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

Shebat 06, 5776 – Jan 15-16, 2016

First Year of the Shmita Cycle


Candle Lighting and Habdalah Times:


Amarillo, TX, U.S.

Fri. Jan 15 2016 – Candles at 5:40 PM

Sat. Jan 16 2016 – Habdalah 6:40 PM

Austin & Conroe, TX, U.S.

Fri. Jan 15 2016 – Candles at 5:35 PM

Sat. Jan 16 2016 – Habdalah 6:32 PM

Brisbane, Australia

Fri. Jan 15 2016 – Candles at 6:30 PM

Sat. Jan 16 2016 – Habdalah 7:26 PM

Chattanooga, & Cleveland, TN, U.S.

Fri. Jan 15 2016 – Candles at 5:34 PM

Sat. Jan 16 2016 – Habdalah 6:34 PM

Manila & Cebu, Philippines

Fri. Jan 15 2016 – Candles at 5:28 PM

Sat. Jan 16 2016 – Habdalah 6:20 PM

Miami, FL, U.S.

Fri. Jan 15 2016 – Candles at 5:33 PM

Sat. Jan 16 2016 – Habdalah 6:28 PM

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

Fri. Jan 15 2016 – Candles at 4:43 PM

Sat. Jan 16 2016 – Habdalah 5:43 PM

Olympia, WA, U.S.

Fri. Jan 15 2016 – Candles at 4:31 PM

Sat. Jan 16 2016 – Habdalah 5:41 PM

Port Orange, FL, U.S.

Fri. Jan 15 2016 – Candles at 5:30 PM

Sat. Jan 16 2016 – Habdalah 6:27 PM

San Antonio, TX, U.S.

Fri. Jan 15 2016 – Candles at 5:39 PM

Sat. Jan 16 2016 – Habdalah 6:36 PM

Sheboygan  & Manitowoc, WI, US

Fri. Jan 15 2016 – Candles at 4:21 PM

Sat. Jan 16 2016 – Habdalah 5:27 PM

Singapore, Singapore

Fri. Jan 15 2016 – Candles at 6:57 PM

Sat. Jan 16 2016 – Habdalah 7:49 PM

St. Louis, MO, U.S.

Fri. Jan 15 2016 – Candles at 4:46 PM

Sat. Jan 16 2016 – Habdalah 5:48 PM

Tacoma, WA, U.S.

Fri. Jan 15 2016 – Candles at 4:28 PM

Sat. Jan 16 2016 – Habdalah 5:38 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

Her Excellency Giberet Gloria Sutton & 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

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 Eliseo Peña and beloved wife HE Giberet Eva Peña

His Excellency Adon Gary Smith and beloved wife HE Giberet Brenda Smith

His Excellency Adon Cory and beloved wife HE Giberet Mariam Felty

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


For their regular and sacrificial giving, providing the best oil for the lamps, we pray that G-d’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!



This Torah Seder is dedicated to HaRabbanit Dr. Elisheba bat Sarah who is under the weather and needs our communal prayers, may she be promptly healed and speedily returned to full health, together with all the sick of Yisrael, amen ve amen!


We would also like to ask for prayer on behalf of the three Hakhamim, Hakham Dr. Yoseph ben Haggai, Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David, and Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu ben Abraham for their health, as well as for this work, that it may prosper, be of great benefit to all, and that it may be well supported, and we all say, Amen ve Amen1



Shabbat: “V’Abraham Zaqen” - “And Abraham was old”



Torah Reading:

Weekday Torah Reading:

וְאַבְרָהָם זָקֵן



“V’Abraham Zaqen”

Reader 1 – B’resheet 24:1-9

Reader 1 – B’resheet 24:42-44

“And Abraham was old”

Reader 2 – B’resheet 24:10-14

Reader 2 – B’resheet 24:45-47

“Y Abraham [era] anciano”

Reader 3 – B’resheet 24:15-18

Reader 3 – B’resheet 24:42-47

B’resheet (Gen.) 24:1-41

Reader 4 – B’resheet 24:19-21


Ashlamatah: Isaiah 51:2-11

Reader 5 – B’resheet 24:22-26


Reader 6 – B’resheet 24:27-33

Reader 1 – B’resheet 24:42-44

Psalms 17:1-15

Reader 7 – B’resheet 24:34-41

Reader 2 – B’resheet 24:45-47


    Maftir – B’resheet 24:39-41

Reader 3 – B’resheet 24:42-47

N.C.: Mark 2:21-22

Luke 5:36-39 & Acts 5:7-11

                   Isaiah 1:1-27  



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 delight. 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 performing 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: Honoring 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!



Contents of the Torah Seder


·         Rebekah – Genesis 24:1-41



Rashi & Targum Pseudo Jonathan

for: B’resheet ‎‎‎24:1-41‎‎


Rashi’s Translation

Targum Pseudo Jonathan

1. And Abraham was old, advanced in days, and the Lord had blessed Abraham with everything.

1. And Abraham was old with days, and the Word of the LORD had blessed Abraham with every kind of blessing.

2. And Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that was his, "Please place your hand under my thigh.

2. And Abraham said to Eliezer his servant, the senior of his house, who had rule over all his property, Put now your hand upon the section of my circumcision.

JERUSALEM: And Abraham said to his servant, the ruler who had rule over all that was his, Put now your hand under the thigh of my covenant.

3. And I will adjure you by the Lord, the God of the heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose midst I dwell.

3. And swear to me in the name of the Word of the LORD God, whose habitation is in heaven on high, the God whose dominion is over the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Kenaanites among whom I dwell;

4. But you shall go to my land and to my birthplace, and you shall take a wife for my son, for Isaac."

4. but that you will go to the land and the house of my kindred, and take a wife for my son, for Izhak.

5. And the servant said to him, "Perhaps the woman will not wish to go after me to this land. Shall I return your son to the land from which you came?"

5. And the domestic said to him, suppose the woman may not be willing to come after me to this land; will I, returning make your son return to the land from whence you came?

6. And Abraham said to him, "Beware, lest you return my son back there.

6. And Abraham said to him, Beware, lest you make my some return thither!

7. The Lord, God of the heavens, Who took me from my father's house and from the land of my birth, and Who spoke about me, and Who swore to me, saying, 'To your seed will I give this land' He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.

7. The LORD God, whose seat is in heaven on high, who took me from my father's house, and from the land of my birth; and who spoke to me, and swore to me, saying, To your son will I give this land; He will seasonably send His angel, and you will take a wife for my son from there.

8. And if the woman will not wish to go after you, you will be absolved of this, my oath; only do not return my son back there."

8. But if the woman be not willing to come after you, you will be innocent from this my oath; only make not my son return there.

9. And the servant placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and he swore to him concerning this matter.

9. And the servant put his hand upon the circumcised part of Abraham his lord, and swore to him according to this thing.

10. And the servant took ten camels of his master's camels, and he went, and all the best of his master was in his hand; and he arose, and he went to Aram naharaim, to the city of Nahor.

10. And the servant took ten camels from the camels of his lord, and went: for all the goodly treasures of his lord were in his hand; and he arose and went unto Aram, which was by the Pherat, to the city of Nachor.

JERUSALEM: And all the goodly treasures of his lord were in his hand; and he arose and went to Aram, which is by Pherat Naharaim.

11. And he made the camels kneel outside the city beside the well of water, at eventide, at the time the maidens go out to draw water.

11. And he made the camels lie down without the city by the fountain of waters, at the time of evening, the time when the fillers (of water) come forth.

12. And he said, "O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, please cause to happen to me today, and perform loving kindness with my master, Abraham.

12. And he said, LORD God of my master Abraham, prepare a proper woman before me today, and deal graciously with my master Abraham.

13. Behold, I am standing by the water fountain, and the daughters of the people of the city are coming out to draw water.

13. Behold I stand at the well of waters, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming forth to fill waters.

14. And it will be, [that] the maiden to whom I will say, 'Lower your pitcher and I will drink,' and she will say, 'Drink, and I will also water your camels,' her have You designated for Your servant, for Isaac, and through her may I know that You have performed loving kindness with my master."

14. Let the damsel to whom I say, Reach me now your pitcher, that I may drink, and she say, Drink, and I will also make your camels drink, be she whom you have provided to go to your servant Izhak; and herein will I know that You have dealt graciously with my master.

15. Now he had not yet finished speaking, and behold, Rebecca came out, who had been born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, and her pitcher was on her shoulder.

15. And it was in that little hour, while he had not ceased to speak, that, behold, Rivkah came forth, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcha, the wife of Nachor, the brother of Abraham, and her pitcher was upon her shoulder.

16. Now the maiden was of very comely appearance, a virgin, and no man had been intimate with her, and she went down to the fountain, and she filled her pitcher and went up.

16. And the damsel was a virgin, very beautiful to behold, and she descended to the fountain and filled her pitcher, and came up.

17. And the servant ran toward her, and he said, "Please let me sip a little water from your pitcher."

17. And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me taste now a little water from your pitcher.

18. And she said, "Drink, my lord." And she hastened and lowered her pitcher to her hand, and she gave him to drink.

18. And she said, Drink, my lord; and hastened to let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink.

19. And she finished giving him to drink, and she said, "I will also draw for your camels, until they will have finished drinking."

19. And she finished giving him drink, and said, Also for your camels I will fill until they be satisfied with drinking.

20. And she hastened, and she emptied her pitcher into the trough, and she ran again to the well to draw water, and she drew for all his camels.

20. And she hastened and emptied the pitcher into the canal, the place of drinking, and ran again to the well to fill; and she filled for all his camels.

JERUSALEM: And she made haste, and poured out her vase into the midst of the trough, and filled, and gave drink to all the camels.

21. And the man was astonished at her, standing silent, [waiting] to know whether the Lord had caused his way to prosper or not.

21. But the man waited, and was silent, to know whether the LORD had prospered his way or not.

22. Now it came about, when the camels had finished drinking, [that] the man took a golden nose ring, weighing half [a shekel], and two bracelets for her hands, weighing ten gold [shekels]. 

22. And it was when the camels had been satisfied with drink, that the man took an earring of gold, of a drachma in weight, the counterpart of the drachma of the head (money) which her children presented for the work of the sanctuary; and he set two golden bracelets upon her hands, in weight ten sileen of gold; the sum of their weight being the counterpart of the two tables on which were inscribed the Ten Words.

23. And he said, "Whose daughter are you? Please tell me. Is there place for us for lodging in your father's house?"

23. And he said, Whose daughter are you? Tell me now, if in your father's house there be room for us to lodge.

24. And she said to him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor."

24. And she said, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcha, whom she bare to Nachor.

25. And she said to him, "Both straw and fodder are plentiful with us; [there is] also a place to lodge."

25. And she told him, saying, There is also straw and provender in plenty with us, as also proper room to lodge.

26. And the man kneeled and prostrated himself to the Lord.

26. And the man bowed and worshipped before the LORD, who had thus prepared before him a suitable wife.

27. And he said, "Blessed is the Lord, the God of my master, Abraham, Who has not forsaken His loving kindness and His truth from my master. As for me, the Lord led me on the road to the house of my master's kinsmen."

27. And he said, Blessed be the Name of the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not restrained His mercy and His truth from my master; for the sake of his righteousness/generosity in the right way has the LORD led me to the house of my master's brother.

28. And the maiden ran, and she told her mother's house what had happened.

28. ___

29. Now Rebecca had a brother whose name was Laban, and Laban ran to the man outside, to the fountain.

29. And Rivkah had a brother whose name was Laban. And Laban ran towards the man without at the fountain.

30. And it came to pass, when he saw the nose ring and the bracelets on his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of his sister Rebecca, saying, "So did the man speak to me," that he came to the man, and behold, he was standing over the camels at the fountain.

30. And when Laban saw the ring and the bracelets upon the hands of his sister, and heard the words of Rivkah his sister, saying, Thus has the man spoken with me; he came to the man, and behold, he stood by the camels at the fountain.

31. And he said, "Come, you who are blessed of the Lord. Why should you stand outside, when I have cleared the house, and a place for the camels?"

31. And Laban thought that this was Abraham, and said, Come in, you blessed of the LORD: wherefore stand you without, when I have purified the house from strange worship, and have prepared a place for the camels?

32. So the man came to the house and unmuzzled the camels, and he gave straw and fodder to the camels and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.

32. And the man entered the house, and Laban undid the gear of the camels, and gave the camels straw and provender; and water (to Eliezer) to wash his feet, and the feet of the men who were with him.

33. And [food] was set before him to eat, but he said, "I will not eat until I have spoken my words." And he said, "Speak."

33. And he set in order before him to eat, prepared food in which was poison to kill; but he objected to it, and said, I will not eat, until I have spoken my words. And he said, Speak.

34. And he said, "I am Abraham's servant.

34. And he said, I am the servant of Abraham.

35. And the Lord blessed my master exceedingly, and he became great, and He gave him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, man servants and maid servants, camels and donkeys.

35. And the LORD has blessed my master greatly, and has increased, and given him sheep and oxen, silver and gold, servants and handmaids, and camels and asses.

36. And Sarah, my master's wife, bore a son to my master after she had become old, and he gave him all that he possesses. 

36. And Sarah; my master's wife, bare a son after she was old, and he has given to him all that he has.

37. And my master adjured me, saying, 'You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell.

37. And my master made me swear, saying, You will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Kenaanites in whose land I dwell,

38. Instead, you must go to my father's house and to my family, and take a wife for my son.'

38. but will go to my kindred, and take a wife for my son.

39. And I said to my master, 'Perhaps the woman will not follow me?'

39. But I said to my master, Perhaps the woman will not come after me.

40. And he said to me, 'The Lord, before Whom I walked, will send His angel with you and make your way prosper, and you shall take a wife for my son from my family and from my father's house.

40. And he said to me, The Lord before whom I worship will appoint His angel to be with you, and will prosper your way; and you will take a wife for my son from my household, from the race of my father's house.

41. You will then be absolved from my oath, when you come to my family, and if they do not give [her] to you, you will be absolved from my oath.' 

41. Then will you be free from my oath: if, when you come to the house of my kindred, they give [her] not to you, you will be free from your oath.




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 II: The Patriarchs

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

Published by: Moznaim Publishing Corp. (New York, 1988)

Vol. 2 – “The Patriarchs,” pp. 378-414



Rashi’s Commentary for:  B’resheet (Genesis) ‎‎24:1-41‎‎


1 had blessed Abraham with everything [The word] בַּכּֽל is numerically equal to בֵּן [son]. Since he had a son, he had to find him a wife.


2 the elder of his house Since [the word זְקַן ] is in the construct state, it is vowelized זְקַן .


under my thigh -(Shev. 38) Since one who swears must take with his hand an article related to a mitzvah such as a Torah scroll or Tefillin, and circumcision was his first mitzvah, and he had fulfilled it with pain, it was dear to him; so he took it.


7 The Lord, God of the heavens, Who took me from my father’s house But he did not say, “and the God of the earth,” whereas above (verse 3) he said, “And I will adjure you [by the Lord, the God of the heaven and the God of the earth].” He said to him, “Now He is the God of the heaven and the God of the earth, because I have made Him familiar in the mouths of the people, but when He took me from my father’s house, He was the God of the heavens but not the God of the earth, because mankind did not acknowledge Him, and His name was not familiar on the earth.”


from my father’s house from Haran. and from the land of my birth from Ur of the Chaldees.


and Who spoke about me [Here לִי means] “concerning me,” like אֲשֶׁר דִבֵּר , “who spoke concerning me.” Similarly, every לִי , לוֹ , and לָהֶם used in conjunction with the verb דבר —speak—is to be interpreted in the sense of עַל , “concerning,” and their Aramaic translation is עֲלֵי , עֲלוֹהִי , עֲלֵיהוֹן . For in conjunction with דִּבּוּר , the use of the terms לִי , לוֹ , and לָהֶם is inappropriate, but rather אֵלַי , אֵלָיו and אֲלֵיהֶם [are to be used], and their Aramaic translation is עִמִּי , עִמֵּיהּ , עִמְּהוֹן However, following the expression אֲמִירה [saying], the terms לִי , לוֹ , and לָהֶם are appropriate.


and Who swore to me At the Covenant Between the Parts.


8 you will be absolved of this, my oath And take him a wife from the daughters of Aner, Eshkol, and Mamre.-[From Gen. Rabbah 49:8]


only…my son -“Only” is restrictive. My son will not return, but Jacob, my grandson, will ultimately return.


10 of his master’s camels -(Gen. Rabbah 59:11). They were distinguishable from other camels by the fact that they would go out muzzled to prevent robbery, that they should not graze in strangers’ fields.


all the best of his master was in his hand -(Gen. Rabbah ad loc.) He wrote a gift deed to Isaac for everything he owned, so that they would hasten [lit., jump] to send him their daughter.


Aram-naharaim [lit., Aram of the two rivers.] It is situated between two rivers.


11 And he made the camels kneel He made them lie down.-[Gen. Rabbah 59:11, Targum Jonathan]


14 her have You designated She is worthy of him, for she will perform acts of kindness, and she is fit to enter the house of Abraham; and the expression הֽכַחְתָּ means “You chose,” esprover in Old French.


and through her may I know An expression of supplication: “Let me know through her.”


that You have performed loving-kindness If she will be from his family and fit for him, I will know that You have performed loving-kindness.


16 a virgin from the place of her virginity.-[Gen. Rabbah 60:5]


and no man had been intimate with her in an unnatural way. Since the daughters of the gentiles would preserve their virginity but were promiscuous in unnatural ways, Scripture attests that she was completely innocent.-[Gen. Rabbah ad loc.]


17 And the servant ran toward her Because he saw that the water had risen toward her.-[Gen. Rabbah ad loc.]


Please let me sip An expression of swallowing, humer in Old French.


18 and lowered her pitcher from her shoulder.


19 until they will have finished drinking Here the word אִם is used in the sense of אֲשֶׁר , that


they will have finished - Onkelos renders: until they have had enough, because that is the end of their drinking, when they have drunk their fill.


20 and she emptied וַתְּעַר is an expression of emptying. There are many examples in the language of the Mishnah: “One who empties (הַמְעָרֵה) from one vessel to another.” It is also found in Scripture (Psalms 141: 8): “Do not cast out (תְּעַר) my soul”; (Isa. 53:12): “That he poured out (הֶעֱרָה) his soul to death.”


the trough A hollow stone from which the camels drink.


21 was astonished Heb. מִשְׁתָּאֵה , an expression of desolation, as in (Isa. 6:11): “[until] the cities become desolate (שָׁאוּ) …and [the ground] lies waste (תִּשָׁאֶה) and desolate.”


was astonished - מִשְׁתָּאֵה [means that] he was astonished and startled because he saw his efforts on the verge of succeeding, but he did not yet know whether she was of Abraham’s family or not. Do not be surprised by the letter “tav” in the word תָָּאֵה מִשְׁ [since the root is שׁאה ], because there is no word [verb] whose first root-letter is a “shin,” which is used in the reflexive [Hitpa’el] form, in which a “tav” does not separate the first two letters of the root, e.g. מִשְׁתָּאֵה [here]; or (Isa. 59:15) מִשְׁתּוֹלֵל which is from the same root as תּשׁוֹלָל or (ibid. 59:16) וַיִּשְׁתּוֹמֵם , from the same root as שְׁמָמָה or (Micah 6:16): “And the statutes of Omri shall be observed (וַיִּשְתַמֵּר) ,” from the same root as וַיִּשְׁמֽר . Here too, מִשְׁתָּאֵה is from the same root as תִּשָׁאֶה . And just as you find the expression מְשׁוֹמֵם used concerning a person who is astonished, dumbfounded, and engrossed in thought, as in (Job 18:20): “Those who come after shall be astonished (נָשַׁמּוּ) at his day”; or (Jer. 2:12): “O heavens, be ye astonished (שׁוֹמּוּ) ”; or (Dan. 4:16): “He was bewildered (אֶשְׁתּוֹמַם) for awhile”; so can you explain the expression שְׁאִיָה as referring to a person who is astonished and engrossed in thought. Onkelos, however, renders it as an expression of waiting (שְׁהִיָה) : “and the man waited (שָׁהֵי) ,” [meaning that] he waited and stood in one place to see “whether the Lord had made his way prosper.” However, we cannot translate מִשְׁתָּאֵה as meaning שָׁתֵי , “to drink,” because [the word מִשְׁתָּאֵה ] does not mean drinking, for the “aleph” does not occur in the verb “to drink” (שְׁתִּיָה) .


was astonished at her - [ לָהּ means] he was astonished about her, as in [above 20:13]: “Say about me (לִי) , ‘He is my brother’ ”; and as in [26:7]: “The people of the place asked about his wife (לְאִשׁתּוֹ) .”


22 half [a shekel] This alludes to the shekels of Israel, half a shekel per head.- [Targum Jonathan]


and two bracelets An allusion to the two Tablets paired together.-[Gen. Rabbah (60:6), Targum Jonathan]


weighing ten gold [shekels] An allusion to the Ten Commandments [inscribed] on them.-[Gen. Rabbah 60:6]


23 And he said, “Whose daughter are you? He asked her this after giving her [the gifts] because he was confident that in the merit of Abraham, the Holy One, blessed be He, had caused his way to prosper.


for lodging - לִין means one night’s lodging. - לִין is a noun. But she replied, לָלוּן , meaning many lodgings.-[Gen. Rabbah 60:6] [Since לָלוּן is a verb, it does not limit the number of lodgings.]


24 the daughter of Bethuel She answered his first question first and his last question last.


25 fodder All camel food is called מִסְפּוֹא , such as straw and barley.


27 on the road on the designated road, the straight road, on the very road that I needed. Likewise, every “beth,” “lammed,” and “hey,” that serve as a prefix and are vowelized with a “pattach” refer to something specific, already mentioned elsewhere, or of [some object] where it is clear and obvious about what one is speaking. [i.e., The “pattach” under the prefix denotes the הֵא הַיְדִיעָה , the definite article.]


28 her mother’s house It was customary for women to have a house in which to stay to do their work, and a daughter confides only in her mother.- [Gen. Rabbah 60:7]


29 and Laban ran Why did he run and for what did he run? “Now it came to pass, when he saw the nose ring,” he said, “This person is rich,” and he set his eyes on the money.-[Gen. Rabbah 60:7]


30 over the camels to guard them, as (above 18:8): “And he was standing over them,” in order to serve them.


31 when I have cleared the house of idolatry.-[Gen. Rabbah 60:7]


32 and unmuzzled the camels He loosened their muzzles, for he would shut their mouths so that they would not graze along the way in fields belonging to others.-[Gen. Rabbah 60:8, Targum Jonathan]


33 until I have spoken Here אִם serves as an expression of אֲשֶׁר , [that] and as an expression of כּי , as in (below 49:10): “Until (עַד כִּי) Shiloh will come.” This is what our Sages of blessed memory said (Rosh Hashanah 3a): The word כִּי serves for four meanings. One of these is [the Aramaic] אִי , which is equivalent to [the Hebrew] אִם .


36 and he gave him all that he possesses He showed them a gift deed.


37 You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites unless you first go to my father’s house, and she will not wish to follow you.


39 Perhaps the woman will not follow me It [the word אֻלַי (perhaps)] is written [without a “vav” and may be read] אֵלַי (to me). Eliezer had a daughter, and he was looking for a pretext so that Abraham would tell him, to turn to him, to marry off his daughter to him (Isaac). Abraham said to him, “My son is blessed, and you are cursed [Eliezer was a descendant of Canaan who had been cursed by Noah], and an accursed one cannot unite with a blessed one.”



Ketubim: Psalms 17:1-15


Rashi’s Translation


1. A prayer of David; Hearken, O Lord, to righteousness/generosity, listen to my cry, lend an ear to my prayer, [which is] without deceitful lips.

1. A prayer of David. Accept, O LORD, my entreaty; in righteousness/generosity hear my praise; You will incline Your ear to my prayer, since my lips are without guile.

2. May my judgment come forth from before You; may Your eyes see [my] upright acts.

2. From Your presence my judgment will come forth; your eyes will behold honesty.

3. You have tried my heart; You have visited [upon me] at night. You have refined me and not found; If I think, let it not pass my mouth.

3. You have tested my heart; You have visited me at night; You have purified me and not found corruption. If I thought of evil, it has not passed my mouth.

4. As for man's deeds, because of the word of Your lips, I kept [myself] from the ways of the profligate.

4. Truly You have rebuked the deeds of the sons of men by the word of Your lips; I have kept myself from the ways of audacity.

5. To support my feet in Your paths, lest my feet falter.

5. Support my steps in Your path, lest my feet be shaken.

6. I called to You because You shall answer me, O God. Bend Your ear to me; hearken to my saying.

6. I have called You because You will receive my prayer, O God; incline Your ear, receive my prayer.

7. Distinguish Your kind acts to save, with Your right hand, those who take refuge [in You] from those who rise up [against them].

7. Display Your goodness, O redeemer of those who hope; from those who rise up against them by Your right hand.

8. Guard me as the apple of the eye; in the shadow of Your wings You shall hide me.

8. Guard me like the circle that is in the middle of the eye; in the shadow of Your presence You will hide me.

9. Because of the wicked who have robbed me; my mortal enemies who encompass me.

9. From the presence of the wicked, those who harm me; my enemies, in the desire of their soul, surround me.

10. [With] their fat, they closed themselves up; their mouths spoke with haughtiness.

10. Their wealth has increased, their fat covers them, their mouth has spoken arrogantly.

11. [By] our footsteps they surround us now, they set their eyes roaming over the land.

11. Our steps now have surrounded us; their eyes are fixed to extend throughout the land.

12. His likeness is like a lion, which yearns for prey, and as a young lion, which lurks in hidden places.

12. He resembles a lion who yearns to tear, or a jungle-cat that dwells in secret places.

13. Arise, O Lord, confront him; bring him down to his knees; rescue my soul from the wicked, Your sword

13. Arise, O LORD, forestall him, strike him down; deliver my soul from the wicked man who deserves death by Your sword.

14. Of those who die by Your hand, O Lord, of those who die of old age, whose share is in life, and whose belly You will fill with Your hidden treasure, who have children in plenty and leave their abundance to their babes.

14. And the righteous/generous who hand over their souls on Your account, O LORD, to death in the land, their portion is in eternal life, and their bellies will be filled with your good store; children will be satisfied, and they will leave their surplus to their children.

15. I will see Your face with righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your image upon the awakening.

15. I in truth will see Your countenance, I will be satisfied at the time that I awake, from the glory of Your face.




Rashi’s Commentary on Psalm 17:1-15


2 May my judgment come forth from before You May the sins for which I deserve to be judged with torments, go forth from before You and not come before You in judgment.


may Your eyes see [my] upright acts If I have merits, may Your eyes see the upright acts.


3 You have tried my heart, etc. I know that I am guilty of a transgression, and, if the judgment of its punishment comes before You, I will not be declared innocent in the judgment, for You have already tried my heart.


You have visited [upon me] at night at eventide for the iniquity of Bathsheba, concerning which it is stated (in II Sam. 11:2) “And it came to pass at the time of evening, that David arose, etc.” You have refined me You have tested me.


and not found You have not found in me Your desire.


If I think, let it not pass my mouth If it enters my thoughts again to be tried before You, let it not pass my mouth to say again, “Try me, O Lord, and test me,” as I have already said, as is written (26:2) “ Try me, O Lord, and test me,” for David asked the Holy One, blessed be He, “Why do they say, ‘the God of Abraham,’ yet they do not say, ‘the God of David’?” He replied, “I tested him with ten tests, and he was found perfect.” He [David] said, “Try me and test me,” as appears in tractate Shabbath (?).


4 As for man’s deeds, because of the word of Your lips, etc. To support my feet, etc. From then on, for every deed of man that I came to perform, I watched myself because of the word of Your lips; [I watched] the ways of the profligate, to turn away from them, so that I should not walk in them, but [would] support my feet constantly in Your paths, that my feet should not falter from them. Another explanation:


For the deeds of man according to the word of Your lips, etc. Since a person must use his deeds according to the uprightness (decre - early editions) of the word of Your lips, as You said, “You shall not commit adultery,”I kept myself from the ways of the profligate although I behaved unseemly according to the good You have done.


5 To support my feet From then on, for every deed of man that I did improperly, may Your eyes see the upright deeds, but my judgment shall go forth from before you.


6 because You shall answer me, O God Because I am confident that You will answer me.


7 Distinguish Your kind acts Heb. הפלה , esevre in Old French, to separate, as (in Exod. 33:16): “and I and my people will be distinguished (ונפלינו) .” With Your right hand You save those who take refuge in You from those who rise up against them. (This does not appear in manuscripts or in most early editions.) [The literal meaning is:] Distinguish Your kind acts, You Who save those who take refuge, etc. This is a transposed verse, meaning: Distinguish Your kind acts to save with Your right hand those who take refuge, etc.


8 as the apple Heb. (כאישון) . That is the pupil (lit. the black) of the eye, on which the vision depends. Because it is black, it is called אישון , an expression of darkness, and the Holy One, blessed be He, prepared a guard for it, viz. the eyelids, which constantly cover it.


9 who have robbed me Because of this: my enemies, who encompass me to take my life, rob me.


10 [With] their fat, they closed themselves up With their fat, they closed their heart and their eyes from looking at Your deeds, in fear of You.


11 [By] our footsteps they surround us now By our footsteps, the enemies surround us now, and they set their eyes roaming over the land, to raid the land. It appears to me that David prayed this prayer after the incident of Uriah and Joab had happened to him, and the Israelites were in the land of the children of Ammon besieging Rabbah (II Sam. 11), and David feared that they would be defeated there because of the sin that he had committed, and the Philistines, Moab, Edom, and all the evil neighbors of Eretz Israel, who looked forward to the day of their misfortune, would hear and march against them.


12 which yearns Heb. יכסף , yearns, as (in Gen. 31:30): “for you yearned (נכסף נכספתי) .”


13 confront him The enemy.


bring him down to his knees Beat his legs, and he will kneel and fall.


rescue my soul from every wicked man who is Your sword, for You give him the power to rule, to requite those who are bound to You.


14 Of those who die by Your hand I choose to be one of those who die by Your hand on their bed.


of those who die of old age Heb. מחלד . Of those who die of old age, after they have “rusted” (חלודה) , rodijjl in Old French, [rouille in Modern French] rust, and of the righteous, whose share is in life.


and whose belly You will fill with Your hidden treasure And of those whose innards You will fill with Your good, which You have hidden for those who fear You.


their abundance Their property that they leave over when they die.


15 I will see Your face with righteousness in the future (Mid. Ps. 17:13), or


I will see Your face with righteousness Take my judgment away from before You and grasp the righteous deeds that I have performed, and through them I will see Your face. In other editions, this is one interpretation:


I will see Your face with righteousness In the future, take my judgment away from before You and grasp the righteous deeds that I have performed, and through them I will see Your face.


I will be satisfied with Your image upon the awakening I will be satisfied with the vision of Your image when the dead awaken from their sleep. In many editions, the following appears at this point: Another explanation: I will be satisfied from seeing Your face when the dead awaken from their sleep, for they are in the likeness of Your image, for so it is stated (in Gen. 9:6): “For in the image of God, He made man.”



Meditation from the Psalms

Psalm 17:1-15

 By: H.Em. Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David


King David composed this psalm after commanding Yoab, the commander of his army, to bring about the death of Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba.[1] This took place while King David’s army was in the land of Ammon, besieging the capital, Rabbat.[2]


At this moment, when Israel’s military security hung in the balance, David, the humble penitent feared that the army might be struck by catastrophe because of his personal sins. In the event of such a calamity, David knew that the evil neighbors of Israel - the Philistines, Moab, and Edom, all would swiftly seize the opportunity to pounce on the crippled nation, and so he prayed fervently.


Mahari Yaavetz HaDoresh explains the connection between this Psalm and the preceding one. In Psalm 16, David speaks in ecstasy of his assured portion in the World to Come and he looks forward to the delights of ‘the fullness of joys in G-d’s presence’ and the ‘delights at G-d’s right hand forever’.[3] But after he sinned, doubts about his spiritual hereafter started to crop up in his mind. In this Psalm which he composed after he repented his sin, David pleads for a return to full grace and affection before HaShem. He ends with great confidence that his intimacy with G-d has been restored and his hereafter is secure: ‘In righteousness I shall behold Your face, upon awakening I will be made satisfied by Your form’.[4]


Since this psalm was composed after the sin of Bathsheba, an inquiring mind would want to know:  What was David’s sin? Did he murder Uriah? Did he commit adultery with Bathsheba?


To understand the answer to this profound question will require a bit of background. In II Samuel chapters 11 and 12, we find the story I wish to examine.


In this story, many folks see King David lusting after Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Uriah is a soldier in King David’s army. He is fighting the King’s battle when King David takes his wife in an ’adulterous’ relationship. After she becomes pregnant, King David has Uriah recalled from the battle and orders him to sleep with his wife, in order to cover up his sin. Afterwards, when Uriah refuses to sleep with Bathsheba, King David Has Uriah killed in battle. After Uriah’s death, King David marries Bathsheba.


Most folks understand that King David committed adultery and murder. These are the sins that they see King David committing.


Nothing could be farther from the truth.


In fact, Chazal say:


Shabbat 56a Anyone who says that David sinned is mistaken.


This does not mean that King David was completely blameless, but it means that, technically, he did not commit any transgressions; he did not breach the Torah’s laws in any way. The reason he was punished so severely is that HaShem judges the righteous very strictly, and David’s actions were not proper for someone of his spiritual stature.


If we apply the principle of ‘midda keneged midda’, measure for measure, we get an entirely different picture. Further, if we examine the Sages, we see that there is more to this story than first meets the eye.


Was King David committing adultery? The Tanach says no.


Did King David commit murder? The Tanach says no. How can this be?


If we apply the principle of “midda keneged midda”, measure for measure, we get an entirely different picture. Further, if we examine the Sages, we see that there is more to this story than first meets the eye.


The Sages record that King David required that all of his soldiers were required to give their wives a “get”, a divorce, before they went off to battle. This was done so that if the soldier failed to return from the battle, and his body was not found, then the wife would not become an “aguna[5]“, a woman who could not remarry. If she was legally divorced, then she could remarry if her husband did not return after a reasonable amount of time.[6]


Kethuboth 9b Everyone who goes out into the war of the House of David writes for his wife a deed of divorce[7], for it is written, And to thy brethren shalt thou bring greetings, and take their pledge[8]. What [is the meaning of], ‘and take their pledge’? R. Joseph learnt: Things which are pledged between him and her[9].


Therefore, we know that Uriah[10] had given his wife a “get” and was legally divorced. Therefore, we know that King David did not commit adultery. We can know that King David did not commit adultery because the Torah prescribes that the one who commits adultery is to be stoned to death:


Vayikra (Leviticus) 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with [another] man’s wife,  [even he] that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. 


Since HaShem did not cause this to happen, we can know that King David did not commit adultery.


Did King David lust, sexually, after Batsheba?[11] No! King David did NOT lust after Batsheba. He had entirely conquered that evil inclination. The story makes it sound like Batsheba was taking a bath on her roof without any covering. Nothing could be further from the truth. Batsheba was coming out from the mikveh, the ritual immersion that women must perform every month. As she exited the mikveh house, her exalted spiritual state attracted King David.[12] He prophetically saw that he was to father Solomon with this woman.[13] That is why he took her.


Soncino Zohar, Bereshit, Section 1, Page 73b R. Simeon further discoursed, beginning with the verse: For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me (Ps. LI, 5). He said: ‘How much must a man be on his guard against sinning before the Holy One, blessed be He, for each sin committed by man is recorded on high, and is not blotted out save by much repentance, as it is said, “For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me” (Jer. II, 22). For when a man commits a sin once before G-d, it leaves a mark, and when he repeats the same sin that mark is deepened, and after a third time it becomes a stain spreading from one side to the other, as expressed in the words, “thine iniquity is become a stain before me” (Ibid.). When David committed his great sin in taking Bath-Sheba, he thought that it would leave its mark forever, but the message came to him, “The Lord also hath put away thy sin, thou shalt not die” (II Sam. XII, 13); i.e. the stain has been removed.’ R. Abba put this question to R. Simeon: ‘Since we have been taught that Bath-Sheba was destined for King David from the day of the creation, how comes it that the Holy One, blessed be He, first gave her to Uriah the Hittite?’ R. Simeon replied: ‘Such is the way of the Holy One, blessed be He; although a woman is destined for a certain man, He first allows her to be the wife of another man until his time arrives. As soon as that time arrives, he departs from the world to make way for the other, although the Holy One, blessed be He, is loth to remove him from the world to make way for the other man before his time arrives. This is the inner reason why Bath-Sheba was given to Uriah first. Now reflect and you will find the reason for the Holy Land having been given to Canaan before Israel came there. You will find that the inner reason underlying the two is the same. Observe, further, that David, although he confessed his sin and repented, could not obliterate from his heart and mind the memory of the sins that he had committed, especially of that concerning Bath-Sheba, and was always apprehensive lest one of them would prove a stumbling-block to him in the hour of danger. Hence he never removed them from his thoughts. According to another interpretation, the words “For I know my transgressions” indicate his knowledge of the diverse grades to which the various sins of men are to be referred, while the words “and my sin” (hatathi=my failing) refer to the defect of the moon, which did not emerge from her impurity until the time of Solomon, when her light once more became whole, so that the world became firmly established and Israel dwelt secure, as it is written: “And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree” (I Kings V, 5). Nevertheless, as David said, “My deficiency is ever before me”, and that will not be obliterated from the world until the Messiah will come, as it is said: “And the unclean spirit I will cause to pass out from the earth” (Zech. XIII, 2).’


In fact, the Sages teach that King David had asked HaShem for a test in this area because he had completely conquered this inclination.


Sanhedrin 107a  Rab Judah said in Rab’s name: One should never [intentionally] bring himself to the test, since David king of Israel did so, and fell. He said unto Him, ‘Sovereign of the Universe! Why do we say [in prayer] “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,” but not the God of David?’ He replied, ‘They were tried by me, but thou wast not.’ Then, replied he, ‘Sovereign of the Universe, examine and try me’ — as it is written, Examine me, O Lord, and try me. He answered ‘I will test thee, and yet grant thee a special privilege; for I did not inform them [of the nature of their trial beforehand], yet, I inform thee that I will try thee in a matter of adultery.’ Straightway, And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed etc. R. Johanan said: He changed his night couch to a day couch, but he forgot the halachah: there is a small organ in man which satisfies him in his hunger but makes him hunger when satisfied. And he walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. Now Bath Sheba was cleansing her hair behind a screen, when Satan came to him, appearing in the shape of a bird. He shot an arrow at him, which broke the screen, thus she stood revealed, and he saw her. Immediately, And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath Sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her, and she came unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanliness: and she returned unto her house. Thus it is written, Thou host proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou host tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. He said thus: ‘Would that a bridle had fallen into the mouth of mine enemy [i.e., himself], that I had not spoken thus.’[14]


Did David cause the murder of Uriah the Hittite? The Tanach says no. How can this be? To understand this part, we must look carefully at the text to understand what is going on:


2 Shmuel (Samuel) 11:8-9 And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a mess [of meat] from the king. But Uriah slept[15] at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.[16]


Notice that Uriah disobeyed a DIRECT ORDER of the King.[17] So, King David gives him a second chance:


2 Shmuel (Samuel) 11:10-12 And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from [thy] journey? why [then] didst thou not go down unto thine house? And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab,[18] and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? [as] thou livest, and [as] thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing. And David said to Uriah, Tarry here today also, and tomorrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow. And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.


At this point King David has no choice. Uriah has twice disobeyed a direct order of the king. The penalty for this offense is death.[19]


2 Shmuel (Samuel) 11:14-17 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent [it] by the hand of Uriah. And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die. And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men [were]. And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell [some] of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.


King David knows that Uriah has an evil heart,[20] never the less, one MUST obey the King no matter what. Not wishing to publicly shame Uriah, King David has him killed in battle in an honorable manner.[21] Undeniably, the law gave David the right to bring Uriah before the Sanhedrin and demand his execution. Nevertheless, David worried (for good reason) that the people would question the integrity of a king who ordered a man’s death and immediately married his widow, and David sought to avoid the public appearance of conspiracy and impropriety when he married Bathsheba.[22]


Notice that Joab does not protest in the least. Joab knew that the order of the King, as the chief justice, must be obeyed.


Ok, so now we know that King David did NOT commit adultery with Bathsheba[23] and that he did not cause Uriah to be murdered.[24] What we need to know is: What was King David’s sin?[25]


HaShem’s punishments are always just. To determine the sin, we should look at the punishment:


2 Shmuel (Samuel) 11:26 And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased HaShem. And HaShem sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich [man] had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor [man] had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveler unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, [As] HaShem liveth, the man that hath done this [thing] shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.


King David was also the chief Hakham, the chief Judge. Nathan the prophet naturally came to the King for a judgment. David, being a great Torah scholar and Sage, renders a judgment in keeping with Torah. HaShem agreed to this judgment, EXCEPT for the death penalty:


2 Shmuel (Samuel) 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against HaShem. And Nathan said unto David, HaShem also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.


The bottom line is this: HaShem has accused King David of stealing a ewe, a female sheep.[26] The penalty is, therefore, in keeping with the sin:


Shemot (Exodus) 22:1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.


Therefore, King David’s sin was: Theft of a sheep. There will be a penalty for this sin.


II Shmuel (Samuel) 12:7-13 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith HaShem G-d of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8  And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 9  Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of HaShem, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 10  Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. 11  Thus saith HaShem, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12  For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. 13  And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against HaShem. And Nathan said unto David, HaShem also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.[27]




1 Melachim (Kings) 15:4-5 Nevertheless for David’s sake did HaShem his G-d give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem: Because David did [that which was] right in the eyes of HaShem, and turned not aside from any [thing] that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.


Never the less, King David did sin grievously for a man in his exalted position with his exalted spiritual status. Although innocent of adultery and murder, sins against man, David had nevertheless sinned against HaShem when he failed to uphold the divine will by manipulating the intent behind the law.[28] Thus David repented of his sin of theft and is forgiven. There will still be consequences, but he is forgiven. It is at this point that he composes our psalm.


Now that we have seen the picture, we can begin to understand why HaShem said that David was a man after His own heart:


II Luqas (Acts) 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the [son] of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.


HaShem would never say this about an adulterous murderer. Further, we must understand that Uriah was an evil man:


Shabbath 56a R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in R. Jonathan’s name: Whoever says that David sinned is merely erring, for it is said, And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways: and the Lord was with him. Is it possible that sin came to his hand, yet the Divine Presence was with him? Then how do I interpret, Wherefore hast thou despised the word of the Lord, to do that which is evil in his sight? He wished to do [evil], but did not. Rab observed: Rabbi, who is descended from David, seeks to defend him, and expounds [the verse] in David’s favor. [Thus:] The ‘evil’ [mentioned] here is unlike every other ‘evil’ [mentioned] elsewhere in the Torah. For of every other evil [mentioned] in the Torah it is written, ‘and he did,’ whereas here it is written, ’to do’: [this means] that he desired to do, but did not. Thou hast smitten Uriah the Hittite[29] with the sword: thou shouldst have had him tried by the Sanhedrin, but didst not. And hast taken his wife to be thy wife: thou hast marriage rights in her. For R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in R. Jonathan’s name: Everyone who went out in the wars of the house of David wrote a bill of divorcement for his wife, for it is said, and bring these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge [‘arubatham]. What is meant by ‘arubatham? R. Joseph learned: The things which pledge man and woman [to one another]. And thou hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon: just as thou art not [to be] punished for the sword of the Ammonites, so art thou not [to be] punished for [the death of] Uriah the Hittite. What is the reason? He was rebellious against royal authority, saying to him, and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open field [etc.].


Yoma 22b  R. Huna said: How little does he whom the Lord supports need to grieve or trouble himself! Saul sinned once and it brought [calamity] upon him, David sinned twice and it did not bring evil upon him — What was the one sin of Saul? The affair with Agag. But there was also the matter with Nob, the city of the priests? — [Still] it was because of what happened with Agag that Scripture says: It repenteth Me that I have set up Saul to be king. What were the two sins of David? — The sin against Uriah and that [of counting the people to which] he was enticed. But there was also the matter of Bathsheba? — For that he was punished, as it is written, And he shall restore the lamb fourfold: the child, Amnon, Tamar and Absalom. But for the other sin he was also punished as it is written: So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed? — There his own body was not punished — But in the former case, too, his own body was not punished either? Not indeed? He was punished on his own body, for Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: For six months David was smitten with leprosy, the Sanhedrin removed from him, and the Shechinah departed from him, as it is written: Let those that fear Thee return unto me, and they that know Thy testimonies, and it is also written: Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation. But Rab said that David also listened to evil talk? — We hold like Samuel [who says] that David did not do so. And even according to Rab, who says that David listened to calumny, was he not punished for it? For Rab Judah said in the name of Rab. At the time when David said to Mephibosheth: I say: Thou and Ziba divide the land, a heavenly voice came forth to say to him: Rehoboam and Jeroboam will divide the Kingdom.


We must be very careful not to read into the scriptures more than what should be there.


It is also instructive to note that the union of King David with Bathsheba produced Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived.


2 Shmuel (Samuel) 12:24 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and HaShem loved him.


It is apparent that King David was destined to marry Bathsheba. It seems that his timing was off a bit.


OK, so let’s assume that you have read this far and still think that King David committed adultery and murder, consider the following:


Why did the Prophet, Nathan, say that David stole a sheep? What was the point of the Prophet’s story?


Now, because of David’s greatness, his crime is dealt with in a VERY severe way. It is dealt with as though he committed a murder. In the same way, Moses lost entry to the Promised Land simply by hitting a rock.


Also note that the PROPER punishment for murder, in death. David must die IF he committed murder. The Torah is quite clear. Why didn’t David die? After all, the PROPER punishment for committing adultery is DEATH. Why wasn’t David stoned?


Watch the punishment to see the sin.


Now that we have some understanding of David’s sin, let’s turn our attention to our Torah Portion and examine how it is connected to our psalm.


In our Torah portion, Avraham sends Eliezer to get a wife[30] for Yitzchak. Our psalm was written because David took a wife for himself. Thus we see that both portions concern the taking of a wife.



 Ashlamatah: Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 51:2-11 



4. ¶ The Lord God gave me a tongue for teaching, to know to establish times for the faint [for His] word; He awakens me every morning, He awakens My ear, to hear according to the teachings.

4. ¶ The LORD God has given me the tongue of those who teach, to make [me] know [how] to teach with wisdom the righteous/generous who faint for the words of His Law.Therefore morning by morning He rises early to send His prophets so perhaps the sinners’ ears might be opened andthey might listen to teaching [of His Law].

5. The Lord God opened my ear, and I did not rebel; I did not turn away backwards.

5. The LORD God has sent me to prophesy, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward.

6. I gave my back to smiters and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I did not hide my face from embarrassments and spitting.

6. I gave my back to smiters, and my cheeks to them that pluck out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

7. But the Lord God helps me, therefore, I was not embarrassed; therefore, I made my face like flint, and I knew that I would not be ashamed.

7. For the LORD God helps me; therefore I have not been confounded; therefore I have set my face strong like rock, and I know that I will not be put to shame;

8. He Who vindicates me is near, whoever wishes to quarrel with me-let us stand together; whoever is my contender shall approach me.

8. My innocence is near. Who will go to judgment with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my enemy? Let him come near to me.

9.  Behold, the Lord God shall help he that will condemn me, behold all of them shall wear out like a garment, a moth shall consume them.   {S}

9. Behold, the LORD God helps me; who will declare me a sinner? Behold, all of them are like the garment that wears out, that the moth eats. {S}

10.  Who among you is God-fearing, who hearkens to the voice of His servant, who went in darkness and who has no light, let him trust in the name of the Lord and lean on his God.  {S}

10. Who among you of those who fear the LORD obeys the voice of His servants the prophets, who performs the Law in distress as a man who walks in the darkness and has no light, trusts in the name of the LORD and relies upon the salvation of his God? {S}

11.  Behold all of you who kindle fire, who give power to flames; go in the flame of your fire, and in the flames you have kindled; from My hand has this come to you, in grief you shall lie down.   {S}

11.  Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who grasp a sword! Go, fall in the fire which you kindled and on the sword which you grasped! This you have from My Memra: you will return to your stumbling. {S}



1. Hearken to Me, you pursuers of righteousness, you seekers of the Lord; look at the rock whence you were hewn and at the hole of the pit whence you were dug.

1. Attend to My Memra, you who pursue the truth, you who seek teaching from the LO RD; consider that as the hewn stone from the rock you were hewn and as the rubble from an empty pit you were hacked.

2. Look at Abraham your father and at Sarah who bore you, for when he was but one I called him, and I blessed him and made him many.

2. Consider Abraham your father and Sarah who was pregnant with you; for when Abraham was but one. single in the world. I brought him near to My service, and I blessed him and made him many.

3. For the Lord shall console Zion, He shall console all its ruins, and He shall make its desert like a paradise and its wasteland like the garden of the Lord; joy and happiness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and a voice of song.{S}

3. For the LORD is about to comfort Zion and to comfort all her waste places, and He will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in her, those offering thanksgiving and the voice of those singing.   {S}

4. Hearken to Me, My people, and My nation, bend your ears to Me, when Torah shall emanate from Me, and My judgment [shall be] for the light of the peoples, I will give [them] rest.

4. Attend to My Memra, My people, and give ear to My service, My congregation; for the Law will go forth before Me, and My judgment as a light; to it thepeoples will join.

5. My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, and My arms shall chasten peoples; islands shall wait for Me, and on My arm shall they trust.

5. My virtue draws near, My salvation has gone forth, and by the strength of My mighty arm peoples will be judged; islands wait for My Memra, and for the strength of My mighty arm they hope.

6.  Raise your eyes to heaven and look at the earth from beneath, for the heavens shall vanish like smoke, and the earth shall rot away like a garment, and its inhabitants shall likewise die, and My salvation shall be forever, and My righteousness shall not be abolished. {P}

6. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and consider the earthbeneath; for the heavens will pass as the smoke which passes, the earth will wear out as a covering wears out, and they who dwell in it, even they, will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My virtue will never be abolished.   {P}

7. Hearken to Me, you who know righteousness, a people that has My Torah in their heart, fear not reproach of man, and from their revilings be not dismayed.

7. Attend to My Memra, you who know the truth, peoplein whose heart is the teaching of my Law; fear not from the reproaches of the sons of men, and be not shattered at their self-exaltation.

8. For, like a garment, the moth shall consume them, and like wool, the worm shall consume them, but My righteousness shall be forever, and My salvation to all generations. {S}

8. For [they are] like a garment which the moth eats, and like wool which rot attacks; but my virtue will be forever, and My salvation to all generations."  {S}

9. Awaken, awaken, dress yourself with strength, O arm of the Lord, awaken, awaken like days of old, generations of yore; are you not the one that hewed Rahab and slew the sea monster?

9. Be revealed, be revealed, put on strength, O might from before the LORD; be revealed as in the days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not for your sake, congregation of Israel, that 1 shattered the mighty men, destroyed Pharaoh and his armies. which were strong as the dragon?

10. Are you not the one who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep? Who made the depths of the sea a road for the redeemed ones to pass?

10. Was it not for your sake, congregation of Israel, that I dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep? I made the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to pass through.

11.  And the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and they shall come to Zion with song, and [with] everlasting joy on their heads; gladness and joy shall overtake them; sorrow and sighing shall flee. {S}

11. And the ransomed of the LORD will be gathered from among their exiles, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy will be theirs. that does not cease. and a cloud of glory will cover their heads; they will find joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing will cease from them, from those of the house of Israel. {S}

12. I, yea I am He Who consoles you; who are you that you fear man who will die and the son of man, who shall be made [as] grass?

12. "I, I am he that comforts you; of whom are you afraid,of man who dies, of the son of man who is reckoned as the grass?

13. And you forgot the Lord your Maker, Who spread out the heavens and founded the earth, and you fear constantly the whole day because of the wrath of the oppressor when he prepared to destroy. Now where is the wrath of the oppressor?

13. And you have forgotten the service of the LORD, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth, and do you fear continually all the day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he sets himself to destroy. And now. where is the fury of the oppressor?

14. What must be poured out hastened to be opened, and he shall not die of destruction, and his bread shall not be wanting.

14. The avenger will speedily be revealed; the righteous/ generous will not die in destruction, neither will they lack their food.

15. I am the Lord your God, Who wrinkles the sea and its waves stir; the Lord of Hosts is His name.

15. For I am the LORD your God, who rebukes the sea so that its waves roar, - the LORD of hosts is His name.

16.  And I placed My words into your mouth, and with the shadow of My hand I covered you, to plant the heavens and to found the earth and to say to Zion [that] you are My people. {S}

16. And I have put the words of My prophecy in your mouth, and protected you in the shadow of My might, toestablish the people concerning whom it was said that they would increase as the stars of the heavens and to found the congregation concerning whom it was said they would increase as the dust of the earth, and to say to those who reside in Zion, 'You are My people.' {S}

17. Awaken, awaken, arise, Jerusalem, for you have drunk from the hand of the Lord the cup of His wrath; the dregs of the cup of weakness you have drained.

17. Exalt yourself, exalt yourself, stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have accepted before the LORD the cup of His wrath, who have drunk to the dregs a bowl of the cup of cursing.

18. She has no guide out of all the sons she bore, and she has no one who takes her by the hand out of all the sons she raised.

18. There is none to comfort her among all the sons she has borne; there is none to take her by the hand among all the sons she has brought up.

19. These two things have befallen you; who will lament for you? Plunder and destruction, and famine and sword. [With] whom will I console you?

19. Two distresses have come upon you. Jerusalem - you are not able to stand. When four will come upon you - spoil and breaking and famine and sword; there is none that will comfort you but I.

20. Your sons have fainted, they lie at the entrance of all streets like a wild ox in a net, full of the wrath of the Lord, the rebuke of your God.

20. Your sons will be dashed to pieces, thrown at the head of all the streets like those cast in nets; they are full of wrath from the LORD, rebuke from your God. ‎‎

21. Therefore, hearken now to this, you poor one, and who is drunk but not from wine. {P}

21.  Therefore hear this, you who are cast out, who are drunk with distress, but not with wine. {P}




Rashi’s Commentary for: Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 51:2-11


4 gave me a tongue for teaching Isaiah was saying, The Lord sent me and gave me a tongue fit to teach, in order to know to establish a time for the faint and thirsty to hear the words of the Holy One, blessed be He.


to establish times Heb. לָעוּת . Menahem classified it in the group of (Ps. 119:126) “It is time (עֵת) to do for the Lord.” To establish times for them.


He awakens my ear He awakens my ear with His Holy Spirit.


to hear according to the teachings According to the custom of the teachings, the truth and that which is proper.


5 opened my ear and let me hear (supra 6:8), “Whom shall I send?” I sent Amos, and they called him ‘pesilus.’ I sent Micah, etc., as is stated in Pesikta of ‘Nachamu nachamu.’


and I did not rebel going on His mission, neither did I turn away backwards, but I said, “Here I am; send me” (ibid.).


6 I gave my back to smiters He said to me, Isaiah, My children are obstinate; My children are bothersome. [You may go] on the condition that you do not become angry with them. I said to Him, On that condition.


7 But the Lord God helps me if they rise up against me.


8 He Who vindicates me is near The Holy One, blessed be He, is near to me to vindicate me in judgment.


9 a moth Heb. עָשׁ , the worm of the clothing.


10 to the voice of His servant To the voice of the prophets.


who went in darkness Even if trouble comes upon him, let him trust in the name of the Lord, for He shall save him.


11 Behold all of you who do not hearken to the voice of His prophets.


who kindle fire of His wrath upon yourselves.


and give power to flames Who strengthen the flames; they are sparks and burning coals that are cast up with a slingshot. It has a cognate in the Aramaic tongue, זִיקוּקִין דְּנוּר , flames of fire (Ber. 58b), so many slingers (זִיקָתָא) are assigned to us (Baba Mezia 94a) [frondeles in O. F., sling].


go in the flame of your fire According to your way, you will be punished.


from My hand shall this retribution come to you.


Chapter 51


1 look at the rock whence you were hewn from it.


and at the hole of the pit Heb. מַקֶּבֶת . With which they penetrate (נוֹקְבִין) and hew the pits.


you were dug with which you were dug.


you were dug Heb. נֻקַּרְתֶּם , an expression similar to (Ex. 33.22) “The cleft (נִקְרַת) of the rock”; (Prov. 30:17) “The ravens of the brook shall pick it (יִקְּרוּהָ) .” And who is the rock? He is Abraham your forefather. And who is the hole? She is Sarah who bore you. [ תְּחוֹלֶלְכֶם means] ‘who bore you,’ an expression similar to (infra 66:8) “For Zion experienced pangs (חָלָה) and also bore.”


2 who bore you Heb. תְּחוֹלֶלְכֶם [lit. shall bear you.]


for when he was but one I called him For he was one single person in the land of Canaan where I exiled him from his land and from his birthplace. I called him, meaning that I raised him and exalted him. An expression [similar to] (Num. 1:16) “Those called of (קְרִיאֵי) the congregation.” And just as he was a single person and I exalted him, so will I exalt you, who are singled out to Me.


3 and its wasteland Heb. וְעַרְבָתָהּ . This too is an expression of a desert. Comp. (Jer. 2:6) “In a wasteland (עֲרָבָה) and a land of pits,” but the wasteland once had a settlement and it was destroyed.


thanksgiving A voice of thanks.


4 When Torah shall emanate from Me The words of the prophets are Torah, and the judgments shall eventually mean tranquility and rest for the peoples for whom I will turn a pure language to serve Me.


I will give [them] rest Heb. אַרְגִּיעַ , I will give them rest.


5 shall chasten Heb. יִשְׁפּֽטוּ , chasten, jostize in O.F.


6 the heavens shall vanish like smoke The princes of the hosts of the heathens who are in heaven.


shall vanish Heb. נִמְלָחוּ , shall rot away. Comp. (Jer. 38:12) “Rags and decayed clothing (בְּלוֹאֵי הַסְּחָבוֹת) ,” a decayed garment. Another explanation of נִמְלָחוּ is: shall be stirred. This is an expression similar to “the sailors of (מַלָּחֵי) the sea,” who stir the water with the oars that guide the ship. Comp. also (Ex. 30:35) “Stirred (מְמֻלָּח) , pure, and holy.”


and the earth the rulers of the earth.


and its inhabitants the rest of the people.


and My salvation for My people shall be forever. Another explanation is: [It refers] actually [to] the heavens and the earth, and this is its explanation: Raise your eyes and look at the heaven and at the earth, and see how strong and sturdy they are, yet they shall rot away, but My righteousness and My salvation shall be forever. Hence, My righteousness is sturdier and stronger than they.


8 the moth...the worm They are species of worms.


9 Awaken, awaken This is the prophet’s prayer.


Rahab [lit. pride.] Egypt, about whom it is written (supra 30:7): “They are haughty (רַהַב) , idlers.”


slew Heb. מְחוֹלֶלֶת , an expression of slaying, related to חָלָל .


the sea monster Pharaoh.


11 And the redeemed of the Lord shall return This is an expression of prayer, and it is connected to “Awaken, awaken.”


12 who are you the daughter of the righteous like you and full of merits, why should you fear man, whose end is to die?


13 And you forgot the Lord your Maker and you did not rely on Him.


the oppressor The rulers of the heathens (the nations of the world [Parshandatha, K’li Paz]) who subjugate you. when he prepared Prepared himself.


Now where is the wrath of the oppressor Tomorrow comes and he is not here.


14 What must be poured out hastened to be opened Heb. מִהַר צֽעֶה לְהִפָּתֵחַ . Even if his stools are hard, and he must be opened by walking in order to move the bowels in order that he not die by destruction, and once he hastens to open up, he requires much food, for, if his bread is lacking, even he will die. צֽעֶה An expression of a thing prepared to be poured, as he says concerning Moab, whom the prophet compared to wine (Jer. 48:11): “Who rests on his dregs and was not poured from vessel to vessel.” And he says there (v. 12), “And I will send pourers (צֽעִים) upon him and they shall pour him out (וְצֵעֻהוּ) , and they shall empty his vessels.” [This is an illustration of the weakness of man. Consequently, there is no need to fear him.] Another explanation is: מִהַר צֽעֶה That enemy who oppresses you, who is now with girded loins, girded with strength, shall hasten to be opened up and to become weak. צֽעֶה Girded. Comp. (infra 63:1) “Girded (צֽעֶה) with the greatness of His strength.”


and he shall not die i.e., the one delivered into his hand [shall not die] of destruction. But the first interpretation is a Midrash Aggadah in Pesikta Rabbathi (34:5).


15 Who wrinkles the sea Heb. רֽגַע , an expression similar to (Job 7:5) “My skin was wrinkled (רָגַע) .” Froncir in O.F. [froncer in Modern French, to wrinkle, gather, pucker].


to plant the heavens to preserve the people about whom it was said that they shall be as many as the stars of the heavens [from Jonathan].


and to found the earth And to found the congregation about whom it is said that they shall be as many as the dust of the earth [from Jonathan].


17 dregs Heb. קֻבַּעַת . Jonathan renders: פַּיְלֵי , which is the name of a cup [phiala in Latin]. But it appears to me that קֻבַּעַת , these are the dregs fixed (קְבוּעִים) to the bottom of the vessel, and the word מָצִית , “you have drained,” indicates it, as it is said (Ps. 75:9): “...shall drain (יִמְצוּ) its dregs.”


weakness Heb. תַּרְעֵלָה . That is a drink that clogs and weakens the strength of a person, like one bound, tied, and enwrapped. Comp. (Nahum 2:4) “And the cypress trees were enwrapped (הָרְעָלוּ) .” Also (supra 3:19), “And the bracelets and the veils (רְעָלוֹת) ,” which is an expression of enwrapping, and in Tractate Shabbath (6:6): “Median women (sic) may go out veiled (רְעוּלוֹת) ,” a kind of beautiful veil in which to enwrap oneself. תַּרְעֵלָה is entoumissant in O.F., (stiffening, weakening, paralyzing).


you have drained Heb. מָצִית , egoutter in French, [to drain, exhaust].


19 These two things have befallen you Twofold calamities, two by two.


[With] whom will I console you? Whom will I bring to you to console you and to say that also that certain nation suffered in the same manner as you?


20 fainted Heb. עֻלְּפוּ . An expression of faintness. Comp. (Amos 8:13) “The...virgins shall faint (תִּתְעַלַּפְנָה) from thirst.” Pasmer in O.F., (pamer in Modern French).


like a wild ox in a net Abandoned like this wild ox that falls into a net. Comp. (Deut. 14:5) “And the wild ox (וּתְאוֹ) and the giraffe.”


21 and who is drunk but not from wine Drunk from something else other than wine.


22 Who shall judge His people Who shall judge the case of His people.



 Verbal Tallies

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

& HH Giberet Dr. Elisheba bat Sarah


Beresheet (Genesis) 24:1–41

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 51:2-11

Tehillim (Psalm) 17:1-5

Mk 2:21-22, Lk 5:36-39, Acts 5:7-11


The verbal tallies between the Torah and the Psalm are:

LORD - יהוה, Strong’s number 03068.

Hand - יד, Strong’s number 03027.


The verbal tallies between the Torah and the Ashlamata are:

Abraham - אברהם, Strong’s number 085.

Stricken / come - בוא, Strong’s number 0935.

Age / days - יום, Strong’s number 03117.

LORD - יהוה, Strong’s number 03068.

Blessed - ברך, Strong’s number 01288.


Beresheet (Genesis) 24:1-2 And Abraham <085> was old, and well stricken <0935> (8804) in age <03117>: and the LORD <03068> had blessed <01288> (8765) Abraham <085> in all things.

2  And Abraham <085> said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand <03027> under my thigh:


Tehillim (Psalm) 17:1 « A Prayer of David. » Hear the right, O LORD <03068>, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.

Tehillim (Psalm) 17:14 From men which are thy hand <03027>, O LORD <03068>, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.


Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 51:2 Look unto Abraham <085> your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed <01288> (8762) him, and increased him.

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 51:9  Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD <03068>; awake, as in the ancient days <03117>, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 51:11 Therefore the redeemed of the LORD <03068> shall return, and come <0935> (8804) with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.








Torah Seder


Gen 24:1-41



Psa 17



Is 51:2-11



Mk 2:21-22

Remes 1


Lk 5:36-39

Remes 2


Acts 5:7-11


lift up

Isa 51:6

Mar 2:21



Gen 24:30

Isa 51:4 
Isa 51:7

Act 5:11



Gen 24:16 
Gen 24:32

Act 5:9 
Act 5:10



Gen 24:13  
Gen 24:21  
Gen 24:22  
Gen 24:26  
Gen 24:29  
Gen 24:30 
Gen 24:32

Psa 17:4

Isa 51:7



Mar 2:22

Luk 5:37


leather bag

Mar 2:22

Luk 5:37


throw, casts

Mar 2:22

Luk 5:37



Mar 2:22

Luk 5:38


came to pass, becomes

Gen 24:4  
Gen 24:15  
Gen 24:22  
Gen 24:30

Mar 2:21

Act 5:7 
Act 5:11




Gen 24:3
Gen 24:4 
Gen 24:5 
Gen 24:7 
Gen 24:8  
Gen 24:15  
Gen 24:36  
Gen 24:37  
Gen 24:38  
Gen 24:39  
Gen 24:40

Act 5:7




Gen 24:30

Psa 17:2

Isa 51:7

Act 5:7



Gen 24:31
Gen 24:32

Act 5:7 
Act 5:10


pour out

Mar 2:22

Luk 5:37




Gen 24:2  
Gen 24:5 
Gen 24:6 
Gen 24:12 
Gen 24:14
Gen 24:17  
Gen 24:18  
Gen 24:19  
Gen 24:23  
Gen 24:24  
Gen 24:25  
Gen 24:26  
Gen 24:31  
Gen 24:33  
Gen 24:34  
Gen 24:39  
Gen 24:40 

Act 5:8 
Act 5:9



come upon

Psa 17:3

Isa 51:3

Act 5:10



Gen 24:1

Isa 51:9



Gen 24:3
Gen 24:7 
Gen 24:12 
Gen 24:27  
Gen 24:40

Psa 17:6



Gen 24:13 
Gen 24:15

Act 5:9




Isa 51:6  
Isa 51:8

Mar 2:21

Luk 5:36



Mar 2:21
Mar 2:22

Luk 5:36  
Luk 5:38



Gen 24:1
Gen 24:3
Gen 24:7
Gen 24:12
Gen 24:21
Gen 24:26
Gen 24:27
Gen 24:31
Gen 24:35
Gen 24:40

Ps 17:1
Ps 17:13
Ps 17:14

Isa 51:3
Isa 51:9
Isa 51:11

Act 5:9



Gen 24:7
Gen 24:30
Gen 24:37

Luk 5:36
Luk 5:39



Mar 2:22

Luk 5:37
Luk 5:38 
Luk 5:39 



Mar 2:22

Luk 5:37
Luk 5:38


no one

Mar 2:21
Mar 2:22

Luk 5:37
Luk 5:39 



Mar 2:21
Mar 2:22 

Luk 5:36
Luk 5:37  
Luk 5:39




Gen 24:1
Gen 24:2
Gen 24:10
Gen 24:20
Gen 24:36

Isa 51:3

Act 5:11




Gen 24:14
Gen 24:18 
Gen 24:19
Gen 24:22

Luk 5:39



Gen 24:32

Act 5:9
Act 5:10




Gen 24:9
Gen 24:28
Gen 24:30
Gen 24:33

Ps 17:4



Mar 2:22 

Luk 5:37


in harmony

Luk 5:36

Act 5:9



Gen 24:3
Gen 24:4
Gen 24:5
Gen 24:6
Gen 24:7
Gen 24:8
Gen 24:15
Gen 24:24
Gen 24:36
Gen 24:37
Gen 24:38
Gen 24:40

Ps 17:14






Sidra Of B’resheet (Genesis) 24:1- 4

“V’ Abraham Zaqen” “And Abraham was Old”

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

Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai


School of Hakham Shaul


(Luke 5:36-39)

Mishnah א:א

School of Hakham Tsefet


(Mark 2:21-22)

Mishnah א:א


And He also spoke a parable to them: (the “B’ne Pirkei,” the Am HaAretz, "the people of Land" i.e. the uneducated Jews) No one puts a patch from another garment, to be reused[31] on an older favoured garment without first measuring it. Otherwise, the reused cloth will be torn, and the reused piece of cloth distracts from the favoured garment’s original beauty.


And no one puts unfermented wine into aged wineskins. Or else the unfermented wine will burst the wineskins (from the fermentation process) and the wine is spilled, and the wineskin will be destroyed. But unfermented wine must be put into reconditioned wineskins, so both will be preserved together. Also no one having drunk aged wine immediately desires unfermented, for he says, The aged[32] is better!

And no one sews a patch of unmeasured[33] cloth[34] on an older favoured garment, because it distracts from the garment’s original beauty, the reused, unmeasured (cloth) must support the older (garment), or distraction (ocular division) occurs (is noticed).


And no one puts fresh unfermented wine into aged (old) wineskins, or else the unfermented wine bursts the wineskins (from the fermentation process), and the wine spills, and the wineskins will be ruined. The unfermented wine must be put into reconditioned wineskins.


School of Hakham Shaul


(2 Luqas -Acts 5:7-11)

Pereq א:א


And after about three hours, when his Chananyah’s wife (not knowing what was done) came in. And Hakham Tsefet asked her, “Tell me whether you sold the field for so much?” And she said, “Yes, I swear it was for so much.”  Then Hakham Tsefet said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together with your husband to tempt the Breath Oral Torah of the Lord? Behold, the feet[35] of those who have buried your husband are at the door and they will carry you out.” Then at once she fell down at his feet[36] and expired. And the younger ones found her dead, and, carrying her out, buried her beside her husband.  And great fear awe came on the whole Congregation and on as many as heard these things.





Commentary to Hakham Tsefet’s School of Peshat

Hakham Tsefet has been dealing with several halakhic issues in the past few pericopes. This demonstrates his halakhic awareness and the simple fact that the B’ne Yisrael needed to become aware of their halakhic connection to G-d. Like those who came after him, Hakham Tsefet was determined to leave a legacy for Nazarean Jews regarding halakhah. If we fail to understand the Marcan Mishnah as the import of Mishnaic content, we will totally miss Hakham Tsefet’s point. We will also distort the true meaning of the Nazarean Talmud. Hakham Tsefet’s Mishnaic import teaches us to think in terms of “Organic Thought.”


Parable and Analogy in Rabbinic Thought


This above being true we see that the present pericope on halakhic matters has turned to “analogy.” We must not confuse “analogy” with parabolic thought. We have seen that Yeshua selected Levi ben Chalfai (Matityahu ben Chalfai HaLevi) to be the author of the Messianic Midrash. By understanding true Midrash, we are able to determine the difference between Parable and analogy. Analogy is similar to parable in that the two make use of an illustrative mechanism. For example, we have the analogous illustration of clothing, wine and the aging process of wine. The illustrative technique of the present pericope is short and simple fitting concisely into the Peshat genre. Parabolic resources such as the Davidic Midrash of Psalms are longer in length and much more “illustrative.” Therefore, when we read Matityahu’s Midrash we would expect the “illustrations” to be longer and more detailed.” The present analogies are brief, concise and draw on things closer to literal situations. Midrash may “exaggerate” and invent mythic events for the sake of ethical (Mussar) teachings. Every Midrash has a “moral ethical” message that we should derive from the story we are told. 


These few passages in the Marcan text have been abused, contorted and misunderstood due to unethical agendas. The concept of replacement theology has had a field day with these passages due to machiavellic translation agendas.


A Patch is a Patch!


And no one sews a patch of unmeasured cloth on an older favoured garment, because it distracts from the garments original beauty,


We are amazed that the “scholars” have misunderstood the terminology of these passages in the Greek. This is because they have missed the hermeneutic principle of “who,” as in who is Yeshua speaking to? Now we are able to determine that Yeshua is speaking to the Am HaAretz "the people of Land" i.e. the uneducated Jews in the Torah, so that  the illustrative hermeneutic of Peshat makes perfect sense. When Yeshua addressed the Torah Scholar (Hakham) he does not do so with simple illustrations. He may use mechanisms such as true deductive logic Midrash, So’od, and other hermeneutic genre, but he does not treat the scholarly with any real disdain. As a matter of fact, he appeals to their sense of logic and ability to comprehend. Because Yeshua is perfectly able to access the powers of “Da’at” (intimate knowledge) we can determine that he deals with each person or group on their exact level of comprehension and Torah knowledge.  


Such being the case, “there is Nothing new under the sun.” The “patch” of cloth used to repair the torn garment is NOT NEW! Scholars have fumbled over the Greek phrase ἄγναφος agnaphos, translating it with such ignorance that we are appalled at their witlessness. This Greek phrase ἄγναφος agnaphos, means to “MEASURE” a piece of material to be sewn onto another preferred garment. The illustrative analogy is that of taking materials from a less favoured garment or a garment to be discarded to patch a more favoured garment! The tailor of the Am HaAretz "the people of Land" i.e. the uneducated Jews in the Torah would understand this illustration with perfect clarity. Before the “patch” can be accomplished, the “tear” must be carefully measured. Not only must the patch of cloth be measured, but also the exact piece of the lesser favoured garment must be analysed to determine which part can be used to enhance or accommodate the beauty of the favoured garment. Furthermore, the analysis of the less favoured garment must be of suitable or compatible materials. We would interject at this point the fact that everything is done in relation to the preferred or favoured garment. The patch is only necessary because the preferred garment has a hole or tear. We will discuss this “hole – tear” later in the our Remes commentary. If the so-called “patch” were “preferred” then the garment from which the patch is taken would have been the more favoured garment. We will also note that the analogy does not teach us that the patch “replaces” the favoured garment. Only a small piece of garment is taken from the less favoured garment to repair the hole or tear in the favoured garment. This piece of material is only big enough to repair the damage done “by the user” to his favoured clothing. In other words, the “User,” i.e. G-d loves the preferred garment so much that He will NOT discard it. Therefore, His love is demonstrated by selecting, measuring and applying the appropriate patch to His garment i.e. B’ne Yisrael, the Torah Observant Jewish Community, that it will Never be discarded or obsolete. The analogy is simple enough. The reader will be able to fully comprehend the insinuations. The B’ne Yisrael are G-d’s cherished and beloved “garment.” The “patch” is only added out of G-ds love for the B’ne Yisrael, and NOT for the sake of the so called “patch.”


Analogy of Wine and Wineskins


The analogy from above establishes our perspective. The Vinedresser (G-d) loves the wine from His favourite vineyard so much (the Old – Aged Wine), and is so good that He wants to insure that He never runs out of His favourite wine. Therefore, He follows the appropriate process when making additional wine. We use the phrase “additional” because the wine making process must be from the same vineyard. The wineskins (bottles) i.e. B’ne Yisrael are never discarded! Regardless of “wineskins” bottles or otherwise, the wine making process is procedural. Therefore, each step must be followed carefully to ensure the winemaking process will not result in the loss of a year’s produce. Before the wine can be poured into ANY “wineskin” or bottle the wine must go through the appropriate process. The correct procedural application will guarantee that the Vinedresser (G-d) has His favoured wine.


In the case of “wineskins,” which are now empty, oil is applied and the wineskin is renewed and ready for fresh wine, which has been correctly processed. Why Oil? We will explain why Yeshua picked this specific analogy for addressing the Am HaAretz in our Remes commentary.




Also no one having drunk aged wine immediately desires unfermented, for he says, The aged is better!


The Lucan Tosefta solidifies the point Hakham Tsefet, through the mouth of Yeshua is trying to make. Let us reword the translation in modern vernacular for clarification.


And NO ONE having tasted the wine of the B’ne Yisrael, (The Kingdom – governance of G-d through the Hakhamim and their Bate Din) desires any other type of wine!


G-d’s one and ONLY choice is the wine of the B’ne Yisrael. Everything else is in addition to the wine of the B’ne Yisrael. Or, we might say that everything else is simply the beautification and enhancement of B’ne Yisrael’s wine.


Abraham, Yitzchaq and Ya’akov…


B’resheet 24:12 And he said, "O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, please cause to happen to me today, and perform loving kindness with my master, Abraham. (Rashi)


We find in these words a reference to the Amidah. “Blessed are You Adonai our G-d and G-d of our forefathers. G-d of Abraham, G-d of Yitzchaq and G-d of Yaakov.”


Abraham’s servant Eleazar prays to G-d on the merit of his master Abraham. Therefore, we deduce from this simple prayer that the patch, renewed wineskin and wine have virtue ONLY in the fact that they have JOINED the Jewish community through the merit and deeds of Abraham. Only through his merit are they grafted into the covenant of promise.




Remes Commentary to Hakham Shaul


We have seen the difference between analogy and Midrash above. Now we come to our use of Remes to form a halakhic principle. Remes looks at the Peshat materials and derives deeper possible meanings in words, phrases and principles. In the present case we look at the “unmeasured cloth” of Hakham Tsefet and wonder what this analogy really means and “who” he is referring to. Through logical deduction we can see that on one level Hakham Tsefet was referring to the Am HaAretz not some form of replacement theology. Therefore, when we read of this patch being placed on the Garment of Yehudah it makes perfect sense that the “patch” would add to the beauty of the garment. However, the “whole garment” of the Am HaAretz was not chosen. Only a piece of the Am HaAretz was added. This naturally brings the question of why? In simplistic terms this is because “The Garment” actually refers to Torah Observant Yehudah. This being the case we understand that only a “Torah Observant” piece – patch from the Am HaAretz can be added to the Torah Observant Garment of Yehudah. 



El-eazar Principle


When we allow the questions of how the Nazarean Talmud relates to the Torah Seder we derive a principle being made by Hakham Shaul. We will call this principle the “El-eazar Principle.”


The El-eazar Principle: TheEl” in Eleazar’s name refers to “Elohim.” And “eazar” means “helper.” Therefore, the name “Eleazar” means “G-d (Elohim) is my helper.” Or we might say the “Judge is my helper.” In the case of man, his body needs the help of G-d. G-d has vested in man His Divine Breath, the Breath of Elohim. Herein the body has found G-d (Elohim) as his helper and Judge. The human spirit/neshamah is perfect possessing all the spiritual qualities of G-d, albeit in a limited finite way. Yet the human spirit is the perfect copy (image) of G-d. The human spirit animates the human body – blood, flesh and bone. The Divine Pneuma – Breath is the body’s assistant in spiritual duties. Or, we might say that the Divine Pneuma guides and Judges the actions of the body, excusing or accusing all its actions.


Rom 2:15 Which demonstrates the work of the Torah written in their hearts (Cf. Jer 31:31), their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;


The El-eazar Principle demonstrates that the patch discussed above must perfectly match the Torah Observant B’ne Yisrael as the community vested with the Divine Breath of Judgment. This judgment is also “Halakhah” by which the B’ne Yisrael conducts itself before G-d.


Torn Garments – Yisrael the Kingdoms rent in two


We are pressed with the question of what the meaning of the tear in the Garment of Torah Observant Jewish community means? The favoured Garment of Torah Observant Jewish Community was rent in two when the Kingdom of Yisrael was split in two, becoming the Northern Kingdom of Yisrael and the Southern Kingdom of Yehudah (Judah). With Yehudah’s return to Eretz Yisrael just after the Babylonian exile she assumed the role of both kingdoms allegorically speaking. The Garment’s split remains in part to this day. This Babylonian exile is the tear which removed a piece of G-d’s favoured garment. The Great Exile which continues to this day demonstrates that the tear was only partially repaired during the days of the Master. Therefore, the analogy can be eschatological referring to the time when the patch is placed upon the Favoured Garment of the Torah Observant B’ne Yisrael permanently. This analogy then draws on the “coat of many colors” that Ya’akov gave to his favoured son, Yosef.



Redeeming the Exiles


The mission of Messiah and his talmidim becomes clearer with each pericope. The message that any exile has taken place means that G-d needs Paqidim to count those who were lost to exile. Furthermore, the Paqidim search for the garment (exiles) which will be placed on the Favoured Garment of the B’ne Yisrael. Before true “peace,” Shalom can take place there must be wholeness. Here our reference to “shalom” means that the B’ne Yisrael must be returned as a single unity “body and soul” as was pictured in a recent pericope of 2 Luqas. Not only must the Paqidim perform their functions in searching and counting, we need the Seven Messianic personalities of the Esnoga (Synagogue) to be fully restored to the Congregation so that the Community of Torah Observant B’ne Yisrael may function in the appropriate way. Therefore, the analogy of the tailor and vine-dresser can be references to the Paqidim and Congregational leaders of Hakham Shaul’s letter to the Congregation at Ephesus.[37]


In accepting the redemption of Exiles as the Mission of Messiah and his Talmidim we also note that there are those fragments of Jewish souls scattered throughout the entire world. It was for this very reason that Messiah commissioned us to “go into the entire world and “talmudize” the Gentiles.  Here we must make the distinction between the lost fragments which are found in the Gentile world and those Gentiles who will join because they were also chosen before the foundation of the earth. Here we note the women of Valour such as Rut and Rahab. These souls have been “patches” added to the Garment of the B’ne Yisrael. Their addition contributed an element of beauty to the Favoured Garment that if not added would leave the garment bland and unattractive. Likewise, there are those Gentiles, which G-d will add as a “patch” further beautifying His Favoured Garment the B’ne Yisrael.



Oil and the Renewed Wineskin


The final analogy made in both the Marcan and Lucan accounts refer to wineskins and oil. With a deeper understanding of these two elements we can see who and what the “Favoured Garment” is on a deeper (Remes) level. The wineskin is analogous of a container holding the “Aged Wine.” Both the “Aged Wine” and the “Oil” rubbed on the wineskins are analogous of the Hakhamim i.e. Torah Scholars “par excellence.” Therefore, at the higher end of Remes hermeneutic and expression, the “Favoured Garment” are the “Hakhamim.” The “patch work” are those pieces of Jewish education (represented in the Seven Men of the Congregation) which achieve the level of excellence represented by the Hakhamim. These men are being called upon as we passed the Tenth of Tebet to be our strengthening and comforting. In a matter of speaking these men are the intermediaries between the Hakhamim and the Congregation. Their purpose is strengthening and maturing. As we learned in the previous pericope of the Nazarean Talmud we see that the B’ne Kallah (also the Favoured Garment) had a goal of producing a Nation of Hakhamim. Through careful planning and measuring G-d has produced a Garment of unimaginable beauty.





Regardless of the piece of cloth “added” to G-d’s Favoured Garment,” G-d’s careful planning and measuring has produced a Garment whose pieces can only be discerned by G-d Himself. The pattern and design places pieces and parts in such a way that we do not realize that the Garment is a garment of pieces.  Each piece has the specific duty to bring beauty to the Garment of G-d be it Gentiles, Paqidim, Hakhamim, B’ne Kallah or B’ne Pirkei. The focus of every piece of patchwork it’s to add to the beauty of the favoured Garment of the Torah Observant B’ne Yisrael.


A final analogy incorporates the Mesorah. The Mesorah are the Jewish traditions which have been passed down to us from the previous generations. By embracing and teaching these traditions to the subsequent generations and talmidim we each add a piece of patchwork to the favoured Garment of G-d allegorically speaking. The halakhic implications here are numerous. In short it is the duty of every Nazarean Jew to add to the whole work of G-d’s Torah helping to make a beautiful garment.


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. What question/s (no more than two questions) about the Torah Seder for this Shabbat arose for which Hakham Tsefet’s Mishnah and Hakham Shaul’s Gemarah provide adequate answers?
  3. 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!”



A Must Have Book for your Library


Voices in Exile: A Study in Sephardic Intellectual History (The Library of Sephardic History and Thought) Hardcover 

by Marc D. Angel

Publisher: Ktav Pub Inc (May 1993)

ISBN-10: 0881253707

New: $ 31.25; Second Hand from $7.76 at


This is a most interesting book as it not only provides a survey of the works of the Sephardic world, which so often goes overlooked, but it also gives many glimpses of what characterizes a Sephardic community and its leadership. The text also provides a good source for quoting on your papers for the different subjects we will study.


The author of this book is a famous Spanish/Portuguese Sephardic Rabbi who headed for many years the oldest Esnoga in the U.S. This book will probably go out of print in a few months and now is a good time to buy it new or second hand.



Next Shabbat: “Va’avo HaYom El HaAyin”

“And I came today to the fountain”



Torah Reading:

Weekday Torah Reading:

וָאָבֹא הַיּוֹםאֶל-הָעָיִן



“Va’avo HaYom El HaAyin”

Reader 1 – B’resheet 24:42-49

Reader 1 – B’resheet 25:19-21

“And I came today to the fountain”

Reader 2 – B’resheet 24:50-58

Reader 2 – B’resheet 25:22-24

“Y llegué hoy a la fuente”

Reader 3 – B’resheet 24:59-61

Reader 3 – B’resheet 25:19-24

B’resheet (Gen.) 24:42 – 25:18

Reader 4 – B’resheet 24:62-67


Ashlamatah: Is 12:3 - 13:4 + 14:1-2

Reader 5 – B’resheet 25:1-6


Reader 6 – B’resheet 25:7-11

Reader 1 – B’resheet 25:19-21

Psalms 18:1-51

Reader 7 – B’resheet 25:12-18

Reader 2 – B’resheet 25:22-24


    Maftir – B’resheet 25:16-18

Reader 3 – B’resheet 25:19-24

N.C.: Mark 2:23-28

Luke 6:1-5 & Acts 5:12-16

            Is 12:3 - 13:4 + 14:1-2






Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu ben Abraham











[1] Radak

[2] See II Samuel chapter 11.  Rabbat is understood to be the modern city of Amman in Jordan.

[3] verse 11

[4] verse 15. This introduction was excerpted and edited from: The ArtScroll Tanach Series, Tehillim, A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources. Commentary by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer, Translation by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer in collaboration with Rabbi Nosson Scherman.

[5] Aguna = chained

[6] Rashi on v 4; Talmud Kethuboth 9b; Rambam, Laws of Divorce ch 8.

[7] [So that in case he falls in battle his wife should be free to marry without the necessity of chalitzah. The Get would in that case take effect retrospectively from the date of its writing (Rashi). Tosafot.: He writes a Get without any conditions to take effect immediately]

[8] I Shmuel (Samuel) 17:15.

[9] I.e., the betrothals, these thou shalt take from them by a deed of divorce (Rashi).

[10] Uriah and Bathsheba had never consummated their marriage, indicating some severe dysfunction in their relationship. (Zohar 1:8b)

[11] Being a prophet, David knew that his heir and successor would be the son that would be born to him and Bathsheba, a woman of renown, famous for her excellence of character, no less than for her unsurpassed beauty.

[12] The sages say that Batsheba was meant to be with David from the six days of creation, but that he took her prematurely. In fact, the Torah’s first word, “In the “beginning”, (בֵראשית) equals “Batsheba to King David”, (בת שבע לָדִוד המֶלך). The Torah’s first word is related in all other places in the Tanach to kingdom and sovereignty. So there is a distinct connection here between Batsheba and the kingdom and between David and Batsheba. In spite of all the evil inclination involved in this act, David sensed their predestination and so did Batsheba.

[13] Mashiach comes from the union between David and Batsheba and not any other of David’s wives.

[14] Compare this with our psalm:  v.3 Thou hast tried my heart, Thou hast visited it in the night; Thou hast tested me, and Thou findest not that I had a thought which should not pass my mouth.

[15] When Uriah, a soldier in David’s army, did not return home from the war, the get he had given to his wife, Bathsheba, rendered her technically divorced from before the time of David’s first involvement with her. (Ketuboth 9b) Although this would not by any means justify adultery, it does suggest a motive—other than Uriah’s stated reason of empathy for his fellow soldiers—for Uriah’s refusal to comply with David’s order to return home to his wife.

[16] See Malbim ad loc.

[17] Our Hakhamim teach that Uriah was indeed guilty of a capital offense in refusing to carry out David's order to go into Batsheba. This made him "a traitor to the kingship", the penalty for which is death.

[18] When Uriah was called before David, he made reference to his general as “my master, Joab” (2 Shmuel 11:11). Although this form of address would have been proper in the presence of his commanding officer, referring to anyone other than the king as master in the presence of the king himself constituted an act of rebellion punishable by death. (Shabbat 56a)

[19] Where David sinned was in contriving for Uriah to be killed in such a way as to make it seem that he was merely a war casualty, whereas in fact David should have taken Uriah before the Sanhedrin and had him publicly condemned to death (Shabbat 56a). However David did not want to do this as it would have drawn public attention to the questionable circumstances of his relations with Batsheba.

[20] The understanding is that he was fomenting a rebellion.

[21] Maimonides, Laws of Kings 3:8–10

[22] Malbim on 2 Samuel 11:15

[23] Note that Batsheba did have some culpability in this affair because her son died because of it. Thus she too received a portion of David’s punishment. According to Jewish law, an adulteress is forbidden to marry a man with whom she committed adultery, even after divorce or the death of her husband. (Sotah 25a) Any descendant from such a union would be a mamzer, i.e., illegitimate, and would thus be disqualified both from reigning as king and from marrying into the general community of permitted Jewish women. Because David remained married to Bathsheba after the incident without reprimand, and because their son, Solomon, was allowed to rule and perpetuate the messianic line, we have no choice but to conclude that David, whatever his sin may have been concerning Bathsheba, did not commit adultery. (Malbim on 2 Shmuel 11)

[24] It is clear, therefore, that David was neither an adulterer nor a murderer. Indeed, when the prophet Nathan presented David with the parable of the rich man who stole the poor man’s sheep, he alluded to theft but to neither murder nor adultery. Had David been truly guilty of murdering Uriah, what possible explanation could there have been for the prophet to employ a parable that implied theft but not murder?

[25] So why does scripture leave David’s innocence so concealed and elusive? Let us recall that the stories recounted in the Bible often magnify the sins of great people so that later generations can appreciate the severity of their transgressions. For a spiritual giant such as David, his indiscretions with Bathsheba and Uriah were indeed comparable to adultery and murder. However, to believe that David actually committed either adultery or murder is to miss both the greatness of David and the real lessons of the biblical record.

[26] The real meaning of Nathan's reproof for David personally is not even our business. The average individual cannot expect to grasp the exact nature of David's sin. The prophet's reproof to the saintly David is directed at US, the average readers, who are to learn from it how to recognize our own sins and how to repent in order to rectify them. From verse 4, which successively refers to the rich man's visitor as a HEILECH ("passer-by"), then an ORE'AH ("visitor") and finally an ISH ("man of stature"), our Hakhamim learned out that the nature of the evil inclination is first to drop in casually as a passer-by, then to install himself within us as a long-term guest, until he finally takes over the entire house and acts as the BAAL HABAYIS ("owner of the house"; Succah 52b).

[27] Nathan the prophet used the parable of the rich man's taking the poor man's lamb in order to prompt David to see for himself where his sin lay and how he should be punished. Had Nathan simply asked David to consider his behavior and ask himself if he had done anything wrong, the king may have tried to rationalize away his actions. Instead, Nathan told David a graphic story about somebody else's gross behavior and asked him to give a quite impartial evaluation of this kind of behavior that would not be colored by the need to justify himself. Rabbi Nachman (Likutei Moharan I, 113) teaches that this is the method whereby G-d consults sinners about how they should be punished. If He were to ask them directly about their own behavior, they would never give an impartial reply and would always judge themselves too leniently. He therefore shows them someone else's behavior which is parallel to their own and then asks them how they judge it. According to their evaluation of the other person's deeds and how they should be penalized, so G-d judges and penalizes their own, and this is the meaning of the rabbinic statement that "a person is punished with his knowledge yet without his knowledge" (Avot 3:16). We should be very careful when looking at and judging the behavior of others in case we are unknowingly being invited to decide our own fate.

[28] Some say that the sin of David was that he did not put him to death, but let him be killed by the sword of the Ammonites (II Sam. 12:9) which was an abomination (Zohar Ex. 107a).

[29] Uriah was not a Hittite; the name merely indicates that he dwelt among them (Kiddushin 76b).

[30] The verbal tally with the Torah portion is Hand - יד, Strong’s number 03027. Curiously, when we seek a wife, we seek her hand in marriage. Our psalmist declares in v.14 that men are the hand of HaShem. Thus we see that Eliezer was not only Avraham’s hand in seeking a wife for Yitzchak, but he was also HaShem’s hand!

[31] We will comment below on the TDNT’s statement for the word καινός (kainos) “young, with a suggestion of immaturity or of lack of respect for the old.” 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. 3:447

[32] Verbal and thematic connection to B’resheet 24:1 “And Abraham was Old.”

[33] We find it amazing that the scholars fumble for words trying to support their convoluted theories. The unshrunken, unbleached ect. ect., is simply a piece of cloth that has not been measured to fit the tear.

[34] This is NOT a NEW piece of cloth, nor does the text imply such. We simply have a piece of cloth, patch which is being sewed onto an older garment. ῥάκοςrhakos must be qualified as old, new or otherwise. ἐπίβλημαepiblema does not in any way qualify ῥάκοςrhakos.

[35] Verbal tally with Genesis 24:32.

[36] As in previous note.

[37] Cf. Eph 4:11ff