Vol 15.61 - Vayechi 4 Spanish French Audio Video
The words of the verse (Gen 49:27):
“Binyamin is a wolf, he will prey; in the morning he will devour plunder, and in the evening he will divide the spoil”
are translated by Targum Onkelos:
“Binyamin in his land the Shechinah will rest and in his portion the Mikdash will be built”.
בִּנְיָמִין בְּאַרְעֵיהּ תִּשְׁרֵי שְׁכִינְתָא וּבְאַחְסָנְתֵיהּ יִתְבְּנֵי מַקְדְּשָׁא
The Targum Yonatan ben Uzziel states on this:
“Binyamin is a strong Shevet, (like) the wolf (with) his prey. In his land will dwell the Shechinah of the Master of the world, and in his portion the Beit HaMikdash will be built”.
בִּנְיָמִין שֵׁבֶט תַּקִיף כְּדֵיבָא טַרְפֵיהּ בְּאַרְעֵיהּ תִּשְׁרֵי שְׁכִינַת מָרֵי עַלְמָא וּבְאַחְסַנְתֵּיהּ יִתְבְּנֵי בֵּית מוּקְדְשָׁא
At first glance, both Targums contain the same aspect and content.
However, the Rogotchover Gaon explains that there is a difference between them:
(Like the view of Levi in the Talmud, that the part of the Yesod of the Altar upon which they “placed the bloods” was in the portion of Binyamin (the part of the “predator/”). Whereas, on the part of the Yesod which is in the portion of Yehuda, “they did not offer bloods”).
One must understand:
What is the nature of their dispute, and what are their reasons? Especially, since both Targums preface the same thing “in his land the Shechinah will rest”?
2. One can understand this by prefacing an explanation concerning what is the general intent (מכוון כללי) of that which many of the Shvatim are compared to wild beasts?
(“Yehuda is like a young lion”, “Dan will be a serpent”, “Naftali is a swift gazelle”. So much so until the conclusion: “Binyamin is a wolf, he will prey”)
What is added to the understanding of the matter by knowing that because of a certain trait or deed of a Shevet, he is depicted
(not as “strong” or as a “predator” etc. but)
as a “lion” or a “wolf”?
In other words, this trait is the nature of the animal. And the reason that this Shevet possesses this trait is (not due to the traits of the person depicted, but) due to that which he possesses the trait of the specific animal.
It is also understood (even though each one of the Shvatim, due to a specific trait has a comparison to a specific animal, however) the common thread (צד השווה) among the animals of the land, in general, is connected with the common aspect of the Shvatim, in general.
3. Concerning the traits of many animals, the Talmud brings in the conclusion of Tractate Kiddushin:
“R’ Shimon ben Elazar learned: I never saw a deer work as one who dries figs, nor a lion work as a porter, nor a fox work as a storekeeper. And yet they earn their livelihood without anguish. Moreover, all these were created only to serve me, and I was created to serve my Master (G-d). If these, who were created only to serve me, earn their livelihood without anguish, then is it not right that I, who was created to serve my Master, should earn my livelihood without anguish? However, I have acted evilly and destroyed my livelihood, as it is stated: “Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have held back good from you” (Jeremiah 5:25).
ר"ש בן אלעזר אומר אם ראית מימיך תניא ר"ש בן אלעזר אומר מימי לא ראיתי צבי קייץ וארי סבל ושועל חנוני והם מתפרנסים שלא בצער והם לא נבראו אלא לשמשני ואני נבראתי לשמש את קוני מה אלו שלא נבראו אלא לשמשני מתפרנסים שלא בצער ואני שנבראתי לשמש את קוני אינו דין שאתפרנס שלא בצער אלא שהרעותי את מעשי וקיפחתי את פרנסתי שנאמר (ירמיהו ה, כה) עונותיכם הטו
The commentators explain that the different types of livelihoods which are delineated:
correspond to the natural traits of the animals:
However, this requires explanation:
Why are specifically these types of trades delineated and (also) not other traits, which correspond to the Shvatim of other animals?
(For example, say that a “swift gazelle” due to its trait of quickness and alacrity is compared to a messenger (שליח). Nevertheless, we do not find that this would be its trade etc.)
The aforementioned statement of R’ Shimon ben Elazar (However, in the name of R’ Meir, with a change of order and with additions) is also brought in the Talmud Yerushalmi:
“Have you ever seen a lion work as a porter, a deer work as one who dries figs, a fox work as a storekeeper, a wolf selling pots?”
This requires explanation:
This is especially questionable since it is logical to say that the proper order is (like it states in the Talmud Bavli):
For this is the normal order of many labors that involve drying figs (and so forth).
Moreover, it is extremely problematic to say that he reverses the order, in order to preface the lion, being that he is the king of the wild beasts.
Especially since, according to this, immediately after it states lion, it should have stated the fox (storekeeper) etc. who also has a quality of leadership – the quality of being the cleverest of the animals. In addition, the fox is also, in general, closer to a lion than a deer, which is not a carnivore, and so forth.
(There are those who explain that since selling pots is a simple trade, therefore, the seller does not have to be so smart (fox), since all are fit for this trade. However, from the continuation of the aspects, it appears that even here, this trade (“selling pots”) is connected with the quality of a fox – similar to the previous examples: “One who dries figs”, “a porter” and “a storekeeper” which are connected with the qualities of a lion, deer and fox).
4. One can understand this by prefacing an explanation of the precise wording of R’ Shimon ben Elazar:
Since he later says expressly (in the kal v’chomer):
“If these, who were created only to serve me, earn their livelihood without anguish, then is it not right etc.”
why must he repeat the same aspect beforehand, and say:
“Moreover, all these were created only to serve me, and I was created to serve my Master”?
The explanation of this is:
The intent and purpose of all created beings in this world is - for the sake of Yidden, who are the intent (מכוון) of all the aspects and creations in the world. Both from the vegetative species as well as the animal and speaking species.
This is as Rambam elaborates in his preface to the Pirush HaMishnayot:
“All those under the lunar constellation (גלגל הירח) are for the purpose of man alone. And regarding all kinds of animals, some are to be eaten, like sheep and cattle and others. And some of them are for his benefit, for other foods. Like the donkey - to carry what he cannot convey by himself, and the horses for them to reach a distant way etc.” (Similarly regarding trees and plants).
This also applies to humans. Namely, in order for a complete person (אדם השלם) to occupy himself with (G-dly) wisdom and with (good) deeds, there must be a whole world with people, who will supply him with all his needs which are necessary for his life. This is in order to allow him time and the wherewithal to study and to acquire wisdom (as Ramban explains there, at length).
This means that the purpose of all types of creations, also including non-Jews is so they should supply the Yidden their needs, and thereby enable them to occupy themselves with Torah and to fulfill Mitzvot.
R’ Shimon ben Elazar adds and innovates that (that which) “all these were created only to serve me” is for the sake of “I” (“I” meaning being) “created to serve my Master”:
The reason that the deer, lion and fox were created with these traits to be a drier of figs, porter and storekeeper is not just in order to serve me, and with this, their task is completed. Rather their “serving me” is specifically in such a manner, that the person (the “I”) should “serve my Master/G-d” – (through) fulfilling Torah and Mitzvot.
In order to enable a Yid to change an object (חפץ) of the world – making it an object of a Mitzvah and holiness (through the fulfillment of the Mitzvah), there must, beforehand, be the three deeds of a “drier of figs”, a “porter” and a “storekeeper”. They prepare and qualify (מכין ומכשיר) the objects of the world for the fulfillment of the Mitzvah.
(One could say that the reason that, in actuality, these trades of “a drier of figs etc.” are not carried out by a “deer etc.” (as it states) “I have not seen a deer etc.” is (as R’ Shimon ben Elazar concludes in his statement) because:
“I have acted evilly“.
Just as this causes that he “earns his livelihood with anguish” so much so, that he has “destroyed my livelihood” and more so, that he should need to rely on work, at all
(Similar to the wording of R’ Shimon bar Yochai:
“When Yisroel perform the will of the Omnipresent, their work is performed by others . . and when Yisroel do not perform the will of the Omnipresent their work is carried out by themselves”)
similarly (and how much more so) this prevents, that the preparation and qualifying for the fulfillment of the Mitzvah is not done by others – through a “deer who dries figs, a lion who is a porter, or a fox who is a storekeeper” (or at least through the nations of the world etc.)).
5. This theme of the aforementioned three trades, which are a preparation and qualification to “serving my Master” can be understood by prefacing an explanation of how these three aspects are, in actuality:
These three types of trades are arranged in an order of, one above the other, (from the lightest to the heaviest) (מן הקל אל הכבד)
In short: This represents the change in the body, the place/location, and the ownership (of the object).
Their spiritual aspect, in the preparation to the fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvot, is:
For example, there are Mitzvot which are connected with Pikuach Nefesh (saving lives). One must beforehand ask a physician whether this is (in the category of) Pikuach Nefesh. Alternatively, like Rav states “I spent eighteen months with a shepherd in order to learn which was a permanent and which was a passing blemish”.
For example: parchment to make Tefilin, (where the entire Torah is equated to Tefilin).
There must first be the skinning and the removal of the hair of the animal and the tanning of the hide through one who is a tanner and leather worker, and so forth.
Similarly is this with regard to the trade and aspect of a (deer) working as one who dries figs.
Namely, that the existence of the thing (the fig) should not be hidden and in darkness. Rather it must be in a condition of light and openness, so that one has a clear understanding – and that it is completely ready. Only then, can one learn and know when and how to fulfill Torah and Mitzvot – as will be explained at length.
This is especially so when a permissible thing, with which a Yid can and must do a Mitzvah, is found in a place where a Yid cannot go.
For example, in a place of idol worship or a place of prostitution and so forth. One must rely on the trade of a (lion) who “conveys”. He has the “power” to transport the thing to a second place, where the Yid can go, and thereby fulfill the Mitzvah, or make from it a holy thing.
6. The first aspect regarding a “deer working as one who dries figs”. Namely, that the trade is connected with revealing and watching the thing (the figs) is not sufficient according to explanation of “drying figs” which, as Rashi explains, means, “drying figs in the field” – namely the innovation of a change in the body of the thing.
Therefore, the second aspect comes, as aforementioned. Namely, that “a deer who works as one who dries figs” (and similarly “lion who works as a porter”) are (also) general aspects in Mitzvot:
A Yid should be able to fulfill a Mitzvah with a physical thing, for example, (as aforementioned with Tefilin, or) taking the Etrog and Lulav etc.
First, they (the Etrog etc.) must be detached from their attachment to the tree, which is a change in the object of the Etrog and Lulav. For then, they have no more growth and succulence from the tree (similar to one who “dries figs” – drying figs). After this change in the body of the thing, there must be the “(lion) who carries” – which represents the change of location, as aforementioned.
Similarly, these two details are in the wool of Tzitzit:
The same is with the horn of the shofar, the Schach and walls of the sukkah, and many Mitzvot etc.
Even more so is this with regard to the parchment (עור) for Tefilin (Mezuzah and a Sefer Torah):
(According to this, the two details: a deer working as one who dries figs and a lion working as a porter, are aspects that are necessary for many Mitzvot (which is why we find, regarding this, a difference between the Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi, as will be explained).
Whereas “a fox working as a storekeeper”,
which represents the change in the domain and ownership, even before it comes into the domain of a Yid,
is an aspect which relates to certain aspects of holiness and Mitzvot, which are not so common)
7. According to the aforementioned, one can explain the reason why Yaakov specifically named the Shvatim after animals:
Just as the task of an animal is (in general, as aforementioned) to prepare and qualify the things in the world for the fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvot by Yidden,
(which are divided into the three types of a “drier of figs”, a “porter” and a “storekeeper”)
so too is also the general purpose of the Avodah of (Yaakov and) the Shvatim - to accomplish within themselves and in the world, the preparation and qualification to Matan Torah:
Among the reasons why Yidden had to endure the Galut of Egypt before Matan Torah, as is explained in many places, is because before then, the Yidden, and therefore even the world, was not fitting and qualified for people to make from the physical things and objects – an object of a Mitzvah and holiness.
Egypt was the “iron crucible” (כור הברזל) which effected a polishing and refinement in the Yidden and in the world, in general. It prepared the things in the world so that Yidden should, with them, be able to fulfill Torah and Mitzvot.
The Galut of Egypt began with the descent of the Shvatim to Egypt, together with Yaakov. However, the main “burden of Egypt” (משוי של מצרים) only began after the death of Yaakov and after the death of Yosef, when “all his brethren and that entire generation” were still alive in Egypt.
It therefore comes, out that the very aforementioned trades (deeds) of “deer”, “lion”, and “fox” to prepare the things in the world for (Matan Torah – for) the fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvot by Yidden – began to be accomplished through the Shvatim when they were in Egypt.
8. It has been spoken once, at length, in the reasoning for many of the differences that one finds between the view of the Talmud Bavli and the Talmud Yerushalmi:
An example of this:
The well-known debate whether the aspect of “Zerizin Makdimin l’Mitzvot”
(זריזין מקדימין למצות, meaning that those who perform Mitzvot with alacrity do so at the first available opportunity).
decides whether one performs the Mitzvah immediately, even though, by doing so, the Mitzvah will not be performed in the most beautiful manner (“Mitzvah Min HaMuvchar” -מצוה מן המובחר)
(Such as performing the Mitzvah before a multitude of people – which specifically then is – the glory of the king) (ברוב עם הדרת מלך)
Or whether the quality and advantage of “Mitzvah Min HaMuvchar”
(“performing a Mitzvah in the most beautiful manner” (די מעלה ויתרון פון מצוה מן המובחר)
in the future is more important and decides that it is better to wait and perform the Mitzvah before a multitude of people. Even though, by doing so, the quality of “Zerizin Makdimin l’Mitzvot” will be lacking if done in the present.
(Another example is if one, now (in the early morning of the days of sukkot), has Arba Minim which are not Mehudar (the best quality) but, in a later time of day, he will get beautiful Arba Minim. Is it better that he immediately now performs the Mitzvah with the Arba Minim that he has, or should he wait until he receives the more beautiful Arba Minim?)
9. Just as this relates to the performance of the Mitzvah itself, so too is the question regarding the preparation for the performance of the Mitzvah. This is alluded to in the two aspects of a “deer working as one who dries figs” and a ”lion working as a porter”:
Regarding figs, it states,
“They are not harvested at one time. Instead, on the tree, there are some that will become ripe on one day and others that will not become ripe until after several days”.
When a fig is ripe, there are two possibilities:
Similarly, the question also pertains to the preparation and qualification for a Mitzvah.
Even when there is just a small (quantity) of hides or it is not the most beautiful (in quality)
For even in the preparation and qualification of the object of the Mitzvah (even before the actual performance) the quality, of completeness and beauty, matters. There is already able to be, a semblance of it being fit for offering
(as it states, “would you sacrifice it thus to your ruler?” (הַקְרִיבֵ֨הוּ נָ֜א לְפֶֽחָתֶ֗ךָ)
and “All the best (fat) to G-d”.
Therefore, even then, there is a difference whether one prepares and qualifies a great amount in quantity and better quality for the fulfillment of the Mitzvah, or not.
One could say that this is the difference between the view of the Talmud Bavli and the Talmud Yerushalmi:
According to the view of the Talmud Bavli, since the “present” is more important, there must be the aspect of “Zerizin Makdimin l’Mitzvot”, even at the beginning of the preparation and qualification for the Mitzvah. Therefore, a “deer working as one who dries figs” comes beforehand, even though the object being prepared is just a small quantity, and even when its quality is not complete, and so forth.
According to the view of the Talmud Yerushalmi, where the multitude etc. and the completeness and quality of the future is more important than the quality of “Zerizin Makdimin l’Mitzvot” of the present. This is also pertains to the preparation and qualification for the Mitzvah. It outweighs (וועגט איבער) that which it will later be performed with more and better objects etc. Therefore, a “lion working as a porter” comes before a “deer working as one who dries figs”.
10. Accordingly, one can explain, why the Talmud Yerushalmi specifically adds “a wolf selling pots”:
The connection of a “wolf” to selling pots is understood according to that which the Talmud differentiates between a lion and a wolf.
From this, it is understood that in the conduct of a lion, the concept of a “pot” (where one waits with the raw thing – until it is cooked in it) does not apply, since he “pounces and eats (immediately)”.
Whereas for a wolf, the concept of (cooking in) a pot, is fitting - since he eats it later – after he tears it and brings it to his den”. For a “pot” represents that the torn food should be in a manner that “they will derive greater benefit” for it will taste better.
The inner theme and aspect in the preparation for a Mitzvah is:
Specifically, after are all the previous preparations and qualifications to the Mitzvah have occurred, namely, the “drier of figs”, “porter” and (and when it is required, also the) “storekeeper”, only then comes an additional preparation of the “wolf” through the “pot”. Namely, that the Mitzvah should be performed with more Hiddur/Beauty and completeness.
According to this, it is understood. For the Talmud Bavli and Targum Yonatan follow their opinion:
This aforementioned difference between the Talmud Bavli and the Talmud Yerushalmi is expressly found (somewhat) in the Mishnah.
“If (Yom Kippur) occurs on Erev Shabbat (i.e. begins on Thursday evening), the goat sin-offering (sa’ir) of Yom Kippur is eaten by the priests at night, (i.e., on Friday night, even though there is no possibility of cooking the meat, as one may not cook on Yom Kippur or Shabbat).
The Babylonians, (i.e., priests who had emigrated from Babylonia), eat it when it is raw”
Even though by eating the korban raw, there is lacking the completeness of fulfilling of the Mitzvah of Eating Kadoshim (אכילת קדשים) – “for distinction –for greatness”)
(Which is specifically when the meat is roasted, broiled and cooked)
Nevertheless, the Mishnah pointedly states that (specifically) “The Babylonians eat it when it is raw” in order to fulfill this Mitzvah at the first possible opportunity.
Whereas, regarding the Kohanim of Eretz Yisroel, since it is not a Mitzvah with Hiddur, we do not find that they should be scrupulous (מהדר) in this.
11. According to all the aforementioned, one can explain the difference between the Targum Onkelos and the Targum Yonatan with regard to the translation of the verse “Binyamin is a wolf, he will prey”:
The difference between the two Targums is:
Targum Onkelos is a Targum from Bavel. Whereas Targum Yonatan is a Targum from Eretz Yisroel (Yerushalmi). Therefore, they follow their respective views in the aspect of “Binyamin is a wolf, he will prey”. Namely, whether “wolf” is an aspect which relates to the preparation and qualification to the Mitzvah, or not (as aforementioned Par. 10).
“In the morning he will devour plunder, and in the evening he will divide the spoil”,
Namely, the offering and consuming of the Korbanot.
Therefore, he translates “in his portion the Beit HaMikdash will be built”. For the Beit HaMikdash is a preparation and qualification to the Avodat haKorbanot. In Rambam’s words that the Beit HaMikdash is a “House for G-d, prepared for sacrifices to be offered within”.
Just as was spoken above, that the aspect of the “wolf” depicts the Hiddur and completeness in the preparation and qualification. So too is it in this aspect:
The offering of the Korbanot can occur even when there is no Temple. This is like the ruling in Halacha that,
“Sacrifices may be offered even though there is no Temple” (Eduyoth 8:6)
However, it is understood that when one offers on an Altar which is a part of the Beit HaMikdash, that this is a completeness in the aspect of the Altar and the Korbanot.
(Which is alluded to in the continuation of the verse “in the morning he will devour plunder etc.”, as aforementioned).
This is the aspect of “in his portion the Mikdash will be built”, which means the place that is sanctified for the bloods (מקודש לדמים) – the aspect of sprinkling the blood (where atonement is with blood).
According to the aforementioned, it seemingly comes out that there is a ramification to this in Halacha - in a case where there is a possibility to solely build an Altar, upon which to offer Korbanot, and not the entire Beit HaMikdash:
MSichas Yud-Tes Kislev and the Farbrengen after this, 5739
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