And he sent Yudah before him..... Midrash Tanchuma, Vayigash siman 10 - 11

A very beautiful teaching about the Restoration of Am Yisrael

Midrash Tanchuma Vayigash the end of siman 9 and siman 10,


וַיַּרְא שָׁם יְהוּדָה וְגוֹ', וְיָלְדָה עֵר וְאוֹנָן, וַיָּמָת עֵר וְאוֹנָן. וְכָל אוֹתָן הַשָּׁנִים שֶׁהָיָה יוֹסֵף חוּץ לְאָבִיו, הָיָה בְּלִבּוֹ שֶׁל יַעֲקֹב שֶׁיְּהוּדָה הֲרָגוֹ. מִנַּיִן אַתָּה לָמֵד, מִבִּנְיָמִין, שֶׁכָּךְ אָמַר יְהוּדָה לְיוֹסֵף, כִּי עַבְדְּךָ עָרַב אֶת הַנַּעַר. כֵּיוָן שֶׁנָּתַן נַפְשׁוֹ עַל בִּנְיָמִין וְנִתְוַדַּע יוֹסֵף, נִמְצָא יְהוּדָה נָקִי מִכָּל אוֹתָן הַדְּבָרִים. הֱוֵי, וְסָרָה קִנְאַת אֶפְרַיִם. לְכָךְ כְּתִיב: וְאֶת יְהוּדָה שָׁלַח לְפָנָיו.

And Yudah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite (Gen 38:2 And Yehuḏah saw there a daughter of a certain Kena‛anite whose name was Shuwa. And he took her and went into her.) She bore him two sons, Er and Onan, and both of them died. During the years in which Yoseph was separated from his father, Yacob was convinced that Yudah had killed him. From whence do we learn this. From the episode dealing with Benjamin: (Gen 44:32  “For your servant went guaranty for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall be a sinner before my father forever.’). It was only after he announced that he had pledged himself for Benjamin that Yoseph disclosed his identity and Yudah was exonerated from guilt in this matter. Therefore, (Isa 11:13 And the envy of Ephrayim shall turn aside, and the adversaries of Yehuḏah be cut off. Ephrayim shall not envy Yehuḏah, and Yehuḏah not trouble Ephrayim.) Hence, Scripture states: Gen 46:28 And he sent Yehuḏah before him to Yosěph, to point out before him the way to Goshen. And they came to the land of Goshen. 

Vayigash, Siman 10 ויגש, י׳

‎וְאֶת יְהוּדָה שָׁלַח. זֶה שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב: הִנְנִי שֹׁלֵחַ מַלְאָכִי וּפִנָּה וְגוֹ' (מלאכי ג, א). בֹּא וּרְאֵה, כָּל צָרוֹת שֶׁאֵרַע לְיוֹסֵף, אֵרַע לְצִיּוֹן. בְּיוֹסֵף כְּתִיב: וְיִשְׂרָאֵל אָהַב אֶת יוֹסֵף. בְּצִיּוֹן כְּתִיב: אֹהֵב ה' שַׁעֲרֵי צִיּוֹן (תהלים פז, ב). בְּיוֹסֵף כְּתִיב: וַיִּשְׂנְאוּ אוֹתוֹ. בְּצִיּוֹן, נָתְנָה עָלַי בְּקוֹלָהּ עַל כֵּן שְׂנֵאתִיהָ (ירמיה יב, ח). בְּיוֹסֵף, וְהִנֵּה אֲנַחְנוּ מְאַלְּמִים אֲלֻמִּים. בְּצִיּוֹן, בֹּא יָבֹא בְרִנָּה נֹשֵׂא אֲלֻמֹּתָיו (תהלים קכו, ו). בְּיוֹסֵף, הֲמָלֹךְ תִּמְלֹךְ עָלֵינוּ. בְּצִיּוֹן, אוֹמֵר לְצִיּוֹן מָלַךְ אֱלֹהָיִךְ (ישעיה נב, ז). בְּיוֹסֵף, וַיַּחֲלוֹם יוֹסֵף חֲלוֹם, בְּצִיּוֹן, בְּשׁוּב ה' אֶת שִׁיבַת צִיּוֹן הָיִינוּ כְּחֹלְמִים (תהלים קכו, א). בְּיוֹסֵף, הֲבוֹא נָבוֹא אֲנִי וְאִמְּךָ וְגוֹ'. בְּצִיּוֹן, אַפַּיִם אֶרֶץ יִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לָךְ (ישעיה מט, כג). בְּיוֹסֵף, וַיְקַנְאוּ בוֹ אֶחָיו. בְּצִיּוֹן, קִנֵּאתִי לְצִיּוֹן קִנְאָה גְדוֹלָה (זכריה ח, ב). בְּיוֹסֵף, לֶךְ נָא רְאֵה אֶת שְׁלוֹם אַחֶיךָ. בְּצִיּוֹן, וְדִרְשׁוּ אֶת שְׁלוֹם הָעִיר (ירמיה כט, ז). בְּיוֹסֵף, וַיִּרְאוּ אֹתוֹ מֵרָחֹק. בְּצִיּוֹן, זִכְרוּ מֵרָחוֹק אֶת ה' (ירמיה נא, נ). בְּיוֹסֵף, וַיִּתְנַכְּלוּ אֹתוֹ. בְּצִיּוֹן, עַל עַמְּךָ יַעֲרִימוּ סוֹד (תהלים פג, ד). בְּיוֹסֵף, וַיַּפְשִׁיטוּ אֶת כְּתֹנֶת הַפַּסִּים. בְּצִיּוֹן, וְהִפְשִׁיטוּךְ אֶת בְּגָדָיִךְ (יחזקאל כג, כו). בְּיוֹסֵף, וַיַּשְׁלִיכוּ אֹתוֹ הַבֹּרָה. בְּצִיּוֹן, צָמְתוּ בַבּוֹר חַיָּי (איכה ג, נג). בְּיוֹסֵף, וְהַבּוֹר רֵק אֵין בּוֹ מָיִם. בְּצִיּוֹן, וּבַבּוֹר אֵין מַיִם כִּי אִם טִיט (ירמיה לח, ו). בְּיוֹסֵף, וַיֵּשְׁבוּ לֶאֱכָל לֶחֶם. בְּצִיּוֹן, אַשּׁוּר לִשְׂבֹּעַ לָחֶם (איכה ה, ו). בְּיוֹסֵף, וַיִּמְשׁכוּ וַיַּעֲלוּ אֶת יוֹסֵף. בְּצִיּוֹן, וַיִּמְשְׁכוּ אֶת יִרְמְיָהוּ בַּחֲבָלִים וַיַּעֲלוּ אֹתוֹ מִן הַבּוֹר (ירמיה לח, יג). בְּיוֹסֵף, וַיִּקְרַע יַעֲקֹב שִׂמְלֹתָיו. בְּצִיּוֹן, לִבְכִי וּמִסְפֵּד (ישעיה כב, יב). בְּיוֹסֵף, וַיְמָאֵן לְהִתְנַחֵם. וּבְצִיּוֹן, אַל תָּאִיצוּ לְנַחֲמֵנִי (ישעיה כב, ד). בְּיוֹסֵף, וְהַמְּדָנִים מָכְרוּ אֹתוֹ אֶל מִצְרָיִם. וּבְצִיּוֹן, וּבְנֵי יְהוּדָה וּבְנֵי יְרוּשָׁלַיִם מְכַרְתֶּם לִבְנֵי הַיְּוָנִים (יואל ד, ו).

And he sent Yudah before him (Gen 46:28 And he sent Yehuḏah before him to Yosěph, to point out before him the way to Goshen. And they came to the land of Goshen.). Scripture states elsewhere: (Mal 3:1 “See, I am sending My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me. Then suddenly the Master you are seeking comes to His Hěḵal, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. See, He is coming,” said Adonai of hosts.). Observe that every misfortune that occurred to Joseph likewise befell Zion. It is written of Yoseph: (Gen 37:3 And Yisra’ěl loved Yosěph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a long robe.) And of Zion it is written: (Psa 87:2 Adonai loves the gates of Tsiyon More than all the dwellings of Ya‛aqoḇ.). Concerning Yoseph it is stated: (Gen 37:8 And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Shall you indeed rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.) And about Zion: (Jer 12:8 “My inheritance has become to Me like a lion in the forest. It cries out against Me, therefore I have hated it.) With reference to Yoseph it is said: (Gen 37:7 “See, we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field, and see, my sheaf rose up and also stood up. And see, your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.”) And in regard to Zion: (Psa 126:6 He who goes on and weeps, bearing seed for sowing, shall indeed come in with rejoicing, Bearing his sheaves.) It is written of Yoseph: (Gen 37:8 And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Shall you indeed rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.), and of Zion: (Isa 52:7 How pleasant upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings good news, who proclaims deliverance, who says to Tsiyon, “Your Elohim reigns!”). And of Yoseph: (Gen 37:5 And Yosěph dreamed a dream and told it to his brothers. So, they hated him even more.) And of Zion: (Psa 126:1 When Adonai turns back the captivity of Tsiyon, we shall be like dreamers.) And of Yoseph: (Gen 37:10 And he related it to his father and his brothers. And his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall we, your mother and I and your brothers, indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?”) And of Zion: (Isa 49:23 “And sovereigns shall be your foster fathers, and their sovereigns your nursing mothers. They bow down to you with their faces to the earth and lick up the dust of your feet. And you shall know that I am Adonai – those who wait for Me shall not be ashamed.”) And of Yoseph: (Gen 37:11 And his brothers envied him, but his father guarded the word.) And of Zion: (Zec 8:2 “Thus said Adonai of hosts, ‘I shall be jealous for Tsiyon with great jealousy, with great wrath I shall be jealous for her.’). And of Yoseph: (Gen 37:14 And he said to him, “Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the sheep and bring back word to me.” So, he sent him out of the Valley of Ḥeḇron, and he went to Sheḵem.) And of Zion: (Jer 29:7 And seek the peace of the city where I have exiled you, and pray to Adonai for it, for in its peace you have peace.’) And of Yoseph: (Gen 37:18 And they saw him from a distance, and before he came near them, they plotted against him, to kill him.) And of Zion: (Jer 51:50 You who have escaped the sword, go away! Do not stand still! Remember Adonai from afar and let Yerushalayim come to your heart.) And of Yoseph: (Gen 37:18 And they saw him from a distance, and before he came near them, they plotted against him, to kill him.) And of Zion: (Psa 83:4 They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, and let the name of Yisra’ěl be remembered no more.”) And of Yoseph: (Gen 37:23 So it came to be, when Yosěph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Yosěph of his robe, the long robe which was on him.) And of Zion: (Eze 23:26 And they shall strip you of your garments and shall take your pretty jewels.) And of Yoseph: (Gen 37:23 So it came to be, when Yosěph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Yosěph of his robe, the long robe which was on him.) And of Zion: (Lam 3:53 They have cut off my life in the pit, and they threw stones at me.) And of Yoseph: (Gen 37:24 And they took him and threw him into a pit. And the pit was empty, there was no water in it.) And of Zion: (Jer 38:6 And they took Yirmeyahu and threw him into the dungeon of Malkiyahu the sovereign’s son, which was in the court of the guard, and they let Yirmeyahu down with ropes. And in the dungeon, there was no water, but mud. So Yirmeyahu sank in the mud.) And of Yoseph: (Gen 37:25 And they sat down to eat a meal. And they lifted their eyes and looked and saw a company of Yishma‛ělites, coming from Gil‛aḏ with their camels, bearing spices, and balm, and myrrh, going to take them down to Mitsrayim.) And of Zion: (Lam 5:6 To Mitsrayim we have given a hand; To Ashshur, to be satisfied with bread.) And to Yoseph: (Gen 37:28 And men, Miḏyanite traders passed by, so they pulled Yosěph up and lifted him out of the pit and sold him to the Yishma‛ělites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Yosěph to Mitsrayim. ) And of Zion: (Jer 38:13 and they pulled Yirmeyahu up with ropes and lifted him out of the dungeon. And Yirmeyahu remained in the court of the guard.) And of Yoseph: (Gen 37:34 And Ya‛aqoḇ tore his garments, and put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days.) And of Zion: (Isa 22:12 And in that day the Master Adonai of hosts called for weeping and for mourning, for baldness and for girding with sackcloth.) And of Yoseph: (Gen 37:35 And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted, and he said, “Now let me go down into She’ol to my son in mourning.” So, his father wept for him.) And of Zion: (Isa 22:4 Therefore I said, “Look away from me, let me weep bitterly. Do not try to comfort me because of the ravaging of the daughter of my people.”) And of Yoseph: (Gen 37:36 And the Miḏanites had sold him in Mitsrayim to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.) And of Zion: (Joe 3:6 and the people of Yehuḏah and the people of Yerushalayim you have sold to the sons of Yawan, to remove them far from their borders.)

וּמַה שֶּׁאֵרַע לְיוֹסֵף טוֹבוֹת, אֵרַע לְצִיּוֹן טוֹבוֹת. בְּיוֹסֵף, וַיְהִי יוֹסֵף יְפֵה תֹאַר וִיפֵה מַרְאֶה. וְצִיּוֹן, יְפֵה נוֹף מְשׂוֹשׂ כָּל הָאָרֶץ (תהלים מח, ג). בְּיוֹסֵף, אֵינֶנּוּ גָדוֹל בַּבַּיִת הַזֶּה מִמֶּנִּי. בְּצִיּוֹן, גָּדוֹל יִהְיֶה כְּבוֹד הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה (חגי ב, ט). בְּיוֹסֵף, וַיְהִי ה' אֶת יוֹסֵף. בְּצִיּוֹן, וְהָיוּ עֵינַי וְלִבִּי שָׁם (דה״‎ב ז, טז). בְּיוֹסֵף, וַיֵּט אֵלָיו חָסֶד. וּבְצִיּוֹן, זָכַרְתִּי לָךְ חֶסֶד (ירמיה ב, ב). בְּיוֹסֵף, וַיְגַלַּח וַיְחַלֵּף שִׂמְלֹתָיו. וּבְצִיּוֹן, אִם רָחַץ אֲדֹנָי אֵת צֹאַת בְּנוֹת צִיּוֹן (ישעיה ד, ד). בְּיוֹסֵף, רַק הַכִּסֵּא אֶגְדַּל מִמֶּךָּ. וּבְצִיּוֹן, בָּעֵת הַהִיא יִקְרְאוּ לִירוּשָׁלַיִם כִּסֵּא ה' (ירמיה ג, יז). בְּיוֹסֵף כְּתִיב: וַיַּלְבֵּשׁ אֹתוֹ בִּגְדֵי שֵׁשׁ. וּבְצִיּוֹן, עוּרִי עוּרִי לִבְשִׁי עֻזֵּךְ צִיּוֹן לִבְשִׁי בִּגְדֵי תִּפְאַרְתֵּךְ (ישעיה נב, א). בְּיוֹסֵף כְּתִיב: וְאֶת יְהוּדָה שָׁלַח לְפָנָיו. וּבְצִיּוֹן הִנְנִי שֹׁלֵחַ מַלְאָכִי (מלאכי ג, א).

Everything fortunate that occurred to Yoseph likewise happened to Zion. It is written of Yoseph: (Gen 39:6 And he left in Yosěph’s hand all that he had, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. And Yosěph was handsome in form and handsome in appearance. ), and of Zion it is stated: (Psa 48:2 Beautiful on high, The joy of all the earth, Is Mount Tsiyon on the sides of the north, The city of the great Sovereign. ). Concerning Yoseph it is written: (Gen 39:9 “No one is greater in this house than I, and he has not withheld whatever from me but you, because you are his wife. And how shall I do this great evil and sin against Elohim?”) and of Zion: Hag 2:9 Let the esteem of this latter House be greater than the former,’ said Adonai of hosts. ‘And in this place, I give peace,’ declares Adonai of hosts.”). And of Yoseph: (Gen 39:2 And it came to be that Adonai was with Yosěph, and he became a prosperous man, and was in the house of his master the Mitsrian.) And of Zion: (2Ch 7:15 “Now, My eyes are open and My ears attentive to the prayer of this place.). And of Yoseph: (Gen 39:21 But Adonai was with Yosěph and extended loving-commitment to him, and He gave him favour in the eyes of the prison warden.) And of Zion: (Jer 2:2 “Go, and you shall cry in the hearing of Yerushalayim, saying, ‘Thus said Adanai, “I remember you, the loving-commitment of your youth, the love of your bridehood, when you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.) And of Yoseph: (Gen 41:14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Yosěph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon. And he shaved and changed his garments, and came to Pharaoh.) And of Zion: (Isa 44:4  and they shall spring up among the grass like willows by streams of water.’). And of Yoseph: (Gen 41:40 “Be over my house, you yourself, and at your mouth all my people shall kiss – only in the throne I am greater than you.” ) And of Zion: (Jer 3:17 “At that time Yerushalayim shall be called the throne of Adonai, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the Name of Adonai, to Yerushalayim, and no longer walk after the stubbornness of their evil heart.) And of Yoseph: And arrayed him in vestures of fine linen (Gen 41:42 And Pharaoh took his seal-ring off his hand and put it on Yosěph’s hand. And he dressed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.) And of Zion: (Isa 52:1 Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Tsiyon, put on your garments of splendour, O Yerushalayim, the set-apart city! For no more do the uncircumcised and the unclean come into you.) And of Yoseph: (Gen 46:28 And he sent Yehuḏah before him to Yosěph, to point out before him the way to Goshen. And they came to the land of Goshen.) And of Zion: (Mal 3:1 “See, I am sending My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me. Then suddenly the Master you are seeking comes to His Hěḵal, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. See, He is coming,” said Adonai of hosts.)

Vayigash, Siman 11 ויגש, י״א

‎וְאֶת יְהוּדָה שָׁלַח לְפָנָיו, לְהַתְקִין לוֹ בֵּית תַּלְמוּד, שֶׁיְּהֵא מוֹרֶה שָׁם הוֹרָאָה, שֶׁיְּהֵא מְלַמֵּד אֶת הַשְּׁבָטִים. תֵּדַע לְךָ שֶׁהוּא כֵן. כֵּיוָן שֶׁהָלַךְ יוֹסֵף מֵאֶצְלוֹ, הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ בְּאֵיזֶה פֶרֶק פֵּרַשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ, שֶׁהָיָה מַשְׁנֶה אוֹתוֹ. כֵּיוָן שֶׁבָּאוּ אֲחֵי יוֹסֵף וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ עוֹד יוֹסֵף חַי, וַיָּפָג לִבּוֹ כִּי לֹא הֶאֱמִין לָהֶם. נִזְכַּר יַעֲקֹב בְּאֵיזֶה פֶרֶק פֵּרַשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ, וְאָמַר בְּלִבּוֹ, יוֹדֵעַ אֲנִי שֶׁבְּפֶרֶק עֶגְלָה עֲרוּפָה פֵּרַשׁ יוֹסֵף מִמֶּנִּי. וְאָמַר לָהֶן, יִתֵּן לָכֶם סִימָן בְּאֵיזֶה פֶרֶק פֵּרַשׁ מִמֶּנִּי וַאֲנִי מַאֲמִין לָכֶם. וְאַף יוֹסֵף נִזְכַּר בְּאֵיזֶה פֶרֶק פֵּרַשׁ מֵאָבִיו. מֶה עָשָׂה יוֹסֵף, נָתַן לָהֶם עֲגָלוֹת. כֵּיוָן שֶׁרָאָה יַעֲקֹב אֶת הָעֲגָלוֹת, מִיָּד וַתְּחִי רוּחַ יַעֲקֹב אֲבִיהֶם. לְלַמֶּדְךָ, שֶׁבְּכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁהָיָה הוֹלֵךְ, הָיָה עוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה כְּשֵׁם שֶׁעָשׂוּ אֲבוֹתָיו. וְעַד עַכְשָׁו לֹא נִתְּנָה הַתּוֹרָה, וַהֲרֵי כְּתִיב בְּאַבְרָהָם, עֵקֶב אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַע אַבְרָהָם בְּקֹלִי וַיִּשְׁמֹר מִשְׁמַרְתִּי מִצְוֹתַי חֻקּוֹתַי וְתוֹרֹתָי  (בראשית כו, ה).

And he sent Judah before him (Gen 46:28 And he sent Yehuḏah before him to Yosěph, to point out before him the way to Goshen. And they came to the land of Goshen) Yacob sent Yudah before him to establish an academy wherein he might teach the Torah as he had previously done for the tribes. You know that he taught his sons earlier from the fact that Yacob remembered the chapter of the Torah that Yoseph was studying with him at the time of his disappearance. When Yoseph’s brothers returned and told him: “Yoseph is yet alive” … (Gen 45:26 And they told him, saying, “Yosěph is still alive, and he is governor over all the land of Mitsrayim.” And Ya‛aqoḇ’s heart ceased, for he did not believe them.) Yacob recalled the chapter of the Torah that Yoseph was studying at the time of his departure, and he said to himself: “I know that he was studying the portion devoted to the beheaded heifer.” Read:

Deu 21:1-9 “When anyone is found slain, lying in the field in the land which Adonai your Elohim is giving you to possess, and it is not known who struck him, 

2 then your elders and your judges shall go out, and they shall measure the distance from the slain man to the cities round about. 

3 “And it shall be that the elders of the city nearest to the slain man shall take a heifer which has not been worked and which has not pulled with a yoke, 

4 and the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a wadi with flowing water, which is neither ploughed nor sown, and they shall break the heifer’s neck there in the wadi. 

5 “And the priests, the sons of Lěwi, shall come near, for Adonai your Elohim has chosen them to serve Him and to bless in the Name of Adonai, and by their mouth every strife and every stroke is tried. 

6 “And let all the elders of that city nearest to the slain man wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the wadi. 

7 “And they shall answer and say, ‘Our hands have not shed this blood, nor have our eyes seen it. 

8 O Adonai, forgive Your people Yisra’ěl, whom You have ransomed, and do not allow innocent blood in the midst of Your people Yisra’ěl.’ And the blood-guilt shall be pardoned to them. 

9 “Thus you purge the guilt of innocent blood from your midst when you do what is right in the eyes of Adonai.

Whereupon he turned to them and said: “If he gave you something to indicate the chapter he was studying when he departed from here, I will believe you.” Yoseph had also remembered the chapter he was studying when he was separated from his father. What did Yoseph do? He gave them wagons (Gen 45:21 And the sons of Yisra’ěl did so. And Yosěph gave them wagons, according to the mouth of Pharaoh, and he gave them food for the journey.) When Yacob saw the wagons (‘agalot), the spirit of their father revived forthwith. (Gen 45:27  But when they spoke to him all the words which Yosěph had spoken to them, and when he saw the wagons which Yosěph had sent to transport him, the spirit of Ya‛aqoḇ their father revived.) Word-play relating ‘agalot (“wagons”) to kelayot (“kidneys”), stated in the next paragraph to be the organ through which Abraham learned and retained the law. This teaches us that wherever Yoseph went, he devoted himself to the law, as his ancestors had done before him, even though the Torah itself had not yet been given. And thus, it is written: (Gen 26:5 because Aḇraham obeyed My voice and guarded My Charge: My commands, My laws, and My Torot.)

וּמֵהֵיכָן לָמַד אַבְרָהָם אֶת הַתּוֹרָה. רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן יוֹחַאי אוֹמֵר, נַעֲשׂוּ שְׁתֵּי כִלְיוֹתָיו כִּשְׁנֵי כַדִּים שֶׁל מַיִם וְהָיוּ נוֹבְעִין תּוֹרָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: אַף לֵילוֹת יִסְּרוּנִי כִלְיוֹתָי (תהלים טז, ז). רַבִּי לֵוִי אָמַר, מֵעַצְמוֹ לָמַד אֶת הַתּוֹרָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: מִדְּרָכָיו יִשְׂבַּע סוּג לֵב וּמֵעָלָיו אִישׁ טוֹב (משלי יד, יד). וְהָיָה מְלַמֵּד לְבָנָיו תּוֹרָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר יְצַוֶּה (בראשית יח, יט).

From what source did Abraham learn the law? R. Simeon the son of Yohai declared: His two kidneys (kelayot) became like two pitchers filled with water, from which the law flowed forth, as it is said: (Psa 16:7 I bless Adonai who has given me counsel; My kidneys also instruct me in the nights.). R. Levi maintained: He studied the law by himself, as it is said: (Pro 14:14  The backslider in heart is satisfied with his own ways, But a good man is satisfied from his.). He taught the law to his sons, as it is said: (Gen 18:19  “For I have known him, so that he commands his children and his household after him, to guard the way of Adonai, to do righteousness and right-ruling, so that Adonai brings to Aḇraham what He has spoken to him.”)

אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, אַתָּה לִמַּדְתָּ בָּנֶיךָ תּוֹרָה בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה, אֲבָל לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא אֲנִי מְלַמְּדָם תּוֹרָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְכָל בָּנַיִךְ לִמּוּדֵי ה' וְרַב שְׁלוֹם בָּנָיִךְ (ישעיה נד, יג).

The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Him: You have taught your sons the law in this world, but in the world-to-come I shall teach them the law, as Scripture states: (Isa 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of Adonai; and great shall be the peace of thy children.)



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