hebrew
1)

What exactly did Yakov undertake to do with the stone?

1.

Rashi: Refer to 28:18:3:1*.

2.

Targum Yonasan: That it will be the cornerstone of the Beis-ha'Mikdash, where all of Yisrael will serve Hashem.

2)

What did Yakov mean when he said that he would take a tenth of all that Hashem gave him?

1.

Rashi (on 32:14) and Da'as Zekeinim mi'Ba'alei Tosfos: He promised to take Ma'aser from everything that he owned, even from his children.

2.

Rashbam: He undertook to take Ma'aser from animals that he would amass, to offer them up as Olos.

3.

Moshav Zekenim, Hadar Zekenim, Da'as Zekeinim: He enacted to take Ma'aser 1 from money. He tithed even his children. Since Efrayim and Menasheh are considered like Reuven and Shimon, it is as if he had 14 sons. Four 2 were Bechoros, which are exempt from Ma'aser. He gave Levi 3 to be Ma'aser (Bereishis Rabah 70:9),


1

Tosfos ha'Shalem (18, citing R. Efrayim): What is so praiseworthy about returning to Hashem a 10th of what Hashem gives to him? It is even if he will get only through great exertion.

2

Hadar Zekenim: Perhaps Menasheh was not a Bechor. Moshav Zekenim rejects this. The Torah (Bereishis 41:51) calls him a Bechor! (Perhaps he was Yosef's Bechor, but Asnas had a child beforehand - PF.) Rather, he was a Bechor; Reuven's Bechorah was given to Yosef (Divrei ha'Yamim 1:5:1), so there were only four. (We could say simply that one cannot split a person, therefore Yakov gave one son, but it is better to show how a Tzadik's words recorded in the Torah are fulfilled exactly (refer to 48:6:1:1****). Perhaps a 10th of Yakov's daughters married Levi, so also they were considered Ma'aser - PF)

3

Hadar Zekenim explains why he chose Levi. The Perush of R. Chaim Paltiel utterly astounds me. Also his question I do not understand. Even Ma'aser Behemah, which must be the 10th to leave the pen, need not be the 10th born!

3)

Why did he use the double expression "Aser A'asrenu"?

1.

Kesuvos 50a: To teach us that one may not give more than a fifth (two tenths) of one's money for Tzedakah.

2.

Tosfos ha'Shalem (3): He enacted Ma'aser Rishon and Ma'aser Sheni.

3.

Tosfos ha'Shalem (15, citing R. Efrayim): This hints to "tithe, in order that Tis'aser (you will become rich - Shabbos 119a)."

4.

Moshav Zekenim: He will tithe even the food he eats every day.

4)

What logic is it to say 'If you give me a hundred I will give you ten back"?

1.

Oznayim la'Torah: The fact that Yakov acknowledged in advance that whatever he accumulated came from Hashem - in spite of the fact that Hashem generally provides through Derech ha'Teva, and that he made a Neder to follow it up by giving something in acknowledgement, in itself ddemonstrated the high level of Emunah that Yakov had attained. 1


1

See Oznayim la'Torah, who laborates further.

5)

Kedushah does not take effect on something not yet in the world!

1.

Tosfos ha'Shalem (18, citing R. Efrayim): However, a Neder takes effect on it.

2.

Rambam, Hilchos Erchin, 6:31-33: It is different here because the Neder he made was to be Makdish it when it came into the world, and that Neder he was Chayav to keep. 1


1

Rambam (Ibid.): And we know that the Neder was valid since Hashem said to him - in Bereishis 31:13 "Asher Nadarta Li Sham Neder".

6)

"Ha'Even" is feminine. Why does it say "Yihyeh" (masculine)?

1.

Bechor Shor: Its place will be Beis Elokim. ('Makom' is masculine.)

2.

Tosfos ha'Shalem (4, citing R. Efrayim): "Even" can be feminine or masculine.

7)

רש"י: כתרגומו אהי פלח עלה קדם ה' וכן עשה בשובו מפדן ארם: מה בא רש"י לפרש?

1.

גור אריה: "בית אלוקים" כאן לא מתפרש כפשוטו [-בית של אלוקים], אלא בית לעבוד בו את ה'.

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