web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Judaism Stories
Greenbaum-102414

Noach was the lonely man of faith living in a depraved world, full of wickedness.

Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Avraham became a great man during the 175 years of his life, while his predecessors became increasingly wicked, despite staggering knowledge, during their lifetimes of hundreds of years.

Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

Shem realized that he owed his existence to his father who brought him into the world.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Law-Abiding Citizen
‘That Which Is Crooked Cannot Be Made Straight…’
(Yevamos 22a-b)

The flood was not sent to destroy, but to restore the positive potential of the world.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Why is there is no mention of dinosaurs, and other prehistoric animals, in the Torah?

Strict din demands perfection. There is no room for shortcomings and no place for excuses; you are responsible.

Surprisingly, my husband and one son arrived home over half-an-hour earlier than usual. I excitedly shared my perfect-timing story, but my better half one upped me easily.

Noach felt a tug, and then heard a rip. His jacket had been caught on the nail, and the beautiful suit had a tear.

Boundaries must be set in every home. Parents and children are not pals. They are not equals.

Noah and his wife could not fathom living together as husband and wife and continuing the human race

The Babel story is the 2nd in a 4-act drama that’s unmistakably a connecting thread of Bereishit

Our intentions are critical in raising children because they mimic everything we parents do & think

A humble person who achieves a position of prominence will utilize the standing to benefit others.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
Questions-Answers-logo

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

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: