Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"The Book of the Righteous"

Hi,

"Shemuel II 1:18 says, 'And [King David] said to teach the Judeans the bow; this is recorded in Sefer haYashar [The Book of the Righteous].' What is Sefer haYashar?

"Rabbi Chiyya bar Abba cited Rabbi Yochanan: This is the book of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, who are called righteous [yesharim], as in Bamidbar 23:10, [when Bilam said:] "'May my death be that of the righteous [yesharim].'...

"Rabbi Eliezer said: This is Mishneh Torah [Devarim]. Why is it called Sefer haYashar? Devarim 6:18 says, 'You shall perform that which is righteous [yashar] and good.'...

"Rabbi Shemuel bar Nachmeni said: This is the Book of Shoftim [Judges]. Why is it called Sefer haYashar? Shoftim 17:6 says, 'In those days there was no king in Israel; one would do that which was righteous [yashar] in his eyes.'..."

(Talmud, Avodah Zarah 25a)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jerusalem, City of Justice

Hi,

Introduction: The word tzedek refers to justice.

"Jerusalem makes its residents just – [its biblical leaders were named] Malki Tzedek (Genesis 14), Adoni Tzedek (Joshua 10). Jerusalem itself is called tzedek, as in Isaiah 1:21, 'Righteousness would reside in her.'"

(Midrash, Bereishit Rabbah 43:6)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Monday, January 26, 2015

Supporting Torah scholars

Hi,

"Rav Dimi of Neherdaa brought dried figs by boat. The Exilarch said to Rava: Go and see; if he is a young scholar, set up the market for him."

(Talmud, Bava Batra 22a; this is quoted by Rabbi Moshe Isserles, Shut Rama 10, as a legal obligation)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A help, opposite him

Hi,

"And G-d said: It is not good that Man should be alone; I will make for him a help, opposite him."
(Bereishit 2:18)

"If he merits, she will help him. If he does not merit, she will oppose him."
(Talmud, Yevamot 63a)

Have a great day,
Mordechai


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Frowning on pseudepigraphy

Hi,

[Pseudepigraphy = Attributing a work to someone other than its author]

"Rabbi Avahu cited Rabbi Yochanan: One may teach his daughter Greek; this is ornamental for her. 

"Shimon bar Abba heard this and said: Because Rabbi Avahu wants to teach his daughter Greek, he hung this upon Rabbi Yochanan.

"Rabbi Avahu heard this and said: May terrible things happen to me, if I did not hear this from Rabbi Yochanan!"

(Talmud Yerushalmi Shabbat 6:1)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Prophet: A Breed Apart

Hi,

"Habr: Logically, the intellect sets the speaking being above all other living things, mandating that he develop an improved character, home and nation, and act rationally… And what level would you expect to be above this?

"King: The level of great sages?


"Habr: I am referring to a level which separates its holder qualitatively, like the difference between plant and mineral… This is the level of the indisputable prophet, via whom the masses can perceive the joining of G-d with humanity…"

(Rabbi Yehudah haLevi, Kuzari 1:35-43)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Monday, January 19, 2015

Miriam, Leader of the Jews

Hi,

"Deuteronomy 24:9 mentions the redemption [from Egypt] specifically regarding Miriam, teaching that whenever the camps travelled, they did so only with Miriam travelling before them."

(Midrash, Sifri Devarim 275)

Have a great day,
Mordechai