Esnoga Bet Emunah

4544 Highline Dr. SE

Olympia, WA 98501

United States of America

© 2017


Menorah 5

Esnoga Bet El

102 Broken Arrow Dr.

Paris TN 38242

United States of America

© 2017



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


Three and 1/2 years Lectionary Readings

Second Year of the Triennial Reading Cycle

Shebat 08, 5777 – Feb 03/04, 2017

Second Year of the Shmita Cycle



Candle Lighting and Habdalah Times:


Amarillo, TX, U.S.

Fri. Feb 03 2017 – Candles at 6:00 PM

Sat. Feb 04 2017 – Habdalah 6:58 PM

Austin & Conroe, TX, U.S.

Fri. Feb 03 2017 – Candles at 5:52 PM

Sat. Feb 04 2017 – Habdalah 6:48 PM

Brisbane, Australia

Fri. Feb 03 2017 – Candles at 6:23 PM

Sat. Feb 04 2017 – Habdalah 7:17 PM

Chattanooga, & Cleveland, TN, U.S.

Fri. Feb 03 2017 – Candles at 5:54 PM

Sat. Feb 04 2017 – Habdalah 6:52 PM

Manila & Cebu, Philippines

Fri. Feb 03 2017 – Candles at 5:38 PM

Sat. Feb 04 2017 – Habdalah 6:29 PM

Miami, FL, U.S.

Fri. Feb 03 2017 – Candles at 5:48 PM

Sat. Feb 04 2017 – Habdalah 6:42 PM

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

Fri. Feb 03 2017 – Candles at 5:04 PM

Sat. Feb 04 2017 – Habdalah 6:03 PM

Olympia, WA, U.S.

Fri. Feb 03 2017 – Candles at 5:00 PM

Sat. Feb 04 2017 – Habdalah 6:07 PM

Port Orange, FL, U.S.

Fri. Feb 03 2017 – Candles at 5:47 PM

Sat. Feb 04 2017 – Habdalah 6:42 PM

San Antonio, TX, U.S.

Fri. Feb 03 2017 – Candles at 5:56 PM

Sat. Feb 04 2017 – Habdalah 6:52 PM

Sheboygan  & Manitowoc, WI, US

Fri. Feb 03 2017 – Candles at 4:47 PM

Sat. Feb 04 2017 – Habdalah 5:51 PM

Singapore, Singapore

Fri. Feb 03 2017 – Candles at 7:02 PM

Sat. Feb 04 2017 – Habdalah 7:52 PM

St. Louis, MO, U.S.

Fri. Feb 03 2017 – Candles at 5:08 PM

Sat. Feb 04 2017 – Habdalah 6:08 PM

Tacoma, WA, U.S.

Fri. Feb 03 2017 – Candles at 4:58 PM

Sat. Feb 04 2017 – Habdalah 6:05 PM





For other places see:



Roll of Honor:


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

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

His Honor Paqid Adon David ben Abraham

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

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

Her Excellency Giberet Sarai bat Sarah & beloved family

His Excellency Adon Barth Lindemann & beloved family

His Excellency Adon John Batchelor & beloved wife

Her Excellency Giberet Leah bat Sarah & beloved mother

Her Excellency Giberet Zahavah bat Sarah & beloved family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His Excellency Adon Brad Gaskill and beloved wife Cynthia Gaskill

His Excellency Adon Marvin Hyde

His Excellency Adon Scott Allen

Her Excellency Giberet Eliana bat Sarah and beloved husband HE Adon James Miller


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

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



We pray for the elderly mother of Her Honor Giberet Giborah bat Sarah, Mrs. Pearl Stroppel, who has terminal cancer. Mi Sheberach – He Who blessed our holy and pure Matriarchs, Sarah, Ribkah, Rachel and Leah, bless Her Excellency Giberet Mrs. Pearl Stroppel and send her a complete recovery and strengthening of body and soul. Please G-d heal her, please. Please G-d heal her, please. Please G-d heal her, please. Cure her, strengthen her, make her healthy and return her to her original strength, together with all the sick of Yisrael. And may it be so willed, and we will say, Amen ve Amen! Also, extend great mercy, shalom and healing to H.H. Giberet Gibora bat Sarah at this time of great sorrow for her, and we say, amen ve amen!


And we pray for His Excellency Mr. Terry ben Noach, the uncle of HE Giberet Zahavah bat Sarah who is gravely ill. Mi Sheberach – He who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac abd Jacob, Moses and Aaron, David and Solomon, may He bless and heal the sick person HE Mr. Terry ben Noach, May the Holy One, Blessed is He, be filled with compassion for him to restore his health, to heal him, to strengthen him, and to revivify him. And may He send him speedily a complete recovery from heaven, among the other sick people of Yisrael, a recovery of the body and a recovery of the spirit, swiftly and soon, and we will say amen ve amen!


We also pray for the mother of H.E. Giberet Zahavah bat Sarah, Mrs. Peggy Johnston, who is very sick. Mi Sheberach – He Who blessed our holy and pure Matriarchs, Sarah, Ribkah, Rachel and Leah, bless Her Excellency Giberet Mrs. Pearl Stroppel and send her a complete recovery and strengthening of body and soul. Please G-d heal her, please. Please G-d heal her, please. Please G-d heal her, please. Cure her, strengthen her, make her healthy and return her to her original strength, together with all the sick of Yisrael. And may it be so willed, and we will say, Amen ve Amen!


We pray also for H.E. Giberet Rachel bat Batsheva who is afflicted with un-systemic mastocytosis. Mi Sheberach – He Who blessed our holy and pure Matriarchs, Sarah, Ribkah, Rachel and Leah, bless Her Excellency Giberet Rachel bat Batsheva and send her a complete recovery and strengthening of body and soul. Please G-d heal her, please. Please G-d heal her, please. Please G-d heal her, please. Cure her, strengthen her, make her healthy and return her to her original strength, together with all the sick of Yisrael. And may it be so willed, and we will say, Amen ve Amen!


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



Shabbat: “V’Atá Tetsavé” – “And you give orders”



Torah Reading:

Weekday Torah Reading:

וְאַתָּה תְּצַוֶּה


Saturday Afternoon

“V’Atá T’tsavé”

Reader 1 – Sh’mot 27:20 – 28:5

Reader 1 – Sh’mot 29:1-3

“And you will give orders”

Reader 2 – Sh’mot 28:6-8

Reader 2 – Sh’mot 29:4-8

Y mandarás

Reader 3 – Sh’mot 28:9-12

Reader 3 – Sh’mot 29:7-9

Reader 4 – Sh’mot 28:13-21


Sh’mot (Ex.) 27:20 – 28:43

Reader 5 – Sh’mot 28:22-30

Monday & Thursday


Psalms 64:1-11

Reader 6 – Sh’mot 28:31-35

Reader 1 – Sh’mot 29:1-3


Hos 14:7 – Yoel 1:5 +2:14

Reader 7 – Sh’mot 28:36-43

Reader 2 – Sh’mot 29:4-8

    Maftir – Sh’mot 28:41-43

Reader 3 – Sh’mot 29:7-9

Mk 8:13; Lk 11:31-32;

Acts 20:1-16

       Hos 14:7 – Yoel 1:5 +2:14




Blessings Before Torah Study


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


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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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


These are the Laws whose benefits a person can often enjoy even in this world, even though the primary reward is in the Next World: They are: 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


·        The Oil for the Lamp – Exodus 27:20-21

·        The Vestments of the Priests – Exodus 28:1-5

·        The Ephod – Exodus 28:6-12

·        The Breastplate – Exodus 28:13-30

·        The Robe – Exodus 28:31- 35

·        The Plate, Miter, and Other Priestly Garments – Exodus 28:36-43



Reading Assignment:


The Torah Anthology: Yalkut Me’Am Lo’Ez - Vol. IX: The Tabernacle

By: Rabbi Yaaqov Culi & Rabbi Yitschaq Magriso, Translated by: Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan

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

Vol. 9 – “The Tabernacle,” pp. 141-224



Rashi & Targum Pseudo Jonathan

for: Shemot (Exod.) 27:20 – 28:43




20. And you shall command the children of Israel, and they shall take to you pure olive oil, crushed for lighting, to kindle the lamps continually.

20. ¶ And you will instruct the sons of Israel to bring the pure olive oil, beaten, for illumination, that the lamps may burn continually.

21. In the Tent of Meeting, outside the dividing curtain that is in front of the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall set it up before the Lord from evening to morning; [it shall be] an everlasting statute for their generations, from the children of Israel.

21. In the tabernacle of the covenant, without the veil that is before the testimony, Aharon and his sons will set it in order from evening until morning before the LORD, an everlasting statute to your generations of the house of Israel.



1. And you bring near to yourself your brother Aaron, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel to serve Me [as kohanim]: Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar, Aaron's sons.

1.  ¶ And you, bring near to you Aharon your brother, and his sons with him, from among the sons of Israel, to minister before Me: Aharon, Nadab, and Abihu, Elazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aharon.

2. You shall make holy garments for your brother Aaron, for honor and glory.

2. And you will make garments of holiness for Aharon your brother, for glory and for praise.

3. And you shall speak to all the wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, and they shall make Aaron's garments to sanctify him, [so] that he serve Me [as a kohen].

3. And you will speak with all who are wise of heart, and whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they make the vestments of Aharon to consecrate him to minister before Me.

4. And these are the garments that they shall make: a choshen, an ephod, a robe, a tunic of checker work, a cap, and a sash. They shall make holy garments for your brother Aaron and for his sons to serve Me [as kohanim].

4. And these are the vestments they will make: the breastplate and ephod, and the robe, and the embroidered tunics, the miters and girdles; and they will make the holy garments for Aharon your brother, and for his sons, to minister before Me.

5. They shall take the gold, the blue, purple, and crimson wool, and the linen,

5. ¶ And they will take from their treasures gold, and hyacinth, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen.

6. and they shall make the ephod of gold, blue, purple, and crimson wool, and twisted fine linen, the work of a master weaver.

6. And they will make the ephod of hyacinth, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, twined, the work of the artificer.

7. It shall have two connected shoulder straps at both its ends, and it shall be entirely connected.

7. Two shoulder (pieces) will it have, conjoined to its two sides, and (so) it will be united.

8. And its decorative band, which is above it, shall be of the same work, [emanating] from it: gold, blue, purple, and crimson wool, and twisted fine linen.

8. And the ornamented girdle which is to be upon it will be of the same work; of gold, hyacinth, purple, and crimson, and fine twined linen, will it be.

9. And you shall take two shoham stones and engrave upon them the names of the sons of Israel.

9. And you will take two gems of onyx, and engrave upon them the names of the sons of Israel.

10. Six of their names on one stone and the names of the remaining six on the second stone, according to their births.

10. Six of their names will be engraved upon one gem, and the six remaining names upon the second gem; they will be set in the order of their nativity.

11. [Similar to] the work of an engraver of gems, [similar to] the engravings of a seal, you shall engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel; you shall make them enclosed in gold settings.

11. The engraved gems will be the work of the artificer, engraved, and the engraving be distinct as the engraving of a ring;

12. And you shall put the two stones upon the shoulder straps of the ephod as stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel, and Aaron shall carry their names before the Lord upon his two shoulders as a remembrance.

12. you will engrave the two gems according to the names of the sons of Israel in their work round about; inset in gold will you make them. And you will fix the two gems upon the shoulders of the ephod, to be set for a memorial of righteousness/generosity for the sons, of Israel; and Aharon will bear the names of the sons of Israel upon his two shoulders for a memorial.

13. You shall make settings of gold,

13. And you will make the sockets of gold.

14. and two chains of pure gold you will make them attached to the edges, after the manner of cables, and you will place the cable chains upon the settings.

14. And two chains of pure gold, measured will you make them, of twisted work, and insert the twisted chains in the sockets.


15. You shall make a choshen of judgment, the work of a master weaver. You shall make it like the work of the ephod; of gold, blue, purple, and crimson wool, and twisted fine linen shall you make it.

15. ¶ And you will make the BREASTPLATE OF JUDGMENT, by which are made known the judgments that are hidden from the judges; and the order of the victories of their battles, and amends that are made for the judges; the work of the artificer; as the work of the ephod, you will make it; of gold, hyacinth, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen twined, you will make it.

16. It shall be square [and] doubled; its length one span and its width one span.

16. Square will it be, doubled; a span its length, and a span its breadth.

JERUSALEM: A hands-breadth.

17. And you shall fill into it stone fillings, four rows of stones. One row: odem, pitdah, and bareketh; thus shall the one row be.

17. And you will fill it with a fullness of precious stones: four rows of precious gems, answering to the four regions of the world. The first row, carnelian, topaz, carbuncle; and on them will be engraved and expressed the names of the tribes of Reuben, Shimeon, and Levi.

JERUSALEM: And you will fill it with a filling of stones, four rows of precious stone; the first row, carnelian, and topaz, and carbuncle; written with expression upon it (will be) the name of the three tribes, Reuben, Shimeon, and Levi.

18. The second row: nofech, sappir, and yahalom.

18. And the name of the second row, smaragd, and sapphire and chalcedony; and upon them will be engraved and expressed the names of the three tribes, Yehuda, Dan, and Naphtali.

JERUSALEM: And the second row, carbuncle, and sapphire, and amethyst; in writing expressed upon them, the name of the three tribes, Yehudah, Issakar, and Zebulon.

19. The third row: leshem, shevo, and achlamah.

19. And the name of the third row, ligure, and agate, and amethyst; and upon them will be written and expressed the names of three tribes, Gad, and Asher, and Issakar.

JERUSALEM: And third row, ligure, and beryl, and smaragd; written expressly upon them (will be) the name of the three tribes, Dan, Naphtali, and Gad. (Exo 28:19 JTE)

20. And the fourth row: tarshish, shoham, and yashpheh; they shall be set in gold in their fillings.

20. And the name of the fourth row, chrysolite, onyx, and jasper; and upon them will be written and expressed the names of three tribes, Zebulon, Joseph, and Benjamin. Set in gold will they be, in their completeness.

JERUSALEM: And the fourth row, chrysolite, bdellium, and margelite.

21. And the stones shall be for the names of the sons of Israel twelve, corresponding to their names; [similar to] the engravings of a seal, every one according to his name shall they be, for the twelve tribes.

21. And the jewels will be taken according to the names of the sons of Israel, twelve are they according to their names, engraved and set forth as the engraving of a ring; the gem of each man according to his name: (so) will they be for the twelve tribes.

JERUSALEM: Written expressly upon them will be the name of the three tribes, Asher, Joseph, and Benjamin: socketed in gold will they be, in their completeness.

22. You shall make for the choshen chains at the edges, of cable work, of pure gold.

22. And you will make upon the breastplate measured chains of twisted work of pure gold,

23. You shall make for the choshen two golden rings, and you shall place the two rings on the two ends of the choshen,

23. and will make upon the breastplate two rings of pure gold, and put the two rings upon the two sides of the breastplate.

24. and you shall place the two golden cables on the two rings, at the ends of the choshen.

24. And you will put the two golden chains upon the two rings in the sides of the breastplate,

25. And the two ends of the two cables you shall place upon the two settings, and [these] you shall place upon the shoulder straps of the ephod, on its front part.

25. and the two chains which are upon the two sides you will put upon the two sockets, and set on the shoulders of the ephod against its front.

26. You shall make two golden rings, and you shall place them on the two ends of the choshen, on its edge that is toward the inner side of the ephod.

26. And you will make two golden rings, and fix them upon the two sides of the breastplate, in the border of it which is on the edge of the ephod inwardly.

27. And you shall make two golden rings and place them on the two shoulder straps of the ephod, from below, toward its front, adjacent to its seam, above the band of the ephod.

27. And you will make (likewise) two golden chains, and fix them upon the two shoulders of the ephod beneath, towards its front, towards the place of its conjoinment above the girdle of the ephod;

28. And they shall fasten the choshen by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a blue cord, so that it may be upon the band of the ephod, and the choshen will not move off the ephod.

28. and they shall unite the breastplate with its rings to the rings of the ephod, with twined ribbon, of hyacinth, to be joined upon the girdle of the ephod, that the breastplate may not be removed from the ephod.

29. Thus shall Aaron carry the names of the sons of Israel in the choshen of judgment over his heart when he enters the Holy, as a remembrance before the Lord at all times.

29. And Aharon will bear the names of the sons of Israel upon his heart what time he enters into the sanctuary for a good memorial before the LORD continually.

30. You shall place the Urim and the Tummim into the choshen of judgment so that they will be over Aaron's heart when he comes before the Lord, and Aaron will carry the judgment of the children of Israel over his heart before the Lord at all times.

30. And you will put upon the breastplate of judgment the Urim, which illuminate their words, and manifest the hidden things of the house of Israel, and the Tummim, which fulfill (or perfect) their work to the high priest, who seeks instruction by them before the LORD; because in them is engraved and expressed the Great and Holy Name by which were created the three hundred and ten worlds, and which was engraved and expressed in the foundation stone wherewith the LORD of the world sealed up the mouth of the great deep at the beginning. Whosoever remembers that holy name in the hour of necessity will be delivered. And they will be upon Aharon's heart in the time that he enters before the LORD; and Aharon will bear the judgment of the sons of Israel before the LORD continually.

31. And you shall make the robe of the ephod completely of blue wool.

31. ¶ And you will make the mantle-robe (mintar meila) of the ephod, of twined thread of hyacinth;

32. Its opening at the top shall be turned inward; its opening shall have a border around it, the work of a weaver. It shall have [an opening] like the opening of a coat of armor; it shall not be torn.

32. and an orifice will be in the middle of its upper part; a border will be upon its opening round about its orifice, the work of the sewer; as the orifice of a coat of mail it will be, that it may not be rent.

JERUSALEM: And an orifice will be in the middle of its head; a border will surround the orifice, the work of the sewer; like the opening of a coat of mail will it be, that it be not torn.

33. And on its bottom hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and crimson wool, on its bottom hem all around, and golden bells in their midst all around.

33. And you will make upon the hem of it pomegranates of hyacinth, and purple, and crimson, upon its hem, round about, and bells of gold among them round about.

34. A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, on the bottom hem of the robe, all around.

34. A golden bell, and a pomegranate of hyacinth and crimson; a golden bell, and a pomegranate of hyacinth and crimson upon the border of the robe round about; their number, seventy and one.

35. It shall be on Aaron when he performs the service, and its sound shall be heard when he enters the Holy before the Lord and when he leaves, so that he will not die.

35. And it will be a vestment upon Aharon to minister, and its voice will be heard at the time that he has entered the holy place before the LORD, and at the time that he comes out, that he die not by the flaming fire.

36. And you shall make a showplate of pure gold, and you shall engrave upon it like the engraving of a seal: Holy to the Lord."

36. ¶ And you will make a plate (or crown) of pure gold, and engrave upon it with distinct engraving, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.

37. And you shall place it upon a cord of blue wool and it shall go over the cap, and it shall be opposite the front side of the cap.

37. And you will put it on a twined ribbon of hyacinth, to make amends for boldness of face; and it will be on the miter above the tephillin of the head in front of the miter will it be.

38. It shall be upon Aaron's forehead, and Aaron shall bear the iniquity of the holy things that the children of Israel sanctify, for all their holy gifts. It shall be upon his forehead constantly to make them favorable before the Lord.

38. And it will be in the front of Aharon's forehead, from time to time as it comes; and Aharon will bear the iniquity of the consecrated things which the sons of Israel may consecrate; even of all their sacred gifts in which they have been insincere. And it will be upon the front continually, for their reconciliation before the LORD.

39. You shall make the linen tunic of checker work, and you shall make a linen cap; and you shall make a sash of embroidery work.

39. ¶ And you will weave the tunic of fine linen to expiate for the shedding of innocent blood; and will make the tiara of fine linen to expiate for the pride of their thoughts; and the girdle will you make of the work of the embroiderer.

40. For Aaron's sons you shall make tunics and make them sashes, and you shall make them high hats for honor and glory.

40. ¶ And for the sons of Aharon you will make tunics, and girdles, and miters, for glory and for praise.

41. With these you shall clothe Aaron, your brother, and his sons along with him, and you shall anoint them and invest them with full authority and sanctify them so that they may serve Me [as kohanim].

41. And with them you will invest Aharon your brother, and his sons with him, and anoint them, that they may offer their oblations; and sanctify them to minister before Me.

42. And make for them linen pants to cover the flesh of [their] nakedness; they shall reach from the waist down to the thighs.

42. And you will make for them under-garments of fine linen to cover the flesh of their shame; from the girt of the girdle of their loins unto their thighs they will be.

JERUSALEM: Drawers of fine linen.

43. They shall be worn by Aaron and by his sons when they enter the Tent of Meeting or when they approach the altar to serve in the Holy, so they will not bear iniquity and die. It shall be a perpetual statute for him and for his descendants after him.

43. And they will be upon Aharon and upon his sons at the time when they enter the tabernacle of testimony, or when they approach the altar to minister in the sanctuary, that they may not receive the punishment of flaming fire. This is an everlasting statute for him and for his sons after him.




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.



Rashi’s Commentary for: Shemot (Exod.) 27:20 – 28:43


20 pure Without sediment, as we learned in Men. (86a): “He allows it to ripen at the top of the olive tree, etc.”


crushed He must crush the olives in a mortar, but he may not grind them in a mill, so that they will not contain sediment. After he has extracted the first drop [of oil], he places them [the olives] into a mill and grinds them. The [resulting] second oil is unfit for the menorah but is fit for meal offerings, as it is said: “crushed for lighting,” but not crushed for meal offerings. -[from Men. 86a]


to kindle the lamps continually Heb. לְהַעֲלֽת, lit., to cause to rise. [The kohen] shall light it until the flame rises by itself. -[from Shab. 21a]


continually Heb. תָּמִיד. [Since it burns] every night, it is called תָּמִיד, as you say: “a continual burnt offering” (עֽלַת תָּמִיד)” (Exod. 29:42, Num. 28:6), [which is called “continual”] although it is [offered up] only from day to day. Similarly, concerning the flat pan meal offering [of the Kohen Gadol, the word] תָּמִיד is mentioned although it is [offered up] only half in the morning and [the other] half in the evening. [The word] תָּמִיד mentioned concerning the showbread (Exod. 25:30), however, [literally] means from Sabbath to Sabbath [i.e., continually].


21 from evening to morning Give it its measure so that it will burn from evening to morning. And the Sages estimated [that this is] a half of a log [between 6 and 10.6 fl. oz.] for the long nights of Teveth, and similarly for all the nights. If any of it remains, it does not matter. [from Men. 89a]


Chapter 28


1 And you bring near to yourself your brother Aaron, and his sons with him After you complete the work of the Mishkan.


3 to sanctify him, [so] that he serve Me [as a kohen] Heb. לְקַדְּשׁוֹ לְכַהֲנוֹ-לִי, to sanctify him, to initiate him into the kehunah through these garment [so] that he would be a kohen to Me. The expression of kehunah means service, serjanterie [or serventrie] in Old French.


4 a choshen An ornament opposite the heart.


an ephod I did not hear (that it was a garment) [i.e., I have no tradition concerning the ephod], and I did not find the explanation of its pattern in the Baraitha [Melecheth HaMishkan]. My heart tells me that he [the Kohen Gadol] was girded with it [the ephod] from behind, its width being like the width of an [average] man’s back, similar to a kind of apron called porzent [or pourceint], [a kind of] belt, [like an] apron [back to front] that princesses wear when they ride horseback. So it was made from below [i.e., for the lower part of the body], as it is said: “and David was girded with a linen ephod” (II Sam. 6:14). [Thus] we learn that the ephod was a belt. It is impossible, however, to say that it was only a belt, because it is said: “and he put the ephod on him,” and afterwards, “and he girded him with the band of the ephod (בְּחֵשֶׁב הָאֵפוֹד) ” (Lev. 8:7), which Onkelos renders: בְּהֶמְיַן אֵפוֹדָא. [Thus] we learn that the חֵשֶׁב was the band and the ephod was a separate decoration. It is also impossible to say that because of the two shoulder straps in it, it is called ephod, for it is said: “the two shoulder straps of the ephod” (verse 27). [Thus] we learn that the ephod was a separate entity, the shoulder straps were a separate entity, and the band was a separate entity. Therefore, I say that because of the apron below it is called ephod because he decorates and adorns himself with it, as it is said: “and he decorated him with it” (Lev. 8:7); the חֵשֶׁב is the band above it, to which the shoulder straps were attached. Moreover, my heart tells me that there is evidence that it is a kind of garment, for Jonathan rendered “and David was girded with a linen ephod” (II Sam. 6:14) as כַּרְדּוּט דְּבוּץ and he renders likewise מְעִילִים as כַּרְדּוּטִין, in the narrative of Tamar, Absalom’s sister, “for in this manner the king’s virgin daughters dressed, in robes (מְעִילִים) ” (II Sam. 13:18). a robe Heb. מְעִיל. It is a kind of tunic, as is the כְּתֽנֶת, only that the כְּתֽנֶת is [worn] next to his flesh and the מְעִיל is [what is] called the outside robe.


of checker work Heb. תַּשְׁבֵּץ. Made of boxes (מִשְׁבְּצוֹת) for beauty. The boxes are similar to holes made in gold jewelry as a setting for precious stones and pearls, as it is said regarding the ephod stones: “enclosed in gold settings (מִשְׁבְּצוֹת) ” (verse 11), and in Old French it is called cha(s)tons, settings. [I.e., the boxes of the checker work on the tunic are like settings for precious gems.]


a cap Heb. מִצְנֶפֶת, a type of dome-shaped hat, called cofia in Old French, because elsewhere (verse 40) [the Torah] calls them מִגְבָּעוֹת, and the Targum [Onkelos] renders: כּוֹבָעִין.


and a sash This is the belt on the tunic, and the ephod is the belt on the robe, as we find in the order they were put on: “and put upon him the tunic, girded him with the sash, clothed him with the robe, put upon him the ephod” (Lev. 8:7).


holy garments From the offering sanctified for My name they shall make it.


5 They shall take Those wise-hearted people, who are to make the garments, shall receive from the donors the gold and the blue wool from which to make the garments.


and they shall make the ephod If I would try to explain the making of the ephod and the choshen according to the order of the verses, their explanation would be fragmentary and the reader would err in combining them. Therefore, I am writing [first] how they were made, as it was [i.e., in its entirety], so that the reader will be able to run through it [quickly]. Afterwards, I will explain it [how they were made] according to the sequence of the verses. The ephod was designed like a sort of apron worn by women who ride horseback [see Rashi on verse 4], and he [the Kohen Gadol] would gird [himself with] it from behind, opposite his heart, below his elbows, its width equaling the width of a man’s back and more, and it [the ephod] would reach his ankles. The belt was attached to the top of it across its width, [it was] the work of a weaver, and it extended on both sides in order to wrap [the Kohen Gadol] and gird [him] with it. The shoulder straps were attached to the belt—one to the right and one to the left from behind the Kohen [Gadol], at the two ends of the width of the apron. When he held them [i.e., the shoulder straps] upright, they stood [i.e., lay flat] on his two shoulders. They were like two straps made from the same material as the ephod [and they were] long enough to place them upright alongside his neck on either side. They were folded in front of him slightly below his shoulders. The shoham stones were set in them—one on the right shoulder strap and one on the left shoulder strap. The settings were placed at their ends in front of his shoulders, and the two golden chains were inserted into the two rings of the choshen at the two ends of its upper width—one on the right and one on the left. The two ends of the [right] chains were inserted into the settings on the right, and similarly the two ends of the left chains were inserted into the settings on the left shoulder strap. Thus, the choshen was suspended on the settings of the ephod in front of him [the Kohen Gadol] over his heart. There were two more rings on the two ends of the choshen, on the bottom of it. Opposite them [there were] two rings on the two shoulder straps from below, at its bottom end, which was attached to the belt. The rings of the choshen [were] opposite the rings of the ephod, lying on each other. He would fasten them [the rings] with a blue cord, inserted through the rings of the ephod and the choshen, attached to the band of the ephod, so that the bottom of the choshen would be attached to the band of the ephod, and it would not swing back and forth.


of gold, blue, purple, and crimson wool, and twisted fine linen These five kinds [of substances] were twisted into each thread. They [the workers] flattened the gold into a sort of thin plate and cut cords out of them [the plates] and spun them, one thread of gold with six threads of blue wool, and one thread of gold with six threads of purple wool, and similarly with the crimson wool, and similarly with the linen, for the threads of all the kinds were doubled sixfold, and one thread of gold was [twisted] with each one [kind of thread]. Afterwards, he would twist them all together. Thus, their threads were doubled into twenty-eight strands. This is explained in tractate Yoma (72a), and it is derived from the following verse (Exod. 39:3): “They flattened out the sheets of gold and he cut cords [out of them], to work (the gold cords) into the blue wool, into the purple wool, etc.” We learn that a thread of gold was twisted with every kind [of thread].


the work of a master weaver Heb. חוֹשֵׁב מַעֲשֵׂה. I have already explained (Exod. 26:1) that this is the weaving of two “walls,” [and] that the figures of its two sides are unlike one another.


7 two connected shoulder straps, etc. כְתֵפֽת, shoulder straps. The apron was below [these shoulder straps]. The band of the ephod, which is the belt, was attached to it [the shoulder strap] from above, similar to the style of women’s aprons. On the Kohen’s back [these] two pieces were attached to the band, like two wide straps, one opposite each shoulder. He [the Kohen Gadol] would draw them [the straps] upright on his two shoulders until they folded over in front of him against his breast. Through their [the straps] attachment to the rings of the choshen, they were held in front of him against his heart, so that they would not fall, as explained in this section. They were upright against his shoulders, and two shoham stones were attached to them, one to each.


at both its ends [I.e.,] to the width of the ephod. For its width was only against the Kohen’s back, and its height extended opposite his elbows, which are called coudes in French, as it is said: “they shall not gird themselves in a place that sweats” (Ezek. 44:18). [I.e.,] they should not gird themselves in a place of perspiration, [namely] neither above their elbows nor below their waists, but opposite their elbows. -[from Zev. 18b]


and it shall be entirely connected the ephod with those two shoulder straps of the ephod. He shall connect them [by sewing them] with a needle below [the shoulder straps] to the band, and he shall not weave them [together] with it, but weave them separately and then connect them.


8 And its decorative band The belt, by which it [the ephod] decorates and enhances the kohen[’s appearance] and adorns him.


which is above it Above, [i.e.,] at the edge of the apron was the belt.


of the same work Just as the weaving of the apron was the work of a master weaver and of five kinds, so was the weaving of the band the work of a master weaver and of five kinds [of material].


[emanating] from it It shall be woven with it, and he shall not weave it separately and attach it.[Whereas the shoulder straps and the ephod were to be woven separately and then attached, the belt and the ephod were to be woven together from the start.]


10 according to their births According to the order in which they were born [i.e.,]: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, on the one; and on the second one, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin spelled full, [בִּנְיָמִין], for so it is written in the place of his birth (Gen. 35:18) [totaling] twenty-five letters on each one [stone].


11 [Similar to] the work of an engraver of gems Heb. אֶבֶן מַעֲשֵׂה חָרַשׁ. The work of a craftsman of precious stones. This [word] חָרַשׁ is connected to the following word. Therefore, it is vowelized with a “pattach” at the end, and likewise, “The carpenter (חָרַשׁ עֵצִים) stretched out a line” (Isa. 44:13). [This is like] חָרָשׁ שֶׁל עֵצִים. Likewise, “The iron smith (חָרַשׁ בַּרְזֶל)” (Isa. 44:12). All these are connected and are [therefore] vowelized with “pattach”s.


[similar to] the engravings of a seal Heb. פִּתּוּחֵי חֽתָם, as the Targum [Onkelos] renders: כְּתַב מְפָרָשׁ כִּגְלָף דְּעִיזְקָא [a clear script like the engraving of a signet]. The letters are engraved inwardly, as they engrave the seals of signets, which are [used] to seal letters, [in] a clear and explanatory script.


with the names Heb. עַל-שְׁמֽתבִּשְׁמוֹת.


enclosed in…settings The stones shall be enclosed in gold settings, that he would make the “seat” of the stone in gold, like a sort of hole according to the measurement of the stone, and sink it [the stone] into the setting. Thus, the setting would encircle the stone, and the settings would be attached to the shoulder straps of the ephod.


12 as a remembrance So that the Holy One, blessed is He, will see the [progenitors of the] tribes written before Him, and He will remember their righteousness.


13 You shall make settings The minimum of settings is two. In this chapter, [the Torah] explains only part of what they [the settings] were needed for. In the chapter of the choshen, their explanation is completed for you.


14 chains Heb. שַׁרְשְׁרֽת, [chains, equivalent to the Mishnaic], שַׁלְשְׁלָאוֹת.


attached to the edges Heb. מִגְבָּלֽת. At the end of the edge (גְּבוּל) of the choshen, you shall make them.


after the manner of cables In the style of braiding strands, not made with holes and links like those produced for cisterns, but like those made for censers, which are called enzenseyrs [in Old French].


and you will place the… chains of cables, made in the style of cables, on these two settings. This is not the place [i.e., the section] of the command for the making of the chains, nor the command for fastening them. The word תַּעֲשֶׂה stated here is not an imperative expression, and [the word] וְנָתַתָּה stated here is [also] not an imperative expression, rather [they are only] in the future tense. [This is so] because in the chapter of the choshen He commands them again concerning making them [the chains] and fastening them. It was written here only to let you know part of the need for the settings, which He commanded [you] to make with the ephod. He wrote this [here] for you, to inform you that you will need these settings so that when you make chains at the edge of the choshen, you will place them on these settings.


15 a choshen of judgment which atones for the perversion of justice (Zev. 88b). Another interpretation: [The choshen is referred to as] judgment because it clarifies its words [see Rashi on verse 30], and its promise comes true, dere(s)nement in Old French, [meaning] a clear statement. For [the word] מִשְׁפָּט has three usages: 1) the words of the pleas of the litigants, 2) the verdict, and 3) the punishment of the judgment, whether the punishment of death, the punishment of lashes, or the punishment of monetary payment. But this one [use of the word מִֽשְפָט] serves as an expression of the clarification of words, [meaning] that it explains and clarifies its words.


like the work of the ephod The work of a master weaver and of five kinds [of material].


16 its length one span and its width one span [It was] doubled, and [it was] suspended before him [the Kohen Gadol] against his heart, as it is said: “so that they will be over Aaron’s heart” (verse 30), suspended on the shoulder straps of the ephod, which come from behind him [the Kohen Gadol] over his shoulders and are folded over, descending somewhat in front of him. The choshen was suspended on them [the shoulder straps] by the chains and the rings, as is explained in the [section discussing the] matter [below, verses 22-29].


17 And you shall fill into it Since the stones fill the holes of the settings, which are prepared for them, [the Torah] calls them by an expression of filling.


20 set in gold The rows shall be [set in gold] in their fillings, encircled by settings of gold in the depth. According to the measure of the fullness of the thickness of the stone shall be the depth of the settings, no less and no more.


21 every one according to his name According to the order of their [the progenitors of the tribes] births shall be the order of the stones, odem for Reuben, pitdah for Simeon, and similarly for all of them.


22 for the choshen Heb. עַל-הַחשֶׁן, for the choshen, to fasten them with its rings, as is explained below in the [section devoted to this] topic [below, verses 23-28].


chains Heb. שַׁרְשֽׁת, a word related to [the word for] the roots  (שָׁרְשֵׁי)of a tree, which are held to the tree, so it is held and inserted into the earth. These [chains] would also hold the choshen, for with them it [the choshen] would be suspended on the ephod. They are the two chains mentioned above (verse 14) in the [section devoted to the] topic of the settings. Menachem ben Saruk interpreted שַׁרְשְׁרֽת (verse 14) as well as an expression of roots (שָׁרָשִׁים). He said that the [second] “reish” (ר) is superfluous like the “mem” (מ) in שִׁלְשׁוֹם, [meaning] the day before yesterday (Exod. 5:8, 21:32, 36) [the word being derived from שָׁלשׁ, three], and the “mem” in רֵיקָם, empty (Gen. 31:42) [usually רֵיק, without the mem, is used] (Machbereth Menachem, p. 182). I do not agree with his statement, however, but [I hold that], שַׁרְשֶׁרֶת in Hebrew [of the Torah] is like שַׁלְשֶׁלֶת in the language of the Mishnah (Kelim 14:3).


at the edges Heb.  גַּבְלֻתThis is מִגְבָּלֽת mentioned above (verse 14), [signifying] that you shall insert them into the rings that will be on the edge (גְּבוּל) of the choshen. Every [instance of] גְּבוּל is an expression denoting an end, as(s)omayl in Old French, end, limit.


of cable work Plaited.


23 for the choshen Heb. עַל-הַחשֶׁן. For the choshen, in order to affix them onto it. It is, however, impossible to say that they [the two golden rings] shall be made on it [the choshen] from the outset, for if so, what is [the meaning of] what [the text] repeats and says, “and you shall place the two rings”? Are they not already placed on it? At the beginning of the verse, Scripture should have written, “And you shall make on the ends of the choshen two golden rings.” Also, regarding the chains, you must interpret [the text] in this manner.


on the two ends of the choshen On the two corners opposite the neck, on the right and on the left, which are opposite the shoulder straps of the ephod.


24 and you shall place the two golden cables They are the chains for the edges, mentioned above (verse 22). [The Torah] did not delineate [there] where they were to be affixed on the choshen. Now it explains to you that they should be inserted into the rings. You should know that they are indeed [referring to] the first ones, for in the parsha of אֵלֶה פְּקוּדֵי [i.e., in Exod. 39:15-19, where the Torah relates how the choshen was made], they were not doubled.


25 And the two ends of the two cables, i.e., the two ends of each one.


you shall place upon the two settings They are the ones mentioned above, between the section dealing with the choshen and the section dealing with the ephod (verses 13 and 14), but [the Torah] did not explain their necessity or their place. Now it [the Torah] explains that he should insert into them the ends of the chains which are inserted into the rings of the choshen on the right and on the left beside the neck. The two ends of the right chain he inserts into the right setting, and similarly with the left one, the two ends of the left chain.


and [these] you shall place the settings.


upon the shoulder straps of the ephod One [setting] on this one [shoulder strap] and one on that one. Thus the shoulder straps of the ephod hold up the choshen so that it does not fall, and it is suspended on them. Yet the bottom edge of the choshen moves in and out and knocks on his [the Kohen Gadol’s] stomach and is not fastened to him well. Therefore, two more rings were needed for its lower part, as [the Torah] proceeds to explain.


on its front part [The front part] of the ephod, [meaning] that he should not place the settings on the side of the shoulder straps that is toward the robe, but instead [he should place the settings] on the upper side, which is toward the outside. That is called “on the front part” of the ephod, because the side that is not seen is not called the front [lit., the face].


26 on the two ends of the choshen [I.e.,] they are its two bottom corners, to its right and to its left.


on its edge that is toward the inner side of the ephod Here you have two signs [for the placement of the rings]: One, that he should put them on the two ends of its [the choshen’s] bottom, which is opposite the ephod, since its top is not opposite the ephod, for it is near the neck; whereas the ephod he placed on his waist. [The Torah] gives another sign, namely that he should not attach them on the choshen’s outer side, but on the inner side, as it is said: “inner.” This side is towards the side of the ephod, since the band of the ephod girds the Kohen [Gadol], and the apron is folded in front of the Kohen [Gadol] on his waist and on part of his stomach from either side until it is against the ends of the choshen, and its ends lie on it [the ephod].


27 on the two shoulder straps of the ephod, from below For the settings were placed on the upper ends of shoulder straps of the ephod, which were on his shoulders opposite his throat and were folded and descended in front of him. [Concerning] the rings, however, He commanded that they be placed on the second end [of the shoulder straps], which is attached to the ephod, and that is what [is meant when] it is said: “adjacent to its seam,” [i.e.,] near the place where they are attached to the ephod, slightly above the belt. The seam was adjacent to the belt, and these [rings] were placed slightly above where the shoulder straps begin to rise. That is [what is meant] when it is said: “above the band of the ephod.” They [these rings] were [placed] opposite the end of the choshen, and he inserted a blue cord in these rings and in the rings of the choshen. He fastened them with this cord to the right and to the left, so that the bottom of the choshen would not swing out in front and then come back and knock on his stomach, and thus it was well placed on the robe.


toward its front On the outer side.


28 And they shall fasten Heb. וְיִרְכְּסוּ, a word of joining. Similarly, “from bands of (מֵרֻכְסֵי) men” (Ps. 31:21), [meaning] bands of wicked men joined together. Similarly, “and the close mountains (וְהָרְכָסִים), a valley” (Isa. 40:4). [הַרְכָסִים refers to] mountains that are close to one another, so that it is impossible to descend into the valley except with great difficulty. Because of their proximity, the valley is steep and deep. These [mountains] will become a straight valley, where it will be easy to walk.


so that it may be upon the band of the ephod So that the choshen would be fastened to the band of the ephod.


will not move Heb. וְלֽא-יִזַּחיִזַּח is a word [meaning] severance. It is an Arabic expression, as is asserted by Dunash ben Labrat (Teshuvoth Dunash, p. 60, 61).


30 the Urim and the Tummim This [refers to the] inscription of the explicit Name, which he [Moshe] would place within the folds of the choshen, through which it would light up its words (מֵאִיר) and perfect (מְתַּמֵם) its words. [I.e., the Urim and Tummim explain their words, and their predictions never fail (on Yoma 73b).] In the Second Temple there was the choshen, because it was impossible for the Kohen Gadol to be missing [any of the original] garments, but that Name was not inside it. Because of that Name, it was called “judgment,” as it is said: “and he shall inquire for him through the judgment of the Urim” (Num. 27:21).


the judgment of the children of Israel [I.e., the solution of] the matter about which they [the Israelites] are judging and debating, whether or not to do something. According to the aggadic midrash (Lev. Rabbah 10:6) that the choshen atoned for the perverters of justice—it was called “judgment” because of [its] forgiveness for the [sins of] judgment.


31 the robe of the ephod upon which the ephod is placed as a belt.


completely of blue wool Heb. כְּלִיל תְּכֵלֶת. All of it [the robe] was blue, without any other kind [of color or material] combined with it.


32 Its opening at the top Heb. פִי רֽאשׁוֹ The opening of the robe at its top; that is the opening of the collar.


shall be turned inward Heb. בְּתוֹכוֹ, folded inward. As the Targum [Onkelos] renders: לְגַוִּהּ כָּפִיל, folded inward, so that its fold should be a border for it. It was woven, not [sewn] with a needle.


like the opening of a coat of armor We learn [here] that their coats of armor had the opening folded inward [i.e., like a coat of mail].


it shall not be torn [I.e.,] in order that it would not be torn, and the one who tears it transgresses a negative commandment, for this is [counted] in the number of the negative commandments in the Torah. Likewise, “and the choshen will not move” (verse 28), and likewise, “they shall not be removed from it” (Exod. 25:15), mentioned regarding the poles of the ark. -[from Yoma 72a]


33 pomegranates They were round and hollow, like a sort of pomegranate, shaped like hens’ eggs.


and golden bells Heb. וּפַּעֲמֽנֵי זָהָב. [Golden] bells with the clappers inside them.


in their midst all around [I.e.,] between them all around. [Meaning] between two pomegranates, one bell was attached and suspended on the bottom hem of the robe.


34 A golden bell and a pomegranate A golden bell and a pomegranate beside it.


35 so that he will not die From the negative you deduce the positive. If he has them [the garments], he will not be liable to death, but if he enters [when he is] lacking one of these garments, he is liable to death by the hands of Heaven. -[from Tanchuma Buber, Acharei 7]


36 a showplate It was like a sort of golden plate, two fingerbreadths wide, encircling the forehead from ear to ear. -[from Shab. 63b]


37 upon a cord of blue wool But elsewhere, it says: “And they placed upon it a cord of blue wool” (Exod. 39:31). Moreover, here it is written: “and it shall go over the cap,” whereas below it says: “It shall be upon Aaron’s forehead.” (verse 38). [A clue to the solution is] in [tractate] Shechitath Kodashim (Zev. 19a) [where] we learn: “His hair was visible between the showplate and the cap, where he would place the tefillin.” [Thus] we learn that the cap was above, on the crown of the head, and it was not deep [enough] for the entire head up to the forehead to fit into it. The showplate was below [the cap], and the cords were in holes and hanging on it at its two ends and in its center. [Thus, there were] six [cords] in these three places: [one] cord on top, one from outside, and one from inside opposite it. He tied the three ends from behind the nape of his neck. Thus, the combination of the length of the plate and the cords of its ends encircled the crown. The middle cord, which was on his head, was tied with the ends of the two [other cords], and it passed along the surface of the width of the head from above. Thus, it is was like a sort of hat. Concerning the middle cord it says: “and it shall go over the cap.” He would place the showplate on his head like a sort of hat over the cap, and the middle cord would hold it so that it would not fall, and the plate was suspended opposite his forehead. [Thus,] all the verses are explained: the cord was on the showplate, the showplate on the cord, and the cord was on the cap from above.


38 and Aaron shall bear Heb. וְנָשָׂא [This is] an expression of forgiveness. Nevertheless, it does not move from its apparent [literal] meaning. Aaron shall indeed bear the burden of iniquity; thereby, it [the iniquity] is removed from the holy things.


the iniquity of the holy things to appease [God] for the blood and the fat [of the sacrifices] that were offered up in [a state of] uncleanness, as we learned: Which iniquity does he bear? If [it is] the iniquity of פִּגּוּל, it was already said: “it will not be accepted” (Lev. 19:7). [I.e., if the one who performed the sacrificial service intended to partake of the flesh outside the area designated for this sacrifice, the sacrifice is rendered פִּגּוּל, meaning an abominable thing. It consequently may not be eaten or offered up. The showplate on the Kohen Gadol’s forehead does not make the פִּגּוּל acceptable.] If [it is] the iniquity of נוֹתָר, [i.e.,] leftover sacrificial flesh, it was already said: “it will not be credited” (Lev. 7:18). [I.e., if the one who performed the sacrificial service intended to partake of the flesh after the time allotted for eating the flesh of this sacrifice, it is disqualified, and the showplate does not render it acceptable. Likewise,] we cannot say that it will atone for the iniquity of the kohen who offered up the sacrifice while unclean, for it says [here]: “the iniquity of the holy things,” not the iniquity of those who offer them up. Consequently, it does not appease except to render the sacrifice acceptable. -[from Men. 25a]


It shall be upon his forehead constantly It is impossible to say that it should always be on his forehead, for it was not on him except at the time of the service. But [it means that] it will always make them [the sacrifices] favorable Even when it is not on his forehead, namely if the Kohen Gadol was not ministering at that time. Now, according to the one who says that [only] when it was on his forehead it appeased [and made the sacrifices acceptable], and otherwise, it did not appease, “upon his forehead constantly” is interpreted to mean that he must touch it [the showplate] while it is upon his forehead, so that he would not take his mind off it. -[from Yoma 7b]


39 You shall make…of checker work Make them [the tunics] of boxes, and all of them [shall be made] of linen.


40 For Aaron’s sons you shall make tunics These four garments and no more: a tunic, a sash, the hats, which are [the same as] the cap, and the pants written below (verse 42) for all of them.


41 With these you shall clothe Aaron [I.e., with] those [garments] stated in connection with Aaron: a choshen, an ephod, a robe, a checker work tunic, a cap, a sash, a showplate, and pants mentioned further on in connection with them all.


and his sons along with him [with] those [garments] mentioned in connection with them.


and you shall anoint them [i.e.,] Aaron and his sons, with the anointing oil.


and invest them with full authority Heb. וּמִלֵאתָ אֶת-יָדָם, [lit., and you shall fill their hands.] Every [mention of] “filling of the hands” is an expression of initiation. When he [a person] begins something [such as a position] that he will be in possession of from that day on [it is referred to as “filling” a position]. In Old French, when they appoint a person to be in charge of something, the ruler puts in his hand a leather glove, called guanto [gant in modern French], and thereby he grants him authority over the matter. They call this transmission revestir, invest, transmit [this glove], and this is the [expression] “filling of the hands.”


42 And make for them For Aaron and for his sons.


linen pants Thus [we have] eight garments for the Kohen Gadol and four for the ordinary kohen.


43 They shall be worn by Aaron All these garments [shall be] worn by Aaron, [i.e.,] those that are appropriate for him.


and by his sons those mentioned in connection with them.


when they enter the Tent of Meeting To the Temple [proper], and so to the Mishkan.


and die - while lacking [the proper] garments is liable to death [by the hands of Heaven]. -[from Tanchuma, Acharei Moth 6]


a perpetual statute for him Wherever it says חֻקַת עוֽלָם, “a perpetual statute,” it means a decree that is [in effect] immediately and for [future] generations [as well]. [This statute is] to make invalid [the sacrifice if any requirement is missing]. -[See Men. 19a.]



Ketubim: Tehillim (Psalms) 64:1-11




1. For the conductor, a song of David.

1. For praise, a psalm of David.

2. Hear, O God, my voice in my prayer; from fear of the enemy You shall guard my life.

2. Hear my voice, O God, in the time of my prayer; guard my life from the fear of the enemy.

3. You shall hide me from the counsel of evildoers, from the gathering of workers of iniquity,

3. You will hide me from the secret council of those who do evil, from the turmoil of those who practice deceit.

4. Who whetted their tongue like the sword; who aimed a bitter word like their arrow,

4. Who have sharpened their tongue as a sword, bent their bows, smeared their arrows with deadly and bitter poison.

5. To shoot at the innocent in secret places; they shoot at him suddenly and do not fear.

5. To shoot in secret, without blame; suddenly they will shoot him and they will not fear.

6. They strengthen the evil word for themselves; they tell to hide snares. They say, "Who will see us?"

6. They will strengthen themselves with an evil word; they will talk of hiding traps, saying, "Who sees them?"

7. They seek pretexts; they have completed a diligent search, hidden within man and in the depths of the heart.

7. They will search to find pretexts to destroy the pure, a search carried out in the body of a son of man, and the thoughts of a secret heart.

8. And God cast them down; their wounds were [like] a sudden arrow.

8. But God will shoot arrows at them suddenly; and they will tell of their wounds.

9. That which they hoped would make him stumble, their tongue brought upon them; all who see them will shake their heads.

9. And their tongue will make them stumble; all who see them will move aside.

10. Then all men feared, and they declared the work of God and understood His deed.

10. And all the sons of men will be afraid, and tell of the work of the LORD God; and His works will be understood.

11. The righteous will rejoice with God and take shelter in Him, and all upright of heart will boast.

11. The righteous/generous man will rejoice in the LORD, and trust in His word, and all the upright of heart will boast.




Rashi’s Commentary for: Psalms 64:1-11


2 Hear, O God, my voice in my prayer The authors of Aggadoth Tehllim (Mid. Ps.) interpreted this psalm as referring to Daniel, who was cast into the lions’ den. The language of the psalm fits the Aggadah very well. David foresaw with the holy spirit all that would happen to him [Daniel], and prayed for him, because Daniel was his descendant. As was said to Hezekiah (Isa. 39:7): “And they shall take [some] of your sons, etc., whom you shall beget, and they shall be officers in the palace of the king of Babylon.” These are Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.


from fear of the enemy These are the satraps, who plotted against him, as it is stated (Dan. 6:5): “Then the viziers and the satraps sought to find a pretext against Daniel.”


3 from the gathering of workers of iniquity For they gather seeking against him a pretext of death, as it is written (Dan. 6:7): “...assembled about the king, etc.”


4 who aimed...their arrow That is their slander.


5 To shoot at the innocent in secret places They will shoot him with their arrows.


6 they tell to hide snares They speak cunningly to the king secret words, for even the king did not know why they were doing this. But they intended to hide snares to entrap Daniel, for they said to Darius, “All the viziers of the kingdom, etc., have conferred to establish the king’s law, etc.” [stating] that no one should offer up prayer to any god except you until thirty days [have passed].


7 They seek pretexts Heb. עולות. They seek pretexts (עלילות), as it is stated (Dan. 6:5): “sought to find a pretext against Daniel.”


they hid Heb. טמנו. They hid their thoughts in their heart and did not reveal the search for a pretext, which was searched out through them, and the midst of their thoughts and the depth of their heart.


hidden within man Each man of them. Each one concealed his thought.


8 And God cast them down He cast them into the lions’ den, as it is written (Dan. 6:25): “And the king commanded, and they brought these men who had slandered Daniel, and they cast them into the lions’ den, etc.”


9 That which they hoped would make him stumble, their tongue brought upon them The stumbling they planned to inflict on him, their tongue turned over upon them.


will shake their heads Heb. יתנודדו, will shake their head; all who see them should nod their head and laugh about them.


11 The righteous will rejoice This is Daniel.


and all upright of heart will boast They will boast about the uprightness of their heart, and they will praise themselves because they are confident that the Holy One, blessed be He, will help them.



Meditation from the Psalms

Psalms ‎‎64:1--11

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


The preceding Psalm described David in exile. Although physically isolated from G-d, spiritually David remained completely absorbed in the service of the Almighty. This total concentration rendered David oblivious to all sinister threats.


This and the preceding psalm are based on the episode of the spear and jar that David had taken from Saul.[1] In the end, however, he had also been forced to flee from the wilderness of Judah;[2] as the scripture says, “I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul; there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines”.[3] Hence, in the previous psalm, he spoke of the anguish he felt at having been driven out of the land of Israel and at being away from the site which G-d had chosen for the Temple.[4] Then he prayed that Saul grow weary of hunting him.[5]


The present psalm continues the thought expressed in the final verse of the preceding psalm. There he said, “The king will rejoice in G-d,” and here he says, “The righteous will be glad in the Lord and will take refuge in Him”.[6]


Centuries later, in the exile of Babylon, Daniel, a descendant of the royal line of David, duplicated the selfless dedication of his illustrious ancestor. Midrash Shocher Tov[7] and Rashi[8] explain that this psalm is based on the events narrated in the sixth chapter of the Book of Daniel.[9]


Immediately upon his ascension to the Babylonian throne, Darius the Mede appointed 120 satraps to govern the vast empire. The satraps were responsible to three ministers, of whom Daniel was the most capable and distinguished. Jealous of Daniel's prominence, the satraps and viziers[10] plotted his downfall.


They convinced Darius to issue a decree prohibiting his subjects from addressing petitions to G-d or man for the first thirty days of the new king's reign. All requests would be addressed exclusively to Darius during this period, in order to enhance his authority and prestige at the very outset of his rule. The satraps decreed that anyone disobeying their edict would be cast into the lion's pit.


Everyone obeyed the decree save Daniel who continued to pray to G-d three times daily. No threat, not even the specter of the lion's pit, could divert Daniel from the service of G-d. Like David, Daniel thirsted only for G-d. Daniel's well deserved reward and his miraculous salvation will be the focus of this psalm.[11]


I was struck by the use of “voice - kol” and tongue in:


Tehillim (Psalms) 64:2 Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from the terror of the enemy.


Why Does David want HaShem to hear his voice? Why does he not say to hear his words? After all, voice is just sound, where words are snippets of sound that have clearly differentiated meanings. Words contain meaning whereas voice is only sounds.


Now note, that David’s voice is to be contrasted with “evil-doers” who are using their tongue as a weapon, and conversing with each other. In effect, it is their words which are being heard and their words which are killing people just like weapons of steel.


Tehillim (Psalms) 64:4 Who have whet their tongue like a sword, and have aimed their arrow, a poisoned word;


Tehillim (Psalms) 64:6 They encourage one another in an evil matter; they converse of laying snares secretly; they ask, who would see them.


Tehillim (Psalms) 64:9 So they make their own tongue a stumbling unto themselves; all that see them shake the head.


Thus we understand that this chapter of Psalms is relating to two different ways of communicating. There must exist a difference between the sound produced by the tongue and the sound produced from the voice.


In the Body


In the physical structure of the body, there is a manifestation of the idea of connection which is inherent in the power of speech. It is no accident that the voice is produced in the neck. Voice, kol, is the root of speech, the power of connecting worlds; the neck is that part of the human form which connects head and body, the higher and lower domains. The body always reflects its spiritual roots.[12]


This parallel goes further. If we look more closely, we note that the voice is produced in the throat, which is at the front of the neck. The deeper tradition states that the front of a structure represents its positive power; the back represents its lower, or fallen, aspect. The front of the body in general represents positivity, the face is a feature of the front, not the back. Human relationship is possible when people face each other and difficult when they turn their backs. The back is blind, impersonal, and it is the location of offensive excretion. These things are all exquisitely specific features of the human pattern.[13]


Now we note that the front of the neck contains the organ of voice production; the back of the neck is silent. In fact, the deeper wisdom states that the front of the neck, or throat, is identified with Moshe Rabbenu, after all, Moshe is the voice of Torah; HaShem speaks through Moshe’s throat. “The Divine Presence speaks from Moshe’s throat.” The same sources state that Moshe’s arch-enemy, Pharaoh, is represented by the back of the neck, he is the one who strives for the opposite of that which Moshe Rabbenu wishes to achieve; Pharaoh’s goal is to keep the Divine voice out of the world, to silence the voice of the spiritual.[14] Moshe Rabbenu’s task is to achieve connection, the ultimate connection of spiritual and physical worlds; Pharaoh’s work is to separate those worlds. Arch-enemies indeed. And the letters of the word Pharaoh”, when reversed, spell “ha’oref”, the back of the neck![15]


Just as a voice travels up the throat and out the lips, so also does a ladder reach up to the heights and bring what is low, high. With this description, it is worth noting that the numerical value of the word “sulam - סולם” (ladder) is the same as that of the word “kol - קול”, meaning voice or sound. Hence, in the Kabbalah, the pasuk:


Bereshit (Genesis) 27:22 And Yaaqob went near unto Yitzchak his father; and he felt him, and said: ‘The voice (HaKol - הקול) is the voice (Kol - קול) of Yaaqob, but the hands are the hands of Esau’.


This means that the voice or sound of Jacob is the ladder of Jacob.[16] The means of ascent, the ladder, is a progression of sounds, which lead up to, and are absorbed into, the total unity of Chakmah - חכמה.[17] The ladder connects the lower to the higher, just as the voice connects[18] the lower and higher worlds.


It is clear that the voice, whether the tone, the tenor, or the volume, communicates what is in the lower body, specifically what is in the heart.[19] The voice contains the soul of the person, that part which is unspoken and ethereal. Note well how the emotions, the soul, are carried in the kol, in the following excerpt from a shiur by Rabbi Mordechai Weiss:


Plato[20] and other philosophers questioned and indeed attacked the written word as inadequate. They hypothesized that when one reads something from a written text they might misinterpret the meaning and intent of the author. Conversely, when giving over a thought verbally, one has the ability to create a dialogue with the presenter and elucidate those areas of concerns and questions.


Throughout the Torah and the prophets there are references to this special kol that was transmitted, and each time it appears, one can feel the sensitivities and anguish, the majesty and omnipotence that is represented by this word.


A few examples; When Almighty G-d first appeared to Adam after he ate from the Tree of Knowledge, Adam, with terrible fright and trepidation, said to G-d, “I heard your kol in the garden, and I was frightened, for I am naked and so I hid”.[21] In the voice of Adam one can feel the terror and the panic of the kol of Almighty G-d.


When Cain killed Abel, G-d said the kol of the blood of your brother are calling out to me from the earth”.[22] One can only imagine this sound, a sound of foreboding and sadness, of Abel’s wailing.


When Yitzchak bestowed his blessings on Jacob and not on Esau, he uttered the words “the kol is the kol of Yaakov but the hands are those of Esau”.[23] Jacob’s kol was soothing and sensitive, caring and compassionate; not so the harsh kol of Esau his brother.


Finally, after the Jewish people received the Ten Commandments, the Torah states, “And the entire nation saw the kolot.[24] They felt through this sound the majesty and power and the omnipotence of Almighty G-d.


The mention of kol is referenced in dozens of places in the Torah, and each time it appears, one is filled with wonder and amazement in its powerful and profound implication and meaning. One thing is for sure; this kol is a key element that sustained the Jewish people throughout the ages and has enabled us to survive the travails of our history and glorify in the triumphs of our victories.


One is reminded of the “Kol demama dakah” – the still voice of our prayers ascending to heaven on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and the words of King David:[25] “There is no speech or words that their kol goes unheard.”


G-d endowed us with the unwritten Torah, because he knew that this kol, our kol, was vitally important for our survival. Our Rabbis emphasize that when one is studying Torah it is not sufficient to read only with one’s eyes; there must also be a kol, the same kol that was heard repeatedly in our history, the same kol that parents have sung for generations to their children in time of pain and times of promise.


Every day we must sensitize ourselves to continue to say and hear this kol and commit ourselves to G-d’s calling, that this same kol that has strengthened us during our centuries of dispersion will continue to support our people in hastening the coming of our Messiah in our days.


Kol is the essential voice or sound that the listener hears (rather than the specific words that the caller may be utilizing). One example of Kol is someone calling my name. I don’t know what the specific message (dibur) is going to be, but when I’m called, I honor the caller by responding. In responding I am reacting to the caller as a person, not to the words being spoken. Kol is primal. In utilizing kol I am making all of myself available to the other person. Another example of kol might be a certain kind of whisper. The whisper itself can express a depth of relationship more profoundly than the words chosen for articulation. The shofar is a kol, it is all sound and no words.


Kol is unfettered by the specifics of the message. It is a degree of expression that requires no words because it is the projection of the essence of the caller. The message is the person, pure G-dliness without filtering or manipulation. Dibur[26] (we will explore this in a bit) conveys the thoughts of the person’s mind, but kol projects the very person himself.


Vayikra (lit. And He called) means the caller is utilizing kol and projecting all of his selfhood, his most essential and G-dly part, onto the listener. As a result, the kol itself creates a communion between the caller and the listener.


(As an aside, the above idea is part of Moshe’s life. Moses was the greatest prophet who ever lived. No prophet who lived or will live could comprehend G-d more than Moses.[27] To understand this, lets briefly look at:


Shemot (Exodus) 6:28 – 7:2 28 And it came to pass on the day when HaShem spoke (Dibur) unto Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 that HaShem spoke (Dibur) unto Moses, saying: ‘I am HaShem; speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I speak unto thee.’ 30 And Moses said before HaShem: ‘Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?’ 1 And HaShem said unto Moses: ‘See, I have set thee in God’s stead to Pharaoh; and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. 2 Thou shalt speak all that I command thee; and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.


Notice, in the above pasuk, that Moshe is commanded twice to speak unto Paro. The first time he protests, because he has uncircumcised lips. The second time he goes without complaint.


So, what made Moshe change his mind?


Our Sages indicate that between the first and the second command, HaShem told Moshe that Aharon would be his prophet; despite the fact that Torah law forbids one prophet from saying the message given to another prophet! HaShem, then, tells Moshe that Aharon will not speak the message HaShem gives to Moshe, but rather, Moshe will BECOME THE MESSAGE that Aharon will speak out!!! That is the meaning of the words, ‘See, I have set thee in G-d’s stead to Pharaoh; and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet’.


Now we know why Maimonides made Principle number 7 a unique principle: Moshe’s prophecy was qualitatively different from all other prophets because he became the message that Aharon, his prophet, spoke out into the world, so much for this aside.[28])


The essence of korbanot is direct communication with HaShem on a primal level, unfettered and unmanipulated; with korbanot we give all of ourselves to HaShem. For this reason, the Sefer which contains the mitzvot of korbanot, signifying the relationship between HaShem and Klal Israel at its most essential, kol, aspect, is appropriately named Vayikra, “And He called”.


The most primal kol is that of the shofar. Shofrot (shofar-blowing) indicates, along the lines we have been discussing, reaching for the heart, reaching for the root of the soul and the personality. The essence of the shofar is that it has a voice, a kol – קול, but no words, no dibur - דיבור. The mystics explain that the voice is the root of speech and contains far more than the individual finite words. Words may convey information, but the voice conveys the person. This is why prophecy is referred to as “voice”, not words. When HaShem tells Avraham to listen to Sarah’s prophetic advice the verse says “Shema b’kola - Listen to her voice”, not “Listen to her words”.


Beresheet (Genesis 21:12) Whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her voice.


The word voice seems extraneous here. The verse could also have read, “Whatever Sarah tells you, heed her”. Why is the word “voice” added? The Torah commentator Rashi[29] states that the word voice refers to prophecy and that this verse, “teaches us that Avraham was secondary to Sarah in prophecy”.


In his commentary on this verse, Rabbi Shimshon Raphael Hirsch suggested that G-d was really telling Abraham, “Don’t only listen to her words, her demands; listen to your wife’s anguish, her fear, the tone of pleading the voice of the woman you have been married to for so many years”. In other words, the emotion in our voice is as important as the words which emerge from our mouths.


G-d in effect tells Abraham to trust the “voice” of his wife. This trust provides a tikkun for the mistrust left by Adam and Eve.


HaShem tells the prophet “Kra b’garon, al tachsoch - Cry out in your throat, do not hold back”;[30] prophecy is not from the mouth, the origin of words, but from the throat, the origin of raw sound, which is why the Prophet compares the voice to a shofar. The blessing we pronounce on hearing the shofar is “lishmo’a kol shofar”, to “hear the voice of the shofar”. The shofar is raw sound, a raw cry, and that is why it has the power to open the neshama, the soul. All the words in the world cannot convey the emotion of a scream of a child in the night. The shofar is that scream.


The Zohar distinguishes between kol (voice), which we just looked at, and dibur (speech). Kol is the cry behind the speech, dibur is the expression of that impulse through words. Keep this in mind as we begin examining speech.




In the Torah, there is no conception of intellect or imagination separate from physical speech,[31] even reflective thought is called “speaking to one’s heart”. The Midrash and the targumim, from the earliest texts on, understand the power of language or speech to be a major part of what distinguishes humanity from other species.[32] In a similar vein, Targum Onkelos[33] translates “nefesh chayah” in Genesis 2:7 as, “And He blew in his nostrils life’s breath and it became in Adam the spirit (i.e., power) of speaking”.[34]


Speech is the world of connection.[35] Understood simply, speech connects the speaker[36] and the listener. A relationship can develop, can flourish, because deep communication is possible by means of speech. In Torah, “speaking” is sometimes used as a euphemism for intimacy (“They saw her speaking with one…”) This is not a usage borrowed from a distance; the parallel is intrinsic.


At a deeper level, speech represents the connection between higher and lower worlds. Speech is the mechanism by which an abstract idea which exists only in the higher dimension of thought can be brought down into the material world: when I speak, I transform ideas into the physical medium of sound, which is tangible enough for you to hear with the physical tools of hearing. Of course, you immediately transform my words back into their abstract state of ideas in your own mind. We have used the physical medium of speech to transmit non-physical ideas; we have connected the abstract with the material. We have brought the higher world into the lower world.            


Prophecy is a higher form of speech. When a prophet speaks, a direct connection is formed between higher and lower worlds. Human speech reveals the thoughts and intentions of the speaker (based on the chakmah, the wisdom from HaShem), while prophecy reveals the thoughts and intentions of the Divine.


Divine speech is ultimately potent in its creativity. The expression used for speech is, “fruit of the lips”. The prophet states that HaShem’s word always bears fruit, “For as the rain… descends from the Heavens and shall not return there until it has caused the land to flourish and it has given birth and caused to sprout, and given seed to the sower… So shall be My word…”


Speech is also the act of taking something which lives in potential, i.e. thoughts, and bringing them down into the world and making them tangible; they are brought into the world of action. Speech is the connection between the higher and lower worlds.


One of the first obstacles to understanding the fourth book of the Chumash,[37] Bamidbar,[38] is thinking of it as a book. Bamidbar literally means “in the desert”.[39] But, the root of midbar, desert, is “MiDibur - מדיבור[40] which means literally means “from speech”, but used with the prefix bet, means a “place of speech or speaking”,[41] a place where thought is translated into action. Dibur is speaking to someone with articulate, verbal communication.


When the Jewish People left Egypt, they went straight into the desert. There’s something special about the desert. It’s very difficult to give directions there. “Turn left at the third cactus” will not get you very far. In Hebrew, the word for desert is “midbar”, which is from the root mi’dibur, “from speech”. The desert is the place that is removed from speech. Since the desert is the maximum place of non-speech, of non-direction, it is the ideal place to rebuild the power of speech from the ground up.


And that’s what the Jewish People were to do in the desert. When the Jewish People left Egypt, they had to rebuild this power of speech that had been in exile with them. The Zohar[42] says that the Divine Word (dibur) went into exile during the period of Egyptian slavery and was not totally liberated until the Giving of the Torah when G-d spoke directly to every Jew.


To help us rebuild the power of speech, after the exile, HaShem gave us the mitzvot of the Pesach seder.


The fifth stage of the seder is called maggid (storytelling) and it is one of two Torah-level mitzvot that are fulfilled by the evening’s ritual. (The second is eating matzah.) And maggid is further distinguished as one of the two mitzvot (out of 613) that are fulfilled by reciting a story. (The second being the tithe of bikkurim). The maggid portion of the Haggada actually combines both of these “speaking” mitzvot. It begins with several short passages that are directed toward the children who might not stay awake for the whole seder. And then it segues into a Torah portion that was to be spoken aloud when we offered our first fruits to the kohanim (Temple priests).[43] The maggid is a brief narrative of our exile in Egypt, our redemption, and the source of our obligation to fulfill the mitzvah of bikkurim. In the Passover haggada, every word of this script is unpacked and elaborated.[44] This is true dibur, true speech.


The whole point of the telling is to take dibur us, and speech, out of exile and use us in HaShem’s service.


The Zohar tells us that one of the first reforms inaugurated by the newly emergent conscience was to institute freedom of speech. Actually, it was more organic than that. As soon as the balance of power inverted, the gates of inspiration opened and speech emerged from exile. 


The ultimate liberation of dibur, called Oral Torah, is when a person speaks personal truth with such authenticity that it also conveys precisely what Hashem sought to reveal through them.  The Talmud declares: “HaShem’s seal is truth”[45] meaning that “Where you find truth, [you find HaShem, and] there you find Torah”.[46] Now let’s return to that time just after dibur, and us slaves, were freed. Let’s see the desert experience and the effects it had on dibur, speech.


If we look back over the Book of Bamidbar, the book of “In the desert”, we will notice all of the events dealt with speech. Let me say that again:  Every event is Sefer Bamidbar deals with speech, for the most part it deals with the misuse of speech. Consider the following examples:


Chapter 1: The first census where the eleven tribes were counted (the Levites were NOT counted, which is a story unto itself). It is well known that a “teller” counts money and one who retells a story is said to “recount” it. Thus we understand that counting is another way of telling a story.

Chapter 2: The camping order. We all understand that there is non-verbal speech that has no sound. The order of the tribes in the desert was one such speech. Note that each tribe had a place and each tribe had its own banner. The story of chapter one continued with a precise count for each of the eleven tribes.

Chapter 3 & 4: HaShem’s speech and plans regarding the tribe of Levi and their service. The Levites count is now included as part of their speech. As part of this census, money is used to give a silent speech about the redemption of the remainder of the firstborn Levites.

Chapter 5: Speaks of leprosy, the mis-use of speech for lashon HaRa, evil speech. This pasuk also contains the speech of a sinner when he confesses his sin, and the testimony of the woman suspected of adultery (sota).

Chapter 6:  Speaks of the nazirite vow, another form of speech. This pasuk also details the Aaronic blessing given to the Bne Israel, another form of speech.

Chapter 7: Speaks of the dedication of the offerings of the tribes. These non-verbal speeches each spoke to the uniqueness of their tribe (despite the fact that they were all the same). This pasuk concludes with HaShem speaking with Moshe.

Chapter 8: Details the lighting of the menorah, the purification of the Levites, with their offerings. This chapter contains HaShem’s speech in the form of instructions.

Chapter 9: Continues HaShem’s speech regards Pesach observance. This pasuk also details the marching instruction speech that HaShem gave to Moshe. These detailed instructions also told their own story.

Chapter 10: Finds the Bne Israel making two silver trumpets to be used to instruct the Bne Israel on marching and camping. Unlike a plain blast, or a crying blast, these blasts were instructive and carried a specific message. This pasuk also details the marching order, another non-verbal speech that was spoken with all of the bodies of every man, woman, and child.

Chapter 11:  Murmuring, speaking evil. HaShem’s fire devoured the evil-speakers. This pasuk also speaks of the lust for meat and its murmuring. This murmuring was complaining about manna. This pasuk also speaks of the 70 elders becoming prophets.

Chapter 12: Miriam speaking negatively about Moshe because of the Cushite. Miriam is afflicted with Tzaraat, leprosy.

Chapter 13: The spies speaking against the Land of Israel.

Chapter 14: The people all crying and maligning the land. The people are all murmuring.

Chapter 15: Offerings and atonement. Man collecting firewood on the Sabbath is stoned. This pasuk also contains the command of tzitzith.

Chapter 16 & 17: The rebellion of Korach (a rebellion about who should lead the Jewish People; who should be its “speaker”).

Chapter 18: Aharon and his sons get the priesthood. This soliloquy is by HaShem.

Chapter 19:  The red heifer. She, too, has a non-verbal message.

Chapter 20: Murmuring over the lack of water because Miriam’s well has disappeared. Edom denied passage. Moshe striking the rock instead of speaking to it. Aharon dies and the people wail for him for 30 days.

Chapter 21:  The Bne Israel make a vow to destroy their enemy. The people murmured against HaShem regarding the manna. They also complained that there was no water. HaShem will send fiery serpents with a pole serpent for the cure. Sihon and Og are defeated.

Chapter 22, 23, & 24: Bilaam and Balak to curse the Jewish people. Here we see a donkey’s speech, a Gentile prophet’s speech, and the evil speech of Balak.

Chapter 25:  False worship of Peor. Phineas kills Zimri and Cosbi.

Chapter 26:  A second census. Thus we understand that counting is another way of telling a story. Nadab and Abihu die after offering strange fire.

Chapter 27: The daughters of Tzelofchad want land. Women always have a greater love for the land.[47] Yehoshua is anointed as the future leader of the Bne Israel.

Chapter 28 & 29:  Offerings made by fire, and festivals.

Chapter 30:  Vows. Here we see the proper and the improper use of vows.

Chapter 31:  Midianites are avenged. All the men and married women are killed. Spoil is divided, part for HaShem (Levites).

Chapter 32: Reuben and Gad want the land east of the Jordan. There is a back and forth between them and Moshe. Reuben and Gad put animals before the children, in priority. Moshe, rearranges the order to put the children first.

Chapter 33:  The story of the journey. From Egypt to the Promised land and all the stops in-between.

Chapter 34:  HaShem defines the borders of the land.

Chapter 35: The cities of refuge.

Chapter 36: Moshe allots the daughters of Tzelofchad their inheritance in the land.


Even if we might otherwise have missed the centrality of this notion, the book’s ‘orality’ is brought to our attention right from the start: “These are the words that Moshe spoke.” The text clues us in to the fact that, as opposed to the other four books, Bamidbar, to its very core, is an oral work.


The fourth of the five layers upon which the world is built, is the layer of speech. The fourth part of any structure is where all of the action is taking place. Consider the Chumash, the five books of the Torah.


Beresheet – something from nothing. – Ratzon (desire). This is the point of origin. This is a male process. This sefer represents the maximal male process.


Shemot – machshavah, a thought with no form. by which the soul is revealed inwardly. It will be revealed externally in Bamidbar as “speech” (dibur) and “deed”. A flash of inspiration.


Vayikra – Hirhur – imagination. The thoughts become explicit. The plan becomes complete. The Mishna teaches that Hirhur (thought) is k'dibur (like speech). If not, there would be no reason to have Hirhur! Hirhur is not like Dibur. If it were, he should say the words![48]


Bamidbar – dibur also means a place of speaking, a thought translated into action – Speech - Any translation of plan into action. This is where the potential is turned into the actual. The whole book speaks to speech and the misuse of speech, every incident. And where do we go after the rebuilding, the tikkun, of the power of speech? To the “Book of Devarim”, literally, “The Book of Words”.


Devarim – The words that were spoken. Maser – action – kol and dibur (voice and speech). All of this sefer’s duplicated commands are the commands needed in eretz Israel.


The recipient, this sefer, gives back what she has received from the male (Beresheet). Debarim represents the maximal female level. That is why the words are repeated, or doubled, which is the job of a woman (to double herself, i.e. childbirth). This is the root of the oral law.


Hopefully, we have a greater appreciation of the difference between kol (voice) and dibur (speech). Both of these things pull on our hearts and move us. David looked into our Torah seder and was inspired by the wise hearted and used this as a springboard to speak of the future in Daniel’s day and to teach us about the works of our mouth.



Ashlamatah: Hos.14:7 - Joel 1:5+2:14




2. ¶ Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled in your iniquity.

2. ¶ Return, O Israel, to the fear of the Lord your God, for you have fallen because of your sin.  

3. Take words with yourselves and return to the Lord.Say, "You shall forgive all iniquity and teach us [the] good [way], and let us render [for] bulls [the offering of] our lips.

3. Bring with you words of confession and return to the worship of the Lord. Say before him, "It is near before you to forgive iniquities", then we will be accepted as good. Let the words of our /lips be accepted before you with favour like bullocks on your altar

4. Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride on horses, nor will we say any longer, our gods, to the work of our hands, for in You, by Whom the orphan is granted mercy."

4. The kings of Assyria will not save us. We will not put our trust in horsemen, and no more will we say "Our god" to the works of our hands. For it was from before You that mercy was shown to our forefathers when they were like orphans in Egypt.

5. I will remedy their backsliding; I will love them freely, for My wrath has turned away from them.

5. I will accept them in their repentance, I will forgive their sins, I will have compassion on them when they freely repent. for My anger has turned away from them.

6. I will be like dew to Israel, they shall blossom like a rose, and it shall strike its roots like the Lebanon.

6. My Memra will be like dew to Israel; they will bloom like the lily, and they will dwell in their fortified land like the tree of Lebanon which puts forth its branches.

7. Its branches shall go forth, and its beauty shall be like the olive tree, and its fragrance like the Lebanon

7. Sons and daughters will multiply, and their light will be like the light of the holy candelabrum, and their fragrance like the fragrance of incense,

8. Those who dwelt in its shade shall return; they shall revive [like] corn and blossom like the vine; its fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

8. They will be gathered from among their exiles, they will dwell in the shade of their anointed One. The dead will be resurrected and goodness will increase in the land. The mention of their goodness will go in and not cease, like the memorial of the blast of the trumpets made over the matured wine when it was poured out in the Sanctuary.

9. Ephraim; What more do I need the images? I will answer him and I will look upon him: I am like a leafy cypress tree; from Me your fruit is found.

9. The house of Israel will say. "Why should we worship idols anymore?" I. by my Memra, will hear the prayer of Israel and have compassion on them. I. by my Memra will make them like a beautiful cypress tree, because forgiveness for their waywardness is found before Me.

10. Who is wise and will understand these, discerning and will know them; for the ways of the Lord are straight, and the righteous shall walk in them, and the rebellious shall stumble on them.   {P}

10. Who is wise and will consider these things? Who is prudent and will take note of them? For the ways of the LORD are right; and the righteous/generous who walk in them will live in everlasting We through them, but the wicked will be delivered to Gehinnam" because they have not walked in them.   {P}



1. ¶ The word of the Lord, which came to Joel son of Pethuel.

1. ¶ The word of prophecy from! the Lord which was with' Joel son of Pethuel.

2. Hear this, you elders, and hearken, all you inhabitants of the land. Did this come about in your days or in the days of your forefathers?

2. Hear this, 0 elders; listen, all you inhabitants of the land! Has the like of this happened in your days or in the days of your fathers?

3. Tell your children about it, and your children to their children, and their children to another generation.

3. Tell your children about it, and let your children tell their children, and their children the next generation.

4. What the shearing locust left over, the increasing locust devoured, and what the increasing locust left over the nibbling locust devoured, and what the nibbling locust left over the finishing locust devoured.

4. What the crawling' locust has left, the locust swarm' has eaten; what the locust swarm' has left, the winged locust has eaten, and what the winged locust has left, the creeping' locust has eaten.

5. Awaken, you drunkards, and weep; and wail, all you wine drinkers, concerning the strong wine, which has been cut off from your mouth.

5. Wake up you drunkards and weep; and wail, all you wine-bibbers, over the sweet wine, for it is withheld from your mouth.

6. For a nation has ascended upon my land, mighty and innumerable; its teeth are like the teeth of an old lion, and its molars are like those of a young lion.

6. For a nation is coming up" against my land, mighty and beyond counting; their teeth are the teeth of a lion, and their fangs like a young lion's.

7. He has laid my vine waste, and my fig tree into a disappointment; he has peeled it and cast it off, its branches have become white.

7. They have laid waste the fruit of the vines of my people, and have exhausted their fig-trees. ~ They have stripped off their bark and thrown it down; their branches have become white.

8. Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.

8. 0 congregation of Israel, 9 make a lamentation" like a virgin girded with sackcloth to wail!! for the husband of her youth!

9. Meal offering and libation have been cut off from the house of the Lord; the priests, the ministers of the Lord, mourn.

9. Offerings and libations have ceasedfrom the Sanctuary'i of the Lord; and the priests who minister in the Sanctuary" of the Lord mourn.

10. The field has been plundered, the soil destroyed, for corn has been plundered, must has dried up, oil has been cut off.

10. The fields are ravaged, the earth is laid waste:" for the corn is destroyed, the vines are dried up, the olives have fallen

11. Be ashamed, you ploughmen; wail, you vinedressers, for wheat and for barley, for the harvest of the field is lost.

11. Be dismayed, you farmers, wail over wheat and barley, you vinedressers," for the harvest of the field is ruined.

12. The vines have dried up, and the fig trees have been cut off; the pomegranates, also the date palms and the apples, all the trees of the field have dried up, for joy has dried up from the sons of man.   {S}

12. The vines have dried up, the fig-trees have withered; pomegranates, palms, and apples, all the trees of the field have dried up; for joy has ceased'" among men.    {S}

13. Gird yourselves and lament, you priests; wail, you ministers of the altar; come, lodge in sackcloth, you ministers of my God, for the meal offering and the libations have been withheld from the house of your God.

13. Gird yourselves and lament, you priests, wail, you who minister" at the altar. Come, spend the night in sackcloth, you who minister" before my God;" for offerings and libations are withheld from the Sanctuary of your God.

14. Proclaim a fast, call an assembly; assemble, you elders, all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.

14. Declare a fast, proclaim an assembly; gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land, and enter The Sanctuar" of the Lord your God and pray before" the Lord.

15. Woe is to the day, for the day of the Lord is near, and like plunder, it will come from the Almighty.

15. Woe before" the day; for near is the day that will come from" the Lord, and like devastation from the Almighty it shall come.

16. Is not the food cut off from before our eyes? From the house of our God joy and jubilation?

16. Behold, before we see the corn it is ruined. Joy and gladness have ceasedfrom the Sanctuary of our God.

17. Casks of wine have gathered mould under their bungs, the storehouses are laid desolate, garners are demolished, for the corn has dried out.

17. The bottles of wine are decaying under their seals." the granaries are destroyed, the barns broken down, for the grain is ruined.

18. How the cattle sighs, herds of cattle are perplexed, for they have no pasture; also flocks of sheep are laid waste.

18. How the animals groan! The herds of cattle are bewildered" because they have no pasture, even the flocks of sheep have perished."

19. To You, O Lord, I call, for a fire has consumed the dwellings of the wilderness, and a flame has burnt all the trees of the field.

19. Before you, 0 Lord, I pray;29 for an east wind mighty as30 a fire has destroyed the habitations" of the wilderness, and flame has devoured all the trees of the field.

20. Also, the beasts of the field cry out to You for the springs of water have dried up, and fire has consumed the dwellings of the wilderness.  {S}

20. Even the beasts of the field watch in hope before't you, for the watercourses are dried up, and an east wind mighty as30 a fire has destroyed the habitations" of the wilderness.  {S}



1. Sound a shophar in Zion and sound an alarm in My holy mountain; all the inhabitants of the land shall quake, for the day of the Lord has come, for it is near.

1. Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day which will come from the LORD has arrived, for it is near.

2. A day of darkness and gloom, a day of cloud and thick darkness, like the dawn spread over the mountains; a numerous and mighty people, the like of which has never been, and after it there shall be no more until the years of the generations.

2. A day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and dense cloud. Like the light of dawn spread over the mountains, there is a people numerous and mighty! Their like has not been from of old, nor will it be again after them through the years of distant generations.

3. Fire consumes before it and a flame blazes after it; before it, the land was like the Garden of Eden, and in its wake is a desert wasteland; neither does it have a remnant.

3. Before them fire devours and behind them the flame destroys. The land is like the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate waste; but there is no escape in it for the wicked.

4. Like the appearance of horses is its appearance, and like horsemen, so do they run.

4. Their appearance is like that of horses; they gallop like steeds.

5. Like the sound of chariots on the mountaintops, they leap, like the sound of a flame of fire consuming stubble, like a mighty people arrayed for battle.

5. With the noise as of chariots they leap on the tops of the mountains, like the crackling of the flames of fire destroying among dry chaff, like a mighty people which knows the order of battle.

6. Peoples quake from before it; all faces gather blackness.

6. Before them the peoples tremble, all faces are covered with a coating of black like a pot.

7. Like mighty men they run, like men of war they scale the wall; each one goes in his ways, and they do not make their ways crooked.

7. Like warriors they run, like soldiers they scale the wall; they advance each in his own path, they do not delay in their paths.

8. And no one pushes his neighbor, each one goes in his path. They rest upon the swords and do not receive monetary gain.

8. They do not jostle each other, they proceed each in his own lane: where they are sent, they go (and) kill; they do not take money.

9. In the city they clatter; they run on the wall; they go up into the houses; through the windows they come like a thief.

9. In the city, armed men run upon the wall, they climb into the houses, they enter through the windows like thieves.

10. Before it the earth quakes, the heavens tremble; the sun and moon darken, and the stars withdraw their shining.

10. Before them the earth is laid waste, the heavens shake; the sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withhold their brightness.

11. And the Lord gave forth His voice before His army, for His camp is great, for he who performs His word is mighty, for the day of the Lord is great and very awesome; who can abide it?

11. The LORD has raised his Memra before His army, for His army is immense indeed; for those who carry out His Memra are mighty. For great is the day which will come from the LORD, and exceedingly terrible; who can bear it?

12. And even now, says the Lord, return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting and with weeping and with lamentation.

12. "Even now", says the LORD, "return to my worship with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning."

13. And rend your hearts and not your garments, and return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He repents of the evil.

13. Remove the wickedness of your heart, but not with the tearing of your garments, and return to the worship of the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful. He removes anger, and multiplies blessings. and He draws back His Memra from bringing evil.

14. Whoever knows shall repent and regret, and it shall leave after it a blessing, a meal offering and a libation to the Lord your God.   {P}

14. Whoever knows that he has sins on his conscience, let him turn back from them, and he will be shown compassion; and whoever repents, his sins will be forgiven, and he will receive blessings and consolations, and his prayer will be like that of a man who presents offerings and libations in the Sanctuary of the LORD your God;"   {P}




Rashi’s Commentary on Hos.14:7 - Joel 1:5+2:14


2 Return, O Israel You, who are in the land of Judah, lest what happens to Samaria happens to you. Therefore, the topics are juxtaposed. This can be compared to a king against whom a province rebelled. The king sent a general and commanded him to destroy it. That general was expert and deliberate. He said to them, “Take for yourselves days (sic); otherwise, I will do to you as I have done to such-and-such a province and to its allies, and to such-and-such a prefecture and to its allies.” Therefore it says, “Samaria shall be accounted guilty,” and then Scripture says: “Return, O Israel.” As is found in Sifrei in the section commencing. (Num. 25:1), “And Israel abode in Shittim.”


to the Lord your God One taught in the name of Rabbi Meir: Return, O Israel, while He is still יהוה, with the Divine Attribute of Mercy; otherwise, He is אֶהֶיךָ with the Divine Attribute of Justice, before the defense becomes the prosecution. [from Pesikta d’Rav Kahana, p. 164a]


for you have stumbled in your iniquity Obstacles have come to you because of your iniquity.


3 You shall forgive all iniquity Heb. כָּל-תִּשָׂא עָוֹן. Forgive all our iniquities.


and teach [us the] good [way] Heb. וְקַח-טוֹב. And teach us the good way. Another explanation: The few good deeds in our hands take in Your hand and judge us accordingly. And so does David say (Psalms 17:2): “Let my sentence come forth from before You, may Your eyes behold the right.” Another explanation: And accept good And accept confession from us, as it is said (Psalms 92:2): “It is good to confess to the Lord.”


and let us render [for] bulls that we should have sacrificed before you, let us render them with the placation of the words of our lips.


4 Assyria shall not save us Say this also before Him, “We no longer seek the aid of man, neither from Assyria nor from Egypt.”


we will not ride on horses This is the aid from Egypt, who would send them horses, as they said to Isaiah (30:16), “No, but on horses will we flee... And on swift steeds will we ride.”


nor will we say any longer to the work of our hands that they are our gods.


for in You alone shall our hope be, You Who grant mercy to the orphans.


5 I will remedy their backsliding Said the prophet: So has the Holy Spirit said to me. After they say this before Me, I will remedy their backsliding, and I will love them with My charitable spirit. Although they do not deserve the love, I will love them charitably since My wrath has turned away from them.


6 and it shall strike I.e. the dew shall strike its roots and cause them to prosper.


like the Lebanon like the roots of the trees of the Lebanon, which are large.


7 Its branches shall go forth Sons and daughters shall increase.


and it shall be Their beauty shall be like the beauty of the menorah of the Temple, and their fragrance like the fragrance of the incense.


like the Lebanon Like the Temple.


8 Those who dwelt in its shade shall return Those who already dwelt in the shade of the Lebanon, to which He compared Israel and the Temple, and now were exiled there from, shall return to it.


its fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon Jonathan renders: Like the remembrance of the blasts of the trumpets over the old wine poured for libations in the Temple. For they would blow the trumpets over the libations when the Levites would recite the song.


9 Ephraim will say, “What more do I need to follow the images?” And they will turn away from idolatry.


I will answer him I will answer him from his trouble.


and I will look upon him I will look upon his affliction.


I am like a leafy cypress tree I will bend down for him to hold his hand on Me as the leafy cypress which is bent down to the ground, which a man holds by its branches; i.e., I will be accessible to him.


from Me your fruit is found Am I not He? For all your good emanates from Me.


10 Who is wise and will understand these Who among you is wise and will ponder to put his heart to all these and return to Me?


and the rebellious shall stumble on them i.e., because of them, because they did not walk in them. Jonathan renders in this manner.


Rashi Joel

Chapter 1


1 to Joel son of Pethuel -The son of Samuel the prophet who persuaded God with his prayer (פִתָּה לְאֵל). Some say that this prophecy was said in those seven years in which Elisha said: “For the Lord has decreed a famine etc.” and they took place during the days of Jehoram son of Ahab.


2 Did this come about -I.e., what is mentioned below.


4 What the shearing locust left over - Gazam, arbeh, yelek, hasil are species of locusts and he prophesied concerning them that they would come in those days and destroy all the fruit of the trees and the herbs of the field. 5 the strong wine - Heb. עָסִיס, good wine.


6 For a nation has ascended upon my land -He named these locusts as a host of nations.


and its molars are like those of a young lion -These are the thick teeth with which he chews.


7 into a disappointment -Heb. לִקְצָפָה, into a disappointment.


he has peeled it and cast it off -He has peeled off the bark of the tree and cast it off until the branches of the vine have become white.


8 Lament Heb. אֱלִי. Lamentations (קִינָה) is translated into Aramic as אִ ילְיָא.


9 have been cut off Heb. הָכְרַת, like נִכְרַת. The “hey” vowelized with a short “kamatz” takes the place of a “nun.” Comp. (Job 5:23), “And the beast of the field made peace (הָשְׁלְמָה) with you.”


11 Be ashamed Heb. הֽבִישוּ plowmen Heb. אִכָּרִים. Those who guide the plowshare.


for wheat and for barley -This refers back to the plowmen, and concerning the vine dressers, he says...


12 The vines have dried up, and the fig trees have been cut off Heb. הוֹבִישָׁה, it was cut off, its produce terminated.


has dried up Heb. הֽבִיש, like  יָבֵש


14 Proclaim a fast Heb. קַדְּשׁוּ, designate a fast


an assembly Heb. עֲצָרָה, a gathering.


15 Woe Heb. אֲהָהּ. An expression of sighing and wailing.


and like plunder Heb. וּכְשֽׁד. Like the plunder of brigands.


it will come -from the Omnipresent.


16 from before our eyes -I.e., we see it.


17 have gathered mold Heb. עָבְשׁוּ, have gathered rust and mold. in French moisir, to become moldy.


casks of wine Heb. פְרֻדּדוֹתJonathan renders: casks of wine.


under their bungs Heb. מֶגְרְפֽתֵיהֶםJonathan renders: מְגוּפָתֵיהוֹן, the cover of the cask.


the storehouses are laid desolate -I.e. the storehouses of wine and oil.


garners are demolished -Granaries of wheat.


18 herds of cattle are perplexed -They are confounded. They are closed in and astray in the forests and in the wilderness.


are laid waste Heb. נֶאְשָׁמוּ. have become spoiled through their guilt.


19 the dwellings of the wilderness Heb. נְאוֹת, an expression of a dwelling (נָוֶה).


20 Also the beasts of the field -I.e., the hind of the field.


cry out Heb. תַּעֲרֽג, will cry out, as Dunash (Teshuvoth Dunash, p. 18) interpreted it: ערג is the cry of the hinds. נהם is the roar of the lions; געה is the lowing of the calves; צהל is the whinnying of the horses; צִפצוּף is the chirping of the birds, and נבח is the barking of the dogs. 


Chapter 2


1 Sound a shophar -to announce to them that they should repent before the evil befalls them.


the day of the Lord -which we mentioned above.


2 like the dawn, spread over the mountains -The increasing locusts and the shearing locusts are spread over the mountains as the dawn is spread over the entire world.


the like of which has never been -that all these species should come one after the other, but the species of arbeh alone did not equal that of Egypt, concerning which it is stated: (Exodus 10:14) “And after it there shall not be so.”


3 Fire consumes before it -They destroy everything as though a fire consumes before them and a flame blazes after them.


like the Garden of Eden -was the land before it came, and, after it goes, it leaves the land like a desert wasteland.


4 Like the appearance of horses is its appearance -I.e., in their running.


5 like the sound of a flame -A flame, consuming stubble, makes noise.


arrayed for battle Heb. עֱרוּךְ. Since it is in the construct state, it is vowelized with a “hataf segol.”


6 gather blackness Heb. קִ בְּצוּ פָּארוּר. Blackness like a pot, Cf. (Num. 11:8) “And they cooked in a pot (בַּפָּרוּר).” The “aleph” is superfluous, and it is not read.


7 and they do not make... crooked Heb. וְעַבְּטוּן. This has no comparison, but its interpretation according to its context is: they do not make crooked.


8 and upon the swords Heb. וּבְעַד הַשֶּׁלַח, (verse 9) “through the windows (בְּעַד הַחַ לוֹנִים).” Upon the weapons they fall and camp.


they do not receive monetary gain Heb. א יִבְצָעוּ. They do not receive monetary gain. And Jonathan interpreted it (הַשֶּׁלַח) as an expression of an errand. Because of the errand of the Holy One, blessed be He, they cast themselves down, and they do not receive monetary gain.


9 In the city they clatter Heb. יָשֽׁקּוּ. This is an expression of making a din. Cf. (Isa. 33:4) “like the roaring (כְּמַשַּׁק) of the cisterns”; (Prov. 28: 15) “A growling (שּׁוֹקֵק) bear”; (Zeph. 2:9) “the clattering of (מִמְשַׁק) the thorns.” Jonathan, however, renders it as an expression of arms (נֶשֶק). They are armed.


10 the heavens tremble -Because of the retribution coming upon Israel, they quake and tremble.


withdraw their shining - Take in their light.


11 And the Lord gave forth (upon them) His voice -by the statement of His prophets prior to His sending this host of His.


for His camp is great -I.e, the camp He will send against you if you do not improve.


13 and not your garments -for I do not pay heed to the rending of your garments. Another explanation: Rend your hearts and you will not need to rend your garments because of mourning.


and He repents of the evil -I.e., He turns to another thought.


14 Whoever knows -that he is guilty of iniquity.


shall return and repent, and it shall leave -I.e., the hasil and the gazam will leave a blessing after it; through the repentance, a blessing will come in the produce.




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

& H.H. Giberet Dr. Elisheba bat Sarah


 Shemot (Exodus) 27:20 – 28:43

Tehillim (Psalms) 64

Hoshea (Hosea) 14:7 – Yoel (Joel) 1:5 +2:14

Mk 8:13, Lk 11:31-32, Acts 20:1-16


The verbal tallies between the Torah and the Psalm are:

LORD - יהוה, Strong’s number 03068.

Heart - לב, Strong’s number 03820.


The verbal tallies between the Torah and the Ashlamata are:

Children / Son - בן, Strong’s number 01121.

LORD - יהוה, Strong’s number 03068.

Generation - דור, Strong’s number 01755.


Shemot (Exodus) 27:20 And thou shalt command the children <01121> of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.

21  In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons <01121> shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD <03068>: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations <01755> on the behalf of the children of Israel.

1 ¶  And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.

2  And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.

3  And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted <03820>, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.


Tehillim (Psalms) 64:6  They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart <03820>, is deep.

Tehillim (Psalms) 64:10 The righteous shall be glad in the LORD <03068>, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.


Hoshea (Hosea) 14:9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD <03068> are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.

Yoel (Joel)  1:1 The word of the LORD <03068> that came to Joel the son <01121> of Pethuel.

Yoel (Joel)  1:3 Tell ye your children <01121> of it, and let your children <01121> tell their children <01121>, and their children <01121> another generation <01755>.







Torah Reading

Ex. 27:20 – 28:43




Hos 14:7 – Yoel 1:5 +2:14


after, behind

Exod. 28:43

Joel 2:14


each, man

Exod. 28:21

Ps. 64:6



Exod. 28:4

Hos. 14:9



Ps. 64:1
Ps. 64:7
Ps. 64:9

Joel 2:14


which, who

Exod. 27:21
Exod. 28:3
Exod. 28:4
Exod. 28:8
Exod. 28:26
Exod. 28:38

Ps. 64:3



Exod. 27:20
Exod. 27:21
Exod. 28:1
Exod. 28:4
Exod. 28:9
Exod. 28:11
Exod. 28:12
Exod. 28:21
Exod. 28:29
Exod. 28:30
Exod. 28:38
Exod. 28:40
Exod. 28:41
Exod. 28:43

Joel 1:1
Joel 1:3



purpose, word

Ps. 64:3
Ps. 64:5

Joel 1:1



Exod. 27:21

Joel 1:3


have, reach,

came, happened

Exod. 28:7
Exod. 28:42

Joel 1:1
Joel 1:2


skillful, wise

Exod. 28:3

Hos. 14:9



Exod. 27:21
Exod. 28:12
Exod. 28:29
Exod. 28:30
Exod. 28:35
Exod. 28:36
Exod. 28:38

Ps. 64:10

Hos. 14:9
Joel 1:1
Joel 2:14


upright, right

Ps. 64:10

Hos. 14:9


all, whole,

entire, every

Exod. 28:3
Exod. 28:38

Ps. 64:8
Ps. 64:9
Ps. 64:10

Joel 1:2
Joel 1:5



Ps. 64:8

Hos. 14:9


persons, heart

Exod. 28:3
Exod. 28:29
Exod. 28:30

Ps. 64:6
Ps. 64:10



Ps. 64:5

Hos. 14:9
Joel 2:14





Exod. 28:6
Exod. 28:8
Exod. 28:14
Exod. 28:15
Exod. 28:22
Exod. 28:32
Exod. 28:39

Ps. 64:9


talk, tell

Ps. 64:5

Joel 1:3


before, according,

over, against,

on account

Exod. 27:21
Exod. 28:11
Exod. 28:21
Exod. 28:29
Exod. 28:30

Ps. 64:8

Joel 1:5


opening, mouth

Exod. 28:32

Joel 1:5



Ps. 64:10

Hos. 14:9


tinkling, voice

Exod. 28:35

Ps. 64:1


hear, heard

Exod. 28:35

Ps. 64:1

Joel 1:2






Torah Reading

Ex. 27:20 – 28:43




Hos 14:7 – Yoel 1:5 + 2:14


Mishnah of Mark,

1-2 Peter, & Jude

Mk 8:13

Tosefta of


Lk 11:31-32

Remes/Gemara of


and James

Acts 20:1-16



Joe 1:2

Lk. 11:31


lift up

Exo 28:12

Acts 20:13
Acts 20:14



Psa 64:6

Acts 20:9



Exod. 27:21

Joel 1:3

Lk. 11:31
Lk. 11:32


earth, ground

Joe 1:2 

Lk. 11:31


came, was formed

Joe 1:1
Joe 1:2

Acts 20:3
Acts 20:16



Exo 28:10
Exo 28:17

Acts 20:7


exiting, leave

Exo 28:35

Acts 20:7



Psa 64:5 

Act 10:3
Act 10:4
Act 10:14



Exod. 28:6
Exod. 28:8
Exod. 28:14
Exod. 28:15
Exod. 28:22
Exod. 28:32
Exod. 28:39

Ps. 64:9


come, go

Lk. 11:31

Acts 20:2
Acts 20:6
Acts 20:14
Acts 20:15


other, another

Exo 28:7 

Joe 1:3

Acts 20:15


lving, live

Hos 14:7

Acts 20:12



Joe 1:2

Acts 20:6
Acts 20:16



Exo 28:15
Exo 28:29
Exo 28:30

Lk. 11:31
Lk. 11:32



Ps. 64:3
Ps. 64:5

Joel 1:1

Acts 20:2
Acts 20:7



Exo 28:7

Acts 20:2


change his mind

Joe 2:14

Lk. 11:32



Exo 28:9
Exo 28:10
Exo 28:11
Exo 28:12
Exo 28:21
Exo 28:29

Acts 20:9

ὅς  /  ἥ  /  ὅ

who, which

Exod. 27:21
Exod. 28:3
Exod. 28:4
Exod. 28:8
Exod. 28:26
Exod. 28:38

Ps. 64:3

Act 10:5
Act 10:6
Act 10:12
Act 10:15


all, whole, entire, every

Exod. 28:3
Exod. 28:38

Ps. 64:8
Ps. 64:9
Ps. 64:10

Joel 1:2
Joel 1:5



Mar 8:13 

Acts 20:13



Hos 14:9 

Acts 20:1



Exo 28:3 

Lk. 11:31



Psa 64:1

Acts 20:10





Sidra Of Shemot (Exod.) 27:20 - 28:43

V’Atá Tetsavé” “And you give orders

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

H. Em. Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai



Hakham Shaul’s School of Tosefta

Luqas Lk 11:31- 32

Mishnah א:א

Hakham Tsefet’s School of Peshat

Mordechai (Mk) 8:13

Mishnah א:א

The queen of the south will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Sholomo (Solomon), and behold, something greater than Sholomo (Solomon) is here! The people of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Yonah, and behold, something greater than Yonah is here!”

And leaving them, again entering the boat, he went away to the other side of the sea of the Galil.



Hakham Shaul’s School of Remes

2 Luqas 20:1-16

Mishnah א:א


Now after the turmoil had been resolved, Hakham Shaul summoned the (his) talmidim, and after encouraging[49] them, he said farewell and departed to travel to Macedonia. And after he had gone through those regions and encouraged them (his talmidim in those regions) all,[50] he came to Greece and stayed three months. Because a plot was made against him by the (Shammaite) Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he came to a decision to return through Macedonia. And the seven Paqidim, Sopater[51] son of Pyrrhus from Berea, and Aristarchus[52] and Secundus[53] from Thessalonica, and Gaius[54] from Derbe, and Timothy,[55] and Tychicus[56] and Trophimus[57] from Asia, had accompanied him. And these Paqidim had gone on ahead and were waiting for us in Troas.


And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread and came to them at Troas within five days, where we stayed for seven days. And at the first of the week, just after Habdalah when we had assembled (Synagogued) to break bread, Hakham Shaul began lecturing them, because he was going to leave after the next day, and he extended his message until midnight. Now there were quite a few lamps (torches) in the upstairs room where we were gathered.[58] And a certain young man named Eutychus[59] who was sitting in the window was sinking into a deep sleep while Hakham Shaul was lecturing them at length. Being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead. But Hakham Shaul went down and bent himself over him, and putting his arms around him, said, “Do not be distressed, for his Neshamah (life) is in him.” So, he went up and broke bread, and when he had eaten and talked for a long time, until dawn, then he departed. And they led the youth away alive, and were greatly comforted.


But we went on ahead to the ship and put out to sea for Assos, intending to take Hakham Shaul on board there. For having made arrangements in this way, he himself was intending to travel by land. And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and went to Mitylene.[60] And we sailed from there on the next day, and arrived across from Chios.[61] And on the next day we approached Samos, and on the following day we came to Miletus. For Hakham Shaul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Yerushalayim, if possible, on the Festival of Shabuoth.



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


Sh’mot 27:20 - 28:43

Psalm 64:1-11

Hos 14:7, Yoel 1:5, 2:14

Mk. 8:13

Lk 11:31-32,

Acts 20:1-16


Commentary to Hakham Tsefet’s School of Peshat


And leaving them, again entering the boat, he went away to the other side of the sea of the Galil.


The construction of the Mishkan, a stationary/mobile dwelling place for the Shekinah of G-d. In the wilderness, the Mishkan was a mobile place for the Divine Presence. The subsequent Temples in Yerushalayim were established for the sake of a stationary place for the B’ne Yisrael to access the Divine Presence. This blessing was however, thwarted by the Tz’dukim (Sadducees) who were not in the business of allowing G-d’s Divine Presence be ministered to His people. Their propheteering, made the “House of G-d” a business rather than a place of worship for “all peoples.” Thus, the Divine Presence was not experienced in the Temple during the first century. This was a sure sign of the coming diaspora. All the Rabbis knew that the Temple would soon be destroyed and that the medium of communication with G-d would come through Prayer and Torah Study. Yeshua was an agent of the Divine Presence showing the people of the Galil how to access the Divine Presence through Torah Study and Prayer.


The abyss created by the Tz’dukim was spanned through an understanding that the Torah is an open door to the Divine. Regardless of our place in the Diaspora, Torah Study will draw the Divine Presence and we will bask in Eden just as Adam and Chava did.


The “Ner Tamid” of the present resides in the Esnoga before the Aaron where we access the Torah. This “eternal light” teaches us that the way to G-d is through His Word, Dabar and Memra.


With the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. the Shekinah is said to have departed Yet we in Torah study can bring the Divine Presence wherever we study Torah.[62] This we have the idea of a Mishkan again. When the Temple stood, and was in operation the primary place for a connection to G-d was in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). With the destruction of the Temple the Divine Presence rests upon the Yeshivot (Houses of Torah Study) and those who love to study Torah.





Commentary to Hakham Shaul’s School of Remes


Soferim are Counters


The present Remes portion of our Nazarean Talmud requires some counting. The Soferim (scribes – counters) love numbers. They love to count letters, words and pesukim (passages). This has ensured that we have an accurate Torah. In this pericope, Hakham Shaul has given us plenty of counting to do. We have the mention of “three months,” seven Paqidim (which must be counted), the seven days of Unleavened bread, five days, another seven days and a fall from the third story of a building. When the counting is all said and done, we arrive at the proximity of thirty-three. The readers should automatically think of Lag B’Omer. His Eminence Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David has discussed the proximity of Lag B’Omer recently. Therefore, we will only take the time to point out a positive connection to this festival.


Hakham Shaul tells us that the events that are taking place occur AFTER the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The semi-festival of Lag B’Omer connects with two aspects of Nazarean life. Firstly, it is the Scholars Festival. This is very well said in the present pericope. Hakham Shaul has been traveling and teaching Seven Paqidim. You might say that Hakham Shaul had a traveling congregation/Minyan. The obvious is that he is a Hakham training Paqidim all over Asia imbuing them with the Master’s Mesorah.


The second aspect of the Nazarean life connected to Lag B’Omer is the resurrection of the Master. This is attested to in this pericope when Hakham Shaul declares that the “soul” of the man from the third heavens is alive.


The coded language of Hakham Shaul uses words like “bent over” which is a reference to the Sages who bend over to read the Torah. The upper chamber (the mind and upper functions of the Neshamah) are filled with “torches.” The “torch” is the universal icon for education. In the present era, the Olympic Games have adopted this icon.  Nevertheless, the icon of the torch remains the symbol of an educated mind.


The First of the Week


We must pause here to dispel a great myth. The phrase μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτωνmia ton sabbaton does NOT mean the first DAY of the week! Any Greek scholar knows that this is true. What μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτωνmia ton sabbaton does means is the “first (or start) of the week.” Even the simplest Jewish child understands that this is a reference to Habdalah. Therefore, we need to understand that the Sheliachim(apostles - emissaries) as “plenipotentiary agents” of the Master did not meet on Sunday morning for Sunday school. This means that the Sheliachim of the Master met at Habdalah to break bread together. It is most likely that they lived in a communal setting with an Erub so they could “come together” for Habdalah and have a meal. Why does Hakham Shaul drag this phrase into our pericope? It would seem to be totally out of place.


Having risen at beginning of the week (as Habdalah was being conducted), Yeshua appeared first to Miriam Migdalah, from whom he had expelled seven demons. She went and declared to those (who had) been with him (his talmidim) the events that had happened. They were mourning and weeping. When they heard he was alive and she (had) seen him, they did not believe her.[63]


Hakham Shaul knows exactly what he is talking about. He has incorporated this statement so that we understand his inference to Habdalah is a reference to the resurrection of the Master. Just as G-d initiated the creative process of the present world at the “first of the week,” He begins the final stages of history with the act of “first fruits” (pointing to Shabuoth in the Bimodal aspects of the Septennial Torah reading cycle) for the coming age. As we have learned, the “first fruits” of Nisan deal with the first fruits of the Barley harvest. This festival of “first fruits” is the first fruit of “first fruits” demonstrating Yeshua as the “first fruits” from the dead. We also point out that barley is usually fed to animals rather than humans. Herein we find an application concerning the Torah and the Gentile. Because barley is the coarsest of grains, it must be ground exceedingly until it is eatable. In similar manner, the Torah must be initially simplified for Gentile comprehension. Yeshua’s resurrection forms the dawning of a new era whereby the Gentile has access to G-d through the Torah and Yeshua. Infused in any beginning is the archetypical idea of a thing. In So’od materials, this archetypical idea is Hokhmah, which is a synonym for the Torah and Yeshua.




Ruach/Pneuma as Sophia/Hokhmah (רוּחַ /πνεῦμασοφία/ חָכְמָה )[64]


We have given some information in the past concerning the concepts of “spirit” with regard to our translation of the Nazarean Codicil. The Greek word πνεῦμαpneuma parallels the Hebrew word רוּחַ ruach. Both words are given to a number of parallels. Because, πνεῦμαpneuma and רוּחַruach are used in a plethora of meanings and contexts we are often forced to determine the true meaning of the term as it is used contextually.


Last week we saw that ἅγιοςhagios (usually translated as “holy”) is a synonym for σοφίαsophia (wisdom). This week we see that πνεῦμαpneuma and רוּחַ ruach are synonyms to the Greek word σοφίαsophia (wisdom – חָכְמָה). From the use of these synonyms, we can see that that ἅγιοςhagios (usually translated as “holy”) is a synonym for חָכְמָה/Hokhmah. And, that רוּחַ and πνεῦμα are also synonyms for חָכְמָה/Hokhmah. Therefore, Hokhmah refers to “holiness” and “spirit.” We might word this slightly different for the sake of clarity. Hokhmah is a reference to the “holy spirit” or better stated the “spirit of holiness.” Therefore, the phrase “Ruach HaKodesh” and “Agio Pneumati” are redundant and refer to the “spirit” of Hokhmah. Hokhmah can be taken to mean a “spirit of holiness” or the “spirit of wisdom.” As such, wisdom, holiness and spirit are all synonyms referring to the same thing.


Ἱερός ἄνθρωπος ieros anthrapos, man as a sanctuary[65] refers to a Hakham, Sage or man of wisdom. As a sanctuary, the Hakham is the house of holiness and the spirit i.e. the “Ruach HaKodesh.” In other terms, the Hakham is the house of G-d’s breath, i.e. the Mesorah/Oral Torah, which should also be understood as the “Ruach HaKodesh.” The priesthood of the first-born is to be a man filled with Hokhmah to offer up sacrifices[66] of the breathed[67] Torah received from G-d through Yeshua HaMashiach.”


Our Tosefta of Luqas gives us a hint (Remes) concerning those things that are “spiritual.” “At that same hour he rejoiced in the spirit of joy and said.” The “spirit” may mean various things but it is often synonymous with the idea of a verbal expression. In other words, the “spirit of joy” was expressed in a blessing. Therefore, we see that the word “ruach” and “pneuma” have an underlying meaning of speech or speaking. In referring to the Ruach we can see that the phrase is often associated with, the “power of God” with no emphasis on a “spirit” as a special separate entity and the Divine (dwelling) Presence – Shekhinah. These two cases would seem to negate our thoughts that the idea of the “spirit” is found in a “verbal expression.” In Gan Eden, the “Divine Presence” expressed itself in verbal communication.[68] The Divine power of the Ruach in the Tanakh seems to be associated with verbal expression such as “and G-d said.” While Ruach and Pneuma cannot be restricted to verbal expression, we can see that they lend themselves to breathing and speaking more often than not.


It also seems evident that when we look at the uses of Ruach and Pneuma, they are associated with either knowing or speaking. Here the idea of knowing relates to the present connection with Hokhmah. One connection that bonds these two ideas together is that of Prophecy. In prophecy, there is inspiration, knowing and breathing (speaking out) that which is known intuitively. Intuitive knowledge that is spoken, breathed out is prophecy. However, in a different context that intuitive knowledge that is breathed out is the Mesorah/Oral Torah. Thus, breathing the Mesorah is acquainted with holiness, prophecy and true spirituality πνευματικόςpneumatikos. Interestingly, πνευματικόςpneumatikos is associated with breathing and or that which is breathed out, i.e. the Mesorah. Therefore, breathing out the words of the Oral Torah is true spirituality. One who breaths out these words is said to be filled with the Ruach HaKodesh (Breath of the Divine).


In Hakham Shaul’s first letter to the Corinthians chapter twelve the word πνευματικόςpneumatikos is associated with the ten men of the congregation. Why are there only nine[69] things mentioned in this list? This is because this list is a pars pro toto. The opening passage is usually translated, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:” Note here the word “gifts” is italicized. This means that the translators have added this word to clarify the text. Therefore, πνευματικόςpneumatikos is associated with the functions of the ten men of the congregation. In verse four of this same chapter the word χάρισμαcharisma is translated as “gift.” Again, this is erroneous. Χάρισμαcharisma is best translated as the management of “chesed” is linked with χάριςcharis  (chesed). On one hand πνεῦμαpneuma (spirit) is associated with the spiritual demonstrations that are called χαρίσματαcharismata[70] “the management of chesed.” Nearly all of these offices have some form of verbal expression.


Eph 4:7-10 But to every one of us is given loving-kindness (chesed) according to the measure of the gift of Messiah.[71] Therefore, He (God) says, "When he ascended[72] up on high, [73] he led captivity captive and gave gifts to men Thou hast received gifts among men, yes, among the rebellious also, that the Lord God might tabernacleShakan there." (Ps. 68:18).


The word “gifts” used in Ephesians is δόμαdoma is also referring to the offices of the ten men who are the congregation. Interestingly, the gifts δόματαdomata (δόμαdoma plural) are πνευματικόςpneumatikos and χάρισμαcharisma combined, which operate as the “spiritual” expressions of chesed to the congregation. However, it is not simply their presence that makes the congregation “spiritual” but rather their verbal expression of the Orally Breathed Torah (πνευματικόςpneumatikos). These men breathe out holy ἅγιοςhagios words, of wisdom σοφία/ חָכְמָה (wisdom) found in the Mesorah/Ruach HaKodesh. These men are a δόματαdomata (gifts) to the congregation in that if the congregation does not merit their presence they will be removed as we have seen with the former pericopes. Or, we might say that if their spiritually breathed (πνευματικόςpneumatikos) words of σοφία/ חָכְמָה are not heeded, these men will be removed. A congregation that does not have these δόματαdomata is devoid of (πνευματικόςpneumatikos) spirituality, σοφία/ חָכְמָה (wisdom) and ἅγιοςhagios (holiness) i.e. the Ruach HaKodesh.


Heart of flesh or heart of sapphire?


At the heart of the Bet HaMikdash was a room called the Kodesh HaKodeshim (Holy of Holies). Within the Kodesh HaKodeshim was an Aron (Ark). Within that Aron (ark) were two lukhot (tablets) of sapphire. Upon those two tablets were inscribed the Torah. These stones represent the construction of the whole Bet HaMikdash as well as the Miskhan. The lukhot are at the heart of the Bet HaMikdash representing the place where G-d would commune (communicate) with His people. Regardless of the construction, the ability to connect with G-d’s Divine Presence (Neighbouring Presence) was at the core of each edifice. Here Hakham Tsefet, in our Peshat text above, alludes to the idea that the core of every Nazarean Jew is the Torah, which is something that he must hold dear and precious. These “stones” are precious to G-d. If G-d holds these stones to be precious how much the more should His creatures hold them as dear. It is from this logical process that we discern that the heart of the Nazarean is made of sapphire. However, the word “sapphire” is related to the idea of the sefirot (which can be written or transliterated saphirot). Uses of the “sefirot” by other languages have pronounced the word “sefirot” as “spirot” (spirit). The word spirit means to “breathe” as we have commonly taught. The word spirit is related to spirare “to breathe.” Therefore, we see that the heart of the Nazarean is made of sapphire, as is his breath (spirit). Consequently, we determine through etymology and grammar, that the Nazarean breathes the Torah, which has been breathed into him.


It would superficially appear that this contradicts the words of Nabi Yechezqel (the prophet Ezekiel).


Yechezqel (Ezek. 36:26-27) “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a (new) heart of flesh. “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”


Note that there is an old heart of “flesh” replaced by a new heart and spirit. A heart of flesh replaces the heart of stone. The heart of stone, which is removed in this passage, refers to the Yetser HaRa[74] that resists the Torah. How is it that we receive a “new heart” of flesh and “spirit” (spirare – sapphire)? These things are “breathed into us by a Hakham when we become a true talmid of the Torah. Being “born anew” as a talmid, happens when he commits to his Hakham. This makes him the recipient of a new circumcised heart of sapphire. The Hakham’s “breathing in” (in-spirare,) of the Oral Torah results in a new “spiritual heart” (πνευματικόςpneumatikos of sapphire).


We can translate the later part of our quote from Yechezqel (Ezek) to read as follows. “I will “breath” into you and cause you to walk (halakh) in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”


Yochanan (Jn.) 20:22 And when he (Yeshua) had said this, he breathed into them, saying to them, “Receive the Oral Torah (Ruach HaKodesh).”


Now let us look at the Yechezqel passage with these thoughts in mind.


Yechezqel (Ezek. 36:26-27) “I will give you a new heart and a new spirit (sapphire) within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh (Yetser HaRa) and give you a (new) heart of flesh (sapphire). “I will breathe (spirare – the Mesorah) into you and cause you to walk in My statutes chiseling away those parts which hold you back from becoming a nobleman, and you will keep (guard carefully) the ordinances of My judges and do them.”



Questions for Reflection


  1. From all the readings for this Shabbat which statement touched your heart and fired your imagination?
  2. In your opinion, and taking into consideration all the above readings for this Shabbat, what is the prophetic message (the idea that encapsulates all the Scripture passages read) for this week?



Blessing After Torah Study


Barúch Atáh Adonai, Elohénu Meléch HaOlám,

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

Barúch Atáh Adonái, Notén HaToráh. Amen!


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

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

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


“Now unto Him who is able to preserve you faultless, and spotless, and to establish you without a blemish, before His majesty, with joy, [namely,] the only one God, our Deliverer, by means of Yeshua the Messiah our Master, be praise, and dominion, and honor, and majesty, both now and in all ages. Amen!”




Next Shabbat: “V’Atá Tetsavé” – “And you give orders”


Hamishah Asar (or TuBiShebat)



Torah Reading:

Weekday Torah Reading:

וְאַתָּה תְּצַוֶּה


Saturday Afternoon

“V’Atá T’tsavé”

Reader 1 – Sh’mot 27:20 – 28:5

Reader 1 – Sh’mot 30:1-4

“And you will give orders”

Reader 2 – Sh’mot 28:6-8

Reader 2 – Sh’mot 30:5-7

Y mandarás

Reader 3 – Sh’mot 28:9-12

Reader 3 – Sh’mot 30:8-10

Reader 4 – Sh’mot 28:13-21


Sh’mot (Ex.) 29:1-46

Reader 5 – Sh’mot 28:22-30

Monday & Thursday


Psalms 65:1-13

Reader 6 – Sh’mot 28:31-35

Reader 1 – Sh’mot 30:1-4

Ashlamatah: Is 61:6 – 62:5

Reader 7 – Sh’mot 28:36-43

Reader 2 – Sh’mot 30:5-7

    Maftir – Sh’mot 28:41-43

Reader 3 – Sh’mot 30:8-10

Mk 8:14-21; Lk 12:1;

Acts 20: 17-38

                   Is 61:6 – 62:5




Coming Holiday:

Hamishah Asar (or TuBiShebat)

(Next Shabbat)

For further information see:

Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu ben Abraham































[1] 1 Samuel 26

[2] v. 63:1

[3] 1 Samuel 27:1

[4] v. 63:1

[5] The Book of Tehillim, Me’am Lo’ez, Psalms III, Chapters 62—89, by Rabbi Shmuel Yerushalmi, Translated and adapted by Dr. Zvi Faier.

[6] v. 64:11, Ibid. 5

[7] Midrash Tehillim or Midrash to Psalms is a haggadic midrash known since the 11th century, when it was quoted by Nathan of Rome in his Aruk (s.v. סחר), by R. Isaac ben Judah ibn Ghayyat in his Halakot (1b), and by Rashi in his commentary on I Sam. 17:49, and on many other passages. This midrash is called also "Agadat Tehillim" (Rashi on Deut. 23:7 and many other passages), or "Haggadat Tehillim" (Aruk, s.v. סער, and in six other passages). From the 12th century it was called also Shocher Tov (see Midrash Tehillim, ed. S. Buber, Introduction, pp. 35 et seq.), because it begins with the verse Prov. 11:27.

[8] Shlomo Yitzchaki (22 February 1040 – 13 July 1105), and today generally known by the acronym Rashi (Hebrew: רש"י, RAbbi SHlomo Itzhaki), was a medieval French rabbi and author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud and commentary on the Tanach.

[9] Midrash Tehillim interprets the psalm homiletically as referring to the Persian officials whose plots caused Daniel to be thrown into a den of lions. This interpretation appears to have been inspired by the hermeneutical principle called gezerah shavah —the occurrence of the same phraseology in two unrelated passages. The noun רגשת, rigshat, “throng,” appears here in verse 3, while the verb תגש, RGSh, appears several times in the passage in Daniel (Daniel 6:7,12,16).

[10] A high official in some Muslim countries, especially in Turkey under Ottoman rule.

[11] The above 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.


[12] Rabbi Akiva Tatz

[13] Ibid. 12

[14] In fact, it was kol, crying, that initiated the redemption: Shemot 2:23. “… the king of Egypt died; and the people of Israel sighed because of the slavery, and they cried, and their cry came up to G-d because of the slavery.. And G-d heard their groaning, and G-d remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob…..”

[15] Ibid. 12

[16] Bereshit (Genesis) 28:12ff

[17] Chakmah is commonly translated as ‘wisdom’ and is the first of the lower seven sephirot.

[18] Daat (knowledge) and dibur (speech) are linked together. Hence the first time we find daat mentioned in the Torah is when Adam knew his wife Chava. He felt connected to her. It follows that all spoken reproof is really a form of connection.

[19] Heart is our verbal tall with the Torah portion: 

[20] Plato (348/347 BCE) was a philosopher in Classical Greece and the founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. He is widely considered the most pivotal figure in the development of philosophy, especially the Western tradition. Unlike nearly all of his philosophical contemporaries, Plato’s entire œuvre is believed to have survived intact for over 2,400 years. Along with his teacher, Socrates, and his most famous student, Aristotle, Plato laid the very foundations of Western philosophy and science.

[21] Bereshit (Genesis) 3:10

[22] Bereshit (Genesis) 4:10

[23] Bereshit (Genesis) 27:23

[24] Plural ‘voices’ - Shemot (Exodus) 20:17

[25] Tehillim (Psalms) 19

[26] Dibur = Speech or words.

[27]Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles: Principle #7

[28] Maharal

[29] Rashi comments, “Because Ruach HaKodesh [prophetic intuition] speaks from her throat. She is greater than you in prophecy.”

[30] Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 58:1.

[31] The first term for speech, "dibur" comes from the same root word as "Aseret Hadibrot", the ten words, or commandments.

[32] Bereshit Rabbah

[33] Attributed to Onkelos, a Roman convert to Judaism thought to have lived c.35-120.

[34] Targum Onkelos changes “the adam” to “in Adam”. Rashi (ad loc.) also interprets the phrase “nefesh chayah” to mean speech: ‘“And the Adam became a nefesh chayah’, even a beast and a [wild] animal are called nefesh chayah, but this [nefesh] of Adam is more living than all of them, because in him was added knowing/dei'ah and speech/dibur”.

[35] Speech - Any translation of plan into action. This is where the potential is turned into the actual. There is always a trace of chidush (originality) in true dibur.

[36] R. Tsadok HaKohen adds that dibur always carries some imprint of its spokesperson.

[37] AKA Torah

[38] AKA Numbers

[39] A desert is a place where no speech is possible. A desert is like an ocean with no landmarks.

[40] So midbar is exchangeable with midaber, meaning speech that comes forth automatically, of its own accord.

[41] Speech (dibur) also means leadership in Hebrew, the king rules with his word.

[42] Vaeira 25b

[43] Debarim (Deuteronomy) 26:5-8

[44] The Haggada itself states: “To elaborate on these ideas is praiseworthy”.

[45] Shabbat 55a; Yoma 69b, Sanhedrin. 64a.

[46] Rosh HaShana 18a

[47] Eretz (land) means running towards, while Shamayim (heavens) are the endpoints that we were running towards. Thus we understand that women have a greater connection to the lower world, the land, while men have a greater connection to the upper worlds, the spiritual realms. Never the less, we always want what we don’t have. That is why men seek the lower world and its pleasures, while women seek the spiritual world and its pleasures.

[48] Sotah 32, Rav Chisda

[49] Strengthening the seven Paqidim. παρακαλέωparakaleo comfort ( נִחַם ), call ( קָרָא )

[50] Heb. (הָ)רַבִּים Cf. TDNT 6:536

[51] 1. Meaning – “savior of his father”

[52] 2. Meaning – “the best ruler”

[53] 3. Meaning –  “fortunate,” “lucky one”

[54] 4. Meaning – “lord/master”

[55] 5. Meaning – “honoring God”

[56] 6. Meaning – “fateful”

[57] 7. Meaning – “nutritious”

[58] Note the similarity of language suggesting that we are at the Festival of Shabuoth.

[59] Meaning – “lucky one,” possibly the same as Secundus. See number “3” above

[60] Meaning – “mutilated”

[61] Meaning – “snowy”

[62] M. Aboth 3:2

[63] Cf. Mark 16:9-11

[64] See TDNT 6:370 8. πνεῦμα in Wisdom

[65] Trench, R. C. Trench’s Synonyms of the New Testament. Baker Books, 2000. p. 327

[66] Sacrifices here take on the idea of Korbanot – those things, which bring us near to G-d.

[67] Πνευματικός rooted in πνέω to breathe hard i.e. teaching. This also applies to Prayer as the sacrifice of our lips.

[68] B’resheet 3:8 “They (Adam and Chavah) heard the voice of halakhah (i.e. walking) from the Breath of the LORD God in the garden.”

[69] This is because the female characteristic of the 3rd Parnas/pastor is “hidden.”

[70]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.) (electronic ed.) (9:403). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

[71] cf. Rom 8:32

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

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

[74] Interestingly the Talmud gives seven titles to the Yetser HaRa. One of the seven Paqidim of the congregation addresses each of these titles. Eisemann, Moshe, and Nosson Scherman. Ezekiel, Yechezkel, The Artscroll Tanach Series, A New Translation With A Commentary Anthologized From Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic Sources (English and Hebrew Edition). Artscroll, Mesorah Publications Ltd, 1988. p. 557