4:18 Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez
4:19 and Hezron begot
Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab;
4:20 Amminadab begot
Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmah;
4:21 and Salman begot
Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed;
4:22 and Obed begot
Jesse, and Jesse begot David.
4:18 Now these [are] the generations of Pharez:
Pharez begat Hezron,
4:19 And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,
4:20 And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat
4:21 And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,
4:22 And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
kai; au|tai aiJ genevsei" Fare" Fare"
ejgevnnhsen to;n Esrwn
Esrwn de; ejgevnnhsen to;n Arran kai; Arran
ejgevnnhsen to;n Aminadab
kai; Aminadab ejgevnnhsen to;n Naasswn kai; Naasswn
ejgevnnhsen to;n Salman
kai; Salman ejgevnnhsen to;n Boo" kai;
Boo" ejgevnnhsen to;n Wbhd
kai; Wbhd ejgevnnhsen to;n Iessai kai; Iessai
ejgevnnhsen to;n Dauid
4:18-22 And these are the
generations of Phares: Phares begot Esrom; 19 Esrom then begot Aran, and Aran
begot Aminadab; 20 and Aminadab begot Naässon, and Naässon begot
and Salman begot Boöz, and Boöz begot Obed; 22 and Obed begot Jessæ, and Jessæ
Now this is the genealogy of Perez: Perez begot Hezron.
Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab.
Amminadab begot Nahshon, who was the head of the household of the tribe of Judah, and
Nahshon begot Salmah the righteous. He is the Salmah of Beth Lehem of Judah,
and Netophah, whose sons abolished the guards which the wicked Jeroboam had set
over the highways. They served their father, and were becoming children, like
Salmon begot the judge, Ivtzan, who is identical with the righteous Boaz,
because of whose merit the Israelite people were saved from their enemies, and
because of whose prayer the famine ceased in the Land of Israel.
Boaz begot Oved, who served the Master of the Universe with perfect heart.
Now Oved begot Jesse, who was called Nahash, because no corruption and
perversion, for which he might be delivered into the hands of the angel of
death, who would take his life from him, were found in him. He lived a long
time, until the serpent's counsel to Eve, Adam's wife, to partake of the fruit
of the tree, the eating of which resulted in wisdom to distinguish between good
and evil, was recalled before God. Because of that counsel, all inhabitants of
the earth are mortal, and as a result of that blunder, the righteous Jesse
died. He is Jesse, who was the father of David, the king of Israel.
4:18 Now these are the generations of Peretz Since (Scripture) traced Davids lineage
to the name of Ruth the Moabitess, (a proselyte,) (Scripture then) went back
and traced his lineage to the name of Judah (the symbol of Jewish royalty).
Chapter 5 MISHNAH 2. [THERE
WERE] TEN GENERATIONS FROM ADAM TO NOAH (Viz., (i) Adam; (ii) Seth; (iii)
Enosh; (iv) Kenan; (v) Mahalaleel; (vi) Jered; (vii) Enoch; (viii) Methuselah;
(ix) Lamech; (x) Noah; [Bereshit 5:3-29].), IN ORDER TO MAKE KNOWN HOW
LONG-EXTENDED IS LONG-SUFFERING WITH HIM; FOR ALL THOSE GENERATIONS WERE
REPEATEDLY ACTING PROVOKINGLY, UNTIL HE BROUGHT UPON THEM THE WATERS OF THE
WERE] TEN GENERATIONS FROM NOAH TO ABRAHAM (Viz., (i) Shem; (ii) Arpachshad;
(iii) Shelah; (iv) Eber; (v) Peleg; (vi) Reu; (vii) Serug; (viii) Nahor; (ix)
Terah; (x) Abraham; [Bereshit 9:10-26].), IN ORDER TO MAKE KNOWN HOW
LONG-EXTENDED IS LONG-SUFFERING WITH HIM; FOR ALL THOSE GENERATIONS WERE
REPEATEDLY ACTING PROVOKINGLY, UNTIL ABRAHAM, OUR FATHER, CAME AND RECEIVED THE
REWARD OF ALL OF THEM.
76b GEMARA. Whence are these laws inferred? R. Johanan replied: Scripture
stated, And when Sail saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said into
Abner, the captain of the host: Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner
said: As thy soul liveth, O King, I cannot tell. But did he not know him?
Surely it is written, And he loved him greatly; and he became his armour
bearer! He rather made the inquiry concerning his father. But did he not know
his father? Surely it is written, And the man was an old man in the days of
Saul, stricken in years among them; and Rab or, it might be said, R. Abba,
stated that this referred to the father of David, Jesse. who came in with an
army and went out with an army! It is this that Saul meant: Whether he
descended from Perez, or from Zerah. If he descended from Perez he would be
king, for a king breaks for himself a way and no one can hinder him. If,
however, he is descended from Zerah he would only be an important man. What is
the reason why he gave instructions that enquiry be made concerning him?
Because it is written, And Saul clad David with his apparel. being of the same
size as his, and about Saul it is written, From his shoulders and upward he was
higher than any of the people. Doeg the Edomite then said to him, Instead of
enquiring whether he is fit to be king or not, enquire rather whether he is
permitted to enter the assembly or not! What is the reason? Because he is
descended from Ruth the Moabitess. Said Abner to him, We learned: An
Ammonite, but not an Ammonitess; A Moabite, but not a Moabitess! But in that
case a bastard would imply: But not a female bastard? It is written mamzer
[Which implies] anyone objectionable. Does then Egyptian exclude the Egyptian
woman? Here it is different, since the reason for the Scriptural text is
explicitly stated: Because they met you not with bread and with water; it is
customary for a man to meet [wayfarers]; It is not, however, customary for a
woman to meet [them].
each tribe was unwilling to be
the first to enter the sea. Then sprang forward Nahshon the son of Amminadab
and descended first into the sea; as it is said: Ephraim compasseth me about
with falsehood, and the house of Israel
with deceit; but Judah
yet ruleth with God.
Bathra 91a R. Hanan b. Raba said in
the name of Rab: Elimelech and Salmon and such a one and the father of Naomi
all were the sons of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab. What does he come to teach
us [by this statement]? That even the merit of one's ancestors is of no avail
when one leaves the land [of Palestine]
for a foreign country.
76b MISHNAH. AN AMMONITE AND A
MOABITE ARE FORBIDDEN AND THEIR PROHIBITION IS FOR EVER , THEIR WOMEN, HOWEVER,
ARE PERMITTED AT ONCE. AN EGYPTIAN AND AN EDOMITE ARE FORBIDDEN ONLY UNTIL THE
THIRD GENERATION. WHETHER THEY ARE MALES OR FEMALES. R. SIMEON, HOWEVER,
PERMITS THEIR WOMEN FORTHWITH. SAID R. SIMEON: THIS LAW MIGHT BE INFERRED A
MINORI AD MAJUS: IF WHERE THE MALES ARE FORBIDDEN FOR ALL TIME THE FEMALES ARE
PERMITTED FORTHWITH, HOW MUCH MORE SHOULD THE FEMALES BE PERMITTED FORTHWITH
WHERE THE MALES ARE FORBIDDEN UNTIL THE THIRD GENERATION ONLY. THEY REPLIED: IF
THIS IS AN HALACHAH, WE SHALL ACCEPT IT; BUT IF IT IS ONLY AN INFERENCE, AN
OBJECTION CAN BE POINTED OUT. HE REPLIED: NOT SO. [BUT IN FACT] IT IS AN
HALACHAH THAT I AM REPORTING.
Whence are these laws inferred? R. Johanan replied: Scripture stated, And
when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said into Abner, the
captain of the host: Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said: As thy
soul liveth, O King, I cannot tell. But did he not know him? Surely it is
written, And he loved him greatly; and he became his armour bearer! He rather
made the inquiry concerning his father. But did he not know his father? Surely
it is written, And the man was an old man in the days of Saul, stricken in
years among them; and Rab or, it might be said, R. Abba, stated that this
referred to the father of David, Jesse. who came in with an army and went out
with an army! It is this that Saul meant: Whether he descended from Perez, or
from Zerah. If he descended from Perez he would be king, for a king breaks for
himself a way and no one can hinder him. If, however, he is descended from
Zerah he would only be an important man. What is the reason why he gave
instructions that enquiry be made concerning him? Because it is written, And
Saul clad David with his apparel. being of the same size as his, and about Saul
it is written, From his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the
people. Doeg the Edomite then said to him, Instead of enquiring whether he is
fit to be king or not, enquire rather whether he is permitted to enter the
assembly or not! What is the reason? Because he is descended from Ruth the
Moabitess. Said Abner to him, We learned: An Ammonite, but not an Ammonitess;
A Moabite, but not a Moabitess! But in that case a bastard would imply: But
not a female bastard? It is written mamzer [Which implies] anyone
objectionable. Does then Egyptian exclude the Egyptian woman? Here it is
different, since the reason for the Scriptural text is explicitly stated:
Because they met you not with bread and with water; it is customary for a man
to meet [wayfarers]; It is not, however, customary for a woman to meet [them].
VIII:1 R. Abba b. Kahana opened [his exposition with the verse], Tremble,
and sin not (Psalm IV, 5). David said to the Holy One, blessed be He, ' How
long will they rage1 against me and say, "Is he not of tainted descent? Is
he not a descendant of Ruth the Moavitess?" Commune with. your own heart
upon your bed (ib.). Ye also, are ye not descended from two sisters? Look upon
your own genealogy and be still (ib.). And Tamar who married your ancestor Judah- is it
not a tainted descent? She was but a descendant of Shem the son of Noah. Have
you then an honorable descent? R. Jacob b. Abijah said: [The meaning of this
verse is]: Fight against your [Evil] Inclination and sin not. The Rabbis
explain: Anger your Inclination and sin not. THESE ARE THE GENERATIONS OF PEREZ
(IV, 18). R. Abba said: Wherever the word eleh
(these are) occurs, it invalidates the preceding; we-eleh (and these
are) adds to the preceding. AND HEZRON BEGOT RAM (IV, I9). But was not
Jerahmeel the elder son, as it is written, The sons also of Hezzon, there were
born unto him: Jerahmeel, and Ram, and Chelubai (I Chron. II. 9)? [Jerahmeel is
omitted] because he married a Canaanitish woman in order to adorn himself with
her, as it is written, And Jerahmeel had another wife, whose name was Atarah (I
Chron. II, 26).
12:5 The word toledot appears everywhere in the Torah with a deficient
spelling (i.e., lacking the letter vav), except for two instances: "These
are the chronicles of Peretz," and ["These are the chronicles of the
heaven and the earth upon their creation"]. Why are all the others lacking
the letter vav? ... Because of the six (vav) things taken from Adam: his
radiance, his life, his stature, the fruit of the earth, the fruit of the
trees, and the luminaries.... For though the world was created perfect, these
were ruined by Adam's sin, and shall be restored only with the coming of [Mashiach,]
the descendent of Peretz.
story of man is the journey from toledot to toledot, from the perfect world
that G-d created to the restored perfection of the age of Mashiach. In the
simply stated words of Rashi, "The toledot of the righteous are their good
VIII:1 AND RAM BEGOT AMMINADAB; AND AMMINADAB BEGOT NAHSHON, AND NAHSHON
BEGOT SALMON (IV, 19, 20). [Why is he called Salmon?] Because up to him they
formed ladders (sulamoth) of princes, from him onwards they formed ladders of
kings. R. Isaac opened his exposition with the verse Then said I: Lo, I am come
(Psalm XL, 8). I ought to have sung a song that I have come, since the word az
(lo!) refers to song, as it is said, Then (az) sang Moses (Exodus XV, 1). I was
included in the verse An Ammonite and a Moabite shall not come into the
assembly of the Lord (Deuteronomy XXIII, 4), but I have come with the roll of a
book which is prescribed for me (Psalm loc. cit.). With the roll refers to
the verse, Concerning whom Thou didst command that they should not enter into
Thy congregation (Lam. I, 10). In the book, as it is said, An Ammonite and a
Moavite shall not enter into the assembly of the Lord (Deuteronomy XXIII, 4). And not only have I
been allowed to enter, but in the roll and the book it is written concerning
me. ' In the roll -Perez, Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse,
David; in the book; And the Lord said: Arise, anoint him; for this is he (I Sam. XVI, 12). R. Huna said: It is written
For God hath appointed me another seed (Genesis IV, 25), that is, seed from
another place, referring to the Messiah. R. Berekiah and R. Simon said: We may
illustrate with a parable of a king who was traveling from one place to
another, when a precious pearl fell from his head. So the king and all his
retinue stopped there. All the passers-by asked, What are the king and his
retinue doing here? They discerned the reason and said, A pearl has fallen
from his head. What did he do? He gathered all the soil into heaps and brought
brooms. He had one heap swept, but did not find it; a second heap, and he did
not find it; but in the third, he found it, and they announced, The king has
found his pearl! So the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Abraham, Get thee
out (Genesis XII, 1). It was to thee
that I looked forward. What need had I to record the genealogy of Shem,
Arpachshad, Shelah, Eber, Peleg, Nahor, and Terah? (I Chron. 1, 24). Only on
account of thee, Abram-the same is Abraham (ib.); And foundest his heart
faithful before Thee (Neh. IX, 8). So said the Holy One, blessed be He, to
David, What need had I to record the genealogy of Perez, Hezron, Ram,
Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse? Only on account of thee; I have
found My servant, David.
Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 85a There is a tradition concerning King
Solomon, that when he first sat on his throne the Moon was in her fulness, as
he was the fifteenth in descent from Abraham, the pedigree being Abraham,
Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Perez, Hezron, Ram (Ruth IV, 19), Aminadab, Nahshon,
Shalmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David, Solomon. Therefore it is written: Then
Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord (I Chr. XXIX, 23), and also six ascents
had the throne, thus being a replica of the Supernal Throne. In the days of
Zedekiah, the Moon was in her wane, and the face of Israel was darkened. He was the
fifteenth from Solomon, his pedigree being Rehoboam, Abiah, Asa, Jehoshaphat,
Jehoram, Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh,
Amon, Josiah, Zedekiah. When Zedekiah came the Moon waned and remained thus,
for it is written: He (the king of Babylon)
blinded the eyes of Zedekiah (Jeremiah LII, 11). Then He cast down from
heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel (Lam. II, 1). The earth was
removed far from the heaven and became dark. When the Israelites stood by Mount
Sinai the Moon began to shine forth, as it is written: He bowed the heavens
and came down (2 Samuel XXII, 10), meaning that the Sun approached the Moon,
and the Moon began to shine, this being expressed in the words: And on the
east side toward the rising of the sun shall they of the standard of the camp
of Judah pitch throughout their armies (Numbers II, 3). On Mount Sinai was Judah appointed
chief in the kingdom. R. Isaac found this expressed in the words: But Judah
still ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints (Hosea XII, 1), which
means, that when God was ruling in His Kingdom on Mount Sinai, Judah was ruling
in his; when the Holy One said to Israel: And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of
priests and a holy nation, Judah was found faithful and worthy to receive the
kingdom, and therefore the Moon began to shine.
Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 103b A man who has children by his first
wife, and brings such a woman into his house, unites himself with a flaming
sword, in two ways: first, because two have already entered and been violently
ejected, and now he is the third; and, secondly, how can he let his spirit
enter into a vessel which has already been used by others, associate himself
with her and cleave to her? It is not that he is prohibited to do so, but in
doing it he chooses a bad companion to himself R.Levitas, from Kephar Oni, used
to jeer and scoff at a person who married a woman of this sort, applying to her
the words: And she shall laugh at the last day (Proverbs XXX1, 25), meaning,
the last one who unites himself with such a woman will be a laughing stock.
Now we have to turn our attention to a great and noble spot which once was on
the earth, being a very root and stock of truth, to wit, Obed the father of
Jesse, the grandfather of David. It has been affirmed that he was such a last
one: how, then, could the root of truth.(David) emanate from such a place? The
fact, however, is that Obed worked and laboured at the root of the tree, until
it was regenerated and made wholesome: it was therefore that he was called Obed
(labourer, also. worshipper), a name which no other man merited to bear. He
came, he digged, he hoed round the root of the tree, he pressed out the
bitterness from the branches and made wholesome the crown. Then came Jesse, his
son, who further improved and invigorated it, and grafted it on to the branches
of another stately tree, joining tree with tree so that they were intertwined.
And when David came he found the branches entwined and knit together, and was
thus enabled to attain dominion over the world. And all these things which came
to pass had their cause and beginning in Obed. Having spoken thus, the old man
wept again and said: Old man, old man, did I not say that thou hadst plunged
into the midst of the great sea? Now thou art indeed in the very midst of the
mighty waves! Old man, old man, thou hast none to blame but thyself; hadst thou
remained silent at the beginning all would have been well with thee, but now
thou mayest not, and there is none to take hold of thine hand! Thou art alone.
But arise, old man, and take courage! Obed remedied himself because he came out
from the evil field in which were bad cisterns. Then came Jesse, his son, who
improved and hoed round that tree and digged up that which was evil and that
which was bitter likewise. This is a mystery of mysteries, and I know not with
certainty whether or no to reveal it. Yet say on, old man.! Yea, I shall
certainly speak, if only in order that these two who shall hear me should be
made fully cognizant of the other transmigrations of the souls of men. Now,
Obed, as I have said, hoed round the root of the tree, so improving it
somewhat; and yet, when King David came, he was left only with the lower,
feminine tree, and had to receive life from another tree. Now, if he for whom
the way was so well prepared had to develop thus, how much more so ordinary
persons who undergo transmigration! Thus, then, it was with Perez, and with
Boaz likewise. Obed was also thus. With regard to all of these, the tree
emerged from the side of evil and was afterwards joined to the side of good, as
we read that Er, the firstborn of Judah, was wicked in the sight of the Lord
(Genesis XXXVIII, 7); so was Onan (Ibid. 9, 10); so also was Mahlon, although
his evil was not so great. Thus, in all these there was a tincture of ill, from
which, however, good eventually emerged; as it is written of David, their
descendant: goodly to look to, and the Lord was with him (I Sam. XVI, 12,
18). Thus the tree below was purified and remained so, so that God ruled over
the nations (through the house of David). The grades of Israel took
root in the supernal foundation from the beginning: Reuben, Simeon, Levi. But
when it comes to Judah
it says that Leah, his mother, said: This time I will praise the lord... and
she left off bearing (Genesis XXIX, 35); concerning which it is written:
Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear (Isaiah LIV, I). For when Judah was born
the Feminine was united with the Masculine. Note: The last 4 lines of the
Hebrew text are not translated]
And these are the generations of Peretz: Peretz begot Chetzron.
been told that Obed was Ishais father and King Davids grandfather, the
scripture goes back in time to trace the lineage of Obed from Peretz. the
ancestral father of monarchy.
is a rule in scripture that the expression vktu, and these, adds
to the previous matter. In this case, vktu links the birth of Peretz to judah and
Tamar with the birth of Obed to Boaz and Ruth. to teach that both women acted
for the sake of heaven.
just as the unusual events leading to the marriage of Boaz and Ruth were
arranged by God to produce David, so were the unusual events leading to the
union of Judah and Tamar, brought about by Him. [For the details of this
incident see Genesis ch. 38.]
merited to bear the royal seed because of her kindness and her devoted cleaving
to God]. Tamar merited it because she was willing to suffer death, and with it
the loss of the royal seed she knew she was carrying, rather than shame Judah. For she
rightly perceived that even the highest purpose does not justify reprehensible
to the Midrash, the monarchy came through women of pagan origins so that the
kings would have an element of cruelty from the mothers side, in addition to
compassion from the fathers side. This equipped them with the ability to exact
revenge from Israels
enemies while treating Israel
three scriptural episodes leading to the emergence of David involved wondrous
ways dependent on split-second timing; had the moment passed, they would have
come to nothing. Lots daughters sought to
conceive from their father because they thought the entire world had been
destroyed; had they waited, they would have discovered that it was not so. Judah was about
to pass Tamar by and continue on his way when an angel impelled him toward her;
and Boaz was about to die when he wed Ruth. All this comes to teach that as
soon as the time is ripe, the Messiah will not delay in coming.
Tamar was giving birth to her twin sons, Zerach put out his hand but drew it
back, and Peretz was born first. And she said, Wherefore have you made a
breach (peretz) for yourself? Therefore his name was called Peretz (Genesis
sages elaborate: Zerach wanted to come out first but God said, The Messiah
will descend from Peretzshall Zerach come out first? Let him return to his
mothers womb, so that Peretz will be first.
bore the seed of the monarchs, who break through to make way for themselves. Of
his descendant the Messiah it is thus written: The breaker (.rup,
poretz) shall go up before them; they shall break forth and pass on by the gate
and go through it. Their king shall pass before them, and the Lord at their
head (Micah 2:13).
(breach) alludes to the moon, which is sometimes breached and sometimes
built; Zerach (radiance) alludes to the sun, which shines steadily. Zerach
represents the priesthood; Peretz, the monarchy. Just as the moon grows to
fullness in fifteen days, so did the monarchy grow to its full splendor in the
fifteenth generation from Abraham to Solomon. David (sus, numerically
equivalent to 14), the fourteenth generation, is hinted at in the verse
(Genesis 39:28): When [Tamari was giving birth, he gave a hand (sh,
numerically equal to 14).
sages say: All the ,urus, generations, in the scripture are
incomplete (missing a letter vav), except for two: These are the generations
of heaven and earth (Genesis 2:4), and These are the generations of Peretz.
The first describes the beginning of creation, before the angel of death came
into being. At that time the generations were complete. After Adam and Eve
sinned, God depleted all the generations in scripture. The generations of
Peretz, however, are complete, because he was the forebear of the Messiah, in
whose days God shall swallow up death forever (Isaiah 25:8).
those days, the sun and moon [which was diminished for complaining that it
and the sun were the same size, and two kings cannot share the same crown
(Midrash)] will again shine forth with their original glory. And the light of
the Messiahwhich is now hidden because of our sinswill also shine forth in
all its glory. The generations of heaven and earth, and the generations of
Peretz, will be complete.
20 And Chetzron begot Ram, and Ram begot Aminadav; and Aminadav begot Nachshon,
and Nachshon begot Salmah.
generated a line of tzaddikim who each in turn begot another tzaddzk. The fact
that they were righteous is inferred from the doubling of their names, which
shows that they had a double existence: they lived in this world and continue
to live in the next.
virtues are hinted at in their names. For example, vnka Salmah. whose name
means garment, was so called because he clothed [his soul] in a beautiful
garment of good deeds. It was his namesake, Salmah the Righteous, who cancelled
the watches placed by the king of the Israelite kingdom, Jereboam [to prevent
his subjects from making their pilgrimage to the Holy
Temple in Jerusalem,
lest they be won over by the king of Judah (1 Kings 12)].
name Salmah is derived from okx, sulam, ladder, and has the same
letters as vnka Shlomo, Solomon. Thus the Midrash says: Until Salmah they
made ladders for nessiim (princes), henceforth for kings. That is, the
generations from Peretz to Nachshon [leader of the tribe of Judah during
the Exodus] ascended one degree after another until they merited kingship. The
following generations again ascended in merit until they reached the top of
the ladder in the person of Solomon, who reigned over both heavenly and earthly
And Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed.
is a variation of Salmah, mentioned in the previous verse.]
from famine and foe, and he was stronger than a king, for of a king it is
written, He shall give strength to his king (I Samuel 2:10) but Boaz
personified strength (zg-uc, in him there is strength). He was also
called lbetzan (imct), meaning father of the sheep (itmk ct,
av letzon), for he was a shepherd of his people.
book contains eighty-five verses, corresponding to the numerical value of zguc,
Boaz. All except eight begin with the letter vav, for this Megillah was written
which circumcises its infants at the age of eight days.
however, was born circumcised.
(servant of God) served God with all his heart, thereby fulfilling Gods
essential demand of a king. As David said, And you, Solomon my son, know the
God of your father and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind, for the
Lord searches all hearts and understands the imaginations of all thoughts. If
you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will cast you
off forever (1 Chronicles 28:9).
And Obed begot Ishai, and Ishai begot David.
lshai, stems from ,uah, existence. For Ishai never sinned, and if
Adams sin had not brought the decree of death upon mankind, Ishai himself
would still exist in this world. It is fitting that lshai begot David and
established the eternal dynasty of the house of David, which will culminate in
the revoking of the death decree during the Messianic era; may it come speedily
in our day.
In Praise of the Proselyte
suffered poverty and loneliness to cleave to God, and she gave Israel the
house of David and the light of the Messiah. From her story we learn compassion
and love for the proselyte who leaves his father and mother to shelter under
the wings of the Shechinah.
are the ohrd, proselytes, for the patriarchs and prophets called
themselves ohrd which also means strangers. Abraham said, I am a
stranger and sojourner with you (Genesis 23:4); Isaac was called a stranger,
as God said to him, Sojourn (rud) in this land (Genesis 26:3); and the
sons of Jacob said, To sojourn (rudk) in this land have we come (Genesis
47:4). David said, For I am a stranger with you, a sojourner, as were all my
fathers (Psalms 39:13); I am a sojourner in the earth (Psalms 119:19); For
we are strangers before You, and sojourners, as were all our fathers (1
sages compared the proselyte to the ewe that fled from the field and joined the
shepherds flock. The shepherd loved the new sheep more than all the rest, for
the rest of his flock he had to pay for, but he acquired her without payment.
Similarly, God performed many miracles and wonders for Israel before
they accepted the Torah, but the convert accepts the Torah without first
and converts equally, and converts are equal to Jews in all matters. It is a
positive precept to Love therefore the stranger, for you were strangers in the
land of Egypt (Deuteronomy 10:19). Therefore
we are also commanded: A stranger shall you not afflict [by reminding him of
his past]; neither shall you oppress him [by cheating him] (Exodus 2:20).
are as dear to God as the Sabbath. The Torah warns twenty-eight times to treat
converts properly, the same number of times that it warns against desecrating
the Sabbath and against worshipping idols.
are converts; throughout the scriptures they are likened to Israel. Israel is called ohscg servants, and oh,ran,
ministers, as it is written, For unto Me the children of Israel are servants; they are My servants whom
I brought forth out of the land
of Egypt (Leviticus
25:55); and You shall be named the priest of the Lord; men shall call you
ministers of our God (Isaiah 61:6). Proselytes, too, are called servants and
ministers, as it is written. Also the aliens that join themselves to the Lord,
to minister unto Him and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants
beloved, as it is written, I have loved you, said the Lord (Malachi 1:2); and
proselytes are beloved, as it is written, He loves the stranger, in giving him
bread and clothing (Deuteronomy 10:18).
Shimon bar Yochai said: He who loves God is beloved of Him, as it is written,
He loves the stranger.
the righteous of Israel
it is written, But they that love Him be as the sun when it goes forth in its
might (Judges 5:31). Who is greater, he who loves the king or he who is
beloved of the king? Obviously the latter: everyone loves the king; fortunate
is he whom the king loves.
the proselyte asked Rabbi Eliezer, Is the entire love God has for the
proselyte in that he gives him bread and clothing? Rabbi Eliezer replied, Is
that a small thing in your eyes? For this Jacob prayed. saying, If God ...
will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear (Genesis 28:20). Onkelos then
came before Rabbi Yehoshua, who appeased him, thus: Bread is the Torah, as it
is written, Wisdom calls .. . Come, eat of the bread (Proverbs 9:15).
Clothing is Torah, as it is written, You have a mantle (vkna),
be you our ruler (Isaiah 3:6). Moreover, a converts daughter can marry a
priest and bear priestly sons who eat the showbread and wear the priestly
vestments, and they are entitled to chaflah (a portion of dough that must be
separated from all bread baked) and the first-shearing of wool.
and proselytes are joined to God by a covenant. Of Israel it is written: And my
covenant shall be in your flesh (Genesis 17:13). And of the proselyte it is
written: Also the aliens, that join themselves to the Lord.
Every one that
holds fast by My covenant (Isaiah 56:6).
expression iumr, acceptance, is found concerning both Israel and
proselytes. Of Israel
it is written, that they may be accepted before the Lord (Exodus 28:38). Of
the converts it is written: Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall
be acceptable upon My altar (Isaiah 56:7).
are guarded: Behold, He Who guards Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps
(Psalms 121:4); and The Lord guards the strangers (Psalms 146:9).
are included in the four groups who answer before God, as described in the
verse: One [the righteous] shall say, I am the Lords; and another [children
of the wicked] shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another [the
penitent sinners] shall subscribe with his hand to the Lord; and he [the
proselyte] shall surname himself by the name of Israel (Isaiah 44:5).
Eliezer said: Joining Israel through conversion is considered as doing a
kindness for all of Israel, as Saul said to Yithros descendants: For you
showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt(1
Samuel 15:6). Can anyone possibly do kindness for an entire nation? But because
he convertedas we learn from his words, Blessed be the Lord, Who has
delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians.... Now I know that the Lord is
greater than all gods (Exodus 18:1011)it is considered as if he did kindness
with them all.
are the converts, for God adds to their names, as in the case of Yithro. His
name was originally r,h, Yether, as it is written, And he returned to
Yether, his father-in-law (Exodus 4:18); but after he converted, a letter was
added to make it ur,h,
Yithro. This marks high attainment, as in the case of Abraham (Neither shall
your name any more be called orct Abram, but your name shall be ovrct
Abraham [Genesis 17:5]) and Joshua (Moses called gauv, Hosea the son of
Joshua [Numbers 13:161). On the other hand, the wicked cause their name to be
diminished, as in the case of the false prophet ctjt Echav, of whom it
is written, The Lord make you like Tzidkiyah and like cjt, Echav
gentile who embraces Judaism is rewarded like a Jew who has toiled at the Torah
all his life. Thus Moses said to Yithro, Come with us, and we will do you
good, for the Lord has spoken good concerning Israel
(Numbers 10:29); and while Joshua reserved the fertile lands of Jericho for the tribe (Benjamin) that would lose part of
its land to the Temple.
in the meantime (for 400 years) the land was given to the descendants of
Yithro, who left it after Joshuas death in search of another scholar to teach
them Torah, as it is written, The children of the Kenite, Moses
father-in-law, went up out of the city of palm trees [Jericho] (Judges 1:16).
They found a teacher, Yabetz, and moved near him, as it is written, And the
families of tribal scribes who dwelt with Yabetz: the Tiratites, the
Shimatites, and the Sokatites. These are the Kenites that came of Chammat, the
father of the house of Rechav (1 Chronicles 2:55). They are called oh,gr,,
Tiratites (from gr,, to sound), for they sounded their prayers; oh,gna
Shimatites (from gna, to hear) for their prayers were heard; and oh,fa,
Sokatites (from vfa, to protect), for their merits protect Israel.
of the Kenites, Yonadav ben Rechav, had heard a prophet foretell the destruction
of the Temple,
whereupon he ordered his sons not to drink wine, build homes, or plant
vineyards. As his descendant was to recall, We will not drink wine; for
Yonadav the son of Rechav our father commanded us, saying: You shall drink no
wine, neither you, nor your sons, forever; neither shall you build a house, nor
sow seeds, nor plant vineyard, nor have any; but all your days you shall live
in tents (Jeremiah 35:6,7). Because they obeyed the instructions of their
father, Therefore thus says the Lord of Hosts, God of Israel; There shall not
be cut off unto Yonadav the son of Rechav a man to stand before Me forever
Rabbi Yochanan: Greater is the covenant that God made with the sons of Yithro
than that which he made with David, for the covenant with Yithro was
unconditional, whereas the covenant with David was not. Thus it is written, If
the children forsake my law. .. . Then will I visit their transgression with
the rod, and their iniquity with strokes (Psalms 89:3133); but if your
children keep My covenant and My testimony that I shall teach them, their
children also forever shall sit upon the throne (Psalms 132:12).
Abraham Ibn Ezra
"Son of man, for how long will my honor
be a shame!" The Yalkut Shimoni, Tehillim 4, relates that scoffers
in David's generation ridiculed him, for he was descended from Ruth, the
Moabitess. King David responded to them (Tehillim 4:5), "Say in
your hearts on your beds and be silent! Did not you come from a prohibited
union of two sisters?" The people and the Elders sensed this, and said, "May
the ETERNAL grant [that] the woman who is entering your home [be] like Rachel
and Le' ah...And may your household be like the House of Peretz, whom Tamar
bore to Yehudah." For they understood that all of this deceit was
necessary in order to bring forth precious souls from the hands of their