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Torah Reading for Massei

Parshat Massei
Shabbat, 28 Tammuz, 5795
4 August, 2035
Select a portion:
Haftarah: (Jeremiah 2:4-28; Jeremiah 4:1-2)
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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Jeremiah Chapter 2

4Hearken to the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel.   דשִׁמְע֥וּ דְבַר־יְהֹוָ֖ה בֵּ֣ית יַֽעֲקֹ֑ב וְכָֽל־מִשְׁפְּח֖וֹת בֵּ֥ית יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
5So says the Lord: What wrong did your forefathers find in Me, that they distanced themselves from Me, and they went after futility and themselves became futile?   הכֹּ֣ה | אָמַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֗ה מַה־מָּֽצְא֨וּ אֲבֽוֹתֵיכֶ֥ם בִּי֙ עָ֔וֶל כִּ֥י רָֽחֲק֖וּ מֵֽעָלָ֑י וַיֵּֽלְכ֛וּ אַֽחֲרֵ֥י הַהֶ֖בֶל וַיֶּהְבָּֽלוּ:
6And they did not say, "Where is the Lord, Who brought us up from the land of Egypt, Who led us in the desert, in a land of plains and pits, in a land of waste and darkness, in a land where no man had passed and where no man had dwelt.   ווְלֹ֣א אָֽמְר֔וּ אַיֵּ֣ה יְהֹוָ֔ה הַמַּֽעֲלֶ֥ה אֹתָ֖נוּ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם הַמּוֹלִ֨יךְ אֹתָ֜נוּ בַּמִּדְבָּ֗ר בְּאֶ֨רֶץ עֲרָבָ֚ה וְשׁוּחָה֙ בְּאֶ֙רֶץ֙ צִיָּ֣ה וְצַלְמָ֔וֶת בְּאֶ֗רֶץ לֹֽא־עָ֚בַר בָּהּ֙ אִ֔ישׁ וְלֹֽא־יָשַׁ֥ב אָדָ֖ם שָֽׁם:
And they did not say, Where is the Lord: that we should follow other gods?  
plains: Heb. ערבה (planure in O.F.), related to pianoro in Old Italian, meaning ‘a plateau.’  
and pits: Heb. ושוחה (enfosses in O.F.), pitted.  
waste: Heb. ציה (degat in French).  
and darkness: Heb. וצלמות. An expression of darkness.  
7And I brought you to a forest land to eat of its produce and its goodness, and you came and contaminated My land, and made My heritage an abomination.   זוָֽאָבִ֚יא אֶתְכֶם֙ אֶל־אֶ֣רֶץ הַכַּרְמֶ֔ל לֶאֱכֹ֥ל פִּרְיָ֖הּ וְטוּבָ֑הּ וַתָּבֹ֙אוּ֙ וַתְּטַמְּא֣וּ אֶת־אַרְצִ֔י וְנַֽחֲלָתִ֥י שַׂמְתֶּ֖ם לְתֽוֹעֵבָֽה:
to a forest land: To the land of Israel which is planted like כרמל, meaning: planted like a forest.  
8The priests did not say, "Where is the Lord?" And those who hold onto the Torah did not know Me and the rulers rebelled against Me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal and followed what does not avail.   חהַכֹּֽהֲנִ֗ים לֹ֚א אָֽמְרוּ֙ אַיֵּ֣ה יְהֹוָ֔ה וְתֹֽפְשֵׂ֚י הַתּוֹרָה֙ לֹ֣א יְדָע֔וּנִי וְהָֽרֹעִ֖ים פָּ֣שְׁעוּ בִ֑י וְהַנְּבִאִים֙ נִבְּא֣וּ בַבַּ֔עַל וְאַֽחֲרֵ֥י לֹֽא־יוֹעִ֖לוּ הָלָֽכוּ:
and those who hold onto the Torah: The Sanhedrin.  
and the rulers: the kings.  
prophesied by Baal: In the name of Baal.  
9Therefore, I will still contend with you, says the Lord, and with your children's children will I contend.   טלָכֵ֗ן עֹ֛ד אָרִ֥יב אִתְּכֶ֖ם נְאֻם־יְהֹוָ֑ה וְאֶת־בְּנֵ֥י בְנֵיכֶ֖ם אָרִֽיב:
Therefore, I will still contend: Before I bring misfortune upon you, I will still contend with you through My prophets, although I have already contended with you many days.  
10For pass over [to] the isles of the Kittites and see, and send to Kedar and consider diligently, and see whether there was any such thing,   יכִּ֣י עִבְר֞וּ אִיֵּ֚י כִתִּיִּים֙ וּרְא֔וּ וְקֵדָ֛ר שִׁלְח֥וּ וְהִֽתְבּֽוֹנְנ֖וּ מְאֹ֑ד וּרְא֕וּ הֵ֥ן הָֽיְתָ֖ה כָּזֹֽאת:
the isles of the Kittites: To the isles of the Kittites. איי is (isles in French).  
and send to Kedar: And send to Kedar to see their custom.  
and consider diligently: And put your heart to it to consider the matter diligently.  
whether: Heb. הן, like אם, if. Whether either of those nations exchanged its god although they are no gods, yet My nation exchanged their glory, with which they were honored. The Kittites and the Kedarites were tent dwellers and cattle herders, who would travel, go, and wander from pasture to pasture and from desert to desert, and they carry their gods with them to the place where they encamp. But I carried you until I established you, yet you forsook Me. This is how Jonathan paraphrased it. Our Sages said however: The Kittites worshipped water and the Kedarites worshipped fire. And although they know that water quenches fire, they did not forsake their god.  
11Whether a nation exchanged a god although they are not gods. Yet My nation exchanged their glory for what does not avail.   יאהַֽהֵימִ֥יר גּוֹי֙ אֱלֹהִ֔ים וְהֵ֖מָּה לֹ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים וְעַמִּ֛י הֵמִ֥יר כְּבוֹד֖וֹ בְּל֥וֹא יוֹעִֽיל:
for what does not avail: For an idol that does not avail.  
12Oh heavens, be astonished about this, and storm, become very desolate, says the Lord.   יבשֹׁ֥מּוּ שָׁמַ֖יִם עַל־זֹ֑את וְשַֽׂעֲר֛וּ חֳרְב֥וּ מְאֹ֖ד נְאֻם־יְהֹוָֽה:
O heavens, be astonished: Heb. שמו, an expression of astonishment, like השתוממוּ. It is the imperative form, with the same vowel points as (I Sam. 14:9): “If they say thus to us,” Wait (דּמּוּ)."  
and storm: Heb. ושערו, an expression of סער, a storm.  
become very desolate: As though you are becoming desolate because of the Temple that is destined to be destroyed.  
13For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the spring of living waters, to dig for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that do not hold water.   יגכִּֽי־שְׁתַּ֥יִם רָע֖וֹת עָשָׂ֣ה עַמִּ֑י אֹתִ֨י עָזְב֜וּ מְק֣וֹר | מַ֣יִם חַיִּ֗ים לַחְצֹ֚ב לָהֶם֙ בֹּאר֔וֹת בֹּארֹת֙ נִשְׁבָּרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹֽא־יָכִ֖לוּ הַמָּֽיִם:
two evils: Had they exchanged their Deity [lit. their fear] for one His equal, it would be one evil, and now that they have forsaken Me, that I am a spring of living waters, to follow idols, which are like cisterns of stored up water, and they are broken and cracked, and their water is absorbed in their cracks, these are two evils.  
to dig: Heb. לחצב, lit. to hew.  
that do not hold: (Tendront in O.F.) their water, for the water will make their edge and their walls muddy, and they cave in.  
14Is Israel a slave? Is he a home-born slave? Why has he become a prey?   ידהַעֶ֙בֶד֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אִם־יְלִ֥יד בַּ֖יִת ה֑וּא מַדּ֖וּעַ הָיָ֥ה לָבַֽז:
Is he a home born slave?: The son of a maidservant.  
15Young lions roar over him: they have raised their voice, and they have made his land a desolation; his cities were burnt without an inhabitant.   טועָלָיו֙ יִשְׁאֲג֣וּ כְפִרִ֔ים נָֽתְנ֖וּ קוֹלָ֑ם וַיָּשִׁ֚יתוּ אַרְצוֹ֙ לְשַׁמָּ֔ה עָרָ֥יו נִצְּת֖וּ (כתיב נִצְּתֻ֖ה) מִבְּלִ֥י ישֵֽׁב:
roar: roar, a present tense.  
young lions: Symbolic of kings.  
were burnt: were burnt with fire.  
16Also the children of Noph and Tahpanhes will break your crown.   טזגַּם־בְּנֵי־נֹ֖ף וְתַחְפַּנְחֵ֑ס (כתיב וְתַחְפַּנְֵס֑) יִרְע֖וּךְ קָדְקֹֽד:
Also the children of Noph and Tahpanhes: They are the Egyptians upon whom you trust for aid.  
will break your crown: They will break your skull. ירעוּך is an expression of breaking (רציצה), as we translate ורצוץ, “and crushed” (Deut. 28:33), וּרעיע.  
17Is not this caused to you by your forsaking the Lord your God at the time He leads you by the way?   יזהֲלוֹא־זֹ֖את תַּֽעֲשֶׂה־לָּ֑ךְ עָזְבֵךְ֙ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהַ֔יִךְ בְּעֵ֖ת מוֹלִכֵ֥ךְ בַּדָּֽרֶךְ:
Is not this caused to you: Is not this misfortune and this retribution caused to you by the guilt and the iniquity that you have forsaken the Lord your God?  
at the time He leads you by the way: For He would teach you the good and the straight way.  
18And now, what have you to do in the way of Egypt to drink the water of the Shihor and what have you to do in the way of Assyria to drink the water of the river?   יחוְעַתָּ֗ה מַה־לָּךְ֙ לְדֶ֣רֶךְ מִצְרַ֔יִם לִשְׁתּ֖וֹת מֵ֣י שִׁח֑וֹר וּמַה־לָּךְ֙ לְדֶ֣רֶךְ אַשּׁ֔וּר לִשְׁתּ֖וֹת מֵ֥י נָהָֽר:
what have you to do in the way of Egypt: Why do you leave Me and trust in Egypt?  
to drink the water of the Shihor: For they drowned your male children in the Nile. Shihor is the Nile, as it is said: “From the Shihor which is before Egypt,” in the Book of Joshua (13:3).  
and what have you to do: to rebel against Me so that you should be exiled to the way of Assyria, to the other side of the Euphrates River?  
19Your evil will chastise you, and your backslidings will reprove you, and you shall know and see that your forsaking the Lord your God is evil and bitter, and fear of Me was not upon you, says the Lord God of Hosts.   יטתְּיַסְּרֵ֣ךְ רָֽעָתֵ֗ךְ וּמְשֻֽׁבוֹתַ֙יִךְ֙ תּֽוֹכִחֻ֔ךְ וּדְעִ֚י וּרְאִי֙ כִּי־רַ֣ע וָמָ֔ר עָזְבֵ֖ךְ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהָ֑יִךְ וְלֹ֚א פַחְדָּתִי֙ אֵלַ֔יִךְ נְאֻם־אֲדֹנָ֥י יֱהֹוִ֖ה צְבָאֽוֹת:
Your evil will chastise you: Eventually, your evil will bring suffering upon you.  
and your backslidings: , Heb. ומשבותיך, an expression related to “backsliding children (שובבים)” (infra 3:22).  
will reprove you: Heb. תוכחך, an expression of reproof.  
and the fear of Me was not: My fear was not in your heart that you should fear Me.  
20For of old I broke your yoke, I tore open your yoke-bands, and you said, "I will not transgress," but on every lofty hill and under every leafy tree, you recline as a harlot.   ככִּ֣י מֵֽעוֹלָ֞ם שָׁבַ֣רְתִּי עֻלֵּ֗ךְ נִתַּ֙קְתִּי֙ מֽוֹסְרוֹתַ֔יִךְ וַתֹּאמְרִ֖י לֹ֣א אֶעֱב֑וֹר (כתיב אֶעֱב֑וֹד) כִּ֣י עַל־כָּל־גִּבְעָ֞ה גְּבֹהָ֗ה וְתַ֙חַת֙ כָּל־עֵ֣ץ רַֽעֲנָ֔ן אַ֖תְּ צֹעָ֥ה זֹנָֽה:
I broke your yoke: To the wooden yoke an expression of breaking applies, and to the yoke-bands which are of leather an expression of tearing open applies.  
yoke-bands: [מוסרותיך are the] ropes used to shackle the yoke [to the animal].  
and you said, “I will not transgress.”: your words.  
but on every lofty hill: Put you did not keep your promise, for on every lofty hill you recline (צעה). This is an expression of a bed and a sheet (מצע). [The word] כי serves as an expression of ‘but.’  
21Yet I planted you a noble vine stock, throughout of right seed; now how have you turned yourself into a degenerate wild vine to Me?   כאוְאָֽנֹכִי֙ נְטַעְתִּ֣יךְ שׂוֹרֵ֔ק כֻּלֹּ֖ה זֶ֣רַע אֱמֶ֑ת וְאֵיךְ֙ נֶהְפַּ֣כְתְּ לִ֔י סוּרֵ֖י הַגֶּ֥פֶן נָכְרִיָּֽה:
I planted you a noble vine stock: Heb. שורק is the branches of a good vine, that is to say the children of pious and righteous fathers. Its midrashic interpretation is: I planted you שורק. I added for you to the seven commandments of the children of Noah, six hundred and six, as is the numerical value of שורק.  
degenerate: Heb. סוּרי (Destoultours in O.F).  
wild vine: that grows in the forests.  
22For if you wash with natron and use much soap, your iniquity is stained before Me, says the Lord God.   כבכִּ֚י אִם־תְּכַבְּסִי֙ בַּנֶּ֔תֶר וְתַרְבִּי־לָ֖ךְ בֹּרִ֑ית נִכְתָּ֚ם עֲו‍ֹנֵךְ֙ לְפָנַ֔י נְאֻ֖ם אֲדֹנָ֥י יֱהֹוִֽה:
with natron: A type of earth with which garments are cleansed and rubbed.  
soap: Heb. בֹּרִית, cleanliness. Comp.“And pure (וּבַר) of heart” (Ps. 24:4). Some explain בֹּרִית as savon in French, soap.  
your iniquity is stained: Jon. renders: Like the mark of a stain that is unclean, so have your sins increased before Me. כתם is tka in O.F.  
your iniquity: This is said concerning the iniquity of the ‘Golden Calf,’ which remains in existence forever, as it is stated: “And on the day of My visitation, I will visit upon them their sin” (Exodus 32:34). All visitations that come upon Israel have part of the iniquity of the Golden Calf in them.  
23How do you say, "I have not been defiled; I have not gone after the Baalim"? See your way in the valley, know what you have done, [like] a swift young she-camel, clinging to her ways.   כגאֵ֣יךְ תֹּֽאמְרִ֞י לֹ֣א נִטְמֵ֗אתִי אַֽחֲרֵ֚י הַבְּעָלִים֙ לֹ֣א הָלַ֔כְתִּי רְאִ֚י דַרְכֵּךְ֙ בַּגַּ֔יְא דְּעִ֖י מֶ֣ה עָשִׂ֑ית בִּכְרָ֥ה קַלָּ֖ה מְשָׂרֶ֥כֶת דְּרָכֶֽיהָ:
See your way in the valley: See what you have done opposite Beth-Peor, and until now you adhere to that way like a swift she camel clinging to her ways.  
young she-camel: Heb. בכרה, a young female camel, that loves to wander.“The young camels (בכרי) of Midian” (Isa. 60:6) is translated “and they are young camels,” as we find in Sanhedrin 52a: There are many old camels laden with the skins of young camels (הוגני).  
clinging: Adhering to the ways of her youth, an expression similar to: “it would have clung (מסריך סריך)” (Chullin 51a). This may be associated with “a shoe thong נעל) (שרוך ” (Gen. 14:23). She binds the ways of her youth in her heart.  
24A wild donkey accustomed to the desert, that snuffs up the wind in her desire, her tendency like the sea creatures, who can hinder her? All who seek her will not weary; in her month they will find her.   כדפֶּ֣רֶה | לִמֻּ֣ד מִדְבָּ֗ר בְּאַוַּ֚ת נַפְשָׁהּ֙ (כתיב נַפְשָׁו֙) שָֽׁאֲפָ֣ה ר֔וּחַ תַּֽאֲנָתָ֖הּ מִ֣י יְשִׁיבֶ֑נָּה כָּל־מְבַקְשֶׁ֙יהָ֙ לֹ֣א יִיעָ֔פוּ בְּחָדְשָׁ֖הּ יִמְצָאֽוּנְהָ:
A wild donkey: (salvatico in O.F.) wild, and some interpret it as poulain in O.F., a foal.  
accustomed to the desert: Accustomed to be in the deserts, so she loves to wander.  
that snuffs up the wind: She opens her mouth and snuffs up the wind, and he always returns to his place.  
her tendency like the sea creatures, who can hinder her?: That trait of the sea creatures that she has, for also the sea creature snuffs up the wind, as it is said: “They snuff up the wind like sea creatures” (infra 14:6). Who can hinder her from that trait? So it is with you who can return you from your evil way?  
her tendency like a sea creature: Son dagronemant in O.F., dragon nature. Jonathan rendered it in this manner, כערודה. Another explanation: It is an expression of wailing, comp.“moaning and wailing”  
all who seek her will not weary: For they will weary needlessly, for they will be unable to overtake her. What will her end be? In her month, they will find her. There is one month in the year that she sleeps for the whole month, and then she is captured. You, too, - one month (viz. Ab) was already prepared for you from the days of the spies, when your forefathers established it as a time of vain weeping, therein, you will be captured. (תּאניה ואניה) (Lam. 2:5). Another explanation: (sa contree in French,) her country, comp. Taanath Shiloh (Josh. 16:6).  
25Withhold your foot from going barefoot and your throat from thirst; but you said, "I despair. No, for I love strangers, and I will follow them."   כהמִנְעִ֚י רַגְלֵךְ֙ מִיָּחֵ֔ף וּגְרוֹנֵ֖ךְ (כתיב וּגְורֹנֵ֖ךְ) מִצִּמְאָ֑ה וַתֹּאמְרִ֣י נוֹאָ֔שׁ ל֕וֹא כִּֽי־אָהַ֥בְתִּי זָרִ֖ים וְאַֽחֲרֵיהֶ֥ם אֵלֵֽךְ:
Withhold your foot from going barefoot: This your habit, like the wild donkey that loves to wander. My prophets say to you, “Withhold your foot from idolatry lest you go barefoot into exile and withhold your throat from dying of thirst.”  
but you said: concerning the words of the prophets.  
I despair: It is of no concern. I despair of your words. נואש is (nonkalajjr in O.F.) nonchalair in modern French.  
26As the shame of a thief when he is found out, so have the house of Israel been ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets.   כוכְּבֹ֚שֶׁת גַּנָּב֙ כִּ֣י יִמָּצֵ֔א כֵּ֥ן הוֹבִ֖ישׁוּ בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל הֵ֚מָּה מַלְכֵיהֶם֙ שָֽׂרֵיהֶ֔ם וְכֹֽהֲנֵיהֶ֖ם וּנְבִֽיאֵיהֶֽם:
when he is found out: At the beginning, when he is found to be a thief, and he was presumed to be faithful. In this manner, Jonathan rendered it.  
27They say to the wood, "You are my father," and to the stone, "You bore us," for they turned to Me their nape and not their face, and at the time of their misfortune they say, "Arise and save us. "   כזאֹֽמְרִ֨ים לָעֵ֜ץ אָ֣בִי אַ֗תָּה וְלָאֶ֙בֶן֙ אַ֣תְּ יְלִדְתָּ֔נוּ (כתיב יְלִדְתָּ֔ניּ) כִּֽי־פָנ֥וּ אֵלַ֛י עֹ֖רֶף וְלֹ֣א פָנִ֑ים וּבְעֵ֚ת רָֽעָתָם֙ יֹֽאמְר֔וּ ק֖וּמָה וְהֽוֹשִׁיעֵֽנוּ:
and at the time of their misfortune they say: i.e., they say to Me, “Arise and save us.” Jonathan, too, translates in this manner: And at the time that misfortune befalls them, they deny their idols and confess before Me, and say. “Have mercy upon us and save us.”  
28Now where are your gods that you have made for yourself; let them get up if they will save you at the time of your misfortune, for as many as your cities were your gods, O Judea.   כחוְאַיֵּ֚ה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשִׂ֣יתָ לָּ֔ךְ יָק֕וּמוּ אִם־יֽוֹשִׁיע֖וּךָ בְּעֵ֣ת רָֽעָתֶ֑ךָ כִּ֚י מִסְפַּ֣ר עָרֶ֔יךָ הָי֥וּ אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ יְהוּדָֽה:
as many as your cities were your gods: In every city was another god.  

Jeremiah Chapter 4

1If you return, O Israel, says the Lord, to Me, you shall return, and if you remove your detestable things from My Presence, you shall not wander.   אאִם־תָּשׁ֨וּב יִשְׂרָאֵ֧ל | נְאֻם־יְהֹוָ֛ה אֵלַ֖י תָּשׁ֑וּב וְאִם־תָּסִ֧יר שִׁקּוּצֶ֛יךָ מִפָּנַ֖י וְלֹ֥א תָנֽוּד:
If you return, O Israel: with this repentance, to Me, you will return to your original glory and greatness.  
and if you remove your detestable things from My Presence: Then you shall not wander to go out in exile.  
2And you will swear, "As the Lord lives," in truth and in justice and in righteousness, nations will bless themselves with him and boast about him.   בוְנִשְׁבַּ֙עְתָּ֙ חַי־יְהֹוָ֔ה בֶּאֱמֶ֖ת בְּמִשְׁפָּ֣ט וּבִצְדָקָ֑ה וְהִתְבָּ֥רְכוּ ב֛וֹ גּוֹיִ֖ם וּב֥וֹ יִתְהַלָּֽלוּ:
And you will swear, “As the Lord lives,” in truth: When you swear by My name, you will swear in truth, not as now, that it is written concerning you, “And if they say, ‘As the Lord lives,’ surely they swear falsely” (5:2).  
nations will bless themselves with him: If you do so, then nations will bless themselves with Israel. Every non-Jew will say to his son, “You shall be like So-and-so the Jew.”  
boast: Heb. יתהללו, they will recite your praise. Another explanation of is יתהללו : Whoever is able to cleave to Israel will boast about the matter (porvanter in French).  
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