[26a - 49 lines; 26b - 47 lines]

1)[line 1]שאין מתאחיןSHE'EIN MIS'ACHIN- that are not sewed [back together]

2)[line 3]ברכת השםBIRKAS HA'SHEM- blasphemy, using an explicit name of HaSh-m

3)[line 8]"... רכב ישראל ופרשיו""RECHEV YISRAEL U'FARASHAV..." - "[And Elisha saw it, and he cried: My father, my father,] the chariot of Israel, and its riders! [And he saw him no more; and he took hold of his own clothes, and tore them in two pieces.]" (Melachim II 2:12) (WHEN ELIYAHU ASCENDED TO HEAVEN)

(a)When Eliyahu left Gilgal on the way to perform his final miracle, he knew that he was to be taken to heaven. Out of pure humility, he wished to prevent Elisha from witnessing this, and so he asked his faithful disciple to remain behind and let him continue on his way alone, as HaSh-m had sent him to Beis El. Elisha insisting on accompanying his Rebbi to Beis El.

(b)Arriving in Beis El, a group of Bnei ha'Nevi'im came out to meet Elisha and asked him whether he was aware that HaSh-m was to take his Rebbi. The same story repeated itself, when Eliyahu asked Elisha to remain behind because he was going to Yericho, and again when he told him that he was going to the River Yarden.

(c)It was while they were crossing the River (which Eliyahu had just split by striking it with his folded cloak - his final miracle) that he asked Elisha what he could do for him before he was taken away from him forever. In response, Elisha asked for a spirit of prophecy twice that of his Rebbi. Eliyahu replied that this request was extremely difficult for him to fulfill (for how can one man give another more than what he himself possesses?). Nevertheless, Eliyahu promised Elisha that if he would see him being taken away, then Elisha would know that his request had been accepted. The reason for this condition was that while Eliyahu was being taken to heaven in the fiery chariot led by fiery horses, his level of prophecy doubled, and thus he was able to fulfill Elisha's request.

(d)In the end, Elisha saw Eliyahu depart from this world. As Eliyahu ascended to heaven, Elisha cried out, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its riders!"

4)[line 12]בצלותיהBI'TZELOSEI- through his prayer

5)[line 12]מרתיכיןRESIKIN- chariots

6)[line 12]ופרשיןPARASHIN- horsemen

7)[line 19]"ויחזק דוד בבגדיו ויקרעם וגם כל האנשים אשר אתו. ויספדו ויבכו ויצמו עד הערב על שאול ועל יהונתן בנו ועל עם ה' ועל בית ישראל כי נפלו בחרב.""VA'YACHAZEK DAVID B'VEGADAV VA'YIKRA'EM, V'GAM KOL HA'AM ASHER ITO. VA'YISPEDU, VA'YIVKU, VA'YATZUMU AD HA'EREV, AL SHAUL V'AL YEHONASAN V'AL BEIS YISRAEL KI NAFLU B'CHAREV" - "And David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did the men who were with him. They eulogized, they wept, and they fasted until the evening for Shaul, for Yehonasan, and for the house of Yisrael, who fell by the sword." (Shmuel II 1:11-12) (MOURNING THE DEATH OF SHAUL AND YEHONASAN)

(a)David, who was a fugitive from Shaul, had recently smitten a contingent of Amalekim and now was resting with his men in Tziklag. A man with torn clothes and ashes on his head arrived. He fell at David's feet and prostrated himself before him. When David asked him where he had come from, he replied that he had escaped from the camp of Yisrael. He told him the terrible news of Yisrael's defeat at the hand of the Pelishtim, and of the death of Shaul and Yehonasan.

(b)Upon further probing, the fugitive described how he arrived at Har Gilbo'a, where he found that Shaul had pierced himself with his own spear. Shaul was barely alive. Afraid that the enemy, who was very close, would torture him to death, Shaul asked the man to finish him off at that moment. Knowing that Shaul would not survive, he complied and killed him. Taking his crown and ring, he now dutifully brought them to David, whom he knew was destined to succeed Shaul as king.

(c)Even though Shaul's death meant that David was no longer a fugitive, and that his death permitted David to ascend the throne that was rightfully his, there was no hint of joy or even relief in his reaction, as the verses make clear. Moreover, the verses relate how David ordered the fugitive (who, according to Chazal, was none other than Doeg ha'Edomi; see Malbim) to be put to death for having dared to lay a hand on the king.

8)[line 24]שבור מלכאSHEVOR MALKA- King Shapur, the king of Persia

9)[line 25]במזיגת קסריMEZIGAS KEISARI- Mazaca Caesarea, capital of Cappadocia, a district of Asia Minor

10)[line 25]ברוב צבורROV TZIBUR- [a tragedy that befell] the majority of the Jews

11)[line 27]לקל יתיריKAL YESEIREI- the sound of the strings of harps and lutes

12a)[line 27]פקע שורא דלודקיאPAKA SHURA D'LUDKIYA- the wall of Ludkiya burst

b)[line 21]דלודקיאLUDKIYA- Laodicea ad Lycum, a city in Lydia, a district of Asia Minor

13)[line 27]"ויבא...""VA'YAVO..."- "Then came Elyakim the son of Chilkiyah, who was in charge of the household, and Shevna the scribe, and Yo'ach the son of Asaf the recorder, to Chizkiyahu with their clothes torn, and told him the words of Rav-Shakeh." (Melachim II 18:37) - These three ministers of Chizkiyahu ha'Melech tore their clothes after they heard Rav-Shakeh, the emissary of King Sancheriv of Ashur, blaspheme.

14)[line 31]"ויהי כקרא יהודי...""VA'YEHI KI'KRO YEHUDI..."- "And the king sat in the winter house in the ninth month; and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him. And it came to pass, that when Yehudi had read three or four verses, he would cut them off with a penknife and throw them into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth." (Yirmeyahu 36:22-23) - See below, entry #19.

15)[line 33]ספר קינותSEFER KINOS- the original Book of Lamentations that Yirmeyahu dictated to Baruch ben Neryah, who wrote it on a scroll. It consisted of chapters 1, 2, and 4 of Megilas Eichah. After it was thrown in the fire, Yirmeyahu rewrote it and later added chapters 3 and 5.

16)[line 34]"היו צריה לראש [איביה שלו] כי ה' הוגה על רב פשעיה""HAYU TZAREHA L'ROSH, [OYVEHA SHALU], KI HA'SH-M HOGAH AL ROV PESHA'EHA."- "Her adversaries have become her master, [her enemies are at ease,] for HaSh-m has aggrieved her for her abundant transgressions." (Eichah 1:5) - To understand why this verse made Yehoyakim burn the scroll, see Insights.

17)[line 35]קדרKADAR- he cut out

18)[line 35]אזכרותAZKAROS- the names of HaSh-m

19)[line 36]"ויהי כקרוא יהודי שלש דלתות וארבעה יקרעה בתער הספר והשלך אל האש אשר אל האח עד תם כל המגלה על האש אשר על האח. ולא פחדו ולא קרעו את בגדיהם המלך וכל עבדיו השמעים את כל הדברים האלה""VA'YEHI KI'KERO YEHUDI SHALOSH DELASOS V'ARBA'AH..." - "And it was when Yehudi read the first three verses, and even the fourth one, [the king did not react, but] when he read the fifth verse (foretelling the king's own subservience to the enemy), he cut it (the Megilah) with a scribe's razor and threw it into the fire that burned in the urn. And they were neither afraid nor did they tear their clothes, the king and all his servants who heard these things." (Yirmeyahu 36:23-24) (YEHOYAKIM AND MEGILAS EICHAH)

(a)The wicked king Yehoyakim sent Yehudi (one of his servants) to pick up the copy of Megilas Eichah that Baruch ben Neriyah had brought for him to read, and to bring it to him in his heated winter-room. This verse describes Yehoyakim's reaction (which the Gemara relates in some detail). He threw the Megilah into the fire against the advice of the servants, who were impressed by its contents and who advised Baruch and assisted him with regard to getting it to the king without endangering his life.

(b)Entirely unmoved by the ominous prophecy, the king sent servants to seize Baruch and Yirmeyahu (who had dictated the Megilah while Baruch transcribed it) to have them killed, but HaSh-m had hidden them.

(c)HaSh-m then sent Yirmeyahu to Yehoyakim to inform him that he would pay dearly for burning the Megilah. None of his children would sit firmly on the throne (his son Yechonyah would rule for three months before being sent into Galus), and his own corpse would not merit burial. It would lie out in the open "by the heat of day and in the cold of night."

(d)As for the Megilah, its contents were destined to be fulfilled to the letter, because the people failed to pay attention to the numerous warnings they had received. At Yirmeyahu's bidding, Baruch the Sofer re-wrote Megilas Eichah, with an additional chapter containing three verses for each letter of the Alef-Beis, corresponding to the other three chapters (each comprising one verse per letter).

20)[line 38]הגוילGEVIL- parchment

21)[line 39]קמיה דרבי אבאKAMEI D'REBBI ABA- (a) before [a different] Rebbi Aba (RAV BETZALEL RENSBURG); (b) according to the Girsa KAM REBBI ABA - Rebbi Aba stood up

22)[line 39]לאפנוייL'AFNUYEI- to eliminate

23)[line 39]שקליה לטוטפתיהSHAKLEI L'TOTAFTEI- he took off his Tefilin

24)[line 39]אחתיה אבי סדיאACHTEI A'BEI SADYA- he laid it on a pillow

25)[line 40]אתאי בת נעמיתאASAI BAS NA'AMISA- an ostrich came along

26)[line 40]בעא למיבלעיהBA'A L'MIVLE'EI- and wanted to swallow it

27)[line 42]בזרועBI'ZERO'A- forcefully, without a chance of saving it

28)[line 42]וכמעשה שהיהUCH'MA'ASEH SHE'HAYAH- like the incident with Yehoyakim

29)[line 42]"ויהי ביום השני להמית את גדליהו ואיש לא ידע. ויבאו אנשים משכם משלו ומשמרון שמנים איש מגלחי זקן וקרעי בגדים ומתגדדים ומנחה ולבונה בידם להביא בית ה'""VA'YEHI BA'YOM HA'SHENI, L'HAMIS ES GEDALYAHU..." - "And it was on the second day after the assassination of Gedalyah, which nobody yet knew about. Eighty men arrived from Shilo and from Shomron, beards shaven, clothes torn and with cuts on their bodies (signs of mourning due to the Churban that had only recently taken place). They brought with them flour-offerings and frankincense to bring to the House of HaSh-m (only discovering that it had been destroyed while they were on the way)." (Yirmeyahu 41:4-5) (YISHMAEL BEN NESANYAH COVERS UP)

(a)Gedalyah ben Achikam had been appointed by Nevuchadnetzar to lead the remnant of Jews who remained in Eretz Yisrael after the destruction of the first Beis ha'Mikdash. Yochanan ben Kare'ach warned Gedalyah that Yishmael ben Nesanyah was planning to assassinate him. Gedalyah refused to accept Yochanan ben Kare'ach's warning and declined his offer to preempt the assassination by killing Yishmael first. So it was that Yishmael, with the assistance of his ten henchmen, murdered Gedalyah together with all of his family and guests and the group of Babylonian soldiers who were with him, as they feasted in Mitzpah on the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

(b)The people who remained in Mitzpah were taken captive, while outside the city nobody was aware of what Yishmael ben Nesanyah had done.

(c)On the following day, eighty people arrived from Shechem, Shiloh, and Shomron. Not knowing about the destruction of the Beis ha'Mikdash that had only just taken place, they had left their homes carrying meal-offerings and incense to offer on the Mizbe'ach. When they heard about the destruction, they shaved off their beards, rent their garments, and made cuts in their flesh as a sign of mourning. They now made their way to be Mitzpah. There, Yishmael ben Nesanel came out to meet them, weeping as if he too was mourning for the Churban ha'Bayis, and invited them to come and join Gedalyah ben Achikam. Once they were inside the city, however, he slaughtered them as well, and cast their bodies into a pit together with those of the first batch of murdered men.

(d)He murdered them all except for ten men who managed to convince him to let them live because they had stores of wheat, barley, oil, and honey in the fields, which, presumably, they were willing to share with him.

(e)The reason why the verse mentions the name of Gedalyah in connection with the murders that Yishmael perpetrated was because he chose to ignore Yochanan ben Kerei'ach's warning, and in so doing was partially responsible for the ensuing events.

(f)Yishmael and his men then took captive all of the rest of the people who were in Mitzpah, including the princesses and the people whom Nevuzradan had deposited under the jurisdiction of Gedalyah, and began leading them to Amon, where he intended to settle.

(g)However, when Yochanan ben Kerei'ach (who would later defy Yirmeyahu ha'Navi and go to Egypt to escape the wrathful revenge of Nevuchadnetzar) heard what Yishmael had done, he gathered all the soldiers who were with him and attacked, catching up with Yishmael by the large pool in Giv'on as he was escaping to Amon. Yishmael's captives were happy to see Yochanan and his men, and quickly went across to his side. Yishmael, however, managed to flee to Amon with eight men.

30)[line 43]ומתגודדיםMISGODEDIM- with cuts in their flesh as a sign of mourning

31)[line 46]"בית קדשנו ותפארתנו אשר הללוך אבתינו היה לשרפת אש וכל מחמדינו היה לחרבה""BEIS KODSHEINU V'SIF'ARTEINU ASHER HILELUCHA AVOSEINU HAYAH LI'SEREIFAS EISH, V'CHOL MACHMADEINU HAYAH L'CHORBAH" - "The sanctuary of our holiness and our splendor, where our fathers praised You, has become a fiery conflagration, and all that we desired has become a ruin." (Yeshayah 64:10) (YESHAYAH PLEADS WITH HASH-M)

(a)The prophet is at the end of his prayer to HaSh-m to take pity on Klal Yisrael and avenge our cruel treatment at the hand of the nations. The verses speak for themselves.

(b)The last four verses (64:8-11) of his prayer read, "Do not be so terribly angry, HaSh-m, and do not remember our sins forever. Please see that we are Your people. The sanctuary of our holiness and our splendor, where our fathers praised You, has become a fiery conflagration, and all that we desired has become a ruin. On all of these will You hold Yourself back, HaSh-m? Will You remain silent and afflict us so much?"

32)[line 47]השומעHA'SHOME'A- one who hears about the destruction (at the time of the destruction)

33a)[last line]לשוללןL'SHOLELAN- (a) to baste (RASHI); (b) to tie together the loose threads of the rent (NIMUKEI YOSEF)

b)[last line]ולמוללןL'MOLELAN- (a) to sew a fold into the garment over the rent; to hem (RASHI); (b) to tie together the loose threads of a tear in the hem (NIMUKEI YOSEF)

34)[last line]וללוקטןL'LOKTAN- to gather the two sides of the rent together and insert a needle to fasten them

35)[last line]ולעשותן כמין סולמותLA'ASOSAN K'MIN SULAMOS- (a) to attach the two sides of a rent together without them touching each other, with very loose stitches sewn in the shape of a ladder (RASHI); (b) to sew stitches leaving spaces in between, in the shape of a ladder


36)[line 1]ובאיחוי אלכסנדריICHUY ALEKSANDERI- Alexandrian (invisible) seam

37)[line 8]טפחTEFACH- approximately 8 cm (3.15 in.) or 9.6 cm (3.78 in.), depending upon the differing Halachic opinions (1 TEFACH = 4 ETZBA'OS (fingerbreadths))

38)[line 18]קורע קרע אחד לכולןKORE'A KERA ECHAD L'CHULAN- he tears one rent for all of them

39)[line 26]טיבורוTIBURO- his navel

40)[line 29]פורםPOREM- tears his clothes

41)[line 40]תטרף דעתוTITAREF DA'ATO- he will go out of his mind; will become confused

42)[line 41]עגמת נפשOGMAS NEFESH- grief (of the people who see him)

43)[line 44]אם היה לבו גס בוIM HAYAH LIBO GAS BO- if he was a familiar acquaintance who would not mind seeing him sitting on a Mitah Kefuyah (NIMUKEI YOSEF)

44)[line 45]איתרע ביה מילתאISRA BEI MILSA- a relative passed away