Printed from chabad.org
All Departments
Jewish Holidays
TheRebbe.org
Jewish.TV - Video
Jewish Audio
News
Kabbalah Online
JewishWoman.org
Kids Zone
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Devarim - Deuteronomy - Chapter 33

Devarim - Deuteronomy - Chapter 33

E-mail
Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 33

1. And this is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the children of Israel [just] before his death.   א. וְזֹאת הַבְּרָכָה אֲשֶׁר בֵּרַךְ משֶׁה אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי מוֹתוֹ:
And this is the blessing… [just] before his death: Very close to the time of his death. — [see Sifrei 33: 1] “For, if not now, when?”   וזאת הברכה, לפני מותו: סמוך למיתתו שאם לא עכשיו אימתי:
2. He said: "The Lord came from Sinai and shone forth from Seir to them; He appeared from Mount Paran and came with some of the holy myriads; from His right hand was a fiery Law for them.   ב. וַיֹּאמַר יְהֹוָה מִסִּינַי בָּא וְזָרַח מִשֵּׂעִיר לָמוֹ הוֹפִיעַ מֵהַר פָּארָן וְאָתָה מֵרִבְבֹת קֹדֶשׁ מִימִינוֹ אֵשׁ דָּת לָמוֹ:
He said: The Lord came from Sinai: Moses initiated his blessing by praising the Omnipresent, and then he addressed the needs of Israel. — [Sifrei 33:2] The praise with which Moses commenced, mentions the merit of Israel. All this was a way of conciliation, as if to say, “These people are worthy that a blessing should rest upon them.”   ויאמר ה' מסיני בא: פתח תחלה בשבחו של מקום ואחר כך פתח בצרכיהם של ישראל. ובשבח שפתח בו יש בו הזכרת זכות לישראל וכל זה דרך ריצוי הוא, כלומר כדאי הם אלו שתחול עליהם ברכה:
came from Sinai: He came out toward them when they came to stand at the foot of the mountain, as a bridegroom goes forth to greet his bride, as it is said, “[And Moses brought the people forth] toward God” (Exod. 19:17). We learn from this, that God came out toward them (Mechilta 19:17).   מסיני בא: יצא לקראתם כשבאו להתיצב בתחתית ההר כחתן היוצא להקביל פני כלה, שנאמר (שמות יט, יז) לקראת האלהים, למדנו שיצא כנגדם:
and shone forth from Seir to them: [Why did He come from Seir?] Because God first offered the children of Esau [who dwelled in Seir] that they accept the Torah, but they did not want [to accept it].   וזרח משעיר למו: שפתח לבני עשו שיקבלו את התורה ולא רצו:
He appeared: to them [Israel]   הופיע: להם:
from Mount Paran: [Why did God then come from Paran?] Because He went there and offered the children of Ishmael [who dwelled in Paran] to accept the Torah, but they [also] did not want [to accept it]. — [A.Z. 2b]   מהר פארן: שהלך שם ופתח לבני ישמעאל שיקבלוה, ולא רצו:
and came: to Israel.   ואתה: לישראל
with some holy myriads: With God were only some of the myriads of His holy angels, but not all of them, nor [even] most of them. This is unlike the manner of a mortal, who displays all the splendor of his riches and his glory on his wedding day. — [Sifrei 33:2]   מרבבת קדש: ועמו מקצת רבבות מלאכי קדש, ולא כולם ולא רובם, ולא כדרך בשר ודם שמראה כל כבוד עשרו ותפארתו ביום חופתו:
a fiery law for them: It was originally written before God in [letters of] black fire upon [a background of] white fire. — [Tanchuma Bereishith 1] He gave it to them on tablets, inscribed, [as it were,] by His right hand [thus it is said here, “from His right hand”]. Another explanation of אֵשׁ דָּת : As the Targum renders it, that He gave it to them from amidst the fire.   אש דת: שהיתה כתובה מאז לפניו באש שחורה על גב אש לבנה, נתן להם בלוחות כתב יד ימינו. דבר אחר אש דת כתרגומו, שנתנה להם מתוך האש:
3. Indeed, You showed love for peoples; all his holy ones are in Your hand, for they let themselves be centered at Your feet, bearing Your utterances.   ג. אַף חֹבֵב עַמִּים כָּל קְדשָׁיו בְּיָדֶךָ וְהֵם תֻּכּוּ לְרַגְלֶךָ יִשָּׂא מִדַּבְּרֹתֶיךָ:
Indeed, You showed love for peoples: [God] also displayed great affection to the tribes, each one of whom were known as a people, for only Benjamin was destined to be born when the Holy One, blessed is He, said to Jacob, “A nation and a multitude of nations shall come into existence from you” (Genesis 35:11). [Thus we see that Benjamin alone was called “a nation.” “A multitude of nations” refers to Ephraim and Manasseh. See Rashi on Gen. 35:11, 48:4.]- [Gen. Rabbah 82:4]   אף חבב עמים: גם חבה יתירה חבב את השבטים. כל אחד ואחד קרוי עם, שהרי בנימין לבדו היה עתיד להוולד כשאמר הקב"ה ליעקב (בראשית לה, יא) גוי וקהל גוים יהיה ממך:
all his holy ones are in Your hand: [This refers to] the souls of the righteous, which are hidden away with God, as it is said, “But my lord’s soul shall be bound up in the bundle of life, with the Lord, your God” (I Sam. 25:29). - [Sifrei 33:3]   כל קדשיו בידך: נפשות הצדיקים הגנוזות אתו, כענין שנאמר (שמואל א' כה, כט) והיתה נפש אדוני צרורה בצרור החיים את ה' אלהיך:
for they […] be centered at Your feet: And Israel is indeed worthy of this [privilege to have their souls hidden away with God], because they placed themselves right in the middle (תּוֹךְ) of the bottom of the mountain at Your feet [figuratively speaking] at Sinai. The word תֻּכּוּ is in the passive conjugation, which has the meaning: הִתְוַכּוּ, “They [allowed themselves] to be placed right in the middle (תּוֹךְ)” [of the underside of the mountain], between Your feet.   והם תכו לרגלך: והם ראוים לכך, שהרי תכו עצמן לתוך תחתית ההר לרגלך בסיני. תכו לשון פועלו, הותווכו לתוך מרגלותיך:
bearing Your utterances: They bore upon themselves the yoke of Your Torah. — [Sifrei 33:3]   ישא מדברתיך: נשאו עליהם עול תורתך:
Your Torah: Heb. מִדַּבְּרֹתֶיךָ‏. The mem in it [i.e., in this word] is somewhat of a root letter [rather than a prefix], as in “And he heard the voice speaking (מִדַּבֵּר) to him” (Num. 7:89); and “And I heard what was being spoken (מִדַּבֵּר) to me” (Ezek. 2:2). This form is similar to מִתְדַּבֵּר אֵלַי, [speaking to Himself for me to hear, see Rashi on Num. 7:89]. This too, namely, the word מִדַּבְּרֹתֶיךָ‏, means: “what You were speaking to let me know what to tell the children of Israel.” Tes porparledurs in Old French. Onkelos, however, renders [the phrase יִשָּׂא מִדַּבְּרֹתֶיךָ‏ as: “they traveled (יִשָּׂא like יִסַּע) according to Your commands (דַּבְּרֹתֶיךָ).” Thus, the mem is a servile prefix, with the meaning of מִן, from. [Thus, according to Onkelos, the word מִדַּבְּרֹתֶי‏ךָ literally means, from Your utterances.] Another explanation [of this verse is as follows]: Indeed, You showed love for peoples — even when You displayed Your affection towards the nations of the world, showing them a smiling [friendly] face, and You delivered Israel into their hands,   מדברתיך: המ"ם בו קרוב ליסוד, כמו (במדבר ז, פט) וישמע את הקול מדבר אליו, (יחזקאל ב, ב) ואשמע את קול מדבר אלי, כמו מתדבר אלי, אף זה מדברותיך מה שהיית מדבר להשמיעני לאמר להם. טיי"ש פורפרלידורי"ש בלע"ז [דיבורך]. ואונקלוס תרגם שהיו נוסעים על פי דבריך, והמ"ם בו שמוש משמשת לשון מן. דבר אחר אף חבב עמים אף בשעת חבתם של אומות העולם שהראית להם פנים שוחקות ומסרת את ישראל בידם:
all his holy ones are in Your hand: All Israel’s righteous and good people clung to You; they did not turn away from You, and You guarded them. — [B.B. 8a)]   כל קדשיו בידך: כל צדיקיהם וטוביהם דבקו בך ולא משו מאחריך ואתה שומרם:
for they let themselves be centered at your feet: And they placed themselves right in the middle of, and entered beneath Your [protective] shadow;   והם תכו לרגלך: והם מתמצעים ומתכנסים לתחת צלך:
bearing your utterances: And they gladly accepted Your decrees and Your laws. — [see Tanchuma 5] And these were their words:   ישא מדברתיך: מקבלים גזרותיך ודתותיך בשמחה. ואלה דבריהם:
4. The Torah that Moses commanded us is a legacy for the congregation of Jacob.   ד. תּוֹרָה צִוָּה לָנוּ משֶׁה מוֹרָשָׁה קְהִלַּת יַעֲקֹב:
The Torah that Moses commanded us is a legacy for the congregation of Jacob: We have taken hold of it, and we will not forsake it!   תורה: אשר צוה לנו משה מורשה היא לקהלת יעקב, אחזנוה ולא נעזבנה:
5. And He was King in Jeshurun, whenever the sum total of the people were gathered, and the tribes of Israel were together,   ה. וַיְהִי בִישֻׁרוּן מֶלֶךְ בְּהִתְאַסֵּף רָאשֵׁי עָם יַחַד שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:
And He was: i.e., the Holy One, blessed is He,   ויהי: הקב"ה:
was King in Jeshurun: i.e., the yoke of God’s sovereignty was always upon them.   בישרון מלך: תמיד עול מלכותו עליהם:
whenever the sum total of the people were gathered: At every gathering of רָאשֵׁי - meaning, whenever their number is gathered. רָאשֵׁי as in the verse,“When you take the count (רֹאשׁ) of the children of Israel” (Exod. 30:12). These people are worthy that I should bless them. Another explanation: When Israel is gathered together in a unified group, and there is peace among them, God is their King-but not when there is strife among them. — [Sifrei 33:5]   בהתאסף: בכל התאסף ראשי חשבון אסיפתם. ראשי, כמו (שמות ל, יב) כי תשא את ראש, ראויין אלו שאברכם. דבר אחר, בהתאסף, בהתאספם יחד באגודה אחת ושלום ביניהם הוא מלכם, ולא כשיש מחלוקת ביניהם:
6. May Reuben live and not die, and may his people be counted in the number.   ו. יְחִי רְאוּבֵן וְאַל יָמֹת וִיהִי מְתָיו מִסְפָּר:
May Reuben live: in this world,   יחי ראובן: בעולם הזה:
and not die: in the world-to-come, that the incident involving Bilhah not be remembered against him. — [see Rashi Gen. 35:22; Sifrei 33:6]   ואל ימות: לעולם הבא, שלא יזכר לו מעשה בלהה:
and may his people be counted in the number: May Reuben be counted along with the enumeration of the rest of his brothers. This [matter, that the incident involving Bilhah should not exclude Reuben from being counted together with his brothers] is similar to what is said: “[And Reuben went] and lay with Bilhah… and Jacob’s sons were twelve” (Gen. 35:22), [indicating] that he was not excluded from the number [of Jacob’s sons, on account of this incident].   ויהי מתיו מספר: נמנין במנין שאר אחיו, דוגמא היא זו כענין שנאמר (בראשית לה, כב) וישכב את בלהה ויהיו בני יעקב שנים עשר, שלא יצא מן המנין:
7. May this [also be] for Judah." And he [Moses] said, "O Lord, hearken to Judah's voice and bring him to his people; may his hands do battle for him, and may You be a help against his adversaries."   ז. וְזֹאת לִיהוּדָה וַיֹּאמַר שְׁמַע יְהֹוָה קוֹל יְהוּדָה וְאֶל עַמּוֹ תְּבִיאֶנּוּ יָדָיו רָב לוֹ וְעֵזֶר מִצָּרָיו תִּהְיֶה:
May this [also be] for Judah: He juxtaposed Judah to Reuben, because they both confessed to the wrong they had done, as it is said, “that wise men have told… to them alone… and no stranger passed between them” (Job 15:18-19). [This verse alludes to the confession of Reuben and Judah (“that wise men have told”), and how they were consequently blessed here together (“them alone”); although Levi was next in line chronologically to Reuben, nevertheless here, in the context of this blessing, Levi did not come between them (“no stranger came between them”), but rather, he was blessed immediately afterwards (verses 8-11).]- [see Rashi, Job 15:19] Our Rabbis further explained that during the entire forty years that Israel was in the desert, Judah’s bones were rolling in his coffin, because of the excommunication which he had accepted upon himself [when he took responsibility for Benjamin], as it is said, “If I will not bring him to you… then I have sinned against you all of the days” (Gen. 43:9). [So], Moses said, “Who caused Reuben to [publicly] confess his sin? It was Judah…” (see Sotah 7b) [and thus, by placing Judah together with Reuben, Moses alluded to this merit of Judah, and, in effect, “May the Lord listen to Judah’s voice,” is a prayer that Judah’s bones would finally come to rest].   וזאת ליהודה: סמך יהודה לראובן, מפני ששניהם הודו על קלקול שבידם, שנאמר (איוב טו, יח - יט) אשר חכמים יגידו וגו' להם לבדם וגו' ולא עבר זר בתוכם. ועוד פירשו רבותינו, שכל ארבעים שנה שהיו ישראל במדבר היו עצמות יהודה מתגלגלים בארון מפני נדוי שקבל עליו, שנאמר (בראשית מד, לב) וחטאתי לאבי כל הימים, אמר משה מי גרם לראובן שיודה יהודה וכו':
O Lord, hearken to Judah’s voice: [I.e., Also, hear the prayer of Judah’s descendants:] The prayer of David and Solomon, and the prayer of Asa because of the Ethiopians, and that of Jehoshaphat on account of the Ammonites, and that of Hezekiah because of Sennacherib. — [see Sifrei 33:7]   שמע ה' קול יהודה: תפלת דוד ושלמה ואסא מפני הכושים, ויהושפט מפני העמונים, וחזקיה מפני סנחריב:
and bring him to his people: in peace, from war.   ואל עמו תביאנו: לשלום מפני המלחמה:
his hands will do battle for him: May his hands fight his battle (רִיבוֹ), and may they exact his vengeance.   ידיו רב לו: יריבו ריבו וינקמו נקמתו:
and may You be a help against his adversaries: [Moses here] was praying for [Judah’s descendant] Jehoshaphat, concerning the battle of Ramoth Gilead, [as Scripture states,] “Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him (עֲזָרוֹ)” (II Chron. 18:31). Another explanation:   ועזר מצריו תהיה: על יהושפט התפלל על מלחמת רמות גלעד, (דה"ב יח, לא) ויזעק יהושפט וה' עזרו. דבר אחר ...
O Lord, hearken to Judah’s voice: Here, included within Judah’s blessing, Moses alluded to [and incorporated] a blessing for Simeon [the allusion being in the word שְׁמַע, the very root of שִׁמְעוֹן]. Also [in accordance with this incorporation of Simeon within Judah], when they divided Eretz Israel [among the tribes], Simeon received [his portion] out of the lot of Judah, as Scripture states, “Out of the lot of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon” (Josh. 19:9). - [Sifrei 33:7] Now why did Moses not devote a separate blessing for him? Because he held against him what he had done in Shittim [referring to the sin of Zimri the son of Salu, a leader of the tribe of Simeon (see Num. 25:1-14)]. So it is written in the Aggadah of Psalms. — [Shocher Tov 90]   שמע ה' קול יהודה: כאן רמז ברכה לשמעון מתוך ברכותיו של יהודה, ואף כשחלקו ארץ ישראל נטל שמעון מתוך גורלו של יהודה שנאמר (יהושע יט, ט) מחבל בני יהודה נחלת בני שמעון. ומפני מה לא ייחד לו ברכה בפני עצמו, שהיה בלבו עליו על מה שעשה בשטים, כן כתוב באגדת תהלים:
8. And of Levi he said: "Your Tummim and Urim belong to Your pious man, whom You tested at Massah and whom You tried at the waters of Meribah,   ח. וּלְלֵוִי אָמַר תֻּמֶּיךָ וְאוּרֶיךָ לְאִישׁ חֲסִידֶךָ אֲשֶׁר נִסִּיתוֹ בְּמַסָּה תְּרִיבֵהוּ עַל מֵי מְרִיבָה:
And of Levi he said: Heb. וּלְלֵוִי אָמַר, And of Levi, he said….   וללוי אמר: ועל לוי אמר:
Your Tummim and Urim: Here, Moses is addressing the Shechinah .   תמיך ואוריך: כלפי שכינה הוא מדבר:
whom You tested at Massah: [spoken in praise of the Levites,] for they did not complain with the others who complained.   אשר נסיתו במסה: שלא נתלוננו עם שאר המלינים:
and whom You tried…: [This is to be understood] as the Targum renders it [namely, “You tested him (Levi) at the Waters of Meribah, and he came out faithful”]. Another explanation: “whom you tried at the waters of Meribah” — You made false accusations against him [Levi], for if Moses [was punished with death and not permitted to enter the Land of Israel because he] said to Israel, “Listen now, you rebels!” (see Num. 20:10), then [how do we understand why] Aaron and Miriam [were also punished with death and were not permitted to enter the Land of Israel] — what did they do [to deserve this]?- [Sifrei 33:8]   תריבהו וגו': כתרגומו. דבר אחר תריבהו על מי מריבה נסתקפת לו לבוא בעלילה, אם משה אמר (במדבר כ, י) שמעו נא המורים, אהרן ומרים מה עשו:
9. who said of his father and his mother, 'I do not see him'; neither did he recognize his brothers, nor did he know his children, for they observed Your word and kept Your covenant.   ט. הָאֹמֵר לְאָבִיו וּלְאִמּוֹ לֹא רְאִיתִיו וְאֶת אֶחָיו לֹא הִכִּיר וְאֶת בָּנָו לֹא יָדָע כִּי שָׁמְרוּ אִמְרָתֶךָ וּבְרִיתְךָ יִנְצֹרוּ:
who said of his father and his mother, 'I do not see him…’: [Moses says:] When they [Israel] sinned with the calf, and I said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me!” (Exod. 32:26), all the sons of Levi assembled to me, and I ordered them to kill [those guilty of worshipping the golden calf, even] one’s mother’s father, if he was an [ordinary] Israelite [and not a Levite], or his brother from his mother [if his brother’s father was not a Levite], or the son of his daughter [whose husband was not a Levite], and they did so. It is, however, impossible to explain [that it means literally his father and his brother from his father, and likewise, literally his sons, because all these were Levites, and not one of the tribe of Levi sinned, as it is said, “and all the sons of Levi [gathered to him]” (Exod. 32:26). - [Sifrei 33:9]   האומר לאביו ולאמו לא ראיתיו: כשחטאו בעגל ואמרתי (שמות לב, כו) מי לה' אלי, נאספו אלי כל בני לוי וצויתים להרוג את אבי אמו והוא מישראל, או את אחיו מאמו, או את בן בתו, וכן עשו. ואי אפשר לפרש אביו ממש ואחיו מאביו וכן בניו ממש, שהרי לוים הם ומשבט לוי לא חטא אחד מהם שנאמר כל בני לוי:
for they observed Your word: namely,“You shall have no other gods [before Me]” (Exod. 20:3). - [Sifrei 33:9]   כי שמרו אמרתך: (שמות כ, ב) לא יהיה לך אלהים אחרים:
and kept Your covenant: namely, the covenant of circumcision. — [Sifrei 33:9] For the [ordinary] Israelites who were born in the desert did not circumcise their sons, whereas the Levites were [not only] circumcised themselves, [but they] also circumcised their sons. — [Sifrei Bemidbar 9:18]   ובריתך ינצרו: ברית מילה, שאותם שנולדו במדבר של ישראל לא מלו את בניהם והם היו מולין ומלין את בניהם:
10. They shall teach Your ordinances to Jacob, and Your Torah to Israel; they shall place incense before You, and burnt offerings upon Your altar.   י. יוֹרוּ מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ לְיַעֲקֹב וְתוֹרָתְךָ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל יָשִׂימוּ קְטוֹרָה בְּאַפֶּךָ וְכָלִיל עַל מִזְבְּחֶךָ:
They shall teach Your ordinances: [because] they are worthy of doing this.   יורו משפטיך: ראויין אלו לכך:
and burnt-offerings: Heb. וְכָלִיל, a burnt-offering [which is completely (כָּלִיל) consumed on the altar]. — [Yoma 26a]   וכליל: עולה:
11. May the Lord bless his army and favorably accept the work of his hands; strike the loins of those who rise up against him and his enemies, so that they will not recover."   יא. בָּרֵךְ יְהֹוָה חֵילוֹ וּפֹעַל יָדָיו תִּרְצֶה מְחַץ מָתְנַיִם קָמָיו וּמְשַׂנְאָיו מִן יְקוּמוּן:
strike the loins of those who rise up against him: Strike those who rise up against him, in the loins. This is similar to what is said, “Constantly cause their loins to slip” (Ps. 69:24). Here, Moses was referring to those who contested the priesthood. — [Sifrei 33:11] Another explanation: Moses saw [prophetically] that the Hasmonean and his sons were destined to wage war with the Greeks. He therefore prayed for them, because they were few in number, namely, the twelve sons of the Hasmonean and Eleazar, against many myriads [of the enemy]. Hence, Moses said here:“May the Lord bless his army (חֵילוֹ) and favorably accept the work of his hands.” - [See Tanchuma Vayechi 14; Gen. Rabbah 99:2; Otzar Midrashim, Ma’aseh Hanukkah second version, p. 191; Midrash LaHanukkah , p. 193]   מחץ מתנים קמיו: מחץ קמיו מכת מתנים, כענין שנאמר (תהלים סט, כד) ומתניהם תמיד המעד, ועל המעוררין על הכהונה אמר כן. דבר אחר ראה שעתידין חשמונאי ובניו להלחם עם היונים והתפלל עליהם לפי שהיו מועטים י"ב בני חשמונאי ואלעזר כנגד כמה רבבות, לכך נאמר ברך ה' חילו ופועל ידיו תרצה:
and his enemies so that they will not recover: Strike the loins of those who rise up against him and of his enemies, so that they will have no recovery.   ומשנאיו מן יקומון: מחץ קמיו ומשנאיו מהיות להם תקומה:
12. And of Benjamin he said, "The Lord's beloved one shall dwell securely beside Him; He protects him all day long, and He dwells between his shoulders."   יב. לְבִנְיָמִן אָמַר יְדִיד יְהֹוָה יִשְׁכֹּן לָבֶטַח עָלָיו חֹפֵף עָלָיו כָּל הַיּוֹם וּבֵין כְּתֵפָיו שָׁכֵן:
And of Benjamin he said: Since Levi’s blessing pertains to the sacrificial service, and Benjamin’s blessing pertains to building the Holy Temple within his territory, Moses juxtaposed one to the other. He then juxtaposes Joseph immediately after him [Benjamin] because Joseph too [had a sanctuary built within his territory, namely] the Mishkan of Shiloh was erected in his territory, as is said:“He rejected the tent of Joseph” (Ps. 78:67). And because the Holy Temple is dearer [to God] than [the Mishkan of] Shiloh, he mentioned [the blessing of] Benjamin before [that of] Joseph [even though Joseph was older.].   לבנימן אמר: לפי שברכת לוי בעבודת הקרבנות ושל בנימין בבנין בית המקדש בחלקו סמכן זה לזה וסמך יוסף אחריו, שאף הוא משכן שילה היה בנוי בחלקו, שנאמר (שם עח, סז) וימאס באהל יוסף וגו'. ולפי שבית עולמים חביב משילה לכך הקדים בנימין ליוסף:
He protects him: Heb. חֹפֵף, covers him and protects him.   חפף עליו: מכסה אותו ומגין עליו:
all day long: i.e., forever. Since [the time] Jerusalem was chosen [for the building of the Holy Temple], the Divine Presence has never dwelt elsewhere. — [Mechilta 12:4]   כל היום: לעולם משנבחרה ירושלים לא שרתה שכינה במקום אחר:
and dwells between his shoulders: The Holy Temple was built on the highest point of his [Benjamin’s] land, except that it was twenty-three cubits below the Eitam Well (see Yoma 31a). Now, it was David’s intention to build it there [at the level of the Eitam Well], as is taught in Shechitath Kodashim [Zev. 54b]: [However,] they said to David:“Let us build it a little lower, for Scripture states, ‘and He dwells between his shoulders’ [which are lower than the head]-and there is no part of an ox more beautiful than its shoulders.”   ובין כתפיו שכן: בגובה ארצו היה, בית המקדש בנוי אלא שנמוך עשרים ושלש אמה מעין עיטם ושם היה דעתו של דוד לבנותו, כדאיתא בשחיטת קדשים (זבחים נד ב) אמרי נחתי ביה פורתא משום דכתיב ובין כתפיו שכן אין לך נאה בשור יותר מכתפיו:
13. And of Joseph he said: "His land shall be blessed by the Lord, with the sweetness of the heavens with dew, and with the deep that lies below,   יג. וּלְיוֹסֵף אָמַר מְבֹרֶכֶת יְהֹוָה אַרְצוֹ מִמֶּגֶד שָׁמַיִם מִטָּל וּמִתְּהוֹם רֹבֶצֶת תָּחַת:
His land shall be blessed by the Lord: For throughout the inheritance of all the tribes, there was no land more full of goodness than Joseph’s land. — [Sifrei 33:13]   מברכת ה' ארצו: שלא היתה בנחלת השבטים ארץ מלאה כל טוב כארצו של יוסף:
and with the sweetness: Heb. מִמֶּגֶד [This word denotes] delicacies and sweetness.   ממגד: לשון עדנים ומתק:
the deep: The [waters which lie in] the depth [of the earth] ascend, and moisten the land from below. You find that in the case of each tribe, Moses’ blessing resembles Jacob’s blessing [to the same tribe. For instance, Jacob blessed Joseph also with the וּמִתְּהוֹם רֹבֶצֶת תָּחַת] (Gen. 49:25).   ומתהום: שהתהום עולה ומלחלח אותה מלמטה אתה מוצא בכל השבטים ברכתו של משה מעין ברכתו של יעקב:
14. and with the sweetness of the produce of the sun, and with the sweetness of the moon's yield,   יד. וּמִמֶּגֶד תְּבוּאֹת שָׁמֶשׁ וּמִמֶּגֶד גֶּרֶשׁ יְרָחִים:
and with the sweetness of the produce of the sun: for Joseph’s land was exposed to the sun, which sweetened its fruit. — [Sifrei 33:14]   וממגד תבואת שמש: שהיתה ארצו פתוחה לחמה וממתקת הפירות:
the moon’s yield: Heb. יְרָחִים גֶּרֶשׁ. Some fruits are ripened by the moon (יָרֵחַ). - [Sifrei 33:14] These are cucumbers and gourds. Another explanation: [This refers to fruits] which the earth expels (מְגָרֶשֶׁת) and brings out [from itself] month (יֶרַח) by month. — [Targum Onkelos]   גרש ירחים: יש פירות שהלבנה מבשלתן ואלו הן קשואין ודלועין. דבר אחר גרש ירחים. שהארץ מגרשת ומוציאה מחדש לחדש:
15. and with the crops of early mountains, and with the sweetness of perennial hills,   טו. וּמֵרֹאשׁ הַרְרֵי קֶדֶם וּמִמֶּגֶד גִּבְעוֹת עוֹלָם:
and with the crops of early mountains: And blessed with the fruits that are first (רֹאשׁ) to ripen, for its mountains advance (קֶדֶם) the ripening of their fruits [thus,“the early mountains”]. Another explanation: [This verse] teaches [us] that their creation [that of the mountains in the territory of Joseph] preceded (קֶדֶם) that of all other mountains. — [Sifrei 33:15]   ומראש הררי קדם: ומבורכת מראשית בשול הפירות שהרריה מקדימין לבכר בשול פירותיהם. דבר אחר מגיד שקדמה בריאתן לשאר הרים:
the sweetness of perennial hills: גִּבְעוֹת עוֹלָם. Hills which produce fruit continuously (עוֹלָם) and do not cease [to produce fruit even] because of lack of rain.   גבעות עולם: גבעות העושות פירות לעולם ואינן פוסקות מעוצר הגשמים:
16. and with the sweetness of the land and its fullness, and through the contentment of the One Who dwells in the thornbush. May it come upon Joseph's head and upon the crown of the one separated from his brothers.   טז. וּמִמֶּגֶד אֶרֶץ וּמְלֹאָהּ וּרְצוֹן שֹׁכְנִי סְנֶה תָּבוֹאתָה לְרֹאשׁ יוֹסֵף וּלְקָדְקֹד נְזִיר אֶחָיו:
and through the contentment of the One Who dwells in the thornbush: Heb. שֹׁכְנִי סְנֶה, equivalent to שׁוֹכֵן סְנֶה, the One Who dwells in the bush. [Thus, the verse means:]"And may his land be blessed through the favorable acceptance and contentment of the Holy One, blessed is He, Who first revealed Himself to me in a thornbush (סְנֶה).   ורצון שכני סנה: כמו שוכן סנה ותהא ארצו מבורכת מרצונו ונחת רוחו של הקב"ה הנגלה עלי תחלה בסנה:
through the contentment: Heb. וּרְצוֹן. Contentment and appeasement. Similarly, every instance of [the word] רָצוֹן in Scripture.   רצון: נחת רוח ופיוס וכן כל רצון שבמקרא:
may it come: i.e., this blessing will come upon Joseph’s head.   תבואתה: ברכה זו לראש יוסף:
the one separated from his brothers: [Joseph] who was separated from his brothers through his being sold.   נזיר אחיו: שהופרש מאחיו במכירתו:
17. To his firstborn ox is [given] glory. His horns are the horns of a re'em. With them, he will gore peoples together [throughout all] the ends of the earth these are the myriads of Ephraim, and these are the thousands of Manasseh."   יז. בְּכוֹר שׁוֹרוֹ הָדָר לוֹ וְקַרְנֵי רְאֵם קַרְנָיו בָּהֶם עַמִּים יְנַגַּח יַחְדָּו אַפְסֵי אָרֶץ וְהֵם רִבְבוֹת אֶפְרַיִם וְהֵם אַלְפֵי מְנַשֶּׁה:
to his firstborn ox: Heb. בְּכוֹר שׁוֹרוֹ [In addition to the simple meaning of“firstborn,”] there are some instances in which the word בְּכוֹר has the meaning of “greatness” and “majesty,” as it is said,“I will also make him a great man (בְּכוֹר) [the highest of the kings on earth]” (Ps. 89:28); and similarly,“Israel is My son, my firstborn (בְּכוֹרִי)” [denoting high status] (Exod. 4:22). [Thus:] בְּכוֹר here: The king who will descend from Joseph, namely, Joshua.   בכור שורו: יש בכור שהוא לשון גדולה ומלכות, שנאמר (תהלים פט, כח) אף אני בכור אתנהו, וכן (שמות ד, כה) בני בכורי ישראל. בכור: מלך היוצא ממנו והוא יהושע:
his ox: whose strength is as mighty as that of an ox, to conquer many kings.   שורו: שכחו קשה כשור לכבוש כמה מלכים:
is [given] glory: [Literally, “glory is his,”] was given to him [when Moses transferred some of his attribute of majesty to Joshua when he became leader], as it is said, [God said to Moses:] “And you shall give some of your majesty to him” [Joshua] (Num. 27:20).   הדר לו: נתון לו שנאמר (במדבר כז, כ) ונתתה מהודך עליו:
and his horns are the horns of a re’em: The ox is powerful, but its horns are not beautiful; [on the other hand,] a re’em has beautiful horns, but it is not powerful. [Moses thus] blessed Joshua with the power of an ox and the beauty of a re’em 's horns. — [Sifrei 33:17]   וקרני ראם קרניו: שור כחו קשה ואין קרניו נאות, אבל ראם קרניו נאות, ואין כחו קשה, נתן ליהושע כחו של שור ויופי קרני ראם:
the ends of the earth: [This refers to] the thirty-one kings [whom Joshua conquered in the Land of Israel]. Is it possible that these kings were all from the Land of Israel? [The answer is, that] there was not one king or ruler who did not acquire for himself a palace and a holding in the Land of Israel [even though he belonged to another country]. [And why so?] Because the Land of Israel was considered distinguished to all of them, as it is said [of the Land of Israel], “The finest inheritance of the hosts of nations” (Jer. 3:19). - [Sifrei 33:17] [For this reason, the thirty-one kings are referred to as “the ends of the earth.”   אפסי ארץ: שלושים ואחד מלכים אפשר שכולם מארץ ישראל היו אלא אין לך כל מלך ושלטון שלא קנה לו פלטרין ואחוזה בארץ ישראל, שחשובה לכולם היא, שנאמר (ירמיה ג, יט) נחלת צבי צבאות גוים:
these are the myriads of Ephraim: The ones who are to be gored are the myriads who were killed by Joshua who was descended from Ephraim [Joseph’s son].   והם רבבות אפרים: אותם המנוגחים הם הרבבות שהרג יהושע, שבא מאפרים:
and these are the thousands of Manasseh: They are the thousands killed in Midian by Gideon, [who was descended from Manasseh, Joseph’s other son], as it is said, “Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor…” (Jud. 8:10) [and the verse continues to enumerate many thousands of hosts which were there].   והם אלפי מנשה: הם האלפים שהרג גדעון במדין, שנאמר (שופטים ח, י) וזבח וצלמונע בקרקר וגו':
18. And to Zebulun he said: "Rejoice, Zebulun, in your departure, and Issachar, in your tents.   יח. וְלִזְבוּלֻן אָמַר שְׂמַח זְבוּלֻן בְּצֵאתֶךָ וְיִשָּׂשכָר בְּאֹהָלֶיךָ:
And to Zebulun he said: These five tribes whom [Moses] blessed last, namely, Zebulun, Gad, Dan, Naftali and Asher, have their names repeated [e.g., “And of Zebulun he said: Rejoice, Zebulun…”], in order to instill them with strength and power, for they were the weakest of all the tribes. And indeed [for this reason,] they were the ones Joseph introduced to Pharaoh, as it is said, “And from among his brothers, he took five men” (Gen. 47:2). [Joseph took these brothers and not the others,] because they looked weak, so that Pharaoh should not appoint them as his war officers. — [B.K. 92a]   ולזבולן אמר: אלו חמשה שבטים שבירך באחרונה זבולן גד דן נפתלי ואשר כפל שמותיהם לחזקם ולהגבירם, לפי שהיו חלשים שבכל השבטים, הם הם שהוליך יוסף לפני פרעה, שנאמר (בראשית מז, ב) ומקצה אחיו לקח חמשה אנשים, לפי שנראים חלשים ולא ישים אותם לו שרי מלחמתו:
Rejoice, Zebulun, in your departure, and Issachar, in your tents: Zebulun and Issachar entered into a partnership [with the following agreement]: Zebulun would dwell at the seashore and go out in ships, to trade and make profit. He would thereby provide food for Issachar, and they would sit and occupy themselves with the study of Torah. Consequently, Moses mentioned Zebulun before Issachar [even though the latter was the elder of the two], because Issachar’s Torah came through [the provisions of] Zebulun. — [Gen. Rabbah 99:9]   שמח זבולן בצאתך ויששכר באהליך: זבולן ויששכר עשו שותפות, זבולן לחוף ימים ישכון ויוצא לפרקמטיא בספינות ומשתכר, ונותן לתוך פיו של יששכר והם יושבים ועוסקים בתורה, לפיכך הקדים זבולן ליששכר שתורתו של יששכר על ידי זבולן היתה:
Rejoice, Zebulun, in your departure: Prosper when you go out to trade.   שמח זבולן בצאתך: הצלח בצאתך לסחורה:
and Issachar: Prosper when you sit in your tents to study the Torah, to sit [in the Sanhedrin] and to [calculate and] proclaim leap years, and to fix the months, as it is said, “And from the sons of Issachar, those who had an understanding of the times” (I Chron. 12:32) [and then the verse continues,] “their chiefs were two hundred”-the chiefs of the Sanhedrin occupied themselves with this, and in accordance with them, the seasons and leap years were fixed [for all Israel].   ויששכר: הצלח בישיבת אהליך לתורה לישב ולעבר שנים ולקבוע חדשים, כמו שנאמר (דה"א יב, לג) ומבני יששכר יודעי בינה לעתים ראשיהם מאתים ראשי סנהדראות היו עוסקים בכך. ועל פי קביעות עתיהם ועבוריהם:
19. They will call peoples to the mountain; there, they will offer up righteous sacrifices. For they will be nourished by the abundance of the seas, and by the treasures hidden in the sand."   יט. עַמִּים הַר יִקְרָאוּ שָׁם יִזְבְּחוּ זִבְחֵי צֶדֶק כִּי שֶׁפַע יַמִּים יִינָקוּ וּשְׂפֻנֵי טְמוּנֵי חוֹל:
Peoples: of the tribes of Israel.   עמים: של שבטי ישראל:
They will call [peoples] to the Mountain: I.e., [people from the tribes of Israel] will assemble at Mount Moriah [on the Pilgrimage Festivals]. Every assembly took place through a “calling” [i.e., a summoning of the people. This is why the verse speaks of the assembly of the people in terms of “They will call”]. And there [at Mount Moriah, in the Holy Temple], the people will offer up righteous sacrifices on the Pilgrimage Festivals.   הר יקראו: להר המוריה יאספו כל אסיפה על ידי קריאה היא ושם יזבחו ברגלים זבחי צדק:
for they will be nourished by the abundance of the seas: i.e., Issachar and Zebulun [will be nourished], and thereby, they will have spare time to study the Torah.   כי שפע ימים יינקו: יששכר וזבולן ויהא להם פנאי לעסוק בתורה:
and by the treasures hidden in the sand: Things covered up and hidden by the sand-the tarit [or “torino,” a kind of fish], the snail [from which a sky-blue dye was obtained], and “white glass,” all of which come from the sea or the sand. These were found in the territory of Issachar and Zebulun, as is taught in Tractate Megillah (6a): [Scripture says, “Zebulun is a people who jeopardized his life to die” (Jud. 5:18). [And why?] Because [as that verse continues], “Naftali is on the high places of the field,” i.e., Zebulun complained [to God] about his territory, saying,“To my brothers, You have given fields and vineyards [… while to me, You have given seas and rivers]!” [In reply, God told Zebulun that the other brothers will seek him out because of the hidden treasures contained within the seas and the sands.]   ושפני טמוני חול: כסויי טמוני חול טרית וחלזון וזכוכית לבנה היוצאים מן הים ומן החול ובחלקו של יששכר וזבולן היה, כמו שאמרו במסכת מגילה (ו א) זבולן עם חרף נפשו למות (שופטים ה יח) משום דנפתלי על מרומי שדה, שהיה מתרעם זבולן על חלקו לאחי נתת שדות וכרמים וכו':
the treasures: Heb. וּשְׂפֻנֵי An expression meaning a covering, as it is said,“And he covered (וַיִּסְפֹּן) the house” (I Kings 6:9); and, וְסָפֻן בָאֶרֶז, which the Targum renders as: “And it was covered with a covering of cedar” (I Kings 7:3). Another explanation: they will call people to the mountain: Through Zebulun’s commerce, merchants of the world’s nations will come to his land. Now Zebulun is located at the border, so these merchants will say, “Since we have taken so much trouble to reach here, let us go to Jerusalem and see what the God of this nation is like and what they do.” And they see all Israel worshipping one God and eating one kind of food [i.e., only what is permissible to them, and they will be astonished], because [among] the nations, the deity of one is not like the deity of another, and the food of one is not like the food of another. So they will say, “There is no nation as worthy as this one!” Consequently, they will convert to Judaism there, as our verse says,“there, they will offer up righteous sacrifices” [and all of this will be due to Zebulun’s commerce]. — [Sifrei 33:19]   ושפני: לשון כסוי, כמו שנאמר (מ"א ו, ט) ויספון את הבית, (שם ז, ג) וספון בארז, ותרגומו ומטלל בכיורי ארזא. דבר אחר עמים הר יקראו על ידי פרקמטיא של זבולן, תגרי אומות העולם באים אל ארצו, והוא עומד על הספר והם אומרים הואיל ונצטערנו עד כאן נלך עד ירושלים ונראה מה יראתה של אומה זו ומה מעשיה, והם רואים כל ישראל עובדים לאלוה אחד ואוכלים מאכל אחד לפי שהגוים אלוהו של זה לא כאלוהו של זה, ומאכלו של זה לא כמאכלו של זה, והם אומרים אין אומה כשרה כזו ומתגיירין שם, שנאמר שם יזבחו זבחי צדק:
for they will be nourished by the abundance of the seas: Zebulun and Issachar [will be nourished], that is to say, the sea will lavish them with wealth.   כי שפע ימים יינקו: זבולן ויששכר הים נותן להם ממון בשפע:
20. And of Gad he said: "Blessed is He Who grants expanse to Gad; he dwells like a lion, tearing the arm [of his prey, together] with the head.   כ. וּלְגָד אָמַר בָּרוּךְ מַרְחִיב גָּד כְּלָבִיא שָׁכֵן וְטָרַף זְרוֹעַ אַף קָדְקֹד:
Blessed is He Who grants expanse to Gad: This teaches us that Gad’s territory extended far eastward. — [Sifrei 33:20]   ברוך מרחיב גד: מלמד שהיה תחומו של גד מרחיב ועולה כלפי מזרח:
He dwells like a lion: Because Gad was near the border, he is therefore compared to lions, for all those who are located near the border must be mighty [like lions, in order to protect themselves from attack]. — [Sifrei 33:20]   כלביא שכן: לפי שהיה סמוך לספר לפיכך נמשל כאריות שכל הסמוכים לספר צריכים להיות גבורים:
tearing the arm [of his prey, together] with the head: Anyone slain by the Gadites could be readily identified: they used to cut off the head together with the arm in one blow. — [Jonathan Ben Uziel]   וטרף זרוע אף קדקד: הרוגיהן היו נכרין, חותכים הראש עם הזרוע במכה אחת:
21. He saw the first portion for himself, because there, the portion of the lawgiver is hidden. And he came at the head of the people; he did what is righteous for the Lord, and what is lawful with Israel."   כא. וַיַּרְא רֵאשִׁית לוֹ כִּי שָׁם חֶלְקַת מְחֹקֵק סָפוּן וַיֵּתֵא רָאשֵׁי עָם צִדְקַת יְהֹוָה עָשָׂה וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו עִם יִשְׂרָאֵל:
He saw the first portion for himself: He saw fit to take for himself territory in the land of Sihon and Og, whose land was the beginning (רֵאשִׁית) of the conquest of the Land.   וירא ראשית לו: ראה ליטול לו חלק בארץ סיחון ועוג, שהיא ראשית כבוש הארץ:
because there, the portion of the lawgiver is hidden: For Gad knew [through Divine transmission,] that within his territory would be contained a portion of the field designated for the burial of“the lawgiver,” namely Moses. — [Sotah 13b]   כי שם חלקת מחקק: כי ידע אשר שם בנחלתו חלקת שדה קבורת מחוקק והוא משה:
of the lawgiver: That portion [of the field, where Moses was buried,] was hidden (סָפוּן) and concealed from every creature, as it is said, “And no man knows his burial place” (Deut. 34:6).   ספון: אותה חלקה ספונה וטמונה מכל בריה, שנאמר (לקמן לד, ו) ולא ידע איש את קבורתו:
And he came: i.e., Gad came.   ויתא: גד:
at the head of the people: The Gadites marched before the armed forces in the conquest of the Land, because the Gadites were powerful, and so it is said [of them], “Pass over, armed, before your brothers” (Deut. 3:18).   ראשי עם: הם היו הולכים לפני החלוץ בכבוש הארץ לפי שהיו גבורים, וכן הוא אומר (דברים ג, יח) ואתם תעברו חלוצים לפני אחיכם וגו':
He did what is righteous for the Lord: Because the Gadites substantiated their words, keeping their promise to cross the Jordan [and remain there to help their brothers] until Israel had conquered and divided [the Land among the tribes]. Another explanation: And he came-And Moses came. [Similarly, the remaining clauses:] “At the head of the people,” and “He did what is righteous for the Lord,” also refer to Moses. — [Sifrei 33:21]   צדקת ה' עשה: שהאמינו דבריהם ושמרו הבטחתם לעבור את הירדן עד שכבשו וחלקו. דבר אחר ויתא משה ראשי עם. צדקת ה' עשה. על משה אמור:
22. And of Dan he said: "Dan is a young lion, streaming from Bashan."   כב. וּלְדָן אָמַר דָּן גּוּר אַרְיֵה יְזַנֵּק מִן הַבָּשָׁן:
Dan is a young lion: Dan was also located close to the border, and so [like Gad], he is compared to lions. — [Sifrei 33:22]   דן גור אריה: אף הוא היה סמוך לספר לפיכך מושלו באריות:
streaming from Bashan: [This is to be understood] as the Targum [Onkelos] renders it [“His land drinks from the rivers that flow from Bashan”]. For the Jordan [river] comes out from Dan’s territory, from the Paneas cave, which is [a place called] Leshem, within the territory of Dan. [The children of Dan conquered Leshem and incorporated it into their territory, calling it Dan after their father,] as it is said,“And they called Leshem, Dan” (Joshua 19:47). - [Bech. 55a] And its source (זִנּוּק) and flow is from Bashan. Another explanation [of יְזַנֵּק מִן-הַבָּשָׁן] is: Just as a water flow (זִנּוּק) issues from one place and divides itself [afterwards] into two directions, similarly, the tribe of Dan [started with one territory and ended up] taking a portion in two places. First, they took the northwest [of the Land of Israel], namely, Ekron and its surroundings. But this did not suffice them. So they came and fought against Leshem, which is Paneas, located in the north-east [of the Land of Israel]. [Now Rashi demarcates these two areas geographically:] For the Jordan comes out of the Paneas [or Banias] cave, which is in the east [and at the northern extremity] of the Land of Israel, and then the river flows from the north [straight down] to the south, ending at the edge of the Salt Sea [“Dead Sea”], which in turn, is in the east of Judah’s territory, Judah having taken his territory in the southern part of the Land of Israel, as is delineated in the book of Joshua (19:47). This is the meaning of what is stated there: “And the border of the children of Dan went out from them, so the children of Dan arose and fought against Leshem [and took possession of it].” [So when this verse says“And the border of the children of Dan went out from them,” it means:] Their border was bursting outwards [as it were,] along that whole [eastern flank of the Land] where they originally took their inheritance. [Hence, whereas Dan started out with one territory, he ended up with two, just like a water flow (זִנּוּק) is one, and divides into two]. — [Sifrei 33:22]   יזנק מן הבשן: כתרגומו שהיה הירדן יוצא מחלקו ממערת פמייאס והיא לשם שהיא בחלקו של דן, שנאמר (יהושע יט, מז) ויקראו ללשם דן וזינוקו וקילוחו מן הבשן. דבר אחר מה זינוק זה יוצא ממקום אחד ונחלק לשני מקומות, כך שבטו של דן נטלו חלק בשני מקומות. תחלה נטלו בצפונית מערבית עקרון וסביבותיה, ולא ספקו להם ובאו ונלחמו עם לשם שהיא פמייאס והיא בצפונית מזרחית, שהרי הירדן יוצא ממערת פמייאס והוא במזרחה של ארץ ישראל ובא מהצפון לדרום וכלה בקצה ים המלח, שהוא במזרח יהודה, שנטל בדרומה של ארץ ישראל, כמו שמפורש בספר יהושע, והוא שנאמר (שם יט, מז) ויצא גבול בני דן מהם ויעלו בני דן וילחמו עם לשם וגו', יצא גבולם מכל אותו הרוח שהתחילו לנחול בו:
23. And of Naftali he said, "Naftali is favorably satisfied and full of the Lord's blessing. Possess the Sea and the south."   כג. וּלְנַפְתָּלִי אָמַר נַפְתָּלִי שְׂבַע רָצוֹן וּמָלֵא בִּרְכַּת יְהֹוָה יָם וְדָרוֹם יְרָשָׁה:
favorably satisfied: Naftali’s land would fully satisfy all its inhabitants.   שבע רצון: שהיתה ארצו שבעה כל רצון יושביה:
Possess the sea and the south: The sea of Kinnereth fell within Naftali’s portion; moreover, he took a rope’s length of fishing-coast on its south[ern shore] for spreading out his nets and trawls. — [B.K. 81b]   ים ודרום ירשה: ים כנרת נפלה בחלקו ונטל מלא חבל חרם בדרומה לפרוש חרמים ומכמורות:
Possess: Heb. יְרָשָׁה. This word is in the imperative form and is equivalent to [the simple command רֵשׁ] in“Go up and possess (רֵשׁ) ” (Deut. 1:21). The fact that the accent is placed on next to the last syllable in the word, namely on the reish, proves this point, like the words: יְרַשׁ (possess!), יְדַע (know!), לְקַח (take!) and שְׁמַע (listen!). Now, when one adds a hey at the end of this [simple command] form, the accent is on next to the last syllable of the word to become: לְקָחָה סְלָחָה יְדָעָה שְׁמָעָה Here also, יְרָשָׁה is an imperative form. Accordingly, in the Masoreth Gedolah , we find this in the alphabetically arranged imperative forms of verbs, which have their accents on next to the last syllable.   ירשה: לשון צווי, כמו (דברים א, כא) עלה רש, והטעם שלמעלה ברי"ש מוכיח, כמו ירש, ידע, לקח, שמע, כשמוסיף בו ה"א יהיה הטעם למעלה שמעה, ידעה, סלחה, לקחה אף כאן ירשה לשון צווי. ובמסורת הגדולה מצינו באלפא ביתא לשון צווי דטעמיהון מלעיל:
24. And of Asher he said: "May Asher be blessed with sons. He will be pleasing to his brothers, and immerse his foot in oil.   כד. וּלְאָשֵׁר אָמַר בָּרוּךְ מִבָּנִים אָשֵׁר יְהִי רְצוּי אֶחָיו וְטֹבֵל בַּשֶּׁמֶן רַגְלוֹ:
May Asher be blessed with sons: I saw in Sifrei the following (33:24): “Among all of the tribes, you will not find one that is blessed with sons as Asher was.” But I do not know in which regard.   ברוך מבנים אשר: ראיתי בספרי אין לך בכל השבטים שנתברך בבנים כאשר, ואיני יודע כיצד:
He will be pleasing to his brothers: Asher pleased his brothers with “Onpakinon oil” [oil of unripe olives, used for anointing one’s skin] and tasty foods (?), and they please him [by repaying him] with grain. Another explanation of “He will be pleasing to his brothers” : Because the women who came from Asher were beautiful [and were sought after for marriage]. This is the meaning of what is stated in Chronicles (I Chron. 7:31). [when it speaks of Malchiel, Asher’s grandson]“he was the father בִּרְזָיִת [literally, olive-child]” that is to say, his daughters were married to Kohanim Gedolim [and kings], who were anointed with olive oil (זַיִת) . - [Gen. Rabbah 71:10]   יהי רצוי אחיו: שהיה מתרצה לאחיו בשמן אנפיקינון ובקפלאות והם מרצין לו בתבואה. דבר אחר יהי רצוי אחיו שהיו בנותיו נאות והוא שנאמר (דברי הימים א' ז, לא) הוא אבי ברזית, שהיו בנותיו נשואות לכהנים גדולים הנמשחים בשמן זית:
and immerse his foot in oil: for his land flowed like a spring with oil. It once happened, that the people of Laodicea were in need of oil, and they appointed an agent [who was sent from place to place, until he found an olive farmer. The latter brought this agent to his home, and there, the olive farmer washed himself and then dipped his hands and feet, thereby fulfilling our verse here: “And dip his foot in oil.” Then, he supplied the agent from Laodicea with one million, one hundred and eighteen thousand maneh worth of olive oil!]. — [Tractate Men. 85b]   וטובל בשמן רגלו: שהיתה ארצו מושכת שמן כמעין. ומעשה שנצטרכו אנשי לודקיא לשמן מנו להם פולמוסטום אחד וכו', כדאיתא במנחות (פה ב):
25. Your locks are iron and copper, and the days of your old age will be like the days of your youth.   כה. בַּרְזֶל וּנְחשֶׁת מִנְעָלֶךָ וּכְיָמֶיךָ דָּבְאֶךָ:
Your locks are iron and copper: Now he [Moses] addresses all Israel, whose strong men dwelled in the border cities and would “lock up” the Land [as it were, with their protection], so that the enemies would be unable to enter. It was as if the Land was closed up with locks and bolts made of iron and copper. Another explanation: Your locks are iron and copper-Your land is “locked in” by mountains, from which iron and copper are mined. [In this respect] Asher’s territory was [considered] the “lock of the Land of Israel.” — [Sifrei 33:25]   ברזל ונחשת מנעלך: עכשיו הוא מדבר נגד כל ישראל, שהיו גבוריהם יושבים בערי הספר ונועלים אותה שלא יוכלו האויבים ליכנס בה כאלו היא סגורה במנעולים ובריחים של ברזל ונחשת. דבר אחר ברזל ונחשת מנעלך ארצכם נעולה בהרים שחוצבין מהם ברזל ונחשת, וארצו של אשר היתה מנעולה של ארץ ישראל:
and the days of your old age will be like the days of your youth: Heb. וּכְיָמֶי‏ךָ דָּבְאֶךָ. Like the days that are your best, namely, your first days, the days of your youth-so will be the days of your old age, days which [ordinarily] flow away (דּוֹאֲבִים), are painful, and decline. Another explanation of וּכְיָמֶי‏ךָ דָּבְאֶךָ is: וּכְיָמֶי‏ךָ - the days which can be enumerated as your good days, namely, all those days on which you fulfilled the will of the Omnipresent - דָּבְאֶךָ, so will be “your flowing,” i.e., all the countries [in the world] will make silver and gold flow into the Land of Israel. For Israel will be blessed with fruits, so that all the countries will be supplied by it, consequently pouring their silver and gold into it, ascorant in Old French. Moreover, the world’s silver and gold will be depleted, because they will pour it into your Land. — [Sifrei 33:25]   וכימיך דבאך: וכימים שהם טובים לך, שהן ימי תחלתך ימי נעוריך כן יהיו ימי זקנתך, שהם דואבים זבים ומתמוטטים. דבר אחר וכימיך דבאך וכימיך שהם טובים לך כמנין ימיך, כל הימים אשר אתם עושים רצונו של מקום, יהיו דבאך שכל הארצות יהיו דובאות כסף וזהב לארץ ישראל, שתהא מבורכת בפירות. וכל הארצות מתפרנסות הימנה וממשיכות לה כספם וזהבם אישקורונ"ט [ישפעו]. הכסף והזהב כלה מהם, שהן מזיבות אותם לארצכם:
26. Jeshurun, there is none like God; He Who rides the heavens is at your assistance, and with His majesty, [He rides] the skies,   כו. אֵין כָּאֵל יְשֻׁרוּן רֹכֵב שָׁמַיִם בְּעֶזְרֶךָ וּבְגַאֲוָתוֹ שְׁחָקִים:
Jeshurun: There is none like God - Jeshurun, you should know that there is none like God among all the gods of the peoples, and that their rock is not like your Rock.   אין כאל ישרון: דע לך ישורון שאין כאל בכל אלהי העמים ולא כצורך צורם:
He Who rides the heavens: is the same God Who is at your assistance, and with His majesty, He rides the skies.   רכב שמים: הוא אותו אלוה שבעזרך ובגאותו הוא רוכב שחקים:
27. which are the abode for the God Who precedes all, and below, are the mighty ones of the world. He expelled the enemy from before you, and said, 'Destroy!'   כז. מְעֹנָה אֱלֹהֵי קֶדֶם וּמִתַּחַת זְרֹעֹת עוֹלָם וַיְגָרֶשׁ מִפָּנֶיךָ אוֹיֵב וַיֹּאמֶר הַשְׁמֵד:
which are the abode for God Who precedes all: The skies are an abode for God who preceded (קֶדֶם) all other deities. He selected the skies [above] as His residence and abode, while all the strong men live below Him.   מענה אלהי קדם: למעון הם השחקים לאלהי קדם, שקדם לכל אלהים ובירר לו שחקים לשבתו ומעונתו, ומתחת מעונתו כל בעלי זרוע שוכנים:
are the mighty ones of the world: [Literally, “The arms of the world.” This refers to] Sihon, Og, and the kings of Canaan, who were [considered] the strength and might of the world. Therefore, despite themselves, they will tremble and quake, and their power will dwindle before God - the fear of one above always falls upon the one below, and thus, He to whom power and might belong is the one who helps you, and who...   זרעת עולם: סיחון ועוג ומלכי כנען, שהיו תקפו וגבורתו של עולם, לפיכך על כרחם יחרדו ויזועו וכחם חלש מפניו. לעולם אימת הגבוה על הנמוך, והוא שהכח והגבורה שלו בעזרך:
drove out the enemy from before you: And said to you,“Destroy them!”   ויגרש מפניך אויב: ואמר לך השמד אותם:
which are the abode: Heb. מְעֹנָה. Every word that requires a lamed as a prefix [meaning “for” or “to”] can instead have a hey as a suffix [and the meaning is identical. Thus, here, the word מְעֹנָה is equivalent to לַמָּעֹן, meaning “for an abode”]. — [Yev. 13b]   מענה: כל תיבה שצריכה למ"ד בתחלתה הטיל לה ה"א בסופה:
28. And Israel dwelled safely and alone as Jacob [blessed them], in a land of grain and wine; also, their heavens will drip dew.   כח. וַיִּשְׁכֹּן יִשְׂרָאֵל בֶּטַח בָּדָד עֵין יַעֲקֹב אֶל אֶרֶץ דָּגָן וְתִירוֹשׁ אַף שָׁמָיו יַעַרְפוּ טָל:
safely and alone: Every single individual [will dwell safely]-each man under his own vine and his own fig tree. [And their security will be so sound, that] they will have no need to live together in one group, because of the enemy.   בטח בדד: כל יחיד ויחיד איש תחת גפנו ותחת תאנתו מפוזרין ואין צריכים להתאסף ולישב יחד מפני האויב:
as Jacob [blessed]: Heb. עֵין יַעִקֹב. [The word עֵין, has the same meaning here] like [referring to the manna],“And its appearance (וְעֵינוֹ) was like the appearance of (כְּעֵין) crystal” (Num. 11:7). [So, our verse comes to teach us that the blessing here, of Israel dwelling בָּדָד] is like the appearance of the blessing that Jacob blessed, and not like the [meaning of the word] בָּדָד used by Jeremiah,“I dwelled alone (בָּדָד) ” (Jer. 15:17), but like the appearance of the promise [of secure dwelling] that Jacob made to them [Joseph and his brothers],“And God will be with you, and bring you back to the land of your forefathers” (Gen. 48:21). - [Sifrei 33:28]   עין יעקב: כמו (במדבר יא, ז) ועינו כעין הבדולח, כעין הברכה שברכם יעקב, לא כבדד שאמר ירמיה (ירמיה טו, יז) בדד ישבתי, אלא כעין הבטחה שהבטיחם יעקב (בראשית מח, כא) והיה אלהים עמכם והשיב אתכם אל ארץ אבותיכם:
will drip: Heb. יַעַרְפוּ [like] יִרְעִפוּ, will drip .   יערפו: יטיפו:
also, their heavens will drip dew: [Why does the verse say “also”? It means:] Also, Isaac’s blessing will be added to that of Jacob, which states, “And the God will give you from the dew of the heavens” (Gen. 27: 28). - [Sifrei 33:28]   אף שמיו יערפו טל: אף ברכתו של יצחק נוספת על ברכתו של יעקב (שם כז, כח) ויתן לך האלהים מטל השמים וגו':
29. Fortunate are you, O Israel! Who is like you, O people whose salvation is through the Lord, the Shield Who helps you, your majestic Sword! Your enemies will lie to you, but you will tread upon their heights."   כט. אַשְׁרֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל מִי כָמוֹךָ עַם נוֹשַׁע בַּיהֹוָה מָגֵן עֶזְרֶךָ וַאֲשֶׁר חֶרֶב גַּאֲוָתֶךָ וְיִכָּחֲשׁוּ אֹיְבֶיךָ לָךְ וְאַתָּה עַל בָּמוֹתֵימוֹ תִדְרֹךְ:
Fortunate are you, O Israel: After Moses specified the blessings to Israel, he said to them, “Why do I have to specify all the details? In general: Everything is yours!”   אשריך ישראל: לאחר שפרט להם הברכות אמר להם מה לי לפרוט לכם, כלל דבר, הכל שלכם:
Fortunate are you, O Israel. Who is like you…!: Your salvation depends on God, Who is the Shield that helps you and the Sword of your majesty.   אשריך ישראל מי כמוך: תשועתך בה' אשר הוא מגן עזרך (ואשר הוא) וחרב גאותך:
Your enemies will lie to you: Like, for instance, the Gibeonites, who said, “Your servants have come from a… distant land…” (Josh. 9:9).   ויכחשו אויביך לך: כגון הגבעונים שאמרו (יהושע ט, ט) מארץ רחוקה באו עבדיך וגו':
and you will tread upon their upon their heights: [The meaning here is: “And you will crush their neck underfoot,”] similar to“Place your feet upon the necks of these kings!” (Josh. 10:24).   ואתה על במותימו תדרוך: כענין שנאמר (שם י, כד) שימו את רגליכם על צוארי המלכים האלה:
E-mail
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
FEATURED ON CHABAD.ORG