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Wednesday, 7 Tishrei 5775 / October 1, 2014
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Chumash with Rashi

Chumash with Rashi

Parshat Vezot Hab'rachah, 4th Portion (Deuteronomy 33:18-33:21)

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Chapter 33

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:
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