Academies of Shem and Ever
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- This topic has 54 replies, 18 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 10 months ago by Charles Short.
April 23, 2013 3:37 pm at 3:37 pm #609127dumlatMember
In pikei avos i recently read Jacob as being known as a ‘man of the tents/ man who dwells in tents’ or in other words that he studied at the acadmies of shem and ever. Curious but since this is before the giving of the torah on sinai, what is it that he studied or learned there? thanksApril 23, 2013 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #950647
the torah existed before the world was created! he studied the same torah we have nowadays! the same gemara the same chumashApril 23, 2013 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #950648on the ballParticipant
dafyomi2711: Really – the same Gemara and same Chumash? Ok – so how come he didn’t know what happened to Yosef? Why didn’t he just look in the Torah to find out?April 23, 2013 5:12 pm at 5:12 pm #950649
on the ball i guess your name says it all very good question i guess the chumash must have been a little different or he just studied the halachos and the mitzvos of the torah chazal say the avos kept kol hatorah kula!April 23, 2013 5:18 pm at 5:18 pm #950650
There are different ways to read “yosheiv ohalim.” It can mean tents for shepherding and sleeping al pi seforno and others, or al pi rashi it’s a tent of Torah.
But as on the ball says, it’s hard to imagine yaakov learned the whole Torah and Gemara. What would zechiras amalek mean to him, for example? I prefer to say that intuitively yaakov was a tzadik who knew right from wrong, emes, and was able to communicate with Hashem. He was so great, he didn’t even need the hora’ah from the Torah in order to be a good person!April 23, 2013 5:22 pm at 5:22 pm #950651
They don’t mean literary kol hatorah kula,
did he write a sefer Torah?
Was he mekayem michiyas amalek? zechiras amalek?
Was he mikayem sipur yetziyas Mitzrayim?
At any rate your statement “he studied the same torah we have nowadays! the same gemara the same chumash” Cannot be correct, as you conceded in your second comment “chumash must have been a little different”April 23, 2013 5:27 pm at 5:27 pm #950652
Yaakov married two sisters. Shouldn’t he have learned that was assur from reading his sefer Torah he wrote?April 23, 2013 5:39 pm at 5:39 pm #950653
it was before the torah was given to klal yisroelApril 23, 2013 5:44 pm at 5:44 pm #950654
…. But he learned kol hatorah kulah!April 23, 2013 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #950655
and he learned that it was mutar before the torah was given to klal yisroel!besides he saw it was written in the torah that was supposed to marry four sisters so he did!April 23, 2013 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #950656on the ballParticipant
I think the answer may be that the Torah indeed was the same but (for want of a better phrase) formatted differently. This could be along the lines of the Ramban who in his introduction to Chumash states the the Torah was initially a long string of letters all consisting of Hashem’s names. Also, Chazal tell us that when Moshe went to receive the Torah the Malachim asked Hashem if they could keep it in Shomayim for themselves. Their desire/need for the Torah must have been totally different to ours – and maybe for Yaakov too.April 23, 2013 6:15 pm at 6:15 pm #950657
not bad on the ball well said! it says hashem looked in the torah and created the world he orchestrated all of the events in history based on what it said in the torah thats what i believe is the real answer.April 23, 2013 7:27 pm at 7:27 pm #950658LanderTalmidParticipant
The Avos did not have the torah as we have it. There are deeper reasons to the laws of the torah. This is what the avos knew and kept as it says that Avraham ate matzos eventhough there was no yitzias mitzrayim yet. However the “stories” in the torah were not known by the Avos, or else Yaakov would have known that Yosef was alive. Even Moshe who learnt the “entire” torah did not know that in the future he would do the aveirah at mei merivah, or else he wouldn’t have done it.April 23, 2013 9:42 pm at 9:42 pm #950659R.T.Participant
The Torah of the Avos is the same Torah as today. Part of the answer may lie in the fact that the Avos had a very unique and perceptive ability/intellect (far beyond ours) which could “see” or “experience” different realities.
Let me explain (L’havdil):
We know that ‘white light’ consists of many colors, from red to violet. Those are the colors that we can see. But we all know that there are emissions of light that exist below red (infra-red, etc…) and beyond violet (ultra-violet, etc…) We can’t “see” them, yet, it is all part of the same light.
The Avos had the ability to study ‘beyond’ what our intellect could grasp.April 23, 2013 9:48 pm at 9:48 pm #950660OneOfManyParticipant
octarineApril 24, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am #950661Torah613TorahParticipant
dumlat, it’s not in my version of Pirkei Avos. Maybe Avos D’Rabbi Nosson? Avos D’Rabi Eliezer?April 24, 2013 8:14 am at 8:14 am #950662
rationalfrummy, practically any Meforash Al Hatorah discusses why he married two sisters.
As LanderTalmid said, the Avos studied what was passed down through the generations and what was added to it. They studied the secrets of the Torah. They also had a Mesora on the Halachos, as Chazal say about Noach.
Don’t confuse Torah with Sefer Torah. Chazal say that the creation started with the ?, and the Torah started with the ?. Torah means Hashem’s instructions. That is what they studied.April 24, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm #950663ChortkovParticipant
I saw once in a sefer brought out of questions asked on the Parsha to R’ Chaim Kanievsky (??? ???? i think), and somebody asked him this question. He answered that ???? learnt “??? ???”.
I say he probably learnt the ??? ????? ??? ?? – enought halochos and lomdus to spend fourteen years on.April 24, 2013 3:59 pm at 3:59 pm #950664
Yekke, so he learned less than Noach?April 24, 2013 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm #950665
If you want a glimpse of what they learned, they had Sefer Raziel, Sifra Ditzniusa, Sefer Yetzira and Sifra Dichanoch. They studied the ways of Hashem and how it applies.
Chazal say that Noach studies Kashrus. Tosafos says that Noach even added to our Hilchos Kashrus; it was he who observed that no Kosher bird is Doress. Obviously they didn’t have all Halachos, since it says that Avraham Avinu figured out all the Mitzvos. Even Moshe Rabbeinu, after the Torah was given, was still missing a few Mitzvos — Inyana Deyoma (Pesach Sheini).
It was the opposite of today. Before the Torah was given, they learned the reasons first. If they were moved enough to act on it, and the situation allowed, they would do the Mitzva, in whatever form was appropriate — the way we deal with Minhagim and Inyanim. We, on the other hand, must first follow the Halacha with all its details. Then, if we are ready to move further, we delve into the significance of the Mitzva and what we can derive from it, or be Mechaven.
This can help explain an apparent Stira in Medrashim. On the one hand it says that the Malachim came to Avraham Avinu on Pesach. On the other hand it says that Avraham Avinu’s Mila was on Yom Kippur, and the Malachim came three days later. But it can be that Avraham Avinu kept Pesach in Chodesh Tishrei, which is a special Chodesh, since it wasn’t a Zecher to Yetzias Mitzrayim, anyhow.April 24, 2013 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm #950666
Did the avos shake lulavim, put on tefillin, remember amalek, or take maaser?April 24, 2013 4:43 pm at 4:43 pm #950667
haleivi but why did he keep pesach on yud tishrei and not on tes vav tishrei?April 24, 2013 4:43 pm at 4:43 pm #950668yichusdikParticipant
Haleivi, my father z’l always said, if you take every midrash at face value, you’re a tipesh, and if you take none of them at face value, you’re also a tipesh. So if there’s a stira in midrashim, I wouldn’t lose sleep over it.
Nonetheless, I have to ask, if “pesach” was kept by Avrohom Ovinu in Tishrei, the more fundamental question to ask isn’t about when he celebrated, but what was he celebrating? “asher posach” related solely to the malach hamoves passing over the doorways of the Jews because they marked them with the blood of the korban pesach; “Vehigadeto levincho…ki bayom hazeh osoh h’ li betzeisi mmitzrayim,” but he was before, and couldn’t say as we do he was liberated from a place where he wasn’t enslaved, and his ancestors werent enslaved. Matzo – he could have eaten it, sure, it but it wouldn’t have been in memory of a swift departure wth no time to rise.
All of these mitzva rationales are of fundamental importance to us, ex post facto, but would be meaningless before the event, so what reason would he have had to celebrate davka “Pesach” at any time of year?April 24, 2013 4:53 pm at 4:53 pm #950669WolfishMusingsParticipant
The Torah of the Avos is the same Torah as today. Part of the answer may lie in the fact that the Avos had a very unique and perceptive ability/intellect (far beyond ours) which could “see” or “experience” different realities.
So, again, the question is put to you: Ya’akov Avinu could “see” or “experience” different realities in the Torah with his perceptive abilities that are far beyond ours and yet but couldn’t read the pasuk that said that Yosef was alive and well in Egypt?
The WolfApril 24, 2013 4:56 pm at 4:56 pm #950670ToiParticipant
yichusdik- i think your questions point to the mehalchim of the chassidim in understanding yomim tovim and why they are special. check out the classics on pesach and youll understand, at least partially, what they could have been making a yom tov over.April 24, 2013 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #950671
Wolf- these are different levels of perception. Intellectually, yaakov might have been able to learn at a tremendous level, and understood the secrets of Torah.
Emotionally, yaakov didn’t have nevuah and thought Yosef was dead. He did not have ruach hakodesh- he was just intuitively brilliant and understood the sodos of life and Torah. How much greater that he did it all without nevuaj but with his own kop!April 24, 2013 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #950672R.T.Participant
Wolf: Good question. It may be that Yaakov was alive (physically) in Mitzrayim and that’s all well and good, but spiritually, disconnected from his father, which is a type of death.April 24, 2013 5:25 pm at 5:25 pm #950673
Yichusdik, a good initial approach to funny looking Agadetta is to understand that we don’t undertand was is meant. The next level is to not ignore the Torah Chazal are trying to teach us, but to learn it. Many Sefarim explain Maamarei Chazal on different levels, but ignoring it is not an option.
Your suggestion, not to take it literaly, is exactly what I just did. I explained that it wasn’t our Yom Tov of Pesach and it wasn’t the time of Pesach.
As to the Matza, which is what Chazal say was the intention of the Ugos, Toi answered appropriately enough. The Mitzvos are deeper than merely being a memory. The Maharal writed in Gevuros Hashem, that if it were for the memory alone, there were many options of what to set. Also, he writes, there is no physical memory for the Mann, which is so important that Moshe Rabbeinu had to put some away for the generations. The Maharal writes that these Mitzvos, like Sukka and Matza, are like other Mitzvos — whose reasoning is far beyong us — but it was connected to the memory.
In a straightforward approach, Avraham Avinu had Matza just like we had it in Mitzraim. In Mitzrayim it was for the Emuna of what Hashem will do for us. Avraham Avinu was always praying for the future and his Mitzvos revolved around the future rather than the past.April 24, 2013 5:37 pm at 5:37 pm #950674
I can’t believe the first approach to midrash is saying you won’t understand it. The authors of these brilliant works were people who wanted to be understood and who wanted klal yisroel to learn from their Torah. How could you claim they were elitist and aren’t going to be understood?April 24, 2013 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #950675WolfishMusingsParticipant
Wolf: Good question. It may be that Yaakov was alive (physically) in Mitzrayim and that’s all well and good, but spiritually, disconnected from his father, which is a type of death.
I think you meant Yosef.
But in any event, it doesn’t answer the question. You said that the Avos had the same Torah today and that they understood on levels and planes that we can’t. That’s all fine and well, but still, Ya’akov was able to read, correct? If he had the same Torah that we do, (and with a much greater understanding) then why didn’t he know Yosef was alive by a simple reading of the pesukim.
The WolfApril 24, 2013 6:13 pm at 6:13 pm #950676
Well done, wolf. You’ve proved midrash in are more nuanced and complex than they appear. Rambam was pretty clear about that 800 years ago. Want a cookie? 🙂April 24, 2013 6:38 pm at 6:38 pm #950677
Rational, when we learn Perek Mocher Ess Hasfina, we aren’t supposed to deduce that you can find ducks that are oversized. You are supposed to learn such Sugyos with the awe of seeing how far their language is from yours. These Sugyos give us a perspective into a depth that we will otherwise not encounter.
Also, being that what is written is completely true, although not about a duck you will bump into anytime soon, we learn it and what goes in goes in.
And, like other areas in Shas, you try to delve into it and take out what you can, whether in the form of Mussar, theology, Chassidus, philosophy, Pilpul, or even Kepshuto as long as you don’t run with it.April 24, 2013 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm #950678
Did the avos shake lulavim, put on tefillin, remember amalek, or take maaser?
According to what we learn that the Avos, or at least Avraham Avinu, kept the Torah there is no reason to think that he didn’t keep Lulav. The Tanya writes that Yakov Avinu would do Tefillin through a meditation with sticks. This is because, as was said above, the Avos learned the secrets of the Torah and its reasoning, and then decided how to manifest these ideas into action.
This being the case, perhaps by the Avos Tefillin and Lulav where one and the same.
Amalek obviously couldn’t be forgotten before he existed, but the concept of hating Hashem’s enemies was around all along. This was the point of a few Nesyonos of Avraham Avinu.
Maaser is in the Pasuk. Avraham Avinu gave Maaser to Malki Tzedek and yaakov promised to give Maaser upon his successful return to Eretz Yisroel.April 24, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #950679
Great answers. However I have a few questions.
Why would the avos have had a reason to shake a lulav, or sit in a sukkah- did he wander for 40 years in the desert? Many mitzvos in the Torah are experiential, or at least performed based on previous experiences- e.x. Sukkah, the Seder, etc. many mitzvos asei are given because bnei yisroel were avadim in mitzrayim. How could the avos have performed those in the way they’re intended with proper kavanah?April 25, 2013 12:56 am at 12:56 am #950680
Halevai so you are saying the avos didnt keep the torah. They can meditate with sticks fun heint biz morgen, thats not wearing tefilin.
Keeping “secrets of the torah” is beautiful but meaningless (to us).
They either wore tefilin or didn’t, and sticks aren’t tefilin.April 25, 2013 1:15 am at 1:15 am #950681k9horaMember
do any of you know a source in the Torah for yeshivas Shem and Eiver? It is in the Torah itself.if someone requests it i will bl”n give it.
For an understanding of what was taught there look at Emes L’Yaakov at the end of Toldos or the beginning of Vayeitzei.April 25, 2013 1:24 am at 1:24 am #950682
Mitzvos based on historical precedent (such as Sukkah) don’t make sense for the Avos to have kept. Lulav, on the other hand, there is no reason to think that they didn’t. The Midrash tells us that the Avos kept all of the Mitzvos (D’Oraisos or D’rabannans, depending on your Girsa). Obviously Avraham didn’t have a Bris until Hashem told him to. Thus, there are exceptions where it’s clear from Chumash that the Avos couldn’t have kept it. (Shabbos, for example, they probably didn’t keep because Hashem told B’nei Yisrael in the Midbar that it was an Os between Him and them; thus it probably wasn’t kept before then.) Sukkos, which is L’ma’an Yeid’u Doroseichem about the Midbar doesn’t make sense for them to have kept. They obviously weren’t Mekayim appointing a Melech or building a Beis Hamikdash either, etc.April 25, 2013 2:55 am at 2:55 am #950683
Sam, it says about the Ugos that they were Matzos. I believe the above explanations cover Succah as well as Matza.
Ubiquitin, it seems like you added that ‘(to us)’ because you realize there is a big difference. We must follow and can’t change Halachos based on Aggada or Sohd or rationalistic reasons. This is because we can never really be sure we got to the bottom of it. In fact, we can assume we don’t, as it says, Rechava Mitzvas’cha Meod. And besides, we don’t have permission to change what is given, even if it would otherwise be justified.
The Avos didn’t have any of these issues. Even if the Mitzva is deeper than their understanding, they didn’t lose by doing it according to their understanding.
In fact, the Torah was given to us. Therefore, whether we understand it or not, when we perform a Mitzva, it accomplishes what it has to. The Avos, on the other hand, had it the other way around. If they acted upon what they didn’t understand it would have been foolish.April 25, 2013 3:16 am at 3:16 am #950684
… so your shitah is that they did not keep all the mitzvos, unlike what the midrash says.
My question to you then is, what is the midrash trying to teach us? If it is not giving over historical fact about maaseh avos, what is it trying to show? That the avos were good people- we already knew that?!April 25, 2013 3:38 am at 3:38 am #950685
Halevai what you are saying is nonsense.
simple question: Did Avrohom Avinu wear tefilin? it is a yes or no question.April 25, 2013 3:44 am at 3:44 am #950686Torah613TorahParticipant
HaLeivi, great posting on this thread.April 25, 2013 3:56 am at 3:56 am #950687
HaLeiVi: I expected better from you. I thought about explicitly stating it in my last post but I was hoping people knew it on their own. The Mitzvah to eat Matzos has nothing to do with the story of Yetziyas Mitzrayim. The Issur Chametz has nothing to do with any historical fact about leaving Egypt. (And, unless you assume it was Leil Haseder, the reason they had Matzos was because bread was Assur, not because the Matzah itself was a Mitzvah.) This is clear in the Pesukim as the Mitzvos of Chametz and Matzah were given before they had to flee Egypt.
Also, the Achronim (there’s a T’shuvah in the 21st or 22nd Chelek of the Tzitz Eliezer that quotes these) bring down a few Mitzvos that require a special Kavanah because they Torah requires something more than just doing them, including Tzitzis (Urisem Uzchartem) and Sukkah (L’ma’an Yeid’u Doroseichem). Matzah does not have an additional level of Kavanah necessary for remembering the bread when we left Egypt. That part of Matzah, the Vayofu Es Habatzek, is part of the Mitzvah of Sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim at the Seder, not part of the Mitzvah of Matzah.April 25, 2013 8:58 am at 8:58 am #950688
In my Haggada it claims that Matza Zu Al Shum Shelo Hispik… The Ramban holds that they are two Mitzmos, one in Mitzrayim and one after. The fact that a Parsha is mentioned before Yetzias Mitzraim does not mean it was told to them there.
The Maharal I mentioned earlier was about Succah, specifically. And he explained, as mentioned, that although the reason is in the Torah that is not the whole meaning of the Succah. This is pretty known to anyone who learns, or peeks into, Zohar Hakkadosh, Chassidus, Shlah Hakadosh and other Sfarim. The fact that there is a Chiyuv to have in mind Basukos Hosahvti, according to many Poskim and is alluded to by the Tur, doesn’t contradict the fact that the Mitzva is a stand-alone and has value and purpose besides the memory.
Besides this, many explain the purpose of Matza in Mitzrayim was for the Emuna of what was coming. Avraham Avinu could have done these Mitzvos in the same manner, or as a Bakasha that his children be Zoche to these Yeshu’os. He was aware of Maase Avos Siman Labanim, which is why he was busy with the Be’eros.
Ubiquitin, I’d have no issue with saying that he had written Tefillin (although I’m not sure what would have been witten there), but the Tanya says it was accomplished another way. Before dismissing the Tanya read it through. I can’t point you to where it is, though.
Thanks, Torah.April 25, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm #950689
Halevai, its a yes or no question. I’ll take your response as a yes. Certainly not impossible but strange to say it said “shema yisroel…” I wonder if avrohom ever wondered who yisroel was. (note: if it didn’t say shema it isn’t Tefilin in which case your answer would be no, “accomplish in another way” means he didn’t wear Tefilin. If I accomplish Tefilin by meditating with sticks or tantzing ah kezatzke that may be beutiful but it isn’t Tefilin)
Ok next this one is harder, was he mikayem zechiras amalek. Yes or no?
(only 611 to go)April 25, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm #950690ChortkovParticipant
I didn’t understand your problem with Noach, Halevi.April 25, 2013 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #950691
The Gemara in Brachos says that Hakadosh Baruch Hu wears Tefillin, but with different Parshios. So, is it Tefillin or not? Yes or no.
Yekke, I was referring to what you said that the Avos learned Derech Eretz, while Chazal say that Noach knew Kashrus.April 25, 2013 4:01 pm at 4:01 pm #950692
Sam, according to what you said, Avraham Avinu wouldn’t have kept any Yom Tov (besides for Rosh Hashana and maybe Yom Kipper), and you suggested that Shabbos wasn’t either kept. However, you mentioned that according to a Girsa (the common one) he kept Derabanans. This Derabanan was Eiruvei Tavshilin, which includes both, Shabbos and Yom Tov.April 25, 2013 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #950694☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
Ubiquitin, I think HaLeiVi answered your questions nicely, and it’s unfair to narrow it down to a yes or no question (as in, “Did you stop beating your wife? Yes or no!).
Before matan Torah, the mitzvos existed in a different form. They were all about the “spirutal achievement” (to coin a phrase which probably misses the point), not about the technical “kiyum ha mitzvah”.
That all changed after matan Torah, when we became m’tzuveh v’oseh, and the benefit of the mitzvah became bound to the technical performance of the mitzvah.
Yibum might be a good example. There was a concept of Yibum which existed before matan Torah; that’s what Yehudah marrying Tamar was about. After matan Torah, the issur of marrying a daughter-in-law doesn’t allow this type of “Yibum”.
It’s possible that before matan Torah, the accomplishment of the mitzvah of Tefillin could be achieved without what we would consider to be kosher Tefillin, but after matan Torah, it would be a meaningless act.
Some mitzvos may have been tied to the limud of those inyanim, similar to our saying korbonos, tefilah b’mokom korbonos, saying the Avodah on Yom Kipur, etc., even today.
This approach could also explain Succah, but one can also say that the “l’maan yeidu” before matan Torah was a yediah of the future, and afterward, a yediah of the past.
It’s also worth noting that the z’manim of the year are bound to the events which occurred, but not necessarily in the way of cause and effect in which we normally think of them. We call Pesach “Z’man Cheiruseinu”, and we normaly assume that we commemorate the cheirus of yetzias Mtzrayim. Realy, it’s more than that. HKB”H created the world so that 15 Nisan is a z’man of cheirus, and therefoe, that’s when yetzias Mitzrayim took place (histakel b’Oraisa uvara alma). So too Z’man Simchaseinu, and Z’man Matan Toraseinu. It’s therefore possible for the avos, even before matan Torah, to have celebrated the moadim.April 25, 2013 4:12 pm at 4:12 pm #950695
Halevai thank you for proving my point, obviously that gemara isnt literal. No, the gemara is not saying Hashem LITERALLY wears tfilin. According to the Rambam (and most Rishonim) saying that Gemara is literal is kefira, since Hashem doesnt have a head nor arm, thus He can’t literally be wearing tefilin.
On the other hand to say the Avos literally wore tefilin is not kefira, though it may be silly.
If you are saying that the two gemaras are similar in that both cases aren’t literally talking about wearing tefilin, and the Avos did not literally wear tefilin, thus did not literally keep 613 mitzvos, then we are in full agreement.
Otherwise while we can disagree about tefilin (ie you can say they did literaly wore tefilin) we can move on to other mitzvos like zechiras amalek which they can not have literally kept.April 25, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #950696
HaLeiVi: Interesting. The other Girsa (the correct one, most likely) is Eruvei T’chumin. Which still means he kept Shabbos. Good point.
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