Ki Tisa, Siman 34 כי תשא, ל״ד
1 א

וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל מֹשֶׁה כְּתָב לְךָ אֶת הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה. זֶה שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב: אֶכְתָּב לוֹ רֻבֵּי תּוֹרָתִי כְּמוֹ זָר נֶחְשָׁבוּ (הושע ח, יב). אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בַּר שַׁלּוּם: כְּשֶׁאָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמֹשֶׁה כְּתָב לְךָ, בִּקֵּשׁ מֹשֶׁה שֶׁתְּהֵא הַמִּשְׁנָה בִּכְתָב. וּלְפִי שֶׁצָּפָה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁאֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם עֲתִידִין לְתַרְגֵּם אֶת הַתּוֹרָה וְלִהְיוֹת קוֹרְאִין בָּהּ יְוָנִית, וְהֵם אוֹמְרִים אָנוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל.

And the Lord said unto Moses: “Write thou these words, for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel” (Exod. 34:27). Scripture states elsewhere in allusion to this verse: Though I write for him never so many things of My Law, they are accounted as stranger’s (Hos. 8:12). R. Judah the son of Shalum was of the opinion that when the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses Write thou, Moses wanted to write the Mishnah as well. However, the Holy One, blessed be He, foresaw that ultimately the nations of the world would translate the Torah into the Greek language and would claim: “We are the Israelites.”

2 ב

וְעַד עַכְשָׁו הַמֹּאזְנַיִם מְעֻיָּן. אָמַר לָהֶם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לָאֻמּוֹת: אַתֶּם אוֹמְרִים שֶׁאַתֶּם בָּנַי, אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ, אֶלָּא מִי שֶׁמִּסְטוֹרִין שֶׁלִּי אֶצְלוֹ, הֵם בָּנַי. וְאֵיזוֹ הִיא? זוֹ הַמִּשְׁנָה שֶׁנִּתְּנָה עַל פֶּה, וְהַכֹּל מִמְּךָ לִדְרֹשׁ.

Now the scales are balanced (as to who are His people). The Holy One, blessed be He, can say to the nations of the world: You claim that you are My children, but I know that only those who know My secrets are My children. Where are His secrets (to be found)? In the Mishnah, which was given orally, and from which everything can be derived.

3 ג

אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בַּר שַׁלּוּם: אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמֹשֶׁה: מָה אַתְּ מְבַקֵּשׁ שֶׁתְּהֵא הַמִּשְׁנָה בִּכְתָב. וּמַה בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל לָאֻמּוֹת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: אֶכְתָּב לוֹ רֻבֵּי תּוֹרָתִי. וְאִם כֵּן, כְּמוֹ זָר נֶחְשָׁבוּ. אֶלָּא תֵּן לָהֶם מִקְרָא בִּכְתָב, וּמִשְׁנָה עַל פֶּה.

R. Judah the son of Shalum said: The Holy One, blessed be He, asked Moses: Why do you wish the Mishnah to be written?’ What would be the difference, then, between the peoples of the world and Israel? That is why it is written: Though I write for him never so many things of My Law, they are counted as a stranger’s. Therefore give them the Scripture in writing and the Mishnah orally.

4 ד

כְּתָב לְךָ אֶת הַדְּבָרִים, הֲרֵי מִקְרָא. כִּי עַל פִּי הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה, הֲרֵי מִשְׁנָה עַל פֶּה. דָּבָר אַחֵר, כְּתָב לְךָ. מִכָּאן אָמְרוּ: הַמְתַרְגֵּם לַקּוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָה, אָסוּר לוֹ לְהִסְתַּכֵּל בַּתּוֹרָה וּלְתַרְגֵּם. וְהַקּוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָה, אָסוּר לוֹ לִתֵּן עֵינָיו חוּץ מִן הַתּוֹרָה, שֶׁלֹּא נִתְּנָה הַתּוֹרָה אֶלָּא בִּכְתָב, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְכָתַבְתִּי עַל הַלּוּחוֹת אֶת הַדְּבָרִים אָסוּר לִמְתַרְגֵּם לְעַיֵּן בַּתּוֹרָה וּלְתַרְגֵּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: כְּתָב לְךָ אֶת הַדְּבָרִים, הֲרֵי הַמִּקְרָא. כִּי עַל פִּי הַדְּבָרִים, תַּרְגּוּם שֶׁנִּתַּן עַל פֶּה.

Write thou these words refers to Scripture, and after the tenor of these words alludes to the Mishnah, which was transmitted orally. Another comment on Write thou these words. They concluded from these words that one is forbidden to glance into the Torah and translate it (during the reading of the Torah in the synagogue),39While it was being read, the translator would translate the Hebrew text of Torah into Aramaic, the language familiar to the masses of the people. and that whoever is reading the Torah is prohibited from removing his eyes while reading it, since it was given in writing as it is said: And I will write upon the tablets the words (Exod. 34:1). One is prohibited from glancing into the Torah while translating it, for it is said: Write thou these words, but the Mishnah, concerning which it is stated: After the tenor of these words, may be interpreted freely because it was given orally.

5 ה

אָמַר רַבִּי רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בַּר שַׁלּוּם, כְּתָב לְךָ וְגוֹ'. כִּי עַל פִּי הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה כָּרַתִּי אִתְּךָ בְּרִית. עַל יְדֵי מָה אֲנִי כּוֹרֵת עִמְּךָ בְּרִית. עַל יְדֵי כְּתָב לְךָ, וְעַל יְדֵי עַל פִּי. אִם קִיַּמְתָּ שֶׁבִּכְתָב בִּכְתָב וְאֶת שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה עַל פֶּה, כְּאִלּוּ עִמְּךָ כָּרַתִּי בְּרִית. וְאִם שִׁנִּיתָ, לֹא כָּרַתִּי עִמְּךָ בְּרִית.

R. Judah the son of Shalum said in reference to the verses Write thou these words and for after the tenor of these words: I have made a covenant with You both with the words write thee and with after the tenor of. If you fulfill that which is written in writing and that which was given orally with you mouth, then will I have made a covenant with you, but if you should reverse the two, I will not have made a covenant with you.