Xcviilix

1. A. "Binding his foal to the vine [and his ass's colt to the choice vine, he washes his garments in wine, and his vesture in the blood of grapes; his eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk]" (Gen. 49:8-12):

F. R. Nehemiah said, " 'Binding his foal to the vine:' God binds to the vine, that is Israel, his city, namely, 'the city which I have chosen.'

G. "'. . . and his ass's colt to the choice vine:' the strong sons which are destined to arise from him."

H. Rabbis said, " 'I am bound to the vine and the choice vine' [that is Israel].

I. " 'Binding his foal to the vine and his ass's colt to the choice vine:' when the one concerning whom it is written, 'Lowly and riding upon an ass, even upon a colt of the foal of an ass' (Zech. 9:9).

J. "'. . . he washes his garments in wine:' for he will link together words of Torah.

K. "'. . . and his vesture in the blood of grapes:' for he will explain their errors to them."

2. A. Said R. Hanin, "Israel does not require the learning of the king-

messiah in the age to come, as it is said, 'Unto him shall the nations seek' (Is. 11:1)—but not Israel.

B. "If so, why will the king-messiah come? And what will he come to do? It is to gather together the exiles of Israel and to give them thirty religious duties: 'And I said to them, If you think good, give me my hire, and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my hire thirty pieces of silver' (Zech. 11:12)."

C. Rab said, "These refer to thirty heroes."

D. R. Yohanan said, "These refer to thirty religious duties."

E. They said to R. Yohanan, "Have you not accepted the view of Rab that the passage speaks only of the nations of the world?"

F. In the view of Rab, "And I said to them" speaks of Israel, and in the view of Israel, "And I said to them" speaks of the nations of the world.

G. In the view of Rab, when the Israelites have sufficient merit, the greater number of the thirty heroes are in the Land of Israel, and the lesser number in Babylonia, and when the Israelites do not have suf ficient merit, the greater number is in Babylonia and the smaller number in the Land of Israel.

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