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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Devarim - Deuteronomy - Chapter 12

Devarim - Deuteronomy - Chapter 12

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 12

1. These are the statutes and ordinances that you shall keep to perform in the land which the Lord God of your fathers gives you to possess all the days that you live on the earth.   א. אֵלֶּה הַחֻקִּים וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁמְרוּן לַעֲשׂוֹת בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נָתַן יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֶיךָ לְךָ לְרִשְׁתָּהּ כָּל הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם חַיִּים עַל הָאֲדָמָה:
2. You shall utterly destroy from all the places where the nations, that you shall possess, worshipped their gods, upon the lofty mountains and upon the hills, and under every lush tree.   ב. אַבֵּד תְּאַבְּדוּן אֶת כָּל הַמְּקֹמוֹת אֲשֶׁר עָבְדוּ שָׁם הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם יֹרְשִׁים אֹתָם אֶת אֱלֹהֵיהֶם עַל הֶהָרִים הָרָמִים וְעַל הַגְּבָעוֹת וְתַחַת כָּל עֵץ רַעֲנָן:
You shall utterly destroy: Destroy and then destroy them again. From here [we derive that] one who eradicates idolatry must thoroughly uproot it [i.e., remove every trace of it]. — [A.Z. 45b]   אבד תאבדון: אבד ואחר כך תאבדון מכאן לעוקר עבודה זרה שצריך לשרש אחריה:
from all the places where the nations,… worshipped: And what shall you destroy from them? Their gods that are on the mountains, etc.   את כל המקומות אשר עבדו שם וגו': ומה תאבדון מהם, את אלהיהם אשר על ההרים:
3. And you shall tear down their altars, smash their monuments, burn their asherim with fire, cut down the graven images of their gods, and destroy their name from that place.   ג. וְנִתַּצְתֶּם אֶת מִזְבְּחֹתָם וְשִׁבַּרְתֶּם אֶת מַצֵּבֹתָם וַאֲשֵׁרֵיהֶם תִּשְׂרְפוּן בָּאֵשׁ וּפְסִילֵי אֱלֹהֵיהֶם תְּגַדֵּעוּן וְאִבַּדְתֶּם אֶת שְׁמָם מִן הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא:
altar: [constructed] of many stones.   מזבח: של אבנים הרבה:
monument: [constructed] of one stone. This is the בִּימוּס [the pedestal for an idol] concerning which we learn in the Mishnah (A.Z. 3:7): A stone that was originally carved for an idol’s pedestal.   מצבה: של אבן אחת, והוא בימוס ששנינו במשנה (ע"ז מז ב) אבן שחצבה מתחלתה לבימוס:
asherah: a tree that is worshipped.   אשרה: אילן הנעבד:
and destroy their name: By giving them disgraceful nicknames. What they call בֵּית גליא,“exalted temple,” [you] should call בֵּית כְּלִיָא,“dug out house,” what they call עַיִן כָּל,“the all-seeing eye,” [you] should call עַיִן קוֹץ “the thorn eye.” - [A.Z. 46a]   ואבדתם את שמם: לכנות להם שם לגנאי, בית גליא קורין לה בית כריא, עין כל עין קוץ:
4. You shall not do so to the Lord, your God.   ד. לֹא תַעֲשׂוּן כֵּן לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם:
You shall not do so [to the Lord your God]: to burn sacrifices to God in any place you choose, but rather at the place that He will choose. Another explanation is: “And you shall tear down their altars… and destroy their name… [but] do not do so [to the Lord your God]”; this is an admonition [addressed] to one who would erase the Name [of God from any writing] or remove a stone from the altar or from the courtyard (Mak. 22a). Rabbi Ishmael said: Would it enter your mind that the Israelites would tear down the altars [of God]? Rather, [the meaning of“You shall not do so” is that] you should not do like the deeds of the nations so that your sins would cause the sanctuary of [i.e., built by] your fathers to be destroyed. — [Sifrei]   לא תעשון כן: להקטיר לשמים בכל מקום (פסוק ה), כי אם במקום אשר יבחר. דבר אחר ונתצתם את מזבחותם ואבדתם את שמם לא תעשון כן, אזהרה למוחק את השם ולנותץ אבן מן המזבח או מן העזרה. אמר רבי ישמעאל וכי תעלה על דעתך שישראל נותצין את המזבחות, אלא שלא תעשו כמעשיהם, ויגרמו עונותיכם למקדש אבותיכם שיחרב:
5. But only to the place which the Lord your God shall choose from all your tribes, to set His Name there; you shall inquire after His dwelling and come there.   ה. כִּי אִם אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם מִכָּל שִׁבְטֵיכֶם לָשׂוּם אֶת שְׁמוֹ שָׁם לְשִׁכְנוֹ תִדְרְשׁוּ וּבָאתָ שָּׁמָּה:
you shall inquire after His dwelling: Heb. לְשִׁכְנוֹ. This is the Mishkan in Shiloh.   לשכנו תדרשו: זה משכן שילה:
6. And there you shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and the separation by your hand, and your vows and your donations, and the firstborn of your cattle and of your sheep.   ו. וַהֲבֵאתֶם שָׁמָּה עֹלֹתֵיכֶם וְזִבְחֵיכֶם וְאֵת מַעְשְׂרֹתֵיכֶם וְאֵת תְּרוּמַת יֶדְכֶם וְנִדְרֵיכֶם וְנִדְבֹתֵיכֶם וּבְכֹרֹת בְּקַרְכֶם וְצֹאנְכֶם:
and your sacrifices: Obligatory peace offerings.   וזבחיכם: שלמים של חובה:
your tithes: [I.e.,] the tithe of the cattle and the second tithe, to eat them within the walls [of Jerusalem].   מעשרתיכם: מעשר בהמה ומעשר שני לאכול לפנים מן החומה:
the separation by your hand: These are the first fruits, of which it is stated: “And the kohen shall take the basket from your hand” (Deut. 26:4).   תרומת ידכם: אלו הבכורים, שנאמר בהם (דברים כו, ד) ולקח הכהן הטנא מידך:
and the firstborn of your cattle: to give them to the kohen , and he shall offer them up there.   ובכורות בקרכם: לתתם לכהן ויקריבם שם:
7. And there you shall eat before the Lord, your God, and you shall rejoice in all your endeavors you and your households, as the Lord, your God, has blessed you.   ז. וַאֲכַלְתֶּם שָׁם לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם בְּכֹל מִשְׁלַח יֶדְכֶם אַתֶּם וּבָתֵּיכֶם אֲשֶׁר בֵּרַכְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ:
as the Lord, [your God,] has blessed you: Commensurate to to the blessing, bring [the offerings]. — [Sifrei]   אשר ברכך ה': לפי הברכה הבא:
8. You shall not do as all the things that we do here this day, every man [doing] what he deems fit.   ח. לֹא תַעֲשׂוּן כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר אֲנַחְנוּ עֹשִׂים פֹּה הַיּוֹם אִישׁ כָּל הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינָיו:
You shall not do as all [the things] that we do [here this day]: This refers back to [what is stated above], “For you are crossing the Jordan…” (Deut. 11:31), meaning: When you will cross the Jordan, you immediately are permitted to offer up [sacrifices] on a bamah [a temporary altar] during the entire fourteen years of conquering [the nations] and dividing [the land among the tribes], but on a bamah you may not sacrifice all that you sacrifice “here this day,” in the Mishkan , which is with you and has been anointed and is [thus] fit to sacrifice therein sin-offerings and guilt-offerings, vows and donations, whereas on a bamah , you may sacrifice only what is vowed or a donated. And that is the meaning of “every man [doing] what he deems fit” vows and donations that you donate because you deem fit to bring them, not because of any obligation [imposed upon you]; only these may you offer up on a bamah . — [Sifrei; Zev. 117b]   לא תעשון ככל אשר אנחנו עשים וגו': מוסב למעלה (דברים יא, לא) על כי אתם עוברים את הירדן וגו' כשתעברו את הירדן מיד מותרים אתם להקריב בבמה, כל ארבע עשרה שנה של כבוש וחלוק, ובבמה לא תקריבו כל מה שאתם מקריבים פה היום במשכן, שהוא עמכם ונמשח והוא כשר להקריב בו חטאות ואשמות נדרים ונדבות, אבל בבמה אין קרב אלא הנידר והנידב. וזהו איש כל הישר בעיניו, נדרים ונדבות שאתם מתנדבים על ידי שישר בעיניכם להביאם ולא על ידי חובה, אותם תקריבו בבמה:
9. For you have not yet come to the resting place or to the inheritance, which the Lord, your God, is giving you.   ט. כִּי לֹא בָאתֶם עַד עָתָּה אֶל הַמְּנוּחָה וְאֶל הַנַּחֲלָה אֲשֶׁר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ:
For you have not yet come [to the resting place]: All those fourteen years [of conquering and dividing the land].   כי לא באתם: כל אותן ארבע עשרה שנה:
not yet: Heb., עַד עַתָּה, the same as עִדַיִין, “not yet.”   עד עתה: כמו עדיין:
to the resting place: This is Shiloh.   אל המנוחה: זו שילה:
[or to] the inheritance: This is Jerusalem. — [Sifrei ; Zev. 119a]   הנחלה: זו ירושלים:
10. And you shall cross the Jordan and settle in the land the Lord, your God, is giving you as an inheritance, and He will give you rest from all your enemies surrounding you, and you will dwell securely.   י. וַעֲבַרְתֶּם אֶת הַיַּרְדֵּן וִישַׁבְתֶּם בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם מַנְחִיל אֶתְכֶם וְהֵנִיחַ לָכֶם מִכָּל אֹיְבֵיכֶם מִסָּבִיב וִישַׁבְתֶּם בֶּטַח:
And you shall cross the Jordan and settle in the land: You will have apportioned it [among yourselves] and every man will recognize his portion and [the territory of] his tribe.   ועברתם את הירדן וישבתם בארץ: שתחלקוה ויהא כל אחד מכיר את חלקו ואת שבטו:
and He will give you rest: [I.e.,] after conquering and dividing [the land] and having obtained rest from the “nations which the Lord left over, through whom to test Israel” (Judg. 3:1). And that was only in the days of David. Then:   והניח לכם: לאחר כבוש וחלוק ומנוחה (שופטים ג, א) מן הכנענים אשר הניח ה' לנסות בם את ישראל. ואין זאת אלא בימי דוד, אז:
11. And it will be, that the place the Lord, your God, will choose in which to establish His Name there you shall bring all that I am commanding you: Your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the separation by your hand, and the choice of vows which you will vow to the Lord.   יא. וְהָיָה הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם בּוֹ לְשַׁכֵּן שְׁמוֹ שָׁם שָׁמָּה תָבִיאוּ אֵת כָּל אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם עוֹלֹתֵיכֶם וְזִבְחֵיכֶם מַעְשְׂרֹתֵיכֶם וּתְרֻמַת יֶדְכֶם וְכֹל מִבְחַר נִדְרֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר תִּדְּרוּ לַיהֹוָה:
It will be, that the place [which the Lord your God will choose… there you shall bring all that I am commanding you]: [At that time,] build for yourselves the Temple in Jerusalem. And so [Scripture] states concerning David, “And it was, when the king sat in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies surrounding him, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, 'See now, I dwell in a house of cedars, but the Ark of God dwells within the curtain’” (II Sam. 7:1, 2) [i.e., the temporary Mishkan].   והיה המקום וגו': בנו לכם בית הבחירה בירושלים. וכן הוא אומר בדוד (שמואל ב' ז, א - ב) ויהי כי ישב המלך בביתו, וה' הניח לו מכל אויביו מסביב. ויאמר המלך אל נתן הנביא ראה נא אנכי יושב בבית ארזים, וארון האלהים יושב בתוך היריעה:
there you shall bring [all that I am commanding you]: Above (verse 6), [the same expression] is stated referring to Shiloh, but here it is stated referring to Jerusalem. Accordingly, Scripture separates the two to permit [sacrificing on a bamah during the intermediate period] between the existence of] one [sanctuary] and the other. After Shiloh was destroyed, and they came to Nob [and erected the Mishkan there], and then again, when Nob was destroyed and they came to Gibeon, [sacrificing on] a bamah was permitted-until they [finally] arrived in Jerusalem. — [Zev. 119a]   שמה תביאו וגו': למעלה אמרו (פסוק ו) לענין שילה וכאן אמור לענין ירושלים, ולכך חלקם הכתוב, ליתן היתר בין זו לזו, משחרבה שילה ובאו לנוב, וחרבה נוב ובאו לגבעון, היו הבמות מותרות עד שבאו לירושלים:
the choice of your vows: This teaches that one should bring [offerings] from the choicest. — [Sifrei]   מבחר נדריכם: מלמד שיביאו מן המובחר:
12. And you shall rejoice before the Lord, your God you and your sons and your daughters and your menservants and your maidservants, and the Levite who is within your cities, for he has no portion or inheritance with you.   יב. וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אַתֶּם וּבְנֵיכֶם וּבְנֹתֵיכֶם וְעַבְדֵיכֶם וְאַמְהֹתֵיכֶם וְהַלֵּוִי אֲשֶׁר בְּשַׁעֲרֵיכֶם כִּי אֵין לוֹ חֵלֶק וְנַחֲלָה אִתְּכֶם:
13. Beware, lest you offer up your burnt offerings any place you see.   יג. הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּן תַּעֲלֶה עֹלֹתֶיךָ בְּכָל מָקוֹם אֲשֶׁר תִּרְאֶה:
Beware, [lest you offer up your burnt-offerings any place you see]: [This negative form of the positive command in verse 11 is repeated in order] to attach a negative commandment to this matter.   השמר לך: ליתן לא תעשה על הדבר.
any place you see: [i.e.,] that enters your mind. However, you may offer [anywhere] by the bidding of a prophet, for example, as Elijah [did] on Mount Carmel (I Kings 18: 22). - [Sifrei]   בכל מקום אשר תראה: - אשר יעלה בלבך, אבל אתה מקריב על פי נביא, כגון אליהו בהר הכרמל:
14. But only in the place the Lord will choose in one of your tribes; there you shall offer up your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.   יד. כִּי אִם בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה בְּאַחַד שְׁבָטֶיךָ שָׁם תַּעֲלֶה עֹלֹתֶיךָ וְשָׁם תַּעֲשֶׂה כֹּל אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּךָּ:
[But only in the place the Lord will choose] in one of your tribes: in the territory of Benjamin. But above (verse 5), it says, “[the place which the Lord… will choose] from all your tribes.” How can these be reconciled? When David purchased the threshing-floor [later to become the Temple site] from Araunah the Jebusite (II Sam. 24:24), he collected the [required] gold from all the tribes; however, the threshing-floor itself was [situated] in the territory of Benjamin. — [Sifrei]   באחד שבטיך: בחלקו של בנימין. ולמעלה הוא אומר (פסוק ה) מכל שבטיכם. הא כיצד, כשקנה דוד את הגורן מארונה היבוסי גבה הזהב מכל השבטים, ומכל מקום הגורן בחלקו של בנימין היה:
15. However, in every desire of your soul, you may slaughter and eat meat in all your cities, according to the blessing of the Lord, your God, which He gave you; the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the deer, and as of the gazelle.   טו. רַק בְּכָל אַוַּת נַפְשְׁךָ תִּזְבַּח | וְאָכַלְתָּ בָשָׂר כְּבִרְכַּת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לְךָ בְּכָל שְׁעָרֶיךָ הַטָּמֵא וְהַטָּהוֹר יֹאכְלֶנּוּ כַּצְּבִי וְכָאַיָּל:
However, [you may slaughter and eat meat in all your gates,] in every desire of your soul: What is the text speaking about? If [you think that] it [is speaking] about [non-sacrificial] meat eaten to satisfy the appetite, to permit it for them without offering up any sacrificial portions, [we already have a reference to this, for Scripture] says elsewhere: “When the Lord, your God, expands your boundary… and you say, 'I will eat meat… [you may eat meat…]’” (verse 20). So what is this [verse] speaking about? It is [referring to] animals designated for holy [sacrificial] purposes that had [subsequently] become blemished, that they are to be redeemed [that is, replaced by their equivalent value in money] and they may [then] be eaten anywhere. Now one might think that [this rule applies] even if the blemish is a temporary one. Therefore, Scripture says: רַק -“However” [lit., “only.” This limits the permission to that of a permanent blemish]. — [Sifrei]   רק בכל אות נפשך: במה הכתוב מדבר, אם בבשר תאוה להתירה להם בלא הקרבת אימורים, הרי הוא אומר במקום אחר (פסוק כ) כי ירחיב ה' אלהיך את גבולך וגו' ואמרת אוכלה בשר וגו', במה זה מדבר, בקדשים שנפל בהם מום, שיפדו ויאכלו בכל מקום. יכול יפדו על מום עובר, תלמוד לומר רק:
you may slaughter and eat [meat]: You have no permission to sheer or milk [the blemished animals], but only to eat the [meat] after their ritual slaughter. — [Bech. 15b]   תזבח ואכלת: אין לך בהם היתר גיזה וחלב, אלא אכילה על ידי זביחה:
the unclean and the clean [may eat thereof]: Since they formerly had holy status, about which it is stated: “And the flesh that touches any unclean thing shall not be eaten” (Lev. 7:19), it is necessary to give explicit permission for both the unclean and clean person alike to eat [from the meat, even] from the same dish…   הטמא והטהור: לפי שבאו מכח קדשים, שנאמר בהם (ויקרא ז, יט) והבשר אשר יגע בכל טמא לא יאכל, הוצרך להתיר בו, שטמא וטהור אוכלין בקערה אחת:
as of the deer and as of the gazelle: of which no sacrifice is [ever] brought.   כצבי וכאיל: שאין קרבן בא מהם:
as of the deer, and as of the gazelle: This [comparison to a deer and a gazelle] exempts these [redeemed animals] from [the obligation of] “the foreleg, the jaws, and the maw” (see Deut. 18:3) [just as the deer and the gazelle are exempt from these gifts to the kohen]. — [Chul. 130a; Sifrei]   כצבי וכאיל: לפוטרן מן הזרוע והלחיים והקיבה:
16. However, you shall not eat the blood; you shall spill it on the ground like water.   טז. רַק הַדָּם לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ עַל הָאָרֶץ תִּשְׁפְּכֶנּוּ כַּמָּיִם:
However, you shall not eat the blood: Although I said that these [animals] do not require sprinkling the blood on the altar, you shall not eat it.   רק הדם לא תאכלו: אף על פי שאמרתי שאין לך בו זריקת דם במזבח לא תאכלנו:
you shall spill it [on the ground] like water: [This comes] to tell you that it does not require covering [with earth (see Lev. 17:13)] (Sifrei ; Chul. 84a). Another explanation: [The phrase,“like water,” teaches us that] it is like water insofar as it renders seeds susceptible [for receiving ritual uncleanness (Lev. 11:38).] - [Chul. 35b]   תשפכנו כמים: לומר לך שאין צריך כסוי. דבר אחר הרי הוא כמים להכשיר את הזרעים:
17. You may not eat within your cities the tithe of your grain, or of your wine, or of your oil, or the firstborn of your cattle or of your sheep, or any of your vows that you will vow, or your donations, or the separation by your hand.   יז. לֹא תוּכַל לֶאֱכֹל בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ מַעְשַׂר דְּגָנְךָ וְתִירשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ וּבְכֹרֹת בְּקָרְךָ וְצֹאנֶךָ וְכָל נְדָרֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר תִּדֹּר וְנִדְבֹתֶיךָ וּתְרוּמַת יָדֶךָ:
You may not eat within your cities the tithe of your grain]: Scripture comes to attach a negative commandment to this matter [i.e., eating the firstborn, tithes, etc., outside the walls of Jerusalem, in addition to the positive command (stated in verse 6)]. You may not [eat] [Heb. לֹא תוּכַל lit., “you cannot eat.”] Rabbi Joshua the son of Korchah said: You are able, but you are not permitted [to do so]. Similar to this, in the verse “As to the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out” (Josh. 15:63), they were [physically] able to do so but they were not so permitted, since Abraham had made a [non-aggression] treaty with them when he bought the cave of Machpelah from them. [In fact,] they were not Jebusites [of the Jebusite nation] but Hittites. They were, however, called Jebusites after the city, named Jebus. So it is explained in Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer (chapter 36). And this is what is stated [when David was about to drive out the Jebusites. They said to him], “Unless you take away the blind and the lame [you shall not come in here]” (II Sam. 5:6), [referring to] the images [that stood at the gates] upon which the oath [that Abraham had taken regarding the Jebusites] was written.   לא תוכל: בא הכתוב ליתן לא תעשה על הדבר. רבי יהושע בן קרחה אומר יכול אתה, אבל אינך רשאי, כיוצא בו (יהושע טו, סג) ואת היבוסי יושבי ירושלים לא יכלו בני יהודה להורישם, יכולים היו, אלא שאינן רשאין, לפי שכרת להם אברהם ברית כשלקח מהם מערת המכפלה. ולא יבוסים היו אלא חתיים היו, אלא על שם העיר ששמה יבוס [נקראים יבוסים]. כך מפורש בפרקי דרבי אליעזר. והוא שנאמר (שמואל ב' ה, ו) כי אם הסירך העורים והפסחים, צורות שכתבו עליהם את השבועה:
[You may not eat within your gates…] the firstborn of your cattle: This prohibition is addressed to the kohanim [in contrast to “the tithe of your grain,” since Israelites were never permitted to eat the firstborn, even within the walls of Jerusalem].   ובכורות בקרך: אזהרה לכהנים:
or the separation by your hand: This refers to the first fruits (see above on verse 6). - [Sifrei , Mak. 17a]   ותרומת ידך: אלו הבכורים:
18. But you shall eat them before the Lord, your God, in the place the Lord, your God, will choose you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, and the Levite who is in your cities, and you shall rejoice before the Lord, your God, in all your endeavors.   יח. כִּי אִם לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ תֹּאכְלֶנּוּ בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בּוֹ אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ וְעַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתֶךָ וְהַלֵּוִי אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ וְשָׂמַחְתָּ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכֹל מִשְׁלַח יָדֶךָ:
[But you shall eat them] before the Lord: [i.e.,] within the walls [of Jerusalem].   לפני ה': לפנים מן החומה:
and the Levite who is in your cities: If you have nothing to give him from his portion, such as the first tithes, then give him the tithe of the poor. And if you have no tithe of the poor, invite him [to partake of] your peace offering. — [Sifrei]   והלוי אשר בשעריך: אם אין לך לתת לו מחלקו, כגון מעשר ראשון, תן לו מעשר עני. אין לך מעשר עני, הזמינהו על שלמיך:
19. Beware, lest you forsake the Levite all your days upon your land.   יט. הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּן תַּעֲזֹב אֶת הַלֵּוִי כָּל יָמֶיךָ עַל אַדְמָתֶךָ:
Beware, lest you forsake the Levite: This [in addition to the positive command expressed in the previous verse,] is to attach a negative commandment to the matter.   השמר לך: ליתן לא תעשה על הדבר:
[Beware, lest you forsake the Levite…] upon your land: But in exile, you are not admonished regarding him more than poor Israelites. — [Sifrei]   על אדמתך: אבל בגולה אינך מוזהר עליו יותר מעניי ישראל:
20. When the Lord, your God, expands your boundary, as He has spoken to you, and you say, "I will eat meat," because your soul desires to eat meat, you may eat meat, according to every desire of your soul.   כ. כִּי יַרְחִיב יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת גְּבֻלְךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לָךְ וְאָמַרְתָּ אֹכְלָה בָשָׂר כִּי תְאַוֶּה נַפְשְׁךָ לֶאֱכֹל בָּשָׂר בְּכָל אַוַּת נַפְשְׁךָ תֹּאכַל בָּשָׂר:
When [the Lord your God] expands [your boundary… and you say, “I will eat meat,”… you may eat meat]: The Torah teaches proper conduct, that one should not desire to eat meat unless [one lives] in abundance and wealth. — [Chul. 84a.]   כי ירחיב וגו': למדה תורה דרך ארץ, שלא יתאוה אדם לאכול בשר, אלא מתוך רחבת ידים ועושר:
[you may eat meat,] according to every desire of your soul: In the desert, however, the meat of a non-consecrated animal was forbidden to them, unless one first consecrated it and offered it up as a peace offering. — [Sifrei : Chul. 16b]   בכל אות נפשך וגו': אבל במדבר נאסר להם בשר חולין, אלא אם כן מקדישה ומקריבה שלמים:
21. If the place the Lord, your God, chooses to put His Name there, will be distant from you, you may slaughter of your cattle and of your sheep, which the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you, and you may eat in your cities, according to every desire of your soul.   כא. כִּי יִרְחַק מִמְּךָ הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָשׂוּם שְׁמוֹ שָׁם וְזָבַחְתָּ מִבְּקָרְךָ וּמִצֹּאנְךָ אֲשֶׁר נָתַן יְהֹוָה לְךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִךָ וְאָכַלְתָּ בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ בְּכֹל אַוַּת נַפְשֶׁךָ:
If the place the Lord, your God, chooses to put His Name there, will be distant from you: And you will [consequently] be unable to come and make peace-offerings every day, as [you do] now when the Mishkan goes along with you.   כי ירחק ממך המקום: ולא תוכל לבוא ולעשות שלמים בכל יום כמו עכשיו שהמשכן הולך עמכם:
you may slaughter… as I have commanded you: We learn [from here] that there is a commandment regarding slaughtering, how one must slaughter. [Since this commandment is not written in the Torah we deduce that] these are the laws of ritual slaughtering given orally to Moses on [Mount] Sinai. — [Sifrei ; Chul. 28a]   וזבחת וגו' כאשר צויתך: למדנו שיש צווי בזביחה היאך ישחוט, והן הלכות שחיטה שנאמרו למשה בסיני:
22. But as the deer and the gazelle are eaten, so may you eat them; the unclean and the clean alike may eat of them.   כב. אַךְ כַּאֲשֶׁר יֵאָכֵל אֶת הַצְּבִי וְאֶת הָאַיָּל כֵּן תֹּאכְלֶנּוּ הַטָּמֵא וְהַטָּהוֹר יַחְדָּו יֹאכְלֶנּוּ:
But as the deer [and the gazelle] are eaten, [so you may eat them]: You are not admonished to eat them in a state of ritual purity; if, however, [you will reason:] Just as the fat of the deer and the gazelle is permitted [as food], so too should the fat of non-consecrated animals be permitted. Therefore [to counter this] Scripture says,“but” (אַךְ).   אך כאשר יאכל את הצבי וגו': אינך מוזהר לאכלן בטהרה. אי מה צבי ואיל חלבן מותר, אף חולין חלבן מותר, תלמוד לומר אך:
23. However, be strong not to eat the blood, for the blood is the soul; and you shall not eat the soul with the flesh.   כג. רַק חֲזַק לְבִלְתִּי אֲכֹל הַדָּם כִּי הַדָּם הוּא הַנָּפֶשׁ וְלֹא תֹאכַל הַנֶּפֶשׁ עִם הַבָּשָׂר:
However, be strong not to eat the blood: Since it is stated “be strong” [i.e., resist temptation], you learn that the [Israelites] were inclined to eating blood. Therefore, it is necessary to state,“be strong.” [These are] the words of Rabbi Judah. Rabbi Simeon the son of Azzai, however, says: Scripture comes only to caution you and to instruct you as to what extent you must be steadfast in [fulfilling] the commandments: If regarding blood, which is easy to watch out for, since a person has no desire for it, [the Torah] needed to strengthen you with its admonition, how much more so [must one strengthen oneself] for all other commandments! - [Sifrei]   רק חזק לבלתי אכל הדם: ממה שנאמר חזק אתה למד שהיו שטופים בדם לאכלו, לפיכך הוצרך לומר חזק, דברי רבי יהודה. רבי שמעון בן עזאי אומר, לא בא הכתוב אלא להזהירך וללמדך עד כמה אתה צריך להתחזק במצות, אם הדם, שהוא קל להשמר ממנו, שאין אדם מתאוה לו, הוצרך לחזקך באזהרתו, קל וחומר לשאר מצות:
and you shall not eat the soul with the flesh: This is an admonition against אֵבֵר מִן הַחַי, [the eating of] a limb from a live animal. — [Sifrei; Chul. 102a]   ולא תאכל הנפש עם הבשר: אזהרה לאבר מן החי:
24. You shall not eat it, you shall spill it on the ground, like water.   כד. לֹא תֹּאכְלֶנּוּ עַל הָאָרֶץ תִּשְׁפְּכֶנּוּ כַּמָּיִם:
You shall not eat it: This is an admonition against the eating (דָם הַתַּמְצִית), (the last blood oozing [from the incision of slaughtering]). — [Ker. 4b]   לא תאכלנו: אזהרה לדם התמצית:
25. You shall not eat it, in order that it be good for you, and for your children after you, when you do what is proper in the eyes of the Lord.   כה. לֹא תֹּאכְלֶנּוּ לְמַעַן יִיטַב לְךָ וּלְבָנֶיךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ כִּי תַעֲשֶׂה הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה:
You shall not eat it: This is an admonition against the eating of the blood contained in the limbs [of the animal]. — [Ker. 4b]   לא תאכלנו: אזהרה לדם האיברים:
in order that it be good for you…: Go forth and learn the [magnitude of] the reward for [observing] the commandments: If [in the case of] blood, which disgusts a person, he who abstains from it earns merit [both] for himself and for his children after him, how much more so [does this apply] to abstaining from theft and immorality, after which man’s soul of does lust. — [Mak. 23b]   למען ייטב לך וגו': צא ולמד מתן שכרן של מצות, אם הדם שנפשו של אדם קצה ממנו, הפורש ממנו זוכה לו ולבניו אחריו, קל וחומר לגזל ועריות שנפשו של אדם מתאוה להם:
26. However, your holy offerings which you will have, and your vows, you shall carry, and come to the place that the Lord chooses.   כו. רַק קָדָשֶׁיךָ אֲשֶׁר יִהְיוּ לְךָ וּנְדָרֶיךָ תִּשָּׂא וּבָאתָ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה:
However, your holy offerings [… you shall carry, and come to the place which the Lord chooses]: Although you are permitted to slaughter unconsecrated animals, I did not permit you to slaughter consecrated animals and eat them in your cities without offering [them] up [on the altar]; rather, you must bring them to the Temple.   רק קדשיך: אף על פי שאתה מותר לשחוט חולין, לא התרתי לך לשחוט את הקדשים ולאכלן בשעריך בלא הקרבה, אלא להביאם לבית הבחירה:
27. And you shall make your burnt offerings the flesh and the blood upon the altar of the Lord, your God, and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured upon the altar of the Lord, your God, and you shall eat the flesh.   כז. וְעָשִׂיתָ עֹלֹתֶיךָ הַבָּשָׂר וְהַדָּם עַל מִזְבַּח יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְדַם זְבָחֶיךָ יִשָּׁפֵךְ עַל מִזְבַּח יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְהַבָּשָׂר תֹּאכֵל:
And you shall make your burnt-offerings: If [your sacrifices] are burnt-offerings, place the flesh and the blood on the altar [as it says: הַבָּשָׂר וְהַדָּם עַל-מִזְבַּח -“the flesh and the blood on the altar of the Lord,” with respect to burnt offerings]. But if they are peace-offerings, “the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured upon the altar” first, and afterwards “you shall eat the flesh.” Our Rabbis further deduced that [the words] “However, your holy offerings… [you shall carry]” (verse 26) come to instruct us regarding consecrated animals that are outside the Land [of Israel], as well as to instruct us regarding animals that have been exchanged for other consecrated animals, and regarding the offspring of consecrated animals, that [all of] these must [also] be offered up [in Jerusalem]. — [Sifrei; Bech. 14b]   ועשית עלתיך: אם עולות הם תן הבשר והדם על גבי המזבח, ואם זבחי שלמים הם, דם זבחיך ישפך על המזבח תחלה ואחר כך והבשר תאכל. ועוד דרשו רבותינו (פסוק כו), רק קדשיך בא ללמד על הקדשים שבחוצה לארץ וללמד על התמורות ועל ולדות קדשים שיקריבו:
28. Keep and hearken to all these words that I command you, that it may benefit you and your children after you, forever, when you do what is good and proper in the eyes of the Lord, your God.   כח. שְׁמֹר וְשָׁמַעְתָּ אֵת כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּךָּ לְמַעַן יִיטַב לְךָ וּלְבָנֶיךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ עַד עוֹלָם כִּי תַעֲשֶׂה הַטּוֹב וְהַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ:
Keep [and hearken to all these words that I command you]: This [term שְׁמֹר, “keep”] refers to the studying of the Oral Law. [Since it is not written down,] you must “guard” it “in your innards,” so that it should not be forgotten, as it is said,“For it is pleasant that you guard them (תִּשְׁמְרָם) in your innards” (Prov. 22:18). And if you studied, you may understand and fulfill [the commandments], but one who is not [immersed] in study, cannot be [immersed] in practice. — [Sifrei]   שמור: זו משנה שאתה צריך לשמרה בבטנך שלא תשכח. כענין שנאמר (משלי כב, יח) כי נעים כי תשמרם בבטנך, ואם שנית אפשר שתשמע ותקיים, הא כל שאינו בכלל משנה אינו בכלל מעשה:
[Keep…] all these words [that I command you]: This means that a light commandment should be as precious to you as a difficult commandment. — [Sifrei]   את כל הדברים: שתהא חביבה עליך מצוה קלה כמצוה חמורה:
[That it may benefit you…when you do] what is good: in the eyes of Heaven.   הטוב: בעיני השמים:
and proper: in the eyes of man. — [Sifrei]   והישר: בעיני אדם:
29. When the Lord, your God cuts off the nations to which you will come to drive them out from before you, and when you drive them out and dwell in their land,   כט. כִּי יַכְרִית יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה בָא שָׁמָּה לָרֶשֶׁת אוֹתָם מִפָּנֶיךָ וְיָרַשְׁתָּ אֹתָם וְיָשַׁבְתָּ בְּאַרְצָם:
30. beware, lest you be attracted after them, after they are exterminated from before you; and lest you inquire about their gods, saying, "How did these nations serve their gods? And I will do likewise."   ל. הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּן תִּנָּקֵשׁ אַחֲרֵיהֶם אַחֲרֵי הִשָּׁמְדָם מִפָּנֶיךָ וּפֶן תִּדְרשׁ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶם לֵאמֹר אֵיכָה יַעַבְדוּ הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה אֶת אֱלֹהֵיהֶם וְאֶעֱשֶׂה כֵּן גַּם אָנִי:
Lest you be attracted: Heb. פֶּן-תִּנָּקֵשׁ אַחִרֵיהֶם Onkelos renders תִּנָּקֵשׁ as an expression of מוֹקֵשׁ, a “snare.” [However,] I say that he was not meticulous in examining the language, for we do not find a“nun” (נ) in [any form of] the verb “to snare,” not even as a root letter that is [sometimes] omitted from it. However, as an expression denoting vehement movement [from place to place] and rattling, we do find a“nun” (נ) , as in“and his knees knocked נָקְשָׁן one against the other [in fear]” (Dan. 5:6). Here, too, I say that פֶּן-תִּנָּקֵשׁ אַחִרֵיהֶם means “lest you be attracted to them,” i.e., by becoming bound up in what they do. Similarly,“May a creditor search out (יִנָקֵּשׁ) all that he has” (Ps. 109: 11)-here David cursed the wicked that he should have many creditors and they should continually go after and be attracted to his money.   פן תנקש: אונקלוס תרגם לשון מוקש. ואני אומר שלא חש לדקדק בלשון, שלא מצינו נו"ן בלשון יוקש ואפילו ליסוד הנופל ממנו, אבל בלשון טירוף וקשקוש מצינו נו"ן (דניאל ה, ו) וארכובתיה דא לדא נקשן. ואף זה אני אומר, פן תנקש אחריהם פן תטרף אחריהם להיות כרוך אחר מעשיהם, וכן (תהלים קט, יא) ינקש נושה לכל אשר לו, מקלל את הרשע להיות עליו נושים רבים ויהיו מחזירין ומתנקשין אחר ממונו:
Beware, lest you be attracted after them, after they are exterminated from before you: [God says:] After you see that I will annihilate them from before you, you ought to consider why these [people] were exterminated; because of the corrupt actions that were in their hands [i.e., that they had committed]. Accordingly, you should not act likewise, lest others come and exterminate you. — [Sifrei 14:54]   אחרי השמדם מפניך: אחר שתראה שאשמידם מפניך, יש לך לתת לב מפני מה נשמדו אלו, מפני מעשים מקולקלים שבידיהם, אף אתה לא תעשה כך שלא יבואו אחרים וישמידוך:
How do [these nations] serve [their gods?]: [Until now,] the only cases that incurred the [death] penalty for idolatry were slaughtering, causing to go up in smoke, libation, and prostration [before any other god], as it says,“[He who slaughters [a sacrifice] to the gods shall be destroyed] except to the Lord alone” (Exod. 22:19). [This means that the of death punishment is incurred if one commits] things that are done for the Most High [namely the four aforementioned types of worship]. Here [Scripture] teaches you that if it is customary to worship a particular idol by some other rite, such as defacating before [Baal] Peor or casting a stone at Mercurius, this is considered its worship, and [one who performs that form of worship] is liable [to the death penalty]. However, regarding slaughtering, causing to go up in smoke, libation, and prostration, even though it is not customary [for that idol], one is liable [to the death penalty]. — [Sanh. 60b]   איכה יעבדו: לפי שלא ענש על עבודת כוכבים ומזלות אלא על זבוח וקטור ונסוך והשתחואה, כמו שכתוב (שמות כב, יט) בלתי לה' לבדו, דברים הנעשים לגבוה בא ולמדך כאן, שאם דרכה של עבודה זרה לעבדה בדבר אחר, כגון פוער לפעור, וזורק אבן למרקוליס, זו היא עבודתו וחייב. אבל זבוח וקטור ונסוך והשתחואה, אפילו שלא כדרכה חייב:
31. You shall not do so to the Lord, your God; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates, they did to their gods, for also their sons and their daughters they would burn in fire to their gods.   לא. לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה כֵן לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ כִּי כָל תּוֹעֲבַת יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר שָׂנֵא עָשׂוּ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶם כִּי גַם אֶת בְּנֵיהֶם וְאֶת בְּנֹתֵיהֶם יִשְׂרְפוּ בָאֵשׁ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶם:
for also their sons [and their daughters they would burn in fire to their gods]: The word גַם, “also,” [comes] to include their fathers and mothers [among those they burned]. Rabbi Akiva stated,“I [once] saw a heathen who bound his father before his dog, which then devoured him.” [Sifrei] [The dog represents the idol, either because it was made in the form of a dog, or this is a pejorative. The dog’s eating the father means that the heathen burned his father in fire before the idol (Zedah Laderech).]   כי גם את בניהם: גם, לרבות את אבותיהם ואמותיהם. אמר ר' עקיבא אני ראיתי נכרי שכפתו לאביו לפני כלבו ואכלו:
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