[91a] R. Ashi said, “The rule is required to cover the fat [of the sinew of the hip]. For it has been taught on Tannaite authority: the fat is permitted, but the Israelites are holy and treat it as prohibited.”
H. Rabina said, “The rule is required to cover [the outer sinew of the hip], in accord with what R. Judah said Samuel said, for said R. Judah said Samuel, `As to the two sinews, the inner one, near the bone, is prohibited, and one is liable on account of eating it to a flogging; the outer one, near the meat, is prohibited, but one is not liable on its account.'”
A. Come and take note: [If] he ate an olive's bulk from each of two sinews from two thighs from two beasts, he incurs eighty stripes. R. Judah says, “He incurs only forty stripes” [T. 7:5 E-F].
B. If you say it is consistent [for Judah] to hold that it is obvious [that one of the sinews is permitted] then this makes perfect sense [that he incurs only forty]. But if you say it is consistent [for Judah] to hold that there is some doubt, then this would be a case where he was warned [against performing a prohibited act] subject to a doubt. And we have heard that R. Judah said that any warning that is subject to a doubt is not deemed a valid warning [cf. b. 81a, Zahavy, ullin, vol. II, p. 230].
C. For it was taught on Tannaite authority: [Concerning a son who is not certain which of two men is his father]: If he struck one [man who might be his father] and then he struck the other [who might be his father]; if he cursed one and then he cursed the other [he is exempt from punishment. But] if he hit them both at the same time; or if he cursed both of them at the same time, he is liable [to the death penalty in accord with Ex. 21]. R. Judah says, “[If he hit them] at the same time he is liable. [If he hit them] one after the other, he is exempt” [cf. T. Yeb. 12:7 H-K, for a variant version]. [For C-E cf. b. 82b-83a.]
D. This Tanna reasons in accord with the view of another Tanna, in accord with R. Judah who said that a warning that is subject to doubt is valid.
E. As it was taught on Tannaite authority: [The verse says:] “And you shall let none of it remain until the morning, anything that remains until the morning you shall burn” (Exod. 12:10). “The verse comes to connect a commandment to a prohibition to tell us that they do not incur stripes for violating it [i.e., for letting it remain past the appointed time],” the words of R. Judah. R. Jacob says, “This is not the reason [that they do not incur stripes for violating it]. But it is because [violating] the prohibition [of leaving over the sacrifice] does not require an overt act. And [we have a principle that for violating] any prohibition that does not require an overt act, they do not incur stripes.”
A. Come and take note: [If] he ate two sinews from two thighs from two beasts, he incurs eighty stripes. R. Judah says, “He incurs only forty stripes” [T. 7:5 E-F]. Since it states, from two thighs from two beasts, it is obvious that both are the prohibited ones. And it was necessary to state this in accord with the view of R. Judah. We derive from this that he holds the view that it is obvious [that one is prohibited, in response to the question posed at II.1 B above]. We may derive this conclusion.
B. But if it is obvious [that one is prohibited] why does he incur forty stripes? Why not more? Let him incur eighty stripes! [Forty for the sinew of each animal].
C. In that case what are we dealing with? The case in question may be one where there is less than an olive's bulk [of sinew]. For it was taught on Tannaite authority: [If] he ate it and it does not contain an olive's bulk, lo, this one is liable [M. Hul. 3:3B]. R. Judah declares exempt until there will be an olive's bulk therein [T. 7:5 C-D].
D. And what is the basis for this view? Said Raba, “Scripture stated, `The sinew of the hip' (Gen. 32:32) [meaning] the right hip. And the rabbis' [interpretation]? This [sinew] is the one whose prohibition extends through the entire hip. This excludes the outer [sinew] that does not [extend that far].”
E. And R. Joshua b. Levi said, “Scripture stated, `[When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and Jacob's thigh was put out of joint] as he wrestled with him' (Gen. 32:25). [The verse implies] this was like a person who clutches his fellow and his [right] hand reaches around to the right hip of his fellow.”
A. R. Samuel bar Nahmani said, “[The angel] appeared to him in the form of an idolater. As the master said: An Israelite who goes along with an idolater on the road, he puts him at his right hand [and he does not put him at his left hand] [T. A. Z. 3:4 F-G]. [And the angel then struck the hip nearest to him.]”
B. R. Samuel bar Aha [said] before R. Pappa in the name of Raba bar Ulla, “[The angel] appeared to him in the form of a disciple of the sages. As the master said: One who walks along on the right side of his master, lo, he is a boor [b. Yoma 37a]. [He therefore walked on the left side of the angel.]”
A. And what is the rabbis' [basis for holding the view that both hips are prohibited]? [The angel] came up from behind him and dislocated both of them.
B. And how do the rabbis interpret this phrase: “As he wrestled (h'bqw) with him” (Gen. 32:25)? They need it [to support] the other teaching of R. Joshua b. Levi. For said R. Joshua b. Levi, “This teaches us that they kicked dust ('bq) with their feet up to the Throne of Glory. Here it is written, “As he wrestled (h'bqw) with him” (Gen. 32:25). And there it is written, “[The Lord is slow to anger and of great might, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm,] and the clouds are the dust of his feet” (Nahum 1:3).
C. And said R. Joshua b. Levi, “Why is it called the sinew of the hip (gyd hnšh)? Because it was dislocated from its position (nšh mmqwmw) upward.” And so it says [in support of this understanding of the word], “[The warriors of Babylon have ceased fighting, they remain in their strongholds;] their strength has failed (i.e., slipped: nšth gbwrtm), they have become women; [her dwellings are on fire, her bars are broken]” (Jer. 51:30).
A. Said R. Yosé b. R. Hanina, “Why is it written, `The Lord sent a word against Jacob, and it fell on Israel' (Isa. 9:8). `The Lord sent a word against Jacob,' this is [the prohibition on account of Jacob's wrestling with the Angel of] the sinew of the hip. `And it fell on Israel,' its prohibition spread through all of Israel.”
B. And said R. Yosé b. R. Hanina, “Why is it written, `[When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, Bring the men into the house,] and slaughter an animal and make ready, [for the men are to dine with me at noon]' (Gen. 43:16). Show them [the brothers] the place it was slaughtered [so they will know they can eat the meat]. `And make ready' [means] remove the sinew of the hip in front of them [so they know they can eat the meat].”
C. And this accords with the authority who holds the view that the sinew of the hip was prohibited to the sons of Noah [i.e., and to the Israelites even before the Torah was given at Sinai].
A. “Jacob was left alone; [and a man wrestled with him until daybreak]” (Gen. 32:24): Said R. Eleazar, “This teaches us that he stayed behind on account of some small jars. This serves as a source of proof [of the maxim] that for the righteous, their material possessions are more dear to them then their own well-being. And why [do they go] to this length [to protect their small possessions]? Because they do not engage in theft [and they are poor].”
B. “And a man wrestled with him until daybreak” (Gen. 32:24): Said R. Yitzhak, “This serves as a source of proof [of the maxim] that a disciple of the sages should not go out by himself at night.”
C. R. Aha bar Kahana said, “We derive that [maxim] from this [verse]: [91b] “[Now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maidens you were?] See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor” (Ruth 3:2).
D. R. Abbahu said [we derive that maxim] form this verse: “So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; and he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him” (Gen. 22:3).
E. And our rabbis say [we derive that maxim] from this verse: “So he said to him, `Go now, see if it is well with your brothers, and with the flock; and bring me word again.' So he sent him from the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem” (Gen. 37:14).
F. Rab said [we derive that maxim] from this verse: “The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip” (Gen. 32:31).
A. Said R. Aqiba, “I asked R. Gamaliel and R. Joshua, at the meat market of Emmaus, where they went to buy an animal for the feast of the son of R. Gamaliel, [about this verse].
B. “It is written: `The sun rose upon him.' But did the sun rise only upon him? The sun rose upon the entire world!”
C. Said R. Yitzhak, “[This tells us that] the sun which had set on his account, rose on his account. For it is written: “Jacob left Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran” (Gen. 28:10). And it is written: “And he came to a certain place, and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. [Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep]” (Gen. 28:11).
D. When he arrived at Haran, he said, “Perhaps I passed by the place about which my forefathers had prayed.” When he decided to go back the earth heaved up [to block his way]. Right then [the verse tells us], “He came to [lit. touched] a certain place.”
E. When he had prayed, he wanted to go back. The Holy One, blessed be He said, “Will this righteous person come to my inn and depart without sleeping over?” Right then [the verse tells us], “The sun had set.”
A. It is written: “Taking one (lit.: from among) of the stones of the place, [he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep]” (Gen. 28:11). And it is written: “[So Jacob rose early in the morning,] and he took the stone [which he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it] (Gen. 28:18). Said R. Yitzhak, “This teaches us that all of the stones gathered to this one place. And each one was saying, “Upon me shall this righteous person rest [his head].” It was taught: All of them [miraculously] fused together into one.” [Hence the reference to a single stone in the latter verse.]
B. “And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; [and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!]” (Gen. 28:12): It was taught: How wide was this ladder? Eight thousand parsangs. For it is written: “And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!” [The plural form of] “ascending” denotes there were [at least] two [going up the ladder]. [And the plural form of] “descending” denotes there were [at least] two [going down the ladder]. And if they encountered one another [at the same place] there would be four [across]. And it is written concerning [the size of] an angel: “His body was like Tarshish [=beryl], [his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the noise of a multitude]” (Dan. 10:6). And we learned that [the city] Tarshish was two thousand parsangs wide.
C. It was taught: They were “ascending” and looking at the visage above. And they were “descending” and looking at the visage below. [Cf.: “As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man in front; the four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle at the back” (Ezek. 1:10). Rashi: The face of a man was the visage of Jacob.]
D. They were about to imperil him. Right then [so as to protect him the Lord appeared]: “And behold, the Lord stood above it [and said, `I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your descendants]” (Gen. 28:13).
E. Said R. Simeon b. Laqish, “If it were not written in scripture itself we would not be able to say about Him that he acted like a person fanning his son [to make him comfortable in the heat of the day because saying that would be demeaning to God].”
F. “The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your descendants” (Gen. 28:13): What does this [promise] include? Said R. Yitzhak, “This teaches us that God folded up the entire Land of Israel and placed it under Jacob our forefather [before issuing this blessing] so that it would be easier for his descendants to subdue it.”
A. “Then he said, `Let me go, for the day is breaking.' But Jacob said, `I will not let you go, unless you bless me'” (Gen. 32:26): He [Jacob] said to him, “Are you a robber or a kidnapper, that you are afraid of the daybreak?” He said to him, “I am an angel. And from the day I was created, my time did not come to sing praise [to God in the morning service] until now.”
B. This supports [the teaching of] R. Hananel in the name of Rab. For said R. Hananel, said Rab, “Three units of ministering angels sing praise each day. One sings “Holy.” Another sings “Holy.” And another sings “Holy is the Lord of hosts.” [Cf. Isa. 6:3, “And one called to another and said: `Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory'” (Isa. 6:3). Apparently, one unit invokes God's name after reciting only one word, “Holy.”]
C. They posed an objection: Israel is more dear to the Holy One, blessed be He, than the ministering angels? For Israel sings praise every hour [of the day]. And the ministering angels sing praise only once each day. And some state the matter: Once each week. And some state the matter: Once each month. And some state the matter: Once each year. And some state the matter: Once each seven years. And some state the matter: Once each Jubilee. And some state the matter: Once ever.
D. And Israel invokes God's name after reciting two words. As it says, “Hear, Israel: The Lord [our God is one Lord]” (Deut. 6:4). And the ministering angels invoke God's name only after reciting three words. As it is written, “[And one called to another and said:] `Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; [the whole earth is full of his glory']” (Isa. 6:3).
E. And the ministering angels do not sing praise up above until Israel sings praise down below. As it says, [First] “the morning stars sang together,” then afterward, “all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7).
F. [Rashi explains the objection: In any event it was taught here “only after reciting three words.” And you say (above in B that some angels recited only one word prior to invoking God's name), “Holy is the Lord of hosts.”] Rather [you should restate B as follows]: One sings “Holy.” Another sings “Holy, holy.” And another sings “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.”