1. A. "[Is Ephraim a precious son] to me" (Jer. 31:20).
B. Wherever in Scripture the words, "to me," are written, [that to which the words refer] is not to be moved either in this world or in the world to come [see Sifre Deut. 92].
C. In reference to the priests, it is written, "And they shall serve as priests to me" (Ex. 40:15).
D. The Levites: "And they shall take heave offering for me" (Ex. 25:2).
E. Israel: "For to me belong the children of Israel" (Lev. 25:45).
F. Heave offering: "And they shall take up heave offering for me" (Ex. 25:2).
G. Firstlings: "For to me belongs every firstborn" (Num. 3:13).
H. The Sanhedrin: "Gather to me [seventy elders]" (Num. 11:16).
I. The Land of Israel: "For to me belongs the land" (Lev. 25:23).
J. Jerusalem: "The city which I have chosen for me" (1 Kgs. 11:36).
K. "For I have seen for myself a king among his sons" (1 Sam. 16:1). L. The sanctuary: "And they shall make a sanctuary for me" (Ex. 25:8).
M. The altar: "An altar of dirt you will make for me" (Ex. 20:21). N. To the offerings: "You shall watch to offer to me" (Num. 25:2). O. The anointing oil: "This will be for me a holy oil of anointing" (Ex. 30:31).
P. Lo, every reference in Scripture to "to me" means that that to which reference is made will not be moved either in this world or in the world to come.
1. A. "[Is] Ephraim [a precious son to me]" (Jer. 31:20).
B. R. Joshua b. Levi said, "[Ephraim means] a courtier.'*
C. R. Joshua b. Nehemiah said, "It means an aristocrat."
2. A. Said R. Phineas, "With this crown was Ephraim crowned by our fa ther, Jacob, when he departed to his eternal dwelling. B. "He said to him, 'Ephraim, head of the tribe, head of the session, one who is beautiful and exalted above all of my sons will be called by your name: [Samuel, the son of Elkanah, the son of Jeroham,] the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite' [1 Sam. 1:1]; 'Jero-baom son of Nabat, an Ephraimite' [1 Sam. 11:26], 'And David was an Ephraimite, of Bethlehem in Judah'" (1 Sam. 17:12).
4. A. [Is Ephraim a darling son unto me? Is he a child that is dandled?] For as often as (MDY) I speak (DBRY) to him I still remember him (Jer. 31:20).
B. R. Judan in the name of R. Abba bar Kahana, "Sufficient (DYY) is [merely] speaking to him (DYBWRW)."
C. Said R. Judah b. R. Simon, "Even when I say that I am not going to speak with him, I cannot bear it."
5. A. "For as often (MDY) as I speak to him (DBRY)"—
B. For surely (BWD'Y) my speech is with him (DBRY), thus: "Speak to the children of Israel" (Lev. 1:1).
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