Tractate Berakoth, by , by A. Lukyn Williams, , at sacred-texts.com
M. I. 8 (5). We make mention at night of the going forth from Egypt. 1 R. Lazar 2 ben Azariah said: Lo, I was about seventy years old, and I had not the merit of [understanding why] the Going forth from Egypt should be said at night until Ben Zoma 3 expounded it, to the effect, that it is: "That thou mayest remember the day of thy going forth from the land of Egypt all the days of thy life" 4—"the days of thy life" are the days, "all 5 the days of thy life" are the nights. But the Majority say: "The days of thy life" (are thy days) in this world, "all the days of thy life" are to include the days of Messiah. 6
11. Similarly [we read]: "Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old." 5 "Remember ye not the former things"—these are the yoke of the [heathen] kingdoms. "Neither consider the things of old"—these are the yoke of Egypt. "Behold, I will do a new thing; now shall it spring forth; shall ye not know it?" 6—this is the
12. Like unto it is: "As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be." 3 At first, lo, she was princess over her people, now, lo, she is princess over the peoples of the world, for it is said: "for Sarah shall her name be." 4
13. Like unto it is: "Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham." 5 At first, lo, thou wast father over Aram, but now, lo, thou shalt be father for all who come into the world. 6 For it is said: "for the father of a multitude of nations have I set thee." 7
14. Although He afterwards called Abraham, Abram, 8 this was not in blame but in praise;
15. Like unto it is: "In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling-place in Zion." 2 Yet, with what object does Scripture restore to it (Jerusalem) its former name? 3 Lo, He says: "For this city hath been to me a provocation of mine anger and of my fury." 4 Perchance even now it [is mentioned] in anger and fury? We are expressly told: "The mountain which God hath desired for his abode." 5 Lo, it [is mentioned] with desire and longing. He would teach us that her desolation hath made an atonement for her. 6 Whence do we learn that the Shekinah does not return to the midst of her [Jerusalem] until she is made a "mountain"? We are expressly told: "In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling-place in Zion," [and] we find that when it was [called] Salem it was called a "mountain." That means to say that the Shekinah does not return to the midst of her until she is made a "mountain." For it is said: "And Abraham
II. 1. He who recites the Shma‘ 3 must make mention of "the Going Forth from Egypt" in "True and sure." 4 Rabbi says: he must make mention in it of "Kingdom." 5 Others say: he must make mention in it of "the smiting of the Firstborn" and "the parting asunder of the Red Sea." 6
10:1 the going forth from Egypt, mentioned briefly in the third Biblical part of the Shma‘ (Num. 1541) and enlarged upon in the Ge’ullah (supra, p. 4).
10:2 R. Lazar. So C. An abbreviation of Eleazar. Cf. Lazarus.
10:3 Ben Zoma. Simeon hen Zoma flourished in the first third of the second century. A saying attributed to him is, "If thou puttest thyself to shame in this world, thou shalt not be put to shame by the Holy One, blessed be He, in the world to come." (Bacher, Die Agada der Tannaiten, i. p. 432.)
10:4 Deut. 163.
10:5 For "all" cannot be superfluous. It must add something to the thought of "the days of thy life." Ben Zoma agreed with R. Aqiba as to the value of each letter (see p. 5).
10:6 See T. on all this mishna.
10:7 Deut. 163.
11:1 So far the Mishna. The Tosephta now adds Ben Zoma's objection to such a reference to the days of Messiah, and the reply of the Majority, appending in §§11-15 several illustrations of their argument.
11:2 Jer. 237, 8.
11:3 The metaphor is that of a meal (see p. 47). Observe the common sense of the Majority.
11:4 Gen. 3510.
11:5 Isa. 4318.
11:6 Ibid. v. 19.
12:1 the war with Gog. See Ezek. xxxviii., xxxix. A summary expression for the last great attack of the Gentile nations upon Jerusalem before the coming of the Messiah. Cf. Rev. 208.
12:2 Lit.: "They parable a parable: to what is the matter like?" Cf. Mark 430 (parallel, Luke 1318); also Luke 731.
12:3 Gen. 1715.
12:4 The final letter of Sarai may be explained as meaning "my," i.e. she ruled over Abraham and his people. But Sarah, her proper name, suggests no such limitation. See the Gemara, T B. 13a.
12:5 Gen. 175.
12:6 for all who come into the world. Cf. John. 19.
12:7 Gen. 175. At first Ab-Ram = Father of Aram; afterwards the insertion of "h" suggests Ab(r)-ham (ôn), "Father of a multitude."
12:8 Neh. 97.
13:1 Deut. 3244.
13:2 Ps. 762.
13:3 its former name. i.e. Salem. This is another example of the use of a former name, and even this was not employed in anger.
13:4 Jer. 3231.
13:5 Ps. 6818.
13:6 an atonement for her. The thought that afflictions atone may be present even in Isa. 402, and, in any case, is exceedingly common in later Jewish books. So especially of death, see infra, p. 84.
14:1 Gen. 2214. But the Tosephta plays on the consonants, disregarding the traditional interpretation.
14:2 Ps. 1377. The Edomites made Jerusalem once more a mere mountain, and thus unwittingly secured its further blessing.
14:3 The author is speaking of the recitation in the morning, cf. p. 4.
14:4 The section recalling the Exodus (Num. 1537-41) is followed by the prayer "True and sure" (’Emeth wyatzib). SA, p. 42.
14:5 The thought of God's Kingdom is found in the present form of the prayer ’Emeth wyatzib, and also in the portion beginning "For the first and for the last ages."
14:6 Both these occur in the portion beginning "Thou hast been the help of our fathers" (SA, p. 43).