Vayikra (Leviticus) Chapter 19

23When you come to the Land and you plant any food tree, you shall surely block its fruit [from use]; it shall be blocked from you [from use] for three years, not to be eaten.   כגוְכִֽי־תָבֹ֣אוּ אֶל־הָאָ֗רֶץ וּנְטַעְתֶּם֙ כָּל־עֵ֣ץ מַֽאֲכָ֔ל וַֽעֲרַלְתֶּ֥ם עָרְלָת֖וֹ אֶת־פִּרְי֑וֹ שָׁל֣שׁ שָׁנִ֗ים יִֽהְיֶ֥ה לָכֶ֛ם עֲרֵלִ֖ים לֹ֥א יֵֽאָכֵֽל:
you shall surely block…[from use]: Heb. וַעִרַלְתֶּם עָרְלָתוֹ, [lit.:] “And you shall block up its blockage,” i.e., [its fruit] shall be blocked and closed up from deriving benefit from it.   וַֽעֲרַלְתֶּם עָרְלָתוֹ: וַאֲטַמְתֶּם אֲטִימָתוֹ — יְהֵא אָטוּם וְנִסְתָּם מִלֵּהָנוֹת מִמֶּנּוּ:
it shall be blocked for you [from use] for three years: From when does one start counting [this three-year period]? From the time of its planting. — [Torath Kohanim 19:60] One might think that if one stores away the fruit [produced in the first three years], after the first three years have elapsed, [the fruit] will become permissible. Therefore, Scripture, says, “it shall be” -the fruit shall remain in its [forbidden] status [forever]. — [Torath Kohanim 19:62]   שָׁלשׁ שָׁנִים יִֽהְיֶה לָכֶם עֲרֵלִים: מֵאֵימָתַי מוֹנֶה לוֹ? מִשְּׁעַת נְטִיעָתוֹ; יָכוֹל אִם הִצְנִיעוֹ, לְאַחַר שָׁלוֹשׁ שָׁנִים יְהֵא מֻתָּר, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר יִהְיֶה — בַּהֲוָיָתוֹ יְהֵא (ספרא):
24And in the fourth year, all its fruit shall be holy, a praise to the Lord.   כדוּבַשָּׁנָה֙ הָֽרְבִיעִ֔ת יִֽהְיֶ֖ה כָּל־פִּרְי֑וֹ קֹ֥דֶשׁ הִלּוּלִ֖ים לַֽיהוָֹֽה:
all its fruit shall be holy: Just like the second tithe, concerning which it is [also] written, “And every tithe of the Land…is holy to the Lord” (Lev. 27:30); just as the tithe may not be eaten outside the wall of Jerusalem, except after having been redeemed, so is this. — [see Torath Kohanim 19:66], and this thing is “a praise to the Lord,” for he carries it there [to Jerusalem,] to laud and give praise to Heaven.   יִֽהְיֶה כָּל־פִּרְיוֹ קֹדֶשׁ: כְּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי שֶׁכָּתוּב בּוֹ וְכָל מַעְשַׂר הָאָרֶץ וְגוֹ' קֹדֶשׁ לַה' (ויקרא כ"ז), מַה מַּעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי אֵינוֹ נֶאֱכָל חוּץ לְחוֹמוֹת יְרוּשָׁלַיִם אֶלָּא בְּפִדְיוֹן, אַף זֶה כֵּן, וְדָבָר זֶה הלולים לה' הוּא, שֶׁנּוֹשְׂאוֹ שָׁם לְשַׁבֵּחַ וּלְהַלֵּל לַשָּׁמַיִם (עי' ברכות ל"ה):
25And in the fifth year, you may eat its fruit; [do this, in order] to increase its produce for you. I am the Lord, your God.   כהוּבַשָּׁנָ֣ה הַֽחֲמִישִׁ֗ת תֹּֽאכְלוּ֙ אֶת־פִּרְי֔וֹ לְהוֹסִ֥יף לָכֶ֖ם תְּבֽוּאָת֑וֹ אֲנִ֖י יְהוָֹ֥ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶֽם:
to increase its produce for you: This commandment which you will observe, will be “[in order] to increase its produce for you,” because as its reward, I will bless for you the fruits of [your] plantings. Rabbi Akiva used to say, “The Torah stated this to counter man’s evil inclination: so that a person should not say, ”For four years I suffer with this tree for nothing!“ Scripture therefore says here, ” [in order] to increase its produce for you." - [Torath Kohanim 19: 68]   לְהוֹסִיף לָכֶם תְּבֽוּאָתוֹ: הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת שֶׁתִּשְׁמְרוּ, תִּהְיֶה לְהוֹסִיף לָכֶם תְּבוּאָתוֹ, שֶׁבִּשְׂכָרָהּ אֲנִי מְבָרֵךְ לָכֶם פֵּרוֹת הַנְּטִיעָה; הָיָה רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר דִּבְּרָה תוֹרָה כְּנֶגֶד יֵצֶר הָרָע, שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמַר אָדָם הֲרֵי אַרְבַּע שָׁנִים אֲנִי מִצְטַעֵר בּוֹ חִנָּם לְפִיכָךְ נֶאֱמַר לְהוֹסִיף לָכֶם תְּבוּאָתוֹ (ספרא):
I am the Lord: I am the Lord Who promises regarding this and Who is faithful to keep My promise.   אֲנִי ה': אֲנִי ה' הַמַּבְטִיחַ עַל כָּךְ וְנֶאֱמָן לִשְׁמֹר הַבְטָחָתִי:
26You shall not eat over the blood. You shall not act on the basis of omens or lucky hours.   כולֹ֥א תֹֽאכְל֖וּ עַל־הַדָּ֑ם לֹ֥א תְנַֽחֲשׁ֖וּ וְלֹ֥א תְעוֹנֵֽנוּ:
You shall not eat over the blood: [This verse is] expounded in many different ways in Sanhedrin (63a) [as follows]: (a) It is a warning that one must not eat from the flesh of holy sacrifices before the dashing of the blood; (b) It is a warning against [anyone] who eats from an ordinary animal before its soul [contained in its blood] has [fully] departed; and in many more [ways this verse is expounded there].   לֹא תֹֽאכְלוּ עַל־הַדָּם: לְהַרְבֵּה פָנִים נִדְרָשׁ בְּסַנְהֶדְרִין (דף ס"ג): אַזְהָרָה שֶׁלֹּא יֹאכַל מִבְּשַֹר קָדָשִׁים לִפְנֵי זְרִיקַת דָּמִים, וְאַזְהָרָה לָאוֹכֵל מִבֶּהֱמַת חֻלִּין טֶרֶם שֶׁתֵּצֵא נַפְשָׁהּ, וְעוֹד הַרְבֵּה:
You shall not act on the basis of omens: like those who interpret [the sounds or actions of] a weasel or birds as omens [for good or bad], - [Torath Kohanim 19:71; Sanh. 66a], or [like those who interpret] bread falling from his mouth or a deer crossing his path [as signs for certain things]. — [Sanh. 65b]   לֹא תְנַֽחֲשׁוּ: כְּגוֹן אֵלּוּ הַמְנַחֲשִׁין בְּחֻלְדָּה וּבְעוֹפוֹת, פִּתּוֹ נָפְלָה מִפִּיו, צְבִי הִפְסִיקוֹ בַדֶּרֶךְ (ספרא):
You shall not act on the basis of… lucky hours: [The expression תְעוֹנְנוּ] denotes times (עוֹנוֹת) and hours, that one would say, “Such and such a day is auspicious to begin your work,” or, “Such and such an hour is unlucky to embark [on a journey].” - [Sanh. 65b]   וְלֹא תְעוֹנֵֽנוּ: לְשׁוֹן עוֹנוֹת וְשָׁעוֹת, שֶׁאוֹמֵר יוֹם פְּלוֹנִי יָפֶה לְהַתְחִיל מְלָאכָה, שָׁעָה פְלוֹנִית קָשָׁה לָצֵאת (סנהדרין ס"ה):
27You shall not round off the corner of your head, and you shall not destroy the edge of your beard.   כזלֹ֣א תַקִּ֔פוּ פְּאַ֖ת רֹֽאשְׁכֶ֑ם וְלֹ֣א תַשְׁחִ֔ית אֵ֖ת פְּאַ֥ת זְקָנֶֽךָ:
You shall not round off the corner of your head: This refers to someone who [cuts his hair in such a way that he] makes [the hair on] his temples even with that behind his ear and on his forehead [i.e., the front hairline], thereby causing [the hairline] surrounding his head to become a circle, since the main hairline behind the ears is at a much higher level than [the hair on] his temples. — [Mak. 20b]   לֹא תַקִּפוּ פְּאַת רֹֽאשְׁכֶם: זֶה הַמַּשְׁוֶה צְדָעָיו לַאֲחוֹרֵי אָזְנוֹ וּלְפַדַּחְתּוֹ, וְנִמְצָא הֶקֵּף רֹאשׁוֹ עָגֹל סָבִיב, שֶׁעַל אֲחוֹרֵי אָזְנָיו עִקְּרֵי שְׂעָרוֹ לְמַעְלָה מִצְּדָעָיו הַרְבֵּה:
the edge of your beard: [meaning:] The end of the beard and its borders. And these are five: two on each cheek at the top [edge of the cheek] near the head, where [the cheek] is broad and has two “corners” [i.e., extremities, one near the temple and the other at the end of the cheek bone towards the center of the face]-and one below, on the chin, at the point where the two cheeks join together. - [Torath Kohanim 19: 74; Mak. 20b]   פְּאַת זְקָנֶֽךָ: סוֹף הַזָּקָן וּגְבוּלָיו (מכות כ'), וְהֵן חָמֵשׁ — שְׁתַּיִם בְּכָל לֶחִי וָלֶחִי, לְמַעְלָה אֵצֶל הָרֹאשׁ שֶׁהוּא רָחָב, וְיֵשׁ בּוֹ שְׁתֵּי פֵאוֹת, וְאַחַת לְמַטָּה בְּסַנְטֵרוֹ — מְקוֹם חִבּוּר שְׁנֵי הַלְּחָיַיִם יַחַד (שבועות נ'):
28You shall not make cuts in your flesh for a person [who died]. You shall not etch a tattoo on yourselves. I am the Lord.   כחוְשֶׂ֣רֶט לָנֶ֗פֶשׁ לֹ֤א תִתְּנוּ֙ בִּבְשַׂרְכֶ֔ם וּכְתֹ֣בֶת קַֽעֲקַ֔ע לֹ֥א תִתְּנ֖וּ בָּכֶ֑ם אֲנִ֖י יְהוָֹֽה:
You shall not make] cuts [in your flesh] for a person [who died]: This was the practice of the Amorites: to make cuts in their flesh when a person [related] to them died.   וְשֶׂרֶט לָנֶפֶשׁ: כֵּן דַּרְכָּן שֶׁל אֱמוֹרִיִּים לִהְיוֹת מְשָׂרְטִין בְּשָֹרָם כְּשֶׁמֵּת לָהֶם מֵת:
etch a tattoo: Heb. וּכְתֹבֶת קַעֲקַע, an inscription etched (מְחֻקֶּה) and sunken (שָׁקוּע), never to be erased, for one etches it with a needle, and it remains permanently black.   וּכְתֹבֶת קַֽעֲקַע: כְּתָב מְחֻקֶּה וְשָׁקוּעַ שֶׁאֵינוֹ נִמְחָק לְעוֹלָם שֶׁמְּקַעְקְעוֹ בְּמַחַט וְהוּא מַשְׁחִיר לְעוֹלָם:
etched: Heb. קַעְקַע. Similar to the expression [found in the verses], “and hang (וְהוֹקַע) them” [lit., “and sink them”] (Num. 25:4), and, “and we will hang them (וְהוֹקַעְנוּם) ” [lit., “and we will sink them”] (II Sam. 21:6). They would thrust a pole into the ground, and hang the [guilty people] on it; in this way, [the ones hanged would appear as if] inserted and thrust into the ground [and thus the word קַעְקַע denoting “etched in and sunken” into the skin]; porpoynt in Old French [according to Greenberg, porpoint according to Gukovitzki].   קַֽעֲקַע: לְשׁוֹן וְהוֹקַע אוֹתָם (במדבר כ"ה), וְהוֹקַעְנוּם (שמואל ב כ"א), תּוֹחֲבִין עֵץ בָּאָרֶץ וְתוֹלִין אוֹתָם עֲלֵיהֶם, וְנִמְצְאוּ מְחֻקִּין וּתְחוּבִין בַּקַּרְקַע, פורפו"ינט בְּלַעַז:
29You shall not defile your daughter by making her a harlot, lest the Land fall into harlotry and the land be filled with immorality.   כטאַל־תְּחַלֵּ֥ל אֶת־בִּתְּךָ֖ לְהַזְנוֹתָ֑הּ וְלֹֽא־תִזְנֶ֣ה הָאָ֔רֶץ וּמָֽלְאָ֥ה הָאָ֖רֶץ זִמָּֽה:
You shall not defile your daughter by making her a harlot: [This is speaking of] a person who hands over his unmarried daughter to have relations that are not for the purpose of marriage.[Torath Kohanim 19:77; Sanh. 76a]   אַל־תְּחַלֵּל אֶת־בִּתְּךָ לְהַזְנוֹתָהּ: בְּמוֹסֵר בִּתּוֹ פְנוּיָה לְבִיאָה שֶׁלֹּא לְשֵׁם קִדּוּשִׁין (סנהדרין ע"ו):
lest the Land fall into harlotry: Heb. וְלֹא תִזְנֶה, for if you do so, the Land itself will cause its fruits to go astray (מְזַנֶּה), producing them elsewhere and not in your Land. And thus the verse says (Jer. 3:2-3), “[and you defiled the Land with your harlotries (בִּזְנוּתַיִךְ) …] Therefore, the rains were withheld.” - [Torath Kohanim 19:77]   וְלֹֽא־תִזְנֶה הָאָרֶץ: אִם אַתָּה עוֹשֶׂה כֵּן, הָאָרֶץ מְזַנָּה אֶת פֵּרוֹתֶיהָ לַעֲשׂוֹתָן בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר וְלֹא בְאַרְצְכֶם, וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר (ירמיהו ג'), וַיִּמָּנְעוּ רְבִיבִים וְגוֹ' (תוספתא, קידושין א'):
30You shall observe My Sabbaths and revere My Sanctuary. I am the Lord.   לאֶת־שַׁבְּתֹתַ֣י תִּשְׁמֹ֔רוּ וּמִקְדָּשִׁ֖י תִּירָ֑אוּ אֲנִ֖י יְהוָֹֽה:
And revere My Sanctuary: One may not enter [the Temple Mount] with his [walking] staff, his shoes, with his money belt, or with the dust on his feet.[Yev. 6b] And although I warn you regarding the [holiness of the] Sanctuary, [says God,] nevertheless-“You shall observe My Sabbaths”-the construction of the Sanctuary does not supersede [the laws of the] Sabbath. — [Yev. 6a].   וּמִקְדָּשִׁי תִּירָאוּ: לֹא יִכָּנֵס בְּמַקְלוֹ וּבְמִנְעָלוֹ וּבַאֲפֻנְדָּתוֹ וּבְאָבָק שֶׁעַל רַגְלָיו (ברכות נ"ד); וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֲנִי מַזְהִירְכֶם עַל הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, אֶת שַׁבְּתֹתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ — אֵין בִּנְיַן הַמִּקְדָּשׁ דּוֹחֶה שַׁבָּת (ספרא):
31You shall not turn to [the sorcery of] Ov or Yid'oni; you shall not seek [these and thereby] defile yourselves through them. I am the Lord, your God.   לאאַל־תִּפְנ֤וּ אֶל־הָֽאֹבֹת֙ וְאֶל־הַיִּדְּעֹנִ֔ים אַל־תְּבַקְשׁ֖וּ לְטָמְאָ֣ה בָהֶ֑ם אֲנִ֖י יְהוָֹ֥ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶֽם:
You shall not turn to [the sorcery of]: Ov or Yid’oni. This is a warning against one who practices the sorcery of Ov or Yid’oni. [And what are these forms of sorcery?] One who practices the sorcery of Ov is “Pithom the sorcerer” (see Rashi Deut. 18:11); [he communes with the dead, as it were, by raising the spirit of the dead, which then] speaks from his armpit. [And one who practices the sorcery of] Yid’oni inserts the bone of a creature called Yido’a (see Bartenura, Mishnah Kilayim 8:5) into his mouth, and the bone speaks [from there].-[Torath Kohanim 19:79; Sanh. 65b]   אַל־תִּפְנוּ: אַזְהָרָה לְבַעַל אוֹב וְיִדְּעוֹנִי; בַּעַל אוֹב זֶה פִּיתוֹם הַמְדַבֵּר מִשֶּׁחְיוֹ, וְיִדְּעוֹנִי הַמַּכְנִיס עֶצֶם חַיָּה שֶׁשְּׁמָה יַדּוּעַ לְתוֹךְ פִּיו וְהָעֶצֶם מְדַבֵּר (סנהדרין ס"ה):
you shall not seek: to occupy yourselves with these [types of sorcery], for if you do occupy yourselves with them, you will become defiled before Me [says God], and I will deem you abominable.   אַל־תְּבַקְשׁוּ: לִהְיוֹת עֲסוּקִים בָּם, שֶׁאִם תַּעַסְקוּ בָם, אַתֶּם מִטַּמְּאִין לְפָנַי וַאֲנִי מְתַעֵב אֶתְכֶם:
I am the Lord, your God: Know Whom you are exchanging for whom [i.e., you would be exchanging “the Lord, your God” for these futile sorceries]. — [Torath Kohanim 19:79]   אֲנִי ה' אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶֽם: דְּעוּ אֶת מִי אַתֶּם מַחֲלִיפִין בְּמִי (ספרא):
32You shall rise before a venerable person and you shall respect the elderly, and you shall fear your God. I am the Lord.   לבמִפְּנֵ֤י שֵׂיבָה֙ תָּק֔וּם וְהָֽדַרְתָּ֖ פְּנֵ֣י זָקֵ֑ן וְיָרֵ֥אתָ מֵּֽאֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ אֲנִ֥י יְהוָֹֽה:
You shall rise before a venerable person: One might think [that the commandment refers to rising before] an old person, [even though he may be] guilty [of transgression]. Scripture, therefore, says, זָקֵן the term זָקֵן exclusively refers to one who has acquired wisdom [see Num. 11:16, where the same term refers to great, wise men, and therefore not guilty of transgression]. — [Torath Kohanim 19:80; Kid. 32b]   מִפְּנֵי שֵׂיבָה תָּקוּם: יָכוֹל זָקֵן אַשְׁמַאי, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר זָקֵן, אֵין זָקֵן אֶלָּא שֶׁקָּנָה חָכְמָה (קידושין ל"ב):
and you shall respect the elderly: What is meant by “respecting” [the elderly]? One may not sit in his place, speak in his stead [when it is the elder’s turn to speak], or contradict him. [Since one is obligated to rise before the elderly only when the latter enters within one’s four cubits,] one might think that he may close his eyes [when the elder approaches], as if he did not see him [and thus evade the obligation to rise before him]! Therefore Scripture adds here, “and you shall fear your God,” for this matter is privately known to the one who commits it, and no one knows about it except the person himself, and, concerning any matter known only in the heart [of one person,], Scripture says, “and you shall fear your God,” [for God knows man’s thoughts]. — [Torath Kohanim 19:80; Kid. 31b, 32b]   וְהָֽדַרְתָּ פְּנֵי זָקֵן: אֵיזֶהוּ הִדּוּר? לֹא יֵשֵׁב בִּמְקוֹמוֹ וְלֹא יִסְתֹּר אֶת דְּבָרָיו: יָכוֹל יַעֲצִים עֵינָיו כְּמִי שֶׁלֹּא רָאָהוּ? לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר ויראת מאלהיך, שֶׁהֲרֵי דָּבָר זֶה מָסוּר לְלִבּוֹ שֶׁל עוֹשֵׂהוּ, שֶׁאֵין מַכִּיר בּוֹ אֶלָּא הוּא, וְכָל דָּבָר הַמָּסוּר לַלֵּב נֶאֱמַר בוֹ וְיָרֵאתָ מֵּאֱלֹהֶיךָ (שם):