Vol 30.12 - Chayei Sarah 1 Spanish French Audio Video
(5747) Discussion regarding Pirkei d"Rebbe Eliezer ( chap.37) that Abraham made a treaty with the Hittites that the Jewish nation will not inherit the city of Jebus except with the permission of the Jebusites" ;The way that David conquered the city; Explanation of the two types of ownership of the Jewish People over Eretz Yisroel, "general ownership" and "specific ownership"
1. It is mentioned in Pirkei d"Rebbe Eliezer that when Avrohom went to acquire the cave of Machpelah from the Hittites., "they said to him, we know that in the future HaShem is going to give to you and your progeny all of these lands, sign a treaty with us that the Jewish nation will not inherit the city of Jebus except with the permission of the Jebusites (for" they were Hittites") " and he (Abraham) made a treaty with them " and afterwards bought the cave of Machpelah"
Explanation is needed
1)How did Avrohom agree to sign a treaty with them swearing that the Jewish nation will not inherit the city of Jebus, - contrary to the promise of HaShem to him that "For all the land that you see I will give to you and to your seed to eternity ( Lech 13:15)"
2) Decades before that, Hashem formed a covenant with Avram:"To your seed I have given this land (, from the river of Egypt until the great river, the Euphrates river 15:18)?
And especially questionable is that which is further stated in Pirkei d"Rebbe Eliezer that: when the Jewish people came to the land.. They were not able to enter (the city of Jebus) because of the covenant of the oath of Avraham.. And when David was king and wanted to enter... They did not let him... Because of the covenant and oath of Avraham "
And this is also written in Sifri concerning Joshua that "As to the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out" (Josh. 15:63), they were physically able to do so but they were not so permitted,(as explained in Rashi) since Abraham had made a non-aggression treaty with them when he bought the cave of Machpelah from them.)
Thus, the oath of Avraham Avinu placed a ban (issur) on the Jewish people to conquer Yerushalayim.
1)Further Pirkei d"Rebbe Eliezer states that when they didn"t allow David to enter the city "they said to him you are not permitted to enter the city unless you take away the blind and the lame1 (II Sam. 5:6), referring to the images that stood at the gates upon which the oath that Abraham had taken regarding the Jebusites was written"., David said to his men, "Whoever will go first and remove these idols which have written upon them the oath of Avraham Avinu, will be placed at the head, and the first to go up was Yoav ben Tz'ruyah ( as is explained in the passage that "David conquered the city") and Perkei d"Rabbe Eliezer ends: "And afterwards he purchased the city of Yevusi, for Israel with an everlasting contract for everlasting possession"
It is not understood (as the commentators ask):
The beginning of the topic that "they didn"t allow David to enter city because of the "covenant of the oath of Avraham" proves that in the time of David, the oath was still existing.
Yet from the continuation of the story, that Yoav fought with the Bnei Yevusi and conquered the city (as explained in the passage) it appears that the oath of Avraham was already nullified.
And moreover, if the oath of Avraham Avinu was not nullified - what was accomplished by removing the idols that had the oath written on them? Does the removal of the idols have the power to nullify the strength of the oath?!
We therefore must say that the oath of Avraham was already expired and it was permitted to conquer the city. And the reason he commanded to remove the idols is (as explained in the commentary) "only because it appeared like a desecration of G-d (Chilul Hashem) as long as they were standing, like the oath of the Givonim, (in other words, since the Yevusim thought that the oath was still binding they (The Jewish people) therefore needed to nullify any remembrance ( of this oath) to prevent a chilul Hashem.)
And if the story would"ve ended that "afterwards he purchased the city of Yevusi, for Israel with an everlasting contract for everlasting possession" it appears that he acquired the city in order that the purchase of city should be with the "agreement (will) of the Jebusites".
We also have to understand: What changed, from the time of the conquest of Yehoshua where "They were not able to drive them out (Josh. 15:63)" because they were not so permitted,because of the oath (even though they were commanded to: "drive out all the inhabitants of the land) and David who was permitted to conquer the city?
3. This can be understood by prefacing the story of Avraham Avinu and Hittites as mentioned in Chazal:
On the Passage: "I am a stranger and an inhabitant with you (23:4)" Chazal state: "If you are willing to sell me burial property, I am a stranger, but if not, I will be as an inhabitant and will take it legally, for the Holy One, blessed be He, said to me, "To your seed I will give this land" (above 12:7 " Rashi, Midrash Agadah (Gen. Rabbah 58:6)).
We have to understand:
1) Since he was able to take it "legally"- why did he strive so much to purchase the cave (for a full price)?
2) When Avraham Avinu said to the Hittites that he would "take it legally", he certainly intended that they should believe his words that G-d promised him this land. And that there was no point of their refusing, and they should give it to him of their good will. " Why, therefore, did he say that he would "take it", which implies by force?
3. If he would have taken it by force- there would be a desecration of G-d (Chilul Hashem) in the view of the Hittites (because Avraham was a merchant (prominent) with them because he was a "prince of G-d" and known as a person whose actions were the epitome of kindness and uprightness and righteousness.)
4. From the precise wording: "If you are willing I am a stranger, but if not, I will be as an inhabitant" it implies that his being a sojourner or resident is dependent upon the will of the Hittites. In other words: If the Hittites want to sell the cave of Machpelah then he will "be a stranger", that is impossible to take it by law. However, if they do not want ("but if not") then " "I will be as an inhabitant and will take it legally"
The question is: How can one say that the "law" whether it"s permissible for Avraham to take the cave or not, is dependent on the will of the Hittites?
5. Why did Avraham bring the proof (that he is able to take it by law) from the promise of G-d that "to your seed I will give this land" " that is the gift to the progeny of Avraham - and not from the promise to give (the land) to Avraham himself - "all this land I will give to you "?
According to the Midrash, that the proof was from G-d"s statement "To your seed I have given this land (15:18) " it fits nicely - since the passage is not a promise for the future but spoken in the past tense, like the Talmud Yerushalmi states: "To your seed I have given " I have already given. " And as also stated by the Midrash on this passage that: "the word of G-d is deed". Therefore the statement of G-d ("To your seed I have given) is even better than the statement: "I will give to you", which is only a promise for the future.
But according to the explanation of Rashi that the proof was from, "To your seed I will give this land" It"s difficult (as above): Why did he not bring proof from:"I will give to you (13:15)"?
One can say that the explanation of all this is:
4.There are two aspects to the ownership of the Jewish people of Eretz Israel: A "general ownership" - that all of the land is connected to all of the Jewish people. And a "specific ownership" - that which every Jewish person has a specific portion in the lands in which is connected (only) to him.
And these two types of ownership of the Jewish people of Eretz Israel come into actuality, through two (types of) acquisitions: The "general ownership" came through the conquest of the land by Joshua etc, for through this the entire Land of Israel was acquired by the entire Jewish people; And the "specific ownership" of each Jewish person of their specific portion was accomplished through settling and possession (Chazaka) " where each person settled and possessed his portion.
Moreover, these two types of ownership are not dependent upon each other: It is possible to have a "general ownership" without a "specific ownership" and vice versa.
The "general ownership" does not negate the "specific ownership". An example is the ownership of a king over his land. For even though all of the land is in the domain of the king, nevertheless this does not negate the specific ownership of the citizens of the land of their specific properties (houses, fields etc). However since the king owns the entire country there are many laws that affect the specific ownership of each individual (e.g "the law of the land is the law" (Dina d'malchuso dina). Therefore they are required to pay taxes to the king, and including, under specific conditions, the king repossessing an individual"s land, as it says, "a king can break through a fence and one cannot object."
On the other hand, a "specific ownership" does not (necessarily) include a "general ownership". Like we find after the First Destruction of the Temple, that even if one were to say that the "general ownership" of the land was nullified, for "since the land was taken from their hands therefore the conquest ( of Joshua) was nullified", so much so that "they were exempt from tithes (maser) and the Sabbatical Year (Shviis), because the produce was not from Eretz Yisroel" (the land was not considered Eretz Yisroel) -nevertheless an individual"s "specific ownership" remained on his property, as it is stated in Yirmiyahu:"Men shall buy fields for money and inscribe deeds and sign them (Jer. 32:44)" because "specific ownership" is not dependent on "general ownership".
6.Accordingly it is understood Avraham"s statement to the Hittites that "If you are willing to sell me burial property, I am a stranger, but if not, I will be as an inhabitant and will take it legally": the difference between the manner of "I am a stranger " (through the Hittites selling him the Cave of Machpelah) to the manner of , I will be as an inhabitant and will take it legally"- corresponds to the types of ownership Avraham had on the Cave of Machpelah.
The Cave of Machpelah, just like all of the land that surrounded it was then in the general domain and ownership of the Hittites, and Avraham"s request to purchase from Efron was only to acquire the "specific ownership" (of Efron) over that area. But even afterwards the "general ownership" would remain in the hands of the Hittites (for we do not find that Avraham conquered the kingdom of the Hittites.)
And this is: "I am a stranger "- for the land would remain in the existing (prior) ownership of the Hittites, and Avrohom would be "a stranger" who purchased a certain property in the land- of the kingdom of Hittites,
However all of this was only if the Hittites agreed to sell to him the Cave of Machpelah. But, If not, then "I will be as an inhabitant and will take it legally"- for the taking of the cave will be an outcome (and progression) of the "general ownership" of Eretz Yisroel
The explanation is: Avraham knew that Adam and eve were buried in the Cave of Machpelah, and if the Bnei ches wouldn"t agree to sell it to him (in a way that he would acquire "specific ownership") and they would want to force him to bury Sarah in another place, not next to Chava who was a side (tzelah) of the side of, the handiwork of G-d (Adam), it would have revealed that the time had already arrived for the fulfillment of the promise that "to your seed I will give this land" and that would have given him (also) the "general ownership" " "and I will take it legally"
6. Accordingly, it is also understood why Rashi brings the passage:
"To your seed I will give this land"(or the Midrash"s: "to your seed I have given this land") and not the passage: "all this land I will give to you "
Two types of ownership of the Jewish people over Eretz Yisroel were promised to Avraham: The passages: "to your seed I will give this land", "to your seed I have given this land" refer to a "general ownership", of the Jewish people over Eretz Yisroel; and the passage "to you I will give it" refers to the "specific ownership" of a Jew over his portion in the land.
One can say the explanation is:
The promise "to your seed I will give this land", (and the passage: "to your seed I have given this land") encompasses the entire land in through the "general" ex
In the promise "to you will give it" the passage discusses at length, specifies and says: "Please raise your eyes and see, from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward. For all the land that you see I will give to you and to your seed to eternity. And I will make your seed like the dust of the earth, so that if a man will be able to count the dust of the earth, so will your seed be counted. Rise, walk in the land, to its length and to its breadth, for I will give it to you.(Gen, 13 14-17)"
In other words:
1) These passages stress the area of the land, and also its specifics ( see etc northward and southward and eastward and westward etc) and the multitude of the progeny of Avraham and its count- which implies from these passages, that the giving of such a large land corresponds to the promise that: "I will make your seed like the dust of the earth" which is why they were entitled to such a great land and "part of your seed would be in north and part in the south etc." And this corresponds to "specific ownership" of each Jewish person over his portion in the land.
2) "Rise, walk in the land, to its length and to its breadth.(Gen, 13 :14)"- that Avraham should posses the land, a "Kinyan Chazakah" (Acquisition by Taking Hold of the Item, as explained in Talmud ) also refers to an acquisition connected with "specific ownership" , as above, for Chazakah (Acquisition) is (primarily) a specific acquisition.
7. One can say that this is also the reason between the differences of the passages - the passages that refer to "general ownership" state only "to your seed". And the passages that refer to "specific ownership" state "to you and to your seed to eternity" stressing the gift to Avraham specifically,
Avraham Avinu was (1) the head of the Jewish Nation, comprising all of the Jewish People, and because of this everything said to him (or given to him) was an aspect of Klal Yisrael (corporate Israel, the greater Jewish people). And he also was (2) the "father" of each Jewish person in a specific sense, like his title Avrohom Avinu (Avraham our father) , the father of each Jewish person.
And according to this, the promise to Avraham , concerning the "general ownership" of Eretz Yisroel was to Avraham as his status as the leader of the nation (Klal Yisroel), and the promise concerning the "specific ownership" - was to Avraham as his status of the "father" each Jewish person.
And therefore the passages that contain the promise to Avraham for a "general ownership" state only "to your seed I will give" (to your seed I have given) for this does not correspond to an inheritance in a specific manner from a father to a son, but rather, to the entire Jewish people (and to note, that this is that "general rule"(Klal) throughout the generations).
However for the "specific ownership" which was spoken to Avrohom like a "father" who bequests to each of his children, it states "to you I will give it" and "to your seed" for this stresses the relationship of "father" to "son", between Avraham and his progeny, for through this the land came as an inheritance from the father-Avraham - to his progeny for eternity.
8. According to all this one can also explain the aspect of the oath to Hittites, that "Bnei Yisroel will not inherit the city of Yevus except with their will ":
Even though Jews were commanded to: "drive out all the inhabitants of the land etc. and settle in it etc. and give the Land as an inheritance to your families. (Num 33:52-54) which includes not only the act of conquest for a "general ownership" but also "settle in it" which is the possession of each person of his property, "specific ownership" - nevertheless "general ownership" is different from "specific ownership", because "general ownership" is given to the entire Jewish people with no possibility of foreign control; However regarding settling the land" with specific conditions, other nations were allowed to remain in the land, and also from the seven (Canaanite) nations.
And as we are commanded: "When you approach a city to wage war against it, you shall propose peace to it (Deut: 20:10)" for this law also applies to the Seven (Canaanite) nations, And as Joshua did, Joshua sent "three" letters before he entered the land; The first (letter) he sent (was) "Whoever wants to flee, should flee; The second, whoever wants to make peace should make peace. (The third whoever wants to make war will do so at their own peril).
And accordingly one can explain in our case: The oath of Avraham was that not that the Jewish people would not inherit the "general ownership" of (the land of) Yevus - because it was impossible to swear against the promise of G-d: "To your seed I will give (have given) this land" land"; rather it was speaking concerning "specific ownership", that even though the Jewish People would rule over the land of Yevus because it is part of their ( the Jewish People"s) land nevertheless they wanted to enter into a covenant that the Jewish people would not possess it with a "specific ownership", "unless they (the Bnei Yevus) agreed". Thus, the Hittites also agreed to be under the sovereignty and government of the Jewish people, and their whole intent was only that they should not be denied "specific ownership" over the city of Yevus, - for in this manner, there is no prohibition.( like Joshua"s announcement: "whoever wants to make peace should make peace")
[And this concept is emphasized also in the words of the request of the Hittites: "We know that in the future HaShem is going to give to you and your progeny all of these lands, sign a treaty with us". In other words, they also knew that G-d is going to give the land (including the city of Yevus) to the Jewish people, and seemingly what place was there for them to sign a treaty to the opposite "that the Jewish people wouldn"t inherit"? Rather, even according to the Hittites" understanding, this oath" that the Jewish people would not inherit the city of Yevus", was not a contradiction to: "in the future G-d is going to give to you and your progeny all of these lands"]
And with this, the connection between this oath and the acquisition of the Cave of Machpelah, fits: For after they agreed to hand over (sell) to Avraham the "specific ownership" of the site of the Cave of Machpelah - they asked Avraham, measure for measure, that he swear to them that even when the "general ownership" of the land passed into the domain of the Jewish people, they (the Jewish people) would not take from them "specific ownership" of the city of Yevus "except with their permission".
9. According to this we can understand the continuation of the story in Pirkei d"Rebbe Eliezer concerning King David:
The reason that David "wanted to enter the city of Yevus" was simply because the time had come to prepare the place of the Mikdash, which was in the city Yevus (Yerushalayim). And according to what was explained above, that the oath of Avraham to the Hittites, only concerned "specific ownership" of the city, it is simply understood, that taking this place in order to prepare the building of the Mikdash was not included in this oath, from the very onset. Because this appropriation is for Klal Yisroel (all of the Jewish people) and is connected to the "general ownership" of the land. (Like a King taking a specific property, which is necessary for the conduct of the government)
In other words, the fulfillment of the oath was only (to prevent) expelling them from the city in order that a specific person should dwell in their place, replacing the "specific ownership" of a Yevusi with the "specific ownership" of a Jewish person (and this was the intent of the passage about Joshua: "they weren"t able, , to drive them out") however, acquiring the place for the entire Jewish people is not connected to the oath
[And just like Avraham knew that G-d was going to give to him all of these lands, he also knew that in the place of the Akeida, on "On the mountain, the Lord will be seen ( Gen 22:14). " the Jewish people were going to build the Beis HaMikdash in the city of Yevus, and he would not swear to them that "the Jewish people would inherit the city of Yevusi except through their will" , in a way that would bind the building of Beis HaMikdash upon the will of the Bnei Yevusi!]
10. According to this, it is understood that the Bnei Yevusi"s attempt to prevent David from entering, by the force of the oath that Avrohom took, was not lawful. For this was in contradiction to the "general ownership" of the Jewish people over the land,( by their mistake that the oath of Avraham, included (implied) that the "general ownership" of the city of Yevus was theirs). Thus it was permissible for David to fight them and to conquer the city.
And this was the reason David commanded to remove idols that had the oath written on them " since the Bnei Yevus utilized the oath, contrary to law.
However, from this itself it is understood, that even after David conquered the city of Yevus, the oath wasn"t nullified, because the conquering of the city was only through the law permitting a king to conquer (Kivush HaMelech) in order to rule over them ("general ownership" ) and this does not affect the oath that they shouldn"t take "specific ownership" "except with their permission";
Therefore, even though they were able to drive them out through the force of "general ownership", (like a king breaking a fence etc,) and specifically (for) the site of the Beis HaMikdash, which is necessary for all of the Jewish people " nevertheless, in order to abide by the oath he "purchased the city of Yevusi, for Israel with an everlasting contract for everlasting possession".
(Sichat Shabbat Parshat Re"eh 5747)
1) (Rashi: Devarim 12:17) They were in possession of two statues, one blind and the other lame, symbolizing Isaac (who was blind in his latter years. See Gen. 22:1) and Jacob (who turned lame as a result of his bout with the angel. See Gen. 32:26), and in their mouths was the oath that Abraham had sworn to Abimelech (Gen. 22:23)
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