But is there not [another praise where they invoke God's name after reciting two words]? [92a] “[And the spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me the sound of loud rumbling;] blessed be the glory of the Lord” (Ezek. 3:12) [This is not a valid objection.] The [higher-ranking] ophanim were the ones who sang that praise.
H. And if you prefer another possibility: [The angels did recite this refrain. But] once permission was granted [to invoke God's name in the first refrain after three words], it was granted [in the subsequent refrains to invoke it after two words].
A. “He strove with the angel and prevailed, he wept and sought his favor” (Hosea 12:4). I do not know who prevailed. Since it says, “For you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed” (Gen. 32:28) I would say that Jacob prevailed over the angel. “He wept and sought his favor” — I do not know who wept for whom. Since it says, “Let me go” I would say that the angel wept for Jacob.
B. “For you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed” (Gen. 32:28): Said Rabbah, “He hinted to him that two princes are destined to be descended from him — the Exilarch in Babylonia and the Patriarch in the Land of Israel. This serves as a source of proof that he hinted to him concerning the exile.”
A. “And on the vine there were three branches (srygym); [as soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and clusters ripened into grapes]” (Gen. 40:10): Said R. Hiyya bar Abba, said Rab, “These are the three princes of distinction that come forth in Israel in every generation. Sometimes two of them are here [in Babylonia] and one is in the Land of Israel. And sometimes two are in the Land of Israel and one is here.”
B. Our rabbis looked favorably upon the distinguished rabbi Uqba and the distinguished rabbi Nehemiah, the sons of the daughter of Rab [as two princes of distinction of their generation].
C. Raba said, “These [branches represent] the three princes [Rashi: angels] of the gentiles who speak favorably on behalf of Israel in each generation.”
D. It was taught [regarding the meaning of the verse] Rabbi Eliezer says: “The vine” — this represents the world. “Three branches” — this [represents] Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. “As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth” — this [represents] the mothers [of Israel]. “Its clusters ripened into grapes” — this represents the tribes.”
E. Said to him R. Joshua: [This interpretation is not valid.] Does it make any sense to say that one shows [through symbolism] what already took place? [No.] One only shows [through symbolism] what will take place. Rather [here is how you should interpret the verse:] “The vine” — this represents the Torah. “Three branches” — this [represents] Moses, Aaron and Miriam. “As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth” — this [represents] the Sanhedrin. “Its clusters ripened into grapes” — this represents the righteous people of every generation.”
F. Said Rabban Gamaliel, “We still need the Modaite. For [his interpretation is better because] it sustains all of them [i.e., the symbolic interpretations] in connection with one place [as follows].” R. Eleazar the Modaite says: “The vine” — this represents Jerusalem. “Three branches” — this [represents] the Temple, the King and the High Priest. “As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth” — this [represents] the young priests. “Its clusters ripened into grapes” — this represents the libations.”
G. R. Joshua b. Levi sustains [the interpretations in connection] with the gifts [that God gave the Israelites in the desert]. For said R. Joshua b. Levi: “The vine” — this represents the Torah. “Three branches” — this [represents] the well, the pillar of smoke and the manna. “As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth” — this [represents] the first fruits. “Its clusters ripened into grapes” — this represents the libations.”
H. R. Jeremiah bar Abba said: “The vine” — this represents Israel. And so it says, “You brought a vine out of Egypt” (Ps. 80:8). “Three branches” — this [represents] the three pilgrimages that Israel goes on each year [up to Jerusalem on the festivals]. “As soon as it budded” — [this means] the time has come for Israel to be fruitful and multiply. And so it says, “But the descendants of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; [they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong; so that the land was filled with them]” (Exod. 1:7). “Its blossoms shot forth” — [this means] the time has come for Israel to be redeemed. And so it says, “[I have trodden the wine press alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath;] their lifeblood is sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my raiment” (Isa. 63:3). “Its clusters ripened into grapes” — [this means] the time has come for Egypt to drink the cup of venom [Jastrow: staggering. Cf. “Rouse yourself, rouse yourself, stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl of staggering” (Isa. 51:17)].
I. And this [accords with] what Raba said, “These three cups that were spoken of [in one verse] with regard to [the nation] Egypt, what do they mean? [`Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand' (Gen. 40:11).] One represents the cup [of wrath] it drank in the time of Moses. One represents the cup [of wrath] it drank in the time of Pharaoh-Necho [i.e., `The word which the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon to smite the land of Egypt' (Jer. 46:13)]. And one represents the cup [of wrath] it will drink in the future along with all the other idolaters.”
J. Said R. Abba to R. Jeremiah bar Abba, “When Rab expounded these verses in his homily, he expounded them in accord with your views [as in H above].”
K. Said R. Simeon b. Laqish, “This nation [Israel] is compared to a vine. Its branches, they are the householders. Its clusters, they are the disciples of the sages. Its leaves, they are the plain folk [amme ha'arez]. Its twigs, they are the lowlifes in Israel. And this accords with [the directive] they sent from Israel: Let the clusters pray for the leaves. For if not for the leaves, the clusters could not survive.
A. “So I bought her ('krh) for fifteen shekels of silver [and a homer and a letekh of barley]” (Hosea 3:2): Said R. Yohanan in the name of R. Simeon b. Yozadaq: The first language used in the verse — always implies buying (i.e., pointing out the relationship between kyrh and mkyrh). As it says, “[My father made me swear, saying, `I am about to die:] in my tomb which I bought (kryty) [RSV: hewed out] for myself [in the land of Canaan, there shall you bury me.' Now therefore let me go up, I pray you, and bury my father; then I will return']” (Gen. 50:5). “Fifteen” — [specified in the verse] this is [a symbolic reference to] the fifteenth day of Nissan on which Israel was redeemed from Egypt. “Shekels of silver” — these are [symbols of] the righteous. And so it says, “He took a bag of money with him; [at full moon he will come home]” (Prov. 7:20).
B. “And a homer and a letekh of barley” — [i.e., measures equal to thirty seah and fifteen seah respectively] these are the forty-five righteous people who sustain the world. And I do not know if thirty of them are here [in Babylonia] and fifteen are in Israel, or if fifteen are here and thirty are in Israel. When it says, “So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them into the treasury in the house of the Lord” (Zech. 11:13) — I would say [based on that], thirty are in the Land of Israel and fifteen are here.
C. Said Abayye, “And most of these [righteous people] can be found in the synagogue under the side chamber [Cashdan: the last reference is unknown].” And this accords with what is written: “Then I said to them, `If it seems right to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.' And they weighed out as my wages thirty shekels of silver” (Zech. 11:12).
D. R. Judah says, “These [thirty shekels] are [symbols of] the thirty righteous people of the nations of the earth who sustain the nations of the earth.”
E. Ulla said, “These [thirty shekels] are [symbols of] the thirty commandments that the sons of Noah accepted upon themselves. But they only keep three of them! One is that [92b] they do not write a ketubah [i.e., marriage contract] for male partners. One is that they do not weigh flesh of the dead [of either humans or animals] to sell in the market. And one is that they respect the Torah.”
A. But it does not apply to a bird, because it has no hollow [of the thigh or spoon shaped hip socket] [M. 7:1 C]. But lo, we observed that it does [have a hollow]! It has but it is not rounded [Cashdan: convex].
B. R. Jeremiah posed a question: If a bird has one [i.e., a hip-socket] that is rounded or if a beast has one that is not rounded, what is [its status with regard to this prohibition]? Do we follow that one [anomaly]? Or do we follow its category? The question stands unresolved.
A. And it applies to the foetus. R. Judah says, “It does not apply to the foetus.” And its fat is permitted [M. 7:1 D-F]. Said Samuel, “And its fat is permitted according to all authorities.”
B. Which fat does he mean? If you maintain [it means the fat] of the foetus, lo they dispute this matter. For it was taught on Tannaite authority: “[The prohibition of the sinew of the hip] applies to the foetus, and its fat is prohibited,” the words of R. Meir [M. Hul 7:1D]. R. Judah says, “It does not apply to the foetus. Its fat is permitted” [M. Hul. 7:1 E-F].
C. And said R. Eleazar, said R. Oshaia, “The dispute pertains to a case of a live nine-months' birth. And R. Meir follows in accord with his view [that it must be slaughtered] and R. Judah with his view.”
D. Rather [it refers to] forbidden fats of the sinew. [But in this too] there is a dispute. For it was taught on Tannaite authority: “As to the sinew of the hip: One digs after it in every place in which it is located and removes it. And he cuts away its fat from its root,” the words of R. Meir [cf. M. 7:2 B]. R. Judah says, “One removes it [merely] from the cap of the hip bone” [cf. M. 7:2 C and T. 7:4 A-B].
E. Invariably it means the fat of the sinew. And Samuel agrees that according to R. Meir it is prohibited on the authority of the rabbis. For it was taught on Tannaite authority: And its fat is permitted, but the Israelites are holy and treat it as forbidden [cf. b. Pes. 93b]. Is it not the case that this is in accord with the view of R. Meir who says that it is permitted based on the authority of the Torah but prohibited on the authority of the rabbis?
F. Perhaps not and this is in accord with the view or R. Judah. But in accord with the view of R. Meir it is prohibited even on the authority of the Torah. No. You cannot have concluded that. For it was taught on Tannaite authority: As to the sinew of the hip: One digs after it in every place in which it is located [and removes it]. And its fat is permitted.
G. Who is the authority from whom we heard that, one digs after it? R. Meir. And it was stated [in conjunction with this rule], its fat is permitted.
A. Said R. Yitzhak bar Samuel bar Marta, said Rab, “The Torah prohibited only the branches [of the sinew].” Ulla said, “It is [tasteless] like wood, but the Torah made him liable [for eating it anyway].”
B. Said Abayye, “In accord with the view of Ulla it makes more sense.” For said R. Sheshet, said R. Assi, “The veins in forbidden fat are prohibited but they are not liable for [eating] them.”
C. It makes sense to maintain that the Torah spoke of fat and not veins. Here too [it makes sense to maintain that] the Torah spoke of the sinew and not the branches.
A. Reverting to the body of the prior text: Said R. Sheshet, said R. Assi, “The veins in forbidden fat are prohibited but they are not liable for [eating] them.” [The veins] of the kidney are prohibited and they are not liable for [eating] them.
B. The white of the kidney: Rabbi and R. Hiyya [disputed the matter]. One prohibited it and one permitted it. Rabbah would scrape it all off. R. Yohanan would scrape it all off. R. Assi would trim it from the surface.