Saturday, July 31, 2004

reviit: the perfect shiur

There are various estimates of reviit, the measure that a cup of wine for kiddush or the seder must be. The minimum measure given is approximately 3.3 fluid ounces, or about 86 milliliters. This is strange because based on my chart, 3 liquid ounces is 88.72 milliliters, so 86 would be slightly less than 3 fluid ounces. (According to R’ Moshe Feinstein and the Chazon Ish a larger measurement should be used - 137 ml or 150 ml respectively.) After using a particularly small cup for havdala, I measured it by filling it with water and pouring the liquid into a measuring cup. (It was more than the minimum shiur.)

In the course of searching for the measure of a reviit on the Internet, I came across, which is not a Jewish site. They have an article there about the appropriate serving size and method of serving wine:

Glass Size:

A glass should be large enough to accommodate a measure of wine, leaving the glass no more than a quarter or a third full. It the glass is too small or too full, the wine cannot be swirled around to release its aromas; and the glass cannot be tilted to view it.

A normal serving of wine would be around 90ml/3fl oz (one-eighth of a bottle). So a glass should hold at least 270ml/9fl oz. Many glasses designed for red wines hold more. Avoid exaggerated glasses of the sort used in some restaurants where the normal measure of red wine forms a mere puddle in the bottom. These have a specialist use: they promote volatilizing of the aromas in a young wine on the large surface area — but they should not be used with old, delicate wines. A large glass, but not too large, is the ideal for fine red wines. Aim for one with a capacity of 350-400ml/12-14fl oz.

The exception to the size rule is the champagne flute — a tall, slender glass designed to show off the colour and bubbles of sparkling wine. It is filled three-quarters full, presenting a column of wine to be appreciated.

That is, the appropriate serving of wine according to wine connoisseurs is exactly a reviit!

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

VaEtchanan: When Did Moshe Pray?

The first pasuk in this week's parasha, parshat vaEtchanan (Devarim 3:23) reads:
וָאֶתְחַנַּן, אֶל-ה, בָּעֵת הַהִוא, לֵאמֹר.
"And I besought the LORD at that time, saying:"

This beseeching is for the privilege of being to enter the land of Israel and, presumably, to lead the Jews in the conquest of the last.

This is strange because immediately beforehand, in the last psukim of the previous parsha, Moshe appoints Yehoshua. Devarim 3:21-22:

וְאֶת-יְהוֹשׁוּעַ צִוֵּיתִי, בָּעֵת הַהִוא לֵאמֹר: עֵינֶיךָ הָרֹאֹת, אֵת כָּל-אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם לִשְׁנֵי הַמְּלָכִים הָאֵלֶּה--כֵּן-יַעֲשֶׂה ה לְכָל-הַמַּמְלָכוֹת, אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה עֹבֵר שָׁמָּה.
לֹא, תִּירָאוּם: כִּי ה אֱלֹקֵיכֶם, הוּא הַנִּלְחָם לָכֶם.
"And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying: 'Thine eyes have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto these two kings; so shall the LORD do unto all the kingdoms whither thou goest over.
Ye shall not fear them; for the LORD your God, He it is that fighteth for you.'"

Why command Yehoshua to do this if he hopes to go himself, and why beseech Hashem after appointing Yehoshua? Further, Hashem, after redusing Moshe, tells him to charge and strenghten Yehoshua. Hadn't he already done that in the last psukim of last week's parsha? Devarim 3:28:

וְצַו אֶת-יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, וְחַזְּקֵהוּ וְאַמְּצֵהוּ: כִּי-הוּא יַעֲבֹר, לִפְנֵי הָעָם הַזֶּה, וְהוּא יַנְחִיל אוֹתָם, אֶת-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר תִּרְאֶה.
"But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him; for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.' "

A little bit of annoying grammar: The first word is וָאֶתְחַנַּן. There is a kametz vowel under the vav, which is slightly unusual. It stems from a patach under the vav - that is, the vav hahipuch, (vav which turns about) which in this instance takes a verb whose form seems future tense (called imperfect) and makes it roughly past tense (called perfect). The usual pattern of this is a vav with a patach under it and a dagesh chazak, a dot, in the next letter, which causes a doubling of the next consonant. Alas, the next consonant is an aleph, which as a gutteral, cannot be doubled. As a result a transformation called tashlum dagesh (recompensing for the dot), or in English "compensatory lengthening" takes place, in which the patach vowel under the vav becomes the longer version of the vowel, namely the kametz.

That accounts for the kametz. The remainder of the word is simply first person reflexive imperfect, which the vav hahipuch makes into first person reflexive perfect.

Which brings us to the question I asked before? Why pray now, after he has already appointed Yehoshua?

This is actually Ibn Ezra's question, and he answers by saying it is not the perfect, but the pluperfect. Both perfect and pluperfect are past tenses, but there is a difference. Consider:

He went to the store.
He had (already) gone to the store.

Both statements happen in the past. However the first just uses past tense and states what happened, while the other is already in the past and refers to something that happened even earlier from that past-tense perspective.

John ran to the store. He had put his wallet in his pocket earlier that morning, so he did not worry about having enough cash. Once he arrived at the store he bought Raisin Bran. His wife Ethel had reminded him to buy it several times in the last week.

In English, the word "had" is used to signal the pluperfect. In Hebrew, perfect and pluperfect have the same form, so you have to distinguish between them by context.

Ibn Ezra says that this first verse of the parsha is the pluperfect, which means that it is to be translated: "And I had besought the LORD at that time, saying:"

That is, before appointing Yehoshua, he had asked Hashem to be permitted to enter eretz yisrael and lead the conquest. Hashem refused, and he then appointed Yehoshua.

One could read it differently, in that Moshe already knew Hashem had said that Moshe would not enter the land. He took the first step of speaking to Yehoshua, commanding him, and then had second thoughts, so he prayed to Hashem to be allowed to lead the Jews into the Promised Land. Hashem refused, and commanded him to reiterate the command and encouragement to Yehoshua - that is, continue as before to create the transition of leadership. I thought of this but discount it - it seems a bit forced, as to why there is a second charge to appoint and encourage Yehoshua.

However, I can suggest another approach, which I do think is pshat, and in fact better pshat than that offered by Ibn Ezra. The key here is the words בָּעֵת הַהִוא - "at that time." The division of parshiot of Devarim and VaEtchanan obscures the pattern, but it is there, if you check out the chapter in mechon mamre.

Pasuk 18 reads:

וָאֲצַו אֶתְכֶם, בָּעֵת הַהִוא לֵאמֹר: ה אֱלֹקֵיכֶם, נָתַן לָכֶם אֶת-הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת לְרִשְׁתָּהּ--חֲלוּצִים תַּעַבְרוּ לִפְנֵי אֲחֵיכֶם בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, כָּל-בְּנֵי-חָיִל.
And I commanded you at that time, saying: 'The LORD your God hath given you this land to possess it; ye shall pass over armed before your brethren the children of Israel, all the men of valour.

and then continues with what Moshe told the Jews.

Pasuk 21 reads:

וְאֶת-יְהוֹשׁוּעַ צִוֵּיתִי, בָּעֵת הַהִוא לֵאמֹר: עֵינֶיךָ הָרֹאֹת, אֵת כָּל-אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם לִשְׁנֵי הַמְּלָכִים הָאֵלֶּה--כֵּן-יַעֲשֶׂה ה לְכָל-הַמַּמְלָכוֹת, אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה עֹבֵר שָׁמָּה
And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying: 'Thine eyes have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto these two kings; so shall the LORD do unto all the kingdoms whither thou goest over.

and then continues with Moshe's encouragement to Yehoshua.

Pasuk 23 reads:

וָאֶתְחַנַּן, אֶל-ה, בָּעֵת הַהִוא, לֵאמֹר.
"And I besought the LORD at that time, saying:"

and then continues with Moshe's conversation with Hashem: the plea, the refusal, and the command.

I put forth that וָאֶתְחַנַּן is not the pluperfect, but the perfect. In a form of ain mukdam emeuchar batorah, that there is not always an imposition of a chronological ordering in the Torah, here, the style is to look at the same event from three different perspectives. First, what Moshe told the Jews. Then, what Moshe told Yehoshua. Finally, the conversation between Moshe and Hashem. It is ordered topically, by whom Moshe spoke with, rather than chronologically. And to make sure we know that these all happened in the same event, each segment is introduced with בָּעֵת הַהִוא, "at that (same) time."

Finally, a midrash I did not have a chance to track down. In this midrash, Moshe knows he cannot lead the Jews into the land to conquer it, but wants to enter as an ordinary citizen. Hashem says he (Moshe) will not be able to stand it. Moshe thinks he will, but then Hashem speaks to Yehoshua and not Moshe. Moshe asks Yehoshua what Hashem said, to which Yehoshua replies that Moshe did not tell Yehoshua all that Hashem told him. Moshe feels awful and admits that Hashem was correct that he would not be able to stand it.

I saw the above in The Midrash Says on Devarim but never saw it in the original, so I do not know the source. However, I would imagine that the current psukim factor in there strongly. Specifically, Moshe does not ask to lead the Jews but just to see the land. Further, Moshe asks this of Hashem after (before we have Ibn's Ezra's, or my answer) appointing Yehoshua. Perhaps, or actually most probably, Hashem's statement of , רַב-לָךְ--אַל-תּוֹסֶף דַּבֵּר אֵלַי עוֹד, בַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה was taken as it being too much for you, Moshe, to stand, that you will no longer be able to speak to Me as you have in the past, so pass away, and do not become an ordinary citizen. (Update: Further, רַב-לָךְ would mean Yehoshua would be a Rav to you, and you will be the student.) But we see that before Ibn Ezra was bothered with this issue, Chazal had already considered it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Midrash Rabba - Eicha - Petichata - 4

ד רבי אבהו פתח (הושע ו')והמה כאדם עברו ברית זה אדם הראשון אמר הקב"ה אדם הראשון הכנסתי אותו לגן עדן וצויתיו ועבר על צוויי ודנתי אותו בגירושין ובשילוחין וקוננתי עליו איכה הכנסתי אותו לגן עדן שנאמר (בראשית ב')ויקח ה' אלהים את האדם ויניחהו בגן עדן וצויתיו שנאמר (שם )ויצו ה' אלהים על האדם לאמר וגו' ועבר על צוויי שנאמר (שם ג')המן העץ אשר צויתיך וגו' ודנתי אותו בגירושין שנאמר (שם )ויגרש את האדם ודנתי אותו בשילוחין שנאמר (שם )וישלחהו ה' מגן עדן וקוננתי עליו איכה שנאמר (שם )ויאמר לו איכה איכה כתיב אף בניו הכנסתי אותם לא"י שנאמר (ירמיה ב')ואביא אתכם אל ארץ הכרמל וצויתים שנאמר (ויקרא כ"ד) צו את בני ישראל ועברו על צוויי שנאמר (דניאל ט')וכל ישראל עברו את תורתך ודנתי אותם בגירושין שנאמר (הושע ט')מביתי אגרשם ודנתי אותם בשילוחין שנאמר (ירמיה ט"ו)שלח מעל פני ויצאו וקוננתי עליהם איכא ישבה בדד :

{ Hosheah 6:5-7:

עַל-כֵּן, חָצַבְתִּי בַּנְּבִיאִים--הֲרַגְתִּים, בְּאִמְרֵי-פִי; וּמִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ, אוֹר יֵצֵא.
כִּי חֶסֶד חָפַצְתִּי, וְלֹא-זָבַח; וְדַעַת אֱלֹקִים, מֵעֹלוֹת.
וְהֵמָּה, כְּאָדָם עָבְרוּ בְרִית; שָׁם, בָּגְדוּ בִי.
"Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets, I have slain them by the words of My mouth; and thy judgment goeth forth as the light.
For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God rather than burnt-offerings.
But they like men have transgressed the covenant; there have they dealt treacherously against Me."


4. Rabbi Abahu began, (Hoshea 6:7) וְהֵמָּה, כְּאָדָם עָבְרוּ בְרִית - "But they like Man (Adam) have transgressed the covenant" - this refers to the First Man (Adam).

Hashem said 'the First Man, I brought him in to the Garden of Eden, and I commanded him, and he transgressed my commandment, and I judged him with driving out and sending away, and I lamented (וקוננתי) upon him "Eicha."

'I brought him in to the Garden of Eden' - as it states (Bereishit 2:15) וַיִּקַּח ה אֱלֹקִים, אֶת-הָאָדָם; וַיַּנִּחֵהוּ בְגַן-עֵדֶן - "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden..."

'and I commanded him' - as it states, (Bereishit 2:16) וַיְצַו ה אֱלֹקִים, עַל-הָאָדָם לֵאמֹר - "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying..."

'and he transgressed my commandment' - as it states, (Bereishit 3:11) הֲמִן-הָעֵץ, אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִיךָ - "Hast thou {eaten} of the tree, whereof I commanded thee...?"

'and I judged him with driving out' - as it states, (Bereishit 3:24) וַיְגָרֶשׁ, אֶת-הָאָדָם - "So He drove out the man..."

'and I judged him with sending away' - as it states, (Bereishit 3:23) וַיְשַׁלְּחֵהוּ ה אֱלֹקִים, מִגַּן-עֵדֶן, "Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden..." {though the words Elokim missing from the midrash}.

"and I lamented (וקוננתי) upon him "Eicha."' - as it states, (Bereishit 3:8), וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ, אַיֶּכָּה - "and {Hashem} unto him: 'Where art thou?' {Note: this is where Adam is and Chava hid in the garden when they heard the sound of Hashem tranveling in the garden. The midrash takes אַיֶּכָּה - 'where are you' as אֵיכָה - 'how does,' the first word in Lamentations. It does so by ignoring the nikud, the krei and showing how it can be read by looking only at the ketiv, the consonantal text.} אֵיכָה is written.

'Even his sons I brought into the Land of the Carmel', as it states, (Yirmiyahu 2:7) וָאָבִיא אֶתְכֶם אֶל-אֶרֶץ הַכַּרְמֶל - "And I brought you into a land of fruitful fields..."

'and commanded them,' as it states, (Vayikra 24:2) צַו אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל - "Command the children of Israel." {The specific commandment is "that they bring unto thee pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually," but this is being taken to refer instead in this Midrash to the entire Torah. This verse is taken because it has the word צו, "command."}

'and they transgressed by commandment,' as it states, (Daniel 9:11) וְכָל-יִשְׂרָאֵל, עָבְרוּ אֶת-תּוֹרָתֶךָ - "Yea, all Israel have transgressed Thy law (Torah)."

'and I judged them with driving out,' as it states, (Hoshea 9:15) מִבֵּיתִי אֲגָרְשֵׁם - "I will drive them out of My house."

'and I judged them with sending away,' as it states, (Yirmiyahu 15:1) שַׁלַּח מֵעַל-פָּנַי, וְיֵצֵאוּ - "cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth."

'and I lamented upon them (Eicha 1:1) אֵיכָה יָשְׁבָה בָדָד - "Eicha Yashva Badad", How doth sit solitary...'

Midrash Rabba - Eicha - Petichata - 3

ג רבי אבא בר כהנא פתח (ירמיהו ט"ו)לא ישבתי בסוד משחקים ואעלוז אמרה כנסת ישראל לפני הקב"ה רבון העולמים מימי לא נכנסתי בבתי תיאטראות ובתי קרקסאות של אומות העולם ושחקתי עמהם ואעלוז מפני ידך בדד ישבתי נגעה בי ידו של פרעה ולא ישבתי בדד נגעה בי ידו של סנחריב ולא ישבתי בדד וכיון שנגעה בי ידך בדד ישבתי איכה ישבה בדד:

{The verse used by Rabbi Abbi is Yirmiyahu speaking to Hashem, in Yirmiyahu 15:17-18:
לֹא-יָשַׁבְתִּי בְסוֹד-מְשַׂחֲקִים, וָאֶעְלֹז: מִפְּנֵי יָדְךָ בָּדָד יָשַׁבְתִּי, כִּי-זַעַם מִלֵּאתָנִי.
לָמָּה הָיָה כְאֵבִי נֶצַח, וּמַכָּתִי אֲנוּשָׁה; מֵאֲנָה, הֵרָפֵא--הָיוֹ תִהְיֶה לִי כְּמוֹ אַכְזָב, מַיִם לֹא נֶאֱמָנוּ.
"I sat not in the assembly of them that make merry, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of Thy hand; for Thou hast filled me with indignation.
Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, so that it refuseth to be healed? Wilt Thou indeed be unto me as a deceitful brook, as waters that fail?"

and appropriates these words for the Jews.
It is also appropriate for Eicha, since Yirmiyahu is sitting alone, and Eicha starts with the city sitting solitary/alone.

Rabbi Abba bar Kahana began, לֹא-יָשַׁבְתִּי בְסוֹד-מְשַׂחֲקִים, וָאֶעְלֹז - "I sat not in the assembly of them that make merry, nor rejoiced." Said the congregation of Israel before Hashem, 'Master of the Universe, in all my days I have not entered into the theaters nor the circuses of the nations of the world and made merry with them, and rejoiced.'

'Because of Your Hand, in solitude I sat. Pharaoh's hand touched me {this is Pharaoh Necho who killed King Yoshiyahu} and I did not sit alone. The hand of Sancheriv touched me and I did not sit alone. And once your hand touched me, alone I sat. אֵיכָה יָשְׁבָה בָדָד - "How doth sit solitary..."

Midrash Rabba - Eicha - Petichata - 2 part iv

ר' יוחנן ור' שמעון בן לקיש ורבנן ר' יוחנן אמר למלך שהיו לו שני בנים כעס על הראשון נטל את המקל וחבטו והגלהו אמר אוי לזה מאיזו שלוה נגלה כעס על השני ונטל את המקל וחבטו והגלהו אמר אנא הוא דתרבותי בישא כך גלו עשרת השבטים והתחיל הקב"ה אומר להם את הפסוק הזה (הושע ז')אוי להם כי נדדו ממני וכיון שגלו יהודה ובנימן כביכול אמר הקב"ה (ירמיה י')אוי לי על שברי

Rabbi Yochanan, Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish, and the Rabanan.
Rabbi Yochanan said, {a parable} to a king who has two sons. He became angry with the first one, took the staff and hit him, and exiled him. He said, 'Woe to this one, from what security he was exiled.' He became angry with the second one, and took the staff and hit him, and exiled him. He {the king} said, 'I am he whose situation is grim.'

Similarly, the 10 Tribes were exiled, and Hashem began to say to them this verse (Hoshea 7:13): אוֹי לָהֶם כִּי-נָדְדוּ מִמֶּנִּי - "Woe unto them! For they have strayed from me. And once {the tribes of} Yehuda and Benyamin were exiled, it was as if Hashem said, (Yirmiyahu 10:19) אוֹי לִי עַל-שִׁבְרִי - "Woe is me for my hurt!"

רשב"ל אמר למלך שהיה לו שני בנים כעס על הראשון ונטל את המקל וחבטו ופרפר ומת התחיל מקונן עליו כעס על השני ונטל את המקל וחבטו ופרפר ומת אמר מעתה אין בי כח לקונן עליהם אלא קראו למקוננות ויקוננו עליהם כך גלו עשרת השבטים והתחיל מקונן עליהם (עמוס ה')שמעו את הדבר הזה אשר אנכי נושא עליכם קינה בית ישראל וכיון שגלו יהודה ובנימין כביכול אמר הקב"ה מעתה אין בי כח לקונן עליהם הה"ד (ירמיה ט')קראו למקוננות וגו' ותמהרנה ותשאנה עלינו נהי עליהם אין כתיב כאן אלא עלינו דידי ודידהון ותרדנה עיניהם דמעה אין כתיב כאן אלא עינינו דידי ודידהון ועפעפיהם יזלו מים אין כתיב כאן אלא ועפעפינו דידי ודידהון

Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said, {a parable} to a king who had two sons. He became angry with the first one and took the staff and hit him, and he spasmed and died. {Etz Yosef says Resh Lakish has the son die in the parable since it is custom to say laments only on the dead.} He began to lament upon him. He became angry with the second one and took his staff and hit him, and he spasmed and died. He said, 'Now I have not within me the strength to lament upon them. Rather, (Yirmiyahu 9:16) קִרְאוּ לַמְקוֹנְנוֹת, "call for the mourning {lamenting} women..."

Similarly, the 10 tribes were exiled, and He began to lament upon them. (Amos 5:1) שִׁמְעוּ אֶת-הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי נֹשֵׂא עֲלֵיכֶם קִינָה--בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל - "Hear ye this word which I take up for a lamentation over you, O house of Israel." And once {the tribes of} Yehuda and Binyamin were exiled, it was as if Hashem said, 'Now I do not have the strength to say lamentations.' This is what is written, (Yirmiyahu 9:16) קִרְאוּ לַמְקוֹנְנוֹת, "call for the mourning {lamenting} women..." {though the verse actually has a vav in the beginning - וְקִרְאוּ לַמְקוֹנְנוֹת.)

Thus, Resh Lakish contrasts the exile of the 10 tribes, when Amos speaks and says the lament - or perhaps citing Hashem who takes up the lament, with the exile of Binyamin and Yehuda when Yirmiyahu speaks of calling for professional female wailing women to take up the lament.

He continues to interpret from Yirmiyahu, in this case, the next verse, Yirmiyahu 9:17, about what these mourning women will do:

וּתְמַהֵרְנָה, וְתִשֶּׂנָה עָלֵינוּ נֶהִי; וְתֵרַדְנָה עֵינֵינוּ דִּמְעָה, וְעַפְעַפֵּינוּ יִזְּלוּ-מָיִם.
"And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters."


וּתְמַהֵרְנָה, וְתִשֶּׂנָה עָלֵינוּ נֶהִי - "And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us" - {Resh Lakish focuses on the fact that the phrase we might expect is "they took up a wailing for them, since after all, it is Hashem who is speaking about the tribes of Yehuda and Binyamin. Since they are not wailing for Hashem, but only those Hashem is speaking about, it should say them, not us.}

"for them" it does not say but rather "for us." Mine {Hashem's} and theirs {Yehuda and Binyamin}.

{וְתֵרַדְנָה עֵינֵינוּ דִּמְעָה}
וְתֵרַדְנָה עֵינֵהם דִּמְעָה - "that their eyes may run down with tears" is not written here, but rather "that our eyes may run down with tears." Mine and theirs.

{וְעַפְעַפֵּינוּ יִזְּלוּ-מָיִם}
וְעַפְעַפֵּיהם יִזְּלוּ-מָיִם - "and their eyelids gush out with waters" is not written here, but rather "and our eyelids gush out with waters." Mine and theirs.

רבנן אמרין למלך שהיו לו שנים עשר בנים ומתו שנים התחיל מתנחם בעשרה מתו עוד שנים והתחיל מתנחם בשמונה מתו שנים התחיל מתנחם בששה מתו שנים התחיל מתנחם בארבעה מתו שנים התחיל מתנחם בשנים וכיון שמתו כולם התחיל מקונן עליהם איכה ישבה בדד:

The Rabanan said, {a parable} to a king who had 12 sons, and two died. He began to take solace in the {remaining} 10. Another two died, and he began to take solace in the {remaining} 8. Another two died, and he began to take solace in the {remaining} 6. Two died, and he began to take solace in the {remaining} 4. Two died, and he began to take solace in the {remaining} 2. And once they all died, he began to lament upon them, (Eicha 1:1), אֵיכָה יָשְׁבָה בָדָד, "How doth sit solitary..."

{It seems that the Rabanan are focusing on בָדָד, solitary. If so, the midrash may be to take this phrase and apply it to Hashem, who now sits alone, where He previously had many sons = tribes. From the same verse, רַבָּתִי עָם - that was full of people. This can be trying in part to address those verses cited by Resh Lakish, where he derived that the lament was both for the nation and Hashem. Otherwise, the purpose of listing the 12 is just to match up to the first verse of Eicha, about how it was once full (with 12 children=tribes) and is now desolate.}

Midrash Rabba - Eicha - Petichata - 2 part iii

א"ר יהודה בן פזי (הושע ח)זנח ישראל טוב וגו' ואין טוב אלא תורה שנא' (משלי ד')כי לקח טוב נתתי לכם וגו'

Rabbi Yehuda ben Pazi said {giving further proof tragedy when the Israel abandons Torah}, it states in Hoshea 8:3, זָנַח יִשְׂרָאֵל, טוֹב; אוֹיֵב, יִרְדְּפוֹ - "Israel hath cast off that which is good; the enemy shall pursue him."

And טוב (good) only means Torah, as it states in Mishlei 4:2, כִּי לֶקַח טוֹב, נָתַתִּי לָכֶם; תּוֹרָתִי, אַל-תַּעֲזֹבוּ. - For I give you good doctrine; forsake ye not my teaching (Torati}.

{Note the end of the 8th perek in Hoshea mentions idolatry as the cause. In pasuk 11 - כִּי-הִרְבָּה אֶפְרַיִם מִזְבְּחוֹת, לַחֲטֹא: הָיוּ-לוֹ מִזְבְּחוֹת, לַחֲטֹא - "For Ephraim hath multiplied altars to sin, yea, altars have been unto him to sin."}

א"ר אבא בר כהנא לא עמדו פילוסופין לאומות העולם כבלעם בן בעור וכאבנימוס הגרדי אמרו להם יכולין אנו להזדווג לאומה זו אמרו להם לכו וחזרו על בתי כנסיות שלהם אם התינוקות מצפצפין בקולן אי אתם יכולין להם ואם לאו אתם יכולין להם שכן הבטיחם אביהם ואמר להם (בראשית כ"ז)הקול קול יעקב והידים ידי עשו כל זמן שקולו של יעקב בבתי כנסיות ובתי מדרשות אין הידים ידי עשו וכל זמן שאין קולו מצפצף בבתי כנסיות ובתי מדרשות הידים ידי עשו וכן הוא אומר (ישעיה ה')לכן כאכול קש לשון אש וגו' וכי יש קש אוכל אש והלא דרכה של אש אוכלת קש ואת אומר לכן כאכול קש לשון אש אלא קש זה ביתו של עשו שנאמר (עובדיה א')והיה בית יעקב אש ובית יוסף להבה ובית עשו לקש לשון אש זה ביתו של יעקב וחשש להבה ירפה זה ביתו של יוסף שרשם כמק יהיה אלו האבות שהם שרשיהם של ישראל ופרחם כאבק יעלה אלו השבטים שהם פרחיהם של ישראל מפני מה (ישעיה ה')כי מאסו את תורת ה' צבאות וגו'

Rabbi Abba bar Kahana said, there were not established philosophers to the nations of the world like Bilaam son of Beor and Avnimos the Gardi. They {the nations of the world} said to them, are we able to match up {and do evil} to this nation {the Jews}? They {the philosophers} repliedm go and check up on their houses of gathering (synagogues}. If the children are chirping in their voices you are unable to {overcome} them. And if not you are able to take them on. For so did their father {Yitzchak} assure them and said to them, (Bereishit 27:22) הַקֹּל קוֹל יַעֲקֹב, וְהַיָּדַיִם, יְדֵי עֵשָׂו - 'The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.'

Whenever the voice of Yaakov is in the synagogues and study halls the hands are not the hands of Esav {thus the nations of the world will not be able to overcome Israel.} And whenever his voice does not chirp in the synagogues and study halls, the hands are those of Esav.

And so too it states, in Yeshayahu 5:24 לָכֵן כֶּאֱכֹל קַשׁ לְשׁוֹן אֵשׁ - "Therefore as the tongue of fire devoureth the stubble..."

{But the words are reversed, so that it is meant on a pshat level to be read, 'Therefore eats stubble, the tongue of fire," that is, "Therefore the tongue of fire eats stubble." It can then be read, hyper-literally and thus midrashically, "Therefore stubble eats the tongue of fire."}

{Note: the verse in Yeshaya ends: וַחֲשַׁשׁ לֶהָבָה יִרְפֶּה, שָׁרְשָׁם כַּמָּק יִהְיֶה, וּפִרְחָם כָּאָבָק יַעֲלֶה: כִּי מָאֲסוּ, אֵת תּוֹרַת ה צְבָאוֹת, וְאֵת אִמְרַת קְדוֹשׁ-יִשְׂרָאֵל, נִאֵצוּ.
"and as the chaff is consumed in the flame, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust; because they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and contemned the word of the Holy One of Israel."}

And does stubble indeed consume fire? And is it not instead the way of fire to eat stubble?! And yet you say "Therefore stubble eats the tongue of fire?!"

Rather, stubble - קַשׁ - is the house of Esav, as it states in Ovadia 1:18: וְהָיָה בֵית-יַעֲקֹב אֵשׁ וּבֵית יוֹסֵף לֶהָבָה, וּבֵית עֵשָׂו לְקַשׁ - "And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble..."

אֵשׁ (fire) {in the original verse in Yeshayahu, not in the verse in Ovadia} - this is the house of Yaakov. {We can derive this from that same verse in Ovadiah.

Rabbi Abba bar Kahana continues to interpret the verse in Yeshayahu.}

וַחֲשַׁשׁ לֶהָבָה יִרְפֶּה - "and as the chaff is consumed in the flame" {but again, the order in the verse is irregular, and can be read hyper-literally as "and and the chaff consumes the flame."} This is Yosef. {Again, we can refer to the verse in Ovadia to get the equality לֶהָבָה "flame" = Yosef.}

שָׁרְשָׁם כַּמָּק יִהְיֶה - "so their root shall be as rottenness" - these are the {fore}fathers, who are the roots of Israel.

וּפִרְחָם כָּאָבָק יַעֲלֶה - "and their blossom shall go up as dust" - these are the tribes, who are the blossoms of Israel.

For what cause? {And here the verse ends:}
כִּי מָאֲסוּ, אֵת תּוֹרַת ה צְבָאוֹת וְאֵת אִמְרַת קְדוֹשׁ-יִשְׂרָאֵל, נִאֵצוּ... - "because they have rejected the law (Torah) of the LORD of hosts, and contemned the word of the Holy One of Israel."

{Rabbi Yudan goes on to interpret this last verse in Yeshayahu further.}

א"ר יודן כי מאסו את תורת ה' צבאות זו תורה שבכתב ואת אמרות קדוש ישראל נאצו זו תורה שבעל פה וכיון שהשליכו דברי תורה לארץ התחיל ירמיה מקונן עליהם איכה (ירמיה ט')כה אמר ה' צבאות התבוננו וקראו למקוננות

Rabbi Yudan said:

כִּי מָאֲסוּ, אֵת תּוֹרַת ה צְבָאוֹת - "because they have rejected the law (Torah) of the LORD of hosts" - this refers to the written law.

וְאֵת אִמְרַת קְדוֹשׁ-יִשְׂרָאֵל, נִאֵצוּ - "and contemned the {spoken} word of the Holy One of Israel." - this refers to Oral Law. {since אִמְרַת literally refers to speech.}

And since they cast divrei Torah to the ground, Yirmiyahu began to lament over them "Eicha", {Lamentations}.

{Rav Zev Wolf in his commentary notes that the next statement, a citation of Yirmiyahu 9:16, seems to be by the anonymous narrative voice of the midrash, that is, the stama demidrash, and serves to close the preceding midrash which stated the Yirmiyahu begain to lament, and to introduce the next midrash.}

Yirmiyahu 9:16
כֹּה אָמַר ה צְבָאוֹת, הִתְבּוֹנְנוּ וְקִרְאוּ לַמְקוֹנְנוֹת, "Thus saith the LORD of hosts: Consider ye, and call for the mourning women..."

{Some context: verses 16-18:
כֹּה אָמַר ה צְבָאוֹת, הִתְבּוֹנְנוּ וְקִרְאוּ לַמְקוֹנְנוֹת וּתְבוֹאֶינָה; וְאֶל-הַחֲכָמוֹת שִׁלְחוּ, וְתָבוֹאנָה.
וּתְמַהֵרְנָה, וְתִשֶּׂנָה עָלֵינוּ נֶהִי; וְתֵרַדְנָה עֵינֵינוּ דִּמְעָה, וְעַפְעַפֵּינוּ יִזְּלוּ-מָיִם.
כִּי קוֹל נְהִי נִשְׁמַע מִצִּיּוֹן, אֵיךְ שֻׁדָּדְנוּ; בֹּשְׁנוּ מְאֹד כִּי-עָזַבְנוּ אָרֶץ, כִּי הִשְׁלִיכוּ מִשְׁכְּנוֹתֵינוּ.
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts: Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for the wise women, that they may come;
And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters.
For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion: 'How are we undone! We are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings have cast us out.'"

Midrash Rabba - Eicha - Petichata - 2 part ii

ר' הונא ור' ירמיה בשם ר' חייא בר אבא אמרי כתיב (ירמיה ט"ז)ואותי עזבו ואת תורתי לא שמרו הלואי אותי עזבו ותורתי שמרו מתוך שהיו מתעסקין בה המאור שבה היה מחזירן למוטב

{The Midrash continues along the idea that the destruction came about because of abandonment of learning Torah. In Yirmiyahu 16:9-11f, Hashem tells him to say a prophecy of doom, and that the people will ask what they did to deserve this prophecy, to which Yirmiyahu is supposed to tell them the reason. Again the plain pshat meaning of the text seems to be idolatry, as well as not keeping the mitzvot, but it will be taken midrashic-ly to be abandoning the [study of] Torah.

כִּי כֹה אָמַר ה צְבָאוֹת, אֱלֹקֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, הִנְנִי מַשְׁבִּית מִן-הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה לְעֵינֵיכֶם, וּבִימֵיכֶם--קוֹל שָׂשׂוֹן וְקוֹל שִׂמְחָה, קוֹל חָתָן וְקוֹל כַּלָּה.
וְהָיָה, כִּי תַגִּיד לָעָם הַזֶּה, אֵת כָּל-הַדְּבָרִים, הָאֵלֶּה; וְאָמְרוּ אֵלֶיךָ, עַל-מֶה דִבֶּר ה עָלֵינוּ אֵת כָּל-הָרָעָה הַגְּדוֹלָה הַזֹּאת, וּמֶה עֲו‍ֹנֵנוּ וּמֶה חַטָּאתֵנוּ, אֲשֶׁר חָטָאנוּ לַה אֱלֹקֵינוּ.
וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם, עַל אֲשֶׁר-עָזְבוּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם אוֹתִי נְאֻם-ה, וַיֵּלְכוּ אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים, וַיַּעַבְדוּם וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ לָהֶם; וְאֹתִי עָזָבוּ, וְאֶת-תּוֹרָתִי לֹא שָׁמָרוּ.
וְאַתֶּם הֲרֵעֹתֶם לַעֲשׂוֹת, מֵאֲבוֹתֵיכֶם; וְהִנְּכֶם הֹלְכִים, אִישׁ אַחֲרֵי שְׁרִרוּת לִבּוֹ-הָרָע, לְבִלְתִּי, שְׁמֹעַ אֵלָי.
"For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.
And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt tell this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee: 'Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?'
then shalt thou say unto them: 'Because your fathers have forsaken Me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken Me, and have not kept My law;
and ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the stubbornness of his evil heart, so that ye hearken not unto Me;..."


R Huna and R Yirmiyahu citing R Chiyya bar Abba: It states וְאֹתִי עָזָבוּ, וְאֶת-תּוֹרָתִי לֹא שָׁמָרוּ - "...and have forsaken Me, and have not kept My law."
'If only you abandoned Me yet watched {=studied} my Torah, for if they were involving themselves in it {its study} the enlightenment which is in it would have turned them back to goodness.

רב הונא אמר למוד תורה אע"פ שלא לשמה שמתוך שלא לשמה בא לשמה אריב"ל בכל יום ויום בת קול יוצאת מהר חורב ואומרת אוי להם לבריות מעלבונה של תורה

Rav Huna said, 'Learn Torah, even not Lishma {for its own sake}, for out of not Lishma will {eventually} come to be for its own sake.

Rabbi Yeshoshua ben Levi (?) said, 'Every single day a bat kol goes out from Mount Chorev and says, "Woe to the Creations from the insult to Torah."

שמואל תני לה בשם ר' שמואל בר אמי אימתי המלכות גוזרת גזרה וגזירתה מצלחת בשעה שישראל משליכין דברי תורה לארץ הה"ד (דניאל ח)וצבא תנתן על התמיד בפשע אין צבא אלא מלכיות שנאמר (ישעיה כ"ד)יפקוד ה' על צבא המרום במרום וגו' התמיד אלו ישראל דכתיב (יהושע א')והגית בו יומם ולילה בפשע בפשעה של תורה כל זמן שישראל משליכין דברי תורה לארץ המלכות היא גוזרת ומצלחת שנא' (דניאל ח) ותשלך אמת ארצה וגו' ואין אמת אלא תורה שנאמר (משלי כ"ג)אמת קנה ואל תמכור אם השלכת דברי תורה לארץ מיד הצליחה המלכות הה"ד (דניאל ח)ועשתה והצליחה

Shmuel taught in the name of R Shmuel bar Ami, when does the government decree a decree {an evil decree against the Jews} and its decree succeeds? At the hour that the Jews cast off the words of Torah {divrei Torah} to the ground. This is what is stated in Daniel 8:12 -

{where the context is Daniel's vision, in which a he-goat smites a ram, and then waxes exceedingly great unto the host of heaven, and is casting down and trampling stars. Then the psukim state (8:11-14):
וְעַד שַׂר-הַצָּבָא, הִגְדִּיל; וּמִמֶּנּוּ הרים (הוּרַם) הַתָּמִיד, וְהֻשְׁלַךְ מְכוֹן מִקְדָּשׁוֹ.
וְצָבָא תִּנָּתֵן עַל-הַתָּמִיד, בְּפָשַׁע; וְתַשְׁלֵךְ אֱמֶת אַרְצָה, וְעָשְׂתָה וְהִצְלִיחָה.
וָאֶשְׁמְעָה אֶחָד-קָדוֹשׁ, מְדַבֵּר; וַיֹּאמֶר אֶחָד קָדוֹשׁ לַפַּלְמוֹנִי הַמְדַבֵּר, עַד-מָתַי הֶחָזוֹן הַתָּמִיד וְהַפֶּשַׁע שֹׁמֵם--תֵּת וְקֹדֶשׁ וְצָבָא, מִרְמָס.
וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי--עַד עֶרֶב בֹּקֶר, אַלְפַּיִם וּשְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת; וְנִצְדַּק, קֹדֶשׁ
"Yea, it magnified itself, even to the prince of the host; and from him the continual burnt-offering was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
And the host was given over to it together with the continual burnt-offering through transgression; and it cast down truth to the ground, and it wrought, and prospered.
Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said unto that certain one who spoke: 'How long shall be the vision concerning the continual burnt-offering, and the transgression that causes appalment, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled under foot?'
And he said unto me: 'Unto two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings; then shall the sanctuary be victorious.'"

The context thus seems to be about the destroyed Bet Hamikdash. To resume, "this is what is stated in Daniel 8:12,"}

וְצָבָא תִּנָּתֵן עַל-הַתָּמִיד, בְּפָשַׁע, "And the host was given over to it together with the continual burnt-offering through transgression;"

{and the verse ends, וְתַשְׁלֵךְ אֱמֶת אַרְצָה, וְעָשְׂתָה וְהִצְלִיחָה - "and it cast down truth to the ground, and it wrought, and prospered."}

צָבָא - And צָבָא, host, only refers to the government, as it states in Yeshayahu 24:21
וְהָיָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, יִפְקֹד ה עַל-צְבָא הַמָּרוֹם בַּמָּרוֹם; וְעַל-מַלְכֵי הָאֲדָמָה, עַל-הָאֲדָמָה.
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD will punish the צְבָא - host of the high heaven on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth."

{This is strange since it seems that צְבָא here is used for something in heaven, and is not directly connected to the kings, who are of the earth. How does this verse then show that צְבָא refers to the government? Rav Zev Wolf in his perush tries to make צְבָא distributive, and thus the end of the verse would be the kings and צְבָא's of the earth, which would then refer to the whole regime.
I would point out that Biblical poetry works symmetrically, with the first half of the verse parallel the the second. Thus, there is צְבָא in heaven, matching to kings on earth. Thus צְבָא is a synonym of government.}

עַל-הַתָּמִיד - together with {though now taken literally, as "upon." The government upon} the continual burnt-offering. This refers to the Jews, as it states in Yehoshua 1:8, וְהָגִיתָ בּוֹ יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה - "but thou shalt meditate therein day and night..." {Thus, the Jews who should be continuously learning Torah.}

בְּפָשַׁע - in the sinful neglect (בפשעה) of Torah.

Any time that the Jews cast divrei Torah to the ground the government decrees and succeeds in the decree, as it states {further at the end of the aforementioned verse,} in Daniel 8:12

וְתַשְׁלֵךְ אֱמֶת אַרְצָה - "and it cast down truth to the ground, etc. {and it wrought, and prospered.}"

And אֱמֶת only refers to Torah, as it states in Mishlei 23, אֱמֶת קְנֵה, וְאַל-תִּמְכֹּר; - "Buy the truth, and sell it not;"

If you cast divrei Torah to the ground, immediately the goverment will be successful {in its decrees against the Jews}. This is what is written, at the end of the verse in Daniel 8:12, וְעָשְׂתָה וְהִצְלִיחָה, "and it wrought, and prospered." {That is, it made decrees, and was successful in those decrees.}

Midrash Rabba - Eicha - Petichata - 2

ב רבי אבא בר כהנא פתח (שם ט')מי האיש החכם ויבן את זאת וגו' תני רשב"י אם ראית עיירות נתלשות ממקומן בארץ ישראל דע שלא החזיקו בשכר סופרים ובשכר משנים שנאמר (שם )על מה אבדה הארץ ויאמר ה' על עזבם את תורתי רבי הוה משלח לר' אסי ולר' אמי דיפקון ויתקנון קרייתא דארעא דישראל והוון עלין לקרייתא ואמרין להון אייתו לן נטורי קרתא והוון מייתו להון ריש מטרתא וסנטרא והוון אמרין להון אלין נטורי קרתא אלין חרובי קרתא אמרו להון ומאן אינון נטורי קרתא א"ל אלו סופרים ומשנים שהם הוגים ומשנים ומשמרין את התורה ביום ובלילה על שם שנאמר (יהושע א')והגית בו יומם ולילה וכן הוא אומר (תהלים קכ"ז)אם ה' לא יבנה בית וגו' ר' הונא ור' ירמיה בשם ר' שמואל ברבי יצחק אמר מצינו שויתר הקב"ה על עבודת כוכבים ועל גילוי עריות ועל שפיכות דמים ולא ויתר על מאסה של תורה שנאמר על מה אבדה הארץ על עבודת כוכבים ועל גילוי עריות ועל שפיכות דמים אין כתיב כאן אלא על עזבם את תורתי

2. Rabbi Abba bar Kahana (further) began with Yirmiyahu 9:11, מִי-הָאִישׁ הֶחָכָם וְיָבֵן אֶת-זֹאת, "Who is the wise man, that he may understand this? ..."And who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD hath spoken, that he may declare it? Wherefore is the land perished and laid waste like a wilderness, so that none passeth through?"

{That is, Yirmiyahu is asking who is wise who can declare why this destruction of Israel and of the Bet Hamikdash happened. This is a important question to deal with on Tisha BeAv, to try to make sense out of the disaster.

A fuller context (Yirmiyahu 9:11-13):

מִי-הָאִישׁ הֶחָכָם וְיָבֵן אֶת-זֹאת, וַאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר פִּי-ה אֵלָיו וְיַגִּדָהּ; עַל-מָה אָבְדָה הָאָרֶץ, נִצְּתָה כַמִּדְבָּר מִבְּלִי עֹבֵר
וַיֹּאמֶר ה--עַל-עָזְבָם אֶת-תּוֹרָתִי, אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לִפְנֵיהֶם; וְלֹא-שָׁמְעוּ בְקוֹלִי, וְלֹא-הָלְכוּ בָהּ.
וַיֵּלְכוּ, אַחֲרֵי שְׁרִרוּת לִבָּם--וְאַחֲרֵי, הַבְּעָלִים, אֲשֶׁר לִמְּדוּם, אֲבוֹתָם.
"Who is the wise man, that he may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD hath spoken, that he may declare it? Wherefore is the land perished and laid waste like a wilderness, so that none passeth through?
And the LORD saith: Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not hearkened to My voice, neither walked therein;
But have walked after the stubbornness of their own heart, and after the Baalim, which their fathers taught them."

Thus the psukim seem to attribute it to abandoning the mitzvot and doing whatever they wanted, and worshipping idols. The midrash is going to take a closer reading and deconstruct the verse.

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (a Tanna) taught: If you see cities cut off from their place in the Land of Israel, know that it is because they did not strengthen in the wages of scribes and the wages of teachers, as it states (Yirmiyahu 9:11) "Wherefore is the land perished?" and it states (Yirmiyahu 9:12), "Because they have forsaken My law {Torah}."

Rabbi sent R Asi and R Ami to visit and fix up the cities in the Land of Israel, and they would come to a city and say to them, bring to us the protectors of the city. {Netorai Karta, not Neturay Karta. = protectors/watchers of the city.} And thy brought to them the head of the guards and the sentries. And they would say to them, 'these are not the protectors of the city. These are the destroyers of the city!'
'And who then, are the protectors of the city?'
They said to them, 'these are the scribes and teachers who consider and teach and keep {=watch over} the Torah day and night,' based on what is said (Yehoshua 1:8) וְהָגִיתָ בּוֹ יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה - "but thou shalt meditate therein day and night..."

{This is in the context of military success, as the angel of Hashem is telling him to be strong and courageous, as Hashem is going to help him conquer the land of Israel, and in the midst of it all, in pasuk 7 and 8, the angel tells him:
רַק חֲזַק וֶאֱמַץ מְאֹד, לִשְׁמֹר לַעֲשׂוֹת כְּכָל-הַתּוֹרָה--אֲשֶׁר צִוְּךָ מֹשֶׁה עַבְדִּי, אַל-תָּסוּר מִמֶּנּוּ יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאול: לְמַעַן תַּשְׂכִּיל, בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר תֵּלֵךְ.
לֹא-יָמוּשׁ סֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֶּה מִפִּיךָ, וְהָגִיתָ בּוֹ יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה, לְמַעַן תִּשְׁמֹר לַעֲשׂוֹת, כְּכָל-הַכָּתוּב בּוֹ: כִּי-אָז תַּצְלִיחַ אֶת-דְּרָכֶךָ, וְאָז תַּשְׂכִּיל.
"Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all the law, which Moses My servant commanded thee; turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest have good success whithersoever thou goest.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shalt make thy ways prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."}

And further it states in Tehillim 127:1,

שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת, לִשְׁלֹמֹה:
אִם-ה, לֹא-יִבְנֶה בַיִת-- שָׁוְא עָמְלוּ בוֹנָיו בּוֹ;
אִם-ה לֹא-יִשְׁמָר-עִיר, שָׁוְא שָׁקַד שׁוֹמֵר.
"A Song of Ascents; of Solomon. {N}
Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it; {N}
except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

{This verse in Tehillim shows that the watchmen - such as sentries presented by the people as the protectors of the city - are not effective unless Hashem watches over the city, and we see that Hashem does so when people are learning the Torah.}

R Huna and R Yirmiya in the name of R Shmuel son of Rabbi Yitzchak said, 'We have seen that Hashem lets slide idolatry and sexual misconduct and shedding of blood, but does not let pass the disgracing of Torah, as it states, עַל-מָה אָבְדָה הָאָרֶץ and עַל-עָזְבָם אֶת-תּוֹרָתִי - "Wherefore is the land perished...?" and continues "Because they have forsaken My Torah {law}."

{Even though the next verse actually mentions idolatry - worshipping the Baalim, and we might interpret the verse as abandoning the fulfilling of the commandments in the Torah, Chazal are taking it to mean the abandonment of the study of the Torah.}

Midrash Rabba Eicha, Petichata, 1

פתיחתא דחכימי
: א רבי אבא בר כהנא פתח (ישעיה י')צהלי קולך בת גלים אמר ישעיהו לישראל עד שאתם אומרים שירים ומזמורים לפני עבודת כוכבים צהלי קולך בדברי תורה צהלי קולך בבתי כנסיות בת גלים מה גלים הללו מסויימין בים כך אבותיהם מסויימין בעולם ד"א בת גלים בת גולים ברתיהון דגלוואי בתו של אברהם אותו שכתוב בו (בראשית י"ב)ויהי רעב בארץ וירד אברם מצרימה בתו של יצחק שכתוב בו (שם כ"ו)וילך יצחק אל אבימלך מלך פלשתים גררה בתו של יעקב שכתוב בו (שם כ"ח)וילך פדנה ארם הקשיבי הקשיבי למצותי הקשיבי לדברי תורה הקשיבי לדברי נבואה הקשיבי לצדקות ומעשים טובים לישה ואם לאו לישה הא אריה סליק עלך זה נבוכדנצר הרשע דכתיב ביה (ירמיה ד')עלה אריה מסובכו עניה עניה מן הצדיקים עניה מדברי נבואה עניה ממצות ומעשים טובים ענתות ואם לאו ענתות הא ענתותא אתי ומתנבא עליך דכתיב (שם א')דברי בן חלקיהו וגו' כיון שבא הפורענות קונן עליהם איכה:

Eicha (Lamentations)
Openings (Beginnings)
The Openings {beginnings of drashot, starting off from other verses} of the Chachamim:
1 Rabbi Abba bar Kahana began from Yeshayahu 10:30. {The context is a description of various town's reactions to the oncoming invading hordes of Sancherib, who conquered many cities, but was turned back at the last minute from Yerushalayim by an angel. See more about this in 2 Kings 18-19
Yeshaya 10:25-32:

בָּא עַל-עַיַּת, עָבַר בְּמִגְרוֹן; לְמִכְמָשׂ, יַפְקִיד כֵּלָיו
עָבְרוּ, מַעְבָּרָה, גֶּבַע, מָלוֹן לָנוּ; חָרְדָה, הָרָמָה--גִּבְעַת שָׁאוּל, נָסָה.
צַהֲלִי קוֹלֵךְ, בַּת-גַּלִּים; הַקְשִׁיבִי לַיְשָׁה, עֲנִיָּה עֲנָתוֹת.
נָדְדָה, מַדְמֵנָה; יֹשְׁבֵי הַגֵּבִים, הֵעִיזוּ.
עוֹד הַיּוֹם, בְּנֹב לַעֲמֹד; יְנֹפֵף יָדוֹ הַר בית- (בַּת-) צִיּוֹן, גִּבְעַת יְרוּשָׁלִָם.
"He is come to Aiath, he is passed through Migron; at Michmas he layeth up his baggage;
They are gone over the pass; they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah trembleth; Gibeath-shaul is fled.
Cry thou with a shrill voice, O daughter of Gallim! Hearken, O Laish! O thou poor Anathoth!
Madmenah is in mad flight; the inhabitants of Gebim flee to cover.
This very day shall he halt at Nob, shaking his hand at the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.

Rabbi Abba bar Kahana deconstructs the verse, interpreting many of the names of places just as Chazal interpreted many of the place names at the beginning of Devarim.}

צַהֲלִי קוֹלֵךְ, בַּת-גַּלִּים - {literally Cry out with a [shrill] voice daughter of [the place] Gallim.} Yeshayahu said to Israel, before {rather than} you say songs and hymns before idols, "Cry out with your voice" in words of Torah, ""Cry out with your voice" in synagogues.

בַּת-גַּלִּים - {literally daughter of [the town] Gallim. But Gal can also be taken mean a wave, or refer to Golim, exiles.} Just as these waves stand out in the sea, so too your fathers stood out in the world. Another interpretation, daughter of Galim, {read it} daughter of Golim, that is Daughters of Exiles. {You are} the daughter of Avraham, that is written concerning him (Bereishit 12:10) וַיְהִי רָעָב, בָּאָרֶץ; וַיֵּרֶד אַבְרָם מִצְרַיְמָה - "And there was a famine in the land; and Abram went down into Egypt..." The daughter of Yitzchak that it is written concerning him, (Bereishit 26:1) וַיְהִי רָעָב, בָּאָרֶץ, מִלְּבַד הָרָעָב הָרִאשׁוֹן, אֲשֶׁר הָיָה בִּימֵי אַבְרָהָם; וַיֵּלֶךְ יִצְחָק אֶל-אֲבִימֶלֶךְ מֶלֶךְ-פְּלִשְׁתִּים, גְּרָרָה. - "And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar." The daughter of Yaakov, that is written about him, (Bereishit 28:5) וַיִּשְׁלַח יִצְחָק אֶת-יַעֲקֹב, וַיֵּלֶךְ פַּדֶּנָה אֲרָם - {And Isaac sent away Jacob;} and he went to Paddan-aram..."

הַקְשִׁיבִי - {literally "Hearken," part of the phrase "Hearken, Oh Laish!"} Hearken to my Commandments, Hearken to the words of Torah, Hearken to the words of Prophecy, Hearken to acts of righteousness and good deeds.

לַיְשָׁה - {literally the place Laish, but can refer to a lion.} And if not Pif you do not hearken}, לַיְשָׁה, behold, the lion goes out against you - this is the wicked Nevuchadnezzar, which it is written regarding him (Yirmiyahu 4 עָלָה אַרְיֵה, מִסֻּבְּכוֹ - "A lion is gone up from his thicket..." {His prophecy was about the destruction eventually carried out by Nevuchadnezzar}

עֲנִיָּה - {literally "cry out," but can be taken to refer to poverty.} Poverty from the righteous, poverty from words of Prophecy, poverty from Mitzvot {commandments} and good deeds.

עֲנָתוֹת - {literally Anatot, a place, and the hometown of Yirmiyahu. The place, or people of the place, would cry out. There is a poetic choice of עֲנִיָּה as a verb with the location עֲנָתוֹת, as they sound similar. But this is taken to refer to Yirmiyahu and his prophecies and lamentations. Because you did not hearken, } behold the resident of Anatot comes and prophesies upon you as it states, (Yirmiyahu 1:1) דִּבְרֵי יִרְמְיָהוּ, בֶּן-חִלְקִיָּהוּ, מִן-הַכֹּהֲנִים אֲשֶׁר בַּעֲנָתוֹת, בְּאֶרֶץ בִּנְיָמִן. - "The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin." And once the punishment comes he {Yirmiyahu} laments upon them "Eicha", {Lamentations}.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Dvarim 2:

While reading through Midrash Rabba on Devarim this week, I saw what seemed to be a daring - perhaps even blasphemous (!) midrash:
א"ר לוי בר חמא ומה מי שעובד עבודת כוכבים הרי הוא כמותו שנאמר (תהלים קטו) כמוהם יהיו עושיהם וגו' מי שעובד להקב"ה לא כל שכן שיהיה כמותו. ומנין שכך כתיב (ירמיה יז) ברוך הגבר אשר יבטח בה' וגו'.
Rabbi Levi bar Chama said, "Just as one who serves an idols, he is compared to it, as it states, (Tehillim 115:8) 'Like them are those who make them, etc.,' one who serves Hashem, certainly that he will be like Him. And from where? Since it states (Yirmiyahu 17:7), "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, etc."
By way of partial explanation, the full verse in Tehillim is
כְּמוֹהֶם, יִהְיוּ עֹשֵׂיהֶם-- כֹּל אֲשֶׁר-בֹּטֵחַ בָּהֶם.
They that make them shall be like unto them; yea, every one that trusteth in them.
Thus, there is an element of trust in the idol, not merely constructing it. And it is explicit that those who make (and trust) in the idol are considered like the idol. The next few psukim exhort various groups to trust, rather, in Hashem. For example, the next verse goes:
יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּטַח בַּה; עֶזְרָם וּמָגִנָּם הוּא
O Israel, trust thou in the LORD! He is their help and their shield!
How does the verse in Yirmiyahu show that one who serves Hashem will be like Hashem (!) ? Well, without the verse, we had a kal vachomer! :) I think the derivation from the verse in Yirmiyahu actually requires a bit of the continuation:
בָּרוּךְ הַגֶּבֶר, אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בַּה; וְהָיָה ה, מִבְטַחוֹ.
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose trust the LORD is.
Again we have the element of trust. But let us chop of the last word:
בָּרוּךְ הַגֶּבֶר, אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בַּה; וְהָיָה ה.
This would read, "Blessed is the man who trusts in Hashem, and he will be Hashem." vehaya Hashem = "and he will be Hashem." You can add the word mivtacho if you desire. Then, he will, with certitude, be Hashem.

What the meaning of this midrash is, I am not sure. (Probably something about adopting the midot of Hashem, or perhaps this is some parallel to Midrash Rabbati's discussion of Chanoch - for another time.) Here we just looked at the existence of this, as I said, somewhat daring, or blasphemous midrash, and perhaps the mechanics of the midrash.

Dvarim #1:

One thing that might strike you as you look over this week's parsha is that it is quite a mouthful! Moshe gave a lengthy oration, detailing recent Jewish history, giving mussar, giving blessings and encouragement, and telling them a bit about what would happen to them in later times - about four prakim worth. Most of the book of Dvarim consists of a long speech, or speeches. (Rabbi Berel Wein writes "he delivers an impassioned six month long oration which comprises most of the Book of Dvarim.") This is quite a change from his initial attitude. He originally, in Shemot 4, protested that he was not a man of words.
בִּי אֲדֹנָי, לֹא אִישׁ דְּבָרִים אָנֹכִי גַּם מִתְּמוֹל גַּם מִשִּׁלְשֹׁם, גַּם מֵאָז דַּבֶּרְךָ אֶל-עַבְדֶּךָ: כִּי כְבַד-פֶּה וּכְבַד לָשׁוֹן, אָנֹכִי
'Oh Lord, I am not a man of words, neither heretofore, nor since Thou hast spoken unto Thy servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.'
This could be viewed as the development of Moshe Rabbeinu in his role as leader, an idea worth developing.

However, a different perspective is given by Rabbi Tanchuma, cited in Midrash Rabba, gives an interesting analogy, to explain this. He assumes a static Moshe Rabbeinu, and explains this inconsistency of attitude as follows:
ד"א אלה הדברים אמר ר' תנחומא למה"ד לאדם שהיה מוכר ארגמן והיה מכריז הרי ארגמן הציץ המלך ושמע את קולו קרא אותו וא"ל מה אתה מוכר א"ל לא כלום א"ל אני שמעתי את קולך שהיית אומר הרי ארגמן ואתה אומר לא כלום א"ל מרי אמת ארגמן הוא אלא אצלך אינו כלום. כך משה לפני הקב"ה שברא את הפה ואת הדיבור אמר (שם ד) לא איש דברים אנכי אבל אצל ישראל כתיב בו אלה הדברים
Another explanation. "These are the words..." R' Tanchuma said, to what can this matter be compared? To a man who sold Argaman (purple), and would call out "Here is Argaman." The King peered out and heard his voice. He {King} called him and said to him, "What are you selling?" He replied, "Nothing." He {King} said to him, "I heard your voice that was saying, 'Here is Argaman' and you are saying 'Nothing!' He replied, "My master, in truth it is Argaman, but for {in quality} as regards you it is nothing. So did Moshe, before Hashem who created the mouth and speech, said "I am not a man of words," but by Israel it is written as regards him, "These are the words..."
It is interesting that the explanation in part comes from Hashem's next words, that is, Hashem's response to Moshe's claim that he is not a man of words. Hashem says:
? מִי שָׂם פֶּה לָאָדָם, אוֹ מִי-יָשׂוּם אִלֵּם, אוֹ חֵרֵשׁ אוֹ פִקֵּחַ אוֹ עִוֵּר--הֲלֹא אָנֹכִי, ה.
'Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh a man dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? is it not I the LORD?'
Of course Hashem then tells him that He will be with Moshe's mouth, and help him out in this regard, which would be another answer to how Moshe can give such a lengthy speech. However, that perhaps was only regarding addressing Pharaoh.

At any rate, I thought it was worthy to point out that R' Tanchuma takes his cue from that same response of Hashem, but on a midrashic level. This is as opposed to constructing an answer to this from thin air. I feel that this is quite often how midrashim work.

R' Tanchuma's answer was basically that compared with Hashem, the creator of speech, Moshe is not a man of words, but in addressing Israel, he can hold his own.

Another twist to this midrash, which I'm almost positive I spoke about earlier on parshablog, but could not find it, is the argaman angle. During 100 BCE to 68 CE, "Caesar and Augustus restricted the use of dyes {J: both techelet and argaman} to the governing classes. Nero issues a decree that gave the emperor exclusive right to wear purple or blue garments." During 337 CE to 383 CE, "[u]nder Constantius (337-362) the restrictions against the use of tekhelet were strictly enforced. An edict (383) by Gratian, Valentinian, and Theodosius made the manufacture of higher quality purple and blue a state monopoly." (See timeline by Naron.)

So, we can see why the seller may have been reluctant to reveal to the king that he was dealing in argaman. And perhaps we can understand his response a bit more. It is a type of purple, but not of royal quality, so please don't strike me down! It is of inferior quality, though it could be called purple.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

More On Tevilat Kelim

A group of men immerse an idol of Lord Ganesh into the sea in Chennai, on Sunday, to mark the end of the week-long Ganesh Chaturthi festival. The Madras High Court has directed the state Pollution Control Board to evolve a scientific method of immersing Ganesh idols made of plaster of Paris and other harmful chemicals which have an adverse effect on marine life and marine eco-systems. AFP

Immersion of a goddess called Durga

Posted by Hello

Devotees immerse an idol of goddess Durga into the Hooghly river in Kolkata on Sunday. — Reuters Posted by Hello

An immersion of the idol of the goddess (Durga) in the Yamuna in New Delhi on Oct.5. Posted by Hello

So we see that tevilat kelim is not a purely Jewish phenomenon.


So as not to spoil the joke, a partial explanation is in the comments.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

ערוך השלחן הלכות תשעה באב, סימן תקנ"א

כו: כתבו רבותינו בעלי השלחן ערוך בסעיף י' יש מע שאומר שהנוהג שלא לאכול בשר בימים הנזכרים מותרים בתבשיל
שנתבשל בו בשר, ואסורים בבשר מלוח ובשר עוף ויין תוסס, ומותר לשתות יין הבדלה, וברכת המזון, ונוהגין להחמיר שלא לשתות יין לא בברכת המזון ולא בהבדלה, אלא נותנים לתנוק, ובמקום דליכא תנוק מותר בעצמו לשתות ההבדלה, עד כאן לשונו.
ואנחנו נוהגים לאסור בתבשיל שנתבשל בו בשר [מגן אברהם סקכ"ט] וכן המנהג הפשוט ואין לשנות, וביין לברכת המזון, גם בלא גם בלא זה אין אנו נוהגין בחול בכוס לברכת המזון, ופשוט הוא דאם יש כוס יהיה של שכר או מע דבש, אך בהבדלה יש נוהגין לשתות, ואנחנו אין שותים ועושים הבדלה על השכר, וזה שכתבו ליתן לתנוק, ויש מי שדקדק מדבריהם דמותר ליתן לתנוק בשר ויין בכל ימים אלו [שם סקל"א] ואין המנהג כן אצלינו, ובוודאי תנוק שצריך לזה מפני חלישותו מותר, וגם בגדול מותר כשהוא חלוש לאכול בשר עוף כמ"ש, וגם המעוברת והמיניקות אם קשה עליהן מאכלי חלב וודאי מתירין להן בשר עוף, ואם אין בשר עוף יאכלו בשר בהמה, דבמקום חשש בריאות הגוף לא גזרו. אך בסתם תנוקות בוודאי אין להאכילם מאכלי בשר, וכן המנהג ואין לשנות. וזה שכתבו ליתן ההבדלה לתנוקות, זהו מפני שגם בעצמו מותר לשתות כמ"ש, דאם אין תנוק ישתה בעצמו, אך כשיש תנוק מוטב משישתה הגדול, ולא מפני שלתנוקות הותר ליתן להם בשר לכתחילה [וצ"ע על המ"א]

The Aruch HaShulchan on wine for havdala and bentching, whether to have a child drink instead, and feeding meat to children and pregnant and nursing women.
To be translated, and continued...

כז: עוד כתבו דבמילה ופדיון הבן וסיום מסכת וסעודת ארוסין אוכלין בשר ושותין יין כל השייכים לסעודה, אבל יש לצמצם שלא להוסיף, ובשבוע שחל תשעה באב בתוכה אין לאכל בשר ולשתות יין רק מניין מצומצם, וזה אפילו בע"ב ובלבד שלא יהיה בסעודה המפסיק בה, וכל מי שאוכל בשר במקום שנוהגים בו איסור פירץ גדר הוא וינשכנו נחש, ומותר לשתות כל שכר אפילו של דבש שקורין מע"ד, עד כאל לשונו. וחילקו בין מן ראש חודש לבין שבוע שחל תשעה באב בתוכה, דבשבוע זו יראו שלא יהיה יותר ממנין מצומצם ומן ראש חודש יכול להיות יותר, ורק לבלי להוסיף קרואים שאין להם שייכות להברית מילה ואילולי האכילת בשר לא היו קוראים אותם בוודאי יש לאסור

כח: ודע שיש שמניחים הסיום מסכת על ימים אלו כדי לאכול בשר ודבר מכוער הוא, דאף על גב דבמועד קטן [ט.] מוכח דמותר לשייר מקצת הגמר לסיום מצוה כדאיתא שם בבנין בית המקדש, עיין שם, מכל מקום להניח לכתחילה בשביל אכילת בשר לא נאה ולא יאה. ויש שלומדים לכתחילה מסכת כדי לעשות סיום בימים אלו ודבר זה אפשר כדאי לעשות שעל ידי זה יעסוק בתורה. מיהו אין לבקש על הסיום רק תלמידי חכמים השייכים ללימוד התורה. ואנחנו לא נהגנו בסיום ואפילו כשעארע סיום בימים אלו אנו מניחים הסיום עד אחר תשעה באב כדי שנוכל לשמוח בשמחת הסיום לכבוד התורה כראוי

+1 perek moed katan; +1 perek bava kamma

הדרן עלך מי שהפך!
(2nd perek yerushalmi moed katan)

הדרן עלך שור שנגח ארבעה וחמשה!
(4th perek yerushalmi bava kamma)

This coming Shabbos, a siyum on yerushalmi Seder moed!

Friday, July 16, 2004

Matos - Masei #2: Tevilat Kelim

This parsha is the basis for, or perhaps merely contains a hinting support (asmachta), to tevilat kelim, the immersion of newly purchased/acquired metal (and glass) vessels when not acquired from another Jewish person.
In Chazal's reading of the verse, tevilat kelim seems to be the tail-end of kashering a vessel. That is, a vessel from a non-Jew was likely used with non-kosher food. Therefore, such a vessel must be kashered before use, in order to remove particles of non-kosher food on the surface of the vessel and particles of non-kosher food absorbed in the walls of the vessel.
At the tail-end of this kashering is tevilat kelim which involves putting the vessel in a mikveh.

Bemidbar 31:21-24:

וַיֹּאמֶר אֶלְעָזָר הַכֹּהֵן אֶל-אַנְשֵׁי הַצָּבָא, הַבָּאִים לַמִּלְחָמָה: זֹאת חֻקַּת הַתּוֹרָה, אֲשֶׁר-צִוָּה ה אֶת-מֹשֶׁה.
אַךְ אֶת-הַזָּהָב, וְאֶת-הַכָּסֶף; אֶת-הַנְּחֹשֶׁת, אֶת-הַבַּרְזֶל, אֶת-הַבְּדִיל, וְאֶת-הָעֹפָרֶת.
כָּל-דָּבָר אֲשֶׁר-יָבֹא בָאֵשׁ, תַּעֲבִירוּ בָאֵשׁ וְטָהֵר--אַךְ, בְּמֵי נִדָּה יִתְחַטָּא; וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָבֹא בָּאֵשׁ, תַּעֲבִירוּ בַמָּיִם.
וְכִבַּסְתֶּם בִּגְדֵיכֶם בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, וּטְהַרְתֶּם; וְאַחַר, תָּבֹאוּ אֶל-הַמַּחֲנֶה.
"And Eleazar the priest said unto the men of war that went to the battle: 'This is the statute of the law which the LORD hath commanded Moses:
Howbeit the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead,
every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make to go through the fire, and it shall be clean; nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of sprinkling; and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make to go through the water.
And ye shall wash your clothes on the seventh day, and ye shall be clean, and afterward ye may come into the camp.'"
These verses follow the fight with Midian. The simplest reading of the verses would be that this is some treatment of the vessels to remove ritual impurity from contact with the bodies of the slain. However, fire, mentioned earlier in the verse, is not the method used elsewhere to purify vessels from impurity, so it is taken to be removal of non-kosher materials from the vessels (see Ramban, below).

From there, it was extended to the case of new vessels, unused by a non-Jew and therefore not containing on the surface or in its walls any non-kosher food. In such a case, the removal of the non-kosher food need not be done and all that is done is the dippping it in a mikveh. We can say it was extended, or we can say that it was recognized that the dipping in the mikveh is an entirely separate element that the removal of the non-kosher food, and is just associated with the transfer of possession to a Jew, as well as some form of ritual impurity.

It is interesting that Rav Sheshet does not think that tevilat kelim should be extended to purchased new vessels - those which do not have non-kosher food in/on them. (We do not rule like him.) Nowadays, I would say that close to 100% of instances of tevilat kelim is done on such new vessels.

A quick overview of how they seem to be parsing the psukim (based loosely on the Ramban, rather than Rashi):
"Howbeit the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead,"
Thus, metal utensils:

"every thing that may abide the fire,"
actually, everything which was used in fire - that is, to cook non-kosher food.

This is a subcategory of metal utensils, mentioned above. Thus, pots which are used to cook things, and skewers.

"ye shall make to go through the fire, and it shall be clean;"

this is a form of removing unkosher material from the cookware. Either placing in boiling water if it was used to cook non-kosher food if we are talking about a pot, or for more extreme types of cooking, (for skewers) via libun, that is put through fire.
It will be made clean from non-kosher materials.

"nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of sprinkling;"
in Hebrew, Mei Niddah. They take it to mean that it should be put in the same type of water a Nidda, a menstruating woman, must go into to become pure. That is a mikvah containing 40 seah of mikvah water. Thus, a final step, even after this hagala (being placed in boiling water) or libun (fire), it needs to be put into mikvah water to be "purified." There seems thus to be some impurity involved.

"and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make to go through the water."
Still talking about metal items (!!), which COULD in theory pass through the fire. But it was not used on the fire. It was only used for cold.
An example would be a metal cup. (Though also a pot which was used irregularly, just with cold materials should have the same rule.)
For those, it should be made to go through the water, that is, cleaned thoroughly, to remove the non-kosher material from the surface. We do not need to worry about absorbed matter since it will not absorb into the walls of the vessel without heat.. Though not mentioned explicitly, the same after-procedure mentioned above, of putting it in a mikvah, applies.
Note: here is where Rashi differs, and maintains that no mention of scrubbing with water is mentioned (though of course one should still scrub them so as not to consume non-kosher food!) "ye shall make to go through the water" means dipping in the mikvah.

New Vessels
As mentioned before, Rav Sheshet does not think that dipping in the mikvah should apply to new vessels purchased from a non-Jew (basically all that we dip in the mikvah nowadays). I can see how this is connected to the verses.

The verses only spoke of vessels which had been used with fire (cooking or roasting) and which had not been used with fire (thus with cold materials) and had given a method of removing the non-kosher material, noting that even so, (ACH = however) they should still be dipped in a mikvah to finally be considered ritually pure.

Nowhere did the verses mention something that had not been used with non-kosher hot or cold food. For such a new vessel, there would be no procedure to remove non-kosher material. Thus, it was not spoken of at all by the verses. Further, perhaps this ritual uncleanliness comes from the presence of the non-kosher food, and if there was never any on it, there should be no cause to purify it.

However, Rav Nachman (citing Rabba bar Avuah) says new vessels purchased from a non-Jew must be dipped in the mikvah. If I were trying to find a source, I might look at the end of the verse - those items which did not go through fire - and point out that unused vessels also did not go through fire. Rav Nachman looks to the beginning of the verse, to those items which went through the fire. Such items, such as a skewer, were used with fire, to to remove the non-kosher food they must be placed in the fire again. (This will either cause the food to exit, because the method causing absorbsion will also cause the expulsion of the same material, or because putting it through the fire will cause the material to be consumed and thus the material will no longer exist.) When doing this libun, making it white-hot through fire, the vessel is essentially remade. If so, it is the same as a new vessel. And even though it is a new vessel, it still needs to be dipped in a mikvah. So too, a new vessel which never had non-kosher food in it will also need to be dipped in a mikvah.

Rav Sheshet objects that if this were so, then even metal items not used for food, such as shearing scissors, would require dipping. After all, you are now speaking of metal utensils which were never used with non-kosher food. And, we know that no one would suggest that such a utensil would need to be dipped.

Rav Nachman replies that the subject of the passage is vessels that are used with food. That is, the only vessels discussed in the verse are the type that are used with food. This is true, as the verse first speaks about those used in the fire to prepare food, and those used to contain cold food.

We are not told if Rav Sheshet agrees. I can see room to disagree with Rav Nachman, but in terms of current practice, we rule like Rav Nachman.

We see in this interchange that a lot relies on how the verses are interpreted. It is therefore somewhat difficult to say, as the Ramban seems to say (at the end, reversing his initial position), that dipping in the mikvah is Rabbinic in nature and the verses just serve as an asmachta=support, that is that Chazal do not actually think the verses mean what they say it means, but are using this as a mnemonic or as a device to connect the Rabbinic laws to some Scripture.

Glass vessels
Glass is not mentioned in the verse; it only mentions types of metal. However, Rav Ashi says that since they can be repaired when they break, they are like metal utensils and should require dipping in the mikvah. This is generally taken to be a Rabbinic extension to the Biblical command (or to the Ramban, an extension of the Rabbinic rule).

However, I would ask why they decided to make this Rabbinic extension. Confusion of glass with metal, since both can be fixed? This seems unlikely. Further, if this is a Rabbinic extension, why is Rav Ashi the only one to know about it? If it is Rav Ashi's own extension, why should he make such a takana?

I think Rav Ashi might be saying that glass has a Biblical requirement to be dipped. The verse spoke of metal utensils, used with hot and used with cold, but all could theoretically be put into the fire. Some need to be, and some don't, but in theory they all are capable of withstanding fire. Just as Rav Nachman said that libun remakes a metal vessel, so too, Rav Ashi might be saying, a glass vessel which is broken can be remade by putting it on the fire. It is of the same class.

Another way of looking at it: The verses state:

אַךְ אֶת-הַזָּהָב, וְאֶת-הַכָּסֶף; אֶת-הַנְּחֹשֶׁת, אֶת-הַבַּרְזֶל, אֶת-הַבְּדִיל, וְאֶת-הָעֹפָרֶת.
כָּל-דָּבָר אֲשֶׁר-יָבֹא בָאֵשׁ
"Howbeit the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead,"
"every thing that may abide the fire,"
Thus, after mentioning the various metals, it continues with the words "every thing that may abide the fire." This might be regarded as a type of ribui, extension of the rule. These rules of koshering and dipping apply to all metals, and all things like metals that "may abide the fire."

My unique reading of Rav Ashi would have repercussions in terms of how to treat vessels made of Pyrex. Pyrex is a glass able to withstand the fire in that you can cook with it. It is glass with boron = borosilicate. If glass is a rabbinic rule, they did not necessarily make this rule extend to other materials which did not exist at the time of the ruling. They might have, though, stating that anything which can be fixed is like metal. (Rabbi Tendler thinks Pyrex definitely requires dipping since the sand in Eretz Yisrael contains boron, so Chazal's glass was borosilicate.)

The same issue comes up with regards to other types of metals - newly discovered metals, such as aluminum, which are not mentioned in the verse. There are questions whether one needs to dip them in a mikvah at all, or whether they need be dipped as a Rabbinic rule, or perhaps as a Biblical rule

According to my reading of Rav Ashi, that he is deducing a Biblical rule, then glass is included in the Biblical requirement. New forms of glass should also be included, as should other types of metal, since the verse gives a rule, instead of just examples from which someone might deduce some sort of rule.

Note that other materials, like clay, would not require dipping in the mikvah.

Let us examine some of the sources. The derivation of tevilat kelim from the verses is not as straightforward as that presented above.

The gemara, in Bavli, Avodah Zara 75:
The Mishnah mentions tevilat kelim, among other types of perparing vessels.

הלוקח כלי תשמיש מן {הגוי} את שדרכו להטביל יטביל להגעיל יגעיל ללבן באור ילבן באור השפוד והאסכלא מלבנן באור הסכין שפה והיא טהורה:

The style of the Mishnah is generally not to give Scriptural sources, or reasons, for its rulings. That is left to other Tanaaitic sources, which are often cited in the gemara. However, we might be able to determine what it going through the mind of the Mishna from the way of phrasing things.

Here, it seems that the Mishna does not require tevilat kelim, dipping in a mikvah, for items which are kashered via scalding with boiling water or whitened with fire.

The Mishna might be divided stylistically into the first part, which gives a general rule, and the second part, which treats individual items.

הלוקח כלי תשמיש מן {הגוי} את שדרכו להטביל יטביל להגעיל יגעיל ללבן באור ילבן באור
"One who acquires vessels of use {J: for food} from a non-Jew: those which their way is to dip you should dip; to place in boiling water you should place in boiling water; to whiten with fire you shall whiten with fire."

The Mishna does not say what would cause each category to have its derech, method, to be that which it is. It is possible but slightly forced to say that שדרכו, its way, means its method of regular use, which would then accord with the parsing of the verse given above according to the Ramban, that כָּל-דָּבָר אֲשֶׁר-יָבֹא בָאֵשׁ means every item which was in the past used with fire, and וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָבֹא בָּאֵשׁ means that which was not used with hot foods. Then שדרכו להטביל would mean that its method of use did not involve hot foods.

Alternatively, and more likely, the Mishna is saying that there are different methods of preparing vessels purchased from a non-Jew, and each should be prepared according to its specific rules, which are partially described in the Mishna and partially described elsewhere. The derivation of these rules is left to other Tanaaitic sources, as is the general style of the Mishna.

The Mishna seems to suggest that tevila, dipping, is something done to one class of vessels (those whose way is to be dipped). Other vessels are prepared via scalding or whitening in fire. However, the Mishna writes all this in a shorthand, without elaboration, and so it is equally acceptable to read the Mishna that those vessels which are only prepared via dipping shall be only dipped. Those which require more extreme methods of preparation will have those other methods done to it. But that preparation may very well also include dipping in the mikvah at the end. The Mishna is written in shorthand, with the details expected to be filled in by knowledge of other Oral and Written sources.

(One other possibility I thought I would mention is that perhaps tevila here in the Mishna does not mean dipping in a mikvah, but rather washing well with water.)

The Mishna finishes by giving specific examples:

השפוד והאסכלא מלבנן באור הסכין שפה והיא טהורה
The skewer and the grill you whiten in fire. The knife may be polished and it is pure (=cleansed of non-kosher material)

The gemara begins by citing another Tanaaitic source which talks about tevilat kelim, to say that all the classes of items, even those cleansed of non-kosher food via scalding or fire, still require dipping in the mikvah.

תנא וכולן צריכין טבילה בארבעים סאה
מנהני מילי?
אמר רבא דאמר קרא (במדבר לא) כל דבר אשר יבא באש תעבירו באש וטהר. הוסיף לך הכתוב טהרה אחרת תני בר קפרא מתוך שנאמר (במדבר לא) במי נדה שומע אני שצריך הזאה שלישי ושביעי ת"ל אך חלק א"כ מה ת"ל במי נדה מים שנדה טובלת בהן הוי אומר ארבעים סאה
"We learned (in a Tanaaitic source a continuation of the Mishna): And they all need immersion in 40 seah.
From where do we know these words?
Rava said, that it states in the verse, "every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make to go through the fire, and it shall be clean" {veTaher}. {Thus besides the explicit cleansing through fire/scalding,} the Scriptures adds for you another methodology of cleansing/purification {which must be done.}
Bar Kappara taught {a Tanaaitic source}: From the words of the verse BeMei Niddah {literally "with the water of sprinkling} I would understand that it requires sprinkling {with the water of the Red Heifer = Para Aduma} on the 3rd and 7th day. Therefore the verse states {and intoduces the statement with the word} אך, "except," to make it distinct {from the other places where it does mean the water of the Para Aduma}.
If so, what does BeMei Niddah mean {if not the sprinkling of the Para Aduma water}? Water that a Niddah/menstruous woman immerses in them. That is to say, in 40 seah."

Bar Kappara was a late Tanna - he was the student of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, who ordered the Mishna, and the teacher of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, an early Amora. Rava is a 4th generation Babylonian Amora. Both give derivations for the requirement to immerse vessels in a mikvah.

Were each of these sources unaware of the other? This is, was Rava unaware of the brayta of Bar Kappara? It is possible - Amoraim can generally only be sure to know Mishnayot, while a specific brayta may elude them. Was Bar Kappara unaware of Rava's derivation? Well, Rava seems to innovate this derivation, in that he does not cite a brayta for it, or attribute it to an earlier generation. While Rava was surely finding the source for the earlier halacha recorded in the Mishna and brayta, it is possible that Bar Kappara was unaware of this derivation.

The next segment of gemara is an unattributed statement in Aramaic - what is known as the stama degemara. This may very well be post-Amoraic. It harmonizes Bar Kappara's derivation and Rava's derivation, showing why each is needed.

However, the simple reading of the statements of Rava and Bar Kappara would have them arguing.

Bar Kappara's derivation requires a radical reinterpretation of the words Mei Niddah, from waters of Para Aduma to a mikvah that a Niddah immerses in. On the plus side, the immersion is read directly into the verse, as an addition purification after scalding/whitening with fire. That is, there is a straightforward reading, on a quasi-pshat level. On the minus side, it is a radical reinterpretation of those words, and so we can see how Rava would like to give a different derivation.

Rava's derivation, from the extra word "veTaher," is that rather than meaning that at the completion of the aforementioned process it will be purified, the word means that afterwards one must take an additional step to purify it. On the plus side, the words "BeMei Niddah Yitchata" are not radically reinterpreted. This is an important point. They actually mean that the waters of the Para Aduma should be sprinkled on the vessel on the 3rd and the 7th day, because of impurity from contact with dead bodies. The same purification which was added parenthetically here for things going through the fire would apply equally to those not going through the fire. Just the word veTaher implies that some other purification must be done. On the minus side, there is no specification what this additional purification should be, so it is left to Oral tradition that this refers to immersion in a mikvah of 40 seah.

So, we can see why Bar Kappara and Rava each prefer his own derivation, and each can know of the possibility of the other's derivation.

The explanation of the verse I initially gave thus follows Bar Kappara and ignores Rava.

The stama though likes to harmonize, and he shows why each of these drashot are required.

איצטריך למיכתב וטהר ואיצטריך למיכתב במי נדה
אי כתב וטהר ה"א וטהר כל דהו כתב רחמנא במי נדה
ואי כתב רחמנא במי נדה הוה אמינא הערב שמש כנדה כתב רחמנא וטהר לאלתר
"It was required to write veTaher {Rava's source} and it was required to write BeMei Niddah {bar Kappara's source.}
If it had only written veTaher, I would have beleived any amount {of water would suffice. After all, the method of purification is not mentioned. Therefore} the Merciful One wrote BeMei Niddah {so that I know 40 seah are required.}
And had the Merciful One only written BeMei Niddah I would have beleived that sunset {would be required for it to become pure} just as is the case by a Niddah. Therefore the Merciful one wrote veTaher, {to show that the purification happens} immediately.

However, what did Bar Kappara do until Rava came along with his drasha? Rather, I think it is as i suggested and there is actually a dispute.

Next, the interchange between Rav Nachman and Rav Sheshet, two Amoraim, about new vessels.

אמר רב נחמן אמר רבה בר אבוה אפי' כלים חדשים במשמע דהא ישנים וליבנן כחדשים דמו ואפילו הכי בעי טבילה
מתקיף לה רב ששת אי הכי אפי' זוזא דסרבלא נמי
א"ל כלי סעודה אמורין בפרשה
"Rav Nachman cited Rabba bar Avuah: even new vessels are implied {in the verse}. For behold, old vessels which are whitened through fire are like new, and even so need immersion in a mikvah.
Rav Sheshet asked, if so, even shearing scissors
{which are not used with non-kosher food, or for that matter, food} would also! {And since this is clearly not so, new vessels are not implied.}
He said to him, {shearing scissors are not also implied, since only} vessels for a meal are stated in the passage."

See my explanation of this, above, under the heading "New Vessels."

What about non-metallic items? Earthen vessels and glass:

רב יצחק בר יוסף זבן מנא דמרדא {מגוי} סבר להטבילה
א"ל ההוא מרבנן ורבי יעקב שמיה לדידי מפרשא לי מיניה דרבי יוחנן כלי מתכות אמורין בפרשה
אמר רב אשי הני כלי זכוכית הואיל וכי נשתברו יש להן תקנה ככלי מתכות דמו
"Rav Yitzchak bar Yosef bought a vessel from a gentile made from a mixture of earth and animal dung, and thought to immerse it.
A certain one of the rabbis, and Rabbi Yaakov was his name, said, To me it was explained from Rabbi Yochanan that
{only} metal vessels are spoken of in the passage {note the similarily of this last phrase to "only vessels of the meal are spoken of in the passage.}
Rav Ashi said, these glass vessels, since when they break they have a way of fixing them, they are akin to metal vessels."

I have explained above how I want to understand Rav Ashi's statement, as part of the items mentioned in the verse.

Finally, a brayta:

ת"ר הלוקח כלי תשמיש מן הגוים
דברים שלא נשתמש בהן מטבילן והן טהורין
דברים שנשתמש בהן ע"י צונן כגון כוסות וקתוניות וצלוחיות מדיחן ומטבילן והם טהורין
דברים שנשתמש בהן ע"י חמין כגון היורות הקומקמוסון ומחמי חמין מגעילן ומטבילן והן טהורין
דברים שנשתמש בהן ע"י האור כגון השפודין והאסכלאות מלבנן ומטבילן והן טהורין
וכולן שנשתמש בהן עד שלא יטביל ושלא יגעיל ושלא ילבן תני חדא אסור ותניא אידך מותר
"We learned in a brayta, One who acquires vessels of {meal} use from non-Jews:
Things which were not used
{= new vessels} immerse them and they are pure.
Things which were used with cold, for example cups, jugs, and flasks, rinse them and then immerse them and they are pure.
Things which are used with hot, for example boilers, kettles and heating vessels, scald them and then immerse them and they are pure.
Things which are used with fire, for example skewers and grills, whiten them with fire and then immerse them and they are pure.
And all of them
{the above} which you do not immerse and which you do not scald and which you do not whiten in fire - one Tanaaitic source says it is forbidden and the other says it is permitted.

This brayta is structured after the Mishna, and explains what each of the cryptic phrases,

את שדרכו להטביל יטביל להגעיל יגעיל ללבן באור ילבן באור השפוד והאסכלא מלבנן באור הסכין שפה והיא טהורה
"One who acquires vessels of use {J: for food} from a non-Jew: those which their way is to dip you should dip; to place in boiling water you should place in boiling water; to whiten with fire you shall whiten with fire."

that is, those whose way is to dip, etc., is explained to refer to a certain class of vessel, which is used not at all, or with cold, or with hot, or with fire, with examples of each. The last one, those used with fire, even has its examples mentioned in the Mishna as well.

Something however seems a bit off. To channel Sesame Street, One of these things is not like the others, and three of these things are kind of the same. Can you guess which one is not like the others?

Three of these things - vessels used with cold, with hot, and with fire, have examples of the class of items belonging to it. Only one - new, unused vessels, does not have examples. Of course, it cannot really have examples, since it is a class which spans all of the other classes, since any of them can possibly have not been used.

New, unused vessels stand out in another way as well. Rav Sheshet seems to think that new, unused vessels should not require immersion. How can he argue with a Tanaaitic source like this brayta. And why does Rav Nachman only cite Rabba bar Avuah, and not refer to this brayta as an authoritative backup even when challenged by Rav Sheshet?

Vessels used with cold items also stand out, but in a different way. To cite the end of the brayta, in its two forms: "And all of them {the above} which you do not immerse and which you do not scald and which you do not whiten in fire - one Tanaaitic source says it is forbidden and the other says it is permitted."

Thus, if you miss out on a method of cleansing, depending on which version of the brayta, it is either forbidden or permitted. But what are these methods of cleansing? Immersing, scalding, and whitening in fire. One method of cleansing is missing from this list! That is, rinsing. Remember, those items used with cold should be rinsed and then immersed. Thus, items used with cold are not like the others.

It gets trickier. Why should they be permitted, or forbidden, if you neglected to clean them? The gemara explains the reason. There is a dispute whether non-kosher foods which impart an unpleasant taste to the food cause the food to be forbidden or not. Since this is old food in the container, it imparts an unpleasant taste to the food.

This explanation is difficult in the first place, because it only works for things which need be cleansed via scalding or whitening on the fire. But what about immersing? Forgetting to immerse the item has no effect on the food cooked or prepared in it! Immersing is just for ritual purity, not cleansing from non-kosher food.

Furthermore, we saw that each class - cold, hot, and fire - had some cleansing method plus immersion in a mikvah. For cold it is rinsing; for hot, scalding; for fire, whitening in fire. Yet the Mishna gives these three classes and says those which the way is to immerse you immerse; those which you scald you scald; those which you whiten in fire you whiten. What happened to rinsing in the Mishna!?

I posit the following. There is a difference in terminology, and some late-editing of some Tanaaitic sources in an attempt to clarify matters.

Specifically, I posit that tevila as used initially in the Mishna and in this most recent brayta means rinsing, not immersion in a mikvah. Thus, the Mishna: Those which are cleansed via tevila = rinsing should be rinsed. Those via scalding should be scalded. Those via whitening on the fire should be whitened on the fire. No mention whatsoever is made in the Mishna of immersion in a mikvah.

Therefore, the first thing the gemara did was bring a brayta that said that all of them additionally needed to be immersed in a mikvah of 40 seah. Originally we thought this was only extending immersion to the latter two classes in the Mishnah, but now we see that it was adding this ritual immersion to all three classes. It specifies in 40 seah in part to distinguish it from the tevila mentioned in the Mishna.

In this brayta we just discussed, they wanted to say that for each class, you would take action X, plus immersion, and then it is pure. Ideally you would use the same terminology for rinsing used in the Mishna, מטבילן, to describe this cleansing. However, this would cause confusion between the two types of tevila, and so they changed it to מדיחן.

However, in the summary of the brayta, where it says that if you neglected a type of cleansing it is either permitted or forbidden, it used and kept the Tanaaitic language of the Mishna, where tevila is actually rinsing. Thus, the method of actually removing non-kosher food from the item is described. Thus, if you neglected to remove the food in one of these ways, one can say on all of them tha they are either forbidden or permitted. But removing ritual uncleanliness via immersion in a mikva is out of place in the list. One might accurately discribe the dispute, in its totality, in terms of whether imparting unpleasant non-kosher taste to a food will forbid another food. With tevila here meaning rinsing, the list of actions once again matches the list of actions mentioned in the Mishna.

But why would the terminology change within the same brayta? Would the author not realize it would be confusing? After all, if tevila means immersion in the resha and rinsing in the sefa, the terminology is inconsistent!

I would suggest that the change in terminology, and the use of מדיחן in the resha, is not original.

This brayta is patterned after, and is an explanation of, the Mishna. The Mishna does not mention immersion in a mikva at all. The brayta wished to explain what each of these three classes are. Therefore, the brayta would not have mentioned unused vessels, which only require immersion in the mikva. The brayta would speak only of the three classes of items, of cold, hot, and fire, and give examples of each, together with how to cleanse them of the non-kosher food items.

For cold, it would give examples of cups, jugs, and jugs, and say that they must be rinsed. The word used to describe rinsing would be tevila. For hot, it would give examples of boilers, kettles and heating vessels, and say that they require scalding. For fire, it would give examples of skewers and grills, and say that they require whitening on the fire. No mention of tevila, that is immersion in the mikva, existed.

Then, it was edited. The first brayta brought in the gemara mentioned that all of the above required tevila in a mikva of 40 seah. So, some hand edited the brayta for each of the three classes, and added tevila in a mikva, that is the words מטבילן והן טהורין, immerse them and they are ritually pure, in order to bring the brayta in line with actual practice, and in harmony with the other brayta. However, this caused a problem, in that tevila was already used to describe rinsing. Thus, the hand that added מטבילן והן טהורין changed the pre-existing tevila in the brayta to be explicitly rinsing - מדיחן. He neglected to change the pre-existing tevila in the sefa, since it was not in direct conflict with his addition. This is what caused the confusion, both in this brayta and by extension to our Mishna.

Once we have immersion in a mikva, we can describe things which do not need any prior cleansing as well. Thus, a later hand, which saw Rav Nachman's statement about unused, new vessels purchased from a gentile, could describe their method of preparation and removal of ritual impurity, as mere immersion in a mikva. This is a change which violently moves the brayta from being just an interpretation/elaboration of the Mishna, since there is a new case undiscussed by the Mishan. Or, to my mind more likely, this was not a later hand than the first editor, but was actually was the same hand as above. The addition of new vessels was the impetus for changing the brayta, and since this established the baseline of immersion in the mikva, all the other cases in the brayta had to have that procedure added to them as well.

Since this case of new vessels was not original to the brayta, Rav Sheshet and Rav Nachman would not have known about it. In fact, I mentioned this addition was in all likelihood the result of Rav Nachman's statement.

A possible halachic repercussion from all of this. May food prepared in non-immersed vessels be used, or are they forbidden? Current understanding of this question is correct in that this is not an issue of imparting unpleasant taste, but that perhaps the ritual impurity of the vessel, and the fact that you neglected to do what the Torah/Chazal commanded you causes the food prepared in it to be forbidden.

However, the source for saying the food would be forbidden was the brayta, which depending on which version says either permitted or forbidden. And, we see that when the brayta speaks of tevila it means rinsing. This means that there is no source to say that food in a new vessel, which does not require rinsing, but which did not have immersion in a mikva, should be forbidden. Thus I would say it would absolutely be permitted.

There is a lot more in the gemara, but I will leave it at this. It is a very interesting sugya all around.

Finally, the Ramban:

תַּעֲבִירוּ בָאֵשׁ וְטָהֵר. אין הכלי שנגע במת או בנבלה נטהר באש, שאין טבילת התורה אלא במים, ולפיכך הוצרכו רבותינו (ע"ז עה:) לפרש שזו הטהרה להגעילם מאיסורי המאכלות שבלעו ביד הגוים, וזה אמת בלי ספק:
"ye shall make to go through the fire, and it shall be clean/pure" A vessel which comes in contact with a dead person or animal is not made ritually pure with fire, for the immersion of the Torah is only with water. And therefore Our Rabbis (in Avoda Zara 75b) were compelled to explain that this purification is the cleansing of them from the forbidden foods that they absorbed in the hands of the gentiles, and this is truth without a doubt.

Thus, initially the Ramban treats this as absolute pshat, the simple reading of the verse. Then, he relies on the gemara, and the braytot mentioned earlier (that of Bar Kapara and the second, edited one), to explain the verses. First, he cites Rashi.

וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָבֹא בָּאֵשׁ. כל דבר שאין תשמישו ע"י האור כגון כוסות וצלוחיות וקיתונות שתשמישן בצונן ולא בלעו איסור, תעבירו במים, מטבילן ודיו, לשון רש"י.
"and all that abideth not the fire" - that is, everything whose method of use is not on the fire - for example cups and jugs and flasks, that their use is with cold, and they did not absorb forbidden foods: "ye shall make to go through the water" - that is, you immerse them in a mikva and that is sufficient. This was the language of Rashi.

Indeed, this is the language of Rashi on the gemara as well. The statement that immersion is enough somewhat accords with what I claim is the wrong reading of the Mishna, but it is strange in that he says immersion is enough, when according to the second brayta, hadacha, rinsing, has to be done first. Luckily, Ramban disagrees with Rashi, and will read the verse to require this rinsing:

ואינו נכון בעיני, שאין לשון "תעבירו" טבילה, כי היה אומר "תביאו במים" שהוא לשון הטבילה, כמו בַּמַּיִם יוּבָא וְטָמֵא עַד-הָעֶרֶב, וְטָהֵר (ויקרא יא לב). ועוד שאף הכלים שתשמישן בצונן צריכין הכשר מן האיסור שבהן מלבד הטבילה הזו, ואיך לא יזכיר הכשרן כאשר עשה בבאים באש. וכשלמדו חכמים טבילה זו לא הזכירו בה המקרא הזה, אלא דרשו (ע"ז שם) אך במי נדה יתחטא, מים שהנדה טובלת בהם. אבל פירוש "תעבירו במים", לכבסם ולשפשף אותם במים יפה עד שתסור חלודה שנדבקה מהם מן האיסור שנשתמש בהם, שזהו הכשרן מן האיסור:
And it {Rashi's explanation} is not correct in my eyes, for the terminology "תעבירו" - "ye shall make to go through the water" does not accord with the language of immersion {in a mikva}, for it should say "you shall bring it in water" which is a language of immersion, as the verse in Vayikra states, "in the water it must be placed it will be impure until evening, and it will be pure."
And firther, the vessels used with cold need a kashering from the prohibited foods in them aside from this immersion in a mikva, and how does the verse not mention their method of kashering as it does by the passing through fire?
And when the Chachamim deduced this immersion in the mikva they did not mention this part of the verse, but rather they deduce from אך במי נדה יתחטא, "nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of sprinkling = Mei Niddah" - waters that a Niddah immerses therein.
{Note: this is of course only Bar Kappara, not Rava, but recall that the stama harmonized the two.}
But rather the explanation of "ye shall make to go through the water" is to wash them and rinse them with water, very well, until you remove that which is stuck in (rust??), which is attached to it from the forbidden foods which it was used with, for this is their kashering from the prohibited food.

יאמר הכתוב, דבר שתשמישו באש תביאו באש כדרך שהיה התשמיש בו באיסורו, אם תשמישו באור ממש כגון הברזל והנחשת וגם הכסף והזהב מלבנו באור, ואם ע"י חמין כגון הבדיל והעופרת מגעילו בחמין, ודבר שלא נשתמשו בו באש אלא בצונן תדיחו אותו במים עד שיתמרק ויטהר. וכך אמרו חכמים (שם), מדיחן ומטבילן והן טהורים:
The Scriptures say, an item whose use is with fire you shall put into fire, in the manner in which it was used with the prohibited item. If it was used with actual fire, like the iron and copper, and also the silver and the gold, whiten it with fire. And if via hot water, as with tin and lead, you scald it with hot water. And an item which was not used with fire, but rather with cold foods, you should rinse it with water until it is removed, and then purify it. And so say the Chachamim {there in Avodah Zarah, the brayta}, you rinse them and immerse them and they are pure.

ולשון ספרי (מטות נ), תעבירו באש, כגון הסכינין מפני כוית הגוים, וכל אשר לא יבא באש, כגון הכוסות, תעבירו במים מפני גיעול הגוים. ולא הוצרך הכתוב לחזור ולהזכיר הטבילה, שכבר הזכיר אותה אך במי נדה יתחטא, ואחרי פליטת האיסור כולם שוים בדין הטבילה:
And the language of the Sifre: "You shall pass them through fire" - such as knives, because of the mark of fire (absorption on the fire) of the gentiles. "and all that does not go in the fire" - such as the cups, "you shall pass through water" because of the the dirt (non-kosher food on the surface of the vessels) from the gentiles.

And the verse need not go back and mention the immersion, for it already mentioned it when it said אך במי נדה יתחטא, "nevertheless it should be immersed in water for a Niddah," and after the expulsion of the prohibited matter all of them are equal in the law of immersion.

In the next two paragraphs, Ramban reverses himself, and thinks everything is an asmachta, a mere hint to Rabbinic law. This is in part due to Onkelos, but also perhaps in part due to the fact that the stama degemara harmonized Rava and Bar Kappara's take on these psukim.

ולבי מהרהר עוד, לומר שהטבילה הזו מדבריהם והמקרא אסמכתא עשו אותו, וכן אונקלוס מתרגם אותו בחטוי הזאה של אפר פרה, והצריכו אותה חכמים בכלי המתכות בלבד מפני שיש בהם כלים שתשמישן באור ובכלי ראשון ובכלי שני ובצונן, וזה צריך תלמוד:
And my heart thinks further, to say that this immersion is Rabbinic and the Scriptural text they made an asmachta - support. And so too Onkelos translates it as sprinkling with the asher of the {Red} Heifer. And the Chachamim required it for metal vessels only because there is in them vessels which are used with fire and kli rishon and kli sheni and with cold, and this needs {further} study.

I have trouble seeing all this as asmachta, because I see a lot of the drashot in the gemara are based on the specific language of the verses, and there is argument based on the specific implication of the verse. I'm thinking here about glass, and about new vessels. The fact that Onkelos gives an alternative reading of the pasuk does not mean that Chazal don't consider this Biblical. First, you can say that Onkelos is pshat and Chazal are saying drash, but perhaps Ramban's attitude towards pshat and drash precludes this.

Alternatively, you can say that Onkelos reflects Rava's derivation of tevilat kelim. Recall that his derivation did less damage to the pshat of the psukim, and as I wrote above, you can still claim that Ach BeMei Niddah Yitchata means the ashes of the Red Heifer, since the drasha is from veTaher. However, once the stama degemara harmonizes Rava with Bar Kappara and says that both are required, Ramban can no longer say that Onkelos paskens like Rava, that is, like one side of the machloket.

Finally Ramban discusses why this was relevant suddenly here, by the fight with Midyan, and not earlier by the fight with Sichon and Og.

והזהיר אותם עתה בהגעלת כלי מדין מאיסורי הגוים, ולא אמר להם זה מתחלה בכלי סיחון ועוג שלקחו גם שללם, כמו שאמר (דברים ב לה) רק הבהמה בזזנו לנו ושלל הערים אשר לכדנו. והטעם, כי סיחון ועוג מלכי האמורי הם וארצם מנחלת ישראל היא, והותר להם כל שללם אפילו האיסורים דכתיב (שם ו יא) ובתים מלאים כל טוב אשר לא מלאת, ואמרו רבותינו (חולין יז.) קדלי דחזירי אשתרי להו, אבל מדין לא היה משלהם ולא לקחו את ארצם, רק לנקום נקמתם הרגו אותם ולקחו שללם ולכך נהג האיסור בכליהם. וכן בדין הטומאה שהזהירם עתה (בפסוק יט) ואתם חנו מחוץ למחנה שבעת ימים וגו', כי מלחמת סיחון ועוג בה היו כל ישראל וטומאה הותרה בצבור. ועל דרך הפשט, הזהירם ואתם חנו מחוץ למחנה שבעת ימים ותתחטאו כדי שלא יטמאו את העם, אבל שם כולם היו שוים בדבר:
And He warned them now in the scalding (koshering via hag'ala) of the vessels of Midyan from forbidden foods of gentiles, and did not tell them originally, by the vessels of Shichon and Og when they too captured their spoils, as it states, "Only the animals we have despoiled and the spoil of the cities which we have captured." And the reason is that Sichon and Og were Kings of the Emorites, and their land is from the inheritance of the Israelites, and all their spoils were permitted to them, even the prohibited items, as it says, "and houses full of all good, which you did not fill" {but were filled by their previous inhabitants}. And our Rabbis said (Chullin 17a), "lard was permitted to them." However, as regards Midyan, it was not of theirs (inheritance-wise) and they did not take their land, but only to take vengeance they killed them and took their spoils. And therefore they concerned themselves with the prohibited foods in their vessed. And so to in the law of ritual impurity, that they are warned now, "and you, encamp outside of the camp for seven days, etc.," for regarding the battle of Sichon and Og, all of the Israelites were in it, and ritual impurity is permitted when the entire community is ritually impure.
And by way of pshat, he warned them, "and you, encamp outside the camp for seven days and be sprinkled," in order that they should not render impure the (rest of) the nation, but there {in the battle of Sichon and Og} they were all equal in the matter . {That is, they were already impure.}


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