Vol 19.10 - Tu B'Av Spanish French Audio Video
|Hebrew Text: Talmud-Taanit|
(5739) Siyum of tractate Taanit. Four categories of "daughters of Yerushalayim". and the explanation of the debate there between Rashi ("points with his finger") and Tosfot ("each one")
1. It states in in the Mishnah (of Tractate Taanit 30b):
R’ Simeon b. Gamaliel said: there never were in Israel greater days of joy than the fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur for on these days the daughters of Yerushalayim (some say the daughters of Israel) would go out in white garments . . and dance in the vineyards. What would they say? ‘young man, lift up your eyes and see what you choose for yourself. Do not set your eyes on beauty but set your eyes on (good) family (as it states:): Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that fears the L-rd, she shall be praised. And it further says: Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her works praise her in the gates”.
One must understand:
However, it is not a proof for their following words: “set your eyes on family”. For on the contrary, the verses expressly state:
Namely, that her virtue lies in her fear of G-d and deeds, not (just) in the lineage of her family.
The question is even stronger:
The Beraita (on the Mishnah) states:
Thus, only the noble (girls) said: “set your eyes on family”. How then does the Mishnah generalize and state that “the daughters of Yerushalayim . . would say “set your eyes on family”?
Accordingly, also the first question (in Par. 1) is automatically resolved. For the verses that are cited in the Mishnah are not a “proof” for the previous saying, but rather a “separate” statement (from the “unattractive” ones).
This explanation, however, is not ideal (in the simple wording of the Mishnah) because:
On the contrary, it seemingly, would have been fitting that the Mishnah, which is: “A concise thing that encapsulates many aspects”, cite the seminal point of each saying: -
And the Beraita should then elaborate (on the Mishnah) the particulars of the saying:
(Specifically, since in this manner, the Mishnah would also be (almost without addition and lengthiness) clearly bringing out that these are three separate statements from the three types of “daughters of Yerushalayim”).
Therefore, it is logical to learn that the Mishnah‘s statement: “What would they say? “ (all the “daughters of Yerushalayim” that went out) refers to the entire continuation of the following words) of the Mishnah).
And the Beraita adds to the Mishnah and explains that in conjunction to the statement that all the “daughters of Yerushalayim” said - each type individually said an additional statement that corresponded to each type itself.
3. Also in the Beraita one must understand:
The commentators learn that even the “unattractive” ones have good deeds, and by saying “Carry off your purchase in the name of Heaven”, they mean to say that one should not look at “beauty” or “family” but only on fear of G-d and good deeds (“for the sake of Heaven”).
But this explanation requires clarification. For even the saying of the noble ones: “set your eyes on family” comes, simply, to evoke the spiritual quality of family lineage – as the Tosfos Yom Tov states: “It is elementary that the nobles ones are G-d fearing” – Thus, it comes out that even one who chooses the noble ones are choosing them for the “sake of Heaven”. Therefore, what is added by the “unattractive” ones stating the “sake of Heaven”?
4. After the aforementioned Beraita, the Talmud cites a saying (of Ulla Bira'ah in the name of R’ Eleazar) on with this the Tractate is concluded:
“In the days to come the Holy One, blessed be He, will hold a dance for the righteous and He will sit in their midst in the Garden of Eden and every one of them will point with his finger towards Him, as it is said, And it shall be said in that day: Lo, this is our G-d, for whom we waited, that He might save us; this is the L-rd for whom we waited, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation”
The connection of this statement to the Mishnah is understood simply:
Subsequent to that which the Mishnah states that,
“the daughters of Yerushalayim would go out and dance
(the word ‘Cholot’/ חולות similar to “to dance in circles -Rashi”)
in the vineyards etc.”,
the Talmud cites the statement that, “In the days to come the Holy One, blessed be He, will hold a dance (מחול) for the righteous etc.”
It is probable, however, that the connection between the statement of the Mishnah and Beraita is not because of a singular part of the aspect, namely, that here (like in the Mishnah and Beraita) it speaks of a dance – But rather because of many particulars of the dance that occur in the continuation of the statement.
One must also say that:
Since the Talmud cites the statement subsequent to the Beraita (which comes in conjunction to the saying of the “daughters of Yerushalayim”) – and not in a separate section of the Mishnah: “go out and dance etc.” (or something similar) – it indicates that the statement: “In the days to come the Holy One, blessed be He etc.” has a continuation and connection to the topic of the Beraita (concerning the three types of sayings of the “daughters of Yerushalayim”).
5. In the conclusion of the Tractate, one also finds a puzzling thing in the explanations of Rashi and Tosafot:
On the words: “point with his finger” Rashi states:
“And say: this is our G-d, for whom we waited, that He might save us; this is the L-rd for whom we waited, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation”.
Tosafot also similarly says so, and states:
“Every one of them will point with his finger towards G-d, blessed be He as it states: Lo, this is our G-d, for whom we waited, etc. we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation”
It is very puzzling:
What are Rashi and Tosafot adding to that which is already explicitly stated in the Talmud?!
One could say that Rashi and Tosafot differ in the meaning of the words: “as it is said (שנאמר), And it shall be said in that day: Lo etc.”
Tosafot omits the beginning of the verse: “And it shall be said in that day”- With this Tosafot wants to make clear that:
One must however understand:
What are the reasonings of the views (the debate between Rashi and Tosafot) regarding whether the statement of the Sages is applicable to the topic here (in the Talmud) or not?
6. The explanation to all this is:
It is understood and plain that, that the “daughters of Yerushalayim going out” on the days of the fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur was an aspect of holiness. It is therefore also understood that they did not mean to elicit their physical qualities (beauty, wealth, and so forth), in and of themselves, - but rather those qualities that, according to Torah are fitting to be a reason and cause for a match (shidduch) and marriage.
(For example: When the “beautiful” ones said: “set your eyes on beauty” they meant the true (spiritual) quality. For physical beauty is taken from spiritual beauty. As is known, that the reason that physically beautiful children are born is because the conduct of the father and mother is holy and pure etc. (Therefore, the children have beautiful spiritual tendencies (and garments on the soul/levushei haNefesh). Therefore, they are also physically beautiful)).
In this there are two qualities:
In this lies the difference between the Mishnah and the Beraita:
Not just because of her individual qualities (which were already enumerated at length and in detail, previously: ‘She requites him with good’ etc. ‘she works it’, ‘from the fruit of her palms (kapeha)’ etc.) is “she praised”.
But also from her children – “the fruit of her hands (yadeha)” and “her deeds” is “given to her (tnu la) and “her works praise her in the gates”.
7. What is the certainty that every daughter of Yerushalayim is included in the category of, “a woman that fears the L-rd” and that it is in a manner of: “the fruit of her hands and her deeds” (פרי ידי׳ ומעשי׳), as aforementioned? This is indicated by the daughters of Yerushalayim‘s saying: “Young man, lift up your eyes and see what you choose for yourself. Do not set your eyes on beauty but set your eyes on family”.
One need not look at (both spiritual or physical) qualities the way they are normally visible to the eye.
(as it states, “do not set your eyes on beauty” – in the broader context of “beauty”)
Rather, it must be: “lift up your eyes and see”
(similar to “Lift up your eyes on high” – which will result in – “see, who created these” (שאו מרום עיניכם וראו מי ברא אלה), with a higher and deeper perception (בליק). One sees the root and source from where these qualities emanate.
This is the meaning of: “set your eyes on family”:
For in the broader context, “family” does not just mean parents etc. But rather all those that have an impact and influence on her (spiritual) being – especially and particularly including her teachers and counselors.
(As we find in many places in the statements of the Sages, that the teachers and counselors are called and given the term “parents” of the student and pupil).
(since the word “family” refers to the entire nation).
This is because she is from the family of Israel, a daughter of Sara, Rivka, Rachel and Leah, the Matriarchs, from whom she has, as an inheritance, her Jewish tendencies.
And then one will see, that:
8. On this the Beraita elaborates:
After the verse, “set your eyes on family . . a woman that fears the L-rd, she shall be praised”, has been explained - that one looks and observes the essential quality (“family”) of each daughter of Israel, because of which she is a “a woman that fears the L-rd” –
Then, in that “praise”, can one accept (not just her “fear of the L-rd” but) also her grace and beauty. For then they are also true qualities.
Therefore, we find in the Beraita that each category of the “daughters of Yerushalayim” afterward extolled their particular (revealed and visible) quality:
(as aforementioned in Par. 6, that physical beauty is taken from spiritual beauty)
therefore say: “set your eyes on beauty” – those who possess this quality is in a revealed manner.
However, they are indeed “daughters of Yerushalayim”. And this very knowledge that they are (spiritually) unattractive evokes within them a spirit of bitterness, lowliness and Bitul. And despite that they have not had anyone to influence them with lofty qualities – they themselves, accepted upon them the yoke of the kingdom of Heaven - in a manner of Kaballat Ol (acceptance of the yoke). So much so, that this evokes within them the lofty feeling that causes them to say: “Carry off your purchase in the name of Heaven”. They want husbands that are completely dedicated to the sake of Heaven, not considering other qualities etc.
Through this, it comes out visibly, that they also possess the quality of “family” – which is why the unattractive ones also say,
(together with all the daughters of Yerushalayim, as it states in the Mishnah)
“set your eyes on family”.
For this very broken-heartedness that a Jewish daughter has, because she is from the unattractive, (namely) without any spiritual quality - is taken from her being from the family of Yisroel, a daughter of Sara, Rivka, Rachel and Leah. Therefore, she feels that “forsaking the L-rd your G-d is evil and bitter”.
9. The aforementioned difference between the Mishnah and the Beraita:
(that in the Mishnah it speaks regarding the general quality of all the daughters of Yerushalayim, whereas the Beraita speaks regarding the details of the qualities of each category)
is also reflected in the difference in the theme and continuation of the aspects of the Mishnah and the Beraita:
The dance expresses (אויסגעדריקט) the unity and peace that existed among the daughters of Yerushalayim
(Therefore, they went out “in borrowed white garments so as not to embarrass one who did not have her own”).
Therefore, the continuation of the Mishnah,
“And similarly, it says: “Go forth, daughters of Zion, and gaze upon King Shlomo” – “upon the king that the “peace is his” (שהשלום שלו) (Note: this is a play on his name (שלמה) that also means King of peace, a reference to G-d).
This is the explanation:
How can there be unity and peace among all the daughters of Yerushalayim? This is through, “Go forth . . and gaze upon King Shlomo”. In other words, when this is connected with the “King, that peace is His” (G-d), who makes peace among all the daughters of Yerushalayim.
This unity is in two manners:
- as it states, “Just as their faces are different, so too are their thoughts different”. In this regard, each person is different from another -
they are united and at peace with one another.
This is the difference between the Mishnah and the Beraita:
The Mishnah speaks regarding the general aspect of the (Jewish) daughters of Yerushalayim, namely how they are one entity.
Whereas the Beraita, where one hears of their individual qualities, speaks of their accomplishment of peace and unity, not because their individual qualities are subdued (בטל),
(In other words, they were not, at that time, expressed (אנגעהערט))
Rather, on the contrary, notwithstanding the visible differences between the various qualities of the daughters of Yerushalayim, that they themselves stated expressly – they all together participated in one dance, in peace and unity.
Therefore, it is understood that which the Talmud cites, in continuation to the Beraita, the statement,
“In the Future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will arrange a dance of the Tzadikim. .and each and every one of them will point to G-d with his finger”.
This means that each Tzaddik will “point” (אנווייזן) to G-d with his own finger, according to his level and intellect. Yet notwithstanding this, at that time, they will all be united in one dance.
10. In particular, in the second manner of peace and unity (namely, also due to individual qualities (הפרנזיס)) there are two manners.
In our case (in other words, regarding peace among Tzaddikim):
This is Rashi’s innovation in his statement:
“Each one will point with his finger and say: this is our G-d etc.”
In other words, each Tzaddik will also “say” – influence – all the other Tzaddikim in the dance, from his Avodah and level.
Whereas according to Tosafot, in the dance, they just “point with his finger to G-d”. However, the saying
(“And it shall be said in that day”)
is not to the other Tzaddikim in the circle, as influence (השפעה). Rather it is just a statement of praise, and so forth). For according to their view, the peace and unity in the circle is not in a manner of inclusion of levels and accomplishments (בחינות והמדריגות), as will be explained.
11. The aspect of a “dancing“ in a circle alludes to the level of Bli Gevul (infinity) “that has no end” (as it is explained by Rabbeinu Bachya) (בלי גבול,״שאין לו סוף״).
The meaning of “In the Future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will arrange a dance of the righteous”, is that their pleasure and happiness etc. will be above boundary and limitation. This means that indeed, “each one will point with his finger”. Each Tzaddik, according to his individual level and accomplishment, as aforementioned. However, this will be in a manner that it will illuminate the essential point (the “Keter”) of his level which is above boundary and limitation.
(די נקודה עצמית (דער ״כתר״) פון זיין מדריגה וואס איז למעלה ממדידה והגבלה)
Therefore, Tosafot learns that, here, there was no inclusion of levels. For “inclusion” (התכללות) is only applicable where there is “expanse” (התפשטות), that allows for the other level that is outside of its own.
However, in the “essential point” of one level, there is no room for another level. Therefore, one must say, that the peace and unity in the circle, in solely in the aforementioned, first manner. (Par. 10).
This also fits with the statement of the Sages, that in the Future,
“each one is singed from (embarrassment from) the canopy (חופתו) of his fellow”.
Canopy (חופה) is the level of Makkif (transcendental). This is indicated by the word “Chofeh” (חופֶה) with the vowel “Segel” (which means “surround”) and represents the “Keter” – the transcendental aspect of the Tzaddik and his level. In that level of “Chofeh” and Keter, there is no inclusion. On the contrary, the other’s canopy – his transcendental level – is “singed” (embarrassed) from the other Tzaddik’s canopy (transcendental level).
One could say that Rashi learns, that this will only be in the beginning of the time of the Future. However, afterwards, the true unity that is from the perspective of Atzmut – G-d’s Essence – will be revealed. For Atzmut supports all contradictions as one (עצמות איז נושא אלע הפכים כאחד).
From that revelation, there will be the inclusion of all the levels of the Tzadikim (even their level of Keter) in true peace and unity.
mSichas Tu b’Av 5735
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