לחג שבועות

In the Talmud (Kiddushin 31a) it is written: Ulla Rabbah lectured at the entrance to the Nasi’s house: What is meant by (Psalms 138:4), “יודוך ה’ כל מלכי ארץ כי שמעו אמרי פיך” (All the kings of the earth shall make admission unto Thee, O Lord, For they have heard the words of Thy mouth)? The Psalm does not…

סדר תזריע

If a woman conceives Leviticus 12:2 R. Simlai said (Leviticus Rabbah 14:1): Even as man was created after the creation of cattle, beasts and birds, so the laws concerning man come after those concerning cattle, beasts and birds. To explain this midrash, our master repeated the explanation given by the gaon R. Shlomo Kvetsch on…

לימי פורים

ויהי בימי אחשורוש And it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus Esther 1:1 Gemara (Megilah 10b): Rabbi Levi said, and some say that it was Rabbi Yonatan who said: This matter is a tradition that we received from the members of the Great Assembly. Anywhere that the word “ויהי” is stated, it is…

סדר כי תשא

כי תשא את ראש בני ישראל. . . זה יתנו כל העובר על הפקודים When you take the census of the people of Israel Exodus 30:12-13 The Midrash  (Shemot Rabbah): When the Holy One Blessed Be He taught Moses the section “כי תשא” Moses was perplexed. The Holy One Blessed Be He therefore showed him…

סדר תצוה

ואתה תצוה את בני ישראל ויקְחו אליך שמן זית זך כתית למאור And you shall command the people of Israel, that they bring you pure beaten oil olive. Exodus 27:20 Rashi comments: Clear — without dregs — as we learn in Menahot (86a) “מגרגרו בראש הזית” (he picks an olive from the top of the…

סדר תרומה

ויקחו לי תרומה That they bring for me an offering Exodus 25:2 The Midrash Tanna debe Eliyahu [quoted by the Yalkut Reuveni] teaches that at the moment that Israel said (Exodus 24:7) “נעשה ונשמע” (we will do and understand), the Holy One Blessed Be He immediately said “ויקחו לי תרומה” (they should bring for Me…

סדר מקץ

ויהי מקץ שנתים ימים And it came to pass after two full years Genesis 41:1 These two years were counted from the day, Pharaoh’s birthday, that the chief butler left prison.  From that moment, two years were added to Joseph’s captivity for having placed his trust in the chief butler, believing that the butler would…

Hanukkah

The Midrash (included in Yalkut Eliezer) quotes one passage from the verse (Psalms 13:6) יגל לבי” בישועתך” (my heart will exult in Your deliverance) and associates the passage with Media (מדית i.e., the miracle of Purim), and then quotes the next passage of that verse “אשירה לה’ כי גמל עלי” (I will sing to the…

סדר וזאת הברכה

ויאמר יהוה מסיני בא וזרח משעיר למו הופיע מהר פארן ואתה מרבבת קדש מימינו אש דת למו The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir to them; he shone forth from Mount Paran, and he came with holy tens of thousands; from his right hand went a fiery law for them.  Deuteronomy 32:2…

לחג הסכות

חג הסוכות תעשה לך שבעת ימים   A festival of sukkot, you shall make for yourself for seven days   Deuteronomy 16:13   The Sifri explains that the words “חג הסוכות” (a festival of sukkot for you shall make for yourself) teach us that the sukkot are “להדיוט,” for mundane purposes. But the Sifri then…