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Torah Reading for Bamidbar

Torah Reading for Bamidbar

In Israel: Naso

Parshat Bamidbar
Shabbat, 5 Sivan, 5776
11 June, 2016
Select a portion:
Haftarah: (Hosea 2:1-22)
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 2

1And the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which shall neither be measured nor counted; and it shall come to pass that, instead of saying to them, "You are not My people," it shall be said to them, "The children of the living God."   אוְֽ֠הָיָה מִסְפַּ֚ר בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ כְּח֣וֹל הַיָּ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹֽא־יִמַּ֖ד וְלֹ֣א יִסָּפֵ֑ר וְֽ֠הָיָה בִּמְק֞וֹם אֲשֶׁר־יֵֽאָמֵ֚ר לָהֶם֙ לֹֽא־עַמִּ֣י אַתֶּ֔ם יֵֽאָמֵ֥ר לָהֶ֖ם בְּנֵ֥י אֵֽל־חָֽי:
And the number… shall be: What is the connection of retribution and consolation juxtaposed in one speech? Our Rabbis explained in Pesachim (87b): Hosea felt that he had sinned by saying, “Exchange them for another nation.” He stood and begged mercy for them (See above 1:2). And in Sifrei Devei Rav, in the section commencing: “And Israel abode in Shittim” (Num. 25) we learned: Rabbi says: Some sections are close to each other yet as far apart as east is far from west. “For you are not My people… And the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea.” What is the connection of one to the other? This can be compared to a king who became angry with his wife. He summoned a scribe to come and write a bill of divorcement. Before the scribe arrived, the king became reconciled with his wife. Said the king, “Is it possible that this scribe should leave here divided?” I.e. his heart should be divided and bewildered, saying, “Why did the king send for me?” He said to him, “Come and write that I am doubling her kethubah.” And according to its simple meaning, this is the reason for its juxtaposition. “For you are not My people, and I will not be yours.” I will show Myself as though I am not yours, and you shall be exiled among the nations, and even there you shall multiply and grow, and there you shall lay it to your heart to return to Me, as it is said through Moses (Deut. 30:1,3): “And you shall lay it to your heart among all the nations where… has exiled you etc. And the Lord your God shall return your captivity.” Here too, “And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together.”   :
2And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint for themselves one head, and they shall go up from the land, for great is the day of Jezreel.   בוְ֠נִקְבְּצוּ בְּנֵֽי־יְהוּדָ֚ה וּבְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ יַחְדָּ֔ו וְשָׂמ֥וּ לָהֶ֛ם רֹ֥אשׁ אֶחָ֖ד וְעָל֣וּ מִן־הָאָ֑רֶץ כִּ֥י גָד֖וֹל י֥וֹם יִזְרְעֶֽאל:
one head: David their king.   :
for great is the day of Jezreel: The gathering of their sowing.   :
3Say to your brethren, "Ammi," and to your sisters, "Ruhamah."   גאִמְר֥וּ לַֽאֲחֵיכֶ֖ם עַמִּ֑י וְלַֽאֲחֽוֹתֵיכֶ֖ם רֻחָֽמָה:
Say to your brethren, “Ammi”: To be explained according to the Targum: Return to My Torah, and I will grant clemency to your nation.   :
4Strive with your mother, strive, for she is not My wife, and I am not her Husband, and let her remove her harlotries from her face and her adulteries from between her breasts.   דרִ֚יבוּ בְאִמְּכֶם֙ רִ֔יבוּ כִּֽי־הִיא֙ לֹ֣א אִשְׁתִּ֔י וְאָֽנֹכִ֖י לֹ֣א אִישָׁ֑הּ וְתָסֵ֚ר זְנוּנֶ֙יהָ֙ מִפָּנֶ֔יה וְנַֽאֲפוּפֶ֖יהָ מִבֵּ֥ין שָׁדֶֽיהָ:
Strive with your mother, strive: With your nation of today, which is the mother of future generations.   :
and her adulteries from between her breasts: It is customary among the adulteresses that they [i.e., their lovers] squeeze them between their breasts. Jonathan renders: And the worship of idols from among her cities.   :
5Lest I strip her naked and leave her as [on] the day she was born; and I make her like a desert, and I set her like an arid land, and cause her to die of thirst.   הפֶּן־אַפְשִׁיטֶ֣נָּה עֲרֻמָּ֔ה וְהִ֨צַּגְתִּ֔יהָ כְּי֖וֹם הִוָּֽלְדָ֑הּ וְשַׂמְתִּ֣יהָ כַמִּדְבָּ֗ר וְשַׁתִּ֙הָ֙ כְּאֶ֣רֶץ צִיָּ֔ה וַֽהֲמִתִּ֖יהָ בַּצָּמָֽא:
as [on] the day she was born: Like the day that I found her in Egypt, as is delineated in Ezekiel (16:4, 5): “And as for your birth, on the day you were born your navel was not cut etc. No eye took pity on you etc. with a loathing of your body.”   :
like a desert: This alludes to the decrees that I decreed upon you (Parshandatha: them) in the desert, viz. that there they should perish and there they would die (Num. 14:35).   :
and [I will] cause her to die: Jonathan renders: And I will kill her.   :
6And I will not pity her children for they are children of harlotries.   ווְאֶת־בָּנֶ֖יהָ לֹ֣א אֲרַחֵ֑ם כִּֽי־בְנֵ֥י זְנוּנִ֖ים הֵֽמָּה:
7For their mother played the harlot; she who conceived them behaved shamefully, for she said, "I will go after my lovers, those who give my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drinks. "   זכִּ֚י זָֽנְתָה֙ אִמָּ֔ם הוֹבִ֖ישָׁה הֽוֹרָתָ֑ם כִּ֣י אָֽמְרָ֗ה אֵֽלְכָ֞ה אַֽחֲרֵ֚י מְאַֽהֲבַי֙ נֹֽתְנֵ֚י לַחְמִי֙ וּמֵימַ֔י צַמְרִ֣י וּפִשְׁתִּ֔י שַׁמְנִ֖י וְשִׁקּוּיָֽי:
their mother: Their nation.   :
she who conceived them behaved shamefully: Jonathan, who renders: Their teachers are ashamed. The wise men who teach them with instructions are ashamed before the ignorant populace. They tell them, “You shall not steal,” but they steal. “You shall not lend for interest,” but they lend.   :
after my lovers: In the ways of the nations.   :
8Therefore, behold I will close off your way with thorns, and I make a fence against her, and she shall not find her paths.   חלָכֵ֛ן הִֽנְנִי־שָׂ֥ךְ אֶת־דַּרְכֵּ֖ךְ בַּסִּירִ֑ים וְגָֽדַרְתִּי֙ אֶת־גְּדֵרָ֔הּ וּנְתִֽיבוֹתֶ֖יהָ לֹ֥א תִמְצָֽא:
behold I will close off: Heb. שָׂ an expression of closing. Comp. (Isaiah 5: 5) “remove its hedge (מְשׂוּכָּתוֹ) ” ; (Proverbs 15:19) “as though hedged (כִּמְשֻּׂכַת) by thorns.”   :
your way: The ways and paths in which you go.   :
9And she shall pursue her lovers and not overtake them, and she shall seek them and not find them; and she shall say, "I will go and return to my first Husband, for it was better for me then than now.   טוְרִדְּפָ֚ה אֶת־מְאַֽהֲבֶ֙יהָ֙ וְלֹֽא־תַשִּׂ֣יג אֹתָ֔ם וּבִקְשָׁ֖תַם וְלֹ֣א תִמְצָ֑א וְאָֽמְרָ֗ה אֵֽלְכָ֚ה וְאָשׁ֙וּבָה֙ אֶל־אִישִׁ֣י הָֽרִאשׁ֔וֹן כִּ֣י ט֥וֹב לִ֛י אָ֖ז מֵעָֽתָּה:
her lovers: Egypt and Assyria, and you will not be able to seek aid from them.   :
And she shall pursue: Heb. וְרִדְּפָה This is one of the intensive conjugations. Comp. (Proverbs 12:11) “and he who pursues empty ones” (porcacier in O.F:, poursuivra in modern French), to pursue. I.e. she will follow them and not overtake them.   :
and she shall seek them: Heb. וּבִקְשָׁתַם, a combination of אוֹתָם וּבִקְשָׁה.   :
10But she did not know that I gave her the corn, the wine, and the oil, and I gave her much silver and gold, but they made it for Baal.   יוְהִיא֙ לֹ֣א יָֽדְעָ֔ה כִּ֚י אָֽנֹכִי֙ נָתַ֣תִּי לָ֔הּ הַדָּגָ֖ן וְהַתִּיר֣וֹשׁ וְהַיִּצְהָ֑ר וְכֶ֨סֶף הִרְבֵּ֥יתִי לָ֛הּ וְזָהָ֖ב עָשׂ֥וּ לַבָּֽעַל:
But she did not know: She did not lay it to her heart, but showed herself as unknowing.   :
and I gave her much silver and gold: but they made it for Baal.   :
11Therefore, I will return and take My corn in its time and My wine in its appointed season, and I will separate My wool and My flax, to cover her nakedness.   יאלָכֵ֣ן אָשׁ֔וּב וְלָֽקַחְתִּ֚י דְגָנִי֙ בְּעִתּ֔וֹ וְתִֽירוֹשִׁ֖י בְּמֽוֹעֲד֑וֹ וְהִצַּלְתִּי֙ צַמְרִ֣י וּפִשְׁתִּ֔י לְכַסּ֖וֹת אֶת־עֶרְוָתָֽהּ:
in its time: At the time the produce completes its ripening.   :
and I will separate: [Heb. וְהִצַּלְתִּי] from her My wool and My flax, which was to cover her nakedness. Every expression of הָצָלָה in Scripture is an expression of separation and setting apart. Proof of this we find in (Gen. 31: 9) “And God separated (וַיַצֵּל) your father’s cattle,” (ibid.:16) “For all the wealth that… separated (הִצִיל).”   :
12And now, I will bare her disgrace before the eyes of her lovers, and no man shall save her from My hand.   יבוְעַתָּ֛ה אֲגַלֶּ֥ה אֶת־נַבְלֻתָ֖הּ לְעֵינֵ֣י מְאַֽהֲבֶ֑יהָ וְאִ֥ישׁ לֹֽא־יַצִּילֶ֖נָּה מִיָּדִֽי:
and no man shall save her from My hand: Even the merits of the Patriarchs have been depleted. [from Shabbath 55a]   :
13And I will terminate all her rejoicing, her festival[s], her new moon[s], and her Sabbath[s], and all her appointed seasons.   יגוְהִשְׁבַּתִּי֙ כָּל־מְשׂוֹשָׂ֔הּ חַגָּ֖הּ חָדְשָׁ֣הּ וְשַׁבַּתָּ֑הּ וְכֹ֖ל מֽוֹעֲדָֽהּ:
14And I will lay waste her vine[s] and her fig tree[s], [concerning] which she said, "They are my hire, which my lovers have given me," and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall devour them.   ידוַֽהֲשִׁמֹּתִ֚י גַּפְנָהּ֙ וּתְאֵ֣נָתָ֔הּ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָֽמְרָ֗ה אֶתְנָ֥ה הֵ֙מָּה֙ לִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָֽתְנוּ־לִ֖י מְאַֽהֲבָ֑י וְשַׂמְתִּ֣ים לְיַ֔עַר וַֽאֲכָלָ֖תַם חַיַּ֥ת הַשָּׂדֶֽה:
And I will lay waste: Heb. וַהֲשִׁמֹּתִי, an expression of desolation (שְּׁמָמָה).   :
hire: אֶתְנָה, like אֶתְנָן.   :
and I will make them a forest: where the beasts walk and eat the fruit.   :
15And I will visit upon her the days of the baalim, to whom she burnt incense, and she adorned herself with her earrings and her jewelry, and went after her lovers, and she forgot Me, says the Lord.   טווּפָֽקַדְתִּ֣י עָלֶ֗יהָ אֶת־יְמֵ֚י הַבְּעָלִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תַּקְטִ֣יר לָהֶ֔ם וַתַּ֚עַד נִזְמָהּ֙ וְחֶלְיָתָ֔הּ וַתֵּ֖לֶךְ אַֽחֲרֵ֣י מְאַֽהֲבֶ֑יהָ וְאוֹתִ֥י שָֽׁכְחָ֖ה נְאֻם־יְהֹוָֽה:
And I will visit upon her: the retribution of…   :
the days of the baalim to whom she burnt incense: constantly to them, and this is a present tense.   :
and she adorned herself with her earrings and her jewelry: Heb. וַתַּעַד, an expression of jewelry (עֲדִי). Like a harlot who adorns herself to greet her paramours. And חֶלְיָתָה is an Arabic term meaning jewelry.   :
16Therefore, behold I will allure her and lead her into the desert, and I will speak comfortingly to her heart.   טזלָכֵ֗ן הִנֵּ֚ה אָֽנֹכִי֙ מְפַתֶּ֔יהָ וְהֹֽלַכְתִּ֖יהָ הַמִּדְבָּ֑ר וְדִבַּרְתִּ֖י עַל־לִבָּֽהּ:
Therefore, behold I will allure her: I will persuade her to be drawn after Me (losanjier in O.F., to flatter or cajole). Other editions read: atrayray in O.F. (attirerai). I will lure, attract. And what is the allurement?   :
and lead her into the desert: In exile, which is to her like a desert and a wasteland. And there she will lay up to her heart that it was better for her when she performed My will than when she rebelled against Me.   :
17And I will give her her vineyards from there and the depth of trouble for a door of hope, and she shall dwell there as in the days of her youth, and as the day of her ascent from the land of Egypt.   יזוְנָתַ֨תִּי לָ֚הּ אֶת־כְּרָמֶ֙יהָ֙ מִשָּׁ֔ם וְאֶת־עֵ֥מֶק עָכ֖וֹר לְפֶ֣תַח תִּקְוָ֑ה וְעָ֚נְתָה שָּׁ֙מָּה֙ כִּימֵ֣י נְעוּרֶ֔יהָ וּכְי֖וֹם עֲלוֹתָ֥הּ מֵאֶֽרֶץ־מִצְרָֽיִם:
her vineyards: Jonathan rendered this as an expression of managers and leaders. Comp. (Job 24:18) “he will not face the way of the vineyards,” meaning that the people of the generation of the flood had made up their mind not to follow the righteous leaders, such as Noah and Methusalah. And so, (Song 1:6) “my vineyard I did not guard.” The allusion is to the worship of idols instead of worshipping God, the Leader. Another explanation:   :
and lead her into the desert: To the desert of Sihon and Og, and with the same expression Ezekiel prophesied (20:35, 38), “And I will bring you there to the desert of the peoples, and I will contend with you there, etc. As I continued with your forefathers etc., and I will bring them into the tradition of the covenant. And I will purge you of those who rebel…” but the righteous I will keep alive. That is the intention of “her vineyards.” [from Ruth Rabbah 5:6, Pesikta d’Rav Kahana 49b].   :
and the depth of trouble: Heb. עֶמֶק עָכוּר. The depth of the exile where they were troubled I will give her for a door of hope (an expectation of hope), for, out of those troubles, she will take heart to return to Me.   :
and she shall dwell there: Heb. וְעָנְתָה, an expression of dwelling. Comp. (Nahum 2:12) “a den (מְעוֹן) of lions.” [from Machbereth Menachem p. 135]   :
as in the days of her youth: when she dwelt in Egypt a long time.   :
and as the day of her ascent, etc.: as Israel cried out to me in Egypt because of the subjugation and I redeemed her, so also now.   :
18And it shall come to pass on that day, says the Lord, you shall call [Me] Ishi, and you shall no longer call Me Baali.   יחוְהָיָ֚ה בַיּֽוֹם־הַהוּא֙ נְאֻם־יְהֹוָ֔ה תִּקְרְאִ֖י אִישִׁ֑י וְלֹֽא־תִקְרְאִי־לִ֥י ע֖וֹד בַּעֲלִֽי:
you shall call [Me] Ishi, etc: You shall worship Me out of love and not out of fear. Ishi is an expression of marriage and the love of one’s youth.   :
Baali: An expression of mastership and fear. And our Rabbis (Pesachim 87a, Kethuboth 71b) explained: Like a bride in her father-in-law’s house, and not like a bride in her father’s house.   :
19And I will remove the names of the baalim from her mouth, and they shall no longer be mentioned by their name.   יטוַֽהֲסִֽרֹתִ֛י אֶת־שְׁמ֥וֹת הַבְּעָלִ֖ים מִפִּ֑יהָ וְלֹֽא־יִזָּכְר֥וּ ע֖וֹד בִּשְׁמָֽם:
and they shall no longer be mentioned: I.e. Israel shall no longer be mentioned by the name of the baalim. Or, the baalim shall no longer be mentioned by the name of Israel, saying that they are their gods. Or, the name of the baalim shall no longer be mentioned, as it is stated. (Isa. 2:18) “And the idols shall completely pass away.”   :
20And I will make a covenant for them on that day with the beasts of the field and with the fowl of the sky and the creeping things of the earth; and the bow, the sword, and war I will break off the earth, and I will let them lie down safely.   כוְכָֽרַתִּ֨י לָהֶ֚ם בְּרִית֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא עִם־חַיַּ֚ת הַשָּׂדֶה֙ וְעִם־ע֣וֹף הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וְרֶ֖מֶשׂ הָֽאֲדָמָ֑ה וְקֶ֨שֶׁת וְחֶ֚רֶב וּמִלְחָמָה֙ אֶשְׁבּ֣וֹר מִן־הָאָ֔רֶץ וְהִשְׁכַּבְתִּ֖ים לָבֶֽטַח:
with the beasts of the field: for I will destroy harmful creatures from the world. And so Scripture states (Isa. 11:9): “They shall neither harm nor destroy etc.”   :
21And I will betroth you to Me forever, and I will betroth you to Me with righteousness and with justice and with loving-kindness and with mercy.   כאוְאֵֽרַשְׂתִּ֥יךְ לִ֖י לְעוֹלָ֑ם וְאֵֽרַשְׂתִּ֥יךְ לִי֙ בְּצֶ֣דֶק וּבְמִשְׁפָּ֔ט וּבְחֶ֖סֶד וּבְרַֽחֲמִֽים:
with righteousness and with justice: which you practice.   :
and with loving-kindness and with mercy: which will come to you from Me because of them. Concerning our father Abraham, it is written (Gen 18:19): “For I love him since he commands etc. to perform righteousness and justice.” And, corresponding to them, He bestowed upon his children loving-kindness and mercy, as it is said (Deut. 13:18): “And He shall grant you mercy” ; (ibid. 7:12) “And the Lord your God shall keep for you the covenant and the loving- kindness.” When they ceased to perform righteousness and justice, as it is said (Amos 5:7): “Those who turn justice into wormwood, and righteousness they leave on the ground,” also the Holy One, blessed be He, took away from them the loving-kindness and the mercy, as it is said (Jer. 16:5): “for I have gathered in My peace from this people, says the Lord, the loving-kindness and the mercies.” And when they will return to perform righteousness and justice, they shall be redeemed immediately, as it is said (Isa. 1: 27): “Zion shall be redeemed through justice, and her penitent through righteousness.” And the Holy One, blessed be He, will add mercy and loving-kindness to them and make a crown of all four of them and place it on their head.   :
22And I will betroth you to Me with faith, and you shall know the Lord.   כבוְאֵֽרַשְׂתִּ֥יךְ לִ֖י בֶּאֱמוּנָ֑ה וְיָדַ֖עַתְּ אֶת־יְהֹוָֽה:
And I will betroth you to Me with faith: For the reward of the faith, for, while in exile, you believed in the promises through My prophets. [from Mechilta 14: 31 with variations]   :
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