web analytics
November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Q & A: ‘The Scepter Shall Not Depart From Judah’ – Redux (Part I)

QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Editor’s note: From 5-17-13 to 6-21-13 we answered an e-mail from Menachem who had asked whether Rabbi Yehudah the Prince purposely omitted any mention of the Hasmonean kings from the Mishnah. Menachem had heard that Rabbi Yehudah, as a descendant of King David, perhaps omitted them to indicate that they had improperly crowned themselves, ignoring the Biblical rule that all Jewish kings are supposed to come from the tribe of Yehudah. The following query challenges the very basis of Menachem’s question.

Question: The famous Iggeret of Rav Sherira Gaon references Yerushalmi Kilaim 9:3 and Kesubos 12:3 and states that Rabbi Judah the Prince descended from Hillel who, in turn, descended from the tribe of Binyamin – not Yehudah. The Iggeret also discusses how the Mishnah was written and how Rabbi Judah worked on it. Had Menachem read this Iggeret by Rav Sherira Gaon – who, incidentally, was a direct descendant of King David – I don’t think he would have asked his question.

Yehuda T.
(Via E-Mail)

Answer: Before we turn to the Iggeret of Rav Sherira Gaon, let us first review the Gemara in Ketubot (62b). The Gemara relates the following: “Rabbi [Judah the Prince] was engaged in marrying off his son to [a daughter of] the family of R. Chiyyah. When the time came to write the ketubah, the intended bride passed away. Rabbi saw in this tragedy a bad omen and remarked: ‘Is it at all possible that there is a blemish [in this union]?’ They searched the families’ genealogy. The family of Rabbi descended from Shephatiah b. Abital and R. Chiyyah descended from Shimie, the brother of [King] David.”

Rashi (sv “Shephatiah b. Abital”) explains that Shephatiah was King David’s son, as Abital, his mother, was King David’s wife. R. Chiyyah, on the other hand, descended from Shimie, who was a brother of David. This was considered a blemish. A daughter of Shimie was not considered an appropriate match for Rabbi’s son because she was not a scion of kings.

The Gemara continues, relating that Rabbi subsequently made arrangements for his son to marry the daughter of R. Yosi b. Zimra. (This was then considered a fitting match since both families descended from King David). From this Gemara we learn that Rabbi Judah the Prince was a descendant of King David.

Furthermore, the Talmud Yerushalmi (Taanit 4:2) states: A genealogical scroll – megillat yochasin – was found in Jerusalem. Written therein was that Hillel was of the house of King David. A Midrash (Berishit Rabbah to Parashat Vayechi, 98:13) reports similarly.

Etz Yosef (ad loc. in his commentary to the Midrash sv “Hillel mi’David”) states that the nessi’im, the princes of Israel, descended from Hillel. The verse speaks of them when it states: (Genesis 49:10), “Lo yasur shevet mi’yehudah – The scepter shall not depart from Judah.”

We also know that Rabbi descended from Hillel from Pirkei Avot. In Avot 1:16, Rabban Gamliel states that a person should appoint a teacher for himself. Rashi explains that this is Rabban Gamaliel (the elder son of Rabbi Shimon), son of Hillel. In the next two mishnayot (1:17-18) we find statements of Rabbi Shimon, Hillel’s son; in the following chapter (2:1) we find statements of Rabbi (the son of Rabbi Shimon b. Gamliel); then in the next mishnah (2:2), we find a statement of Rabbi Gamliel, son of Rabbi Judah the Prince.

(To be continued)

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Q & A: ‘The Scepter Shall Not Depart From Judah’ – Redux (Part I)”

  1. The heir was prophesied by David " You are a priest forever , in the order of Melchizedek" that takes the Messianic Title away from the Jews, returns it to Abraham , Isaac and Jacob called Israel and restores a Semite High Priest over all Nations. That is Jesus Christ.

  2. The heir was prophesied by David " You are a priest forever , in the order of Melchizedek" that takes the Messianic Title away from the Jews, returns it to Abraham , Isaac and Jacob called Israel and restores a Semite High Priest over all Nations. That is Jesus Christ.

  3. Stan Harder says:

    "takes the Messianic Title away from the Jews" ? How does giving that "title" to 'Jesus' the Jew, take it away from Jews. I can't tell if you are really ignorant or very anti-Semite.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Banner at Tehran military parade, Sept. 23, 2013. Although the English statement is relatively mild, in Persian and Arabic it says “Death to America.”
Iran Says Nuclear Deal ‘Impossible’ by Nov. 24 Deadline
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

Weiss-112114-Sufganiot

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

Nimchinsky-112114-Learning

Not every child can live up to our hopes or expectations, but every child is loved by Hashem.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

While our leaders have been shepherds, the vast majority of the Children of Israel were farmers.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Dr. Schwartz had no other alternatives up his sleeve. He suggested my mother go home and think about what she wanted to do.

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

We find that in certain circumstances before the Torah was actually given, people were permitted to make calculations as to what would better serve Hashem, even if it were against a mitzvah or aveirah.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-the-scepter-shall-not-depart-from-judah-redux-part-i/2013/07/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: