Saturday, August 29, 2009

Parshat Ki Tavo 5769 - Lost and Found

Parshat Ki Tavo 5769

Rabbi Ari Kahn

Lost and Found

First Fruits

As their time in the desert comes to a close, the Children of Israel stand on the verge of the Promised Land and Moshe teaches them a ritual which is designed to develop historical consciousness: the Mitzva of Bikkurim. The farmer, infinitely sensitive to the elements, acutely attentive to even slight changes in climate and their impact on his produce, gathers the first fruits of his year-long toil. He makes his way to the Temple in Jerusalem, fruit in hand, but not only to thank God for the produce or for the food he and his family will eat throughout the coming winter; the farmer is instructed to tell a story. The text is precise; there is no room for improvisation. All the farmers are commanded to recite the exact same declaration. It is the story of all of the Children of Israel.

דברים פרק כו

(ה) וְעָנִיתָ וְאָמַרְתָּ לִפְנֵי ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲרַמִּי אֹבֵד אָבִי וַיֵּרֶד מִצְרַיְמָה וַיָּגָר שָׁם בִּמְתֵי מְעָט וַיְהִי שָׁם לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל עָצוּם וָרָב:(ו) וַיָּרֵעוּ אֹתָנוּ הַמִּצְרִים וַיְעַנּוּנוּ וַיִּתְּנוּ עָלֵינוּ עֲבֹדָה קָשָׁה:(ז) וַנִּצְעַק אֶל ה’ אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵינוּ וַיִּשְׁמַע ה’ אֶת קֹלֵנוּ וַיַּרְא אֶת עָנְיֵנוּ וְאֶת עֲמָלֵנוּ וְאֶת לַחֲצֵנוּ:(ח) וַיּוֹצִאֵנוּ ה’ מִמִּצְרַיִם בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה וּבְמֹרָא גָּדֹל וּבְאֹתוֹת וּבְמֹפְתִים:(ט) וַיְבִאֵנוּ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה וַיִּתֶּן לָנוּ אֶת הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת אֶרֶץ זָבַת חָלָב וּדְבָשׁ:(י) וְעַתָּה הִנֵּה הֵבֵאתִי אֶת רֵאשִׁית פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נָתַתָּה לִּי ה’ וְהִנַּחְתּוֹ לִפְנֵי ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ לִפְנֵי ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ:

And you shall speak and say before the Almighty, your God, 'Arami oved avi (regarding the meaning of this phrase, see below), and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there, small in numbers, and became there a great, mighty, and populous nation; And the Egyptians dealt ill with us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard slavery. And we cried to the Almighty, God of our fathers, and God heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labor, and our oppression. And the Almighty brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great awesomeness, and with signs, and with wonders; And He has brought us to this place, and has given us this land, a land that flows with milk and honey. 10. And now, behold, I have brought the first fruits of the land, which you, Almighty God, have given me.' And you shall set it before the Almighty, your God, and worship before the Almighty God. D’varim 26:5-9

While this text is familiar to us from the Passover Seder, the Torah originally commanded us to recite this passage on Chag Habikkurim - also known as Shavuot (Pentacost). The Jewish way of celebrating the harvest involves more than thanksgiving for the success of the agricultural cycle, more than personal reflection on the long, arduous year of plowing, planting, harvesting, and the myriad chores that led to the bounty that is celebrated in the Temple. The scope of the celebration is far broader than one long winter that may have been too cold, or too dry. The farmer of Israel is instructed to read a formal text which links his accomplishments all the way back to the slavery and Exodus from Egypt, and even beyond: The first three words of the formula “Arami oved avi” refer to the antecedents of the exile and the slavery.

And yet, although this formula, invoking the formative events of our national consciousness, is recited at such a critical juncture in our calendar, and preserved as a central element of our Pesach Seder, the precise meaning of the opening phrase is less clear than we might have expected. Many different interpretations are offered by the commentaries, and none is universally accepted. In fact, this phrase requires interpretation on several levels: Arami is easily translated as "Aramean", one who came from Aram (the biblical name for Mesopotamia). The second word of the phrase is far less manageable: the word oved is variously identified as an adjective, describing one who has gone astray or lost his way, or as a transitive verb describing the act of causing another's annihilation – causing another to be 'lost'. The third and final word of this phrase, avi, is translated as "my father". Essentially, the first and third words, though easily translated, are the source of the various interpretations of the phrase: Who is the Aramean in question, and which of our forefathers is invoked? The various interpretations of these two words will necessarily color the translation of the word that stands between them, oved. Additionally, we are forced to contend with the issue of context as it may or may not affect the interpretation of this phrase. Will the meaning ascribed to each of the words, and to the phrase as a whole, be different on Pesach than on Shavuot? And is the Mishnaic formula, "begin with disparagement and conclude with praise," regarding the Seder recitation indicative of the meaning of the phrase itself?

To Read and Study

First, let us consider the context. While our present parsha instructs us to recite the Arami oved avi section in the Beit HaMikdash on Shavuot, the inclusion of the Arami oved avi in the Haggada is neither arbitrary, random nor accidental. These verses were an integral part of the Pesach Seder from its very origins: The Mishna, in the Tractate Pesachim which delineates the obligations of the evening, includes the Arami oved avi. In the Pesach context, we are commanded not to just read or recite the text, but to expand and expound upon it as well.

משנה מסכת פסחים פרק י משנה ד

ולפי דעתו של בן אביו מלמדו מתחיל בגנות ומסיים בשבח ודורש מארמי אובד אבי עד שיגמור כל הפרשה כולה:

And according to the son's intelligence his father instructs him. He commences with disparagement and concludes with praise; and expounds from "Arami ove avi" until he completes the whole section. Mishna Talmud Bavli Pesachim 116a

Unlike Shavuot, where the commandment is to read the Arami oved avi verses, on Passover we are commanded to expound ("doresh") upon the verses. A drasha is very different from a reading or recitation: in a drasha, associations are made, comparisons considered, and Torah applied. In fact, Rabbi Yosef Soloveitchik[1] stressed that learning Torah is, and always has been, an integral part of the Seder as a whole, and this section of Arami oved avi in particular. [2] Therefore, the Arami oved avi section is preceded with a quasi- Birkhat HaTorah, echoing the blessing recited before any Torah study.

The ritual prescribed for Shavuot does not involve drasha; it is not a study of the verses, it is a recitation or reading of the verses. A reading is a more formal and mechanical, less cerebral experience. This particular reading is intended to create an emotional state of joy.[3] If, however, the text is "borrowed" for use on Pesach, we must assume, according to Rabbi Soloveitchik, that it is intended to bring joy on this occasion as well. In other words, even though different aspects of the text are brought into focus on each of the holidays, and despite the fact that the text is used differently on each occasion, the goal is shared: On Pesach, we study the text and use it as a springboard to better comprehend and identify with leaving Egypt, while on Shavuot we recite the text to help focus our joy on having merited the Land of Israel.[4] In both cases, the narrative leads us to feel tremendous joy.

Yet the Mishna points out another aspect of the use of this passage on Pesach which is somewhat curious: Our Torah study surrounding this section must begin at a negative point in our collective narrative, and end with praise, as we expound the entire section. The language of this Mishnaic formula is somewhat unclear, leaving us uncertain whether these two statements are independent of one another. In other words, is the very reading of the Arami oved avi passage a fulfillment of the commandment to "begin with disparagement and end with praise", or are we given two separate commandments to fulfill during the part of the Seder involved with Torah study – first, to expound on these verses, and second, to begin with the negative and end with the positive? The resolution of this seemingly arcane halachic point will, in fact, influence the interpretations offered by the various commentaries on the phrase Arami oved avi itself.


In his comments to the verse, the Rashbam translates the word oved as "lost": The Arami of our verse was Terach, father of Avraham, who had wandered, leaving the place of his birth. Oved is translated as an adjective, describing Terach's displaced or "lost" state.[5] According to this approach, the two Mishnaic commandments, to “start with disparagement and end with praise”, and the command to expound Arami oved avi, are one and the same.[6]

Attempted Murder

The Targum Unkolus[7] deviates from his normal approach of literal translation, and reveals the identity of the “Arami”: This passage refers to an old adversary last seen in Bereishit, Yaakov's wily father-in-law Lavan.[8] Rashi follows this reading of the Targum[9]. The phrase, then, resembles the interpretation familiar to us from the Mishnaic passage recited on the Eve of Pesach:

הגדה של פסח - נוסח ההגדה

צֵא וּלְמַד מַה בִּקֵּשׁ לָבָן הָאֲרַמִּי לַעֲשֹוֹת לְיַעֲקֹב אָבִינוּ. שֶׁפַּרְעֹה לֹא גָזַר אֶלָּא עַל הַזְּכָרִים וְלָבָן בִּקֵּשׁ לַעֲקוֹר אֶת הַכֹּל. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:אֲרַמִּי אֹבֵד אָבִי

Go and learn what Lavan the Aramean wanted to do to Ya’akov our Patriarch. For Paroh only legislated against the males, while Lavan wished to uproot everything, as it says: Arami oved avi… Passover Haggadah

In the context of Parshat Ki Tavo, this passage frames the ritual of Bikkurim and sets the scope of our historical consciousness: Our forefather Yaakov was forced to flee the land of his fathers, to live in exile in Aram, where Lavan mistreated and enslaved him, even plotted to harm[10] or kill him[11]. Our own story of slavery and liberation, of exile and redemption, begins with the peril Yaakov faced, and the challenges he survived.[12] This entire narrative is what has led to the joyous celebration of the bounty of our land, to our joyous return to the land promised to our forefathers, to our ability to celebrate the fruition of the covenant God made with Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. The phrase, then, reads as follows: "An Aramean (Lavan) sought to eradicate my father (Yaakov)." This interpretation would necessarily mean that the section itself does not begin with any disparaging comments; it fulfills only one of the two independent commandments enumerated in the Mishna. Therefore, the Haggada introduces a “negative” section immediately prior to the Arami oved avi: "Our ancestors were idolaters,"[13] referring to Terach, father of Avraham.[14]


There are, however, many commentaries who are of the opinion that the subject of the Arami oved avi is neither Lavan nor Terach. They focus instead on a figure much closer to home. The Ibn Ezra, Hizkuni, Rabenu Bachya and Seforno all believe that the Arami was Yaakov, and the term oved means "destitute", for when Yaakov escaped to Aram, he left his home with nothing but the shirt on his back.[15] We should note that the commentaries who offer this reading were not concerned that it is far less germane to the Pesach context. Perhaps this was why the Mishna called for a drasha of the text, an exegesis rather than a recitation: The original meaning of the text was not necessarily of a piece with the themes of the Haggadah. The commentaries were more concerned that the basic reading of the text be in line with the Shavuot ritual of the first fruits, and the theme of Yaakov's life, his progress from destitute exile to successful founder of the Nation of Israel on its homeland, is quite a powerful narrative for the celebration of the First Fruits. When the text is "borrowed" for use on Pesach, a certain amount of drash is required to bring the message into focus.

This, then, is the underlying narrative that informs our collective memory, frames our collective historical consciousness: Yaakov’s wanderings began when he left the Land of Israel and made his way to Padan Aram, to his mother's hometown, to the house of his uncle Lavan, the man who later became his father-in-law. Yaakov retraced his mother's route out of Aram; he returned to the place of his grandfather and was, for that period of time, an Aramean himself. It is to this period that the verse Arami oved avi refers: Our forefather Yaakov was wandering and destitute, exiled to Aram. He was alone and vulnerable, far from the source of his physical and spiritual sustenance. He was abused and enslaved. Yet he returned to the Promised Land after having amassed great physical and spiritual wealth by the sweat of his brow and without ever losing faith in the Covenant. So, too, the exile of his children in Egypt has now come to an end: The first fruits offered up in the Beit HaMikdash are the last link in this chain. Reading this passage spreads the canvas wide; a man without a nation, a man without a homeland, a wandering pauper, is transformed into a nation enslaved, who in turn, morph into a free nation living in their own land. The farmer is far more than an individual enjoying the fruits of his labor. His joy is far greater when his own success is placed in context, and he becomes part of this great story of triumph. And as he gazes at his fellow farmers, each of whom is part of this same narrative, he sees that his family has become a great nation. They share a homeland that is acutely attentive to their prayers and responsive to their touch. At such a moment of joy, thanksgiving and love, can there be any doubt that all present also pray there will be no more wandering, no more slavery?

The Jews have come home.[16] They have reclaimed their Land – and their dignity. All that remains is to rejoice in all the good that God has given us.[17]

[1] For a collection of Rabbi Soloveitchik's teachings on the Haggadah, see

[2] See

"Sipur Yetziat Mizrayim, simply put, is a Mitzvah of Torah Study. We are obligated to study not only the events of the Exodus, but the laws of the festival as well. The Tosefta quotes a slightly different version of the story in [that appears in the] Haggadah of the sages that were gathered in Bnay Brak and were involved all night in Sipur Yetziat Mizrayim. The Tosefta states that they were studying the laws of Pesach that night. The study of this night requires us to immerse ourselves in Torah SheBaeal Peh (Oral Law), to examine and interpret each and every word of Arami Oved Avi. This Parsha is examined not as an abstract event in the past but as something that impacts us here and now. With this approach we can understand many aspects of the structure of the Haggadah. For example, why do we introduce many of the sections with questions, such as "Matzah Zu?" Because Talmud Torah (the study of Torah) is conducted through a process of question and answer.

The Rambam says that anyone who devotes extended time to interpreting the Parsha of Arami Oved Avi is praised because this is the essence of Torah study, it is not simply a time of story telling. Even though the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah applies all year, on Pesach night there is an extra Mitzvah to study all the aspects of Yetzias Mitzrayim (the Exodus from Egypt).

[3] See the Sefer Hachinuch, Mitzva 91.

ספר החינוך - מצוה צא

משרשי המצוה, כדי להעלות דבר השם יתברך על ראש שמחתינו, ונזכור ונדע כי מאיתו ברוך הוא יגיעו לנו כל הברכות בעולם, על כן נצטוינו להביא למשרתי ביתו ראשית הפרי המתבשל באילנותיו, ומתוך הזבירה וקבלת מלכותו והודאתינו לפניו כי הפירות ויתר כל הטובה מאיתו יבואו, נהיה ראויין לברכה ויתברכו פירותינו:

[4] See

The Rav explained: "Arami Oved Avi is related to the Mitzvah of Bikurim (bringing the first fruits to the Temple). There were 2 Mitzvos associated with Bikurim: 1) the actual bringing of the Bikurim; 2) the recitation of the Parsha of Arami Oved Avi. Apparently, Chaz"al felt that there was a common denominator between Bikurim and Sipur Yetziat Mizrayim.

The Rambam and the Chinuch explain that the main theme behind Mikra Bikurim (recitation of the text of Bikkurim) is to express gratitude, Hakaras Hatov, to Hashem who gave us the gift of the land. Hakaras Hatov is also the central theme of Sipur Yetziat Mizrayim, as we recite Lfikhach Anachnu Chayavim Lhodos ("therefore we are obligated to thank Hashem..."). In order to express thanks to Hashem for all the miracles that He performed for us, we have to tell the story of the Exodus. The gift of the land was the fulfillment of the fifth form of Geulah (Redemption), V'heveysi (and I will usher you in to the Land). The Jew is obligated to thank Hashem not only for the fulfillment of the fifth form of Redemption, but for the other 4 as well, Vhotzaysi (and I will take you out of Egypt), V'hitzalti (and I will rescue you), V'goalti (and I will redeem you), V'lokachti (and I will take you unto me as a nation), which refer to the events of the exodus.

The obligation to thank Hashem as part of Mikra Bikurim is equated with the obligation to thank Hashem for the Exodus on the night of Pesach. If the Torah formulated the Parsha of Arami Oved Avi as the proper format to express gratitude to Hashem for the Exodus and the gift of the land, then the Parsha must be recited in both cases, on the night of Pesach and upon bringing Bikurim. However, there is a difference in emphasis between the 2 recitations. For Mikra Bikurim, we stress the aspect of having been brought into the land and receiving it as a gift, while for Sipur Yetziat Mizrayim, we focus on the aspects surrounding our enslavement and redemption from Egypt.

[5] Rashbam, on Dvarim 26, 5.

רשב"ם דברים פרק כו פסוק ה

(ה) ארמי אובד אבי - אבי אברהם ארמי היה, אובד וגולה מארץ ארם. כדכת' לך לך מארצך, וכדכת' ויהי כאשר התעו אותי אלהים מבית אבי. לשון אובד ותועה אחד הם באדם הגולה כדכת' תעיתי כשה אובד בקש עבדך, צאן אובדות היו עמי רועיהם התעום. כלומר מארץ נכריה באו אבותינו לארץ הזאת ונתנה הקב"ה לנו:

[6] In the Talmud (Pesachim 116a) we find a debate between Rav and Shmuel as to what the "disparagement" is - the idolatry of our ancestors, or our enslavement.

תלמוד בבלי מסכת פסחים דף קטז/א

מאי בגנות רב אמר מתחלה עובדי עבודת גלולים היו אבותינו [ושמואל] אמר עבדים היינו.

[7] This tradition is also found in the Sifri Ki Tavo Piska 301

ספרי דברים פרשת כי תבוא פיסקא שא

ואמרת לפני ה' אלהיך ארמי אובד אבי, מלמד שלא ירד אבינו יעקב לארם אלא על מנת לאבד ומעלה על לבן הארמי כאילו איבדו.

[8] Targum Unkolus D’Varim 26:5

אונקלוס דברים פרק כו פסוק ה

(ה) ותתיב ותימר קדם יי אלהך לבן ארמאה בעא לאבדא [לאובדא] ית אבא ונחת למצרים ודר תמן בעם זעיר והוה תמן לעם רב תקיף וסגי:

[9] Rashi, ibid., follows this approach.

רש"י דברים פרק כו פסוק ה

ארמי אבד אבי - מזכיר חסדי המקום ארמי אובד אבי, לבן בקש לעקור את הכל, כשרדף אחר יעקב. ובשביל שחשב לעשות, חשב לו המקום כאלו עשה, שאומות העולם חושב להם הקב"ה מחשבה [רעה] כמעשה:

[10] See Rabi Eliezer Mizrachi Sefer Maaseh Hashem, who claims that Lavan did not wish to kill Yaakov, rather he wished to convert him. Also see Rabbi Avraham of Slonim in his Yesod Havoda 2:10 for a similar statement.

ספר מעשי השם - חלק מעשה מצרים - פרק כד רב אלעזר אשכנזי

והנה לבן היה משתדל להעביר את יעקב על הדת ולפתותו אחרי עבודת אלילים, ולכך אמר ארמי אובד אבי, כי כן נאמר (ישעיהו כז, יג) ובאו האובדים מארץ אשור, שפירושו שהועברו על דת, והוא אומרו אח"כ והנדחים, שפירושו לעבודת אלילים, ובא האות שלבן היה מבקש מאד להעביר את יעקב, אומרו (בראשית לא, ל) נכסוף נכספתה לבית אביך למה גנבת את אלהי, שיפלא מאד שהלא תלונתו אליו למה גנב את אלהיו, בשגם לא הלך כלל או הלך למקום אחר תפול התלונה למה יגנוב את שלו. אבל נראה באר היטב, שלבן היה שמח שיעקב ידבק באלהיו ויגנבנו, אבל אמר לו טענה מופלגת לאמר, כיון שנכספת לבית אביך שהם שונאים הפסילים והתרפים, אם כן למה גנבת את אלהי. וכן ראינו שלא הסיר יעקב אלהי הנכר מביתו, והיו בני ביתו אדוקים בהם עד בואו לבית אל, ששם צוה אל ביתו ואמר (בראשית לה, ב) הסירו את אלהי הנכר אשר בתוככם:

ספר יסוד העבודה - חלק ב פרק י

כי על לבן נאמר ארמי אובד אבי ומחז"ל לבן ביקש לעקור את הכל שרצה לפגום ח"ו אמונת יעקב ובניו ע"כ קראם יעקב אחיו, והנה כח של הסט"א היא ע"י גניבה מה שגונבים מהקדושה ע"י חטאי הדור.

[11] While the text does not explicitly state that Lavan tried to kill Yaakov, he did chase Yaakov down, at which point God interceded and instructed him to be careful how he speaks to Yaakov (Bereshit 31:24), Lavan then says to Yaakov “it is my hand to hurt you, but God spoke with me…” (31:29). It can be deduced that he had in mind to harm Yaakov. See Chizkuni 31:29.

[12] The Ben Yehodaya commentary to Talmud Bavli Sotah 32b points out that the nefarious deed perpetuated by Lavan – switching Rachel for Leah, planted the seeds of envy and jealousy which eventually led to the sale of Yosef and the Egyptian exile.

ספר בניהו בן יהוידע על סוטה דף לב/ב

ונ"ל בס"ד מה שאומר ארמי אובד אבי, לאו על אשר בקש לעקור את הכל קאי, אלא קאי על המרמה שעשה לו שהחליף לאה ברחל, שזו המרמה היתה גרמא וסיבה שירדו אבותינו מצרימה, וכמו שכתב רבינו מהר"ם אלשיך ז"ל בפרשת כי תבא בטוב טעם ודעת ע"ש, ועל כן זו המרמה קרי לה גנות לגבי יעקב אבינו ע"ה, דהיה חכם גדול ופקח גדול, והיה לבן יכול לרמותו בדבר זה, דאפילו קטן דלא חכים אינו מתרמה בכך, ולכך הזכרת מרמה חשיבה גנות מצד יעקב אבינו ע"ה, וא"כ זה גנותו של איש ישראל האומר ומזכיר הדבר הזה, והגם שבאמת שאם לא היה רצון מאת ה' לא היה יכול לבן לרמות, מכל מקום לעיני הרואין נחשב זה גנות חס ושלום מצד יעקב אבינו ע"ה, אשר לבן היה יכול לו בכך

[13] In the Haggadah the proof text offered is from the Book of Joshua.

הגדה של פסח - נוסח ההגדה

מִתְּחִלָּה עוֹבְדֵי עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה הָיוּ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, וְעַכְשָׁיו קֵרְבָנוּ הַמָּקוֹם לַעֲבוֹדָתוֹ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל כָּל הָעָם כֹּה אָמַר ה’ אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּעֵבֶר הַנָּהָר יָשְׁבוּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם מֵעוֹלָם תֶּרַח אֲבִי אַבְרָהָם וַאֲבִי נָחוֹר וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים:

[14] The Malbim (D’varim 26) suggests that the negative section is the “Covenant of the Pieces”, when Avraham was told of the impending exile:

מלבי"ם דברים פרק כו

ארמי אובד אבי. כמ"ש חז"ל מתחיל בגנות ומסיים בשבח, פי' שיספר התחלת הגלות שאמר ה' לאברהם בברית בין הבתרים כי גר יהיה זרעך בארץ לא להם ועבדום וענו אותם (בראשית טו יג), והנה גר יהיה זרעך התחיל מיד שנולד יצחק כי אברהם ויצחק היו גרים בארץ פלשתים, אבל הגירות של אברהם ויצחק לא היה בהם שום גנות כי נתקבלו במקום מגורתם בכבוד גדול כידוע מענין אברהם ויצחק עם אבימלך, אבל ועבדום, התחיל מיעקב שעבד את לבן וזהו גנות, ואף שלא עבדו בחנם כמ"ש ארבע עשרה שנה בשתי בנותיך ושש שנים בצאנך, עכ"ז היה מפני ההכרח כמ"ש חז"ל שאליפז נטל ממנו כל אשר נתן לו יצחק ורק במקלו עבר את הירדן והוכרח לעבוד את לבן, וא"כ הל"ל אבי עבד ארמי. אך דא"כ היה משמעו דיעקב היה עבד לבן, כנה הדבר בשם אובד שפירושו נודד כמ"ש צאן אובדות היו עמי (ירמיה נ), תעיתי כשה אובד (תהלים קיט), והיה ראוי לומר אבי אובד בארם רק בא הכתוב ללמד שלבן בקש לאבד את יעקב, וזה שאמרו בספרי מלמד שלא ירד יעקב לארם אלא להאבד. [ויותר היה נכון לגרוס להעבד] ומעלה על לבן הארמי כאילו אבדו:

[15] Ibn Ezra ibid.

אבן עזרא דברים פרק כו פסוק ה

והקרוב, שארמי הוא יעקב. כאילו אמר הכתוב: כאשר היה אבי בארם, היה אובד, והטעם - עני בלא ממון. וכן תנו שכר לאובד (משלי לא, ו). והעד: ישתה וישכח רישו (שם שם, ז). והנה הוא ארמי אובד היה אבי, והטעם, כי לא ירשתי הארץ מאבי כי עני היה כאשר בא אל ארם. גם גר היה במצרים, והוא היה במתי מעט, ואחר כן שב לגוי גדול, ואתה ה' הוצאתנו מעבדות ותתן לנו ארץ טובה. ואל יטעון טוען, איך יקרא ארמי? והנה כמוהו יתרא הישמעאלי (דה"א ב, יז) והוא ישראלי, כי כן כתוב. במתי - סמוך, כי לא נמצא לשון יחיד, ו'מתים' - לשון רבים. ורבי יונה דקדק אותה כולה באר היטב בערך 'מתה':

חזקוני דברים פרק כו פסוק ה

(ה) ארמי אבד אבי סרסהו יעקב אבי הארמי כשהיה הוא בארם היה אובד פי' עני בלא ממון שלא היה מוחזק בארץ. אבד לשון עני כמו תנו שכר לאובד ישתה וישכח רישו, ואין לתמוה איך נקרא יעקב ארמי שהרי דוגמתו מצינו יתרא הישמעאלי והוא היה ישראלי.

רבינו בחיי דברים פרק כו פסוק ה

(ה) ארמי אובד אבי. קרא ליעקב "ארמי", ושעור הכתוב: ארמי היה אבי, ובאור "אובד" עני, זה דעת הראב"ע ז"ל ולא כדעת רז"ל. ויאמר: כאשר היה אבי בארם אובד היה, כלומר עני היה בלא ממון, וכן: (משלי לא, ו) "תנו שכר לאובד", כי כן מצינו שהיה לו צער גדול בעבודתו של לבן, כמו שאמר (בראשית לא, מ) "הייתי ביום אכלני חורב" וגו':

ספורנו דברים פרק כו פסוק ה

(ה) ארמי אובד אבי. הנה אבי שהיה יעקב היה זמן מה ארמי אובד שלא היה לו בית מושב ובכן לא היה מוכן להעמיד גוי ראוי לרשת ארץ:

[16] See Rav Yitzchak Karo, Toldot Yitzchak, Dvarim Chapter 26

תולדות יצחק דברים פרק כו

וזה שאמר ואמרת לפני יי' ארמי אובד אבי, כלומר איני חושב שהארץ שממנה הוצאתי אלו הביכורים, שירשתיה מאבותי, שיעקב אבינו איש נאבד ועני היה, וקראו ארמי ליעקב לפי שגר בארם, ואובד הוא כמו תנו שכר לאובד [משלי לא ו], ואיני אומר שירשנוה מאבותינו, אלא וירד מצרימה ויגר שם במתי מעט ויהיה שם לגוי גדול עצום ורב, ועם כל זה וירעו אותנו המצרים ויענונו, ואבינו לא נתנה לו הקב"ה, וגם הוא לא לקחה בחרב וכידון, אלא הקב"ה הוציאנו ממצרים ביד חזקה, ויביאנו אל המקום הזה ויתן לנו את הארץ הזאת, ועתה הנה הבאתי את ראשית פרי האדמה, הנה בזמן הטובה וההשפעה זוכר ימי הרעה שעברו עליו ובזה לא יחטא, ובזה הותרו כל הספקות.

[17] This essay is dedicated to my wife Naomi in celebration of 25 years of marriage, and 25 years together in the Land of Israel.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Parshat Ki Teze 5769

Parshat Ki Teze 5769

Rabbi Ari Kahn

Dysfunctional Relationships

Parshat Ki Teze starts with war and ends with war. It begins with a man in the heat of battle who spies an attractive woman from the opposing side, and ends with instructions regarding the ultimate battle with Amalek. In between, the portion is packed with commandments; in fact, more commandments are found in this parsha than any other.

Although tradition may discourage us from seeking out the reasons or rationale for mitzvot, here in D'varim, we may glean insights into certain mitzvot from their context.[1] Thus, the Sages discerned a cause-and-effect relationship among the first three topics in the parsha: a beautiful wife, taken in battle, will lead to a situation in which a man has one favored wife and one whom he rejects, which in turn leads to the "rebellious son".[2]

As the Sages see it, the rebellious child does not develop in a vacuum; he is the result of a dysfunctional home. This child's mother was wrested from her family and homeland. Her value system would surely be at odds with that of her Jewish husband. The dissonance felt by this child would most likely be the cause of his own antipathy to Jewish mores and tradition. Additionally, this child seems genetically challenged, as it were: The father practiced poor self-control and sought immediate gratification. Is it any wonder that this child cannot exercise self-restraint?[3]

Interestingly enough, the Rabbis felt that there never was and never would be a “real” rebellious child.[4] This is not to say that such a child never existed.[5] Rather, the courts could never successfully prosecute and adjudicate such a case, due to the myriad conditions required for a conviction:[6] One of the conditions for establishing guilt is that the rebellious son does not listen "to his father and to his mother":

דברים פרק כא

(יח) כִּי יִהְיֶה לְאִישׁ בֵּן סוֹרֵר וּמוֹרֶה אֵינֶנּוּ שֹׁמֵעַ בְּקוֹל אָבִיו וּבְקוֹל אִמּוֹ וְיִסְּרוּ אֹתוֹ וְלֹא יִשְׁמַע אֲלֵיהֶם:

If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son, who will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not listen to them; D’varim 21:18

The Talmud explains that the rebellious child will only be guilty if both parents speak with one united voice:

תלמוד בבלי מסכת סנהדרין דף עא עמוד א

משנה. היה אביו רוצה ואמו אינה רוצה, אביו אינו רוצה ואמו רוצה - אינו נעשה בן סורר ומורה עד שיהו שניהם רוצין. רבי יהודה אומר: אם לא היתה אמו ראויה לאביו - אינו נעשה בן סורר ומורה.

גמרא. מאי אינה ראויה? אילימא חייבי כריתות וחייבי מיתות בית דין, סוף סוף אבוה - אבוה נינהו, ואמיה - אמיה נינהו! אלא: בשוה לאביו קאמר, תניא נמי הכי, רבי יהודה אומר: אם לא היתה אמו שוה לאביו בקול ובמראה ובקומה אינו נעשה בן סורר ומורה. מאי טעמא - דאמר קרא: איננו שמע בקלנו מדקול בעינן שוין - מראה וקומה נמי בעינן שוין. כמאן אזלא הא דתניא: בן סורר ומורה לא היה ולא עתיד להיות, ולמה נכתב - דרוש וקבל שכר,

MISHNAH. If his father desires [to have him punished], but not his mother, or the reverse, he is not treated as a 'stubborn and rebellious son', unless they both desire it. R. Yehudah said: 'If his mother is not fit for his father, he does not become a ‘stubborn and rebellious son'.

GEMARA. What is meant by ‘NOT FIT'? Shall we say that she is forbidden to him under penalty of extinction or capital punishment at the hand of Beth din; but after all, his father is his father, and his mother is his mother? But he means not physically like his father. It has been taught likewise: R. Yehudah said: If his mother is not like his father in voice, appearance and stature, he does not become a rebellious son. Why so? — The Torah says, 'he will not obey our voice', and since they must be alike in voice, they must be also in appearance and stature. With whom does the following Baraitha agree: There never has been a stubborn and rebellious son, and never will be. Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 71a

The Talmud understood that the conditions for convicting a person as a 'rebellious child' are many, including, quite literally, that both parents have the same voice. The Mishna understood this stipulation more figuratively, in a manner surprisingly similar to our current ideas of effective parenting: The parents must be of one voice, not in pitch and cadence, but in content. The Mishna effectively turns the focus of scrutiny away from the rebellious child, and focuses on the parents and the messages this child received from them over the years. As a result, the child who is most likely to be rebellious due to the fractured home life, would be the very child whom the law exonerates of responsibility - not because he doesn’t warrant punishment[7], but because he is not seen as necessarily responsible for his actions. In the Talmudic formulation, the child gets off on a technicality: his parents' lack of physical similarity. In the Mishnaic formulation, the child is spared because of the gap between the parents' worldviews, religious and otherwise, and their failure to effectively parent their offspring.

The theme of relationships - how to build them, how to keep them intact, and how to heal them in the event that they are damaged - can be seen as the overriding theme of the parsha. This parsha treats such diverse but related topics as marriage, divorce, rape, prostitution, and even cross-dressing. Drawing a line of thought between the particulars may help us gain insight into the larger theme.

In one particular case, a very strict limitation is placed upon interpersonal relationships. In a departure from what we have come to expect in this parsha, we need not exert ourselves in an examination of the context in order to discern some reason for the prohibition; the Torah explains the prohibition in a clear statement of rationale:

דברים פרק כג

(ד) לֹא יָבֹא עַמּוֹנִי וּמוֹאָבִי בִּקְהַל ה’ גַּם דּוֹר עֲשִׂירִי לֹא יָבֹא לָהֶם בִּקְהַל ה’ עַד עוֹלָם:(ה) עַל דְּבַר אֲשֶׁר לֹא קִדְּמוּ אֶתְכֶם בַּלֶּחֶם וּבַמַּיִם בַּדֶּרֶךְ בְּצֵאתְכֶם מִמִּצְרָיִם וַאֲשֶׁר שָׂכַר עָלֶיךָ אֶת בִּלְעָם בֶּן בְּעוֹר מִפְּתוֹר אֲרַם נַהֲרַיִם לְקַלְלֶךָּ:(ו) וְלֹא אָבָה ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ לִשְׁמֹעַ אֶל בִּלְעָם וַיַּהֲפֹךְ ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְּךָ אֶת הַקְּלָלָה לִבְרָכָה כִּי אֲהֵבְךָ ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ: (ז) לֹא תִדְרֹשׁ שְׁלֹמָם וְטֹבָתָם כָּל יָמֶיךָ לְעוֹלָם: ס

An Ammonite or Moavite shall not enter into the Congregation of God; to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the Congregation of God forever; Because they did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt; and because they hired against you Bil'am the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. Nevertheless the Almighty, your God, would not listen to Bil'am; but the Almighty, your God, turned the curse into a blessing to you, because the Almighty your God loved you. You shall not seek their peace nor their prosperity all your days forever. Dvarim 23:4-7

Amon and Moav were raised in a strange family unit: they were both the products of incest. Their mothers were sisters who got their father drunk, and seduced him in his stupor.

בראשית פרק יט

(ל) וַיַּעַל לוֹט מִצּוֹעַר וַיֵּשֶׁב בָּהָר וּשְׁתֵּי בְנֹתָיו עִמּוֹ כִּי יָרֵא לָשֶׁבֶת בְּצוֹעַר וַיֵּשֶׁב בַּמְּעָרָה הוּא וּשְׁתֵּי בְנֹתָיו: (לא) וַתֹּאמֶר הַבְּכִירָה אֶל הַצְּעִירָה אָבִינוּ זָקֵן וְאִישׁ אֵין בָּאָרֶץ לָבוֹא עָלֵינוּ כְּדֶרֶךְ כָּל הָאָרֶץ: (לב) לְכָה נַשְׁקֶה אֶת אָבִינוּ יַיִן וְנִשְׁכְּבָה עִמּוֹ וּנְחַיֶּה מֵאָבִינוּ זָרַע: (לג) וַתַּשְׁקֶיןָ אֶת אֲבִיהֶן יַיִן בַּלַּיְלָה הוּא וַתָּבֹא הַבְּכִירָה וַתִּשְׁכַּב אֶת אָבִיהָ וְלֹא יָדַע בְּשִׁכְבָהּ וּבְקוּמָהּ: (לד) וַיְהִי מִמָּחֳרָת וַתֹּאמֶר הַבְּכִירָה אֶל הַצְּעִירָה הֵן שָׁכַבְתִּי אֶמֶשׁ אֶת אָבִי נַשְׁקֶנּוּ יַיִן גַּם הַלַּיְלָה וּבֹאִי שִׁכְבִי עִמּוֹ וּנְחַיֶּה מֵאָבִינוּ זָרַע: (לה) וַתַּשְׁקֶיןָ גַּם בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא אֶת אֲבִיהֶן יָיִן וַתָּקָם הַצְּעִירָה וַתִּשְׁכַּב עִמּוֹ וְלֹא יָדַע בְּשִׁכְבָהּ וּבְקֻמָהּ: (לו) וַתַּהֲרֶיןָ שְׁתֵּי בְנוֹת לוֹט מֵאֲבִיהֶן: (לז) וַתֵּלֶד הַבְּכִירָה בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ מוֹאָב הוּא אֲבִי מוֹאָב עַד הַיּוֹם: (לח) וְהַצְּעִירָה גַם הִוא יָלְדָה בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ בֶּן עַמִּי הוּא אֲבִי בְנֵי עַמּוֹן עַד הַיּוֹם: ס

30. And Lot went up out of Zoar, and lived in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to live in Zoar; and he lived in a cave, he and his two daughters. And the firstborn said to the younger, 'Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth; Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the seed of our father.' And they made their father drink wine that night; and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the next day, that the firstborn said to the younger, 'Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine this night also; and you go in, and lie with him, that we may preserve the seed of our father.' And they made their father drink wine that night also; and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. And the firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moav; he is the father of the Moavites to this day. And the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites to this day. Bereishit 19:30-38

Lot, the ne’er-do-well nephew of the illustrious Avraham, saw his world crumble around him. His first tragic mistake was taking leave of Avraham: His status as the heir apparent of Avraham's fortune should have placated him, and smoothed over any ill will that had developed between the shepherds of his flocks and Avraham's shepherds. Avraham, known for his delight in taking in strangers, realized that there was only one solution for the conflict, and suggested a parting of the ways:

בראשית פרק יג

(ז) וַיְהִי רִיב בֵּין רֹעֵי מִקְנֵה אַבְרָם וּבֵין רֹעֵי מִקְנֵה לוֹט וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי וְהַפְּרִזִּי אָז יֹשֵׁב בָּאָרֶץ: (ח) וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָם אֶל לוֹט אַל נָא תְהִי מְרִיבָה בֵּינִי וּבֵינֶיךָ וּבֵין רֹעַי וּבֵין רֹעֶיךָ כִּי אֲנָשִׁים אַחִים אֲנָחְנוּ:(ט) הֲלֹא כָל הָאָרֶץ לְפָנֶיךָ הִפָּרֶד נָא מֵעָלָי אִם הַשְּׂמֹאל וְאֵימִנָה וְאִם הַיָּמִין וְאַשְׂמְאִילָה:

And there was strife between the herdsmen of Avram’s cattle and the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle; and the Canaanite and the Perizzite lived then in the land. And Avram said to Lot, 'Let there be no strife, I beg you, between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brothers. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself, I beg you, from me; if you will take the left, then I will go to the right; or if you depart to the right, then I will go to the left. Bereishit 13:7-9

Avraham speaks of “left and right,” normally understood as north and south, yet Lot travels eastward, to a place that reminds him of Egypt, which in itself was not known for its morality: He travels to Sodom.

בראשית פרק יג

(י) וַיִּשָּׂא לוֹט אֶת עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא אֶת כָּל כִּכַּר הַיַּרְדֵּן כִּי כֻלָּהּ מַשְׁקֶה לִפְנֵי שַׁחֵת ה’ אֶת סְדֹם וְאֶת עֲמֹרָה כְּגַן ה’ כְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בֹּאֲכָה צֹעַר: (יא) וַיִּבְחַר לוֹ לוֹט אֵת כָּל כִּכַּר הַיַּרְדֵּן וַיִּסַּע לוֹט מִקֶּדֶם וַיִּפָּרְדוּ אִישׁ מֵעַל אָחִיו: (יב) אַבְרָם יָשַׁב בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וְלוֹט יָשַׁב בְּעָרֵי הַכִּכָּר וַיֶּאֱהַל עַד סְדֹם: (יג) וְאַנְשֵׁי סְדֹם רָעִים וְחַטָּאִים לַה’ מְאֹד:

And Lot lifted up his eyes, and saw the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before God destroyed Sodom and Amorrah, like the garden of God, like the land of Egypt, as you come to Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself the valley of the Jordan; and Lot journeyed east, and they separated themselves, one from the other. Avram lived in the land of Canaan, and Lot lived in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13. But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinners before God. Bereishit 13:10-13

There is something terribly wrong with a person who would leave the tent of Avraham and choose a place like Sodom. Sodom looked to him like an oasis; surely, Lot was motivated by aspirations of wealth and power. But soon Sodom was destroyed, his home gone, and even his wife was lost. He escaped with only the clothes on his back and his two daughters, products of the Sodomite educational system. These daughters each present Lot with sons, Moav and Amon, each of whom are progenitors of great nations.

These sons enter the world with a stigma: Their father/grandfather has made countless bad decisions, and their mothers instigated incest with their own father. It is not hard to surmise how such children would have felt: hurt, angry, disenfranchised, full of resentment. Yet the Torah teaches a remarkable lesson: These nations are forbidden to the Jewish people; descendents of Amon and Moav are not to be accepted as converts to Judaism. But why? Not because they are genetically inferior, or racially tainted, but “because they did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt; and because they hired against you Bil'am the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.”

The second half of the verse is understandable: They conspired to curse the Jews, reason enough for maintaining a healthy distance. Moreover, the "Plan B" tactic employed by Amon and Moav in their quest to destroy Israel was even more telling: The daughters of Moav were sent to seduce the men of Israel[8]. Given the history and origins of these nations, we begin to understand that their basic character has not changed. This, too, could have been a valid reason for excluding them from the Congregation for all time. But this deeply disturbing incident is not cited in our parsha. Rather, it is their failure to greet us in the desert with food and drink that illustrates their unsavory character.

Why would we expect Moav to live up to this highly elevated moral standard? We can only assume that the answer lies in their forefather Lot's background: Lot grew up in Avraham’s tent. Despite Lot’s possible feelings of abandonment, despite Moav and Amon’s feelings of rejection, despite the dysfunctional family that produced Moav and Amon, they should have known better, and behaved as any relative of Avraham knew was the proper way to deal with others - certainly with relatives. They are expected to behave as Avraham would have, to greet travelers with food and drink. In this instance, the Torah is unforgiving. We are not meant to summon up “understanding” or "empathy" for those who are products of a dysfunctional home, children born of twisted relationships, the products of incest who may have suffered ridicule, who could have blamed their parents for all their problems. The Torah rules that a positive educational message should have filtered through, and not only the negative feelings of resentment and anger. Despite their origins and upbringing, the descendents of Lot should have performed kindness.

The lesson for all of us is unavoidable: Human beings - children and adults -are often tempted to blame others for their own shortcomings, but the Torah does not allow us to place the blame with our upbringing, our parents or ancestors, or other situations beyond our control. Every human being has Free Will; this means that, along with any negative experiences, there are positive lessons that each of us may have learned from the challenges in our past. The responsible individual must choose to reject the negative and distill positive lessons from any given experience. Cycles of abuse and pain can and must be broken, as the case of Amon and Moav illustrates: Even many generations down the line, we have the right to expect moral behavior on the part of Lot's descendents. Despite Lot's many failings, despite the challenging background and difficult life-experiences of his descendents, God has expectations of those raised in the Tent of Avraham. Amon and Moav, as descendents of Lot, had so many positive lessons to learn. They were punished for choosing to focus on their own feelings of disenfranchisement, their experiences of cruelty and selfishness, their own anger and sense of fatalistic doom. For their choices, and not for their history, they are forever banned from the Congregation of God.

The case of the rebellious son teaches us that even though the trajectory of this human tragedy can be anticipated, and the law will exculpate the child, it is ultimately his own choices, his own use of Free Will, that will either uplift him or cause him to crash.

Each and every one of us, emotional scars and personal failures notwithstanding, is called upon by the laws of the Torah to make a similar choice. We are reminded, through the unlikely example of Amon and Moav, that we are all descendents of someone who grew up in the tents of Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchak and Rivka, Ya’akov, Rachel and Leah. There is greatness within our collective memory, and therefore within our abilities and our selves. Focusing on anger and failure can easily develop into self-fulfilling, negative prophesies, leading down the path to the "rebellious son", to fractured homes and decimated communities. Alternatively, we can each make the conscious choice to learn positive lessons from our negative experiences, and raise ourselves as individuals and families to the higher moral ground prepared for us by our ancestors.

[1] See Talmud Bavli Yevamot 4a.

תלמוד בבלי מסכת יבמות דף ד עמוד א

ואמר רב יוסף: אפילו למאן דלא דריש סמוכים בעלמא, במשנה תורה דריש.

[2] See the comments of Rashi 21:11

רש"י דברים פרק כא פסוק יא

ולקחת לך לאשה - לא דברה תורה אלא כנגד יצר הרע. שאם אין הקב"ה מתירה ישאנה באיסור. אבל אם נשאה, סופו להיות שונאה, שנאמר אחריו (פסוק טו) כי תהיין לאיש וגו' וסופו להוליד ממנה בן סורר ומורה, לכך נסמכו פרשיות הללו:

[3] See comments of the Ibn Ezra D’varim 21:18

אבן עזרא דברים פרק כא פסוק יח

וסובא - מרבה לשתות והוא המשתכר. והנה זה כמו אפיקורוס, כי לא יבקש חיי העולם הזה, כי אם להתענג בכל מיני מאכל ומשתה. ונסמכה זו הפרשה בעבור אשת יפת תאר

[4] Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin

תלמוד בבלי מסכת סנהדרין דף עא/א

דתניא בן סורר ומורה לא היה ולא עתיד להיות ולמה נכתב דרוש וקבל שכר.

There never has been a stubborn and rebellious son, and never will be. Why then was the law written? That you may study it and receive reward.

[5] The Talmud op. cit. relates that the grave of such a child was seen by Rav Yochanan

תלמוד בבלי מסכת סנהדרין דף עא עמוד א

אמר רבי יונתן: אני ראיתיו, וישבתי על קברו.

R. Jonathan said: ‘I saw him and sat on his grave.

[6] See Toldot Yitzchak D’varim 21:18

תולדות יצחק דברים פרק כא

כי יהיה לאיש בן סורר ומורה, אמרו בגמרא [סנהדרין עא א] שלא היה ולא עתיד להיות, וכל כך תנאים איתא בגמרא עליו, שקרוב לנמנע שימצא אלא דרוש וקבל שכר,

[7] This child himself is not punished for what he has done, rather it is anticipated how this child will continue to degenerate morally if he continues upon the same trajectory.

תלמוד בבלי מסכת סנהדרין דף עא עמוד ב

משנה. בן סורר ומורה נידון על שם סופו, ימות זכאי ואל ימות חייב.

Mishnah. A stubborn and rebellious son is tried on account of his ultimate destiny: let him die innocent and let him not die guilty.

[8] Bamidbar 25:1

במדבר פרק כה

(א) וַיֵּשֶׁב יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּשִּׁטִּים וַיָּחֶל הָעָם לִזְנוֹת אֶל בְּנוֹת מוֹאָב: