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Torah Reading for Vayeitzei

Torah Reading for Vayeitzei

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Parshat Vayeitzei
Shabbat, 10 Kislev, 5777
10 December, 2016
Select a portion:
Haftarah: (Hosea 11:7 - 12:14)
Please note: These Haftarah texts follow Chabad custom. Other communities could possibly read more, less, or a different section of the Prophets altogether. Please consult with your rabbi.
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Hosea Chapter 11

7And My people waver whether to return to Me, and to the matter concerning which they call them, together they do not uphold [it].   זוְעַמִּ֥י תְלוּאִ֖ים לִמְשֽׁוּבָתִ֑י וְאֶל־עַל֙ יִקְרָאֻ֔הוּ יַ֖חַד לֹ֥א יְרוֹמֵֽם:
And My people waver whether to return to Me: When the prophets teach them to return to Me, they are in doubt whether to return or not to return; it is with difficulty that they return to Me.  
and to the matter concerning which they call them, together they do not uphold it: And to the matter concerning which the prophets call them, together My people will not uphold it and will not agree to do it. Some explain וְאֶל-עַל יִקְרָאֻהוּ to mean: Harsh happenings shall befall them. The word וְאֶל means the same as (Gen. 31:29) “My hand has power (לְאֵל),” [and the word עַל means the same as עֲלִילוֹת, deeds (Kara). But this is not so since אֶל is vowelized with a “pattah.” [I.e. with a “segol,” called “pattah katan” by the early grammarians.] Were אֶל a noun, it would be vowelized with a “tseireh,” [i.e., אֵל]. Jonathan, however, renders: A harsh happening will befall them. He interprets וְאֶל as an expression of harshness, but it appears to me that I have interpreted it properly.  
together they do not uphold [it]: [Jonathan renders:] Together they shall not walk erect.  
8How shall I give you, Ephraim? [How] deliver you, O Israel? How shall I make you as Admah, make you as Zeboyim? My heart is turned within Me, together My remorse has been kindled.   חאֵ֞יךְ אֶתֶּנְךָ֣ אֶפְרַ֗יִם אֲמַגֶּנְךָ֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֵיךְ אֶתֶּנְךָ֣ כְאַדְמָ֔ה אֲשִֽׂימְךָ֖ כִּצְבֹאיִ֑ם נֶהְפַּ֚ךְ עָלַי֙ לִבִּ֔י יַ֖חַד נִכְמְר֥וּ נִֽחוּמָֽי:
deliver you: Heb. אֲמַגֶּנְ. Comp. (Gen. 14: 20) “Who delivered (מִגֵן) your adversaries.”  
My remorse has been kindled: Heb. נִכְרְמוּ, are heated. This is an Aramaic expression. Comp. (Lam. 5:10) “Our skin is heated (נִכְמָרוּ) like an oven.”  
9I will not execute the kindling of My anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim, for I am God and not a man. In your midst is the Holy One, and I will not enter a city.   טלֹ֚א אֶֽעֱשֶׂה֙ חֲר֣וֹן אַפִּ֔י לֹ֥א אָשׁ֖וּב לְשַׁחֵ֣ת אֶפְרָ֑יִם כִּ֣י אֵ֚ל אָֽנֹכִי֙ וְלֹֽא־אִ֔ישׁ בְּקִרְבְּךָ֣ קָד֔וֹשׁ וְלֹ֥א אָב֖וֹא בְּעִֽיר:
I will not return: from My good word, which I said. (Lev. 26:44) “I have not rejected them nor have I abhorred them,” to destroy Ephraim.  
for I am God: Who keeps His favorable word, and I do not retract the good.  
I will not enter a city: I.e., another city. I have already promised to cause My Shechinah to rest in your midst in Jerusalem, and I will never again cause it to rest on another city. Others explain it as an expression of hatred. Comp. (I Sam. 28: 16) “And has become your adversary (וַיְהִי עָרֶ).”  
10They shall follow the Lord, He shall roar like a lion; for He shall roar, and the children shall hasten from the west.   יאַֽחֲרֵ֧י יְהֹוָ֛ה יֵֽלְכ֖וּ כְּאַרְיֵ֣ה יִשְׁאָ֑ג כִּי־ה֣וּא יִשְׁאַ֔ג וְיֶֽחֶרְד֥וּ בָנִ֖ים מִיָּֽם:
He shall roar like a lion: He will yet roar to them like a lion that they leave the exile and follow Him.  
and the children shall hasten from the west: And the exiles shall be gathered from the west. [from Jonathan]  
11They shall hasten like a bird from Egypt and like a dove from the land of Assyria; and I will place them in their houses, says the Lord.   יאיֶֽחֶרְד֚וּ כְצִפּוֹר֙ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם וּכְיוֹנָ֖ה מֵאֶ֣רֶץ אַשּׁ֑וּר וְהֽוֹשַׁבְתִּ֥ים עַל־בָּֽתֵּיהֶ֖ם נְאֻם־יְהֹוָֽה:

Hosea Chapter 12

1Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit, but Judah still rules with God, and with the Holy One he is faithful.   אסְבָבֻ֚נִי בְכַ֙חַשׁ֙ אֶפְרַ֔יִם וּבְמִרְמָ֖ה בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וִֽיהוּדָ֗ה עֹ֥ד רָד֙ עִם־אֵ֔ל וְעִם־קְדוֹשִׁ֖ים נֶֽאֱמָֽן:
has surrounded Me: Ephraim and the house of Israel have already surrounded Me with lies and deceit, i.e., the kings of the Ten Tribes and all the people, but Judah still…  
rules with God: Still rules with fear of God.  
rules: Heb. רָד. Comp. (Num. 24:19) “And there shall rule (וְיֵרְדְּ) out of Jacob.” Their kings are still with the Holy One, blessed be He.  
2Ephraim joins the wind and chases the east wind; all day he increases deceit and plunder, and they make a treaty with Assyria, and oil is brought to Egypt.   באֶפְרַ֜יִם רֹעֶ֥ה ר֙וּחַ֙ וְרֹדֵ֣ף קָדִ֔ים כָּל־הַיּ֕וֹם כָּזָ֥ב וָשֹׁ֖ד יַרְבֶּ֑ה וּבְרִית֙ עִם־אַשּׁ֣וּר יִכְרֹ֔תוּ וְשֶׁ֖מֶן לְמִצְרַ֥יִם יוּבָֽל:
joins the wind: Heb. רֹעֵה. An expression of רֵעַ, a friend. He joins words of the wind, viz. idolatry.  
and oil: Their oil they carry to Egypt to give a bribe to Egypt to aid them.  
3Now the Lord has a contention with Judah, and to visit upon Jacob according to his ways; according to his deeds He shall recompense him.   גוְרִ֥יב לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה עִם־יְהוּדָ֑ה וְלִפְקֹ֚ד עַל־יַֽעֲקֹב֙ כִּדְרָכָ֔יו כְּמַֽעֲלָלָ֖יו יָשִׁ֥יב לֽוֹ:
Now the Lord has a contention with Judah: He relates to them the matters of His contention which their brethren, the house of Israel, have done to Him, so that they should not wonder when He visits retribution on Jacob according to his ways.  
4In the womb, he seized his brother's heel, and with his strength he strove with an angel.   דבַּבֶּ֖טֶן עָקַ֣ב אֶת־אָחִ֑יו וּבְאוֹנ֖וֹ שָׂרָ֥ה אֶת־אֱלֹהִֽים:
In the womb, he seized his brother’s heel: All this I did for him, he held him by the heel, as a sign that he would be a master over him.  
5He strove with an angel and prevailed; he wept and beseeched him; In Bethel he shall find Him, and there He shall speak with us.   הוַיָּ֚שַׂר אֶל־מַלְאָךְ֙ וַיֻּכָ֔ל בָּכָ֖ה וַיִּתְחַנֶּן־ל֑וֹ בֵּֽית־אֵל֙ יִמְצָאֶ֔נּוּ וְשָׁ֖ם יְדַבֵּ֥ר עִמָּֽנוּ:
he wept: i.e., the angel wept. [from Chullin 92a]  
and beseeched him: When he said to him, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Gen. 32: 26), and the angel was begging him, “Let me go now. Eventually, the Holy One, blessed be He, will reveal Himself to you in Bethel, and there you will find Him, and there He will speak with us, and He and I will agree with you concerning the blessings that Isaac blessed you.” Now that angel was Esau’s genius, and he was contesting the blessings.  
6And the Lord is the God of the hosts; the Lord is His Name.   ווַֽיהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י הַצְּבָא֑וֹת יְהֹוָ֖ה זִכְרֽוֹ:
And the Lord is the God of the hosts: Just as I was then, so am I now, and had you walked with Me wholeheartedly, like Jacob your father, I would have acted toward you as I acted toward him.  
7And you shall return by your God: keep loving-kindness and justice, and hope to your God always.   זוְאַתָּ֖ה בֵּֽאלֹהֶ֣יךָ תָשׁ֑וּב חֶ֚סֶד וּמִשְׁפָּט֙ שְׁמֹ֔ר וְקַוֵּ֥ה אֶל־אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ תָּמִֽיד:
And you shall return by your God: On His promise and His support, which He promises you, you can rely, and return to Him. Only…  
keep loving-kindness and justice: and you may be assured to hope for His salvation always.  
8A trafficker who has deceitful scales in his hand; he loves to oppress.   חכְּנַ֗עַן בְּיָד֛וֹ מֹֽאזְנֵ֥י מִרְמָ֖ה לַֽעֲשֹׁ֥ק אָהֵֽב:
A trafficker who has deceitful scales in his hand: You rely on your gain, for you are traffickers and deceivers, and concerning your wealth you say…  
9And Ephraim said: Surely I have become rich; I have found power for myself; all my toils shall not suffice for my iniquity which is sin.   טוַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֶפְרַ֔יִם אַ֣ךְ עָשַׁ֔רְתִּי מָצָ֥אתִי א֖וֹן לִ֑י כָּל־יְגִיעַ֕י לֹ֥א יִמְצְאוּ־לִ֖י עָו‍ֹ֥ן אֲשֶׁר־חֵֽטְא:
Surely I have become rich: Now why should I worship the Holy One, blessed be He?  
I have found power for myself: Heb. אוֹן, meaning strength. Rabbi Simon, however, explained it homiletically as follows: I found אוֹן for myself: I found a deed of indebtedness for myself, that I possess kingship over Israel. (Gen. 50:18) “And his brothers too wept and fell etc. ‘Behold we are slaves to you etc.’” אוֹן means the laws of a deed. Comp. (Gittin 43b) “They may write his deed (אוֹנוֹ) for it.” Comp. (Gittin 43b) “They may write his deed אוֹנוֹ for it.” Comp. also (Gen. Rabbah 2:2) With one deed (אוֹנוֹ) and with one price. "And this is its explanation:  
“And Ephraim said: Surely I have become rich; I have found a deed for myself.”: Jeroboam son of Nebat, who was of the tribe of Ephraim, boasts and declares: Surely I have become rich, I have found a deed for myself, one deed, that all Israel are my slaves, for my father acquired them, as it is written: And his brothers too went and fell before him, and said: Behold we are your slaves. And whatever a slave acquires belongs to his master. Hence, all their property is mine. Therefore, I have no sin if I take all that is theirs, for they are my slaves. What is written after this? And I am the Lord your God from the land of Egypt. The greatness that came to your father in Egypt was from Me. Said the Holy One, blessed be He. ‘Behold we are your slaves,’ you have not forgotten, but ‘I am the Lord your God,’ which was stated in the Decalogue, you have forgotten, for you have erected two calves, one in Bethel and one in Dan. And according to the simple meaning of the verse, you say, “I have found power for myself through oppression and deceitful scales.” And I am the Lord your God from the land of Egypt. There I distinguished between a droplet [of seed] of a firstborn and a droplet which was not of a firstborn. I also know and exact retribution from deceitful scales made without understanding and from one who hides his weights in salt in order to deceive.  
all my toils shall not suffice for my etc.: It would have been better for you had you said to yourself: All my money shall not suffice to atone for my iniquity which I have sinned. In this manner Jonathan renders it: The prophet said to them: All your wealth will not remain with you on the day of the retribution of your sins.  
shall not suffice: Heb. לֹא יִמְצְאוּ, usually translated ‘shall not find.’ They shall not suffice. Comp. (Num. 11: 22) “and suffice (וּמָצָא) for them.” But it cannot be explained: יְגִיעַי כֹּל-, all those who toil to seek my iniquity shall not find any iniquity with me, for, were that the case, it should be spelled יְגֵעַי without a “yud,” and it should be vowelized with a “tseireh,” but now it is not an expression of one who toils but an expression of toil.  
10And I am the Lord your God from the land of Egypt; I will yet make you dwell in tents as in the days of the [early] times.   יוְאָֽנֹכִ֛י יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם עֹ֛ד אוֹשִֽׁיבְךָ֥ בָֽאֳהָלִ֖ים כִּימֵ֥י מוֹעֵֽד:
I will yet make you dwell in tents: I will cut off from your midst deceitful traffickers, and I will cause you to dwell in tents. I will set up from among you students engaging in the Torah.  
as in the days of the [early] times: As in the days of the early times, when Jacob, the unpretentious man, was sitting in tents.  
11And I spoke to the prophets, and I increased their visions; and to the prophets I assumed likenesses.   יאוְדִבַּ֙רְתִּי֙ עַל־הַנְּבִיאִ֔ים וְאָֽנֹכִ֖י חָז֣וֹן הִרְבֵּ֑יתִי וּבְיַ֥ד הַנְּבִיאִ֖ים אֲדַמֶּֽה:
And I spoke to the prophets: to admonish you and to bring you back to do good.  
and to the prophets I assumed likenesses: I appeared to them in many likenesses. Another explanation. I gave My words likenesses to them through allegories in order to make them comprehensible to their listeners.  
12If there is violence in Gilead, it is because they were but vanity; in Gilgal they sacrificed oxen; also their altars were like heaps on the furrows of the field.   יבאִם־גִּלְעָ֥ד אָ֙וֶן֙ אַךְ־שָׁ֣וְא הָי֔וּ בַּגִּלְגָּ֖ל שְׁוָרִ֣ים זִבֵּ֑חוּ גַּ֚ם מִזְבְּחוֹתָם֙ כְּגַלִּ֔ים עַ֖ל תַּלְמֵ֥י שָׂדָֽי:
If there is violence in Gilead: If they suffered from destruction and violence, they caused it to themselves, for they were but vanity in Gilgal, and they sacrificed oxen to pagan deities.  
also their altars: were as numerous as heaps which are on the furrows of the field.  
the furrows of the field: The furrow made by the plowshare is called תֶלֶם.  
13And Jacob fled to the field of Aram; and Israel worked for a wife, and for a wife he guarded.   יגוַיִּבְרַ֥ח יַֽעֲקֹ֖ב שְׂדֵ֣ה אֲרָ֑ם וַיַּֽעֲבֹ֚ד יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ בְּאִשָּׁ֔ה וּבְאִשָּׁ֖ה שָׁמָֽר:
And Jacob fled to the field of Aram etc.: Like a person who says, “Let us return to the previous topic,” for we spoke above (verse 5): And he strove with an angel, and moreover, I did this for him; when he was forced to flee to the field of Aram, you know how I guarded him.  
and for a wife he guarded: the flocks.  
14And, through a prophet, the Lord brought up Israel from Egypt, and through a prophet they were guarded.   ידוּבְנָבִ֕יא הֶֽעֱלָ֧ה יְהֹוָ֛ה אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מִמִּצְרָ֑יִם וּבְנָבִ֖יא נִשְׁמָֽר:
And, through a prophet, the Lord brought up etc.: And, insofar as you disgrace the prophets and mock their words, is it not so that through a prophet God brought us etc.?  
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