מרכבתי וחיות אחרות
1א
הדף מאת: דויד ברק-גורודצקי / הלל ישראל
2ב
דף הלימוד עוסק במעשה מרכבה, והוא כולל מקורות מסורתיים (ובפרט מסכת חגיגה) ומקורות עכשוויים. מטרת המהלך היא להציג בתחילה את ההתנגדות לספר יחזקאל ולחזיונו, ובהמשך להציגו גם באור חיובי. דף הלימוד מתאים לקראת חג השבועות, בשל המסורות הקושרות את יחזקאל עם שבועות.
3ג
אנו בעד הנביא יחזקאל
4ד
חיים חפר, יחזקאל
יחזקאל / החלונות הגבוהים
אנו בעד הנביא יחזקאל
נלך אחריו עם תרמיל ומקל
אל כל מקום שאותנו יביא
הנביא יחזקאל הוא בומבה של נביא

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5 ה
מתאוס מריאן, תחריט של 'מעשה מרכבה', פרק א' ביחזקאל, מאה 16
תחריט לספר יחזקאל, מאה 16
6ו
אין דורשין
אין דורשין בעריות בשלשה, ולא במעשה בראשית בשנים, ולא במרכבה ביחיד, אלא אם כן היה חכם ומבין מדעתו. כל המסתכל בארבעה דברים ראוי לו כאילו לא בא לעולם: מה למעלה מה למטה מה לפנים ומה לאחור. וכל שלא חס על כבוד קונו, ראוי לו שלא בא לעולם.
They may not expound upon the subject of forbidden relations in the presence of three. Nor the work of creation in the presence of two. Nor [the work of] the chariot in the presence of one, unless he is a sage and understands of his own knowledge. Whoever speculates upon four things, it would have been better had he not come into the world: what is above, what is beneath, what came before, and what came after. And whoever takes no thought for the honor of his creator, it would have been better had he not come into the world.
7ז
הרמב"ם על מעשה מרכבה
כוונתם במעשה מרכבה- המדע הא-להי, והוא: הדיבור על כללות המציאות, ועל מציאות הבורא, ודעתו, ותאריו, וחיוב הנמצאים ממנו, והמלאכים, והנפש, והשכל הדבק באדם, ומה שאחרי המוות... אבל מעשה מרכבה אין דורשין בהם כלל אפילו ליחיד אלא אם כן היה כמו שאמר חכם ומבין מדעתו, והוא שמתעורר ומבין הענינים מעצמו ואינו צריך לבאר לו, רומזים לו ברמז והוא לומד ודן על פיו מעצמו, וזהו ענין אמרם שונין לו ראשי הפרקים (חגיגה יג, א), לפי שיש שם ענינים הנחקקים בנפשות השלמים מבני אדם, וכשמסבירים אותם בלשון וממשלים אותם במשלים פג טעמן ויוצאין מענינן.
8ח
בן כפר ובן כרך
אמר רבא, כל שראה יחזקאל ראה ישעיה. למה יחזקאל דומה, לבן כפר שראה את המלך. ולמה ישעיה דומה, לבן כרך שראה את המלך.
§ Rava said: All that Ezekiel saw, the prophet Isaiah saw as well, but the latter did not find it necessary to describe his vision in such detail. To what may Ezekiel be compared? To a villager who saw the king and is excited by all the extravagances of the king’s palace and everything it contains, as he is unaccustomed to them. And to what may Isaiah be compared? To a city dweller who saw the king. Such an individual focuses on the encounter with the king, and is oblivious to all the distractions. Reish Lakish said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted” (Exodus 15:1)? It is fitting to sing to He Who is exalted above the exalted. As the Master said: The king of the beasts is the lion, the king of the domestic animals is the ox, the king of the birds is the eagle, and man is exalted and lords over them, but the Holy One, Blessed be He, is exalted above all of them and above the entire world, as the creatures that appear in the Divine Chariot are the ox, the lion, the eagle, and man.
9ט
אלמלא הוא נגנז ספר יחזקאל
ברם זכור אותו האיש לטוב, וחנניה בן חזקיה שמו; אלמלא הוא נגנז ספר יחזקאל, שהיו דבריו סותרין דברי תורה. מה עשה? העלו לו שלש מאות גרבי שמן (למזון ולמאור) וישב בעליה ודרשן
It refers to speaking animals of fire. Electrum [ḥashmal] is an acrostic of this phrase [ḥayyot esh memallelot]. It was taught in a baraita: At times they are silent; at times they speak. When the divine speech emerges from the mouth of the Holy One, Blessed be He, they are silent; and when the divine speech does not emerge from the mouth of the Holy One, Blessed be He, they speak. § The verse states: “And the divine creatures ran and returned like the appearance of a flash of lightning [bazak]” (Ezekiel 1:14). What is the meaning of “ran and returned”? Rav Yehuda said: Like fire that is emitted from a furnace, whose flame is continuously bursting out and withdrawing. What is the meaning of “like the appearance of a flash of lightning”? Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina said: Like the fire that is emitted from between pieces of earthenware used for refining gold, as an additional meaning ascribed to the word bazak is shards of earthenware. The verse states: “And I looked and, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, a great cloud, with a fire flashing up, so that a brightness was round about it; and out of its midst was like the color of electrum, out of the midst of the fire” (Ezekiel 1:4). The Gemara poses a question: Where did that wind go? Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: It went to conquer the entire world under the wicked Nebuchadnezzar. And why was all of this necessary? Why was it necessary that the entire world be subjected to his dominion? So that the nations of the world would not say: The Holy One, Blessed be He, delivered His children into the hands of a lowly nation. Since it was already decreed that the kingdom of Israel would fall into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, God made him into a great conqueror, so that Israel would not be ashamed of being defeated by him. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said with regard to this: Who caused Me to be an attendant to worshippers of molten images, forcing Me to wage their wars? It was the sins of Israel that led Me to do so. Another verse in the same chapter states: “Now as I beheld the divine creatures, behold, one wheel [ofan] was upon the earth near the divine creatures” (Ezekiel 1:15). Rabbi Elazar said: This wheel is a certain angel who stands on the earth and its head reaches the divine creatures. It was taught in a baraita: This angel is named Sandalfon, who is taller than his colleague by a distance of five hundred years, and he stands behind the Divine Chariot and weaves crowns for his Maker. The Gemara asks: Is that so? Can crowns be woven for God? But isn’t it written: “Blessed be the Lord’s glory from His place” (Ezekiel 3:12), which proves by inference that no one knows His place? Therefore, how can crowns be woven for Him? Rather, it can be done by saying a name for the crown, and then the crown goes and sits on God’s head of its own accord. § Rava said: All that Ezekiel saw, the prophet Isaiah saw as well, but the latter did not find it necessary to describe his vision in such detail. To what may Ezekiel be compared? To a villager who saw the king and is excited by all the extravagances of the king’s palace and everything it contains, as he is unaccustomed to them. And to what may Isaiah be compared? To a city dweller who saw the king. Such an individual focuses on the encounter with the king, and is oblivious to all the distractions. Reish Lakish said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted” (Exodus 15:1)? It is fitting to sing to He Who is exalted above the exalted. As the Master said: The king of the beasts is the lion, the king of the domestic animals is the ox, the king of the birds is the eagle, and man is exalted and lords over them, but the Holy One, Blessed be He, is exalted above all of them and above the entire world, as the creatures that appear in the Divine Chariot are the ox, the lion, the eagle, and man. The Gemara poses a question with regard to the animals of the Divine Chariot: One verse states: “As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and the four had the face of a lion on the right side; and the four had the face of an ox on the left side” (Ezekiel 1:10). And it is also written: “And each one had four faces: The first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle” (Ezekiel 10:14), but it does not include the face of an ox in this second list. Reish Lakish said: Ezekiel requested mercy with regard to it, i.e., the face of the ox, and had it turned into a cherub. He said before Him as follows: Master of the Universe. Shall an accuser [kateigor] become a defender [saneigor]? As the face of an ox recalls Israel’s sin of the Golden Calf, it would be preferable for there to be a different face on the Divine Chariot. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of “cherub”? Rabbi Abbahu said: Like a baby [keravya], for in Babylonia they call a baby ravya. Rav Pappa said to Abaye: However, if that is so, what is the meaning of that which is written: “The first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle”? The face of a cherub is the same as the face of a man; what is the difference between them? He replied: The difference is that the face of a man is referring to a large face, whereas the face of a cherub means the small face of a baby. The Gemara asks another question: One verse states: “Each one had six wings; with two it covered its face and with two it covered its feet, and with two it flew” (Isaiah 6:2), and another verse states: “And every one had four faces, and every one of them had four wings” (Ezekiel 1:6). The Gemara answers: This is not difficult, as here, when the verse states they each had six wings, it is referring to the time when the Temple is standing, while there, where four wings are described, it is referring to the time when the Temple is not standing, for it is as if the number of the wings of the animals were diminished so that they now have only four. The Gemara asks: Which of the wings were diminished? Rav Ḥananel said that Rav said: Those with which they recite song. The proof is that it is written here: “And with two it flew [yeofef ]. And one called to the other and said” (Isaiah 6:2–3), and it is written: “Will you set [hata’if ] your eyes upon it? It is gone” (Proverbs 23:5), implying that the flight of these wings had ceased. And the Rabbis say that the wings they lost are those with which they cover their feet, for it is stated: “And their feet were straight feet” (Ezekiel 1:7). Now if these wings had not been diminished, how would he know what their feet looked like? Clearly their feet were no longer covered. The Gemara rejects this: This is no proof, for perhaps they were momentarily revealed, allowing him to see them. Because if you do not say so, that he saw them for a moment, then with regard to the verse: “And the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man” (Ezekiel 1:10), so too will you say that these the wings covering their faces were diminished as well? Rather, it must be that they were revealed and he saw them. Here too, they were revealed and he saw them. The Gemara refutes this: How can these cases be compared? Granted, it is logical that his face was revealed, as it is proper conduct for an angel to reveal his face before his Master, and therefore it is possible that they would have revealed their faces at certain times; but with regard to his feet, it is not proper conduct to reveal them before his Master. Therefore, they must have lacked wings to cover their feet. § The Gemara continues to address apparent contradictions between verses concerning similar matters: One verse states: “A thousand thousands ministered to Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him” (Daniel 7:10), and another verse states: “Is there a number to His troops?” (Job 25:3), implying that they are even more numerous than “ten thousand times ten thousand.” The Gemara answers: This is not difficult, for here, when they are without number, the verse is referring to the time when the Temple is standing; there, the other verse is referring to the time when the Temple is not standing, for it is as though the heavenly entourage [pamalya] were diminished. It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says in the name of Abba Yosei ben Dosai: “A thousand thousands ministered to Him” is referring to the number of angels in a single troop, but with regard to the number of his troops, it can be said: “And to his troops, there is no number”. And Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba said: There is no contradiction, since with regard to the phrase “a thousand thousands ministered to Him,” the pronoun “Him” can be literally translated as: It, referring not to those who serve God Himself, but to those who administer to the River Dinur, as it is stated: “A fiery [dinur] river issued and came forth from before him; a thousand thousands ministered to it, and a myriad myriads stand before it” (Daniel 7:10). The ministers of God, however, are indeed too numerous to count. The Gemara asks: From where does this river flow? The Gemara answers: From the perspiration of the divine creatures. And where does it flow to? Rav Zutra bar Toviya said that Rav said: Upon the heads of the wicked in Gehenna, as it is stated: “Behold, a storm of the Lord has gone forth in fury, a whirling storm; it shall whirl upon the head of the wicked” (Jeremiah 23:19). And Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov said: The river flows over those who were snatched away, i.e., the generations that were never created, as it is stated: “Who were snatched away before their time, whose foundation was poured out as a stream” (Job 22:16), implying that the River Dinur flows over them. It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Shimon HeḤasid said in explanation of this verse: These people “who were snatched away” are those nine hundred and seventy-four generations that were snatched away; they were to have been created
10י
לימוד בחברותא:
11יא
יחזקאל, פרק א'
(א) וַיְהִי בִּשְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה, בָּרְבִיעִי בַּחֲמִשָּׁה לַחֹדֶשׁ, וַאֲנִי בְתוֹךְ הַגּוֹלָה, עַל נְהַר כְּבָר; נִפְתְּחוּ, הַשָּׁמַיִם וָאֶרְאֶה מַרְאוֹת אֱלֹהִים. (ב) בַּחֲמִשָּׁה, לַחֹדֶשׁ הִיא הַשָּׁנָה הַחֲמִישִׁית לְגָלוּת הַמֶּלֶךְ יוֹיָכִין. (ג) הָיֹה הָיָה דְבַר-ה' אֶל-יְחֶזְקֵאל בֶּן-בּוּזִי הַכֹּהֵן, בְּאֶרֶץ כַּשְׂדִּים עַל נְהַר כְּבָר; וַתְּהִי עָלָיו שָׁם יַד-ה'. (ד) וָאֵרֶא וְהִנֵּה רוּחַ סְעָרָה בָּאָה מִן-הַצָּפוֹן, עָנָן גָּדוֹל וְאֵשׁ מִתְלַקַּחַת וְנֹגַהּ לוֹ סָבִיב; וּמִתּוֹכָהּ כְּעֵין הַחַשְׁמַל, מִתּוֹךְ הָאֵשׁ. (ה) וּמִתּוֹכָהּ דְּמוּת, אַרְבַּע חַיּוֹת; וְזֶה, מַרְאֵיהֶן דְּמוּת אָדָם, לָהֵנָּה. (ו) וְאַרְבָּעָה פָנִים, לְאֶחָת; וְאַרְבַּע כְּנָפַיִם, לְאַחַת לָהֶם. (ז) וְרַגְלֵיהֶם, רֶגֶל יְשָׁרָה; וְכַף רַגְלֵיהֶם, כְּכַף רֶגֶל עֵגֶל, וְנֹצְצִים, כְּעֵין נְחֹשֶׁת קָלָל. (ח) וידו (וִידֵי) אָדָם, מִתַּחַת כַּנְפֵיהֶם עַל אַרְבַּעַת רִבְעֵיהֶם; וּפְנֵיהֶם וְכַנְפֵיהֶם לְאַרְבַּעְתָּם. (ט) חֹבְרֹת אִשָּׁה אֶל-אֲחוֹתָהּ, כַּנְפֵיהֶם לֹא-יִסַּבּוּ בְלֶכְתָּן, אִישׁ אֶל-עֵבֶר פָּנָיו יֵלֵכוּ. (י) וּדְמוּת פְּנֵיהֶם, פְּנֵי אָדָם, וּפְנֵי אַרְיֵה אֶל-הַיָּמִין לְאַרְבַּעְתָּם, וּפְנֵי-שׁוֹר מֵהַשְּׂמֹאול לְאַרְבַּעְתָּן; וּפְנֵי-נֶשֶׁר, לְאַרְבַּעְתָּן. (יא) וּפְנֵיהֶם, וְכַנְפֵיהֶם פְּרֻדוֹת מִלְמָעְלָה: לְאִישׁ, שְׁתַּיִם חֹבְרוֹת אִישׁ, וּשְׁתַּיִם מְכַסּוֹת, אֵת גְּוִיֹּתֵיהֶנָה. (יב) וְאִישׁ אֶל-עֵבֶר פָּנָיו, יֵלֵכוּ: אֶל אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה-שָּׁמָּה הָרוּחַ לָלֶכֶת יֵלֵכוּ, לֹא יִסַּבּוּ בְּלֶכְתָּן. (יג) וּדְמוּת הַחַיּוֹת מַרְאֵיהֶם כְּגַחֲלֵי-אֵשׁ, בֹּעֲרוֹת כְּמַרְאֵה הַלַּפִּדִים הִיא, מִתְהַלֶּכֶת בֵּין הַחַיּוֹת; וְנֹגַהּ לָאֵשׁ, וּמִן-הָאֵשׁ יוֹצֵא בָרָק. (יד) וְהַחַיּוֹת, רָצוֹא וָשׁוֹב, כְּמַרְאֵה, הַבָּזָק. (טו) וָאֵרֶא, הַחַיּוֹת; וְהִנֵּה אוֹפַן אֶחָד בָּאָרֶץ אֵצֶל הַחַיּוֹת, לְאַרְבַּעַת פָּנָיו. (טז) מַרְאֵה הָאוֹפַנִּים וּמַעֲשֵׂיהֶם כְּעֵין תַּרְשִׁישׁ, וּדְמוּת אֶחָד לְאַרְבַּעְתָּן; וּמַרְאֵיהֶם, וּמַעֲשֵׂיהֶם, כַּאֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה הָאוֹפַן, בְּתוֹךְ הָאוֹפָן. (יז) עַל-אַרְבַּעַת רִבְעֵיהֶן, בְּלֶכְתָּם יֵלֵכוּ: לֹא יִסַּבּוּ, בְּלֶכְתָּן. (יח) וְגַבֵּיהֶן--וְגֹבַהּ לָהֶם, וְיִרְאָה לָהֶם; וְגַבֹּתָם, מְלֵאֹת עֵינַיִם סָבִיב לְאַרְבַּעְתָּן. (יט) וּבְלֶכֶת, הַחַיּוֹת, יֵלְכוּ הָאוֹפַנִּים, אֶצְלָם; וּבְהִנָּשֵׂא הַחַיּוֹת מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ, יִנָּשְׂאוּ הָאוֹפַנִּים. (כ) עַל אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה-שָּׁם הָרוּחַ לָלֶכֶת יֵלֵכוּ, שָׁמָּה הָרוּחַ לָלֶכֶת; וְהָאוֹפַנִּים, יִנָּשְׂאוּ לְעֻמָּתָם, כִּי רוּחַ הַחַיָּה, בָּאוֹפַנִּים. (כא) בְּלֶכְתָּם יֵלֵכוּ, וּבְעָמְדָם יַעֲמֹדוּ; וּבְהִנָּשְׂאָם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ, יִנָּשְׂאוּ הָאוֹפַנִּים לְעֻמָּתָם כִּי רוּחַ הַחַיָּה, בָּאוֹפַנִּים. (כב) וּדְמוּת עַל-רָאשֵׁי הַחַיָּה, רָקִיעַ, כְּעֵין, הַקֶּרַח הַנּוֹרָא--נָטוּי עַל-רָאשֵׁיהֶם, מִלְמָעְלָה. (כג) וְתַחַת, הָרָקִיעַ, כַּנְפֵיהֶם יְשָׁרוֹת, אִשָּׁה אֶל-אֲחוֹתָהּ: לְאִישׁ, שְׁתַּיִם מְכַסּוֹת לָהֵנָּה, וּלְאִישׁ שְׁתַּיִם מְכַסּוֹת לָהֵנָּה, אֵת גְּוִיֹּתֵיהֶם. (כד) וָאֶשְׁמַע אֶת-קוֹל כַּנְפֵיהֶם כְּקוֹל מַיִם רַבִּים כְּקוֹל-שַׁדַּי, בְּלֶכְתָּם קוֹל הֲמֻלָּה, כְּקוֹל מַחֲנֶה; בְּעָמְדָם, תְּרַפֶּינָה כַנְפֵיהֶן. (כה) וַיְהִי-קוֹל מֵעַל, לָרָקִיעַ אֲשֶׁר עַל-רֹאשָׁם; בְּעָמְדָם, תְּרַפֶּינָה כַנְפֵיהֶן. (כו) וּמִמַּעַל, לָרָקִיעַ אֲשֶׁר עַל-רֹאשָׁם, כְּמַרְאֵה אֶבֶן-סַפִּיר, דְּמוּת כִּסֵּא; וְעַל, דְּמוּת הַכִּסֵּא, דְּמוּת כְּמַרְאֵה אָדָם עָלָיו, מִלְמָעְלָה. (כז) וָאֵרֶא כְּעֵין חַשְׁמַל, כְּמַרְאֵה-אֵשׁ בֵּית-לָהּ סָבִיב, מִמַּרְאֵה מָתְנָיו, וּלְמָעְלָה; וּמִמַּרְאֵה מָתְנָיו, וּלְמַטָּה, רָאִיתִי כְּמַרְאֵה-אֵשׁ, וְנֹגַהּ לוֹ סָבִיב. (כח) כְּמַרְאֵה הַקֶּשֶׁת אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בֶעָנָן בְּיוֹם הַגֶּשֶׁם, כֵּן מַרְאֵה הַנֹּגַהּ סָבִיב הוּא, מַרְאֵה דְּמוּת כְּבוֹד-ה'; וָאֶרְאֶה וָאֶפֹּל עַל-פָּנַי, וָאֶשְׁמַע קוֹל מְדַבֵּר.
Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river Chebar that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity, the word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him. And I looked, and, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, a great cloud, with a fire flashing up, so that a brightness was round about it; and out of the midst thereof as the colour of electrum, out of the midst of the fire. And out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one of them had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot; and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and as for the faces and wings of them four, their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and they four had the face of a lion on the right side; and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four had also the face of an eagle. Thus were their faces; and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. And they went every one straight forward; whither the spirit was to go, they went; they turned not when they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like coals of fire, burning like the appearance of torches; it flashed up and down among the living creatures; and there was brightness to the fire, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning. Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel at the bottom hard by the living creatures, at the four faces thereof. The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl; and they four had one likeness; and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel within a wheel. When they went, they went toward their four sides; they turned not when they went. As for their rings, they were high and they were dreadful; and they four had their rings full of eyes round about. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went hard by them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the bottom, the wheels were lifted up. Whithersoever the spirit was to go, as the spirit was to go thither, so they went; and the wheels were lifted up beside them; for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. When those went, these went, and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up beside them; for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. And over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of a firmament, like the colour of the terrible ice, stretched forth over their heads above. And under the firmament were their wings conformable the one to the other; this one of them had two which covered, and that one of them had two which covered, their bodies. And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a noise of tumult like the noise of a host; when they stood, they let down their wings. For, when there was a voice above the firmament that was over their heads, as they stood, they let down their wings. And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above. And I saw as the colour of electrum, as the appearance of fire round about enclosing it, from the appearance of his loins and upward; and from the appearance of his loins and downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about him. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spoke.
12יב
כעין הקרח הנורא
ואמר רב אחא בר יעקב, עוד רקיע אחד יש למעלה מראשי החיות דכתיב "ודמות על ראשי החיה רקיע כעין הקרח הנורא", עד כאן יש לך רשות לדבר, מכאן ואילך אין לך רשות לדבר, שכן כתוב בספר בן סירא: "במופלא ממך אל תדרוש ובמכוסה ממך אל תחקור במה שהורשית התבונן אין לך עסק בנסתרות.
to the inner houses, where there is only light; that source, according to which He is surrounded by darkness, is referring to the outer houses. And Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov said: There is one more firmament above these, which is above the heads of the divine creatures, as it is written: “And over the heads of the divine creatures there was the likeness of a firmament, like the color of the terrible ice” (Ezekiel 1:22). The Gemara comments: Until here, you have permission to speak; from this point forward you do not have permission to speak, as it is written in the book of Ben Sira: Seek not things concealed from you, nor search those hidden from you. Reflect on that which is permitted to you; you have no business with secret matters. It is taught in a baraita: Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said: What response did the Divine Voice provide to that wicked man, Nebuchadnezzar, when he said: “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14), thereby intending to rise to heaven? A Divine Voice came and said to him: Wicked man, son of a wicked man, descendant, i.e., follower of the ways, of Nimrod the wicked, who caused the entire world to rebel against Him during the time of his reign.
13יג
חשות וממללות
ת"ר: מעשה בתינוק אחד שהיה קורא בבית רבו בספר יחזקאל, והיה מבין בחשמל, ויצאה אש מחשמל ושרפתו וביקשו לגנוז ספר יחזקאל. אמר להם חנניה בן חזקיה, אם זה חכם הכל חכמים. הן מאי חשמל? אמר רב יהודה: חיות אש ממללות במתניתא תנא, עתים חשות עתים ממללות בשעה שהדיבור יוצא מפי הקב"ה חשות ובשעה שאין הדיבור יוצא מפי הקב"ה ממללות
The Sages taught: An incident occurred involving a youth who was reading the book of Ezekiel in the house of his teacher, and he was able to comprehend the electrum, and fire came out of the electrum and burned him. And they sought to suppress the book of Ezekiel due to the danger it posed. Ḥananya ben Ḥizkiya said to them: If this youth happened to be wise, are all people wise enough to understand this book? The Gemara asks: What is the electrum? Rav Yehuda said: It refers to speaking animals of fire. Electrum [ḥashmal] is an acrostic of this phrase [ḥayyot esh memallelot]. It was taught in a baraita: At times they are silent; at times they speak. When the divine speech emerges from the mouth of the Holy One, Blessed be He, they are silent; and when the divine speech does not emerge from the mouth of the Holy One, Blessed be He, they speak.
14יד
והחיות רצוא ושוב כמראה הבזק
"והחיות רצוא ושוב כמראה הבזק". מאי רצוא ושוב? אמר רב יהודה, כאור היוצא מפי הכבשן. מאי כמראה הבזק? אמר רבי יוסי בר חנינא, כאור היוצא מבין החרסים.
to the inner houses, where there is only light; that source, according to which He is surrounded by darkness, is referring to the outer houses. And Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov said: There is one more firmament above these, which is above the heads of the divine creatures, as it is written: “And over the heads of the divine creatures there was the likeness of a firmament, like the color of the terrible ice” (Ezekiel 1:22). The Gemara comments: Until here, you have permission to speak; from this point forward you do not have permission to speak, as it is written in the book of Ben Sira: Seek not things concealed from you, nor search those hidden from you. Reflect on that which is permitted to you; you have no business with secret matters. It is taught in a baraita: Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said: What response did the Divine Voice provide to that wicked man, Nebuchadnezzar, when he said: “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14), thereby intending to rise to heaven? A Divine Voice came and said to him: Wicked man, son of a wicked man, descendant, i.e., follower of the ways, of Nimrod the wicked, who caused the entire world to rebel against Him during the time of his reign. How many are the years of man? Seventy years, as it is stated: “The span of our life is seventy years, or if we are strong, eighty years” (Psalms 90:10). Now is there not from the earth to the firmament a walking distance of five hundred years, and the thickness of the firmament itself is a walking distance of five hundred years, and a similar distance exists between each and every one of the firmaments? And above them, above all the firmaments, are the divine creatures. The feet of the divine creatures correspond in distance to all the firmaments; the ankles of the animals correspond to all of them, the shins of the animals correspond to all of them, the knees of the animals correspond to all of them, the thighs of the animals correspond to all of them, the bodies of the animals correspond to all of them, the necks of the animals correspond to all of them, the heads of the animals correspond to all of them, and the horns of the animals correspond to all of them. Above them is the Throne of Glory: The feet of the Throne of Glory correspond to all of them, the Throne of Glory corresponds to all of them, and the living, almighty, lofty, exalted King dwells above them. And you, Nebuchadnezzar, say: “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:15), but the next verse states: “Yet you shall be brought down to the netherworld, to the uttermost parts of the pit” (Isaiah 14:15). § It is taught in the mishna, according to the Gemara’s explanation: Nor may one expound the Design of the Divine Chariot to an individual. Rabbi Ḥiyya taught: But one may transmit to him, an individual, the outlines of this topic, leaving him to comprehend the rest on his own. Rabbi Zeira said: One may transmit the outlines of the Design of the Divine Chariot only to the president of the court, who needs to know them due to his wisdom and meritorious deeds, and to anyone whose heart inside him is concerned, i.e., one who is concerned about his sins and desires to achieve full repentance. There are those who say that this does not refer to two separate individuals, but to the president of the court, whose heart inside him is concerned. Rabbi Ami said: The secrets of the Torah may be transmitted only to one who possesses the following five characteristics: “The captain of fifty, and the man of favor, and the counselor, and the cunning charmer, and the skillful enchanter” (Isaiah 3:3). And Rabbi Ami said further: The words of Torah may not be transmitted to a gentile, as it is stated: “He has not dealt so with any nation, and as for His ordinances, they have not known them” (Psalms 147:20). § The Gemara relates: Rabbi Yoḥanan said to Rabbi Elazar: Come and I will teach you the Design of the Divine Chariot. Rabbi Elazar said to him: I have not yet aged sufficiently, as one must be very settled in one’s mind for these studies. When he grew old, Rabbi Yoḥanan had already passed away. Rabbi Asi said to him: Come and I will teach you the Design of the Divine Chariot. He said to him: Had I merited, I would have learned it from Rabbi Yoḥanan, your teacher. It therefore appears that I am unworthy of studying it. The Gemara relates: Rav Yosef would study the Design of the Divine Chariot and was familiar with the subject, whereas the Elders of Pumbedita would study the act of Creation. They said to Rav Yosef: Let the Master teach us the Design of the Divine Chariot. He said to them: You teach me the act of Creation. After they taught him that subject, they said to him: Let the Master teach us the Design of the Divine Chariot. He said to them: We learned with regard to them the secrets of the Torah: “Honey and milk are under your tongue” (Song of Songs 4:11), meaning that matters that are sweeter than honey and milk should remain under your tongue. In other words, one should not speak of such matters, and anyone who is familiar with them may not reveal them to others. Rabbi Abbahu said: It is derived from here, from the following verse: “The lambs [kevasim] will be for your clothing” (Proverbs 27:26), which he expounds as though it were written with the letter shin, kevashim, meaning concealed matters: Things that constitute the concealed matters of the world should be under your clothing; you should not reveal them. When the Elders of Pumbedita saw that Rav Yosef was not going to teach them, they said to him: We have learned them, the verses concerning the Design of the Divine Chariot written in the book of Ezekiel, up to the verse “And He said to me, son of man” (Ezekiel 2:1). He said to them: If so, these verses are the very essence of the Design of the Divine Chariot, as they provide the main details of the topic. The Gemara raises an objection to this from a baraita: Until where is the Design of the Divine Chariot related? Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: Until the latter “And I saw” (Ezekiel 1:27), not including the last verse. Rabbi Yitzḥak says: Until the word “the electrum” (Ezekiel 1:27). Neither of these opinions accord with Rav Yosef’s opinion that the Design of the Divine Chariot continues until the end of the chapter. The Gemara answers: Until “And I saw,” we teach those worthy of it; from this point forward, we transmit only the outlines. There are those who say: Until “And I saw,” we transmit the outlines; from this point forward, if he is wise and can understand of his own accord, yes, we teach him. If not, we do not teach him even the outlines. The Gemara poses a question: And may one teach about the electrum of the Design of the Divine Chariot at all? But wasn’t there a certain youth who expounded the electrum, and fire came out and consumed him, showing that such study is highly dangerous? The Gemara answers: That youth was different, for his time to study such matters had not yet arrived. Therefore, he was punished. Rav Yehuda said: Indeed, that man is remembered for good, and Ḥananya ben Ḥizkiya was his name, because were it not for him, the book of Ezekiel would have been suppressed. Why did they wish to suppress it? Because they found that its words contradicted the words of Torah, as its later chapters contain many halakhot that appear not to accord with those of the Torah. What did he do? They brought up to him three hundred barrels of oil, for light and sustenance, and he sat in an upper chamber and expounded it, to reconcile its teachings with those of the Torah. The Sages taught: An incident occurred involving a youth who was reading the book of Ezekiel in the house of his teacher, and he was able to comprehend the electrum, and fire came out of the electrum and burned him. And they sought to suppress the book of Ezekiel due to the danger it posed. Ḥananya ben Ḥizkiya said to them: If this youth happened to be wise, are all people wise enough to understand this book? The Gemara asks: What is the electrum? Rav Yehuda said:
15טו
שור הופך לכרוב
מה מלך שבחיות ארי, מלך שבבהמות שור, מלך שבעופות נשר, ואדם מתגאה עליהן והקב"ה מתגאה על כולן ועל כל העולם כולו. כתוב אחד אומר (יחזקאל א) "ודמות פניהם פני אדם ופני אריה אל הימין לארבעתם ופני שור מהשמאל לארבעתן וגו'" וכתיב )יחזקאל, י)" וארבעה פנים לאחד פני האחד פני הכרוב ופני השני פני אדם והשלישי פני אריה והרביעי פני נשר" ואילו שור לא קא חשיב. אמר ר"ל יחזקאל ביקש עליו רחמים והפכו לכרוב.
to the inner houses, where there is only light; that source, according to which He is surrounded by darkness, is referring to the outer houses. And Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov said: There is one more firmament above these, which is above the heads of the divine creatures, as it is written: “And over the heads of the divine creatures there was the likeness of a firmament, like the color of the terrible ice” (Ezekiel 1:22). The Gemara comments: Until here, you have permission to speak; from this point forward you do not have permission to speak, as it is written in the book of Ben Sira: Seek not things concealed from you, nor search those hidden from you. Reflect on that which is permitted to you; you have no business with secret matters. It is taught in a baraita: Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said: What response did the Divine Voice provide to that wicked man, Nebuchadnezzar, when he said: “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14), thereby intending to rise to heaven? A Divine Voice came and said to him: Wicked man, son of a wicked man, descendant, i.e., follower of the ways, of Nimrod the wicked, who caused the entire world to rebel against Him during the time of his reign. How many are the years of man? Seventy years, as it is stated: “The span of our life is seventy years, or if we are strong, eighty years” (Psalms 90:10). Now is there not from the earth to the firmament a walking distance of five hundred years, and the thickness of the firmament itself is a walking distance of five hundred years, and a similar distance exists between each and every one of the firmaments? And above them, above all the firmaments, are the divine creatures. The feet of the divine creatures correspond in distance to all the firmaments; the ankles of the animals correspond to all of them, the shins of the animals correspond to all of them, the knees of the animals correspond to all of them, the thighs of the animals correspond to all of them, the bodies of the animals correspond to all of them, the necks of the animals correspond to all of them, the heads of the animals correspond to all of them, and the horns of the animals correspond to all of them. Above them is the Throne of Glory: The feet of the Throne of Glory correspond to all of them, the Throne of Glory corresponds to all of them, and the living, almighty, lofty, exalted King dwells above them. And you, Nebuchadnezzar, say: “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:15), but the next verse states: “Yet you shall be brought down to the netherworld, to the uttermost parts of the pit” (Isaiah 14:15). § It is taught in the mishna, according to the Gemara’s explanation: Nor may one expound the Design of the Divine Chariot to an individual. Rabbi Ḥiyya taught: But one may transmit to him, an individual, the outlines of this topic, leaving him to comprehend the rest on his own. Rabbi Zeira said: One may transmit the outlines of the Design of the Divine Chariot only to the president of the court, who needs to know them due to his wisdom and meritorious deeds, and to anyone whose heart inside him is concerned, i.e., one who is concerned about his sins and desires to achieve full repentance. There are those who say that this does not refer to two separate individuals, but to the president of the court, whose heart inside him is concerned. Rabbi Ami said: The secrets of the Torah may be transmitted only to one who possesses the following five characteristics: “The captain of fifty, and the man of favor, and the counselor, and the cunning charmer, and the skillful enchanter” (Isaiah 3:3). And Rabbi Ami said further: The words of Torah may not be transmitted to a gentile, as it is stated: “He has not dealt so with any nation, and as for His ordinances, they have not known them” (Psalms 147:20). § The Gemara relates: Rabbi Yoḥanan said to Rabbi Elazar: Come and I will teach you the Design of the Divine Chariot. Rabbi Elazar said to him: I have not yet aged sufficiently, as one must be very settled in one’s mind for these studies. When he grew old, Rabbi Yoḥanan had already passed away. Rabbi Asi said to him: Come and I will teach you the Design of the Divine Chariot. He said to him: Had I merited, I would have learned it from Rabbi Yoḥanan, your teacher. It therefore appears that I am unworthy of studying it. The Gemara relates: Rav Yosef would study the Design of the Divine Chariot and was familiar with the subject, whereas the Elders of Pumbedita would study the act of Creation. They said to Rav Yosef: Let the Master teach us the Design of the Divine Chariot. He said to them: You teach me the act of Creation. After they taught him that subject, they said to him: Let the Master teach us the Design of the Divine Chariot. He said to them: We learned with regard to them the secrets of the Torah: “Honey and milk are under your tongue” (Song of Songs 4:11), meaning that matters that are sweeter than honey and milk should remain under your tongue. In other words, one should not speak of such matters, and anyone who is familiar with them may not reveal them to others. Rabbi Abbahu said: It is derived from here, from the following verse: “The lambs [kevasim] will be for your clothing” (Proverbs 27:26), which he expounds as though it were written with the letter shin, kevashim, meaning concealed matters: Things that constitute the concealed matters of the world should be under your clothing; you should not reveal them. When the Elders of Pumbedita saw that Rav Yosef was not going to teach them, they said to him: We have learned them, the verses concerning the Design of the Divine Chariot written in the book of Ezekiel, up to the verse “And He said to me, son of man” (Ezekiel 2:1). He said to them: If so, these verses are the very essence of the Design of the Divine Chariot, as they provide the main details of the topic. The Gemara raises an objection to this from a baraita: Until where is the Design of the Divine Chariot related? Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: Until the latter “And I saw” (Ezekiel 1:27), not including the last verse. Rabbi Yitzḥak says: Until the word “the electrum” (Ezekiel 1:27). Neither of these opinions accord with Rav Yosef’s opinion that the Design of the Divine Chariot continues until the end of the chapter. The Gemara answers: Until “And I saw,” we teach those worthy of it; from this point forward, we transmit only the outlines. There are those who say: Until “And I saw,” we transmit the outlines; from this point forward, if he is wise and can understand of his own accord, yes, we teach him. If not, we do not teach him even the outlines. The Gemara poses a question: And may one teach about the electrum of the Design of the Divine Chariot at all? But wasn’t there a certain youth who expounded the electrum, and fire came out and consumed him, showing that such study is highly dangerous? The Gemara answers: That youth was different, for his time to study such matters had not yet arrived. Therefore, he was punished. Rav Yehuda said: Indeed, that man is remembered for good, and Ḥananya ben Ḥizkiya was his name, because were it not for him, the book of Ezekiel would have been suppressed. Why did they wish to suppress it? Because they found that its words contradicted the words of Torah, as its later chapters contain many halakhot that appear not to accord with those of the Torah. What did he do? They brought up to him three hundred barrels of oil, for light and sustenance, and he sat in an upper chamber and expounded it, to reconcile its teachings with those of the Torah. The Sages taught: An incident occurred involving a youth who was reading the book of Ezekiel in the house of his teacher, and he was able to comprehend the electrum, and fire came out of the electrum and burned him. And they sought to suppress the book of Ezekiel due to the danger it posed. Ḥananya ben Ḥizkiya said to them: If this youth happened to be wise, are all people wise enough to understand this book? The Gemara asks: What is the electrum? Rav Yehuda said:
16 טז
"גלגל יחזקאל", כנסיית יוחנן המטביל, קרטובו מקדוניה
"גלגל יחזקאל", כנסיית יוחנן המטביל, קרטובו מקדוניה
© כל הזכויות שמורות לWikimedia commons
en.wikipedia.org
17יז
אסיף וסיכום:
18יח
מזומנין לכת שלישית
ת"ר: מעשה ברבן יוחנן בן זכאי שהיה רוכב על החמור והיה מהלך בדרך ור' אלעזר בן ערך מחמר אחריו. אמר לו: רבי, שנה לי פרק אחד במעשה מרכבה. אמר לו: לא כך שניתי לכם ולא במרכבה ביחיד אלא א"כ היה חכם מבין מדעתו? אמר לו: רבי, תרשיני לומר לפניך דבר אחד שלמדתני. אמר לו, אמור. מיד ירד רבן יוחנן בן זכאי מעל החמור ונתעטף וישב על האבן תחת הזית. אמר לו רבי מפני מה ירדת מעל החמור? אמר אפשר אתה דורש במעשה מרכבה ושכינה עמנו ומלאכי השרת מלוין אותנו ואני ארכב על החמור? מיד פתח ר"א בן ערך במעשה המרכבה ודרש וירדה אש מן השמים וסיבבה כל האילנות שבשדה פתחו כולן ואמרו שירה מה שירה אמרו )תהילים קמ"ח)" הללו את ה' מן הארץ תנינים וכל תהומות עץ פרי וכל ארזים הללויה" נענה מלאך מן האש ואמר הן הן מעשה המרכבה. עמד רבן יוחנן ב"ז ונשקו על ראשו ואמר ברוך ה' אלהי ישראל שנתן בן לאברהם אבינו שיודע להבין ולחקור ולדרוש במעשה מרכבה. יש נאה דורש ואין נאה מקיים נאה מקיים ואין נאה דורש אתה נאה דורש ונאה מקיים אשריך אברהם אבינו שאלעזר בן ערך יצא מחלציך... ...וכשנאמרו הדברים לפני ר' יהושע היה הוא ורבי יוסי הכהן מהלכים בדרך אמרו אף אנו נדרוש במעשה מרכבה פתח רבי יהושע ודרש ואותו היום תקופת תמוז היה נתקשרו שמים בעבים ונראה כמין קשת בענן והיו מלאכי השרת מתקבצין ובאין לשמוע כבני אדם שמתקבצין ובאין לראות במזמוטי חתן וכלה. הלך רבי יוסי הכהן וסיפר דברים לפני רבן יוחנן בן זכאי, ואמר אשריכם ואשרי יולדתכם, אשרי עיני שכך ראו ואף אני ואתם בחלומי מסובין היינו על הר סיני ונתנה עלינו בת קול מן השמים עלו לכאן עלו לכאן טרקלין גדולים ומצעות נאות מוצעות לכם אתם ותלמידיכם ותלמידי תלמידיכם מזומנין לכת שלישית. (חגיגה, י"ד, ע"ב)
§ The Gemara returns to the topic of the Design of the Divine Chariot. The Sages taught: An incident occurred involving Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai, who was riding on a donkey and was traveling along the way, and his student, Rabbi Elazar ben Arakh, was riding a donkey behind him. Rabbi Elazar said to him: My teacher, teach me one chapter in the Design of the Divine Chariot. He said to him: Have I not taught you: And one may not expound the Design of the Divine Chariot to an individual, unless he is a Sage who understands on his own accord? Rabbi Elazar said to him: My teacher, allow me to say before you one thing that you taught me. In other words, he humbly requested to recite before him his own understanding of this issue. He said to him: Speak. Immediately, Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai alighted from the donkey, and wrapped his head in his cloak in a manner of reverence, and sat on a stone under an olive tree. Rabbi Elazar said to him: My teacher, for what reason did you alight from the donkey? He said: Is it possible that while you are expounding the Design of the Divine Chariot, and the Divine Presence is with us, and the ministering angels are accompanying us, that I should ride on a donkey? Immediately, Rabbi Elazar ben Arakh began to discuss the Design of the Divine Chariot and expounded, and fire descended from heaven and encircled all the trees in the field, and all the trees began reciting song. What song did they recite? “Praise the Lord from the earth, sea monsters and all depths…fruit trees and all cedars…praise the Lord” (Psalms 148:7–14). An angel responded from the fire, saying: This is the very Design of the Divine Chariot, just as you expounded. Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai stood and kissed Rabbi Elazar ben Arakh on his head, and said: Blessed be God, Lord of Israel, who gave our father Abraham a son like you, who knows how to understand, investigate, and expound the Design of the Divine Chariot. There are some who expound the Torah’s verses well but do not fulfill its imperatives well, and there are some who fulfill its imperatives well but do not expound its verses well, whereas you expound its verses well and fulfill its imperatives well. Happy are you, our father Abraham, that Elazar ben Arakh came from your loins. The Gemara relates: And when these matters, this story involving his colleague Rabbi Elazar ben Arakh, were recounted before Rabbi Yehoshua, he was walking along the way with Rabbi Yosei the Priest. They said: We too shall expound the Design of the Divine Chariot. Rabbi Yehoshua began expounding. And that was the day of the summer solstice, when there are no clouds in the sky. Yet the heavens became filled with clouds, and there was the appearance of a kind of rainbow in a cloud. And ministering angels gathered and came to listen, like people gathering and coming to see the rejoicing of a bridegroom and bride. Rabbi Yosei the Priest went and recited these matters before Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai, who said to him: Happy are all of you, and happy are the mothers who gave birth to you; happy are my eyes that saw this, students such as these. As for you and I, I saw in my dream that we were seated at Mount Sinai, and a Divine Voice came to us from heaven: Ascend here, ascend here, for large halls [teraklin] and pleasant couches are made up for you. You, your students, and the students of your students are invited to the third group, those who will merit to welcome the Divine Presence.
20 כ
21כא
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