Vin

1. A. R. Simeon b. Yohai taught, "How masterful are the Israelites, for they know how to find favor with their creator."

B. Said R. Yudan, [in Aramaic:], "It is like the case of Samaritan [beggars]. The Samaritan [beggars] are clever at begging. One of them goes to a housewife, saying to her, 'Do you have an onion? Give it to me.' After she gives it to him, he says to her, 'Is there such a thing as an onion without bread?' After she gives him [bread], he says to her, 'Is there such a thing as food without drink?' So, all in all, he gets to eat and drink."

C. Said R. Aha [in Aramaic:], "There is a woman who knows how to borrow things, and there is a woman who does not. The one who knows how to borrow goes over to her neighbor. The door is open, but she knocks [anyhow]. Then she says to her neighbor, 'Greetings, good neighbor. How're you doing? How's your husband doing? How're your kids doing? Can I come in? [By the way], would you have such-and-such a utensil? Would you lend it to me?' [The neighboring housewife] says to her, 'Yes, of course.'

D. "But the one who does not know how to borrow goes over to neighbor. The door is closed, so she just opens it. She says [to the neighboring housewife], 'Do you have such-and such a utensil? Would you lend it to me?' [The neighboring housewife] says to her, 'No.'"

E. Said R. Hunia [in Aramaic:], "There is a tenant farmer who knows how to borrow things, and there is a tenant farmer who does not know how to borrow. The one who knows how to borrow combs his hair, brushes off his clothes, puts on a good face, and then goes over to the overseer of his work to borrow from him. [The overseer] says to him, 'How's the land doing?' He says to him, 'May you have the merit of being fully satisfied with its [wonderful] produce.' 'How are the oxen doing?' He says to him, 'May you have the merit of being fully satisfied with their fat.' 'How are the goats doing?' 'May you have the merit of being fully satisfied with their young.' 'And what would you like?' Then he says, 'Now if you might have an extra ten denars, would you give them to me?' The overseer replies, 'If you want, take twenty.'

F. "But the one who does not know how to borrow leaves his hair a mess, his clothes filthy, his face gloomy. He too goes over to the overseer to borrow from him. The overseer says to him, 'How's the land doing?' He replies, 'I hope it will produce at least what [in seed] we put into it.' 'How are the oxen doing?' 'They're scrawny.' 'How are the goats doing?' 'They're scrawny too.' 'And what do you want?' 'Now if you might have an extra ten denars, would you give them to me?' The overseer replies, 'Go, pay me back what you already owe me!'"

G. Said R. Hunia, "David was one of the good tenant farmers. To begin with, he starts a psalm with praise [of God], saying, 'The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handiwork' [Ps. 19:2]. The Heaven says to him, 'Perhaps you need something?' 'The firmament shows his handiwork.' The firmament says to him, 'Perhaps you need something?'

H. "And so he would continue to sing: 'Day unto day utters speech, and night to night reveals knowledge' [Ps. 19:3].

I. "Said to him the Holy One, blessed be he, 'What do you want?'

J. "He said before him, 'Who can discern errors?' [Ps. 19:13].

K. " 'What sort of unwitting sin have I done before you!'

L. "[God] said to him, 'Lo, this one is remitted, and that one is forgiven you.'

M. " 'And cleanse me of hidden sins' [Ps. 19:13]—from the secret sins that I have done before you.'

N. "He said to him, 'Lo, this one is remitted, and that one is forgiven to you.'

O. " 'Keep back your servant also from deliberate ones.' This refers to transgressions done in full knowledge.

P. " 'That they may not have dominion over me. Then I shall be faultless' [Ps. 19:14]. This refers to the most powerful of transgressions.

Q. " 'And I shall be clear of great transgression'" (Ps. 19:14).

R. Said R. Levi, "David said before the Holy One, blessed be he, 'Lord of the age[s], you are a great God, and, as for me, my sins are great too. It will take a great God to remit and forgive great sins: "For your name's sake, O Lord, pardon my sin, for [your name] is great"'" (Ps. 25:11).

Leviticus Rabbah Parashah 36 XXXVI:IV

1. A. "But now thus says the Lord, he who created you is Jacob, and he who formed you is Israel" (Is. 43:1).

B. R. Phineas in the name of R. Reuben said, "[Said] the Holy One, blessed be he, to his world, 'O my world, my world! Shall I tell you who created you? Shall I tell you who formed you? Jacob is the one who created you, Israel is the one who formed you,' as it is written, 'He who created you is Jacob, and he who formed you is Israel'" (Is. 43:1).

C. R. Joshua of Sikhnin in the name of R. Levi said, "Behemoth was created only on account of the merit of Jacob, as it is written, 'Behold now behemoth, which I made with you'" (Job 40:15).

D. R. Joshua b. Nehemiah in the name of R. Haninah bar Isaac: "The heaven and the earth were created only on account of the merit of Jacob.

E. "What is the proof text? 'For he established a testimony on account of Jacob' [Ps. 78:5], and 'testimony' can mean only heaven and earth, as it is written, 'I call heaven and earth to testify against you this day'" (Deut. 4:26).

F. R. Berekhiah said, "The heaven and earth were created only on account of the merit of Jacob, whose name is Israel.

G. "What is the proof text? 'On account of the beginning did God create heaven and earth' [Gen. 1:1]. And 'beginning' refers only to Israel, as it is written, 'Israel is holy to the Lord, the beginning of his harvest'" (Jer. 2:3).

H. Said R. Benaiah, "The heaven and earth were created only on account of the merit of Moses.

I. "For it is written, 'And he chose a beginning part [namely Moses] for himself'" (Deut. 33:21).

J. Said R. Abbahu, "Everything was created only on account of the merit of Jacob.

K. "That is in line with the following verse of Scripture: 'Not like these is the portion of Jacob, for he [that is, Jacob] is the one who formed everything"' (Jer. 10:16).

2. A. R. Berekhiah and R. Levi in the name of Samuel bar Nahman:

"Abraham was saved from the furnace of fire only because of the merit of Jacob.

B. "The matter may be compared. To what is it like? It is like the case of someone who was judged before the ruler, and the judgment came forth from the ruler that he was to be put to death through burning.

C. "The ruler perceived through his astrological science that [the con demned man] was going to beget a daughter, who was going to be married to a king. He said, 'This one is worthy to be saved through the merit of the daughter that he is going to beget, who is going to be married to a king.'

D. "So in the case of Abraham, judgment against him came forth from Nimrod that he was to be put to death through burning. But the Holy One, blessed be he, foresaw that Jacob was going to come forth from him. So he said, 'That one is worthy of being saved on account of the merit of Jacob.'

E. "That is in line with the following verse of Scripture: 'Thus said the Lord to the House of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham'" (Is. 29:22).

F. And rabbis say, "Abraham himself was created only on account of the merit of Jacob.

G. "That is in line with the following verse of Scripture: 'For I have known him, that he may change his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice' (Gen. 18:19).

H. "Now righteousness and justice are only with Jacob, for it is written, 'You have made justice and righteousness in Jacob"' (Ps. 99:4).

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment