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The Wisdom of Israel


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Tashiel
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« Reply #75 on: March 24, 2010, 01:26:13 pm »

Comp. Vayikra Rabbah, Chap. I.; Bereshith R., LII.; and Nasso.


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Tashiel
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« Reply #76 on: March 24, 2010, 01:26:21 pm »

Footnotes
30:* There are, in Hebrew, several words for "man." Adam, from the same root as adamah, the red earth, the ground, is used for all mankind in general (Latin, homo), and also as opposed to eesh, the higher type of man; while geber, from a root suggesting strength, is nearly an equivalent for the Latin vir.



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Tashiel
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« Reply #77 on: March 24, 2010, 01:26:40 pm »

THE PAVILION OF THE KING'S DAUGHTER.
Why did God command the building of the Tabernacle, and sanction the building of the Temple? Surely He requires no dwelling-place. "Behold the Heaven and the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain Him." "Do not I fill Heaven and Earth?" It must be for the honour of His people that He appointed the place of meeting.

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Tashiel
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« Reply #78 on: March 24, 2010, 01:26:50 pm »

Rabbi Azariah said, in the name of Rabbi Judah the son of Simon, "This may be likened to a king of flesh and blood, who had an only daughter, whom he loved very dearly! When she was a little girl he always talked with her in public. If he saw her in the court, he spoke with her, and even rebuked her before his courtiers. When she grew up, to a marriageable age, the king said, It is no longer for the honour of my daughter that, whenever my daughter wishes to speak with me, I should talk with her in public. Let a pavilion be built for her, so that whenever I wish to speak to my daughter I may do so from inside of the

p. 32

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Tashiel
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« Reply #79 on: March 24, 2010, 01:27:03 pm »

pavilion." So when Israel was in Egypt, the nation was yet young: "When Israel was a child I loved him; from Egypt did I call My son" (Hosea xi. 1), and at Sinai (Deut. v. 4), "Face to face the Lord spake with you." But from the time when they accepted the Torah, with the words: "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do, and we will hear," they were a fully-developed nation. Then He said, "It is not seemly for My children that I should speak to them and correct them in public; or, when I have hard words to say to them, that all the world should hear; but let them build for Me a tabernacle, and when I have to speak to them I will speak from the Tabernacle."

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Tashiel
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« Reply #80 on: March 24, 2010, 01:27:22 pm »

pavilion." So when Israel was in Egypt, the nation was yet young: "When Israel was a child I loved him; from Egypt did I call My son" (Hosea xi. 1), and at Sinai (Deut. v. 4), "Face to face the Lord spake with you." But from the time when they accepted the Torah, with the words: "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do, and we will hear," they were a fully-developed nation. Then He said, "It is not seemly for My children that I should speak to them and correct them in public; or, when I have hard words to say to them, that all the world should hear; but let them build for Me a tabernacle, and when I have to speak to them I will speak from the Tabernacle."

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Tashiel
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« Reply #81 on: March 24, 2010, 01:29:47 pm »

Barmidbar R., Chap. XII.



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« Reply #82 on: March 24, 2010, 01:29:57 pm »

THE GREEDY PRINCE: THE VINE IS NOT WATERED WITH WINE.
God needs no sacrifice, but the sacrificial worship had, for one of its objects, the weaning of Israel from idolatry and from temptation to the cruelty to animals practised by idolaters in sacrificing to devils and the supposed powers of evil. Rabbi Phineas said, in the name of Rabbi Levi:

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Tashiel
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« Reply #83 on: March 24, 2010, 01:30:21 pm »

"This may be likened to a king's son, who was greedy and who used to eat at the tables of all kinds of people, and learned their ways, and used to eat unclean food. Then the king said, He shall always eat at my table, and there he shall remain."

Thus, because the children of Israel were

p. 33

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Tashiel
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« Reply #84 on: March 24, 2010, 01:30:40 pm »

"This may be likened to a king's son, who was greedy and who used to eat at the tables of all kinds of people, and learned their ways, and used to eat unclean food. Then the king said, He shall always eat at my table, and there he shall remain."

Thus, because the children of Israel were

p. 33

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Tashiel
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« Reply #85 on: March 24, 2010, 01:30:44 pm »

yearning after the idolatry they had seen in Egypt, and "sacrificing unto devils," they were commanded to bring sacrifices to the God of life, and to Him alone; to kill only in a merciful manner, and not to shed the blood of animals at all without the solemnity of an offering.

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Tashiel
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« Reply #86 on: March 24, 2010, 01:31:00 pm »

But the heathen thought their gods required food, whereas even mortal man, when in close intercourse with God, requires neither eating nor drinking; for Moses was forty days in the mount without food. How much less can the Holy One of Israel be in need of the flesh of sacrifices! The idea is ridiculed in the Psalms. Rabbi Chiya bar Abba says: "Even the lowest of God's
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Tashiel
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« Reply #87 on: March 24, 2010, 01:31:16 pm »

creatures are not in need of their own produce; how much less then is the Creator in need of what He has created. Have ye ever heard it said, 'Irrigate this vine with wine, so that it may produce much wine, or this olive-tree with oil, that it may produce much oil '? These plants are in no need of their own products to nourish them; shall, then, God be in need of what He has created?"


Vayikra Rabbah, Chap. XXII., and Barmidbar Rabbah, Chap. XXI.
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« Reply #88 on: March 24, 2010, 01:31:23 pm »

THE POTTER AND HIS WARES: THE TRIALS OF THE RIGHTEOUS.
It is written (Ps. xi. 5), "The Lord trieth the righteous, but His soul hateth the wicked and the lover of violence."

Rabbi Jonathan said: "The potter does not

p. 34

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Tashiel
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« Reply #89 on: March 24, 2010, 01:31:47 pm »

try the vessels that have been made imperfectly, because he does not doubt that if he strike them even once, it will break them. But he tries the fair vessels; for however many times he may strike them, they will not be broken. So he strikes them to show the purchaser how strong and good they are." Thus, God does not try the wicked but the righteous, and their trials show their virtue to the world. In this way "the Lord tried Abraham" (Gen. xxii.).

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