5:16ה׳:ט״ז
1 א

חִכּוֹ מַמְתַקִּים. דְּבָרָיו עֲרֵבִים:

[The words of] his palate are sweet. His words are pleasant.

2 ב

זֶה דוֹדִי. זֶה דְמוּת דּוֹדִי וְזֶה דְמוּת רֵעִי, וְעַל כָּל אֵלֶּה חָלִיתִי לְאַהֲבָתוֹ. וְהַדֻּגְמָא כְּלַפֵּי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, כָּךְ הִיא:

This is my beloved. This is the likeness of my beloved, and this is the likeness of my friend, and because of all these [attributes] I have become sick for his love. The allegorical meaning, regarding the Holy One, Blessed Is He, is as follows:

3 ג

דּוֹדִי צַח. וְלָבָן לְהַלְבִּין עֲוֹנוֹתָי. צַח וְלָבָן כְּשֶׁנִּרְאָה בְסִינַי נִרְאָה כְזָקֵן מוֹרֶה הוֹרָאוֹת, וְכֵן בְּשִׁבְתּוֹ לַמִּשְׁפָּט "לְבוּשֵׁיהּ כִּתְלַג חִוָּר וּשְׂעַר רֵאשֵׁהּ כַּעֲמַר נְקֵא":

My beloved is pure white. And white, [anxious] to whiten my iniquities. [He is] clear and white, when He appeared at Sinai, He appeared as an old man, teaching instructions, and similarly, when He sits in judgment, “His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like clean wool.”50Doniyeil 7:9.

4 ד

וְאָדוֹם. לִיפָּרַע מִשׂוֹנְאָיו כְּעִנְיָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, "מַדּוּעַ אָדֹם לִלְבוּשֶׁךָ":

And ruddy. To exact punishment from His enemies, as the matter is stated, “Why is Your clothing red?”51Yeshayahu 63:2.

5 ה

דָּגוּל מֵרְבָבָה. הַרְבֵּה חֲיָלוֹת מַקִּיפִין אוֹתוֹ:

Surrounded by myriads. Many armies52I.e., angels, as it is written “a thousand thousands served Him, and myriad myriads stood before Him,” in Daniyeil 7:10. (Metzudas Dovid) surround Him.

6 ו

רֹאשׁוֹ כֶּתֶם פָּז. תְּחִלַּת דְּבָרָיו הִבְהִיקוּ כְּכֶתֶם פָּז, וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר, "פֵּתַח דְּבָרֶיךָ יָאִיר". פָּתַח: "אָנֹכִי ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ"; הֶרְאָם תְּחִלָּה שֶׁמִּשְׁפַּט מְלוּכָה יֵשׁ לוֹ עֲלֵיהֶם, וְאַחַר כָּךְ גָּזַר עֲלֵיהֶם גְּזֵרוֹתָיו:

His head is [like] finest gold. The beginning of His words shone like finest gold, and similarly it says, “The introduction of Your words illuminates.”53Tehillim 119:130. He began, “I am Adonoy your God.”54Shemos 20:2. He showed them first that He has the right of sovereignty over them, and He then issued His decrees upon them.

7 ז

קְוֻצּוֹתָיו תַּלְתַּלִּים. עַל כָּל קוֹץ וְקוֹץ תִּלֵּי תִלִּים שֶׁל הֲלָכוֹת:

His locks hang. Upon every point [=קוֹץ are heaps [=תִּלִּים and heaps of laws.55See Maseches Eruvin 21b.

8 ח

שְׁחֹרוֹת כָּעוֹרֵב. עַל שֵׁם שֶׁהָיְתָה כְתוּבָה לְפָנָיו אֵשׁ שְׁחוֹרָה עַל גַּבֵּי אֵשׁ לְבָנָה. דָּבָר אַחֵר: "קְוֻצּוֹתָיו תַּלְתַּלִּים" כְּשֶׁנִּרְאָה עַל הַיָּם, נִרְאָה כְּבָחוּר נִלְחָם בִּגְבוּרָה:

They are raven-black. Because it [the Torah] was written before Him in black fire on white fire.56See Rashi Devarim 33:2. Another explanation, “His locks hang,” when He appeared on the sea, He appeared like a young man mightily waging war.

9 ט

עֵינָיו כְּיוֹנִים עַל אֲפִיקֵי מָיִם. כְּיוֹנִים שֶׁעֵינֵיהֶם צוֹפוֹת אֶל אֲרֻבּוֹתֵיהֶם, כָּךְ עֵינָיו עַל בָּתֵּי כְנֵסִיּוֹת וּבָתֵּי מִדְרָשׁוֹת, שֶׁשָּׁם מוֹצָאֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַמְשׁוּלִים לְמָיִם:

His eyes are like doves upon brooks of water. Like doves, whose eyes gaze toward their windows, so His eyes [gaze] upon the synagogues and study halls, for over there are the sources of Torah, which is compared to water.57See Maseches Bava Kama 17a.

10 י

רֹחֲצוֹת בֶּחָלָב. כְּשֶׁהֵן צוֹפוֹת בַּמִּשְׁפָּט, מְבָרְרוֹת דִּין לַאֲמִתּוֹ לְהַצְדִּיק צַדִּיק, לָתֵת לוֹ כְצִדְקָתוֹ, וּלְהַרְשִׁיעַ רָשָׁע, לָתֵת דַּרְכּוֹ בְרֹאשׁוֹ:

Bathed in milk. When they look into the judgment, they clarify the law truthfully, to justify the just, to give him what he deserves, and to condemn the guilty, to repay his [evil] way upon his head.

11 יא

ישְׁבוֹת עַל מִלֵּאת. עַל מִלֵּאת שֶׁל עוֹלָם. מְשׁוֹטְטוֹת בְּכָל הָאָרֶץ, צוֹפוֹת טוֹבִים וְרָעִים. דָּבָר אַחֵר: תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים, שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא נוֹתְנָם עֵינַיִם לְהָאִיר לָעוֹלָם כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהָעֵינַיִם מְאִירִים לְאָדָם. כְּיוֹנִים הַנּוֹדְדִים מִשּׁוֹבָךְ לְשׁוֹבָךְ לְבַקֵּשׁ אָכְלָם, כָּךְ הֵם הוֹלְכִים מִמִּדְרָשׁוֹ שֶׁל פְּלוֹנִי חָכָם לְבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ שֶׁל פְּלוֹנִי חָכָם, לְבַקֵּשׁ טַעֲמֵי תוֹרָה:

Well set in their fullness. In the fullness of the world. They wander over the entire earth,58See Zecharyah 4:10. gazing upon the good and the evil.59See Mishlei 15:3. Another explanation, עֵינָיו symbolizes] Torah scholars,60See Rashi in Maseches Ta’anis 24a. whom the Holy One, Blessed Is He, designates as eyes to enlighten the world, just as the eyes enlighten man. “Like doves” that wander from dovecote to dovecote to seek their food, so do they [Torah scholars] go from the study hall of one sage to the study hall of another sage, to seek out explanations of Torah.

12 יב

עַל אֲפִיקֵי מָיִם. עַל בָּתֵּי מִדְרָשׁוֹת, שֶׁהֵם מוֹצָאֵי מַיִם שֶׁל תּוֹרָה:

Upon brooks of water. Upon study halls, which are the sources of the water of Torah.

13 יג

רֹחֲצוֹת בֶּחָלָב. לְפִי שֶׁקְּרָאָן עֵינַיִם וְהָעַיִן לְשׁוֹן נְקֵבָה הִיא, אָמַר "רוֹחֲצוֹת", לְשׁוֹן נְקֵבָה. הֵם מְצַחְצְחִין עַצְמָן בְּחָלָב שֶׁל תּוֹרָה וּמְלַבְּנִים סְתָרֶיהָ וּסְתוּמוֹתֶיהָ:

Bathed in milk. Since he calls them [Torah scholars] eyes, and the eye is a feminine noun, “bathed” רוֹחֲצוֹת is in the feminine conjugation. They cleanse themselves with the milk of Torah and whiten61I.e., clarify. its secrets and mysteries.

14 יד

ישְׁבוֹת עַל מִלֵּאת. מְיַשְּׁבִים דְּבָרִים עַל אָפְנֵיהֶם. דָּבָר אַחֵר: "עֵינָיו" עִנְיָנָיו, פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת שֶׁל תּוֹרָה וַהֲלָכוֹת וּמִשְׁנָיוֹת, "כְּיוֹנִים" שֶׁהֵם נָאִים בַּהֲלִיכָתָן; "עַל אֲפִיקֵי מָיִם" בְּבָתֵּי מִדְרָשׁוֹת, "רֹחֲצוֹת בֶּחָלָב" מְצֻחְצָחוֹת כֶּחָלָב, כְּמוֹ שֶׁפֵּרַשְׁתִּי:

Well set in their fullness. They resolve the matters appropriately. Another explanation, “His eyes,” [means] “its contents” עִנְיָנָיו=עֵינָיו; the sections of the Torah, the laws, and Mishnayos, are “like doves” which are beautiful in their walk, “upon brooks of water,” [i.e.,] in the study halls, “bathed in milk,” they are made clear as milk, as I have explained.

15 טו

לְחָיָו. דִּבְּרוֹת הַר סִינַי, שֶׁהֶרְאָה לָהֶם פָּנִים מַסְבִּירוֹת ושׂוֹחֲקוֹת:

His cheeks. The commandments at Mount Sinai, where He showed them a friendly and smiling demeanor.

16 טז

שִׂפְתוֹתָיו שׁוֹשַׁנִּים. דִּבּוּרִים שֶׁנִּדְבַּר בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד, שֶׁהֵם לְרִיצּוּי וּלְכַפָּרָה וּלְרֵיחַ טוֹב: תּוֹרַת חַטָּאת וְאָשָׁם וּמִנְחָה וְעוֹלָה וּשְׁלָמִים:

His lips are like roses. The commandments that He spoke in the Tent of Meeting, which were for appeasement and for atonement and for a pleasant fragrance; [these are] the law of the sin offering, the guilt offering, the meal offering,62Alternatively, “his lips” represent His prophets who spread His word like the fragrance of spices. (Metzudas Dovid) the burnt offering, and the peace offering.

17 יז

יָדָיו. הַלּוּחוֹת שֶׁנָּתַן מִימִינוֹ, וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדָיו הֵמָּה:

His hands. The Tablets, which He gave with His right hand, and are His handiwork.63See Shemos 32:16. The Tablets are symbolized by hands, each one with five fingers, corresponding to the five commandments on each Tablet. (Melo Haomer)

18 יח

גְּלִילֵי זָהָב. אֵלּוּ הַדִּבְּרוֹת, שֶׁבָּהֶן נֶאֱמַר: "הַנֶּחֱמָדִים מִזָּהָב וּמִפָּז רָב". אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן נְחֶמְיָה: "מַעֲשֵׂה נִסִּים הָיוּ. שֶׁל סַנְפִּירִינוֹן הָיוּ וְהָיוּ נִגְלָלִין. דָּבָר אַחֵר: עַל שֵׁם שֶׁמְּגַלְגְּלוֹת טוֹבָה לָעוֹלָם:

Rolls of gold. These are the commandments, about which it is said, “They are more desirable than gold, than even much fine gold.”64Tehillim 19:11. Rabbi Yehoshua the son of Nechemyah said, “They [i.e., the Tablets] were made miraculously; they were of sapphire, yet they were rolled גְּלִילֵי.” Another explanation [of ‘גְּלִילֵי’], because they [i.e., the Tablets] bring about מְגַלְגְּלוֹת much good to the world.

19 יט

מְמֻלָּאִים בַּתַּרְשִׁישׁ. שֶׁכָּלַל בַּעֲשֶׂרֶת הַדִּבְּרוֹת תַּרְיַ"ג מִצְוֹת:

Studded with precious gems. For He included in the Ten Commandments the six hundred and thirteen commandments.65See Rashi in Shemos 24:12. There he quotes Rav Sa’adia Gaon’s Sefer Hamitzvos wherein he connects the 613 mitzvos to the Ten Commandments.

20 כ

מֵעָיו עֶשֶׁת שֵׁן. זֶה תוֹרַת כֹּהֲנִים הַנִּתָּן בְּאֶמְצַע חֲמִשָּׁה חֻמָּשִׁים, כַּמֵּעַיִם הַלָּלוּ שֶׁהֵם נְתוּנִים בְּאֶמְצַע הַגּוּף:

His innards sparkle like ivory. This is [Chumash] Vayikra which was placed in the center of the five books [i.e., the Pentateuch], like the intestines, which are set in the center of the body.

21 כא

עֶשֶׁת שֵׁן מְעֻלֶּפֶת סַפִּירִים. נִרְאֵית חֲלָקָה כְּעֶשֶׁת שֵׁן, וְהִיא סְדוּרָה דִקְדּוּקִים רַבִּים: גְּזֵרוֹת שָׁווֹת וּבִנְיַן אָב וְקַלִּים וַחֲמוּרִים:

Sparkle like ivory overlaid with sapphires. It [Chumash Vayikra] appears as smooth as a block of ivory, and is arranged with many details, [e.g.] similar wordings, general principles, and inferences drawn from minor premises to major ones.

22 כב

מְיֻסָּדִים עַל אַדְנֵי פָז. אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר הַקַּפָּר: "הָעַמּוּד הַזֶּה יֵשׁ לוֹ כוֹתֶרֶת לְמַעְלָן וּבָסִיס לְמַטָּן". אָמַר רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר גָּדָא: פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה יֵשׁ לָהֶן כּוֹתֶרֶת לְמַעְלָן וּבָסִיס לְמַטָּן, וּסְמוּכוֹת לִפְנֵיהֶם וּלְאַחֲרֵיהֶם, כְּגוֹן פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת שֶׁל שְׁבִיעִית וְיוֹבֵל, "וְכִי תִמְכְּרוּ מִמְכָּר", לְהוֹדִיעֲךָ כַּמָּה קָשָׁה אֲבָקָהּ שֶׁל שְׁבִיעִית, כִּדְאִיתָא בְּמַסֶּכֶת סֻכָּה וַעֲרָכִין וּכְגוֹן "יִפְקֹד ה' . . . אִישׁ עַל הָעֵדָה", "צַו . . . אֶת קָרְבָּנִי לַחְמִי". עַד שֶׁאַתָּה מְפַקְּדֵנִי עַל בָּנַי, פְּקֹד אוֹתָם עָלַי! וְכֵן כַּמָּה. לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר: "שׁוֹקָיו עַמּוּדֵי שֵׁשׁ מְיֻסָּדִים וגו'":

Set in sockets of fine gold. Rabbi Elazar Hakapar said, “This pillar has a capital above and a base below.” Rabbi Shmuel the son of Gada said, “The sections of the Torah have a capital above and a base below, and they are connected [to the sections] preceding them and [to the sections] after them, e.g., the sections of the Sabbatical Year and the Jubilee are [connected to] ‘And if you sell something,’66Vayikra 25:14. to inform you how severe a minor infraction of the Sabbatical year is,”67If one does business with produce during the Sabbatical year, he will eventually be forced to sell all his property. as it appears in Tractates Sukkah6840b. and Arachin.6930b. Also, for example [the section], “May Adonoy ... appoint a man over the assembly,”70Bamidbar 27:16. is [connected to] “Command...My offering, My food.”71Ibid. 28:2. Before you command Me about My children,72To appoint a leader over the congregation of Yisroel. command them about Me [i.e., My offering], and similarly, there are many. Therefore, it is stated, ‘His legs are like pillars of marble set in, etc.’”

23 כג

מַרְאֵהוּ כַּלְּבָנוֹן. הַמִּסְתַּכֵּל וּמִתְבּוֹנֵן בִּדְבָרָיו, מוֹצֵא בָהֶם פְּרָחִים וְלוּלָבִים. כְּיַעַר זֶה שֶׁמְּלַבְלֵב, כָּךְ דִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה הַהוֹגֶה בָהֶם תָּמִיד מְחַדֵּשׁ בָּהֶם טְעָמִים:

His appearance is like Levanon. Whoever reflects and ponders over His words finds in them blossoms and sprouts, like a blooming forest. So are the words of Torah, whoever meditates over them constantly discovers new explanations in them.

24 כד

בָּחוּר. נִבְחָר, כָּאֲרָזִים הַנִּבְחָרִים לְבִנְיָן וּלְחֹזֶק וּלְגוֹבַהּ:

Chosen. Selected, like the cedars, which are chosen for building and for strength and for height.73Alternatively, referring to Bnei Yisroel, who became His “chosen” people at Mount Sinai when He gave us the Torah, as Scripture states in Shemos 19:5-6.

25 כה

חִכּוֹ מַמְתַקִּים. דְּבָרָיו עֲרֵבִים. "וְשֶׂרֶט לָנֶפֶשׁ לֹא תִתְּנוּ בִּבְשַׂרְכֶם אֲנִי ה'", הַנֶּאֱמָן לְשַׁלֵּם שָׂכָר. יֵשׁ חֵךְ מָתוֹק מִזֶּה? אַל תַּחְבְּלוּ בְּעַצְמְכֶם וּתְקַבְּלוּ שָׂכָר! "וּבְשׁוּב רָשָׁע מֵרִשְׁעָתוֹ וְעָשָׂה מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה עֲלֵיהֶם הוּא יִחְיֶה" עֲוֹנוֹת נֶחְשְׁבוּ לוֹ לִזְכֻיּוֹת. יֵשׁ חֵךְ מָתוֹק מִזֶּה?

[The words of] his palate are sweet. His words are pleasant, [as in,] “And an incision for the dead you shall not make in your flesh ... I am Adonoy,”74Vayikra 19:28. faithful to pay reward. Is there a palate sweeter than this? Do not wound yourselves, and you will receive reward. [In addition,] “And when a wicked man repents from his wickedness and performs justice and righteousness, he shall live because of them.”75Yechezkeil 33:19. Iniquities are accounted to him as merits [after he repents]. Is there a palate sweeter than this?