Exodus Chapter 34

27The Lord said to Moses: "Inscribe these words for yourself, for according to these words I have formed a covenant with you and with Israel."   כזוַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־משֶׁ֔ה כְּתָב־לְךָ֖ אֶת־הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה כִּ֞י עַל־פִּ֣י | הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה כָּרַ֧תִּי אִתְּךָ֛ בְּרִ֖ית וְאֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
these words: But you are not permitted to write down the Oral Torah. -[from Gittin 60b]   את הדברים האלה: ולא אתה רשאי לכתוב תורה שבעל פה:
28He was there with the Lord for forty days and forty nights; he ate no bread and drank no water, and He inscribed upon the tablets the words of the Covenant, the Ten Commandments.   כחוַיְהִי־שָׁ֣ם עִם־יְהֹוָ֗ה אַרְבָּעִ֥ים יוֹם֙ וְאַרְבָּעִ֣ים לַ֔יְלָה לֶ֚חֶם לֹ֣א אָכַ֔ל וּמַ֖יִם לֹ֣א שָׁתָ֑ה וַיִּכְתֹּ֣ב עַל־הַלֻּחֹ֗ת אֵ֚ת דִּבְרֵ֣י הַבְּרִ֔ית עֲשֶׂ֖רֶת הַדְּבָרִֽים:
29And it came to pass when Moses descended from Mount Sinai, and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses' hand when he descended from the mountain and Moses did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while He had spoken with him   כטוַיְהִ֗י בְּרֶ֤דֶת משֶׁה֙ מֵהַ֣ר סִינַ֔י וּשְׁנֵ֨י לֻחֹ֤ת הָֽעֵדֻת֙ בְּיַד־משֶׁ֔ה בְּרִדְתּ֖וֹ מִן־הָהָ֑ר וּמשֶׁ֣ה לֹֽא־יָדַ֗ע כִּ֥י קָרַ֛ן ע֥וֹר פָּנָ֖יו בְּדַבְּר֥וֹ אִתּֽוֹ:
And it came to pass when Moses descended: when he brought the latter [second] tablets on Yom Kippur.   ויהי ברדת משה: כשהביא לוחות אחרונות ביום הכפורים:
that… had become radiant: Heb. קָרַן, an expression meaning horns (קַרְנַיִם) because light radiates and protrudes like a type of horn. From where did Moses [now] merit these rays of splendor [which he did not have when he descended with the first tablets (Gur Aryeh)]? Our Rabbis said: [Moses received it] from the cave, when the Holy One, blessed is He, placed His hand on his face, as it is said: “and I will cover you with My hand” (Exod. 33:22). -[from Midrash Tanchuma 37]   כי קרן: לשון קרנים, שהאור מבהיק ובולט כמין קרן. ומהיכן זכה משה לקרני ההוד, רבותינו אמרו מן המערה, שנתן הקב"ה ידו על פניו, שנאמר (שמות לג כב) ושכותי כפי:
30that Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses and behold! the skin of his face had become radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.   לוַיַּ֨רְא אַֽהֲרֹ֜ן וְכָל־בְּנֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ אֶת־משֶׁ֔ה וְהִנֵּ֥ה קָרַ֖ן ע֣וֹר פָּנָ֑יו וַיִּֽירְא֖וּ מִגֶּ֥שֶׁת אֵלָֽיו:
and they were afraid to come near him: Come and see how great the power of sin is! Because when they had not yet stretched out their hands to sin [with the golden calf], what does He say? “And the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire atop the mountain, before the eyes of the children of Israel” (Exod. 24:17), and they were neither frightened nor quaking. But since they had made the calf, even from Moses’ rays of splendor they recoiled and quaked. [from Sifrei Nasso 11, Pesikta d’Rav Kahana, p. 45]   וייראו מגשת אליו: בא וראה, כמה גדולה כחה של עבירה, שעד שלא פשטו ידיהם בעבירה, מהו אומר (שמות כד יז) ומראה כבוד ה' כאש אוכלת בראש ההר לעיני בני ישראל, ולא יראים ולא מזדעזעים; ומשעשו את העגל, אף מקרני הודו של משה היו מרתיעים ומזדעזעים:
31But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the princes of the community returned to him, and Moses would speak to them.   לאוַיִּקְרָ֤א אֲלֵהֶם֙ משֶׁ֔ה וַיָּשֻׁ֧בוּ אֵלָ֛יו אַֽהֲרֹ֥ן וְכָל־הַנְּשִׂאִ֖ים בָּֽעֵדָ֑ה וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר משֶׁ֖ה אֲלֵהֶֽם:
the princes of the community: Heb. הַנְשִׂאִים בָּעֵדָה lit., the princes in the community, like נְשִׂיאֵי הָעֵדָה, the princes of the community.   הנשאים בעדה: כמו נשיאי העדה:
and Moses would speak to them: [sharing] the Omnipresent’s message, and this entire passage is in the present tense.   וידבר משה אליהם: שליחותו של מקום, ולשון הווה הוא כל הענין הזה:
32Afterwards all the children of Israel would draw near, and he would command them everything that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai.   לבוְאַֽחֲרֵי־כֵ֥ן נִגְּשׁ֖וּ כָּל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיְצַוֵּ֕ם אֵת֩ כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֨ר דִּבֶּ֧ר יְהֹוָ֛ה אִתּ֖וֹ בְּהַ֥ר סִינָֽי:
Afterwards… would draw near: After he taught the elders, he would repeat and teach the chapter or the halachah to the Israelites. The Rabbis taught: What was the order of teaching? Moses would learn from the mouth of Almighty. Aaron would enter, and Moses would teach him his chapter. Aaron would move away and sit at Moses’ left. His [Aaron’s] sons would enter, and Moses would teach them their chapter. They would move away, and Eleazar would sit at Moses’ right and Ithamar would sit at Aaron’s left. [Then] the elders would enter, and Moses would teach them their chapter. The elders would move away and sit down on the sides. [Then] the entire nation would enter, and Moses would teach them their chapter. Thus, the entire nation possessed one [lesson from Moses], the elders possessed two, Aaron’s sons possessed three, Aaron possessed four, etc., as is stated in Eruvin (54b).   ואחרי כן נגשו: אחר שלמד לזקנים, חוזר ומלמד הפרשה או ההלכה לישראל. תנו רבנן כיצד סדר המשנה, משה היה לומד מפי הגבורה, נכנס אהרן, שנה לו משה פרקו, נסתלק אהרן וישב לו לשמאל משה, נכנסו בניו, שנה להם משה פרקם, נסתלקו הם, ישב אלעזר לימין משה ואיתמר לשמאל אהרן, נכנסו זקנים, שנה להם משה פרקם, נסתלקו זקנים ישבו לצדדין, נכנסו כל העם שנה להם משה פרקם, נמצא ביד כל העם אחד, ביד הזקנים שנים, ביד בני אהרן שלשה, ביד אהרן ארבעה וכו' כדאיתא בעירובין (נד ב):
33When Moses had finished speaking with them, he placed a covering over his face.   לגוַיְכַ֣ל משֶׁ֔ה מִדַּבֵּ֖ר אִתָּ֑ם וַיִּתֵּ֥ן עַל־פָּנָ֖יו מַסְוֶֽה:
he placed a covering over his face: Heb. מַסְוֶה, as the Targum [Onkelos] renders: בֵּיתאַפֵּי. [מַסְוֶה] is an Aramaic expression. In the Talmud (Keth. 62b) [we read]: לִבָּהּ סָוֵי, her heart saw, and also in [tractate] Kethuboth (60a): יְהַוָה קָא מַסְוֶה לְאַפָּה an expression meaning “looking.” He [the nursing infant] was looking at her [his mother]. Here too, מַסְוֶה is a garment placed in front of the face and a covering over the eyes. In honor of the rays of splendor, so that no one would derive pleasure from them, he [Moses] would place the covering in front of them [his eyes] and remove it when he spoke with the Israelites, and when the Omnipresent spoke to him until he left. When he would leave, he would leave without the covering.   ויתן על פניו מסוה: כתרגומו בית אפי, לשון ארמי הוא בתלמוד סוי לבא ועוד בכתובות (ס א) הוה קא מסוה לאפה, לשון הבטה, היה מסתכל בה, אף כאן מסוה בגד הניתן כנגד הפרצוף ובית העינים, ולכבוד קרני ההוד שלא יזונו הכל מהם היה נותן המסוה כנגדן ונוטלו בשעה שהיה מדבר עם ישראל, ובשעה שהמקום נדבר עמו עד צאתו, ובצאתו יצא בלא מסוה:
34When Moses would come before the Lord to speak with Him, he would remove the covering until he left; then he would leave and speak to the children of Israel what he would be commanded.   לדוּבְבֹ֨א משֶׁ֜ה לִפְנֵ֤י יְהֹוָה֙ לְדַבֵּ֣ר אִתּ֔וֹ יָסִ֥יר אֶת־הַמַּסְוֶ֖ה עַד־צֵאת֑וֹ וְיָצָ֗א וְדִבֶּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֵ֖ת אֲשֶׁ֥ר יְצֻוֶּֽה:
and speak to the children of Israel: And they would see the rays of splendor on his face, and when he would leave them.   ודבר אל בני ישראל: וראו קרני ההוד בפניו. וכשהוא מסתלק מהם:
35Then the children of Israel would see Moses' face, that the skin of Moses' face had become radiant, and [then] Moses would replace the covering over his face until he would come [again] to speak with Him.   להוְרָא֤וּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ אֶת־פְּנֵ֣י משֶׁ֔ה כִּ֣י קָרַ֔ן ע֖וֹר פְּנֵ֣י משֶׁ֑ה וְהֵשִׁ֨יב משֶׁ֤ה אֶת־הַמַּסְוֶה֙ עַל־פָּנָ֔יו עַד־בֹּא֖וֹ לְדַבֵּ֥ר אִתּֽוֹ:
Moses would replace the covering over his face until he would come [again] to speak with Him.: And when he came to speak with Him, he would remove it from his face.   והשיב משה את המסוה על פניו עד באו לדבר אתו: וכשבא לדבר אתו נוטלו מעל פניו: