ramhdr.gif (24480 bytes)

Part 1 - Chapter 3 - Note 18

The portions of the following texts that are the most relevant to the book appear in bold. Other portions that have relevance to the Brit Hadashah ("New Testament") appear in blue.

Talmud - Mas. Baba Bathra 75a

a chase1 of Leviathan; for it is said: Canst thou draw out Leviathan with a fish hook? Or press down his tongue with a cord?2 And if the Holy One, blessed be He, will not help him, he will be unable to prevail over him; for it is said: He only that made him can make His sword to approach unto him.3

    When R. Dimi came he said in the name of R. Johanan: When Leviathan is hungry he emits [fiery] breath from his mouth and causes all the waters of the deep to boil; for it is said: He maketh the deep to boil like a pot.4 And if he were not to put his head into the Garden of Eden, no creature could stand his [foul] odour;5 for it is said: He maketh the sea like a spiced6 broth.7 When he is thirsty he makes numerous furrows in the sea; for it is said: He maketh a path to shine after him.8 R. Aha b. Jacob said; The deep does not return to its strength until [after] seventy years; for it is said: One thinks the deep to be hoary,9 and hoary age is not [attained at] less than seventy [years].10

    Rabbah said in the name of R. Johanan: The Holy One, blessed be He, will in time to come make a banquet for the righteous from the flesh of Leviathan; for it is said: Companions will make a banquet of it.11 Kerah12 must mean a banquet; for it is said: And he prepared for them a great banquet13 and they ate and drank.14 Companions must mean scholars15 ; for it is said: Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken for thy voice; cause me to hear it.16 The rest [of Leviathan] will be distributed and sold out in the markets of Jerusalem; for it is said: They will part him among the Kena'anim,17 and Kena'anim must mean merchants, for it is said: As for kena'an18 the balances of deceit are in his hand, he loveth to oppress.19 And if you wish you may infer it from the following: Whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers20 are the honourable of the earth.21

    Rabbah in the name of R. Johanan further stated: The Holy One, blessed be He, will in time to come make a tabernacle for the righteous from the skin of Leviathan; for it is said: Canst thou fill tabernacles with his skin.12 If a man is worthy, a tabernacle is made for him; if he is not worthy [of this] a [mere] covering is made for him, for it is said: And his head with a fish covering.22 If a man is [sufficiently] worthy a covering is made for him; if he is not worthy [even of this], a necklace is made for him, for it is said: And necklaces about thy neck.23 If he is worthy [of it] a necklace is made for him; if he is not worthy [even of this] an amulet is made for him; as it is said: And thou wilt bind him for thy maidens.24 The rest [of Leviathan] will be spread by the Holy One, blessed be He, upon the walls of Jerusalem, and its splendour will shine from one end of the world to the other; as it is said: And nations shall walk at thy light, and kings at the brightness of thy rising.25

    [It is written]: And I will make thy pinnacles of kadkod26 — R. Samuel b. Nahmani said: There is a dispute [as to the meaning of kadkod] between two angels in heaven, Gabriel and Michael. Others say: [The dispute is between] two Amoraim in the West.27 And who are they? — Judah and Hezekiah the sons of R. Hiyya. One says: [Kadkod means] onyx; and the other says: Jasper. The Holy One, blessed be He, said unto them: Let it be as this one [says] and as that one.28

    And thy gates of carbuncles29 [is to be understood] as R. Johanan [explained] when he [once] sat and gave an exposition: The Holy One, blessed be He, will in time to come bring precious stones and pearls which are thirty [cubits] by thirty and will cut out from them [openings]30 ten [cubits] by twenty, and will set them up in the gates of Jerusalem. A certain student sneered at him: [Jewels] of the size of a dove's egg are not to be found; are [jewels] of such a size to be found? After a time, his ship sailed out to sea [where] he saw ministering angels engaged31 in cutting precious stones and pearls which were thirty [cubits] by thirty and on which were engravings of ten [cubits] by twenty. He said unto them: ‘For whom are these?’ They replied that the Holy One, blessed be He, would in time to come set them up in the gates of Jerusalem. [When] he came [again] before R. Johanan he said unto him: ‘Expound, O my master; it is becoming for you to expound; as you said, so have I seen.’ He replied unto him: ‘Raca, had you not seen, would not you have believed? You are [then] sneering at the words of the Sages!’ He set his eyes on him and [the student] turned into a heap of bones.32

    An objection was raised: And I will lead you komamiyuth,33 R. Meir says: [it means] two hundred cubits; twice the height of Adam.34 R. Judah says: A hundred cubits; corresponding to the [height of the] temple35 and its walls. For it is said: We whose sons are as plants grown up in their youth; whose daughters are as corner-pillars carved after the fashion of the Temple.36 R. Johanan speaks only of the ventilation windows.

    Rabbah in the name of R. Johanan further stated: The Holy One, blessed be He, will make seven canopies for every righteous man; for it is said: And the Lord will create over the whole habitation of Mount Zion, and over her assemblies, a cloud of smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a canopy.37 This teaches that the Holy One, blessed be He, will make for everyone a canopy corresponding to his rank.38 Why is smoke required in a canopy? — R. Hanina said: Because whosoever is niggardly towards the scholars in this world will have his eyes filled with smoke in the world to come. Why is fire required in a canopy? — R. Hanina said: This teaches that each one will be burned by reason of [his envy of the superior] canopy of his friend. Alas, for such shame! Alas, for such reproach!

    In a similar category is the following: And thou shalt put of thy honour upon him,
39 but not all thy honour. The elders of that generation said: The countenance of Moses was like that of the sun; the countenance of Joshua was like that of the moon.40 Alas, for such shame! Alas for such reproach!41

    R. Hama b. Hanina said: The Holy One, blessed be He, made ten canopies for Adam in the garden of Eden; for it is said: Thou wast in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was thy covering, the cornelian, the topaz and the emerald, the beryl, the onyx and the jasper, the sapphire, the carbuncle and the emerald and gold]42 etc. Mar Zutra says: Eleven; for it is said: Every precious stone.43 R. Johanan said: The least of all [these] was gold, since it is mentioned last. What is [implied] by the work of thy timbrels and holes?44 — Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Hiram, the King of Tyre. ‘[At the creation] I looked upon thee, [observing thy future arrogance]45 and created [therefore] the excretory organs of man’.46 Others say: Thus said [the Holy One, blessed be He].’ I looked upon thee
(1) thdhbe, ‘hunt’, ‘chase’.
(2) Job XL. 25.
(3) Ibid. v. 19. The text speaking of Behemoth is also applicable to Leviathan.
(4) Job XLI, 23.
(5) That of the foul breath.
(6) The sweet odours of the Garden of Eden perfume the sea.
(7) Ibid. ‘Spiced broth’,
vjernf, Cf. Ex. XXX, 25,,jern jer ‘perfume compounded’.
(8) Job XLI, 24.
(9) Ibid.
(10) Cf. Aboth V. 24.
(11) Job XL, 30.
vrhf denominative of vrf root of urfh the word used in the verse quoted.
(14) II Kings VI, 23.
(15) Heb. Talmide Hakamim,
ohnfj hshnk, lit.. ‘disciples of the wise men’, applied to scholars, distinguished students. Here taken to be synonymous with the righteous men mentioned previously.
(16) Cant. VIII, 13. The ‘companions’ are the Talmide Hakamim. The entire Song of Songs is regarded in Talmudic literature as an allegorical poem on God, Israel and the Torah. The gardens are the Colleges. the companions are the scholars. ‘Haberim’
ohrcj companions in Cant. is taken to be equal ohrch Habbarim in Job.
(17) Job XL. 30. Merchants
(18) So R.V. margin, reading Canaan. English versions render trafficker.
(19) Hos. XII. 8.
vhbgbf; absolute form, ohbgbf.
(21) Isa. XXIII, 8. (18) Job XL, 31.
(22) Ibid.
(23) Prov. I, 9.
(24) Job XL. 29. Bind, refers to a small object, such as an amulet, which one attaches (binds) to a string.
(25) Isa. LX, 3.
(26) Isa. LIV, 12. Kadkod,
sfsf, E.V. ‘Rubies.’
(27) Palestine, which is west of Babylon where the Babylonian Talmud was composed.
ihsfu ihsf a play on the word sfsf.
(29) Ibid.
(30) To serve as entrances to the city.
(31) Lit., ‘who sat and cut’.
(32) Cf. Ber. 58a, Shab. 34a, Sanh. 100a.
(33) Lev. XXVI, 13. Heb. ,
uhnnue lit., upright. Here taken as the dual of vnue height.
(34) Heb.
iuatrv ost ‘Adam the first’. That is, the people will gain in stature to twice the height of Adam. His height, originally from earth to heaven or from one end of the earth to the other, was, after his sin, reduced to a hundred cubits. V. Hag. 22a.
(35) V. supra 3a. cf. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) 100a.
(36) Ps. CXLIV, 22. How then, in view of their increase to a hundred cubits in height, necessitating correspondingly high gates, can R. Johanan say that the gates were only twenty in height?
(37) Isa. IV, 5.
(38) Lit., ‘his honour, glory.’
(39) Num. XXVII, 20.
(40) Joshua's glory was inferior to that of Moses.
(41) That there should be so much deterioration in the course of one generation.
(42) Ezek, XXVIII, 13. The text speaks of Hiram, King of Tyre, who is tauntingly asked whether he could compare himself with Adam who had all these canopies. ‘Every precious stone is not included in the number.
(43) Mar Zutra obtains the number eleven by including ‘Every precious stone’ in the list of materials used for making Adam's canopies.
(44) Ibid.
(45) Cf. Ezek. XXVIII, 2ff, Because thy heart is lifted up, and thou hast said: I am a God, etc.
(46) Lit., ‘many holes’ or ‘orifices’, created to curb human pride.

Midrash Rabbah - Leviticus XXX:2

2. Another exposition of the text, AND YE SHALL TAKE YOU (XXIII, 40). It bears on what is written in Scripture: Thou makest me to know the paths of life; in Thy presence is fulness of joy (Ps. XVI, 11). David says to the Holy One, blessed be He: ' O let me know by which gate one is led to the life of the World to Come! ' R. Judan said: The Holy One, blessed be He, told David: ‘If you wish for life you need chastisement’; as it is written, Reproofs of instruction are the way of life (Prov. VI, 23). By ’Fulness of (soba’) joy’ he implied: Satisfy us with five joys; to wit, with Scripture, Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmud, and Haggadoth. Another exposition is that ’In thy presence is fulness of (soba’) joy’ applies to the seven (sheba’) companies of righteous men who will in the future welcome the presence of the Shechinah and whose faces will be like the sun and the moon, the firmament, the stars, like lightning, like lilies, aye, like the pure candlestick that stood in the Temple. Whence that they will be like the sun? From the fact that it says, Clear as the sun (S.S. VI, 10).2 Whence that they will be like the moon? From the fact that it says, Fair as the moon (ib.). Whence that they will be like the firmament? From the fact that it says, And they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament (Dan. XII, 3). Whence their resemblance to the stars? From the text, And they that turn the many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever (ib.). Whence their resemblance to the lightnings? From the text, The appearance of them is like torches, they run to and fro like the lightnings (Nahum II, 5). Whence that they will be
(2) The Song of Songs is regarded as an allegory describing the love between God and Israel or the righteous to whom the phrase just cited is taken to refer.

Lev. 382

like the lily? From the text, For the Leader; upon the lilies (PS. LXXX,1)1 Whence that they will be like the pure candlestick? From the text, And he said unto me: What seest thou? And I said: I have seen, and behold a candlestick all of gold (Zech. IV, 2).2 At Thy right hand bliss (ne'imoth) for evermore (Ps. XVI, 11): Now who will inform us which company is the most beloved and the sweetest (ne'imah) of them? Two amora'im offer different replies. One says that it is the company which is backed by the strength of the Torah3 and the strength of the precepts, while the other says that it is the scribes and teachers of Mishnah who instruct children, inspiring them with awe, and who are destined to stand at the right hand of the Holy One, blessed be He. Hence it is written, ’At Thy right hand ne'imoth for evermore.’ Another exposition of the phrase, ’Fulness of (soba’) joy.’ Do not read thus, but, ‘seven (sheba’) joys.’ These will allude to the seven precepts associated with the festival of Tabernacles. They are the following: The four species comprising the lulab,4 the Tabernacle, the festival offering, and the duty of rejoicing.5 Now if there is rejoicing what need is there for the festival offering, and if there is a festival offering what need is there for the rejoicing?6 R. Abin said: The matter may be illustrated by a parable. It is like the case of two people who have come to a judge, and regarding whom we do not know which has been victorious. But if one of them takes a palm-branch in his hand we know that he is the victor. So it is with Israel and the nations of the world. The latter come and bring accusations before the Holy One, blessed be He, on New Year and we do not know which has won. But by reason of the fact that Israel go forth from the presence of the Holy One, blessed be He, bearing their palm-branches and their
(1) E.V. ’shoshanim’.
(2) Symbolising the righteous.
(3) Spoken of as being at God's right hand; cf. Deut. XXXIII, 2.
(4) Cf. Lev. XXIII, 40.
(5) Which was expressed by the offering of special sacrifices.
(6) No answer is given to this question here; it is given in J. Hag.II. What follows is apparently another exposition of the text, AND YE SHALL TAKE YOU... THE FRUIT OF GOODLY TREES, BRANCHES OF PALM-TREES, etc.

Lev. 383

citrons in their hands we know that it is Israel who are victorious, that Israel1 were successful in the judgment and that their iniquities were pardoned, and the nations exclaim: ' Israel are victorious! ' As it says, And also Israel is victorious2; he will not lie nor repent (I Sam. XV, 29). It is this that David has in mind when he says to Israel: If you fulfil the commandment of lulab, which is called pleasant (na'im)--as it says, ’In thy right hand ne'imoth’-- then you are assured that you have vanquished the nations of the world; as it says, ’And also Israel is victorious.’ Accordingly Moses exhorts Israel and says to them: AND YE SHALL TAKE YOU... BRANCHES OF PALM-TREES.

Thus whoever sanctifies himself and is on his guard against defilement in this world finds his habitation in the next world among the supernal holy

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 130a

angels, where they carry out God's messages. These are they who abide in the court-”the court of the Tabernacle” (Ex. XXVII, 9). But there are others who penetrate further, of whom David said, “we will be satisfied with the goodness of thy house” (Ps. LXV, 5). (The use of the term “we” here instead of “he”, as we should have expected, is explained by the dictum that in the Temple Court no seats are permitted save to the kings of the Davidic dynasty.) Still further within is a compartment reserved for the pious of a higher grade, referred to in the verse, “and those that were to pitch before the tabernacle eastward, before the tent of meeting toward the sunrising, were Moses and Aaron and his sons, etc.” (Num. III, 38). Thus there is in the next world a gradation of glorious abodes and resplendent lights, each outshining the other.

‘As the works of the righteous differ in this world, so do their places and lights differ in the next world. Further, it has been laid down that even in this world, when men sleep at night and their souls leave them and flit about through the world, not every one alike rises to behold the glory of the Ancient of Days, but each one in proportion to a man's constancy of attachment to God and to his good deeds. The soul of the man who is besmirched, when it leaves the body asleep, meets with throngs of unclean spirits of the infernal orders traversing the universe, who take her up and to whom she clings. They disclose to her events about to come to pass in the world; occasionally they delude her with false information. This has been already stated elsewhere. But the soul of the worthy man, when it leaves him in sleep, ascends and cleaves its way through the unclean spirits, which cry aloud, “Make way, make way! Here is one not belonging to our side!” The soul then ascends among the holy angels, who comrnunicate to it some true information. When the soul is on its descent again, all those malignant bands are eager to meet it in order to obtain from it that information, in exchange for which they impart to it many other things. But the one thing it learnt from the holy angels is to those other things as grain to chaff.

At the second watch

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 231b

the Cherubim again beat their wings, giving the signal to the angels of that watch. The psalm of the Cherubim this time was “They that trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, etc.” (Ps. cxxv). At the third watch the Cherubim beat their wings to the words “Hallelukah, praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord” (Ps. CXIII), and then the angels of the third watch commenced to sing, and also all the stars and constellations of the heaven, as it is written: “When the morning stars sung together and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job XXXVIII, 7), and also, “Praise him, all ye stars of light” (Ps. CXLVIII, 3), these being the radiant stars which are appointed to sing at dawn. After them Israel take up the chant below, and so the glory of God ascends both from below and from above, from Israel below in the day, and from the celestial angels above in the night, and so the name of God is fully praised on all sides. As for this stone that we have mentioned, all the angels above and Israel below take hold on it, and it ascends to be crowned in the midst of the patriarchs by day. At night the Holy One, blessed be He, comes to disport Himself with the righteous in the Garden of Eden. Blessed are those who stand at their posts and study the Torah at night, because God and all the righteous in the Garden of Eden listen to the voice of those sons of men who study the Torah.’

That stone we have mentioned is a goodly stone, and it is hinted at in the verse “And thou shalt set in it a setting of stone, four rows of stone” (Ex. XXVIII, 17), because there is another stone of which it is written “And I shall remove the heart of stone, etc.” (Ezek. XXXVI, 26). The two tablets of stone were also hewn from this stone; and this was also called “the stone of Israel” (Gen. XLIX, 24), as has been explained. R. Hizkiah quoted the verse: “And the stone shall be according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve” (Ex. XXVIII, 21). He said: ‘These are the precious supernal stones which are called “the stones of the place” (Gen. XXVIII, 11). They were “according to the names of the children of Israel” because just as there are twelve tribes below, so there are twelve tribes above, which are twelve precious stones; and therefore it is written: “Whither the tribes go up, even the tribes of the Lord, for a testimony unto Israel” (Ps. CXXII, 4), the reference being to the supernal Israel. Further, just as there are twelve hours in the day, so there are twelve hours in the night, in the day above and in the night below, each corresponding to each. These twelve hours of the night are divided into three sets, to each of which belong hierarchies of angels, which take their portion first. Hence, at midnight two ranks stand on one side and two on the other, and a celestial spirit goes forth between them and then all the trees in the garden break forth into song and God enters the garden, as it says: “Then do all the trees of the wood sing for joy before the Lord, for he cometh to judge the earth” (I Chron. XVI, 33), because judgement enters among them and the Garden of Eden is filled therewith. Then the north wind springs up, bringing joy in its train, and it blows through the spice trees and wafts their perfume, and the righteous put on their crowns and feast themselves on the brightness of the “pellucid mirror”-happy are they to be vouchsafed that celestial light! The light of this mirror shines on all sides, and each one of the righteous takes his appropriate portion, each according to his works in this world; and some of them are abashed because of the superior light obtained by their neighbours.

Soncino Zohar, Bemidbar, Section 3, Page 196b

R. Eleazar said: ‘Of a truth there is a hidden reference in the name Zippor. It is written, “Yea the sparrow (zippor) hath found her a house, and the swallow a nest for herself” (Ps. LXXXIV, 4). Would King David have said this of a mere sparrow? The reference, however, is to what we have learnt: How beloved are souls (neshamoth) before the Holy One, blessed be He. This does not mean all souls, but the souls of the righteous whose abode is there with Him. We have learnt that there are three walls to the Garden of Eden, and between each pair many souls and spirits walk about and enjoy the perfumes from within, though they are not permitted to enter. On certain days in the year, in the months of Nisan and Tishri, those spirits assemble in a certain place on the walls of the garden, where they look like chirping birds every morning. This chirping is praise given to the Almighty, and prayer for the life of human beings, because in those days Israel are all busy with performing the commandments and precepts of the Lord of the universe.’ Said R. Simeon: ‘Eleazar, so far very good, since in truth those spirits are there, but what will you make of “and the swallow a nest for herself”?’ He replied: ‘What I have learnt is that this is the holy super-soul that goes aloft to a hidden place which no eye but God's has seen.’ Said R. Simeon: ‘Eleazar, truly all this is correct, and so it is in the lower Garden of Eden as you have said. The “sparrows” are the holy spirits that are privileged to enter and then come out again, and these “find a house”, each one its appropriate chamber, and nevertheless they are all jealous of the canopy of their comrades, those that have freedom from all. God shows them a certain hidden palace, “which no eye has seen but thine, O God”, and which is called “the bird's nest”. From there are woven crowns for the Messiah in the time to come, and three times a year God holds converse with those righteous and shows them that hidden palace which is not known even to all the righteous there. “Who hath put her young with thine altars”: these are the righteous whose merit has been perfected with holy sons learned in both Torahs in this world, and who are called two altars crowned before the Holy King, since the merit of their sons in this world shields them and crowns them there. Now continue thy discourse, since we did not mean to shame thee.’ R. Eleazar then proceeded: ‘The “bird” is Jethro and the “swallow” indicates his sons, who used to be in the Chamber of hewn stone (in the Temple) teaching the Torah and giving decisions on religious matters. At first they left the comfort of their homes in Midian to dwell in the wilderness, but when God saw that their yearning was for the Torah, He drew them from there and made them a “house” in the Chamber of hewn stone. The “swallow” here is the same as the “bird”. This is why the name of Balak's father, Zippor, is mentioned here, though we do not find this with other (heathen) kings. Jethro abandoned idolatry and came to join Israel, and for this he was banished and persecuted.

Return to the Reference Notes Index Page