Eleazar the Priest, as it is stated: And remove from Aaron his garments, and put them on Eleazar, his son (Num. 20:26). At the time of the concubine (in Gibeah, v. Judges 19, 21), when the Israelites freed themselves of most of the Commandments. And who caused them (to do so)? Phinehas and his colleagues, who should have gone around from city to city to reprove them. I, (therefore) took the High Priesthood away from them, and gave it to you, for you are of the descendants of Ithamar, and I said: They shall walk before Me forever, for when greatness is assigned to someone, it is assigned to him and to his generations forever.


for those who honor Me shall I honor The descendants of Phinehas who honored Me at Shittim (Num. 21:7,8). And so it came about in the days of Solomon, that when he built the Temple, Solomon dismissed Ebiathar from being a priest to the Lord, to fulfill the word of the Lord which He had spoken to the house of Eli (I Kings 2:27), and Zadok became High Priest, since he was of the descendants of Phinehas, for so he is listed in the genealogical records in the Book of Chronicles (I Chron. 6:35 38).


and those who despise Me will be disgraced By themselves, when I shall withdraw Myself from them.


31 I shall cut off your arm I.e., the power which you exert in My House, for you say: And if not, I shall take by force.


32 And you will look upon a rival in My dwelling place And you will see your rival at your side in My dwelling place like a woman who sees her rival with her in the house.


in all (the days) which (God) will do good to Israel (Lit., in all that which He will do good to Israel.) “When the Temple will be built in the day of Solomon, and the goodness promised to Israel will be complete, as it is said there: There has not failed one word of all His good promise, etc. (I Kings 8:56). Judah and Israel were many, like the sand which is by the sea (ibid. 4:20). And Judah and Israel dwelt in safety, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, etc. all the days of Solomon (ibid. 5:5).


and there will not be an elder in your household This is an appropriate punishment. You ate sacrifices before their time, before they made the fat smoke, similarly, you will die before your time.


33 and to sadden (Heb. ‘v’la’div,’) same as ‘v’lad’iv.’


will die (as young) men (Lit., will die men.) There is no comparison between mourning for a young man and mourning for a child.


34 And this is the sign to you That the prophecy will be fulfilled: In one day your two sons will die, and this will be to you a sign that all the retribution which was said to you, will be fulfilled. I.e., “And you will look upon a rival in My dwelling place, etc., and all those raised in your house will die as young men” (above 32, 33).


35 a faithful priest i.e., Zadok.


36 for a silver piece In order to earn a coin called ‘ma’ah.’


A silver piece (Heb. Agorath Kesef,) a silver piece of the weights of twenty gerah (Exod. 30:13). ספחני Take me...into.




Special Ashlamatah: Ezekiel 20:1-20




1. And now it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth [month], on the tenth of the month, that certain men of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord and sat before me.

1. It was in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, says the prophet, there came men from the elders of Israel, to request instruction from before the LORD; and they sat down before me.

2. Then came the word of the Lord to me, saying:

2. And the word of prophecy from before the LORD was with me, saying:

3. "Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them: So says the Lord God, Have you come to inquire of Me? As true as I live, I will not be inquired of by you! says the Lord God.

3. "Son of Adam, prophesy to the elders of Israel and say to them, Thus says the LORD God, Is it to request instruction from before Me that you have come? As I live, I will not respond to you by My Memra, says the LORD God.

4. Will you contend with them? Will you contend, O son of man? Let them know the abominations of their fathers.

4. Would you admonish them, o Son of Adam, Would you admonish them? Then let them know the abominations of their fathers!

5. And you shall say to them: So says the Lord God, On the day I chose Israel, then I lifted up My hand to the seed of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up My hand to them, saying: I am the Lord your God.

5. And say to them, Thus says the LORD God: On the day that I chose Israel, and I swore by My Memra to the seed of the House of Jacob, and I revealed Myself in order to redeem them in the land of Egypt; and I swore to them by My Memra, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into the land which I have given them, producing milk and honey; she is the most glorious of all countries.

6. On that day I lifted up My hand to them to bring them out of the land of Egypt, to a land that I had sought out for them, flowing with milk and honey; it is the glory of all the lands.

6. - - -

7. And I said to them: Every man cast away the despicable idols from before his eyes, and pollute not yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.

7. And I said to them, Let everyone remove the detestable things from before his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idol worship of the Egyptians; I am the LORD your God.

8. But they rebelled against Me and would not consent to hearken to Me; they did not cast away, every man, the despicable idols from before their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt; and I said to pour out My wrath over them, to give My anger full rein over them, in the midst of the land of Egypt.

8. But they rebelled against My Memra and did not want to listen to My prophets/ not one of them removed their detestable things, which were before their eyes and they did not forsake the idol worship of the Egyptians. So I thought I would pour out My wrath upon them, that My anger against them should be accomplished in the midst of the land of Egypt.

9. But I wrought for the sake of My Name so that it should not be desecrated before the eyes of the nations in whose midst they were, before whose eyes I made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

9. But I acted for the sake of My name, that it might not be profaned in the eyes of the nations among whom they were; for I revealed Myself by redeeming them before their very eyes, by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.

10. And I brought them out of the land of Egypt, and I brought them into the wilderness.

10. So I brought them out of the land of Egypt and led them into the wilderness.

11. And I gave them My statutes, and My ordinances I made known to them, which, if a man perform, he shall live through them.

11. And I gave them My statutes, and I made known to them My Laws, which if a man observed, he would live by them in eternal life.

12. Moreover, I gave them My Sabbaths to be for a sign between Me and them, to know that I, the Lord, make them holy.

12. Also, my Sabbaths, I gave them, that they should be a sign between My Memra and them, to know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them.

13. But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they walked not in My statutes, and they despised My ordinances, which, if a man keep, he will live through them, and My Sabbaths they desecrated exceedingly. Then I said to pour out My wrath upon them in the wilderness, to make an end to them.

13. But the House of Israel rebelled against My Memra in the wilderness. They did not walk in My statutes, they spurned My Laws, which, if a man did observe, he would live by them in eternal life; and My Sabbaths they profaned exceedingly. So I thought I would pour out My wrath upon them in the wilderness to make an end of them.

14. And I wrought for the sake of My Name, so it should not be desecrated before the eyes of the nations before whose eyes I had brought them out.

14. But I acted for the sake of My name, that it might not be profaned in the eyes of the nations, before whose eyes I had brought them out.

15. But I also lifted up My hand to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey; it is the glory of all lands.

15. And also I swore to them by My Memrah in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land which I had given, producing milk and honey; she is the most glorious of all countries,

16. Because they despised My ordinances, and in My statutes they did not walk, and My Sabbaths they desecrated- for their heart went constantly after their idols.

16. because they spurned My Laws, and did not walk in My statutes, and profaned My Sabbaths, for their heart goes astray after their idol worship.

17. Nevertheless, My eye looked pityingly upon them, not to destroy them, and I did not make an end to them in the wilderness.

17. But My Memra had pity on them in not destroying them, and I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.

18. But I said to their children in the wilderness: 'In the statutes of your fathers do not walk and do not observe their ordinances, and do not defile yourselves with their idols.

18. I said to their children in the wilderness, Do not walk in the religious decrees of your fathers, and do not abide by their laws; nor defile yourselves with their idol worship.

19. I am the Lord your God: walk in My statutes, and keep My ordinances and fulfill them.

19. I am the LORD your God: walk in My statutes, abide by My Laws and perform them,

20. And keep My Sabbaths holy so that they be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.' 

20. and sanctify My Sabbaths that they might be a sign between My Memra and you, to know that I am the LORD your God.




Rashi’s Commentary on Ezekiel 20:1-20


1 to inquire of the Lord concerning their needs, and if He does not listen to us, neither will we be punished for the sins in our hands, for He has already sold us, and He has nothing on us. If a master has sold his slave, or a husband has divorced his wife, does one have anything on the other? And from the conclusion of the matter you learn [this], from the reply that he gave them (verse 32): “What enters your thoughts, etc.”


3 I will not be inquired of by you! in your request. Yet at the end of this Book (36:37): He says: “I inquired of by the house of Israel.” This is one of the places that teach us that the Holy One, blessed be He, recants on evil. And regarding matters similar to this, it is said (Num. 23:19): “He says but He does not do.” Midrash of Rabbi Tanchuma (Vayera 13).


4 Will you contend with them Heb. הֲתִישְׁפּֽט, an expression of contending.


5 On the day I chose Israel This hatred was pent up before the Omnipresent close to nine hundred yearsfrom [the days] that they were in Egypt until [those of] Ezekielbut His love had shielded them. Now that they had increased their transgressions, though, it was awakened, and concerning this it is stated (Prov. 10:12): “Hatred arouses quarrels [but love covers up all transgressions].”


7 And I said to them Aaron proclaimed this prophecy to them before the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed Himself to Moses in the thorn bush. This is what was said to Eli (I Sam. 2:27): “Did I appear to the house of your father when they were in Egypt, etc.?”


8 But they rebelled against Me They are the wicked, the majority of Israel, who died in the three days of darkness, as it is said (Exod. 13:18): “and the children of Israel went out of Egypt, (חֲמֻשִּׁים) ”one out of fifty, and some say, one out of five hundred.


9 that it should not be desecrated That My Name should not be desecrated; since I became known to them and I promised to take them out, and the Egyptians recognized that they are My people, if I were to destroy them their enemies would say, “Because He has not the ability to take them out.”


12 to be for a sign It is a great sign for them, that I gave the day of My resting to them for a resting. Behold this is a phenomenal manifestation that I hallowed them to Myself.


13 they walked not in My statutes They tested Me with the calf, and in Rephidim [i.e., showing unwillingness] to receive the Torah, and they left over some of the manna.


and My Sabbaths they desecrated Some of the people went out to gather manna. 




(Chapters of the Fathers)

Pereq Dalet

Mishnah 4:28-29

By: Hakham Yitschaq ben Moshe Magriso


28. Rabbi Eleazar HaKafar said: Jealousy, desire and honor remove a person from the world.

29. He used to say: Those born are to die, the dead are to come to life, and the living are to be judged. [It is for us] to know and to make known and [for it] to be known that He is God. He is the Former, He is the Creator. He is the One who understands, He is the witness, He is the Judge, He is the Plaintiff. He is the one who will ultimately judge. Blessed be He, before whom there is no unfairness, no forgetting, no recognition of faces, and no taking of bribes, since all is His. And know that all follows the calculation. Let your urge not promise you that in the grave there is a place where you can escape.


For against your will you were formed, against your will you were born, against your will you live, against your will you die, and against your will you are destined to appear in judgment and reckoning before the King of Kings, the Blessed Holy One.


The master teaches us that a person should think of the admonitions and judgments that he will face, and should therefore steer clear of three bad traits, jealousy, desire and honor. All the sins in the world stem from them.


If you are jealous of your neighbor, you will steal and cheat to get that which belongs to him. You might cheat him in business, lie to him, and violate all the other prohibitions that apply to business matters. All this is the result of jealousy.


A sage used to say about jealousy, "I have not seen anything that damages the soul more than jealousy. When a person is jealous, his bad intentions persist, and his soul is under constant strain. His willpower is diminished and his heart erodes.”


Desire is also very detrimental. When a person desires to pursue the vices of this world, he comes to eat forbidden foods (ma’akkhalot asuroth), he inappropriately associates with members of the opposite sex who are forbidden to him, and he becomes enmired in all the vices of the world.


Pursuit of honor is also dangerous. When a person pursues honor, he mistreats his fellow man, embarrasses him publicly, and gains honor through dishonoring others. There are many sins that a person can commit when he becomes blinded by the pursuit of honor and status.


So that you will stay away from these bad traits, the master tells you to think in advance about what will ultimately befall you. Know that the reason that you came to this world is not to enjoy worldly vices, but to study Torah and to gain merit through observing the commandments and doing good deeds in order to be worthy of the World to Come.


Regarding this, the master says, "Those who are born are to die." Everyone who is born is destined to die. Everyone knows this; it is something that we constantly witness with our own eyes. But the master is also saying that the reason that a person is born into this world is to die. Even if he lives with pain and suffering, he fulfils his purpose in life if he attains merit to live in the World to Come. One does not come into this world to live and enjoy worldly vices.


If a person suffers in this world, and considers himself dead even though he lives in affluence, then he is sure to live in the next world. The master therefore said, "The dead are destined to live." He is saying that if a person considers himself dead in this world, then he shall be destined to live in the World to Come.


Both together, however, are not possible. It is not possible for fire and water to exist together at the same time. Similarly, it is impossible for one to attain the good of the next world and at the same time enjoy the vices of this world. The two are antithetical to each other. They are like two adversaries squaring off at one another.


This does not mean that you must detach yourself from the world completely by fasting and going without food for a week. These practices are unnecessary and they can cause damage insofar as they will weaken you so that you are not able to carry out the obligations of Judaism. The point is that you should not devote yourself to pursuing the pleasures of this world. You must adopt a middle-of-the-road course.


The master's statement, "those born are to die," can also be interpreted in a slightly different manner. Since an average person lives some seventy years, one may be tempted to enjoy life in his youth, and then attempt to repent and mend his ways in his old age. The master therefore said that from the moment a person is born, he is destined (me'uthad) to die. Hour after hour, death faces him, and he has no assurance that he will live from one moment to the next. Thus, a person should repent as soon as possible, since the very next moment he may die. Besides that, ״the dead are destined to come to life, and the living are destined to be judged." After a person dies, he is resurrected in order to be judged for his deeds and punished for his sins.


To know, to make known, and to be known  ... This means that everyone must know that there is no infant born who can hide himself from death or from Judgment Day. You must realize that God is the judge of all. You must know that it is God who created you and gave you form. It is He who understands the deeds of each and every person. God is destined to be the Judge, while at the same time He is the Witness (ed) who gives testimony (eduth) regarding what a person has done. God is also the Plaintiff (baal din) seeing to it that .the person stands trial.


There is no crookedness in His exercise of justice. Rather, everything is done with justice. Do not think that God will have forgotten some sins that you have committed. There is no forgetting for Him. Furthermore, there are no personal exceptions (masso panim) to His justice. Moreover, there is no taking of bribery (shochad) since all the world is His.


You must also realize that everything follows a calculation and all is added up in the final analysis. If you have commited some small sins, they will add up to a large sum. Therefore, do not neglect small sins, since a little here and a little there end up as a large amount.


Do not let your Evil Urge fool you by telling you that "the grave is a place for you to escape."  Do not let your imagination convince you that after you die, you are placed in the grave and nothing else will matter. Nothing is left up to your own choice (bechirah). Rather, it is all against your will.


"Against your will you were formed." At night when a child is conceived in its mother's womb, the angel who is the overseer (memuneh) over pregnant women goes to the place where all souls are assembled. He tells a soul (neshamah) that it has been destined to enter the newly conceived child, saying, "My daughter, go and enter the womb of this woman." Upon hearing this the soul replies, "How can I leave this holy place and enter a place of dirt and perfidy?" The angel then comes and takes the soul by force, placing it in the womb of the woman destined to be its mother. Regarding this, the master said, "Against your will you were formed." Your very conception was against your will.


Moreover, "Against your will you were born." When a child is in its mother's womb, it has a lamp over its head, and can see from one end of the world to the other. All through his life, a person will not experience better days than these. Furthermore, during this time, a person is taught the entire Torah. When the time comes for him to leave the womb, he does not want to go, and he has to be taken by force. It is for this reason that a child cries when he is born. He was forced into the world against his will. The master thus taught, "Against your will you were born."


Furthermore, "Against your will you live." There are people who have so much suffering that their fondest wish is to die. When such a person goes to sleep, his soul ascends to heaven, just like everyone else's. But when it comes time for this person to wake up, the soul does not want to return to the body and suffer from the torments that it suffers. God then says to the soul, "You must once again return to your body. Your soul has been given to Me as a trust (pikadon). I do not want to be remiss in returning that which has been trusted to Me when you went to sleep."

It is written, "In Your hand I trust my soul . . .”  (Psalms 31:6). The Psalmist is saying, "Into Your hand, Lord of the Universe, I am giving my soul as a trust (pikadon). Return this trust just as it was given to You." We similarly speak of God's faithfulness when we say "True and Faithful" (Emeth VeEmunah), in the evening (Arvith) service. Thus, we see that God is entrusted (ne'eman) with the trust that we give Him every night, and He is sure to keep it safely and return it to us again. Therefore, if a soul is reluctant to return, God forces it back to the body. It is because of this that the master said, "Against your will you live."


He further taught, "Against your will you die." When the time comes for a man to leave the world, the Angel of Death (Malakh HaMaveth) comes to take his soul, and plead as he might, the angel does not delay.


Finally, he said, "Against your will you must stand in judgment and reckoning." Even after a person dies, he has no rest in the grave. Against his will he must stand in judgment and reckoning for all the deeds that he did in this world.


Since a person must think of all these things, how can he have envy, desire or honor? How can he be envious of what his neighbor has? How can he waste his life seeking the vices of this world? How can he seek honor and status? He will have to give an accounting in the World to Come, and everything in this world is meaningless (hevel havalim). When one leaves the world he has nothing other than the Torah he has learned and the good deeds he has done.



Verbal Tallies

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

& HH Giberet Dr. Elisheba bat Sarah


 Beresheet (Genesis) 29:31 - 31:2

1 Shmuel (Samuel) 1:2-11 + 2:28

Tehillim (Psalm) 25 + 26

Jude 1-3, Lk 6:19-26, Acts 8:39 – 9:22


The verbal tallies between the Torah and the Psalm are:

LORD - יהוה, Strong’s number 03068.

Saw / Indeed / Look - ראה, Strong’s number 07200.

Hate - שנא, Strong’s number 08130.


The verbal tallies between the Torah and the Ashlamata are:

LORD - יהוה, Strong’s number 03068.

Saw / Indeed / Look - ראה, Strong’s number 07200.

Womb - רחם, Strong’s number 07358.


Beresheet (Genesis) 29:31  And when the LORD <03068> saw <07200> (8799) that Leah <03812> was hated <08130> (8803), he opened <06605> (8799) her womb <07358>: but Rachel <07354> was barren <06135>.


Tehillim (Psalm) 25:1  « A Psalm of David <01732>. » Unto thee, O LORD <03068>, do I lift up <05375> (8799) my soul <05315>.

Tehillim (Psalm) 25:18  Look <07200> (8798) upon mine affliction <06040> and my pain <05999>; and forgive <05375> (8798) all my sins <02403>.

Tehillim (Psalm) 25:19  Consider <07200> (8798) mine enemies <0341> (8802); for they are many <07231> (8804); and they hate <08130> (8804) me with cruel <02555> hatred <08135>.


1 Shmuel (Samuel) 1:3  And this <01931> man <0376> went up <05927> (8804) out of his city <05892> yearly <03117> <03117> to worship <07812> (8692) and to sacrifice <02076> (8800) unto the LORD <03068> of hosts <06635> in Shiloh <07887>. And the two <08147> sons <01121> of Eli <05941>, Hophni <02652> and Phinehas <06372>, the priests <03548> of the LORD <03068>, were there.

1 Shmuel (Samuel) 1:5  But unto Hannah <02584> he gave <05414> (8799) a <0259> worthy <0639> portion <04490>; for he loved <0157> (8804) Hannah <02584>: but the LORD <03068> had shut up <05462> (8804) her womb <07358>.

1 Shmuel (Samuel) 1:11  And she vowed <05087> (8799) a vow <05088>, and said <0559> (8799), O LORD <03068> of hosts <06635>, if thou wilt indeed <07200> (8800) look <07200> (8799) on the affliction <06040> of thine handmaid <0519>, and remember <02142> (8804) me, and not forget <07911> (8799) thine handmaid <0519>, but wilt give <05414> (8804) unto thine handmaid <0519> a man <0582> child <02233>, then I will give <05414> (8804) him unto the LORD <03068> all the days <03117> of his life <02416>, and there shall no razor <04177> come <05927> (8799) upon his head <07218>.




Sidra Of B’resheet (Genesis) 29:31 – 31:2

“And Saw Ha-Shem” “VaYar Adonai”

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

H. Em. Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai


School of Hakham Shaul


(Luke 6:19-23)

Mishnah א:א


School of Hakham Tsefet


(Yehudah 1-2)

Mishnah א:א

And everyone in the congregation was trying to touch him (Yeshua), because healing virtue came from him and he healed everyone. And he looked at his talmidim and said: You poor ones (Eb’yónim) are blessed because yours is the kingdom (governance) of God through the Hakhamim and Bate Din as opposed to human kings. Those who are hungry now are blessed because they will be filled. Those who cry now are blessed because they will laugh. You are blessed when people are hateful towards you and when they exclude you, berate you, and call you wicked names[37] on the account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy[38] because your reward is in the heavens (the Y’mot HaMashiach and the ever coming world); for this is what the forefathers did to the prophets.  


א:א  Yehudah[39] ben David, a servant of Yeshua the Messiah[40] King of Israel, and brother of Ya’aqob ben David,[41] to the called ones and beloved[42] in G-d the Father, Tsadiqim (set apart) and being guarded (kept)[43] in Yeshua the Messiah King of Yisrael; May[44] Chessed (Loving-kindness), and Shalom (peace), and Ahava (love), to you be multiplied![45]


School of Hakham Shaul


(2 Luqas -Acts 6:7)

Pereq א:א


And the Oral Torah continued to spread; and the number of talmidim greatly increased in Yerushalayim,[46] and a large number of Kohanim[47] (priests) became faithfully obedient to the Oral Torah of the Master.





Nazarean Codicil to be read in conjunction with the following Torah Sedarim,


Gen 29:31 – 30:21

Psa 25-26

I Sam 1:2-11 + 2:28

Jude 1-3

Lk 6:19-23

Acts 6:7



Commentary to Hakham Tsefet’s School of Peshat


Yehudah Ben David, A Servant Of Yeshua The Messiah King of Israel


It should be noted that the Mishnaic text of Yehudah (Jude) immediately connects with the Torah Seder through the names Yehudah (Judah) and Ya’aqob (Jacob). The Lucan Tosefta connects through the idea of trouble and reward as noted in the footnotes of the translation. 2 Luqas speaks of the Kohanim who became obedient to the Mesorah connecting with “Levi” the father of the Kohanim.


Clement of Alexandria wrote the following concerning Yehudah (Jude) "Judas, who wrote a letter in the Catholic,(general)[48] the brother of the sons of Joseph as well since he knew that he was very devout man, and of the near approach of the Master, not, however, says that he has his very brother to be, but what did he say? Judas as being a servant of the Master Jesus Christ, and brother of James."[49]





How is it that Yehudah becomes the student and amanuensis[50] to Hakham Tsefet? One might think that the “brother” of Yeshua and Ya’aqob would have been prominent enough that he would not need training by another Hakham. In the previous pericope, we saw that Hakham Tsefet was the Chief Hakham of the Nazarean Jews during his lifetime. Therefore, it would make perfect sense that Yehudah the brother of Yeshua and Ya’aqob would have gravitated towards the most influential Hakham Tsefet. The “Epistle” shows his great wisdom and humility. This is especially noteworthy. Brothers have a tendency to disdain their siblings. In the case of Yehudah, we see that he acquiesced to the Master in faithful obedience. We readily understand that 2 Luqas 6:1-6 has established a quorum for the seven Paqidim attending the bench. As we will soon see Stephen’s office as Paqid did not last long, leaving a vacancy. Stephen most likely occupied the office of the Masoret during his tenure. Peresh (Philip) would have occupied the office of Chazan/ Sheliach. With the death of Stephen, there would have been a vacancy in the office of Masoret. Such being the case the office of Chazan/Sheliach would have been open. At some point Yehudah took the ministry of Masoret. However, we must remember that the events of 2 Luqas 6 occurred early on in the history of the Nazarean Movement.


Structure - Organic Thought - Tables And Charts in Jude


Yehudah organizes his thoughts in groups, usually by threes. This ancient form of a verbal table or chart demonstrates his propensity for organic - Rabbinic thought. Herein we can see Hakham Tsefet training an amanuensis. That Yehudah uses language like Hakham Shaul would suggests that Hakham Tsefet the “chief” Hakham of the Nazarean Jews of that time trained the amanuensis of Hakham Shaul.[51] Yehudah and Hakham Tsefet demonstrate highly organized minds and systematic writings. This wisdom shines through their words in that there are a good number of terms used in Yehudah’s treatise that do not appear anywhere else except the writings of Hakham Tsefet’s Mishnaic import. 


Ya'aqob's  Struggles


Noting the present struggle of Ya'aqob in our Torah Seder, we see Hakham Tsefet through his amanuensis present Yeshua in very much the same light. Neyrey notes that “2nd Peter” was authored by Hakham Tsefet in order to address specific problems with the Epicureans.[52] The continuity between Yehudah and 2nd Peter is distinguishable from nomenclature and order of thought. Therefore, we concur with Bauckham[53] that the present treatise of Yehudah is also authored to address specific issues. Noting that Yehudah (Jude) was the amanuensis of Hakham Tsefet for this work. We must understand that Marqos, Yehudah and 1st – 2nd Tsefet (Peter) are one overarching document of Mishnaic import. Each piece of this document has special issues that it is addressing. Therefore, rather than seeing the present work of Yehudah as the amanuensis of Hakham Tsefet as a separate document, we  should see this as a part of Hakham Tsefet’s Mishnaic treatise, which addresses specific issues in the Nazarean Esnoga.


Neyrey also notes a form of honor-shame,[54] which is composed of four elements in the work of Yehudah and 2nd Tsefet and demonstrated in the ministry life of Yeshua. He outlines this honor/shame interaction in the following way.


  1. Claim
  1. Challenge
  1. Riposte to challenge
  1. Public verdict[55]


We agree that there is a specific structure to the "confrontations" Yeshua has with his "opponents." Neyrey's observation is astute. However, had Neyrey applied this same fundamental structure to Yeshua as a Hakham establishing halakhah he would have made a discovery of monumental proportions. Therefore, we suggest the following structure in Yeshua's activities and establishment of halakhic norm. Yeshua was not interested in "fame" and notoriety as suggested by Neyrey. If there was any desire for notoriety, it was for the sake of the Mesorah. We note the following application of determining halakhic norms in the public ministry of the Master.


  1. Mitzvah in question
  1. Contestation against his mitzvah (halakhah)
  1. Riposte of the Master
  1. Verdict concluded by the Master


Each of Yeshua's activities initiates a halakhic claim. Hakham Tsefet's Mishnaic treatise demonstrates a challenge against halakhic proclamation, and then gives the riposte and verdict (decision). Hakham Tsefet presents these verdicts in narrative form as a type of catechistic lesson. Each pericope is a catechistic module in narrative form for sake of mnemonic. Just as a Midrash is a means of creating a memorable parabolic mussar (ethic), the Mishnaic import of Hakham Tsefet generates a catechistic lesson of memorable halakhah. Hakham Tsefet presents these halakhic verdicts of the Mishnaic treatise openly for the sake of public awareness and presentation and demonstrative halakhic norms.


We find the following continuity with the present Torah Seder. The content of Yehudah as an amanuensis to Hakham Tsefet matches the confrontation Ya'aqob faces with Laban and Esau. The ten pericopes of Yehudah deal with the troubles of Ya'aqob. In the final Torah Seder matched with Yehudah, we see Yosef ben Ya'aqob's rise to power in Mitzrayim.



Cosmic view of Yehudah


Ancient Jews thought of the universe and the whole of the kosmos as an organized and structured whole.[56] This structure applies to the kosmos and to society. According to Barré we are programed to know what is "in place" and "out of place."[57] Both Yehudah and Hakham Tsefet "share this perception."[58] Our comments concerning the “Structured Universe” have undergirded this notion. Building on the Torah, Yehudah and 2nd Tsefet explain the structured universe and society in terms of “clean and unclean,” “order and disorder” as does the Mesorot. Therefore, the faithfully obedient – “the called” (Jews) who act “like G-d” are considered “clean” finding themselves in harmony with the “powers” of G-d’s creation. Those who act contrary to the will of G-d are “unclean” (non-observant Gentiles) and opposed by the spheres governing G-d’s creation. There is a division between the clean and unclean. Division or “separation” in holiness.  Those who are “kept” (shomer – guarded) separate themselves from that which is unclean. The Tsadiqim (set apart) are connected to G-d, full of Loving-kindness (Chessed), peace (Shalom) and love (ahavah). Those who do not possess these qualities are considered “unclean or impure.”


The present Lucan Tosefta notes this same separation.


You are blessed when people are hateful towards you and when they exclude you, berate you, and call you wicked names on the account of the Son of Man.


Note that the “exclusion” is initiated by the unclean. They love their separation from the “clean” and would rather wallow in their mire than turn to G-d’s, spiritual[59] cleanliness. The idea of separation from clean and unclean in these periscopes of Yehudah and 2nd Tsefet embraces three complete “Orders” of the Mishnah, Nashim, Kodashim and Tohorot. In other words, the Treatise of Yehudah and 2nd Tsefet covers over one half of the Mishnah in a concise form.


The present Lucan Tosefta suggestively speaks of the three remaining “Orders” of the Mishnah, Nezikin, which belongs to the Eb’yonim.


You poor ones (Eb’yónim) are blessed because yours is the kingdom (governance) of God through the Hakhamim and Bate Din as opposed to human kings.


The second Order” being Zeraim.


Those who are hungry now are blessed because they will be filled.


The third “Order” is Moedim (Community and communal gatherings).


Those who cry now are blessed because they will laugh.


Compare this verse to…


Nehemiah 8:9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy (separate) unto the Lord your God; do not mourn, or weep. Because all the people cried, when they heard the words of the Torah.




Yehuda’s address is very significant when we view the superstructure of the document. The brother/servant of Yeshua stands second to Hakham Tsefet as a “GUARD” (Shomer/Ntzar) for the community. The accusations posited in this Mishnaic treatise are not merely “accusations.” Yehudah brings charges and convictions against those who would invade the righteous/generous community.  While it not impossible to believe that Yehudah was a Hakham, at present we see his duties as a Paqid in training. It is more probable that Yehudah is one of the seven men of the Esnoga guarding, protecting and fathering the community of the faithfully obedient. As a Chazan (Sephira of Din) serving the Bench, Yehudah would have been able to bring those who were wreaking havoc in the community to the Bet Din. Therefore, we see with this connection to 2 Luqas the modelling of a true Chazan.[60]


In the writings of Hakham Tsefet with Yehudah as his amanuensis, we find a strengthening of the community through the Torah - Oral and Written.




Remes Commentary Of Hakham Shaul


Yehudah – Epistle or Mishnaic Treatise?


The supposed “letter” (“Epistle”) of Yehuda is one of those amazing documents that scholars quibble over in their semantic[61] musings. Yet the number of scholarly documents on Yehudah is limited. We are confident that scholars will someday look beyond the veneer and see Yehudah for what he is as a Torah Scholar in his own right.


Based on the overall structure of Yehudah we see the Mishnaic prototype in a concise form. We also note that Yehudah is an archetypal Mishnah mirrored from the Order of Nezikin and the specific Tractate Sanhedrin.[62]


Based on the following outline we see the infrastructure of a legal document rather than an “Epistle” or “Letter.” This Legal document was circulated as a key part of the Mishnaic Import with justifiable cause as we will see.


  1. Opening, statement of authority, servant of Yeshua brother of Ya’aqob                (vv.1-3)
  2. Charges brought against those who challenge halakhic norms of the Torah[63]         (v.4)
  3. Case Law, crimes and their punishment                                                              (vv. 5-16)
  4. Precedential Case Laws , The Lord’s Judgment                                                            (vv.11-15)
  5. Judgment summation                                                                                         (v.16)
  6. Admonition to the faithfully obedient                                                                 (vv. 17-23)
  7. Summation                                                                                                       (vv. 24-25)[64]


Yehudah Serving The Bench


We have seen that the strengthening of the community is he work of the seven Paqidim. The pericopes and special Ashlamatot have encouraged us to work harder at being principle agents for fostering the Torah in our community. We have also seen the necessity for building community. While our look at the “Seven Men” of the Esnoga has been cursory, we have come to understand the need for community. We have also seen that the idea of Tzfat being the river from which the Oral Torah of Delight flows. Tzfat is also the watchman’s post for guarding the faithfully obedient. One principle agent who is seen as the “watchman” and “seer”[65] of the community is the Chazan. It is also very noteworthy to mention that the Power of Din (Justice) is personified in Ya’aqob.[66] As we stated above the Mishnah of Yehudah’s ten pericopes concludes Yosef ben Ya’aqob’s rise to power and struggles.[67] 


The Chazan is a witness to legal documents. And, one who dispenses authority in the congregation.[68] Consequently, the Lectionary sent to the Romans by Hakham Shaul captures these men and the Chazan with perfect clarity.


Romans 13:1-5 Let every [Gentile] soul be subject to the governing authorities [of the Jewish Synagogue]. For there is no [legitimate] authority except [that of the Jewish Bet Din] from God, and the authorities [of the Bet Din] that exist are appointed by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authority [of the Bet Din] resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment (of the heavens) upon themselves. For the Rulers [of the Synagogue][69] are not a terror to good works (acts of righteousness/generosity), but to (those who do) evil. Do you want to (be) irreverent to the authority [of the Bet Din]? Rather do what is beneficial, and you will have praise from the same. For he (the Chazan)[70] is God's servant to you for what is beneficial. But if you do that which is unprofitable, be afraid; for he (the Chazan)[71] does not bear the circumcision knife[72] in vain; for he is God's minister (Deputy of the Bet Din), avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject (obey), not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake.


Consequently, we see Yehudah most likely serving in the Esnoga as a Chazan to the Bench of the Chief Hakham Tsefet (Hokmah), Hakham Ya’aqob (Bina) and Hakham Yochanan (Da’at) (the original ChaBaD).


Yehudah was a Chazan HaKnesset in the true sense of the word as described by Hayman Sky[73] in the first chapter of his Doctoral thesis on the “Chazan.” The true meaning being the Chazan HaKenesset was a liturgical supervisor over the whole community or district. The Masorette (Evangelist/Catechist) was more directly connected to the Esnoga and its administration. However, the two offices (Chazan and Masorette) have come to us as one in post Talmudic times. While there is a connection to the musical qualities of the Chazan, we can see that the office of the Chazan in antiquity also was directly related to the supervision of the Esnoga and the immediate community. His relationship to the Bench was essential. He directly related to the concept of Din (judgment) evoking Yir’ah (fear) and awe for the authority of  G-d.




Yehudah’s office of Chazan was especially important in the days of the first century. Many Gentiles were connecting themselves with the community of the B’ne Yisrael. As such these Gentiles needed to be watched very carefully. This is not because the Gentile was inherently bad. The reason is found in the nature of habits, and upbringing. Judaism presented a completely new way of life for those who were embracing Torah.


The “authorities” of the Synagogue were the interpreters of the Torah (God’s word to Israel, the Law) and they would unquestionably have been responsible for the application of the Law (Torah) to the Synagogue community including Christians Gentiles. The “authorities” would judge behaviors (and faith claims) *(claims of faithfulness)[74] based on their interpretation of the Torah.[75]


We will see in the coming weeks the amazing genius of the Nazarean Bet Din and the community structure policed by the seven men.


Halakhic Implications


It is the duty of every Nazarean Jew to guard himself and his community against the subversives who would repudiate the validity of Halakhic norms established by Nazarean Hakhamim as they study and interpret the Torah norms for the sake of the community.


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: “Shuv El-Erets”

Sabbath: “Return unto the land”



Torah Reading:

Weekday Torah Reading:

שׁוּב אֶל-אֶרֶץ



“Shuv El-Erets”

Reader 1 – B’Resheet 31:3-13

Reader 1 – B’resheet 32:3-5

“Return unto the land”

Reader 2 – B’Resheet 31:14-16

Reader 2 – B’resheet 32:6-8

Vuélvete á la tierra

Reader 3 – B’Resheet 31:17-25

Reader 3 – B’resheet 32:9-13

B’resheet (Gen.) 31:3 - 32:3

Reader 4 – B’Resheet 31:26-35


Ashlamatah: Jer 30:10-18, 22

Reader 5 – B’Resheet 31:36-42


Reader 6 – B’Resheet 31:43-47

Reader 1 – B’resheet 32:3-5

Psalm 27:1-14

Reader 7 – B’Resheet 31:48- 32:2

Reader 2 – B’resheet 32:6-8


    Maftir – B’Resheet 31:48- 32:2

Reader 3 – B’resheet 32:9-13

N.C.: Jude 4-5, Luke 6:27-42,

Acts 9:23-31

                Jeremiah 30:10-18, 22   


Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu ben Abraham



The Ten (3 + 7) Men of a Jewish Nazarean Congregation


Bench of Three Hakhamim (Local Bet Din)























(Crown) – Colourless

Ministry: Invisible

Divine Will in the Messiah



(Understanding) - Gray

Virtue: Simchah (Joy)

Ministry: 2nd of the bench of three




(Wisdom) - Black

Virtue: Emunah (Faithful Obedience)

Ministry: Chief Hakham 1st of the bench of three




(Knowledge) - White

Virtue: Yichud (Unity)

Ministry: 3rd of the bench of three



The Seven Paqidim (Servants at the Bench)


(Strength/Might) – Scarlet Red

Virtue: Yir’ah (Fear of G-d)

Ministry: Sheliach [Chazan/Bishop]


G’dolah / Chessed

(Greatness/Mercy) – Royal Blue

Virtue: Ahavah (love)

Ministry: Masoret [Catechist/Evangelist]




































(Beauty) - Yellow

Virtue: Rachamim (Compassion)

Ministry: Darshan or Magid [Prophet]



(Glory) - Orange

Virtue: Temimut (Sincerity)

Ministry: Parnas [Pastor]



(Victory) – Emerald Green

Virtue: Bitahon (Confidence)

Ministry: Parnas [Pastor]



(Foundation) - Violet

Virtue: Emet (Truth/Honesty)

Ministry: Parnas [Pastor]

(Female – hidden)



Shekhinah / Malkhut

(Presence) – Purple

Virtue: Humility

Ministry: Meturgeman/Moreh/

Zaqen [Teacher/Elder]




Saturday Evening Counting of the Omer Day 22

Then read the following:


Day of the Omer






Parnas 1/Masoret

Iyar 7


Confidence united with Loving-kindness


And truly he (Messiah) gave some to be[76] Masoretim[77] (catechists/evangelists), and some to be Chazanim (Cantors – Apostles of the congregation), and some to be prophets (Darshan/Magid),[78] and some to be pastors (Parnasim), and some to be [school] teachers/translators)[79] - (Moreh/Meturgeman), for the perfecting (making stand)[80] of the saints/Tsadiqim[81], for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the congregation of Messiah. And this until we arrive all into the unanimity of faithful obedience and of the intimate knowledge (Da’at) of the son of G-d,[82] to a royal man/woman of complete maturity,[83] to the measure of the stature of the fullness[84] of Messiah (of becoming in complete unity with Messiah); so that we no longer may be infants, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind[85] (fashion) of teaching, in the dishonesty of men, in cunning craftiness, leading to the scheming of deception.[86]



Sunday Evening Counting of the Omer Day 23

Then read the following:


Day of the Omer






Parnas 1/Chazan

Iyar 8


Confidence united with Reverential Awe


But that you, teaching the Torah with loving-compassion, may grow up (mature) in every way being in union with him who is the head (chief)[87], even Messiah and his Hakhamim; from whom the whole congregation (body), fitted together[88] and being united by the support of every joint, each member working properly in their measure to produce the growth of the congregation (body) to the building up of itself in loving-compassion (ahavah – charity).[89]



Monday Evening Counting of the Omer Day 24

Then read the following:


Day of the Omer






Parnas 1/Darshan

Iyar 9


Confidence united with Compassion


Now I say this, and testify in the Master, that from now on you cannot walk[90] as (some) other Gentiles do (walk), devoid of truth (Torah) in their mind,[91] having a mental disposition full of darkness,[92] alienated[93] (cut off) from the life of God,[94] their ignorance is due to an unyielding obstinacy of mind.[95] For they, being desensitized, have given themselves up to apostasy,[96] to every kind of impurity.[97]



Tuesday Evening: Counting of the Omer Day 25

Then read the following:


Day of the Omer






Parnas 1

Iyar 10




Ephesians 4:20-24 Your lessons on Messiah have taught you better than this,[99] assuming you have paid attention to our teachings[100] about him.[101] Just as this instruction is the truth in (the Torah[102] concerning) Yeshua.[103] For you ought to put off[104] the old man,[105] (your previous way of living) which is destroyed by deceitful passions, and be renewed[106] in the spirit of your mind.[107] And you should put on the Nefesh Yehudi (new man),[108] having been created after God’s likeness in righteousness/generosity and true holiness.



Wednesday Evening Counting of the Omer Day 26

Then read the following:


Day of the Omer






Parnas[109] 1/Parnas 2

Iyar 11


Confidence united with sincerity


Ephesians 4:25-27 Therefore putting away falsehood,[110] let each man speak[111] honestly (in sincerity) with his neighbor,[112] for we are one, and members of one congregation.[113] Be angry,[114] and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down upon your anger,[115] neither give place to the adversary (devil).[116]



Thursday Evening Counting of the Omer Day 27

Then read the following:


Day of the Omer






Parnas 1/Parnas 3

Iyar 12


Confidence united with truth


Let him who stole[117] steal no more, but rather let him labor,[118] doing honest (beneficial) work with his own hands so that he may have something to share[119] with anyone who is in need.[120]



[1] cf. Rom 8:32

[2] This verse relates to Moshe when he ascended the mountain and was given by G-d, not only the Torah, but also the ability to share his given gifts to men in the form of the 70 Elders of Israel and Joshua (a figure of Yeshua). Conversely, Yeshua as the second Moshe (Deut. 18:15) relives this experience again, and reinvigorates these gifts which were temporarily weakened because of the multitude of sins amongst our people. The first gift, which we must acknowledge is Matan HaTorah – the gift of the Torah. Moshe Rabbenu (Moses our Teacher) brought down from Har Sinai the most precious gift for all humanity, i.e. the Torah. Then Moshe, establishing the Messianic pattern gave of himself to the seventy. In the same way that Moshe established a hierarchal system of Theocratic Government Yeshua reinforced this same principle.

[3] Ascension “on high” here is in reference to Yeshua must be allegorical at minimum. The “ascension” of Yeshua is after his resurrection. While some theologians will suggest that these “gifts” were “poured out” at Shavuot/Pentecost with the so-called “outpouring of the Holy Spirit” we cannot agree with this line of thought. We will not argue at length the truth that the “Holy Spirit” is in fact the Breathing of the Mesorah. The anniversary date of Matan HaTorah is Shavuot/Pentecost. Therefore, if Yeshua gave “gifts to men” like Moshe Rabbenu, the first gift MUST be the Torah! Secondly, he can establish the unified community through the 10 Officers of the congregation.

[4] ‘The Path of the Upright’

[5] Tehillim (Psalms) 26:5

[6] This introduction was edited and excerpted 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.

[7] v. 8

[8] Chazal understood that a man who ‘asks for a test’ is guaranteed to fail. They, therefore, advise us not to ask for a test.

[9] This introduction was edited and excerpted 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.

[10] As an aside, every time I say the shema I am reminded of the connection between the six cities of refuge and the first six words of the shema; and between the forty-two words of the first paragraph of the shema, and the forty-two Leviticals cities which also served as cities of refuge. Clearly there is a sublime connection between these two ideas. Perhaps, HaShem willing, we can makes these connections in another study.

[11] We know that Adar is analogous to Elul due to the bimodality of the year and of the Temple Torah readings. How do we see ‘exile’ in Adar? Consider that on Purim we read Megillat Esther which concerns itself with Jews who were free to return to Israel, yet they stayed in exile in Babylon. Where HaShem forced the seventy years of exile, the Jews were now ‘voluntarily’ extending the exile beyond its ordained time span.

[12] The Kli Yakar notes that these forty-two cities correspond to the forty-two encampments of the Jews in the desert. Others have also noted that the forty-two relate to the words of the Shema – minus the first six words, which correspond to the six Arei HaMiklat.

[13] Bamidbar 35:6

[14] This is similar to all other tens in the Torah. E.g. the first five of the Decalogue teach us how to love HaShem and the second five teach us how to love our neighbor.

[15] Ten is always a hint to Mashiach and His mediation between men (5) and HaShem (5).

[16] The Temple

[17] Pri Etz Chaim, Shaar Rosh HaShanah, ch. 1.

[18] Shemot (Exodus) 21:13

[19] The Children of Israel

[20] Also indicated is the obligation of every Jew to publicize the service of teshuva of Elul, and not rest content with saving only himself in this city of refuge.

[21] Avot 1:2

[22] Makkoth 10a

[23] Shemot (Exodus) 21:13

[24] Chapter 20

[25] The Temple mount.

[26] Sanhedrin 38b - Chazal or Ḥazal (Hebrew: חז"ל), an acronym for the Hebrew "Ḥakhameinu Zikhronam Liv'rakha" (חכמינו זכרונם לברכה, "Our Sages, may their memory be blessed"), is a general term that refers to all Jewish sages of the Mishna, Tosefta and Talmud eras, spanning from the times of the final 300 years of the Second Temple of Jerusalem until the 6th century CE, or c. 250 BCE – c. 625 CE.

[27] Akeida = the binding of Yitzchak.

[28] A court.

[29] Measure-for-measure.

[30] The YHVH - יהוה  name.

[31] Devarim 4:4 and 30:20; Berachot 18b.

[32] Devarim 4:42.

[33] I.e., also the spiritual life.

[34] Refuge from evil and wrong-doing. Cf. Sot. 21a.

[35] Devarim 4:41-45.

[36] Cf. Shabbat 30b, a similar incident about King David, and B.M. 86a, about Rabbah b. Nahmani.

[37] Connection to B’resheet 29:29, Laban gave Billah (troubled) as a handmade to Rachel.

[38] Connection to B’resheet 30:13 “I am happy”…

[39] Verbal connection to B’resheet 29:35

[40] Yehudah ben Yosef, a servant of Yeshua the Messiah – The author of this small Epistle wants to inform us about it author, and at the same time indicate to us some royal manners. The Epistle could have well said: “Yehudah the brother of Yeshua the Messiah” but found that although the statement is true, he did not personally want to make boast of his familial ties to the Master, but does so by way of informing us that he is the brother Ya’aqob ben David – the brother of the Master.

[41] Connection to B’resheet 29:34 “Three sons” and Psa 24:6

[42] Some versions have “beloved” ones of the Father

[43] Note Delitzsch’s translation of our Mishnaic text and use of וּשְׁמוּרִיםu’shmurim from Shomer. Cf. Shemot Exodus) 23:12 Be on guard (Shomer) concerning all that I have told you. Make no mention of the names of other gods; they shall not be heard on your lips.[43] The other possible Mishnaic/Biblical Hebrew word which could be used her is Netzer. (נָצַר that means to guard or watch.)

[44] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953-2001). Vol. 16: New Testament commentary: Exposition of the Epistles of Peter and the Epistle of Jude. Accompanying biblical text is author's translation. New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House. p 368

Also note the apparent prayer structure of the end of the pericope. “May Loving-kindness, and peace, and love, to you be multiplied! This shows that Yehudah is familiar with the literary aspects of prayer rubrics. This also implicitly suggests that Yehudah is a Chazan.

[45] Kistemaker and & Hendriksen note the language and nomenclature of Hakham Tsefet. This is because Yehudah is functioning as the amanuensis of Hakham Tsefet. For similar language Cf. I Peter 1:2; II Peter 1:2. And again, the language of Hakham Shaul with his amanuensis Luqas. Cf. I Tim. 1:2; II Tim. 1:2. We also call to the reader’s attention the similarity between these statements and B'midbar (Num.) 6:22-24. Herein we have perfect contiguity with the previous Torah Sederim.

Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953-2001). Vol. 16: New Testament commentary: Exposition of the Epistles of Peter and the Epistle of Jude. Accompanying biblical text is author's translation. New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House. p 368

[46] Connection with Psa 24:3 “the hill of the Lord

[47] Connection to B’resheet 29:34 Levi the ancestor of the Kohenim.

[48] Bauckham argues against this idea calming that Jude (Yehudah) is NOT a “general Epistle. Bauckham, R. J. (1996). Jude, 2 Peter (Word Biblical Commentary ed., Vol. 50). (D. A.Hubbard, & G. W. Baker, Eds.) Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. This legal document is “orders from headquarters” per se. This legal document witnessed by the Chazan and authorized by the Bench repudiates the activities of non-observant Gentiles who would join the Nazarean Communities.

[49] Biggs, C. (1901). A Critical and exegetical commentary on the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude. Edinburgh: T & T Clark International. p. 323

[50] A person employed to write (a Scribe – Sofer) what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another, and also refers to a person who signs a document on behalf of another under their authority. 

[51] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953-2001). Vol. 16: New Testament commentary: Exposition of the Epistles of Peter and the Epistle of Jude. Accompanying biblical text is author's translation. New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House. p. 367

[52] Neyrey, J. H. (1993). 2 Peter, Jude A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 37c). New Haven: The Anchor Yale Bible. Introduction p. 1

[53] Bauckham, R. J. (1996). Jude, 2 Peter (Word Biblical Commentary ed., Vol. 50). (D. A.Hubbard, & G. W. Baker, Eds.) Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. p. 3

[54] The honor-shame scenario Neyrey is posits is based on John 4:44 "a prophet is without honor in his own country."

[55] Neyrey, J. H. (1993). 2 Peter, Jude A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 37c). New Haven: The Anchor Yale Bible. p. 5

[56] Ibid. Introduction pp. 10-1

[57] Barré Michael, Fear of God and the World of Wisdom, BTB 11 (1981) 41-43

[58] Neyrey, J. H. (1993). 2 Peter, Jude A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 37c). New Haven: The Anchor Yale Bible.  Introduction p. 12

[59] Our use of “spiritual” refers to the G-d breathed Oral Torah, which delineates cleanliness and impurity.

[60] Jude acts as a prosecutor who conducts a prophetic lawsuit against evildoers, charging them with crimes proclaiming the consistent norm of judgment, announcing a sure judgment of punishment.

Neyrey, J. H. (1993). 2 Peter, Jude A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 37c). New Haven: The Anchor Yale Bible. p 24

[61] sēmantikós- σημαντικός

[62] Below we outline the seven basic parts of Yehudah. However, if we follow the ten pericopes we might see these ten pericopes matched in the fourth order of the Mishnah Nezikin, which has ten Tractates. We feel it important to note that the Legal Mishnah of Yehuda can be broken into ten or seven sections, relating to the seven men who serve the bench of three.

[63] Implying here both Oral and Written Torah, but keeping in mind that during Yehudah’s time the Torah was more Oral than written.

[64] These 7 divisions are further divided into the 10 natural pericopes for connection to the appropriate Torah Sederim.

[65] According to Hyman I. Sky, Development of the Office of Hazzan Through the Talmudic Period (Distinguished Dissertations) San Francisco: Mellen Research University Press, who followed the etymology of the word Chazan, suggesting that it was an “Aramacized Hebrew word” from the Aramaic idea of seeing  (חזה). Sky furthers the idea to tell us that the Chazan was an equivalent to the Hebrew (רואה) Shepherd/Pastor. Here we suggest that the Chazan is the liturgical head over the “Pastors” and the liturgical chief guardian of the Esnoga possessing the traits and skills of those he watches (חזאה) over. See Melamed’s, R. E. (2005). Aramaic Hebrew English Dictionary of the Babylonian Talmud. Jerusalem: The Samuel and Odette Levy Foundation. pp. 171-2. Rather than use the phrase “Aramacized Hebrew word” from the early 1970’s we see that phrase as being Mishnaic Hebrew. It is also interesting to note the title of our present Torah Seder. “And Saw Ha-Shem,” “VaYar Adonai.”

[66] Matt, D. C. (2004). The Zohar, Translation and Commentary (Pritzker Edition ed., Vol. One). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. p. Introduction L. It is also interesting that Ya’aqob is also associated with Tiferet - Loving-kindness, or Rachamim the synthesis of Chesed (love) and G’vurah (peace – shalom).

[67] Cf. B’resheet 40:1-23

[68] Nanos, M. D. (1996). The Mystery of Romans, The Jewish context of Paul's Letter. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Press. p. 311 Cf. m. Makkot

[69] Corresponding to 1st Hakham, 2nd Hakham and Apostle 3rd of the bench of three - Chokhmah, Bina and Da’at (ChaBaD)

[70] The Mohel (circumciser) like the Chazan (cantor) embody the aspirations and authority of the local congregation and the Bet Din. (Jewish court of authority)

[71] Connected with the concept of Yir’ah, the fear of G-d. The ministry of the Sheliach – Chazan – Bishop

[72] Here when everything is contextualized, we can understand the meaning of these verses. The Jewish authorities hold in their power the ability to allow or prohibit (bind and loose) circumcision, acceptance of gentile conversion. Interestingly enough the Greek μάχαιραν holds the idea of some sort of contention. This is not always the case with the μάχαιραν, however in our present case the μάχαιραν is the judgment for or against conversion. The Chazan who holds the circumcision knife is the final word on ritual circumcision and conversion.

[73] Hyman I. Sky, Development of the Office of Hazzan Through the Talmudic Period (Distinguished Dissertations) San Francisco: Mellen Research University Press. Cf. Chapter 1

[74] My clarification

[75] Nanos, M. D. (1996). The Mystery of Romans, The Jewish context of Paul's Letter. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Press. p. 312

[76] What has been deemed the “Five-fold Ministry” by Christian theologians is an Ecclesiology that has existed in the Jewish Esnoga (Synagogue) for millennia. This Ecclesiology is a structured order of seven men. There are three Parnasim (pastors) that occupy the office.

[77] Within Rabbinic Judaism as it developed in Talmudic and post-Talmudic times, the concept of tradition took on an added significance, reflected in the general term masoret, a word based on the biblical Hebrew root ˓SR, meaning to bind or imprison. This root yields the biblical Hebrew term masoret, found at Ezek. 20:37, which refers to the “bond of the covenant” into which God promises to return the rebellious people of Israel. This sense of the term tradition, as a bond or fetter that assures correct practice of the law, appears as well in Rabbinic sources. Aqiba in particular, calls tradition a “fence around the Torah” (M. Ab. 3:13), reflecting the frequent implementation of restrictive measures that assure compliance with the actual word of the Torah. Tradition, in this interpretation, protects people from violating the Torah. The Septuagint for this verse reads, “I will let you go in by number.” RSV here translates the Greek rather than the Hebrew. On this term, see Francis Brown, et al., A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (Oxford, reprint, 1974), p. 64, s.v., msrt. Neusner, J., Neusner, J., Avery-Peck, A. J., Green, W. S., & Museum of Jewish Heritage (New York, N. Y. (2000). The encyclopaedia of Judaism. May 2001. Vol. 3 p. 1462

[78] The standard medieval Hebrew term for this genre is derashah; the most common term for the one who delivers the sermon is darshan; the verb “to preach” is li-derosh. All three words are linked with the biblical root meaning, “to seek, demand, investigate.” The same root provides the word midrash, used in Rabbinic literature to indicate a mode of study focusing on careful interpretation of a biblical verse, the interpretation itself, and the literary work containing a collection of such interpretations. Neusner, J., Neusner, J., Avery-Peck, A. J., Green, W. S., & Museum of Jewish Heritage (New York, N. Y. (2000). The encyclopaedia of Judaism. May 2001. Vol. 3 p. 1320

[79]  cf. 1 Corinthians 12:10

[80] καταρτισμόςkatartismos being able to meet the demands of the ministry within the Esnoga. This also refers to order. Therefore, the “perfecting of the Saints” means to bring social order to the Congregation. The root ἄρτιος is used in mathematics as the basic principle in numbers and partly one of the ten basic principles.

[81] cf. Abot 1:1

[82] Heb. ben Elohim – the judge, i.e. Messiah

[83] τέλειοςteleios, Goal is translated in various ways. Sometimes it is translated in a way that seems to annul the Torah. cf Rom. 10:4 which is usually translated…  “(Rom. 10:4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” This verse, correctly translated… (Rom. 10:4) For Messiah is the GOAL (τέλειοςteleios) of the Torah for righteousness/generosity to everyone who is faithfully obedient. Therefore, we define maturity as the “Goal” and being like Messiah, and to possess his relationship to the Torah/Mesorah!

[84] πλήρωμαpleroma full of Messiah. Or we might here say that we must be full of Messiah’s Mesorah.

[85] While the Greek word πνεῦμαpneuma carries the connotations of the Hebrew word רוּח, πνεῦμαpneuma does not perfectly match רוּח. Therefore, Hakham Shaul uses ἄνεμοςanemos. This is partly because the Remes analogy that he is positing is that of a ship being tossed by wind and wave.

[86] The power of the Ten (3+7) men is given for the building up of the Congregation. The individual officers each have their place and purpose. Therefore, the collegiate officers in unity protect the Congregation against deception. This unified group of officers has protected the Jewish people for millennia against many types of deception.

[87] Messiah as the “head” (chief) is both source and goal of any Congregation. As noted above… τέλειοςteleios, Goal is translated in various ways. Sometimes it is translated in a way that seems to annul the Torah. cf Rom. 10:4 which is usually translated… “(Rom. 10:4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” This verse, correctly translated… (Rom. 10:4) For Messiah is the GOAL (τέλειοςteleios) of the Torah for righteousness/generosity to everyone who is faithfully obedient. Therefore, we define maturity as the “Goal” and being like Messiah, and to possess his relationship to the Torah/Mesorah!

[88] Hakham Shaul’s language vacillates between a physical body and its joints and an Edifice i.e. Temple of Living Stones. Here the idea of building and polishing built stones. It also has the connotation of making a mosaic. This establishes a Congregation’s relationship with each other and with Messiah.

The context (vv. 7–10, 11–16) shows that the participles συναρμολογούμενον and συμβιβαζόμενον are designed to emphasize strongly the interplay of the different ministries and tasks within the body: “from whom the whole body—as one which is fitted and held together by each link which serves to support it—corresponding to the activity appropriate to each part achieves growth of the body to the building up of itself in love.” Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964-c1976. Vols. 5-9 edited by Gerhard Friedrich. Vol. 10 compiled by Ronald Pitkin. (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.) Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. 7:856

[89] Here we connect the joint meaning of the Hebrew אהבה ahavah and the Greek word ἀγάπηagape. The resultant translation then becomes “loving-compassion” in a charitable environment.  

[90] περιπατέω peripateo is used here twice to call the Gentile to Torah observance, meaning Hakham Shaul demands the acceptance of the Halakhah (613 mitzvot) as taught and expounded upon by the Hakhamim.  

[91] ματαιότηςmataiotes  mental futility or vanity. This means that the Gentile who rejects the Torah, 613 Mitzvot and the teachings of the Hakhamim are aimless conducting lifestyles of futility. This futility has captured their minds holding them ransom.

[92] Hakham Shaul now apprises us of the opposing mental disposition. Not only is it a mental disposition, it is the direct opposition to the Torah, the 613 Mitzvot and the Hakhamim.

[93] ἀπαλλοτριόωapallotriou has the sense of being “hostile.”

[94] Morally bereft of all sensible mores. The depth of this statement is only understood from a Hebraic mindset. To be כָּרַת karat, “cut off” means completely estranged from G-d’s presence and protection. Those who were “cut off” while traveling through the wilderness were subjected to every evil influence, without G-d’s protection or chesed/grace. Therefore, this is a crime of excommunication by Divine Decree. Here we can see the gravity of moral purposelessness. There are those people who believe that the idle mind of secular entertainment is harmless. However, this idle purposelessness is “opposition” to the Torah, which presents the “goal of Messiah” before us a s standard of life. Life in Messiah has the purpose of recapturing the mission of Adam HaRishon. Adam HaRishon shows the ability to capture the essence of each creature on the earth. Nevertheless, the goal was to apprehend the essence of G-d Himself. Herein, Hakham Shaul in this letter to the Ephesian Congregation sets this goal before them in the pattern of the ten men (3 Dinim – Judges and 7 Paqidim) of the congregation. Why did Adam HaRishon and his spouse Chava cover themselves with a fig leaf? Was this an attempt to “hide” from the Omni Presence of G-d? Their new “awareness” was the sentience of the state of being כָּרַת karat, “cut off.” Therefore, they saw that they were without G-d’s protection in the Garden. Covering themselves with a fig leaf has many So’od connotations. The most simplistic explanation is that they wanted to camouflage themselves primarily from G-d but the other animals of the earth that would now pursue them as a food source. The human mind/soul is preprogramed with the capacity to perceive G-d. When we deviate from the Torah and the teachings of the Hakhamim, this is impossible.

[95] This is an unyielding mind devoted to opposing G-d and G-dly truth/practice. Its dealings are strict, harsh cruel and merciless. Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature.                                                                                                                                                                                        

[96] This is the result of being “cut off” from G-d. The language uses terms of sexual impropriety as an allegorical way of telling us that the person or persons are bereft of G-d or any ethical mores. Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964-c1976. Vols. 5-9 edited by Gerhard Friedrich. Vol. 10 compiled by Ronald Pitkin. (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.  1:490

[97] In much of the Nazarean Codicil, demonic possession is associated with ritual impurity. While, Hakham Tsefet (Peter the wise) learned at Caesarea not to call Gentiles unclean, those who vehemently oppose the Torah are in some way subjected to unclean Shedim. This is not to say that all Gentiles are “unclean,” G-d forbid. Rather it is noteworthy to mention that direct opposition against the Torah, as a way of life is the mission of two-thirds of the shedim / fallen angels. Therefore, the darkened mind refers to those Gentiles who are either simply ignorant of the Torah as a way of life, and, those who are vehemently opposed to it because of their “unyielding obstinacy of mind.” Hakham Shaul’s view of the Gentile in Ephesians is the same as his view in his Letter to the Romans 1:18-32. Here Hakham Shaul takes the position that the lack of ability to comprehend G-d is a willful opposition against the Torah/G-d.

[98] Hakham Shaul, now deals with confidence. He discusses the confidence the Gentile converts need for their new walk.

[99] Eph. 4:20 ὑμεῖς δὲ οὐχ οὕτως ἐμάθετε τὸν Χριστόν, cannot be translated by a literal word for word method. The concept is that the Gentile has received lessons on or about Messiah. And, therefore they have been taught you that they cannot live as the pagan Gentiles do.  His message may sound like, you must change your conduct to match the teachings Torah, the 613 commandments and the wisdom of the Hakhamim.

Barth translates v20… “But you have not become students of Messiah this way.” Barth, M. (1974). Ephesians, Introduction, Translation, and Commentary on Chapters 4 - 6. (T. A. Bible, Ed.) New Haven, CN: The Anchor Yale Bible. p. 498

[100] We see that activity of the Parnas 1 (1st Pastor) in these passages. The “teaching” is in fact teaching, instruction, and training in the Mesorah. An Academic setting is implied here. The Moreh is a “teacher” as we will see. However, we note that the Esnoga has many “teachers” and instructors. In the present verses, we see the 1st Pastoral Officer (Paqid) in action.

[101] Some translations translate the clause εἴγε, “in as much as.” This indicates that the readers have heard of Yeshua. However, the “having heard” is not simply an acquaintance. This shows that the Ephesian congregation had learned about Messiah and this is Hakham Shaul’s gentle reminder that they have learned the “mysteries of Messiah by Hakham Shaul’s mouth. (see above 1:1-7; 3:1-6,7-13,14-19) Hoehner, H. W. (2002). Ephesians, An Exegetical Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. pp. 594-5

[102] Cf. John 17:17

[103] Truth in (concerning) Yeshua, refers to understanding the Mesorah. The phrase “in Messiah (Eph. 4:21 ἐν τῷ Ἰησοῦ ) means in union with Messiah, or in union with his teachings. Therefore, the Ephesian converts are called to be in union with Messiah by observance of his teachings on Mesorah. The deeper So’od meaning here is that those who are “in Messiah/Yeshua” are under his control, i.e. sphere. Our use of “sphere” is in a matter of speaking the equivalent to the Hebrew “mazel” (constellation). The can be better understood when we realize that the phrase “sphere” refers to the angels who are the engine of the universe. We now see that all the angels as “spheres” are under the “sphere” of Messiah. This is deep the mystical meaning of Messiah, which needs further elucidation.

[104] “Putting off “or “casting off” is a once and for all, definite concluding action. The three imperatives, “put off, renew and put on are dependent on the verb “taught/teaching” which we have translated “you have paid attention to our teachings.” Therefore, the “putting off,” “renewal” and “putting on” are all contingent on paying attention – putting to practice the teachings the Ephesians received concerning Messiah. Dibelius see these “teaching’s,” as “hearing” and “learning” possessing a “mystical sense.” Barth, while quoting Dibelius does not accept his thesis. We find that the “teaching,” hearing” and “learning” forwarded to the Ephesians is very “mystical” as a Remes/So’od in accordance with Rabbinic hermeneutics. Barth’s comments are also noteworthy concerning the “academic” nature of the “teachings” Hakham Shaul gave to the Ephesians. He suggests that the teachings are both philosophical and “ethical.” This perfectly matches the idea of a Mesorah that was handed down to him from Hakham Tsefet and Gamaliel. This is noted in Barth’s comment on the fact that the “instruction” parallels the teacher, student relationship in Rabbinic schools of the day. However, note that this is not the “parallel.” This a picture of the exact Hakham Talmid relationship modeled. Barth, M. (1974). Ephesians, Introduction, Translation, and Commentary on Chapters 4 - 6. (T. A. Bible, Ed.) New Haven, CN: The Anchor Yale Bible. pp. 505, 529-533

[105] The “old man” is a man whose mind is filled with darkness and death. The “new man” is filled with the light of Messiah and peace/life. We can also see the discretionary way Hakham Shaul speaks of the Gentile life that they lived before conversion. There are a great number of ideas concerning the idea of the “old” and “new man.” The simplest answer to the “old man” in Ephesians is the notion of “putting off” the former Gentile lifestyle and mindset. This is accomplished by being “renewed in the spirit of the mind.” This language is metaphorical or poetic and non-literal. As noted above the “putting off” is a part of the teachings the Ephesians received by Hakham Shaul in the academic setting he brought when he was with them.

[106] This action is a mental process of continual renewal. For the former gentile this is a continual progressive process.

[107] The ruach/pneuma refers to the five levels of the neshama/soul. The Nefesh is base desire necessary for human survival and perpetuation. Even though this may often be referred to as the yetser har (evil inclination), it is a vital part of human existence. Hakham Shaul’s “putting off” is a reference to controlling human impulses and desires. The destruction of “deceitful passions” carries sexual connotations and adulterous imagery. This is also non-literal. In other words, Hakham Shaul is using infidelity to show that man (Jew/Gentile) is forfeiting spiritual life for physical impulses. Another way of saying this is that man (Jew/Gentile) is forfeiting his relationship with G-d by yielding to his physical impulses. The ruach/pneuma is a higher aspect of the soul, which begins or initiates the elevation of spiritual, ethical conduct. The phrase spirit of the mind shows that the ruach (2nd level of the soul) is connected to the “mind.” Therefore, the ethical conduct is invigorated by renewal through study and apprehending the aspects and teachings of the Torah. This renewal is the path upward from the animal soul. The passive sense of this phrase shows that the process is continual and ongoing.

[108] The metaphor of “putting off” and “putting on” contains the Jewish imagery of conversion.

[109] The term “Parnas” in Hebrew means Shepherd/Pastor but not necessarily as these titles are understood in Protestand or Catholic Christianity.

[110] Hakham Shaul now deals with “confidence united with sincerity” in that he shows how the creature is created in the image of G-d. The creature now conducts life after the manner of G-d’s manifestation in the world, i.e. the Torah. Consequently, we see the shift towards “din” justice. G-d conceals Himself in the ten lights. However, while we say that He is concealed He is also revealed. Or we should say, that He reveals what can be known of Him in the lights of Messiah. Therefore, Hakham Shaul will begin to reveal what can be known in these lower lights. Parnas 1 and 2 united bring balance to the congregation. We have an honest sense of compassion. When the 2nd Parnas is involved we have the honesty which must be expressed in relationships. Therefore, it is noteworthy that Hakham Shaul begins dealing with relationships revealed in the congregation of Messiah. The atmosphere created by the union of the 1st and 2nd Parnas is one where mutual space brings tranquility and peace. The 2nd Parnas presents the Torah in such as ways so as to match the capacity of the recipient. The 2nd Parnas finds expression in helping others. As we will note below the present pericope is directly related to the Bedtime Shema. We can also see the acceptance of our duty as outlined in the Modeh Ani related to the 2nd Parnas. The Hebrew title for the sphere that the 2nd Parnas occupies is called Hod. Modeh Ani is etymologically related to Hod showing that we must submit to the balance of the 2nd Parnas.

[111] The three Parnasim (pastors) represent three levels of communication, ethos, pathos and logos. The most effective speaker is ethos, the 2nd Parnas. As a matter of fact, the present pericope (4:25-27) is a perfect description of the 2nd Parnas.

[112] Hakham Shaul begins a triad of reference to the Mitzvoth (commandments). He begins with “prohibition” moving to the mitzvah and then to motivation. Here he deals with social order. When the structure of Ephesians is scrutinized closely, one will note that the opening passages begin with the origins of the soul per se. In the latter chapters of Ephesians we see conduct being emphasized. Our “heavenly origins” must ensue into earthly works. Hakham Shaul makes this evident to his readers in these final verses. Thielman notes the parallel between Zechariah 8:16 and the present verse. (Zech. 8:16) 'These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates.’ Thielman, F. (2010). Ephesians. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic. p. 311

[113] Hakham Shaul’s prohibition teaches the Gentile converts that they are now members of the same congregation. This is his way of stressing a different type of behavior.

[114] The left side is always accustoming to din/justice. Therefore, there is always a thrust forward or upward. The 2nd Parnas is an energized 1st Parnas.  Be angry - ὀργίζωorgizo from ὀργήorge. In ὀργή there is actualized the true or false insight of man which impels him to decisive deeds. Oργήorge can lean towards revenge and punishment. It receives this characteristic from the Chazan. Therefore, Hakham Shaul has to corral this officer and ministry. ὀργή, is always seen to be protecting something recognized to be right, becomes in the political life of the following period the characteristic and legitimate attitude of the ruler who has to avenge injustice. Because the 2nd Parnas, here described in the Greek word ὀργήorge has a propensity for justice. Therefore, “anger” must not be allowed to progress into sin.

[115] Here is a subtle reference to the evening/bedtime Shema. The second section of the Bedtime Shema is Ribono Shel Olam Hareni Mochel Ve'solei'ach. This part of the Shema calls us to pardon and forgive anyone who may have sinned against our person. By following this practice, we avoid allowing the “sun to go down on our anger.” 

[116] By reciting the Bedtime Shema, we find forgiveness, repentance and protection from the enemy at night. We entrust our soul to HaShem. The Bedtime Shema is deeply esoteric and confronts abstract exhibitions of the adversary. The expressed character of the 2nd Parnas deals with the adversary and adversity in ways that accept hardships as an opportunity to change and transform adversity into G-dly momentum. The 2nd Parnas calls for each of us to master his own soul and share that mastery with others in a harmonious space free of conflict and adversity.

[117] Philo uses κλέπτωklepto to describe the “kidnapper” or one who enslaves other by means of purchasing those in need. His scheme brings other under his submission. He himself does not do honest work with his own hands. Therefore, as Hakham Shaul suggests, let him do honest work with his OWN hands and SHARE with the community rather than enslave others. Thielman, agrees with this idea suggesting that this is not the agrarian laborer being addressed. He suggests that the upper class is “stealing” from the laborer by demanding heavy labor for little or no money. This would keep the laborer in constant need. This practice would be equal to kidnapping and slavery. Thielman, F. (2010). Ephesians. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic. p. 315

[118] The connection of the thief to the community must be addressed. The thief can no longer steal for a living he must be put to work. However, the community must address his needs as well. The two qualities confidence and truth/honesty when applied to the community create an atmosphere where communal trust can transpire. This cannot happen when you have someone in the community that is a thief. This analogy of the thief and the congregation is very apropos when we see the two ministries of Parnas 1 and 3 united. The first Parnas represents energetic initiative and stamina. The thief lacks energetic initiative and his resolve for stamina is thievery. Thievery requires no stamina at all. The daily labor of construction requires true stamina. The third Pastor is the channel for all the energies of the previous officers. She can deal with characteristics that no other officers can. The first Pastor/Parnas addresses the attribute of laziness associated with the thief. The third pastor brings the thief in connection with the community. When this happens, the “thief” can no longer steal from his “brothers.” He must now work and labor as an integral part of the community. This is how the bondservant is addressed in the Jewish community. He is judged and brought before his kinsman for redemption. He is then taught the economy of the Jewish community. When he has learned firsthand through his kinsman/redeemer to correctly interact with the community, he can re-enter the community. The compassion and nature of the third pastor makes all of this possible.

[119] The true character of the thief is one who will not share what he has. On one level, we see that the thief takes from someone who has. On another level, the thief will not share. This was the greatest crime of Sodom and Gomorrah.

[120] This statement shows that there must be structure to society. This perfectly matches that ministry of the 3rd Parnas who would have been involved in distributing necessary resources from the Congregation. If, as Hoehner suggests that the agrarian laborer struggled in times when there was no labor, the community would have been capable of supporting these cases. However, this would require giving by all the Congregation who had something to give. Hoehner, H. W. (2002). Ephesians, An Exegetical Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. pp. 624-5