ב"ה

Torah Reading for Shavuot

First Day of Shavuot
Friday, 6 Sivan, 5783
26 May, 2023
Select a portion:
Complete: (Exodus 19:1 - 20:23; Numbers 28:26-31; Ezekiel 1:1-28; Ezekiel 3:12)
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First Portion

Exodus Chapter 19

1In the third month of the children of Israel's departure from Egypt, on this day they arrived in the desert of Sinai.   אבַּחֹ֨דֶשׁ֙ הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֔י לְצֵ֥את בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם בַּיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֔ה בָּ֖אוּ מִדְבַּ֥ר סִינָֽי:
on this day: On the New Moon (Mechilta, Shab. 86b). It could have said only, “on that day.” What is the meaning of "on this day"? That the words of the Torah shall be new to you, as if they were given just today. — [from Tanchuma Buber, p. 73]   בַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה: בְּרֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ; לֹא הָיָה צָרִיךְ לִכְתֹּב אֶלָּא בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, מַהוּ בַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה? שֶׁיִּהְיוּ דִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה חֲדָשִׁים עָלֶיךָ כְּאִלּוּ הַיּוֹם נְתָנָם (ברכות ס"ג):
2They journeyed from Rephidim, and they arrived in the desert of Sinai, and they encamped in the desert, and Israel encamped there opposite the mountain.   בוַיִּסְע֣וּ מֵֽרְפִידִ֗ים וַיָּבֹ֨אוּ֙ מִדְבַּ֣ר סִינַ֔י וַיַּֽחֲנ֖וּ בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר וַיִּֽחַן־שָׁ֥ם יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל נֶ֥גֶד הָהָֽר:
They journeyed from Rephidim: Why did [Scripture] have to repeat and explain from where they had journeyed? Did it not already state (Exod. 17:1) that they were encamped in Rephidim? It is known that they journeyed from there. But [it is repeated] to compare their journey from Rephidim to their arrival in the Sinai desert. Just as their arrival in the Sinai desert was with repentance, so was their journey from Rephidim with repentance. — [from Mechilta]   וַיִּסְעוּ מֵֽרְפִידִים: מַה תָּ"לֹ לַחֲזֹר וּלְפָרֵשׁ מֵהֵיכָן נָסְעוּ, וַהֲלֹא כְבָר כָּתַב שֶׁבִּרְפִידִים הָיוּ חוֹנִים, בְּיָדוּעַ שֶׁמִּשָּׁם נָסְעוּ? אֶלָּא לְהַקִּישׁ נְסִיעָתָן מֵרְפִידִים לְבִיאָתָן לְמִדְבַּר סִינַי, מַה בִּיאָתָן לְמִדְבַּר סִינַי בִּתְשׁוּבָה, אַף נְסִיעָתָן מֵרְפִידִים בִּתְשׁוּבָה (מכילתא):
and Israel encamped there: Heb. וַיִחַן, [the singular form, denoting that they encamped there] as one man with one heart, but all the other encampments were [divided] with complaints and with strife. — [from Mechilta]   וַיִּֽחַן־שָׁם יִשְׂרָאֵל: כְּאִישׁ אֶחָד בְּלֵב אֶחָד, אֲבָל שְׁאָר כָּל הַחֲנִיּוֹת בְּתַרְעוֹמוֹת וּבְמַחֲלֹקֶת:
opposite the mountain: [This means] to its east. And wherever you find [the word] “opposite (נֶגֶד),” it means facing the eastern side. — [from Mechilta] [This signifies that they were facing west, toward the eastern side of Mount Sinai.]   נֶגֶד הָהָֽר: לְמִזְרָחוֹ, וְכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁאַתָּה מוֹצֵא נֶגֶד, פָּנִים לַמִּזְרָח (שם):
3Moses ascended to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, "So shall you say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel,   גוּמשֶׁ֥ה עָלָ֖ה אֶל־הָֽאֱלֹהִ֑ים וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֵלָ֤יו יְהוָֹה֙ מִן־הָהָ֣ר לֵאמֹ֔ר כֹּ֤ה תֹאמַר֙ לְבֵ֣ית יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב וְתַגֵּ֖יד לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
Moses ascended: on the second day (Shab. 86a), and all his ascents were early in the morning, as it is said: “And Moses arose early in the morning” (Exod. 34:4).   וּמשֶׁה עָלָה: בַּיּוֹם הַשֵּׁנִי; וְכָל עֲלִיּוֹתָיו בְּהַשְׁכָּמָה הָיוּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "וַיַּשְׁכֵּם מֹשֶׁה בַבֹּקֶר" (שמות ל"ד):
So shall you say: With this language and in this order. — [from Mechilta]   כֹּה תֹאמַר: בַּלָּשׁוֹן הַזֶּה וְכַסֵּדֶר הַזֶּה:
to the house of Jacob: These are the women. Say it to them in a gentle language. — [from Mechilta]   לְבֵית יַֽעֲקֹב: אֵלּוּ הַנָּשִׁים, תֹּאמַר לָהֶן בְּלָשׁוֹן רַכָּה (מכילתא):
and tell the sons of Israel: The punishments and the details [of the laws] explain to the males, things that are as harsh as wormwood. -[Mechilta, Shab. 87a]   וְתַגֵּיד לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵֽל: עֳנָשִׁין וְדִקְדּוּקִים פָּרֵשׁ לַזְּכָרִים, דְּבָרִים הַקָּשִׁין כְּגִידִין (שבת פ"ז):
4'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and [how] I bore you on eagles' wings, and I brought you to Me.   דאַתֶּ֣ם רְאִיתֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשִׂ֖יתִי לְמִצְרָ֑יִם וָֽאֶשָּׂ֤א אֶתְכֶם֙ עַל־כַּנְפֵ֣י נְשָׁרִ֔ים וָֽאָבִ֥א אֶתְכֶ֖ם אֵלָֽי:
You have seen: This is not a tradition that you have. I am not sending you this [message] with words; I am not calling witnesses to testify before you, but you [yourselves] have seen what I did to the Egyptians. They were liable to Me for many sins before they attacked you, but I did not exact retribution from them except through you. — [from Mechilta]   אַתֶּם רְאִיתֶם: לֹא מַסֹּרֶת הִיא בְיֶדְכֶם, לֹא בִדְבָרִים אֲנִי מְשַׁגֵּר לָכֶם, לֹא בְעֵדִים אֲנִי מֵעִיד עֲלֵיכֶם, אֶלָּא אתם ראיתם אשר עשיתי למצרים, עַל כַּמָּה עֲבֵרוֹת הָיוּ חַיָּבִין לִי קֹדֶם שֶׁנִּזְדַּוְּגוּ לָכֶם וְלֹא נִפְרַעְתִּי מֵהֶם אֶלָּא עַל יֶדְכֶם (מכילתא):
and [how] I bore you: Heb. וָאֶשָׂא. This is [alluding to] the day that the Israelites came to Rameses-because the Israelites were scattered throughout the land of Goshen. And in a short time, when they came to start on their journey and leave, they all gathered in Rameses (Mechilta). Onkelos, however, rendered וָאֶשָׂא as וְאַטָלִיתיַתְכוֹן, and I caused you to travel, like וָאַסִּיעַ אֶתְכֶם He [Onkelos] amended [the translation of] the passage in a way respectful to the One above.   וָֽאֶשָּׂא אֶתְכֶם: זֶה הַיּוֹם שֶׁבָּאוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְרַעְמְסֵס, שֶׁהָיוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל מְפֻזָּרִין בְּכָל אֶרֶץ גֹּשֶׁן, וּלְשָׁעָה קַלָּה כְּשֶׁבָּאוּ לִסַּע וְלָצֵאת, נִקְבְּצוּ כֻּלָּם לְרַעְמְסֵס, וְאֻנְקְלוֹס תִּרְגֵּם וָאֶשָּׂא כְּמוֹ וָאַסִּיעַ אֶתְכֶם – "וְאַטֵּלִית יָתְכוֹן", תִּקֵּן אֶת הַדָּבָר דֶּרֶךְ כָּבוֹד לְמַעְלָה:
on eagles’ wings: Like an eagle, which carries its young on its wings, for all other birds place their young between their feet since they fear another bird flying above them. The eagle, however, fears only man, lest he shoot an arrow at it, because no other bird flies above it. Therefore, it places them [its young] on its wings. It says, “Rather the arrow pierce me and not my children.” I [God] too did that: “Then the angel of God…moved, …And he came between the camp of Egypt, etc.” (Exod. 14:19, 20), and the Egyptians shot arrows and catapult stones, and the cloud absorbed them. — [from Mechilta]   עַל־כַּנְפֵי נְשָׁרִים: כַּנֶּשֶׁר הַנּוֹשֵׂא גּוֹזָלָיו עַל כְּנָפָיו, שֶׁכָּל שְׁאָר הָעוֹפוֹת נוֹתְנִים אֶת בְּנֵיהֶם בֵּין רַגְלֵיהֶם, לְפִי שֶׁמִּתְיָרְאִין מֵעוֹף אַחֵר שֶׁפּוֹרֵחַ עַל גַּבֵּיהֶם, אֲבָל הַנֶּשֶׁר הַזֶּה אֵינוֹ מִתְיָרֵא אֶלָּא מִן הָאָדָם שֶׁמָּא יִזְרֹק בּוֹ חֵץ, לְפִי שֶׁאֵין עוֹף פּוֹרֵחַ עַל גַּבָּיו, לְכָךְ נוֹתְנוֹ עַל כְּנָפָיו, אוֹמֵר מוּטָב יִכָּנֵס הַחֵץ בִּי וְלֹא בִּבְנִי, אַף אֲנִי עָשִׂיתִי כֵן: "וַיִּסַּע מַלְאַךְ הָאֱלֹהִים וְגוֹ', וַיָּבֹא בֵּין מַחֲנֵה מִצְרַיִם וְגוֹ'" (שמות י"ד), וְהָיוּ מִצְרַיִם זוֹרְקִים חִצִּים וְאַבְנֵי בָּלִיסְטְרָאוֹת וְהֶעָנָן מְקַבְּלָם:
and I brought you to Me: As the Targum [Onkelos renders: and I brought you near to My service]. [This is to avoid ascribing corporeality to God.]   וָֽאָבִא אֶתְכֶם אֵלָֽי: כְּתַרְגּוּמוֹ:
5And now, if you obey Me and keep My covenant, you shall be to Me a treasure out of all peoples, for Mine is the entire earth.   הוְעַתָּ֗ה אִם־שָׁמ֤וֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ֙ בְּקֹלִ֔י וּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֖ם אֶת־בְּרִיתִ֑י וִֽהְיִ֨יתֶם לִ֤י סְגֻלָּה֙ מִכָּל־הָ֣עַמִּ֔ים כִּי־לִ֖י כָּל־הָאָֽרֶץ:
And now: If now you accept upon yourselves [the yoke of the commandments], it will be pleasant for you in the future, since all beginnings are difficult. — [from Mechilta]   וְעַתָּה: אִם עַתָּה תְקַבְּלוּ עֲלֵיכֶם, יֶעֱרַב לָכֶם מִכָּאן וָאֵילָךְ, שֶׁכָּל הַתְחָלוֹת קָשׁוֹת (מכילתא):
and keep My covenant: which I will make with you concerning the observance of the Torah.   וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת־בְּרִיתִי: שֶׁאֶכְרֹת עִמָּכֶם עַל שְׁמִירַת הַתּוֹרָה:
a treasure: Heb. סְגֻלִֵֶַָָָּה, a beloved treasure, like “and the treasures (וּסְגְלִֵּת) of the kings” (Eccl. 2:8), [i.e., like] costly vessels and precious stones, which kings store away. So will you be [more of] a treasure to Me than the other nations (Mechilta). Now don’t think (lit., and do not say) that you alone are Mine, and [that] I have no others besides you. So what else do I have, that [My] love for you should be made evident? For the whole earth is Mine, but they [the other nations] mean nothing to Me.   סְגֻלָּה: אוֹצָר חָבִיב, כְּמוֹ "וּסְגֻלַּת מְלָכִים" (קהלת ב') – כְּלֵי יְקָר וַאֲבָנִים טוֹבוֹת שֶׁהַמְּלָכִים גּוֹנְזִים אוֹתָם, כָּךְ אַתֶּם תִּהְיוּ לִי סְגֻלָּה מִשְּׁאָר אֻמּוֹת; וְלֹא תֹאמְרוּ אַתֶּם לְבַדְּכֶם שֶׁלִּי וְאֵין לִי אֲחֵרִים עִמָּכֶם וּמַה יֵּשׁ לִי עוֹד שֶׁתְּהֵא חִבַּתְכֶם נִכֶּרֶת:
For the whole earth is Mine: but they [the other nations] mean nothing to Me.   כִּי־לִי כָּל־הָאָֽרֶץ: וְהֵם בְּעֵינַי וּלְפָנַי לִכְלוּם:
6And you shall be to Me a kingdom of princes and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the children of Israel."   ווְאַתֶּ֧ם תִּֽהְיוּ־לִ֛י מַמְלֶ֥כֶת כֹּֽהֲנִ֖ים וְג֣וֹי קָד֑וֹשׁ אֵ֚לֶּה הַדְּבָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר תְּדַבֵּ֖ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
And you shall be to Me a kingdom of princes: Heb., מַמְלֶכֶת כֹּהִנִים, princes, as it is said: “and David’s sons were chief officers (כֹּהִנִים)” (II Sam. 8:18). -[from Mechilta]   וְאַתֶּם תִּֽהְיוּ־לִי מַמְלֶכֶת כֹּֽהֲנִים: שָׂרִים, כְּמָה דְּאַתְּ אָמַר "וּבְנֵי דָּוִד כֹּהֲנִים" (שמואל ב ח'):
These are the words: No less and no more. — [from Mechilta]   אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים: לֹא פָּחוֹת וְלֹא יוֹתֵר (מכילתא):

Second Portion

Exodus Chapter 19

7Moses came and summoned the elders of Israel and placed before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him.   זוַיָּבֹ֣א משֶׁ֔ה וַיִּקְרָ֖א לְזִקְנֵ֣י הָעָ֑ם וַיָּ֣שֶׂם לִפְנֵיהֶ֗ם אֵ֚ת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוָּ֖הוּ יְהוָֹֽה:
8And all the people replied in unison and said, "All that the Lord has spoken we shall do!" and Moses took the words of the people back to the Lord.   חוַיַּֽעֲנ֨וּ כָל־הָעָ֤ם יַחְדָּו֙ וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ כֹּ֛ל אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֥ר יְהוָֹ֖ה נַֽעֲשֶׂ֑ה וַיָּ֧שֶׁב משֶׁ֛ה אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֥י הָעָ֖ם אֶל־יְהוָֹֽה:
and Moses took the words of the people back…: on the next day, which was the third day, for he ascended early in the morning (Shab. 86a). Did Moses [really] have to [bring back to God an] answer? Rather, the text comes to teach you etiquette from Moses-he did not say, “Since He Who sent me knows, I do not have to reply.” -[from Mechilta]   וַיָּשֶׁב משֶׁה אֶת־דִּבְרֵי הָעָם וגו': בְּיוֹם הַמָּחֳרָת, שֶׁהוּא שְׁלִישִׁי, שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּהַשְׁכָּמָה עָלָה; וְכִי צָרִיךְ הָיָה מֹשֶׁה לְהָשִׁיב? אֶלָּא בָּא הַכָּתוּב לְלַמֶּדְךָ דֶּרֶךְ אֶרֶץ מִמֹּשֶׁה, שֶׁלֹּא אָמַר הוֹאִיל וְיוֹדֵעַ מִי שֶׁשְּׁלָחַנִי אֵינִי צָרִיךְ לְהָשִׁיב (שבת פ"ז):
9And the Lord said to Moses, "Behold, I am coming to you in the thickness of the cloud, in order that the people hear when I speak to you, and they will also believe in you forever." And Moses relayed the words of the people to the Lord.   טוַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־משֶׁ֗ה הִנֵּ֨ה אָֽנֹכִ֜י בָּ֣א אֵלֶ֘יךָ֘ בְּעַ֣ב הֶֽעָנָן֒ בַּֽעֲב֞וּר יִשְׁמַ֤ע הָעָם֙ בְּדַבְּרִ֣י עִמָּ֔ךְ וְגַם־בְּךָ֖ יַֽאֲמִ֣ינוּ לְעוֹלָ֑ם וַיַּגֵּ֥ד משֶׁ֛ה אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֥י הָעָ֖ם אֶל־יְהוָֹֽה:
in the thickness of the cloud: Heb. בְּעַב הֶעָנָן, in the thickness of the cloud, and that is the opaque darkness (עִרָפֶל) [mentioned in Exod. 20:18]. — [from Mechilta]   בְּעַב הֶֽעָנָן: בְּמַעֲבֵה הֶעָנָן וְזֶהוּ עֲרָפֶל:
and…in you forever: Also in the prophets who will follow you. — [from Mechilta]   וְגַם־בְּךָ: גַּם בַּנְּבִיאִים הַבָּאִים אַחֲרֶיךָ (מכילתא):
And Moses relayed, etc: on the following day, which was the fourth day of the month. — [from Jonathan]   וַיַּגֵּד משֶׁה אֶת־דִּבְרֵי וגו': בְּיוֹם הַמָּחֳרָת, שֶׁהוּא רְבִיעִי לַחֹדֶשׁ:
the words of the people, etc.: [Namely] a response to this statement I have heard from them [the Israelites], that they want to hear [directly] from You. [They maintain that] there is no comparison between one who hears [a message] from the mouth of the messenger and one who hears [it] from the mouth of the king [himself]. [They say,] “We want to see our King!” -[from Mechilta]   אֶת־דִּבְרֵי הָעָם וגו': תְּשׁוּבָה עַל דָּבָר זֶה; שָׁמַעְתִּי מֵהֶם שֶׁרְצוֹנָם לִשְׁמֹעַ מִמְּךָ, אֵינוֹ דּוֹמֶה הַשּׁוֹמֵעַ מִפִּי שָׁלִיחַ לַשּׁוֹמֵעַ מִפִּי הַמֶּלֶךְ, רְצוֹנֵנוּ לִרְאוֹת אֶת מַלְכֵּנוּ (מכילתא):
10And the Lord said to Moses, "Go to the people and prepare them today and tomorrow, and they shall wash their garments.   יוַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָֹ֤ה אֶל־משֶׁה֙ לֵ֣ךְ אֶל־הָעָ֔ם וְקִדַּשְׁתָּ֥ם הַיּ֖וֹם וּמָחָ֑ר וְכִבְּס֖וּ שִׂמְלֹתָֽם:
And the Lord said to Moses: If [it is] true that they compel [Me] to speak with them, go to the people.   ויאמר ה' אל משה: אם כן, שמזקיקין לדבר עמם, לך אל העם:
and prepare them: Heb. וְקִדַָּשְׁךְתָּם, and you shall prepare them (Mechilta), that they should prepare themselves today and tomorrow.   וְקִדַּשְׁתָּם: וְזִמַּנְתָּם, שֶׁיָּכִינוּ עַצְמָם הַיּוֹם וּמָחָר:
11And they shall be prepared for the third day, for on the third day, the Lord will descend before the eyes of all the people upon Mount Sinai.   יאוְהָי֥וּ נְכֹנִ֖ים לַיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֑י כִּ֣י | בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁלִשִׁ֗י יֵרֵ֧ד יְהוָֹ֛ה לְעֵינֵ֥י כָל־הָעָ֖ם עַל־הַ֥ר סִינָֽי:
And they shall be prepared: Separated from women. — [from Mechilta]   וְהָיוּ נְכֹנִים: מֻבְדָּלִים מֵאִשָּׁה (שבת פ"ז):
for on the third day: which is the sixth of the month, and on the fifth [of the month], Moses built the altar at the foot of the mountain, and the twelve monuments, the entire episode stated in the section of וְאֵלֶה הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים (Exod. 24), but there is no sequence of earlier and later incidents in the Torah. — from Mechilta]   לַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי: שֶׁהוּא שִׁשָּׁה בַחֹדֶשׁ, וּבַחֲמִישִׁי בָּנָה מֹשֶׁה אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ תַּחַת הָהָר וּשְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה מַצֵּבָה – כָּל הָעִנְיָן הָאָמוּר בְּפָרָשַׁת וְאֵלֶּה הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים – וְאֵין מֻקְדָּם וּמְאֻחָר בַּתּוֹרָה:
before the eyes of all the people: [This] teaches [us] that there were no blind [persons] among them, for they were all cured. — [from Mechilta]   לְעֵינֵי כָל־הָעָם: מְלַמֵּד שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה בָהֶם סוּמָא, שֶׁנִּתְרַפְּאוּ כֻלָּם (מכילתא):
12And you shall set boundaries for the people around, saying, Beware of ascending the mountain or touching its edge; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.'   יבוְהִגְבַּלְתָּ֤ אֶת־הָעָם֙ סָבִ֣יב לֵאמֹ֔ר הִשָּֽׁמְר֥וּ לָכֶ֛ם עֲל֥וֹת בָּהָ֖ר וּנְגֹ֣עַ בְּקָצֵ֑הוּ כָּל־הַנֹּגֵ֥עַ בָּהָ֖ר מ֥וֹת יוּמָֽת:
And you shall set boundaries: Set boundaries for them as a sign that they should not come nearer [to the mountain] than the boundary.   וְהִגְבַּלְתָּ: קְבַע לָהֶם תְּחוּמִין לְסִימָן, שֶׁלֹּא יִקְרְבוּ מִן הַגְּבוּל וָהָלְאָה:
saying: The boundary says to them, “Beware of going up from here on,” and you shall warn them about it.   לֵאמֹר: הַגְּבוּל אוֹמֵר לָהֶם הִשָּׁמְרוּ מֵעֲלוֹת מִכָּאן וּלְהָלְאָה, וְאַתָּה הַזְהִירֵם עַל כָּךְ:
or touching its edge: Even the edge of it.   וּנְגֹעַ בְּקָצֵהוּ: אֲפִלּוּ בְקָצֵהוּ:
13No hand shall touch it, for he shall be stoned or cast down; whether man or beast, he shall not live. When the ram's horn sounds a long, drawn out blast, they may ascend the mountain."   יגלֹֽא־תִגַּ֨ע בּ֜וֹ יָ֗ד כִּֽי־סָק֤וֹל יִסָּקֵל֙ אֽוֹ־יָרֹ֣ה יִיָּרֶ֔ה אִם־בְּהֵמָ֥ה אִם־אִ֖ישׁ לֹ֣א יִֽחְיֶ֑ה בִּמְשֹׁךְ֙ הַיֹּבֵ֔ל הֵ֖מָּה יַֽעֲל֥וּ בָהָֽר:
or cast down: From here [it is derived] that those liable to death by stoning are [first] cast down from the stoning place, which was as high as two heights [of a man]. — [from Sanh. 45a] cast down-Heb. יִיָרֶה, shall be   יָרֹה יִיָּרֶה: מִכָּאן לַנִּסְקָלִין שֶׁהֵם נִדְחִין לְמַטָּה מִבֵּית הַסְּקִילָה שֶׁהָיָה גָּבוֹהַּ שְׁתֵּי קוֹמוֹת (סנהדרין מ"ה):
cast down: to the earth, like “He cast (יָרָה) into the sea” (Exod. 15:4).   יִיָּרֶה: יֻשְׁלַךְ לְמַטָּה לָאָרֶץ, כְּמוֹ "יָרָה בַיָּם":
When the ram’s horn sounds a long, drawn-out blast: When the ram’s horn sounds a long, drawn-out blast,this is the sign of the Shechinah’s withdrawal and the cessation of the voice [of God]. As soon as the Shechinah withdraws, they are permitted to ascend [the mountain]. — [from Mechilta]   בִּמְשֹׁךְ הַיֹּבֵל: כְּשֶׁיִּמְשֹׁךְ הַיּוֹבֵל קוֹל אָרֹךְ, הוּא סִימָן סִלּוּק שְׁכִינָה וְהַפְסָקַת הַקּוֹל, וְכֵיוָן שֶׁאֶסְתַּלֵּק, הֵם רַשָּׁאִין לַעֲלוֹת:
the ram’s horn: Heb. הַיוֹבֵל. That is a shofar of a ram, for in Arabia, they call a ram “yuvla.” And this shofar was from Isaac’s ram [the ram that Abraham sacrificed instead of Isaac]. (Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer, ch. 31).   הַיֹּבֵל: הוּא שׁוֹפָר שֶׁל אַיִל, שֶׁכֵּן בַּעֲרַבְיָא קוֹרִין לְדִכְרָא יוּבְלָא, וְשׁוֹפָר שֶׁל אַיִל שֶׁל יִצְחָק הָיָה (פרקי דרבי אליעזר ל"א):

Third Portion

Exodus Chapter 19

14So Moses descended from the mountain to the people, and he prepared the people, and they washed their garments.   ידוַיֵּ֧רֶד משֶׁ֛ה מִן־הָהָ֖ר אֶל־הָעָ֑ם וַיְקַדֵּשׁ֙ אֶת־הָעָ֔ם וַיְכַבְּס֖וּ שִׂמְלֹתָֽם:
from the mountain to the people: [This] teaches [us] that Moses did not turn to his [own] affairs, but [went directly] from the mountain to the people. — [from Mechilta]   מִן־הָהָר אֶל־הָעָם: מְלַמֵּד שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה מֹשֶׁה פוֹנֶה לַעֲסָקָיו, אֶלָּא מִן הָהָר – אֶל הָעָם (מכילתא):
15He said to the people, "Be ready for three days; do not go near a woman."   טווַיֹּ֨אמֶר֙ אֶל־הָעָ֔ם הֱי֥וּ נְכֹנִ֖ים לִשְׁל֣שֶׁת יָמִ֑ים אַל־תִּגְּשׁ֖וּ אֶל־אִשָּֽׁה:
Be ready for three days: For the end of three days. That is the fourth day, for Moses added one day of his own volition. This is the view of Rabbi Jose [who says that the Torah was given on the seventh of Sivan]. According to the one who says that the Ten Commandments were given on the sixth of the month, however, Moses did not add anything, and “for three days” has the same meaning as “for the third day.” [from Shab. 87a]   הֱיוּ נְכֹנִים לִשְׁלשֶׁת יָמִים: לְסוֹף ג' יָמִים, הוּא יוֹם רְבִיעִי, שֶׁהוֹסִיף מֹשֶׁה יוֹם אֶחָד מִדַּעְתּוֹ כְּדִבְרֵי רַבִּי יוֹסֵי, וּלְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמֵר בְּשִׁשָּׁה בַחֹדֶשׁ נִתְּנוּ עֲשֶׂרֶת הַדִּבְּרוֹת, לֹא הוֹסִיף מֹשֶׁה כְלוּם, וְלִשְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים כְּמוֹ לַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי:
do not go near a woman: [to have intimacy with her] for all these three days [of preparation], in order that the women may immerse themselves on the third day and be pure to receive the Torah. If they have intercourse within the three days, the woman could [involuntarily] emit semen after her immersion and become unclean again. After three days have elapsed [since intercourse], however, the semen has already become putrid and is no longer capable of fertilization, so it is pure from contaminating the [woman] who emits it. — [from Shab. 86a]   אַל־תִּגְּשׁוּ אֶל־אִשָּֽׁה: כָּל ג' יָמִים הַלָּלוּ, כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הַנָּשִׁים טוֹבְלוֹת לַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי וְתִהְיֶינָה טְהוֹרוֹת לְקַבֵּל תּוֹרָה, שֶׁאִם יְשַׁמְּשׁוּ תּוֹךְ ג' יָמִים שֶׁמָּא תִפְלֹט הָאִשָּׁה שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע לְאַחַר טְבִילָתָהּ וְתַחֲזֹר וְתִטַּמֵּא, אֲבָל מִשֶּׁשָּׁהֲתָה ג' יָמִים, כְּבָר הַזֶּרַע מַסְרִיחַ וְאֵינוֹ רָאוּי לְהַזְרִיעַ, וְטָהוֹר מִלְּטַמֵּא אֶת הַפּוֹלֶטֶת (שבת פ"ו):
16It came to pass on the third day when it was morning, that there were thunder claps and lightning flashes, and a thick cloud was upon the mountain, and a very powerful blast of a shofar, and the entire nation that was in the camp shuddered.   טזוַיְהִי֩ בַיּ֨וֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֜י בִּֽהְיֹ֣ת הַבֹּ֗קֶר וַיְהִי֩ קֹלֹ֨ת וּבְרָקִ֜ים וְעָנָ֤ן כָּבֵד֙ עַל־הָהָ֔ר וְקֹ֥ל שֹׁפָ֖ר חָזָ֣ק מְאֹ֑ד וַיֶּֽחֱרַ֥ד כָּל־הָעָ֖ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר בַּמַּֽחֲנֶֽה:
when it was morning: [This] teaches [us] that He preceded them [on Mount Sinai], which is unconventional for a flesh and blood person to do, [i.e.,] having the teacher wait for the pupil. And so we find in Ezekiel (3:22, 23), “‘Arise, go out to the plain, etc.’ So I arose and went out to the plain, and behold, there the glory of the Lord was standing.” -[from unknown Midrashic source]   בִּֽהְיֹת הַבֹּקֶר: מְלַמֵּד שֶׁהִקְדִּים עַל יָדָם, מַה שֶּׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ בָּשָׂר וָדָם לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן – שֶיְּהֵא הָרַב מַמְתִּין לַתַּלְמִיד; וְכֵן מָצִינוּ "קוּם צֵא אֶל הַבִּקְעָה, וָאָקוּם וָאֵצֵא אֶל הַבִּקְעָה וְהִנֵּה שָׁם כְּבוֹד ה' עֹמֵד" (יחזקאל ג'):
17Moses brought the people out toward God from the camp, and they stood at the bottom of the mountain.   יזוַיּוֹצֵ֨א משֶׁ֧ה אֶת־הָעָ֛ם לִקְרַ֥את הָֽאֱלֹהִ֖ים מִן־הַמַּֽחֲנֶ֑ה וַיִּתְיַצְּב֖וּ בְּתַחְתִּ֥ית הָהָֽר:
toward God: [This expression] tells [us] that the Shechinah came out toward them like a bridegroom going out toward a bride. This is [the meaning of] what is stated: “The Lord came from Sinai” (Deut. 33:2), and it does not say, “came to Sinai.” -[from Mechilta]   לִקְרַאת הָֽאֱלֹהִים: מַגִּיד שֶׁהַשְּׁכִינָה יָצְאָה לִקְרָאתָם כְּחָתָן הַיּוֹצֵא לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה, וְזֶהוּ שֶׁאָמַר ה' מִסִּינַי בָּא (דברים ל"ג), וְלֹא נֶאֱמַר לְסִינַי בָּא (מכילתא):
at the bottom of the mountain: According to its simple meaning, at the foot of the mountain. Its midrashic interpretation is, however, that the mountain was uprooted from its place and turned over them like a vat. — [from Shab. 88a]   בְּתַחְתִּית הָהָֽר: לְפִי פְשׁוּטוֹ בְּרַגְלֵי הָהָר; וּמִדְרָשׁוֹ שֶׁנִּתְלַשׁ הָהָר מִמְּקוֹמוֹ וְנִכְפָּה עֲלֵיהֶם כְּגִיגִית (שבת פ"ח):
18And the entire Mount Sinai smoked because the Lord had descended upon it in fire, and its smoke ascended like the smoke of the kiln, and the entire mountain quaked violently.   יחוְהַ֤ר סִינַי֙ עָשַׁ֣ן כֻּלּ֔וֹ מִ֠פְּנֵ֠י אֲשֶׁ֨ר יָרַ֥ד עָלָ֛יו יְהוָֹ֖ה בָּאֵ֑שׁ וַיַּ֤עַל עֲשָׁנוֹ֙ כְּעֶ֣שֶׁן הַכִּבְשָׁ֔ן וַיֶּֽחֱרַ֥ד כָּל־הָהָ֖ר מְאֹֽד:
the entire Mount Sinai smoked: Heb. עָשַׁן. This word עָשַׁן is not a noun, because the “shin” is vowelized with a “pattach.” But [it is] the past tense of a [singular] verb in the form פָּעַל, like אָמַר, said, שָׁמַר, watched, שָׁמַע, heard. Therefore, its targum is ךְתָּנַן כּוֹלֵית, and [Onkelos] did not translate ךְתְּנָנָא [which would mean: was all smoke]. All [instances of] עָשָׁן in Scriptures are vowelized with a “kamatz” because they are nouns.   עָשַׁן כֻּלּוֹ: אֵין עָשַׁן זֶה שֵׁם דָּבָר, שֶׁהֲרֵי נָקוּד הַשִּׁי"ן פַּתָּח, אֶלָּא לְשׁוֹן פָּעַל כְּמוֹ אָמַר, שָׁמַר, שָׁמַע, לְכָךְ תַּרְגּוּמוֹ תְּנַן כֻּלֵּהּ, וְלֹא תִרְגֵּם תְּנָנָא, וְכָל עָשָׁן שֶׁבַּמִּקְרָא נְקוּדִים קָמָץ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵם שֵׁם דָּבָר:
the kiln: [used for the baking] of lime. I could think that it means [Mount Sinai smoked] like the kiln and no more. Therefore, [to clarify this,] Scripture states: “[the mountain was] blazing with fire up to the heart of the heaven” (Deut. 4:11) [meaning that the fire was far greater than in a lime kiln]. Why then does the Torah say "kiln"? In order to explain to the [human] ear what it is able to hear, [i.e., to give the reader a picture that can be imagined]. He gives the creatures [humans] a sign familiar to them. Similar to this [is the description in reference to God:] “He shall roar like a lion” (Hos. 11:10). Who but Him gave strength to the lion? Yet the Scriptures compare Him to a lion? But we describe Him and compare Him to His creatures in order to explain to [humans] what the ear is able to hear. Similar to this [is], “And its sound [the voice of God] was like the sound of abundant waters” (Ezek. 43:2). Now who gave the water a sound but He? Yet you describe Him and compare Him to His creatures in order to explain to [humans] what the ear is able to hear. — [from Mechilta]   הַכִּבְשָׁן: שֶׁל סִיד; יָכוֹל כְּכִבְשָׁן זֶה וְלֹא יוֹתֵר, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר בּוֹעֵר בָּאֵשׁ עַד לֵב הַשָּׁמַיִם (דברים ד'), וּמַה תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר כִּבְשָׁן? לְשַׂבֵּר אֶת הָאֹזֶן מַה שֶּׁהִיא יְכוֹלָה לִשְׁמֹעַ – נוֹתֵן לַבְּרִיּוֹת סִימָן הַנִּכָּר לָהֶם; כַּיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ כְּאַרְיֵה יִשְׁאָג (הושע י"א), וְכִי מִי נָתַן כֹּחַ בָּאֲרִי אֶלָּא הוּא? וְהַכָּתוּב מוֹשְׁלוֹ כְּאַרְיֵה, אֶלָּא אָנוּ מְכַנִּין וּמְדַמִּין אוֹתוֹ לִבְרִיּוֹתָיו כְּדֵי לְשַׂבֵּר אֶת הָאֹזֶן מַה שֶּׁיְּכוֹלָה לִשְׁמֹעַ; כַּיּוֹצֵא בוֹ וְקוֹלוֹ כְּקוֹל מַיִם רַבִּים (יחזקאל מ"ג), וְכִי מִי נָתַן קוֹל לַמַּיִם אֶלָּא הוּא? וְאַתָּה מְכַנֶּה אוֹתוֹ, לְדַמּוֹתוֹ לִבְרִיּוֹתָיו – כְּדֵי לְשַׂבֵּר אֶת הָאֹזֶן (מכילתא):
19The sound of the shofar grew increasingly stronger; Moses would speak and God would answer him with a voice.   יטוַֽיְהִי֙ ק֣וֹל הַשֹּׁפָ֔ר הוֹלֵ֖ךְ וְחָזֵ֣ק מְאֹ֑ד משֶׁ֣ה יְדַבֵּ֔ר וְהָֽאֱלֹהִ֖ים יַֽעֲנֶ֥נּוּ בְקֽוֹל:
grew increasingly stronger: It is customary for mortals that the longer one blows long notes [on a horn], the weaker and fainter its sound becomes. Here, however, it constantly grew stronger. Now why at the beginning was this so [i.e., a weak sound]? In order to let their ears hear what they were able to hear [and not shock them suddenly]. — [from Mechilta]   הוֹלֵךְ וְחָזֵק מְאֹד: מִנְהַג הֶדְיוֹט כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהוּא מַאֲרִיךְ לִתְקֹעַ קוֹלוֹ מַחֲלִישׁ וְכוֹהֶה, אֲבָל כָּאן הוֹלֵךְ וְחָזֵק מְאֹד, וְלָמָּה כָּךְ מִתְּחִלָּה? לְשַׂבֵּר אָזְנֵיהֶם מַה שֶּׁיְּכוֹלִין לִשְׁמֹעַ:
Moses would speak: When Moses would speak and make the Decalogue heard to Israel-for they heard from the mouth of God only “I am…” and “You shall not have” (Mak. 24a)-the Holy One, blessed be He, would assist him [Moses] by giving him strength so that his voice would be strong and audible. — [from Mechilta]   משֶׁה יְדַבֵּר: כְּשֶׁהָיָה מֹשֶׁה מְדַבֵּר וּמַשְׁמִיעַ הַדִּבְּרוֹת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל – שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא שָׁמְעוּ מִפִּי הַגְּבוּרָה אֶלָּא אָנֹכִי וְלֹא יִהְיֶה לְךָ – וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מְסַיְּעוֹ לָתֵת בּוֹ כֹחַ לִהְיוֹת קוֹלוֹ מַגְבִּיר וְנִשְׁמָע (שם):
would answer him with a voice: [This means] He would answer him concerning the voice, [and not with a voice. The ב in בְקוֹל is used], similar to [the ב in בָאֵשׁ in the phrase:] “that will answer with fire” (I Kings 18:24). [בָאֵשׁ means] concerning the fire, [i.e., signifying] to bring it [the fire] down [from Heaven]. — [from Mechilta]   יַֽעֲנֶנּוּ בְקֽוֹל: יַעֲנֶנּוּ עַל דְּבַר הַקּוֹל, כְּמוֹ אֲשֶׁר יַעֲנֶה בָאֵשׁ (מלכים א י"ח) – עַל דְּבַר הָאֵשׁ, לְהוֹרִידוֹ:

Fourth Portion

Exodus Chapter 19

20The Lord descended upon Mount Sinai, to the peak of the mountain, and the Lord summoned Moses to the peak of the mountain, and Moses ascended.   כוַיֵּ֧רֶד יְהוָֹ֛ה עַל־הַ֥ר סִינַ֖י אֶל־רֹ֣אשׁ הָהָ֑ר וַיִּקְרָ֨א יְהוָֹ֧ה לְמשֶׁ֛ה אֶל־רֹ֥אשׁ הָהָ֖ר וַיַּ֥עַל משֶֽׁה:
The Lord descended upon Mount Sinai: I may think that He actually descended upon it. Therefore, Scripture says: “You have seen that from the heavens I have spoken with you” (Exod. 20:19). This teaches that [He did descend although still in the heavens,] He bent down the upper heavens and the lower heavens and spread them upon the mountain like a spread on a bed, and the Throne of Glory descended upon them [the upper heavens and the lower heavens]. — [from Mechilta]   וַיֵּרֶד ה' עַל־הַר סִינַי: יָכוֹל יָרַד עָלָיו מַמָּשׁ, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר כִּי מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם דִּבַּרְתִּי עִמָּכֶם (שמות כ'), מְלַמֵּד שֶׁהִרְכִּין שָׁמַיִם הָעֶלְיוֹנִים וְהַתַּחְתּוֹנִים וְהִצִּיעָן עַל גַּבֵּי הָהָר כְּמַצָּע עַל הַמִּטָּה וְיָרַד כִּסֵּא הַכָּבוֹד עֲלֵיהֶם (מכילתא):
21The Lord said to Moses, "Go down, warn the people lest they break [their formation to go nearer] to the Lord, to see, and many of them will fall.   כאוַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָֹה֙ אֶל־משֶׁ֔ה רֵ֖ד הָעֵ֣ד בָּעָ֑ם פֶּן־יֶֽהֶרְס֤וּ אֶל־יְהוָֹה֙ לִרְא֔וֹת וְנָפַ֥ל מִמֶּ֖נּוּ רָֽב:
warn the people: Heb. הָעֵד. Warn them not to go up the mountain.   הָעֵד בָּעָם: הַתְרֵה בָהֶם שֶׁלֹּא לַעֲלוֹת בָּהָר:
lest they break: their position [i.e., their ranks] because of their longing for God, to see [Him], and they move too close to the side of the mountain.   פֶּן־יֶֽהֶרְסוּ וגו': שֶׁלֹּא יֶהֶרְסוּ אֶת מַצָּבָם, עַל יְדֵי שֶׁתַּאֲוָתָם אֶל ה', לִרְאוֹת, וְיִקְרְבוּ לְצַד הָהָר:
and many of them will fall: Heb. וְנָפַל. Whatever [number] falls from them, let it be even a single person, to Me it is considered [as if] many [have fallen]. — [from Mechilta]   וְנָפַל מִמֶּנּוּ רָֽב: כָּל מַה שֶּׁיִּפֹּל מֵהֶם, וַאֲפִלּוּ הוּא יְחִידִי, חָשׁוּב לְפָנַי רָב (שם):
lest they break: Heb. יֶהֶרְסוּ. Every [expression of] הִרִיסָה [denotes] the separation of the collection of [the parts of] the building. Likewise, those who separate from the position of people break up that position.   פֶּן־יֶֽהֶרְסוּ: כָּל הֲרִיסָה מַפְרֶדֶת אֲסִיפַת הַבִּנְיָן, אַף הַנִּפְרָדִין מִמַּצַּב אֲנָשִׁים הוֹרְסִים אֶת הַמַּצָּב:
22And also, the priests who go near to the Lord shall prepare themselves, lest the Lord wreak destruction upon them."   כבוְגַ֧ם הַכֹּֽהֲנִ֛ים הַנִּגָּשִׁ֥ים אֶל־יְהוָֹ֖ה יִתְקַדָּ֑שׁוּ פֶּן־יִפְרֹ֥ץ בָּהֶ֖ם יְהוָֹֽה:
And also, the priests: [I.e.,] also the firstborn, who perform the [divine] service. — [from Zev. 115b]   וְגַם הַכֹּֽהֲנִים: אַף הַבְּכוֹרוֹת שֶׁהָעֲבוֹדָה בָהֶם (זבחים קט"ו):
who go near to the Lord: to offer up sacrifices (targumim), they too shall not rely on their importance to ascend the mountain.   הַנִּגָּשִׁים אֶל־ה': לְהַקְרִיב קָרְבָּנוֹת, אַף הֵם לֹא יִסְמְכוּ עַל חֲשִׁיבוּתָם לַעֲלוֹת:
shall prepare themselves: They shall be ready to stand on their position.   יִתְקַדָּשׁוּ: יִהְיוּ מְזֻמָּנִים לְהִתְיַצֵּב עַל עָמְדָּן:
lest the Lord wreak destruction: Heb. יִפְרֹץ, an expression of a breach. [This means] He will kill some of them and [thus] make a breach in them [their completeness].   פֶּן־יִפְרֹץ: לְשׁוֹן פִּרְצָה; יַהֲרֹג בָּהֶם וְיַעֲשֶׂה בָהֶם פִּרְצָה:
23And Moses said to the Lord, "The people cannot ascend to Mount Sinai, for You warned us saying, Set boundaries for the mountain and sanctify it.' "   כגוַיֹּ֤אמֶר משֶׁה֙ אֶל־יְהֹוָ֔ה לֹֽא־יוּכַ֣ל הָעָ֔ם לַֽעֲלֹ֖ת אֶל־הַ֣ר סִינָ֑י כִּֽי־אַתָּ֞ה הַֽעֵדֹ֤תָה בָּ֨נוּ֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר הַגְבֵּ֥ל אֶת־הָהָ֖ר וְקִדַּשְׁתּֽוֹ:
The people cannot: I do not have to warn them because today they have already been warned for three days, and they cannot ascend [the mountain] since they have no permission.   לֹֽא־יוּכַל הָעָם: אֵינִי צָרִיךְ לְהָעִיד בָּהֶם, שֶׁהֲרֵי מֻתְרִים וְעוֹמְדִין הֵם הַיּוֹם שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים, וְלֹא יוּכְלוּ לַעֲלוֹת שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם רְשׁוּת:
24But the Lord said to him, "Go, descend, and [then] you shall ascend, and Aaron with you, but the priests and the populace shall not break [their formation] to ascend to the Lord, lest He wreak destruction upon them."   כדוַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֵלָ֤יו יְהוָֹה֙ לֶךְ־רֵ֔ד וְעָלִ֥יתָ אַתָּ֖ה וְאַֽהֲרֹ֣ן עִמָּ֑ךְ וְהַכֹּֽהֲנִ֣ים וְהָעָ֗ם אַל־יֶֽהֶרְס֛וּ לַֽעֲלֹ֥ת אֶל־יְהוָֹ֖ה פֶּן־יִפְרָץ־בָּֽם:
Go, descend: And warn them a second time. We admonish a person before the act [he is to perform], and we admonish him again at the time of the act [when it is to be performed]. [from Mechilta]   לֶךְ־רֵד: וְהָעֵד בָּהֶם שֵׁנִית, שֶׁמְּזָרְזִין אֶת הָאָדָם קֹדֶם מַעֲשֶׂה וְחוֹזְרִין וּמְזָרְזִין אוֹתוֹ בִּשְׁעַת מַעֲשֶׂה (מכילתא):
and [then] you shall ascend, and Aaron with you, but the priests: I might think that they too shall be with you, [that the verse should be rendered: and you shall ascend, and Aaron with you, and the priests, but the people…]. Therefore, the Torah states: “and you shall ascend” [the pronoun is meant for emphasis, in order to exclude the priests]. Consequently, you must say that you [shall have] a partition for yourself, Aaron [shall have] a partition for himself, and the priests [shall have] a partition for themselves. Moses went closer than Aaron, and Aaron closer than the priests, but the people shall altogether not break their position to ascend to the Lord. — [from Mechilta]   וְעָלִיתָ אַתָּה וְאַֽהֲרֹן עִמָּךְ וְהַכֹּֽהֲנִים: יָכוֹל אַף הֵם עִמְּךָ, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר וְעָלִיתָ אַתָּה, אֱמֹר מֵעַתָּה, אַתָּה מְחִצָּה לְעַצְמְךָ, וְאַהֲרֹן מְחִצָּה לְעַצְמוֹ, וְהַכֹּהֲנִים מְחִצָּה לְעַצְמָם – מֹשֶׁה נִגַּשׁ יוֹתֵר מֵאַהֲרֹן, וְאַהֲרֹן יוֹתֵר מִן הַכֹּהֲנִים, וְהָעָם כָּל עִקָּר אַל יֶהֶרְסוּ אֶת מַצָּבָם לַעֲלוֹת אֶל ה' (שם):
lest He wreak destruction upon them: -Heb. יִפְרָץ Although יִפְרָץ is vowelized with a short “kamatz,” it has not changed from its grammatical construction. So is the way of every word vowelized with a “melupum” ("cholam"); when it comes next to a “makkaf,” its vowelization changes to a short “kamatz.” [Hence, the word יִפְרֹץ -which in this case appears with a “makkaf,” a hyphen, is changed to יִפְרָץ]   פֶּן־יִפְרָץ־בָּֽם: אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא נָקוּד חֲטַף קָמָץ אֵינוֹ זָז מִגְּזֵרָתוֹ, כָּךְ דֶּרֶךְ כָּל תֵּבָה שֶׁנְּקֻדָּתָהּ מְלָאפוּם, כְּשֶׁהִיא סְמוּכָה בָאָה בְּמַקָּף, מִשְׁתַּנֶּה הַנִּקּוּד לַחֲטַף קָמָץ:
25So Moses went down to the people and said [this] to them.   כהוַיֵּ֥רֶד משֶׁ֖ה אֶל־הָעָ֑ם וַיֹּ֖אמֶר אֲלֵהֶֽם:
and said [this] to them: this warning. [Apparently, Rashi understands “and said to them” to mean that Moses said something to them. Since the object is obscure, Rashi inserts “this warning,” to clarify that the verse means that Moses relayed to the Israelites God’s warning to keep their distance from the mountain.]   וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶֽם: הַתְרָאָה זוֹ:

Exodus Chapter 20

1God spoke all these words, to respond:   אוַיְדַבֵּ֣ר אֱלֹהִ֔ים אֵ֛ת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה לֵאמֹֽר:
God spoke: Heb. אֱלֹהִים. [The word] אֱֱלֹהִים always means “a judge.” [This Divine Name is used here] because there are some sections in the Torah [that contain commandments] that if a person performs them, he receives a reward, but if not, he does not receive any punishment for them. I might think that so it is with the Ten Commandments. Therefore, Scripture says: “God (אֱלֹהִים) spoke,” [signifying God’s role as] a Judge, [Whose function is] to mete out punishment [when the Ten Commandments are not obeyed]. [from Mechilta]   וַיְדַבֵּר אֱלֹהִים: אֵין אֱלֹהִים אֶלָּא דַּיָּן; לְפִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁאִם עֲשָׂאָן אָדָם מְקַבֵּל שָׂכָר, וְאִם לָאו אֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל עֲלֵיהֶם פֻּרְעָנוּת, יָכוֹל אַף עֲשֶׂרֶת הַדִּבְּרוֹת כֵּן, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר וַיְדַבֵּר אֱלֹהִים – דַּיָּן לִפָּרַע (מכילתא):
all these words: [This] teaches [us] that the Holy One, blessed be He, said the Ten Commandments in one utterance, something that is impossible for a human being to say [in a similar way]. If so, why does the Torah say again, “I am [the Lord, your God (verse 2)]” and “You shall have no…” (verse 3)? Because He later explained each statement [of the Ten Commandments] individually. — [from Mechilta]   אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה: מְלַמֵּד שֶׁאָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עֲשֶׂרֶת הַדִּבְּרוֹת בְּדִבּוּר אֶחָד, מַה שֶּׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לְאָדָם לוֹמַר כֵּן, אִם כֵּן מַה תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר עוֹד אָנֹכִי וְלֹא יִהְיֶה לְךָ? שֶׁחָזַר וּפֵרֵשׁ עַל כָּל דִּבּוּר וְדִבּוּר בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ (שם):
to respond: Heb. לֵאמֹר, lit., to say. [This] teaches [us] that they responded to the positive [commandments], “Yes,” and to the negative [commandments], “No.” -[from Mechilta]   לֵאמֹֽר: מְלַמֵּד שֶׁהָיוּ עוֹנִין עַל הֵן הֵן וְעַל לָאו לָאו (שם):
2"I am the Lord, your God, Who took you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.   באָֽנֹכִ֨י יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הֽוֹצֵאתִ֩יךָ֩ מֵאֶ֨רֶץ מִצְרַ֜יִם מִבֵּ֣ית עֲבָדִ֗ים:
Who took you out of the land of Egypt: The taking [you] out [of Egypt] is sufficient reason for you to be subservient to Me. Alternatively, [God mentions the Exodus] since He revealed Himself on the sea as a valiant warrior, and here He revealed Himself as an old man full of mercy, as it is said: “and beneath His feet was like the form of a brick of sapphire” (Exod. 24:10). That [brick] was before Him at the time of the enslavement [to remember the Israelites’ suffering when they made bricks as slaves], “and like the appearance of the heavens” (Exod. 24:10), [i.e., there was joy before Him] when they were redeemed. Since I change in [My] appearances, do not say that they are two [Divine] domains, [but] I am He Who took you out of Egypt and [I am He Who performed the miracles] by the sea (Mechilta). Alternatively, [God mentions the Exodus] since they [the Israelites] heard many voices [during the revelation], as it is said: “And all the people saw the voices” (verse 15), [meaning that] voices came from four directions and from the heavens and from the earth, [so] do not say that there are many domains (Exod. Rabbah 5:9). And why did He say [this] in the singular [possessive], אֱלֹהֶי? In order to give Moses an opening to offer a defense in the incident of the calf. This is [the meaning of] “Why, O Lord, should Your anger be kindled against Your people?” (Exod. 32:11). You did not command them, “You shall not have the gods of others before Me,” but [You commanded] me alone (Exod. Rabbah 43:5).   אֲשֶׁר הֽוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם: כְּדַאי הִיא הַהוֹצָאָה שֶׁתִּהְיוּ מְשֻׁעְבָּדִים לִי; דָּבָר אַחֵר, לְפִי שֶׁנִּגְלָה בַיָּם כְּגִבּוֹר מִלְחָמָה וְנִגְלָה כָּאן כְּזָקֵן מָלֵא רַחֲמִים, – שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְתַחַת רַגְלָיו כְּמַעֲשֵׂה לִבְנַת הַסַּפִּיר (שמות כ"ד), זוֹ הָיְתָה לְפָנָיו בִּשְׁעַת הַשִּׁעְבּוּד, וּכְעֶצֶם הַשָּׁמַיִם, מִשֶּׁנִּגְאֲלוּ – הוֹאִיל וַאֲנִי מִשְׁתַּנֶּה בְמַרְאוֹת, אַל תֹּאמְרוּ שְׁתֵּי רָשׁוּיוֹת הֵן, אָנֹכִי הוּא אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מִמִּצְרַיִם וְעַל הַיָּם. דָּבָר אַחֵר לְפִי שֶׁהָיוּ שוֹמְעִין קוֹלוֹת הַרְבֵּה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר אֶת הַקּוֹלֹת – קוֹלוֹת בָּאִין מֵאַרְבַּע רוּחוֹת וּמִן הַשָּׁמַיִם וּמִן הָאָרֶץ – אַל תֹּאמְרוּ רָשׁוּיוֹת הַרְבֵּה הֵן; וְלָמָה אָמַר לְשׁוֹן יָחִיד אֱלֹהֶיךָ? לִתֵּן פִּתְחוֹן פֶּה לְמֹשֶׁה לְלַמֵּד סָנֵגוֹרְיָא בְּמַעֲשֵׂה הָעֵגֶל, וְזֶה שֶׁאָמַר לָמָה ה' יֶחֱרֶה אַפְּךָ בְּעַמֶּךָ – לֹא לָהֶם צִוִּיתָ לֹא יִהְיֶה לָכֶם אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים אֶלָּא לִי לְבַדִּי (שמות רבה):
out of the house of bondage: Literally, out of the house of slaves. [I.e.,] from Pharaoh’s house, where you were slaves to him. Or perhaps [Scripture] means only: from the house of slaves, that they were slaves to [other] slaves? Therefore, Scripture says: “and He redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt” (Deut. 7:8). Consequently, you must say that they were slaves to Pharaoh, but not slaves to [other] slaves. — [from Exod. Rabbah 43:5]   מִבֵּית העבדים: מִבֵּית פַּרְעֹה שֶׁהֱיִיתֶם עֲבָדִים לוֹ, אוֹ אֵינוֹ אוֹמֵר אֶלָּא מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים שֶׁהָיוּ עֲבָדִים לַעֲבָדִים? תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר וַיִּפְדְּךָ מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים מִיַּד פַּרְעֹה מֶלֶךְ מִצְרָיִם (דברים ז'), אֱמֹר מֵעַתָּה עֲבָדִים לַמֶּלֶךְ הָיוּ וְלֹא עֲבָדִים לַעֲבָדִים (מכילתא):
3You shall not have the gods of others in My presence.   גלֹ֣א יִֽהְיֶ֣ה־לְךָ֩ אֱלֹהִ֨ים אֲחֵרִ֜ים עַל־פָּנַ֗י:
You shall not have: Why was this said? Since it says, “You shall not make for yourself, etc.” I know only that one may not make [graven idols, etc.] How do I know that one may not keep what was already made? Therefore, Scripture states: “You shall not have.” -[Mechilta]   לֹא יִֽהְיֶה־לְךָ: לָמָּה נֶאֱמַר? לְפִי שֶׁנֶּ' לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה לְךָ, אֵין לִי אֶלָּא שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲשֶׂה, הֶעָשׂוּי כְּבָר מִנַּיִן שֶׁלֹּא יְקַיֵּם? תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר לֹא יִהְיֶה לְךָ (שם):
the gods of others: Heb. אֱלֹהִים אִחֵרִים, which are not gods, but that others have made them for gods over themselves. It is impossible to interpret this passage to mean: gods other than I, since it is a disgrace for Heaven to call them gods along with Him. Alternatively: strange gods, for they are strange to their worshippers. They cry out to them, but they do not answer them, and it appears as if it [the god] were a stranger, who never knew him [the worshipper]. — [from Mechilta]   אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים: שֶׁאֵינָן אֱלוֹהוּת אֶלָּא אֲחֵרִים עֲשָׂאוּם אֱלֹהִים עֲלֵיהֶם, וְלֹא יִתָּכֵן לְפָרֵשׁ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים זוּלָתִי, שֶׁגְּנַאי כְּלַפֵּי מַעְלָה לִקְרֹאותָם אֱלוֹהוּת אֶצְלוֹ. דָּבָר אַחֵר אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים, שֶׁהֵם אֲחֵרִים לְעוֹבְדֵיהֶם – צוֹעֲקִים אֲלֵיהֶם וְאֵינָן עוֹנִין אוֹתָם, וְדוֹמֶה כְּאִלּוּ הוּא אַחֵר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַכִּירוֹ מֵעוֹלָם:
in My presence: Heb. עַל-פָּנָּי [This means] as long as I exist [signifying forever. God states this so] that you should not say that only that generation was commanded [prohibited] concerning idolatry. — [from Mechilta]   עַל־פָּנַי: כָּל זְמַן שֶׁאֲנִי קַיָּם, שֶׁלֹּא תֹאמַר לֹא נִצְטַוּוּ עַל עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה אֶלָּא אוֹתוֹ הַדּוֹר (מכילתא):
4You shall not make for yourself a graven image or any likeness which is in the heavens above, which is on the earth below, or which is in the water beneath the earth.   דלֹ֣א תַֽעֲשֶׂה־לְּךָ֣ פֶ֣סֶל | וְכָל־תְּמוּנָ֡ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר בַּשָּׁמַ֣יִם | מִמַּ֡עַל וַֽאֲשֶׁר֩ בָּאָ֨רֶץ מִתַּ֜חַת וַֽאֲשֶׁ֣ר בַּמַּ֣יִם | מִתַּ֣חַת לָאָ֗רֶץ:
a graven image: Heb. פֶּסֶל [It is called by this name] because it is sculpted (נִפְסָל).   פֶסֶל: עַל שֵׁם שֶׁנִּפְסָל:
or any likeness: The likeness of anything that is in the heavens.   וְכָל־תְּמוּנָה: תְּמוּנַת דָּבָר אשר בשמים:
5You shall neither prostrate yourself before them nor worship them, for I, the Lord, your God, am a zealous God, Who visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons, upon the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me,   הלֹֽא־תִשְׁתַּֽחֲוֶ֣ה לָהֶם֘ וְלֹ֣א תָֽעָבְדֵם֒ כִּ֣י אָֽנֹכִ֞י יְהֹוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֶ֨יךָ֙ אֵ֣ל קַנָּ֔א פֹּ֠קֵ֠ד עֲוֹ֨ן אָבֹ֧ת עַל־בָּנִ֛ים עַל־שִׁלֵּשִׁ֥ים וְעַל־רִבֵּעִ֖ים לְשֽׂנְאָ֑י:
a zealous God: Heb. קַנָּא, zealous to mete out punishment. He does not forgo retaliating by forgiving the sin of idolatry. Every [expression of] קַנָּא means enprenemant in Old French, zealous anger. He directs His attention to mete out punishment.   אֵל קַנָּא: מְקַנֵּא לִפָּרַע וְאֵינוֹ עוֹבֵר עַל מִדָּתוֹ לִמְחֹל עַל עֲבוֹדַת אֱלִילִים; כָּל לְשׁוֹן קַנָּא אנפרי"מנט בְּלַעַז – נוֹתֵן לֵב לִפָּרַע:
of those who hate Me: As the Targum [Onkelos paraphrases: when the sons continue to sin following their fathers, i.e.], when they cling to their fathers’ deeds. — [from Sanh. 27b]   לְשֽׂנְאָי: כְּתַרְגּוּמוֹ, כְּשֶׁאוֹחֲזִין מַעֲשֵׂה אֲבוֹתֵיהֶם בִּידֵיהֶם; וְנוֹצֵר חֶסֶד שֶׁאָדָם עוֹשֶׂה, לְשַׁלֵּם שָׂכָר עַד לְאַלְפַּיִם דוֹר; נִמְצֵאת מִדָּה טוֹבָה יְתֵרָה עַל מִדַּת פֻּרְעָנוּת אַחַת עַל חֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת, שֶׁזּוֹ לְאַרְבָּעָה דּוֹרוֹת וְזוֹ לַאֲלָפִים (תוספתא סוטה ד'):
6and [I] perform loving kindness to thousands [of generations], to those who love Me and to those who keep My commandments.   ווְעֹ֤שֶׂה חֶ֨סֶד֙ לַֽאֲלָפִ֔ים לְאֹֽהֲבַ֖י וּלְשֹֽׁמְרֵ֥י מִצְוֹתָֽי:
perform loving-kindness: that a person does, to pay the reward until the two-thousandth generation. It is thus found that the measure of reward [from God] exceeds the measure of [His] retribution by [the ratio of] one to five hundred, for this one is for four generations, and that one is for two thousand [generations]. -[from Tosefta Sotah 4:1]   ועושה חסד: נוצר חסד שאדם עושה, לשלם שכר עד לאלפים דור, נמצאת מדה טובה יתירה על מדת פורענות אחת על חמש מאות, שזו לארבעה דורות וזו לאלפים:
7You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain, for the Lord will not hold blameless anyone who takes His name in vain.   זלֹ֥א תִשָּׂ֛א אֶת־שֵֽׁם־יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ לַשָּׁ֑וְא כִּ֣י לֹ֤א יְנַקֶּה֙ יְהֹוָ֔ה אֵ֛ת אֲשֶׁר־יִשָּׂ֥א אֶת־שְׁמ֖וֹ לַשָּֽׁוְא:
You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain: You shall not swear in vain by the name of the Lord, your God. — [Onkelos] לַֹשָוְא -[This word appears twice in this verse.] (The second [mention of לַֹשָוְא is an expression of falsehood, as the Targum [Onkelos] renders: לְֹשִיקְרָא, as it says [in Shavuos 21a]: "What constitutes a vain oath? If one swears contrary to what is known, [for example, saying] about a stone pillar that it is [made of] gold. (The first [mention of לַֹשָוְא is an expression of vanity, as the Targum [Onkelos] renders: [לְמַגָּנָא].) This [refers to] one who swears for no reason and in vain, [for example making an oath] concerning [a pillar] of wood, [saying] that it is wood, and concerning [a pillar] of stone, [saying] that it is stone. — [from Shevuoth 29a, Mechilta]   לַשָּׁוְא: חִנָּם, לַהֶבֶל, וְאֵיזֶהוּ שְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא? נִשְׁבַּע לְשַׁנּוֹת אֶת הַיָּדוּעַ – עַל עַמּוּד שֶׁל אֶבֶן שֶׁהוּא שֶׁל זָהָב (שבועות כ"ט):
8Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it.   חזָכוֹר֩ אֶת־י֨וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֜ת לְקַדְּשׁ֗וֹ:
Remember: Heb. זָכוֹר [The words] “remember (זָכוֹר)” and “keep (שָׁמוֹר)” (Deut. 5:12) were pronounced with one utterance. Similarly [the statements], “Those who profane it shall be put to death” (Exod. 31:14) and “And on the Sabbath day, two lambs” (Num. 28:9) [were said in one utterance], and similarly, “You shall not wear shaatnez,” and “You shall make tzitzith for yourself” (Deut. 22:11, 12). Similarly, [the phrases] “The nakedness of your brother’s wife [you shall not uncover]” (Lev. 18:16), [and] “Her brother-in-law shall come in to her” (Deut. 25:5) [were said in one utterance]. This [occurrence of God saying two phrases simultaneously in one utterance] is the meaning of what is said: “God spoke one thing, I heard two” (Ps. 62:12) (Mechilta). [The word] זָכוֹר is in the פָּעוֹל form, an expression of ongoing action, like “[Let us engage in] eating and drinking אָכוֹל וְשָׁתוֹ) )” (Isa. 22:13), [and] “walking and weeping הָלוֹ וָּבָכֹה) )” (II Sam. 3:16), and this is its interpretation: Pay attention to always remember the Sabbath day, so that if you chance upon a beautiful thing, you shall prepare it for the Sabbath (Mechilta).   זָכוֹר: זָכוֹר וְשָׁמוֹר בְּדִבּוּר אֶחָד נֶאֶמְרוּ, וְכֵן מְחַלְלֶיהָ מוֹת יוּמָת (שמות ל"א), וּבְיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת שְׁנֵי כְבָשִׂים (במדבר כ"ח); וְכֵן לֹא תִלְבַּשׁ שַׁעַטְנֵז, גְּדִלִים תַּעֲשֶׂה לָּךְ (דברים כ"ב); וְכֵן עֶרְוַת אֵשֶׁת אָחִיךָ (ויקרא י"ח), יְבָמָהּ יָבֹא עָלֶיהָ (דברים כ"ה); הוּא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר אַחַת דִּבֶּר אֱלֹהִים שְׁתַּיִם זוּ שָׁמָעְתִּי (תהילים ס"ב) זָכוֹר לְשׁוֹן פָּעוֹל הוּא, כְּמוֹ אָכוֹל וְשָׁתוֹ (ישעיהו כ"ב), הָלוֹךְ וּבָכֹה (שמואל ב ג'), וְכֵן פִּתְרוֹנוֹ: תְּנוּ לֵב לִזְכֹּר תָּמִיד אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת, שֶׁאִם נִזְדַּמֵּן לְךָ חֵפֶץ יָפֶה תְּהֵא מַזְמִינוֹ לְשַׁבָּת (מכילתא):
9Six days may you work and perform all your labor,   טשֵׁ֣שֶׁת יָמִ֣ים תַּֽעֲבֹד֘ וְעָשִׂ֣יתָ כָל־מְלַאכְתֶּךָ֒:
and perform all your labor: When the Sabbath arrives, it shall seem to you as if all your work is done, that you shall not think about work.   וְעָשִׂיתָ כָל־מְלַאכְתֶּךָ: כְּשֶׁתָּבֹא שַׁבָּת יְהֵא בְעֵינֶיךָ כְּאִלּוּ כָּל מְלַאכְתְּךָ עֲשׂוּיָה, שֶׁלֹּא תְהַרְהֵר אַחַר מְלָאכָה (שם):
10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord, your God; you shall perform no labor, neither you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, your beast, nor your stranger who is in your cities.   יוְי֨וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֜י שַׁבָּ֣ת | לַֽיהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ לֹ֣א תַֽעֲשֶׂ֣ה כָל־מְלָאכָ֡ה אַתָּ֣ה | וּבִנְךָ֣־וּ֠בִתֶּךָ עַבְדְּךָ֨ וַֽאֲמָֽתְךָ֜ וּבְהֶמְתֶּ֗ךָ וְגֵֽרְךָ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בִּשְׁעָרֶ֔יךָ:
neither you, your son, your daughter: These are young children. Or perhaps it refers to adult children? You must admit that they have already been warned [to observe the Sabbath]. Rather, [this word] comes only to warn adults concerning young children resting [from work] (Mechilta). This is the meaning of what we learned [in the Mishnah]: If a young child comes to extinguish [a fire on the Sabbath], you may not allow him [to do so] since you are responsible for his resting [from work] (Shab. 121a).   אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ־וּבִתֶּךָ: אֵלּוּ קְטַנִּים; אוֹ אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא גְּדוֹלִים? אָמַרְתָּ, הֲרֵי כְּבָר מֻזְהָרִים הֵם, אֶלָּא לֹא בָא אֶלָּא לְהַזְהִיר גְּדוֹלִים עַל שְׁבִיתַת הַקְּטַנִּים; וְזֶהוּ שֶׁשָּׁנִינוּ (שבת קכ"א), קָטָן שֶׁבָּא לְכַבּוֹת אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁשְּׁבִיתָתוֹ עָלֶיךָ:
11For [in] six days the Lord made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it.   יאכִּ֣י שֵֽׁשֶׁת־יָמִים֩ עָשָׂ֨ה יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֣יִם וְאֶת־הָאָ֗רֶץ אֶת־הַיָּם֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֔ם וַיָּ֖נַח בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֑י עַל־כֵּ֗ן בֵּרַ֧ךְ יְהֹוָ֛ה אֶת־י֥וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֖ת וַֽיְקַדְּשֵֽׁהוּ:
and He rested on the seventh day: As if [it were] possible, He ascribed rest [even] to Himself to teach (as an example) from Him of kal vachomer [a fortiori] reasoning for man, whose work is with toil and fatigue, that he must rest on the Sabbath. [I.e., although God does not and did not actually rest, He had His cessation of creating recorded as rest, so that humans would learn that if God, Whose work is accomplished without any toil or fatigue, rested on the Sabbath, surely people, whose work is accomplished only with hard work and fatigue, must rest on the Sabbath.]-[from Mechilta]   וַיָּנַח בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי: כִּבְיָכוֹל הִכְתִּיב בְּעַצְמוֹ מְנוּחָה, לְלַמֵּד הֵימֶנּוּ קַל וָחֹמֶר לָאָדָם שֶׁמְּלַאכְתּוֹ בְעָמָל וִיגִיעָה שֶׁיִּהְיֶה נָח בְּשַׁבָּת (מכילתא):
blessed…and sanctified it: He blessed it with manna to double it on the sixth day-"double bread"-and He sanctified it with manna, that it did not fall then [on the Sabbath]. — [from Mechilta]   בֵּרַךְ וַֽיְקַדְּשֵֽׁהוּ: בֵּרְכוֹ בַמָּן – לְכָפְלוֹ בַּשִּׁשִּׁי לֶחֶם מִשְׁנֶה, וְקִדְּשׁוֹ בַמָּן – שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה יוֹרֵד בּוֹ (מכילתא):
12Honor your father and your mother, in order that your days be lengthened on the land that the Lord, your God, is giving you.   יבכַּבֵּ֥ד אֶת־אָבִ֖יךָ וְאֶת־אִמֶּ֑ךָ לְמַ֨עַן֙ יַֽאֲרִכ֣וּן יָמֶ֔יךָ עַ֚ל הָֽאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לָֽךְ:
in order that your days be lengthened: If you honor [your parents], your days will be lengthened, and if not, they will be shortened. The words of the Torah are written briefly; they are explained by deriving the negative from the affirmative and the affirmative from the negative. — [from Mechilta]   לְמַעַן יַֽאֲרִכוּן יָמֶיךָ: אִם תְּכַבֵּד יַאֲרִיכוּן וְאִם לָאו יִקְצְרוּן, שֶׁדִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה נוֹטָרִיקוֹן הֵם נִדְרָשִׁים – מִכְּלַל הֵן לָאו וּמִכְּלַל לָאו הֵן (מכילתא):
13You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.   יגלֹ֖א תִּרְצָֽח: ס לֹ֖א תִּנְאָֽף: ס לֹ֖א תִּגְנֹֽב: ס לֹֽא־תַֽעֲנֶ֥ה בְרֵֽעֲךָ֖ עֵ֥ד שָֽׁקֶר:
You shall not commit adultery: Adultery applies only [to relations] with a married woman, as it is said: "[And a man who commits adultery with the wife of a[nother] man, who commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor,] [both] the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death" (Lev. 20:10); [and it says,] “[You are] the adulterous wife, who, instead of her husband, takes strangers” (Ezek. 16:32). [In both these verses, the term “adultery” is used in reference to the extramarital relations of a married woman.]   לֹא תנאף: אֵין נִאוּף אֶלָּא בְאֵשֶׁת אִישׁ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר מוֹת יוּמַת הַנּוֹאֵף וְהַנּוֹאָפֶת (ויקרא כ'), וְאוֹמֵר הָאִשָּׁה הַמְנָאֶפֶת תַּחַת אִישָׁהּ תִּקַּח אֶת זָרִים (יחזקאל ט"ז):
You shall not steal: The text refers to kidnapping. [The verse] “You shall not steal” (Lev. 19:11) refers to stealing money. Or perhaps this one [verse] refers only to stealing money and the one written further (in Lev.) refers to kidnapping? You must admit that [the meaning of] a statement is derived from its context. Just as [the former two commandments] “You shall not murder” [and] “You shall not commit adultery” refer to capital sins, “You shall not steal” also refers to a capital sin [i.e., a sin punishable by death]. — [from Sanh. 86a]   לֹא תגנב: בְּגוֹנֵב נְפָשׁוֹת הַכָּתוּב מְדַבֵּר, לֹא תִּגְנֹבוּ (ויקרא י"ט), בְּגוֹנֵב מָמוֹן; אוֹ אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא זֶה בְגוֹנֵב מָמוֹן וּלְהַלָּן בְּגוֹנֵב נְפָשׁוֹת? אָמַרְתָּ דָּבָר לָמֵד מֵעִנְיָנוֹ – מַה לֹא תִרְצָח, לֹא תִנְאָף, מְדַבֵּר בְּדָבָר שֶׁחַיָּבִין עָלָיו מִיתַת בֵּית דִּין, אַף לֹא תִגְנֹב דָּבָר שֶׁחַיָּב עָלָיו מִיתַת בֵּית דִּין (סנהדרין פ"ו):
14You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, his manservant, his maidservant, his ox, his donkey, or whatever belongs to your neighbor."   ידלֹ֥א תַחְמֹ֖ד בֵּ֣ית רֵעֶ֑ךָ ס לֹֽא־תַחְמֹ֞ד אֵ֣שֶׁת רֵעֶ֗ךָ וְעַבְדּ֤וֹ וַֽאֲמָתוֹ֙ וְשׁוֹר֣וֹ וַֽחֲמֹר֔וֹ וְכֹ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר לְרֵעֶֽךָ:

Fifth Portion

Exodus Chapter 20

15And all the people saw the voices and the torches, the sound of the shofar, and the smoking mountain, and the people saw and trembled; so they stood from afar.   טווְכָל־הָעָם֩ רֹאִ֨ים אֶת־הַקּוֹלֹ֜ת וְאֶת־הַלַּפִּידִ֗ם וְאֵת֙ ק֣וֹל הַשֹּׁפָ֔ר וְאֶת־הָהָ֖ר עָשֵׁ֑ן וַיַּ֤רְא הָעָם֙ וַיָּנֻ֔עוּ וַיַּֽעַמְד֖וּ מֵֽרָחֹֽק:
And all the people saw: [This] teaches [us] that there was not one blind person among them. From where do we know that [there was] no mute person among them? The Torah states: “And all the people replied” (Exod. 19:8). From where do we know that there was no deaf person among them? The Torah states: “We will do and hear” (Exod. 24:7). [from Mechilta]   וְכָל־הָעָם רֹאִים: מְלַמֵּד שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה בָהֶם אֶחָד סוּמָא, וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה בָהֶם אִלֵּם? תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר וַיַּעֲנוּ כָל הָעָם, וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה בָהֶם חֵרֵשׁ? תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר נַעֲשֶׂה וְנִשְׁמָע (מכילתא):
the voices: They saw what was audible, which is impossible to see elsewhere. — [from Mechilta d’Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai]   רֹאִים אֶת־הַקּוֹלֹת: רוֹאִין אֶת הַנִּשְׁמָע, שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לִרְאוֹת בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר:
the voices: Emanating from the mouth of the Almighty. Many voices, voices coming from every direction, and from the heavens, and from the earth. — [Rashi above, verse 2]   אֶת־הַקּוֹלֹת: הַיּוֹצְאִין מִפִּי הַגְּבוּרָה:
and trembled: Heb. וַיָנֻעוּ נוֹעַ means only trembling. — [from Mechilta]   וַיָּנֻעוּ: אֵין נוּעַ אֶלָּא זִיעַ:
so they stood from afar: They were drawing backwards twelve mil, as far as the length of their camp. The ministering angels came and assisted them [in order] to bring them back, as it is said: “Kings of hosts wander; yea they wander” (Ps. 68:13). [from Shab. 88b]   וַיַּֽעַמְדוּ מֵֽרָחֹֽק: הָיוּ נִרְתָּעִין לַאֲחוֹרֵיהֶם שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר מִיל, כְּאֹרֶךְ מַחֲנֵיהֶם, וּמַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת בָּאִין וּמְסַיְּעִין אוֹתָן לְהַחֲזִירָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהילים ס"ח) מַלְאֲכֵי צְבָאוֹת יִדֹּדוּן יִדֹּדוּן (שבת פ"ח):
16They said to Moses, "You speak with us, and we will hear, but let God not speak with us lest we die."   טזוַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ אֶל־משֶׁ֔ה דַּבֶּר־אַתָּ֥ה עִמָּ֖נוּ וְנִשְׁמָ֑עָה וְאַל־יְדַבֵּ֥ר עִמָּ֛נוּ אֱלֹהִ֖ים פֶּן־נָמֽוּת:
17But Moses said to the people, "Fear not, for God has come in order to exalt you, and in order that His awe shall be upon your faces, so that you shall not sin."   יזוַיֹּ֨אמֶר משֶׁ֣ה אֶל־הָעָם֘ אַל־תִּירָ֒אוּ֒ כִּ֗י לְבַֽעֲבוּר֙ נַסּ֣וֹת אֶתְכֶ֔ם בָּ֖א הָֽאֱלֹהִ֑ים וּבַֽעֲב֗וּר תִּֽהְיֶ֧ה יִרְאָת֛וֹ עַל־פְּנֵיכֶ֖ם לְבִלְתִּ֥י תֶֽחֱטָֽאוּ:
in order to exalt you: To magnify you in the world, so that your name should circulate among the nations, that He in His glory revealed Himself to you. — [from Mechilta]   לְבַֽעֲבוּר נַסּוֹת אֶתְכֶם: לְגַדֵּל אֶתְכֶם בָּעוֹלָם, שֶׁיֵּצֵא לָכֶם שֵׁם בָּאֻמּוֹת שֶׁהוּא בִּכְבוֹדוֹ נִגְלָה עֲלֵיכֶם:
to exalt: נַסוֹת, an expression of exaltation and greatness, similar to “lift up a banner (נֵס)” (Isa. 62:10); “will I raise My standard (נִסִי)” (Isa. 49:22); “and like a flagpole (וְכַנֵּס) on a hill” (Isa. 30:17), which is upright. [Thus all these words signify “raising up.”]   נַסּוֹת: לְשׁוֹן הֲרָמָה וּגְדֻלָּה, כְּמוֹ הָרִימוּ נֵס (ישעיהו ס"ב), אָרִים נִסִּי (שם מ"ט), כַנֵּס עַל הַגִּבְעָה (שם ל') – שֶׁהוּא זָקוּף:
and in order that His awe: By way of the fact that you saw that He is feared and dreaded, you will know that there is none beside Him and you will fear him.   וּבַֽעֲבוּר תִּֽהְיֶה יִרְאָתוֹ: עַל יְדֵי שֶׁרְאִיתֶם אוֹתוֹ יָראוּי וּמְאֻיָּם, תֵּדְעוּ כִּי אֵין זוּלָתוֹ וְתִירְאוּ מִפָּנָיו:
18The people remained far off, but Moses drew near to the opaque darkness, where God was.   יחוַיַּֽעֲמֹ֥ד הָעָ֖ם מֵֽרָחֹ֑ק וּמשֶׁה֙ נִגַּ֣שׁ אֶל־הָֽעֲרָפֶ֔ל אֲשֶׁר־שָׁ֖ם הָֽאֱלֹהִֽים:
drew near to the opaque darkness: Within three partitions: darkness, cloud, and opaque darkness, as it is said: “And the mountain was burning with fire unto the heart of the heavens, darkness, cloud, and opaque darkness” (Deut. 4:11). Opaque darkness is [synonymous with] “the thickness of the cloud,” [concerning] which He [God] had said to him [Moses], “Behold, I am coming to you in the thickness of the cloud” (Exod. 19:9). [from Mechilta]   נִגַּשׁ אֶל־הָֽעֲרָפֶל: לִפְנִים מִשָּׁלֹשׁ מְחִצּוֹת: חֹשֶׁךְ, עָנָן, וַעֲרָפֶל; שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְהָהָר בֹּעֵר בָּאֵשׁ עַד לֵב הַשָּׁמַיִם חֹשֶׁךְ עָנָן וַעֲרָפֶל (דברים ד'); עֲרָפֶל הוּא עַב הֶעָנָן שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי בָּא אֵלֶיךָ בְּעַב הֶעָנָן (שמות י"ט):
19The Lord said to Moses, "So shall you say to the children of Israel, You have seen that from the heavens I have spoken with you.   יטוַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָֹה֙ אֶל־משֶׁ֔ה כֹּ֥ה תֹאמַ֖ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל אַתֶּ֣ם רְאִיתֶ֔ם כִּ֚י מִן־הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם דִּבַּ֖רְתִּי עִמָּכֶֽם:
So shall you say: with this language. — [from Mechilta] I.e., with this exact wording and in Hebrew. — [Mechilta]   כֹּה תֹאמַר: בַּלָּשׁוֹן הַזֶּה:
You have seen: There is a difference between what a person sees and what others tell him. [Concerning] what others tell him, sometimes his heart is divided whether to believe [it or not]. — [from Mechilta]   אַתֶּם רְאִיתֶם: יֵשׁ הֶפְרֵשׁ בֵּין מַה שֶּׁאָדָם רוֹאֶה לְמַה שֶּׁאֲחֵרִים מְשִׂיחִין לוֹ, שֶׁמַּה שֶּׁאֲחֵרִים מְשִׂיחִין לוֹ פְּעָמִים שֶׁלִּבּוֹ חָלוּק מִלְּהַאֲמִין (מכילתא):
from the heavens I have spoken: But another verse states: “The Lord descended upon Mount Sinai” (Exod. 19:20). The third verse comes and harmonizes them: “From the heavens He let you hear His voice in order to discipline you, and on earth He showed you His great fire” (Deut. 4:36). His glory was in heaven, His fire and His power were on the earth. Alternatively, He bent down the [lower] heavens and the highest heavens and spread them out upon the mountain. So [Scripture] says: “And He bent the heavens, and He came down” (Ps. 18:10). [from Mechilta]   כִּי מִן־הַשָּׁמַיִם דִּבַּרְתִּי: וְכָתוּב אֶחָד אוֹמֵר וַיֵּרֶד ה' עַל הַר סִינַי (שמות י"ט), בָּא הַכָּתוּב הַשְּׁלִישִׁי וְהִכְרִיעַ בֵּינֵיהֶם – מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם הִשְׁמִיעֲךָ אֶת קוֹלוֹ לְיַסְּרֶךָּ וְעַל הָאָרֶץ הֶרְאֲךָ אֶת אִשּׁוֹ הַגְּדוֹלָה (דברים ד'), כְּבוֹדוֹ בַּשָּׁמַיִם וְאִשּׁוֹ וּגְבוּרָתוֹ עַל הָאָרֶץ; דָּבָר אַחֵר: הִרְכִּין שָׁמַיִם וּשְׁמֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהִצִּיעָן עַל הָהָר, וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר וַיֵּט שָׁמַיִם וַיֵּרַד (תהילים י"ח):
20You shall not make [images of anything that is] with Me. Gods of silver or gods of gold you shall not make for yourselves.   כלֹ֥א תַֽעֲשׂ֖וּן אִתִּ֑י אֱלֹ֤הֵי כֶ֨סֶף֙ וֵֽאלֹהֵ֣י זָהָ֔ב לֹ֥א תַֽעֲשׂ֖וּ לָכֶֽם:
You shall not make [images of anything that is] with Me: You shall not make a likeness of my servants who serve Me on high. — [from Mechilta, R.H. 24]   לֹא תַֽעֲשׂוּן אִתִּי: לֹא תַעֲשׂוּן דְּמוּת שַׁמָּשַׁי הַמְשַׁמְּשִׁים לְפָנַי בַּמָּרוֹם (מכילתא):
Gods of silver: This [statement] comes to warn about the cherubim, which you make to stand with Me [in the Temple], that they may not be [made] of silver, for if you deviate to make them of silver, they are to Me as gods. — [from Mechilta]   אֱלֹהֵי כֶסֶף: בָּא לְהַזְהִיר עַל הַכְּרוּבִים שֶׁאַתָּה עוֹשֶׂה לַעֲמֹד אִתִּי, שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיוּ שֶׁל כֶּסֶף, שֶׁאִם שִׁנִּיתֶם לַעֲשׂוֹתָם שֶׁל כֶּסֶף הֲרֵי הֵן לְפָנַי כֶּאֱלוֹהוּת:
or gods of gold: This [statement] comes to warn [us] that one shall not add [more cherubim] to [the two, which is the number God required]. For if you make four [cherubim], they are to Me as gods of gold. — [from Mechilta]   וֵֽאלֹהֵי זָהָב: בָּא לְהַזְהִיר שֶׁלֹּא יוֹסִיף עַל שְׁנַיִם, שֶׁאִם עָשִׂיתָ אַרְבָּעָה הֲרֵי הֵן לְפָנַי כֵּאלֹהֵי זָהָב (מכילתא):
you shall not make for yourselves: You shall not say, “I will make cherubim in the synagogues and in the study halls, in the manner that I make [them] in the Temple.” Therefore, it says: “you shall not make for yourselves.” -[from Mechilta]   לֹא תַֽעֲשׂוּ לָכֶֽם: לֹא תֹאמַר הֲרֵינִי עוֹשֶׂה כְרוּבִים בְּבָתֵּי כְנֵסִיּוֹת וּבְבָתֵּי מִדְרָשׁוֹת כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאֲנִי עוֹשֶׂה בְּבֵית עוֹלָמִים, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ לָכֶם (שם):
21An altar of earth you shall make for Me, and you shall slaughter beside it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your cattle. Wherever I allow My name to be mentioned, I will come to you and bless you.   כאמִזְבַּ֣ח אֲדָמָה֘ תַּֽעֲשֶׂה־לִּי֒ וְזָֽבַחְתָּ֣ עָלָ֗יו אֶת־עֹֽלֹתֶ֨יךָ֙ וְאֶת־שְׁלָמֶ֔יךָ אֶת־צֹֽאנְךָ֖ וְאֶת־בְּקָרֶ֑ךָ בְּכָל־הַמָּקוֹם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אַזְכִּ֣יר אֶת־שְׁמִ֔י אָב֥וֹא אֵלֶ֖יךָ וּבֵֽרַכְתִּֽיךָ:
An altar of earth: Attached to the ground, [meaning] that it should not be built on pillars or on a block of wood (another version: [on] a base). [According to the Mechilta and Rashi on Zev. 58a, the reading is “archways.”] Alternatively, [מִזְבַָּח אִדָמָה means] that he [Moses] would fill the hollow of the altar with earth when they [the Israelites] encamped. [from Mechilta]   מִזְבַּח אֲדָמָה: מְחֻבָּר בַּאֲדָמָה, שֶׁלֹּא יִבְנֶנּוּ עַל גַּבֵּי עַמּוּדִים אוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי בָּסִיס; דָּבָר אַחֵר שֶׁהָיָה מְמַלֵּא אֶת חֲלַל מִזְבַּח הַנְּחֹשֶׁת אֲדָמָה בִּשְׁעַת חֲנִיָּתָן (שם):
you shall make for Me: That from the beginning, it shall be made in My name. [I.e., it should not be made for another purpose and then later used as an altar.]-[from Mechilta]   תַּֽעֲשֶׂה־לִּי: שֶׁתְּהֵא תְּחִלַּת עֲשִׂיָּתוֹ לִשְׁמִי:
and you shall slaughter beside it: Heb. עָלָיו, like “And beside it (וְעָלָיו) was the tribe of Manasseh” (Num. 2:20). Or perhaps עָלָיו means literally “upon it.” Therefore, Scripture says: “the flesh and the blood on the altar of the Lord, your God” (Deut. 12:27), [meaning that only the flesh and blood are to be put on the altar] but the slaughtering is not [to be performed] on top of the altar. — [from Mechilta]   וְזָֽבַחְתָּ עָלָיו: אֶצְלוֹ, כְּמוֹ וְעָלָיו מַטֵּה מְנַשֶּׁה (במדבר ב'), אוֹ אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא עָלָיו מַמָּשׁ? תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר הַבָּשָׂר וְהַדָּם עַל מִזְבַּח ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ (דברים י"ב), וְאֵין שְׁחִיטָה בְּרֹאשׁ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ:
your burnt offerings and your peace offerings: which are from your sheep and your cattle. “Your sheep and your cattle” is the explanation of “your burnt offerings and your peace offerings.”   אֶת־עֹֽלֹתֶיךָ וְאֶת־שְׁלָמֶיךָ: אֲשֶׁר מִצֹּאנְךָ וּמִבְּקָרֶךָ: (את צאנך ואת בקרך. פֵּרוּשׁ לְאֶת עוֹלֹתֶיךָ וְאֶת שְׁלָמֶיךָ:)
Wherever I allow My name to be mentioned, I will come to you and bless you: Heb. אַזְכִּיר, lit., I will mention. [This should apparently read ךְתַּזְכִּיר, you will mention. Therefore, Rashi explains that it means: whenever] I will permit you to mention My Explicit Name, there I will come to you and bless you. I will cause My Shechinah to rest upon you. From here you learn that permission was given to mention the Explicit Name only in the place to which the Shechinah comes, and that is in the Temple in Jerusalem. There permission was given to the priests to mention the Explicit Name when they raise their hands to bless the people. — [from Mechilta, Sifrei, Num. 6:23, Sotah 38a]   בְּכָל־הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אַזְכִּיר אֶת־שְׁמִי: אֲשֶׁר אֶתֵּן לְךָ רְשׁוּת לְהַזְכִּיר שֵׁם הַמְפֹרָשׁ שֶׁלִּי, שָׁם אבוא אליך וברכתיך – אַשְׁרֶה שְׁכִינָתִי עָלֶיךָ; מִכָּאן אַתָּה לָמֵד שֶׁלֹּא נִתַּן רְשׁוּת לְהַזְכִּיר שֵׁם הַמְפֹרָשׁ אֶלָּא בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁהַשְּׁכִינָה בָאָה שָׁם, וְזֶהוּ בֵית הַבְּחִירָה, שָׁם נָתַן רְשׁוּת לַכֹּהֲנִים לְהַזְכִּיר שֵׁם הַמְפֹרָשׁ בִּנְשִׂיאַת כַּפַּיִם לְבָרֵךְ אֶת הָעָם (סוטה ל"ח):
22And when you make for Me an altar of stones, you shall not build them of hewn stones, lest you wield your sword upon it and desecrate it.   כבוְאִם־מִזְבַּ֤ח אֲבָנִים֙ תַּֽעֲשֶׂה־לִּ֔י לֹֽא־תִבְנֶ֥ה אֶתְהֶ֖ן גָּזִ֑ית כִּ֧י חַרְבְּךָ֛ הֵנַ֥פְתָּ עָלֶ֖יהָ וַתְּחַֽלֲלֶֽהָ:
And when you make for Me an altar of stones: Heb. אִם. Rabbi Ishmael says: Every [mention of] אִם in the Torah is optional except [for] three. [One of them is in this verse:] “And when (אִם) you make Me an altar of stones.” Behold, this אִם serves as an expression of כַּאִשֶׁר, when, [meaning] and “when you make Me an altar of stones, you shall not build them of hewn stones.” [This אִם cannot mean “if,”] for it is incumbent upon you to build an altar of stones, for it is said: “[Of] whole stones shall you build” (Deut. 27:6). Similarly, “When (אִם) you lend money” (Exod. 22:24) is obligatory, for it is said: “and you shall lend him” (Deut. 15:8). This one, too, serves as an expression of כַּאִשֶׁר, when. Similarly, “And when (אִם) you offer up a first fruits offering” (Lev. 2:14). This is the omer offering, which is [also] obligatory. Thus [all] these instances of אִם are not conditional but are definite and serve as an expression of כַּאִשֶׁר, when. — [from Mechilta]   וְאִם־מִזְבַּח אֲבָנִים: רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל אוֹמֵר כָּל אִם וְאִם שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה רְשׁוּת חוּץ מִג', וְאִם מִזְבַּח אֲבָנִים תַּעֲשֶׂה לִּי, הֲרֵי אִם זֶה מְשַׁמֵּשׁ בִּלְשׁוֹן כַּאֲשֶׁר – וְכַאֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶׂה לִי מִזְבַּח אֲבָנִים לא תבנה אתהן גזית, שֶׁהֲרֵי חוֹבָה עָלֶיךָ לִבְנוֹת מִזְבַּח אֲבָנִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר אֲבָנִים שְׁלֵמוֹת תִּבְנֶה (דברים כ"ז) – וְכֵן אִם כֶּסֶף תַּלְוֶה (שמות כ"ב), חוֹבָה הוּא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְהַעֲבֵט תַּעֲבִיטֶנּוּ (דברים ט"ו) – וְאַף זֶה מְשַׁמֵּשׁ בִּלְשׁוֹן כַּאֲשֶׁר – וְכֵן וְאִם תַּקְרִיב מִנְחַת בִּכּוּרִים (ויקרא ב'), זוֹ מִנְחַת הָעֹמֶר שֶׁהִיא חוֹבָה, וְעַל כָּרְחֲךָ אֵין אִם הַלָּלוּ תְּלוּיִין אֶלָּא וַדָּאִין, וּבִלְשׁוֹן כַּאֲשֶׁר הֵם מְשַׁמְּשִׁים:
hewn stones: Heb. גָזִית, an expression of shearing (גְּזִיזָה), [meaning] that [the stone-cutter] hews them and cuts them (וַּמְסַךְתְּתָן) with iron [tools].   גָּזִית: לְשׁוֹן גְּזִיזָה, שֶׁפּוֹסְלָן וּמְכַתְּתָן בְּבַרְזֶל:
lest you wield your sword upon it: Heb. כִּי. This [instance of] כִּי serves as an expression of פֶּן, lest, which is the same as “perhaps.” Perhaps you will wield your sword upon it.   כִּי חַרְבְּךָ הֵנַפְתָּ עָלֶיהָ: הֲרֵי כִּי זֶה מְשַׁמֵּשׁ בִּלְשׁוֹן פֶּן, שֶׁהוּא דִּילְמָא – פֶּן תָּנִיף חַרְבְּךָ עָלֶיהָ:
and desecrate it: Thus you have learned that if you wield iron upon it, you have desecrated it, for the altar was created to lengthen man’s days, and iron was created to shorten man’s days [because it is used to make swords]. It is improper that the “shortener” be wielded over the “lengthener” (Middoth 3:4). Moreover, the altar makes peace between Israel and their Father in heaven. Therefore, the cutter and destroyer shall not come upon it. The matter is a kal vachomer [a fortiori] conclusion-if [concerning the] stones, which neither see, hear, nor speak, because [of the fact that] they make peace, the Torah said, “You shall not wield iron upon them” (Deut. 27:5), how much more [are we certain that] one who makes peace between husband and wife, between family and family, between man and his fellow, will have no troubles befall him!-[from Mechilta]   וַתְּחַֽלֲלֶֽהָ: הָא לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁאִם הֵנַפְתָּ עָלֶיהָ בַּרְזֶל חִלַּלְתָּ, שֶׁהַמִּזְבֵּחַ נִבְרָא לְהַאֲרִיךְ יָמָיו שֶׁל אָדָם וְהַבַּרְזֶל נִבְרָא לְקַצֵּר יָמָיו שֶׁל אָדָם, אֵין זֶה בַּדִּין שֶׁיּוּנַף הַמְקַצֵּר עַל הַמַּאֲרִיךְ (מכילתא). וְעוֹד שֶׁהַמִּזְבֵּחַ מֵטִיל שָׁלוֹם בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל לַאֲבִיהֶם שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם, לְפִיכָךְ לֹא יָבֹא עָלָיו כּוֹרֵת וּמְחַבֵּל; וַהֲרֵי דְּבָרִים קַל וָחֹמֶר, וּמָה אֲבָנִים שֶׁאֵינָן רוֹאוֹת וְלֹא שׁוֹמְעוֹת וְלֹא מְדַבְּרוֹת, עַל יְדֵי שֶׁמְּטִילוֹת שָׁלוֹם אָמְרָה תּוֹרָה וְלֹא תָנִיף עֲלֵיהֶם בַּרְזֶל, הַמֵּטִיל שָׁלוֹם בֵּין אִישׁ לְאִשְׁתּוֹ, בֵּין מִשְׁפָּחָה לְמִשְׁפָּחָה, בֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה שֶׁלֹּא תְבוֹאֵהוּ פֻּרְעָנוּת (שם):
23And you shall not ascend with steps upon My altar, so that your nakedness shall not be exposed upon it.' "   כגוְלֹא־תַֽעֲלֶ֥ה בְמַֽעֲלֹ֖ת עַל־מִזְבְּחִ֑י אֲשֶׁ֛ר לֹֽא־תִגָּלֶ֥ה עֶרְוָֽתְךָ֖ עָלָֽיו:
And you shall not ascend with steps: When you build a ramp for the altar, do not make it with steps, eschalons in Old French, but it must be smooth and slanting. — [from Mechilta].   וְלֹא־תַֽעֲלֶה בְמַֽעֲלֹת: כְּשֶׁאַתָּה בוֹנֶה כֶבֶשׁ לַמִּזְבֵּחַ לֹא תַעֲשֵׂהוּ מַעֲלוֹת מַעֲלוֹת, אשקלו"נש בְּלַעַז, אֶלָּא חָלָק יְהֵא וּמְשֻׁפָּע:
so that your nakedness shall not be exposed: Because due to the steps, you must widen your stride, although it would not be an actual exposure of nakedness, for it is written: “And make them linen pants” (Exod. 28:42). Nevertheless, widening the strides is close to exposing the nakedness [of the one ascending the steps], and you behave toward them [the stones] in a humiliating manner. Now these matters are a kal vachomer [a fortiori] conclusion, that if [concerning] these stones-which have no intelligence to object to their humiliation-the Torah said that because they are necessary, you shall not behave toward them in a humiliating manner. [In contrast,] your friend, who is [created] in the likeness of your Creator and who does object to being humiliated, how much more [must you be careful not to embarrass him]!-[from Mechilta]   אֲשֶׁר לֹֽא־תִגָּלֶה עֶרְוָֽתְךָ: שֶׁעַל יְדֵי הַמַּעֲלוֹת אַתָּה צָרִיךְ לְהַרְחִיב פְּסִיעוֹתֶיךָ; וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ גִּלּוּי עֶרְוָה מַמָּשׁ, שֶׁהֲרֵי כְתִיב וַעֲשֵׂה לָהֶם מִכְנְסֵי בָד, מִכָּל מָקוֹם הַרְחָבַת הַפְּסִיעוֹת קָרוֹב לְגִלּוּי עֶרְוָה הוּא, וְאַתָּה נוֹהֵג בָּם מִנְהַג בִּזָּיוֹן; וַהֲרֵי דְּבָרִים קַל וָחֹמֶר, וּמָה אֲבָנִים הַלָּלוּ שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶם דַּעַת לְהַקְפִּיד עַל בִּזְיוֹנָן, אָמְרָה תוֹרָה הוֹאִיל וְיֵשׁ בָּהֶם צֹרֶךְ לֹא תִנְהַג בָּהֶם מִנְהַג בִּזָּיוֹן, חֲבֵרְךָ שֶׁהוּא בִדְמוּת יוֹצֶרְךָ, וּמַקְפִּיד עַל בִּזְיוֹנוֹ, עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה:

Maftir Portion

Numbers Chapter 28

26On the day of the first fruits, when you offer up a new meal offering to the Lord, on your festival of Weeks; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall not perform any mundane work.   כווּבְי֣וֹם הַבִּכּוּרִ֗ים בְּהַקְרִ֨יבְכֶ֜ם מִנְחָ֤ה חֲדָשָׁה֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֔ה בְּשָֽׁבֻעֹ֖תֵיכֶ֑ם מִקְרָא־קֹ֨דֶשׁ֙ יִֽהְיֶ֣ה לָכֶ֔ם כָּל־מְלֶ֥אכֶת עֲבֹדָ֖ה לֹ֥א תַֽעֲשֽׂוּ:
On the day of the first fruits: The festival of Weeks [Shavuoth] is called the first fruits of the wheat harvest, because of the two loaves, which were the first of the wheat offerings to be brought from the new [crop]. — [Men. 84b]   וּבְיוֹם הַבִּכּוּרִים: חַג הַשָּׁבוּעוֹת קָרוּי בִּכּוּרֵי קְצִיר חִטִּים עַל שֵׁם שְׁתֵּי הַלֶּחֶם, שֶׁהֵם רִאשׁוֹנִים לְמִנְחַת חִטִּים הַבָּאִים מִן הֶחָדָשׁ (מנחות פ"ד):
27You shall offer up a burnt offering with a spirit of satisfaction to the Lord: two young bulls, one ram, and seven lambs in the first year.   כזוְהִקְרַבְתֶּ֨ם עוֹלָ֜ה לְרֵ֤יחַ נִיחֹ֨חַ֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֔ה פָּרִ֧ים בְּנֵֽי־בָקָ֛ר שְׁנַ֖יִם אַ֣יִל אֶחָ֑ד שִׁבְעָ֥ה כְבָשִׂ֖ים בְּנֵ֥י שָׁנָֽה:
28Their meal offerings [shall be] fine flour mixed with oil; three tenths for each bull and two tenths for the ram.   כחוּמִ֨נְחָתָ֔ם סֹ֖לֶת בְּלוּלָ֣ה בַשָּׁ֑מֶן שְׁלשָׁ֤ה עֶשְׂרֹנִים֙ לַפָּ֣ר הָֽאֶחָ֔ד שְׁנֵי֙ עֶשְׂרֹנִ֔ים לָאַ֖יִל הָֽאֶחָֽד:
29One tenth for each lamb, for all seven lambs.   כטעִשָּׂרוֹן֙ עִשָּׂר֔וֹן לַכֶּ֖בֶשׂ הָֽאֶחָ֑ד לְשִׁבְעַ֖ת הַכְּבָשִֽׂים:
30One young male goat to atone for you.   לשְׂעִ֥יר עִזִּ֖ים אֶחָ֑ד לְכַפֵּ֖ר עֲלֵיכֶֽם:
31You shall offer this up besides the continual burnt offering and its meal offering they shall be unblemished for you, as well as their libations.   לאמִלְּבַ֞ד עֹלַ֧ת הַתָּמִ֛יד וּמִנְחָת֖וֹ תַּֽעֲשׂ֑וּ תְּמִימִ֥ם יִֽהְיוּ־לָכֶ֖ם וְנִסְכֵּיהֶֽם:
they shall be unblemished for you, as well as their libations: Even the libations shall be unblemished. Our Rabbis learned from here that wine that has turned moldy is unfit for libations. - [Men. 87a]   תְּמִימִם יִֽהְיוּ־לָכֶם וְנִסְכֵּיהֶֽם: אַף הַנְּסָכִים יִהְיוּ תְמִימִים, לָמְדוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ מִכָּאן שֶׁהַיַּיִן שֶׁהֶעֱלָה קְמָחִין פָּסוּל לִנְסָכִים (שם פ"ז):

Haftarah

Ezekiel Chapter 1

1Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year in the fourth [month] on the fifth day of the month, as I was in the midst of the exile by the river Chebar-the heavens opened up, and I saw visions of God.   א וַיְהִ֣י | בִּשְׁלֹשִׁ֣ים שָׁנָ֗ה בָּֽרְבִיעִי֙ בַּֽחֲמִשָּׁ֣ה לַחֹ֔דֶשׁ וַֽאֲנִ֥י בְתֽוֹךְ־הַגּוֹלָ֖ה עַל־נְהַ֣ר כְּבָ֑ר נִפְתְּחוּ֙ הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וָֽאֶרְאֶ֖ה מַרְא֥וֹת אֱלֹהִֽים:
Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year: The prophet presented his words obscurely and did not tell his name, who he was; nor did he explain from what date he was counting. Therefore, the holy spirit interrupted his words in the following two verses to teach [us] who the prophet was and to teach [us] from what date he was counting. As it is said: “On the fifth day of the month that is the fifth year, etc.” These are not the words of the prophet, for he already stated that he was standing on the fifth of the month, and furthermore, from the beginning he had stated his prophecy in the first person: “and I was in the midst of the exile;” “and I saw visions of God.” And so at the end: “And I saw, and behold, a storm wind, etc.” Now these [next] two verses interrupted his words, as though someone else was speaking about him: “The word of the Lord was [revealed] to Ezekiel… and the hand of the Lord came upon him there.”  
as I was in the midst of the exile: i.e., outside the land of Israel.  
by the river Chebar: The name of the river.  
visions of God: Heb. מַרְאוֹת. Because he did not see with a “lucid speculum,” he calls it “visions of God,” a sort of dream, insubstantial. All the prophets also saw through a “dim speculum,” except for our teacher Moses. That is what is said (Hos. 12:11): “and to the prophets, I assumed likenesses.”  
2"On the fifth of the month"-that is the fifth year of King Jehoiachin's exile.   בבַּֽחֲמִשָּׁ֖ה לַחֹ֑דֶשׁ הִיא הַשָּׁנָ֣ה הַֽחֲמִישִׁ֔ית לְגָל֖וּת הַמֶּ֥לֶךְ יֽוֹיָכִֽין:
that is the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s exile: Thus, we may deduce that the thirty years he counted, he counted from the beginning of the jubilee [cycle]: the last jubilee commenced at the beginning of the eighteenth year of Josiah[‘s reign]; that is, the year that Hilkiah found the scroll (II Kings 22). So we learn in Seder Olam (ch. 26), that the beginning of the jubilee was that [year]. Josiah reigned thirty one years. Subtracting from them the seventeen years that had already passed leaves fourteen years. Jehoiakim reigned eleven years; [together, that] totals twenty-five years. Jeconiah [Jehoiachin] his son, had reigned only three months when he was exiled, and the year that Ezekiel prophesied was the fifth [year] of his exile, hence the thirtieth year of the jubilee. And so we find that at the end of his prophecy, he gives a sign using the count of the jubilee [as a reference], for it says (40:1): “In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth of the month.” Our Rabbis said (Arachin 12a): What “year” is it that begins on the tenth of the month? You must say that this is the jubilee year [See Leviticus 25:9f.].  
3The word of the Lord was [revealed] to Ezekiel the son of Buzi, the priest, in the land of the Chaldeans, by the river Chebar, and the hand of the Lord came upon him there.   גהָיֹ֣ה הָיָ֣ה דְבַר־יְ֠הֹוָה אֶל־יְחֶזְקֵ֨אל בֶּן־בּוּזִ֧י הַכֹּהֵ֛ן בְּאֶ֥רֶץ כַּשְׂדִּ֖ים עַל־נְהַ֣ר כְּבָ֑ר וַתְּהִ֥י עָלָ֛יו שָׁ֖ם יַד־יְהֹוָֽה:
The word of the Lord was [revealed]: Heb. הָיֹה הָיָה [lit. being was.] Our Sages said (Mechilta to Exod. 12:1): “[It] had already come,” because the Shechinah does not rest upon a prophet outside the [Holy] Land, except by having first rested upon him in the Land. We learned in a Baraitha of the Mechilta (Exod. 15:9): [The verse 2:1,] “Son of man, stand on your feet,” was the [actual] beginning of the Book, only there is no chronological order [in Scripture]. Others say that (12:1f.) “Son of man, compose a riddle,” is the [true] beginning of the Book. [Mechilta ends here.] I say that this prophecy was told to him before they were exiled, because it is appropriate to be said to him in the Land, for the community of the exile is not mentioned explicitly in it. It can be recognized as the beginning of his mission to them. Jonathan, too, paraphrased in that manner: The prophetic word from before the Lord was revealed to Ezekiel the son of Buzi the priest in the land of Israel; it returned a second time and spoke with him in the state of the land of the Chaldeans. Now Ezekiel was exiled with the “craftsmen and the sentries of the gates,” who were exiled with Jehoiachin.  
the hand of the Lord: Every expression of יַד mentioned in this Book or in any expression of prophecy is invariably an expression of compulsion, [implying] that the prophecy seizes him against his will, like a person going mad, destreze in Old French, compulsion.  
4And I saw, and behold, a tempest was coming from the north, a huge cloud and a flaming fire with a brightness around it; and from its midst, it was like the color of the chashmal from the midst of the fire.   דוָאֵ֡רֶא וְהִנֵּה֩ ר֨וּחַ סְעָרָ֜ה בָּאָ֣ה מִן־הַצָּפ֗וֹן עָנָ֚ן | גָּדוֹל֙ וְאֵ֣שׁ מִתְלַקַּ֔חַת וְנֹ֥גַהּ ל֖וֹ סָבִ֑יב וּמִ֨תּוֹכָ֔הּ כְּעֵ֥ין הַֽחַשְׁמַ֖ל מִתּ֥וֹךְ הָאֵֽשׁ:
and behold, a tempest was coming from the north: That is the Chariot of the throne of the glory of the Shechinah, as it is described in this chapter (verse 28). Since it came with fury to destroy Israel, it is therefore likened to a tempest and a [storm] cloud.  
coming from the north: It was returning from the land of the Chaldeans, which is in the north. As it is said (Jer. 1:14): “From the north the misfortune will break forth.” And why did it go there [first]? In order to subjugate the whole world to Nebuchadnezzar, to prevent the nations from saying that He delivered His children into the hands of a lowly nation, for the Chaldeans were [considered] a lowly nation. As it is said (Isa. 23:13): “this people has never been.” So did our Sages expound on this verse in tractate Chagigah (13b).  
with a brightness around it: Surrounding the cloud on the outside, implying that Israel was destined to be redeemed from there [Babylonia].  
it was like the color of the chashmal: “Chashmal” is an angel bearing that name, and he [Ezekiel] saw [something] like the appearance of its color in the midst of the fire. And so did our Sages say: There was an incident involving a child who was expounding on the account of the Chariot. He perceived the meaning of “chashmal,” [whereupon] fire emanated from the chashmal and consumed him. They said further that the word itself is a combination: When they asked, “What is chashmal?” replied Rav Judah, “Living beings (חֶיוֹת) of fire (אֵש) that speak (מִמַלְלוֹת).” In a Baraitha we learned: Sometimes silent (חָשּׁוֹת), sometimes speaking (מִמַלְלוֹת) when the speech emanates from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He, they remain silent. When the speech does not emanate from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He, they speak; that is, they laud and praise the Lord (Chag. 13). [Addendum: Possibly, “chashmal” is the name of the color resembling the color of fire, for he said, “Chashmal from the midst of the fire,” and he said (verse 27): “the color of chashmal, the appearance of fire within it found about, from the appearance of his loins and above.” And, he says in the second vision (8:2): “and from his loins and above was like the appearance of a splendor, like the color of chashmal.”] And from the midst of it, [i.e.,] that fire, I saw something like the color of chashmal that appeared from the midst of the fire. But we do not know what it is, and the midrash that our Sages expounded on it, [defining “chashmal” as] living beings of fire that speak, does not seem to me to the context.  
5And from its midst was the likeness of four living beings, and this is their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.   הוּמִ֨תּוֹכָ֔הּ דְּמ֖וּת אַרְבַּ֣ע חַיּ֑וֹת וְזֶה֙ מַרְאֵיהֶ֔ן דְּמ֥וּת אָדָ֖ם לָהֵֽנָּה:
they had the likeness of a man: This is surprising, because they had also the likeness of an ox, a lion, and an eagle! Apparently, since this [being] is the patron of them all [all the living beings], the prophet praises the Chariot with it. [Their human face] had the countenance of our father Jacob.  
6And [each] one had four faces, and [each] one had four wings.   ווְאַרְבָּעָ֥ה פָנִ֖ים לְאֶחָ֑ת וְאַרְבַּ֥ע כְּנָפַ֖יִם לְאַחַ֥ת לָהֶֽם:
and each one had four faces: “Each one” means that the human countenance had four faces, as did that of the lion, the eagle, and the ox, totaling sixteen [faces] to one living being. It was thus for each living being, and four wings for each of the faces, totaling sixty-four wings for each living being. This is [why] Jonathan paraphrased: two hundred fifty-six wings.  
7And their legs were a straight leg, and the soles of their feet were like a round foot, and they sparkled like the color of burnished copper.   זוְרַגְלֵיהֶ֖ם רֶ֣גֶל יְשָׁרָ֑ה וְכַ֣ף רַגְלֵיהֶ֗ם כְּכַף֙ רֶ֣גֶל עֵ֔גֶל וְנֹ֣צְצִ֔ים כְּעֵ֖ין נְחֹ֥שֶׁת קָלָֽל:
were straight legs: [Jonathan renders]: רִגְלִין כֵּיוָנָן parallel legs, this one opposite this one. Another explanation: “straight,” meaning they had no knee joints by which to bend their legs because they do no sitting or lying. Therefore they do not require joints like those of animals the upper joint and the lower joint by which it bends its legs to lie down.  
a round foot: Heb. עֵגֶל, a round foot, and so did Jonathan render it: round feet.  
and they sparkled: Because of their brilliance, sparks seemed to emanate from them, as we say in tractate Yoma (37b): She too [Queen Helene] made a golden candelabrum, etc. When the sun shone, sparks would [seemingly] emanate from it, etc. וְנוֹצְצִים is etincelants in French, gleaming.  
like the color: Heb. כְּעֵין, like מַרְאֶה, the appearance.  
burnished copper: Heb. קָלָל, clarified and gleaming. Menachem (Machbereth p. 155) associated it with (Lev. 2:14): “roasted (קָלוּי) in fire.”  
8And human hands were beneath their wings on their four sides, and their faces and their wings were [the same] to all four of them.   חוִידֵ֣י (כתיב וִידֵ֣ו) אָדָ֗ם מִתַּ֙חַת֙ כַּנְפֵיהֶ֔ם עַ֖ל אַרְבַּ֣עַת רִבְעֵיהֶ֑ם וּפְנֵיהֶ֥ם וְכַנְפֵיהֶ֖ם לְאַרְבַּעְתָּֽם:
And human hands were beneath their wings: As the Targum paraphrases: to pick up coals of fire with them, etc. Likewise, we find in this Book (10:7): “And the cherub stretched forth his hand, etc. to the fire that was between the cherubim, and he picked it up and gave it to the hands of the one dressed in linen.” And so, [in the verse] after it, “And there appeared to the cherubim the form of a human hand, etc.” The human hands pick up the fire and give it to the cherub, and the cherub [gives it] to the messenger, in order [to allow] the coals to cool off [as they pass] from hand to hand, to mitigate Israel’s punishment.  
on their four sides: To the four directions of the world, for they have faces and wings in every direction.  
and their faces and their wings were the same to all four of them: As the Targum renders: were the same to all four of them.  
9Their wings joined one to the other; they did not turn when they walked; each one would go toward the direction of his face.   טחֹֽבְרֹ֛ת אִשָּׁ֥ה אֶל־אֲחוֹתָ֖הּ כַּנְפֵיהֶ֑ם לֹֽא־יִסַּ֣בּוּ בְלֶכְתָּ֔ן אִ֛ישׁ אֶל־עֵ֥בֶר פָּנָ֖יו יֵלֵֽכוּ:
Their wings joined one to the other: Each one’s wing was spread out to the side of the other one’s wing this way [lit. to here] and that way [lit. to here] until they join and touch each other, thereby covering their faces, for the wings are spread out over the face.  
they did not turn when they walked: If they wished to walk in any desired direction, they did not need to turn their faces because they have faces on every side; therefore each one went in the direction of his facein the direction of the face on that side where they desired to go, they would go.  
10And the likeness of their faces was the face of a man, and the face of a lion was on their right, to the four of them, and the face of an ox to their left, to the four of them, and the face of an eagle [was] to the four of them.   יוּדְמ֣וּת פְּנֵיהֶם֘ פְּנֵ֣י אָדָם֒ וּפְנֵ֨י אַרְיֵ֚ה אֶל־הַיָּמִין֙ לְאַרְבַּעְתָּ֔ם וּפְנֵי־שׁ֥וֹר מֵֽהַשְּׂמֹ֖אל (כתיב מהשמאול) לְאַרְבַּעְתָּ֑ן וּפְנֵי־נֶ֖שֶׁר לְאַרְבַּעְתָּֽן:
11And so were their faces. And their wings were extended upward; each one had two wings joined to each other, and two covering their bodies.   יאוּפְנֵיהֶ֕ם וְכַנְפֵיהֶ֥ם פְּרֻד֖וֹת מִלְמָ֑עְלָה לְאִ֗ישׁ שְׁתַּ֨יִם֨ חוֹבְר֣וֹת אִ֔ישׁ וּשְׁתַּ֣יִם מְכַסּ֔וֹת אֵ֖ת גְּוִיֹּֽתֵיהֶֽנָה:
And so were their faces, and their wings were extended upward: Had I not seen the cantillation sign of a “zakef gadol” [indicating a pause] punctuating “And so were their faces,” I would not know how to explain it, but the punctuation taught me to separate them [the words of the verse] one from the other and to place the word וּפְנֵיהֶם by itself. And so, [this] is its explanation: And they had faces and their wings were extended above their faces and covered them. How so? “Each had two wings joined to each other” to each face, their two wings were joined. On each one, the wing of this living being was stretched out towards the side of that living being, and this one’s towards the side of this one, and the face that was in between was covered by them. [A verse whose wording] is similar to the language of this verse appears again in this chapter (verse 18): “And they had backs, and they were very high and they were dreadful.” The word וְגֲבֵּיהֶן, “and they had backs,” stands by itself.  
and two covering their bodies: And the two remaining wings would cover their bodies.  
12Now each one would go toward the direction of his face; wherever would be the will to go, they would go; they did not turn as they walked.   יבוְאִ֛ישׁ אֶל־עֵ֥בֶר פָּנָ֖יו יֵלֵ֑כוּ אֶ֣ל אֲשֶׁר֩ יִֽהְיֶה־שָּׁ֨מָּה הָר֚וּחַ לָלֶ֙כֶת֙ יֵלֵ֔כוּ לֹ֥א יִסַּ֖בּוּ בְּלֶכְתָּֽן:
wherever would be the will: Heb. רוּחַ, usually spirit, here means will: the will to go.  
13And the likeness of the living beings; their appearance was like fiery coals, burning like the appearance of firebrands; it was going among the living beings; and there was a brightness to the fire and from the fire came forth lightning.   יגוּדְמ֨וּת הַֽחַיּ֜וֹת מַרְאֵיהֶ֣ם כְּגַֽחֲלֵי־אֵ֗שׁ בֹּֽעֲרוֹת֙ כְּמַרְאֵ֣ה הַלַּפִּדִ֔ים הִ֕יא מִתְהַלֶּ֖כֶת בֵּ֣ין הַֽחַיּ֑וֹת וְנֹ֣גַהּ לָאֵ֔שׁ וּמִן־הָאֵ֖שׁ יוֹצֵ֥א בָרָֽק:
it was going among the living beings: That appearance (מַרְאָה) was going among all the living beings.  
there was a brightness to the fire: More than [there is to] our fire.  
lightning: Heb. בָּרָק,flandours in Old French, lightning flashes.  
14And the living beings would run and return, like the appearance of the sparks.   ידוְהַֽחַיּ֖וֹת רָצ֣וֹא וָשׁ֑וֹב כְּמַרְאֵ֖ה הַבָּזָֽק:
would run and return, like the appearance of the sparks: Our Sages explained (Chag. 13b): They would run and return like the flame of a furnace, which constantly shoots out of the mouth of the furnace and hastens back to enter. So, when they would thrust their heads out from under the expanse that was extended above them as is delineated in the chapter they would recoil because of the Shechinah, which is above the expanse, and they hasten to pull their heads [down].  
like the appearance of the sparks: Heb. הֲבָּזָק, de l’etincelle in French, and the color of their fire is like the color of the fire that emanates from between the shards within which gold is refined in a furnace. The fire that emanates from there is colored with these colors (ibid.). [Addendum: Others explain הַבָּזָק as an expression of scattering, as our Sages explained it (Gen. Rabbah 50:1): “like the appearance of the bazak” R. Judah in the name of R. Simon in the name of R. Levi the son of Perata: Like one who scatters (הַבּוֹזֵק) ‘gefeth’ in a stove, i.e., he scatters ‘gefeth’ the residue of olives in a stove: it ignites quickly and raises a flame, and the flame ascends and descends, and this is the meaning of “would run and return.” Furthermore we find in their words (Sanh. 108b, according to Aruch) בזק used as an expression of scattering: “He scattered (בָּזַק) dust on them and it turned into swords,” meaning he scattered, and so in the Mishnah (Eruvin 10:14): “We may scatter (בּוֹזְקִין) salt on the ramp so that they should not slip.” בזק may also be defined as ברק (lightning), which is an expression of searching.]  
15And I saw the living beings, and behold, one wheel [was] on the ground beside the living beings for its four faces.   טווָאֵ֖רֶא הַֽחַיּ֑וֹת וְהִנֵּה֩ אוֹפַ֨ן אֶחָ֥ד בָּאָ֛רֶץ אֵ֥צֶל הַֽחַיּ֖וֹת לְאַרְבַּ֥עַת פָּנָֽיו:
one wheel [was] on the ground: On the floor of the expanse.  
for its four faces: of each living being, or the wheel had four faces. Our Rabbis said (Chag. 13b): “This is Sandalphon [the angel], who stands on the ground yet whose head reaches up among the living beings.” From the context we learn that the wheels were four.  
16The appearance of the wheels and their work was like the appearance of crystal, and the four of them had one likeness, and their appearance and their workings were as a wheel would be within a wheel.   טזמַרְאֵ֨ה הָאֽוֹפַנִּ֚ים וּמַֽעֲשֵׂיהֶם֙ כְּעֵ֣ין תַּרְשִׁ֔ישׁ וּדְמ֥וּת אֶחָ֖ד לְאַרְבַּעְתָּ֑ן וּמַרְאֵיהֶם֙ וּמַֽ֣עֲשֵׂיהֶ֔ם כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֛ר יִהְיֶ֥ה הָֽאוֹפַ֖ן בְּת֥וֹךְ הָֽאוֹפָֽן:
like the appearance of crystal: Heb. תַּרְשִּׂישּׂ, like a precious stone named tarshish, cristal in French.  
as… would be: A wheel set within a wheel, crosswise. Since they go to every side, with their faces to the four directions, the wheel must roll in its four directions.  
17When they went, they went toward their four sides; they did not turn when they went.   יזעַל־אַרְבַּ֥עַת רִבְעֵיהֶ֖ן בְּלֶכְתָּ֣ם יֵלֵ֑כוּ לֹ֥א יִסַּ֖בּוּ בְּלֶכְתָּֽן:
toward their four sides, etc.: Because of the working of the wheels, he had to repeat them [i.e., the description of the living beings’ movements], to say that the wheels did not stop them because they [the living beings] too were made for that [i.e., moving in four directions].  
18And they had backs, and they were very high, and they were dreadful, and their eyebrows were full of eyes round about-[so it was] to the four of them.   יחוְגַ֨בֵּיהֶ֔ן וְגֹ֥בַהּ לָהֶ֖ם וְיִרְאָ֣ה לָהֶ֑ם וְגַבֹּתָ֗ם מְלֵאֹ֥ת עֵינַ֛יִם סָבִ֖יב לְאַרְבַּעְתָּֽן:
And they had backs: Heb. וְגַבֵּיהֶן, lit. and their backs. And they had backs.  
and they were very high, and they were dreadful: They were frightful to look upon. Others interpret: “they had fear,” meaning they stood in awe.  
and their eyebrows: Heb. וְגֲבֹּתָם, et leurs sourcils in French.  
were full of eyes round about: to see in all directions, for they did not turn when they went.  
19And when the living beings would go, the wheels would go beside them; and when the living beings would lift themselves off the ground, the wheels would lift themselves.   יטוּבְלֶ֙כֶת֙ הַֽחַיּ֔וֹת יֵלְכ֥וּ הָאֽוֹפַנִּ֖ים אֶצְלָ֑ם וּבְהִנָּשֵׂ֚א הַֽחַיּוֹת֙ מֵעַ֣ל הָאָ֔רֶץ יִנָּֽשְׂא֖וּ הָאֽוֹפַנִּֽים:
off the ground: Off the floor of the expanse, and so did Jonathan render: “off the high heavens”; meaning when they lifted themselves up from the depths to the heights.  
20Wherever there was the will to go, they would go; there was the will to go, and the wheels would lift themselves correspondingly to them, for the will of the living being was in the wheels.   כעַ֣ל אֲשֶׁר֩ יִֽהְיֶה־שָּׁ֨ם הָר֚וּחַ לָלֶ֙כֶת֙ יֵלֵ֔כוּ שָׁ֥מָּה הָר֖וּחַ לָלֶ֑כֶת וְהָאֽוֹפַנִּ֗ים יִנָּֽשְׂאוּ֙ לְעֻמָּתָ֔ם כִּ֛י ר֥וּחַ הַֽחַיָּ֖ה בָּאֽוֹפַנִּֽים:
the will: The will of the Holy One, blessed be He.  
there was the will to go: It was not necessary to tell them [to go] to this side [or that] because the will of the Holy One, blessed be He, was in the living beings, and the will of the living beings was in the wheels.  
21When they [the living beings] would go, they [the wheels] would go, and when they would stand, they would stand, and when they would lift themselves up from the ground, the wheels would lift themselves correspondingly to them, for the will of the living being was in the wheels.   כאבְּלֶכְתָּ֣ם יֵלֵ֔כוּ וּבְעָמְדָ֖ם יַֽעֲמֹ֑דוּ וּֽבְהִנָּֽשְׂאָ֞ם מֵעַ֣ל הָאָ֗רֶץ יִנָּֽשְׂא֚וּ הָאוֹפַנִּים֙ לְעֻמָּתָ֔ם כִּ֛י ר֥וּחַ הַֽחַיָּ֖ה בָּאֽוֹפַנִּֽים:
When they would go: Heb. בְּלֶכְתַּם, [i.e.,] the living beings.  
they would go: Heb. יֵלְכוּ [i.e.,] the wheels.  
22And there was a likeness over the heads of the living beings, of an expanse like the color of the severe frost extended over their heads above.   כבוּדְמ֞וּת עַל־רָאשֵׁ֚י הַֽחַיָּה֙ רָקִ֔יעַ כְּעֵ֖ין הַקֶּ֣רַח הַנּוֹרָ֑א נָט֥וּי עַל־רָֽאשֵׁיהֶ֖ם מִלְמָֽעְלָה:
the severe frost: Jonathan rendered: גְלִיד חֲסִין, severe frost, gelee forte in French.  
23And beneath the expanse, their wings were straight, one [pointed] toward the other; this one had two that covered, to here, and that one had two that covered, to here, their bodies.   כגוְתַ֙חַת֙ הָרָקִ֔יעַ כַּנְפֵיהֶ֣ם יְשָׁר֔וֹת אִשָּׁ֖ה אֶל־אֲחוֹתָ֑הּ לְאִ֗ישׁ שְׁתַּ֚יִם מְכַסּוֹת֙ לָהֵ֔נָּה וּלְאִ֗ישׁ שְׁתַּ֚יִם מְכַסּוֹת֙ לָהֵ֔נָּה אֵ֖ת גְּוִֽיֹּתֵיהֶֽם:
straight: Parallel.  
24And I heard the sound of their wings, like the sound of many waters like the voice of the Almighty-when they went; the sound of stirring, like the sound of a camp; when they would stand, they would let down their wings.   כדוָֽאֶשְׁמַ֣ע אֶת־ק֣וֹל כַּנְפֵיהֶ֡ם כְּקוֹל֩ מַ֨יִם רַבִּ֚ים כְּקֽוֹל־שַׁדַּי֙ בְּלֶכְתָּ֔ם ק֥וֹל הֲמֻלָּ֖ה כְּק֣וֹל מַֽחֲנֶ֑ה בְּעָמְדָ֖ם תְּרַפֶּ֥ינָה כַנְפֵיהֶֽן:
like the sound of many waters: I would think that the voice was low. Therefore, Scripture adds: like the sound of the Almighty, like the voice delineated in the Holy Writings (Ps. 29: 4f.): “The voice of the Lord is in strength, etc. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars.”  
the sound of stirring, like the sound of a camp: Like the sound of their speech when they thank and bless their Master; it was like the sound of the camp of the angels on high.  
when they would stand, they would let down their wings: [and cease] from making a sound be heard, and Jonathan rendered: when they would stand, they would silence their wings because of the speech, [i.e., because of] the speech of the Omnipresent emanating from above their heads, to let the prophets hear His mission, as he [Ezekiel] concludes (verse 25): “And there was a voice, etc.” The Midrash Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 65:11) states: “When they would stop praising [God] so that Israel would praise first.”  
25And there was a voice above the expanse that was over their heads; when they stood still, they would let down their wings.   כהוַיְהִי־ק֕וֹל מֵעַ֕ל לָֽרָקִ֖יעַ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עַל־רֹאשָׁ֑ם בְּעָמְדָ֖ם תְּרַפֶּ֥ינָה כַנְפֵיהֶֽן:
And there was a voice above the expanse: Jonathan rendered: And at the time that there was a will before Him to make His speech heard to His servants the prophets of Israel there was a voice, and it was heard from above the expanse, from between the cherubim, from beneath the expanse that was over their heads.  
they would let down their wings: out of the fear of the speech.  
26And above the expanse that was over their heads, like the appearance of a sapphire stone, was the likeness of a throne, and on the likeness of the throne, was a likeness like the appearance of a man upon it above.   כווּמִמַּ֗עַל לָֽרָקִ֙יעַ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עַל־רֹאשָׁ֔ם כְּמַרְאֵ֥ה אֶֽבֶן־סַפִּ֖יר דְּמ֣וּת כִּסֵּ֑א וְעַל֙ דְּמ֣וּת הַכִּסֵּ֔א דְּמ֞וּת כְּמַרְאֵ֥ה אָדָ֛ם עָלָ֖יו מִלְמָֽעְלָה:
27And I saw like the color of chashmal like the appearance of fire within it round about, from the appearance of his loins and above; and from the appearance of his loins and below, I saw [a thing] like the appearance of fire, and there was a brightness round about it.   כזוָאֵ֣רֶא | כְּעֵ֣ין חַשְׁמַ֗ל כְּמַרְאֵה־אֵ֚שׁ בֵּֽית־לָהּ֙ סָבִ֔יב מִמַּרְאֵ֥ה מָתְנָ֖יו וּלְמָ֑עְלָה וּמִמַּרְאֵ֚ה מָתְנָיו֙ וּלְמַ֔טָּה רָאִ֙יתִי֙ כְּמַרְאֵה־אֵ֔שׁ וְנֹ֥גַהּ ל֖וֹ סָבִֽיב:
And I saw like the color of chashmal: No permission was granted to ponder over this verse.  
within it: Within it was like the appearance of fire.  
28Like the appearance of the rainbow that is in the cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness round about; that was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord, and when I saw, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice speaking.   כחכְּמַרְאֵ֣ה הַקֶּ֡שֶׁת אֲשֶׁר֩ יִֽהְיֶ֨ה בֶֽעָנָ֜ן בְּי֣וֹם הַגֶּ֗שֶׁם כֵּ֣ן מַרְאֵ֚ה הַנֹּ֙גַהּ֙ סָבִ֔יב ה֕וּא מַרְאֵ֖ה דְּמ֣וּת כְּבֽוֹד־יְהֹוָ֑ה וָֽאֶרְאֶה֙ וָֽאֶפֹּ֣ל עַל־פָּנַ֔י וָֽאֶשְׁמַ֖ע ק֥וֹל מְדַבֵּֽר:
and I fell on my face: I prostrated myself.  
and I heard a voice speaking: And what did it say?  

Ezekiel Chapter 3

12And a wind lifted me up, and I heard behind me the sound of a great uproar: "Blessed is the glory of the Lord from His place."   יבוַתִּשָּׂאֵ֣נִי ר֔וּחַ וָֽאֶשְׁמַ֣ע אַֽחֲרַ֔י ק֖וֹל רַ֣עַשׁ גָּד֑וֹל בָּר֥וּךְ כְּבֽוֹד־יְהֹוָ֖ה מִמְּקוֹמֽוֹ:
And a wind lifted me up: After He finished His words, He commanded the wind to carry me to the place where the people of the exile were.  
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