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Torah Reading for Vayeishev

Torah Reading for Vayeishev

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Parshat Vayeishev
Shabbat, 21 Kislev, 5778
9 December, 2017
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Haftarah: (Amos 2:6 - 3:8)
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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Amos Chapter 2

6So said the Lord: For three transgressions of Israel, yea for four, I will not return them; For selling an innocent man for money, and a poor man in order to lock [the fields].   וכֹּה אָמַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֔ה עַל־שְׁלֹשָׁה֙ פִּשְׁעֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְעַל־אַרְבָּעָ֖ה לֹ֣א אֲשִׁיבֶ֑נּוּ עַל־מִכְרָ֚ם בַּכֶּ֙סֶף֙ צַדִּ֔יק וְאֶבְי֖וֹן בַּֽעֲב֥וּר נַֽעֲלָֽיִם:
for selling an innocent man for money: The judges would sell the one who was innocent according to the law, with money; i.e, with the bribes they would receive from his opponent.  
and a poor man in order to lock [the fields]: Heb. נַעֲלָיִם. Jonathan renders in two places [here and below 8:6]: in order to inherit. And I say that this is its explanation. They pervert the judgment of the poor man so that he will be compelled to sell his field that he had between the fields of the judges, and this one seeks an opportunity and takes it for a cheap price in order to fence in and lock all his fields together, and it should not intervene between them.  
7Who aspire on the dust of the earth concerning the head of the poor, and they pervert the way of the humble, and a man and his father go to the maid, in order to profane My Holy Name.   זהַשֹּֽׁאֲפִ֚ים עַל־עֲפַר־אֶ֙רֶץ֙ בְּרֹ֣אשׁ דַּלִּ֔ים וְדֶ֥רֶךְ עֲנָוִ֖ים יַטּ֑וּ וְאִ֣ישׁ וְאָבִ֗יו יֵֽלְכוּ֙ אֶל־הַֽנַּֽעֲרָ֔ה לְמַ֥עַן חַלֵּ֖ל אֶת־שֵׁ֥ם קָדְשִֽׁי:
Who aspire on the dust of the earth: On the dust of the earth, when they walk on it, all their aspiration and all their thoughts are concerning the head of the poor, how they will rob them and take their property. שׁ ְאִיפָה is goloser in O.F., aspiring.  
and they pervert the way of the humble etc.: The weak turn away from their way and go on a tortuous way because of fear of them, as Scripture says: (Job 24:4) “They turn the poor from the way.”  
to the maid: I.e, a betrothed maid.  
8And they recline on pledged garments beside every altar, and the wine of the fined ones they drink in the house of their gods.   חוְעַל־בְּגָדִ֚ים חֲבֻלִים֙ יַטּ֔וּ אֵ֖צֶל כָּל־מִזְבֵּ֑חַ וְיֵ֚ין עֲנוּשִׁים֙ יִשְׁתּ֔וּ בֵּ֖ית אֱלֹֽהֵיהֶֽם:
And they recline on pledged garments: Jonathan renders: On couches of a pledge they dine. They settle [the charge as] a loan upon the poor. and they take a pledge from them, and make their garments into couches and recline on them at the time of their meal.  
they recline: An expression of dining, for all their meals were eaten while leaning, for he would lean on his left side.  
and the wine of the fined ones: from whom they would exact money for fines and drink wine with it.  
in the house of their god: In the house of the idol that they had beside the altar.  
9And I destroyed the Amorites from before them, whose height is as the height of the cedar trees, and they are as strong as oaks, and I destroyed his fruit from above and his roots from below.   טוְאָ֨נֹכִ֜י הִשְׁמַ֚דְתִּי אֶת־הָֽאֱמֹרִי֙ מִפְּנֵיהֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֨ר כְּגֹ֚בַהּ אֲרָזִים֙ גָּבְה֔וֹ וְחָסֹ֥ן ה֖וּא כָּֽאַלּוֹנִ֑ים וָֽאַשְׁמִ֚יד פִּרְיוֹ֙ מִמַּ֔עַל וְשָֽׁרָשָׁ֖יו מִתָּֽחַת:
as oaks: Heb. אַלוֹנִים, kesnes (chenes) in French.  
his fruit from above: I.e, the celestial princes. [from Midrash Tanchuma, Devarim 4; Tanchuma Buber, Addendum to Devarim 8]  
and his roots from below: I.e, the earthly princes. Another explanation: the wasp would blind their eyes from above and castrate them from below. [from Sotah 36a]  
10And I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and I led you in the desert for forty years, to inherit the land of the Amorites.   יוְאָֽנֹכִ֛י הֶֽעֱלֵ֥יתִי אֶתְכֶ֖ם מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם וָֽאוֹלֵ֨ךְ אֶתְכֶ֚ם בַּמִּדְבָּר֙ אַרְבָּעִ֣ים שָׁנָ֔ה לָרֶ֖שֶׁת אֶת־אֶ֥רֶץ הָֽאֱמֹרִֽי:
11And I raised up some of your sons as prophets and some of your young men as Nazirites; is this not so, O children of Israel? says the Lord.   יאוָֽאָקִ֚ים מִבְּנֵיכֶם֙ לִנְבִיאִ֔ים וּמִבַּחֽוּרֵיכֶ֖ם לִנְזִרִ֑ים הַאַ֥ף אֵֽין־זֹ֛את בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל נְאֻם־יְהֹוָֽה:
as Nazirites: Jonathan renders: as teachers. For they were separated from the ways of the people of the land and were engaged in the Torah. The expression נְזִירָה is everywhere only an expression of separation.  
Is this not so?: This is a rhetorical question. I.e, can you deny this?  
12And you gave the Nazirites to drink wine, and you commanded the prophets saying, "Do not prophesy."   יבוַתַּשְׁק֥וּ אֶת־הַנְּזִרִ֖ים יָ֑יִן וְעַל־הַנְּבִיאִים֙ צִוִּיתֶ֣ם לֵאמֹ֔ר לֹ֖א תִּנָּֽבְאֽוּ:
And you gave the Nazirites to drink wine: lest they instruct you, for a drunken man is forbidden to instruct.  
And you gave the Nazirites to drink wine: Jonathan renders: And you misled your teachers with wine.  
“Do not prophesy.”: Amaziah the priest of Bethel commanded Amos in this manner: (Amos 7:12) “Seer, go, flee to the land of Judah.”  
13Behold, I will oppress your dwelling place, as a wagon full of sheaves is oppressed.   יגהִנֵּ֛ה אָֽנֹכִ֥י מֵעִ֖יק תַּחְתֵּיכֶ֑ם כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֚ר תָּעִיק֙ הָֽעֲגָלָ֔ה הַֽמְלֵאָ֥ה לָ֖הּ עָמִֽיר:
Behold I will oppress: Heb. מֵעִיק, the Aramaic translation of מֵצִיק,  
your dwelling place: Heb. תַּחְתֵּיכֶם. Your camping place  
as a wagon… is oppressed: from the weight of the burden that is upon it.  
14And escape shall be lost to the swift, and the strong shall not gain strength, nor shall the mighty man deliver himself.   ידוְאָבַ֚ד מָנוֹס֙ מִקָּ֔ל וְחָזָ֖ק לֹֽא־יְאַמֵּ֣ץ כֹּח֑וֹ וְגִבּ֖וֹר לֹֽא־יְמַלֵּ֥ט נַפְשֽׁוֹ:
15And he who holds the bow shall not stand, and the fleetfooted shall not deliver, and the rider of the horse shall not deliver himself.   טווְתֹפֵ֚שׂ הַקֶּ֙שֶׁת֙ לֹ֣א יַֽעֲמֹ֔ד וְקַ֥ל בְּרַגְלָ֖יו לֹ֣א יְמַלֵּ֑ט וְרֹכֵ֣ב הַסּ֔וּס לֹ֥א יְמַלֵּ֖ט נַפְשֽׁוֹ:
and the fleet-footed shall not deliver: himself.  
16And the stout-hearted among the mighty shall flee naked on that day, says the Lord.   טזוְאַמִּ֥יץ לִבּ֖וֹ בַּגִּבּוֹרִ֑ים עָר֛וֹם יָנ֥וּס בַּיּֽוֹם־הַה֖וּא נְאֻם־יְהֹוָֽה:
shall flee naked: Naked without weapons.  

Amos Chapter 3

1Hearken to this word which the Lord spoke about you, O children of Israel, about the entire family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying:   אשִׁמְע֞וּ אֶת־הַדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר דִּבֶּ֧ר יְהֹוָ֛ה עֲלֵיכֶ֖ם בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל עַל כָּל־הַמִּשְׁפָּחָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֧ר הֶֽעֱלֵ֛יתִי מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרַ֖יִם לֵאמֹֽר:
2Only you did I love above all the families of the earth; therefore, I will visit upon you all your iniquities.   ברַק אֶתְכֶ֣ם יָדַ֔עְתִּי מִכֹּ֖ל מִשְׁפְּח֣וֹת הָֽאֲדָמָ֑ה עַל־כֵּן֙ אֶפְקֹ֣ד עֲלֵיכֶ֔ם אֵ֖ת כָּל־עֲו‍ֹנֹֽתֵיכֶֽם:
Only you did I love: Heb. יָדַעְתִּי, lit., I knew. I loved you, but you rebelled against Me; therefore,… But our Sages expounded on it in a different manner in Tractate Avodah Zarah (4a).  
3Will two walk together unless they agreed?   גהֲיֵֽלְכ֥וּ שְׁנַ֖יִם יַחְדָּ֑ו בִּלְתִּ֖י אִם־נוֹעָֽדוּ:
Will two walk together: Concerning what you say to the prophets, “Do not prophesy,” do the prophets prophesy from their own mind unless they were commanded? Are things done in any way but in their customary fashion?  
unless they agree: Unless they made an appointment to go together to such and such a place.  
4Will a lion roar in the forest if he has no prey? Will a young lion let out a cry from his den unless he has taken something?   דהֲיִשְׁאַ֚ג אַרְיֵה֙ בַּיַּ֔עַר וְטֶ֖רֶף אֵ֣ין ל֑וֹ הֲיִתֵּ֨ן כְּפִ֚יר קוֹלוֹ֙ מִמְּעֹ֣נָת֔וֹ בִּלְתִּ֖י אִם־לָכָֽד:
Will a lion roar in the forest if he has no prey: When a lion lays hold of its prey, it customarily roars, and it does not roar unless it has taken [prey]. Similarly, Scripture states: (Isa. 5:29) “He will roar like the lion cubs, and he will growl and lay hold of prey.” Similarly, (ibid. 31:4) “As a lion or a young lion growls over his prey.”  
5Will a bird fall on a net upon the ground unless it has a snare? Will a net ascend from the ground and have taken nothing?   ההֲתִפּ֚וֹל צִפּוֹר֙ עַל־פַּ֣ח הָאָ֔רֶץ וּמוֹקֵ֖שׁ אֵ֣ין לָ֑הּ הֲיַֽעֲלֶה־פַּח֙ מִן־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה וְלָכ֖וֹד לֹ֥א יִלְכּֽוֹד:
Will a bird fall on a net upon the ground unless it has a snare: in the net which has fallen upon it?  
Will a net ascend from the ground: from the place it was laid unless a bird was caught in it? When it wishes to escape, it pulls up the net and lifts it from its place a little, and at that time it is caught.  
6Will a shophar be sounded in the city and the people not quake? Will there be evil in the city if the Lord has not done it?   ואִם־יִתָּקַ֚ע שׁוֹפָר֙ בְּעִ֔יר וְעָ֖ם לֹ֣א יֶֽחֱרָ֑דוּ אִם־תִּֽהְיֶ֚ה רָעָה֙ בְּעִ֔יר וַֽיהֹוָ֖ה לֹ֥א עָשָֽׂה:
Will a shophar be sounded: For the lookout sees troops approaching the city and sounds the shophar to warn the people. These are but words of allegory and similitude, [to be explained as follows:]  
[4] Will a lion roar: That is Nebuchadnezzar. Another explanation: The prophets compare the holy spirit that comes upon them from the roar of a lion, as he states below: (verse 8) “A lion has roared; who will not fear?” And here he explains the allegory. Did the Holy One, blessed be He, bring the holy spirit into the mouths of the prophets to [prophesy] evil unless retribution was decreed by Him? That is the prey. Will the Holy One, blessed be He, let out a cry to speak harshly unless He has taken you with the snare of iniquity? Will a bird fall on a net that the net will not snare it? I.e, is it possible that you commit sins and it will not be a snare to you? Will a net ascend etc.? Similarly, will your iniquities ascend on high and not take you? Will a shophar be sounded in the city?… So should you quake before the words of the prophets who look out for you to deliver you from the evil, that it not come, and when the evil comes to you, should you not know that the Holy One, blessed be He, does it to you because you did not take heed of His prophets?  
7For the Lord God does nothing unless He has revealed His secret to His servants, the prophets.   זכִּ֣י לֹ֧א יַֽעֲשֶׂ֛ה אֲדֹנָ֥י יֱהֹוִ֖ה דָּבָ֑ר כִּי אִם־גָּלָ֣ה סוֹד֔וֹ אֶל־עֲבָדָ֖יו הַנְּבִיאִֽים:
For the Lord God does nothing unless He has revealed His secret: That secret to His servants, the prophets.  
8A lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken; who will not prophesy?   חאַרְיֵ֥ה שָׁאָ֖ג מִ֣י לֹ֣א יִירָ֑א אֲדֹנָ֚י יֱהֹוִה֙ דִּבֶּ֔ר מִ֖י לֹ֥א יִנָּבֵֽא:
A lion has roared; who will not fear?: So has the Holy One, blessed be He, spoken to the prophets to prophesy. Who will not prophesy?  
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