Behar Behoukotai 5775
Tu auras aussi une fête des Semaines, pour les prémices de la récolte du froment; puis la fête de l'Automne, au renouvellement de l'année. 23 Trois fois l'année, tous tes mâles paraîtront en présence du Souverain, de l'Éternel, Dieu d'Israël. 24 Car je déposséderai des peuples à cause de toi et je reculerai ta frontière: et cependant nul ne convoitera ton territoire, quand tu t'achemineras pour comparaître devant l'Éternel ton Dieu, trois fois l'année.
Our Rabbis taught: On the twenty-fourth of Nisan12 the revenue farmers13 were removed from Judah and Jerusalem. For when the Africans14 came to plead against the Jews before Alexander of Macedon, they said, 'Canaan belongs to us, as it is written, The land of Canaan with the coasts thereof;15 and Canaan was the ancestor of these people [i.e., ourselves].' Thereupon Gebiha b. Pesisa16 said to the Sages, 'Authorise me to go and plead against them before Alexander of Macedon: should they defeat me, then say, "ye have defeated but an ignorant man of us;" whilst if I defeat them, then say to them thus: "The Law of Moses has defeated you." 'So they authorised him, and he went and pleaded against them. 'Whence do ye adduce your proof?' asked he. 'From the Torah,' they replied. 'I too,' said he, 'will bring you proof only from the Torah, for it is written, And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.17 Now if a slave acquires property, to whom does he belong, and whose is the property?18 Moreover, it is now many years that ye have not served us.'19 Then Alexander said to them, 'Answer him!' 'Give us three days' time,' they pleaded. So he gave them a respite; they sought but found no answer. Immediately thereon they fled, leaving behind their sown fields and their planted vineyards. And that year was a Sabbatical year.
On another occasion the Egyptians came in a lawsuit against the Jews before Alexander of Macedon. They pleaded thus: 'Is it not written, And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, and they lent them [gold and precious stones, etc.]20 Then return us the gold and silver which ye took!' Thereupon Gebiha b. Pesisa said to the Sages, 'Give me permission to go and plead against them before Alexander of Macedon: should they defeat me, then say, "Ye have merely defeated an ignorant man amongst us;" whilst if I defeat them then say, "The Law of Moses has defeated you."' So they gave him permission, and he went and pleaded against them. 'Whence do ye adduce your proof?' asked he, 'From the Torah,' they replied. 'Then I too,' said he, 'will bring you proof only from the Torah, for it is written, Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.21 Pay us for the toil of six hundred thousand men whom ye enslaved for four hundred thirty years.' Then King Alexander said to them, 'Answer him!' 'Give us three days' time,' they begged. So he gave them a respite; they sought but found no answer. Straightway they fled, leaving behind their sown fields and planted vineyards. And that year was a Sabbatical year.22
On another occasion the Ishmaelites and the Ketureans23 came for a lawsuit against the Jews before Alexander of Macedon. They pleaded thus: 'Canaan belongs jointly to all of us, for it is written, Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son;24 and it is [further] written, And these are the generations of Isaac,' Abraham's son.'25 Thereupon Gebiha b. Pesisa said to the Sages: 'Give me permission to go and plead against them before Alexander of Macedon. Should they defeat me then say, "Ye have defeated one of our ignorant men;" whilst if I defeat them, say, "The Law of Moses has defeated you."' So they gave him permission, and he went and pleaded against them. 'Whence do ye adduce your proof?' asked he. 'From the Torah,' they replied. 'Then I too,' said he, 'will bring you proof only from the Torah, for it is written, And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. But unto the sons of the concubines which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts:26 if a father made a bequest to his children in his lifetime and sent them away from each other, has one any claim upon the other? [Obviously not.]'
What gifts [did he give them]? — R. Jeremiah b. Abba said: This teaches that he imparted to them [the secrets of] the unhallowed arts.27
Now, why is he [R. Judah son of R. Ila'i] called the first speaker on all occasions? — For R. Judah, R. Jose, and R. Simeon were sitting, and Judah, a son of proselytes, was sitting near them. R. Judah commenced [the discussion] by observing, 'How fine are the works of this people!15 They have made streets, they have built bridges, they have erected baths.' R. Jose was silent. R. Simeon b. Yohai answered and said, 'All that they made they made for themselves; they built market-places, to set harlots in them; baths, to rejuvenate themselves; bridges, to levy tolls for them.' Now, Judah the son of proselytes went and related their talk,16 which reached17 the government. They decreed: Judah, who exalted [us], shall be exalted,18 Jose, who was silent, shall be exiled to Sepphoris;19 Simeon, who censured, let him be executed.
בראשית רבה (וילנא) פרשת בראשית פרשה יז סימן ה
ה ויפל ה' אלהים תרדמה, רבי יהושע דסכנין בשם רבי לוי אמר תחלת מפלה שינה, דמך ליה ולא לעי באורייתא, ולא עביד עבידתא,
Et D a fait tomber sur lui le sommeille. Rabi yehoshua a dit au nom de rabi levy le début de la chute a été le sommeille il s’est endormi et il n’a pas étudié la torah et il ne travaillait pas …
Our Rabbis have taught: The suspected woman18 set her eyes on one who was not proper for her; what she sought was not given to her19 and what she possessed was taken from her;20 because whoever sets his eyes on that which is not his is not granted what he seeks and what he possesses is taken from him We thus find it with the primeval serpent [in the Garden of Eden] which set its eyes on that which was not proper for it; what it sought was not granted to it and what it possessed was taken from it. The Holy One, blessed be He, said: I declared: Let it be king over every animal and beast; but now, Cursed art thou above all cattle and above every beast of the field.1 I declared, let it walk with an erect posture; but now it shall go upon its belly. I declared: Let its food be the same as that of man; but now it shall eat dust. It said: I will kill Adam and marry Eve; but now, I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.2 Similarly do we find it with Cain, Korah, Balaam, Doeg, Ahitophel, Gehazi, Absalom, Adonijah, Uzziah and Haman, who set their eyes upon that which was not proper for them; what they sought was not granted to them and what they possessed was taken from them.