hebrew
1)

Why did Ya'akov refer to Binyamin as a predatory wolf?

1.

Rashi and Rashbam: He did so with reference (a) after the episode of Pilegesh be'Giv'ah, when the remaining members of the tribe of Binyamin grabbed wives for themselves, 1 and (b) to the Pasuk (Shmu'el 1, 14:47), which with reference to King Shaul (who was from Binyamin), shortly after he was crowned king, describes how he defeated one nation after another, and how, wherever he turned he cast terror. 2

2.

Targum Onkelos: Ya'akov was referring to the Shechinah, that dwelt in the portion of Binyamin, where the main section of the Beis-ha'Mikdash was built. 3


1

See Shoftim, 21:21. Hadar Zekenim elaborates to show how Yakov's Brachos counter the four kingdoms that ruled over Yisrael. 2

Moreover, Binyamin joined forces with the righteous kings of Yehudah - Asa, Yehoshafin and Chizkiyahu when they fought and defeated the enemy, as the Pesukim in Divrei ha'Yamim, testify (Rashbam).

3

Presumably the comparison to a predatory wolf refers to the Shechinah, which Kevayachol, devoured the lambs that Yisrael's offered every morning (the Tamid Shel Shachar) until four hours (Targum Yonasan) and every evening or afternoon (the Tamid Shel Bein ha'Arbayim).

2)

What was Ya'akov referring to when he spoke of the prey that Binyamin would devour in the morning?

1.

Rashi: He was referring to the spoil that Shaul, who ruled in the early years of Yisrael's nationhood, 1 would capture from his enemies. 2

2.

Targum Onkelos and Targum Yonasan: Refer to 49:27:1:2*.

3.

Seforno: A wolf tends to catch its prey in the early morning and in the evening, when there is little light. Similarly, Binyamin demonstrated his strength in the dawn of Jewish history 3 and in its twilight 4 (Refer 49:27:2:1).


1

When their sun was beginning to rise (Rashi). 2

Refer to 49:27:2:3.

3

When their kingdom was beginning to shine. 4

When their sovereignty was short-lived and was not total (Seforno).

3)

What was Ya'akov referring to when he spoke of the booty that Binyamin will distribute in the evening?

1.

Rashi #1: He was referring to the spoil that Mordechai and Esther (who were also from Binyamin and) who lived in the during the later years of Yisrael's nationhood, 1 seized from Haman. 2

2.

Rashi #2 (citing Targum Onkelos and Targum Yonasan): Refer to 49:27:1:2. 3

3.

Rashbam: He was merely referring to his initial comparison of Binyamin to a wolf, whose way it is to catch its prey in the evening. 4

4.

Seforno: Refer to 49:27:2:3.


1

After the sun had begun to set at the hands of Nevuchadnetzar Melech Bavel (Rashi). 2

As the Pasuk writes in Esther, 8:7 (Rashi).

3

Targum Yonasan: Each Kohen would then eat his portion. Moreover, in the evening, the Kohanim divide the remains of other Korbanos between them. See also Rashi in Tehilim (132:5-6).

4

As Pesukim in Yirmiyah and Tzefanyah write (Rashbam). Targum Yonasan also explains that Binyamin was as strong as a wolf catching its prey, though he does not explain to what this refers (See Ibn Ezra).

4)

רש"י: זאב הוא אשר יטרף: מה כוונת רש"י?

1.

גור אריה: משמעות הפסוק ש'בנימין יטרוף זאב', אבל אין הדרך לעשות זאת, ולכן הפרוש- זאב הוא, אשר יטרוף.

5)

מה משמעות הדימוי לזאב?

1.

מהר"ל (חידושי אגדות ח"ד עמ' סז, תחילת זבחים, זבחים דף נג:): בנימין נקרא זאב כי הוא טורף את הקודשים ומבקש לקבל קדושה ולכן שרתה שכינה בחלקו.

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