Saturday Morning Shiur - Bereshit 2020 Why We Turn on Each Other Cain and Abel as a Case Study
1א
(א) וְהָ֣אָדָ֔ם יָדַ֖ע אֶת־חַוָּ֣ה אִשְׁתּ֑וֹ וַתַּ֙הַר֙ וַתֵּ֣לֶד אֶת־קַ֔יִן וַתֹּ֕אמֶר קָנִ֥יתִי אִ֖ישׁ אֶת־יקוק׃ (ב) וַתֹּ֣סֶף לָלֶ֔דֶת אֶת־אָחִ֖יו אֶת־הָ֑בֶל וַֽיְהִי־הֶ֙בֶל֙ רֹ֣עֵה צֹ֔אן וְקַ֕יִן הָיָ֖ה עֹבֵ֥ד אֲדָמָֽה׃ (ג) וַֽיְהִ֖י מִקֵּ֣ץ יָמִ֑ים וַיָּבֵ֨א קַ֜יִן מִפְּרִ֧י הָֽאֲדָמָ֛ה מִנְחָ֖ה לַֽיקוק׃ (ד) וְהֶ֨בֶל הֵבִ֥יא גַם־ה֛וּא מִבְּכֹר֥וֹת צֹאנ֖וֹ וּמֵֽחֶלְבֵהֶ֑ן וַיִּ֣שַׁע יקוק אֶל־הֶ֖בֶל וְאֶל־מִנְחָתֽוֹ׃ (ה) וְאֶל־קַ֥יִן וְאֶל־מִנְחָת֖וֹ לֹ֣א שָׁעָ֑ה וַיִּ֤חַר לְקַ֙יִן֙ מְאֹ֔ד וַֽיִּפְּל֖וּ פָּנָֽיו׃ (ו) וַיֹּ֥אמֶר יקוק אֶל־קָ֑יִן לָ֚מָּה חָ֣רָה לָ֔ךְ וְלָ֖מָּה נָפְל֥וּ פָנֶֽיךָ׃ (ז) הֲל֤וֹא אִם־תֵּיטִיב֙ שְׂאֵ֔ת וְאִם֙ לֹ֣א תֵיטִ֔יב לַפֶּ֖תַח חַטָּ֣את רֹבֵ֑ץ וְאֵלֶ֙יךָ֙ תְּשׁ֣וּקָת֔וֹ וְאַתָּ֖ה תִּמְשָׁל־בּֽוֹ׃ (ח) וַיֹּ֥אמֶר קַ֖יִן אֶל־הֶ֣בֶל אָחִ֑יו וַֽיְהִי֙ בִּהְיוֹתָ֣ם בַּשָּׂדֶ֔ה וַיָּ֥קָם קַ֛יִן אֶל־הֶ֥בֶל אָחִ֖יו וַיַּהַרְגֵֽהוּ׃ (ט) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יקוק אֶל־קַ֔יִן אֵ֖י הֶ֣בֶל אָחִ֑יךָ וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ לֹ֣א יָדַ֔עְתִּי הֲשֹׁמֵ֥ר אָחִ֖י אָנֹֽכִי׃ (י) וַיֹּ֖אמֶר מֶ֣ה עָשִׂ֑יתָ ק֚וֹל דְּמֵ֣י אָחִ֔יךָ צֹעֲקִ֥ים אֵלַ֖י מִן־הָֽאֲדָמָֽה׃ (יא) וְעַתָּ֖ה אָר֣וּר אָ֑תָּה מִן־הָֽאֲדָמָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר פָּצְתָ֣ה אֶת־פִּ֔יהָ לָקַ֛חַת אֶת־דְּמֵ֥י אָחִ֖יךָ מִיָּדֶֽךָ׃ (יב) כִּ֤י תַֽעֲבֹד֙ אֶת־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה לֹֽא־תֹסֵ֥ף תֵּת־כֹּחָ֖הּ לָ֑ךְ נָ֥ע וָנָ֖ד תִּֽהְיֶ֥ה בָאָֽרֶץ׃
(1) Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gained a male child with the help of the LORD.” (2) She then bore his brother Abel. Abel became a keeper of sheep, and Cain became a tiller of the soil. (3) In the course of time, Cain brought an offering to the LORD from the fruit of the soil; (4) and Abel, for his part, brought the choicest of the firstlings of his flock. The LORD paid heed to Abel and his offering, (5) but to Cain and his offering He paid no heed. Cain was much distressed and his face fell. (6) And the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you distressed, And why is your face fallen? (7) Surely, if you do right, There is uplift. But if you do not do right Sin couches at the door; Its urge is toward you, Yet you can be its master.” (8) Cain said to his brother Abel … and when they were in the field, Cain set upon his brother Abel and killed him. (9) The LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (10) Then He said, “What have you done? Hark, your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground! (11) Therefore, you shall be more cursed than the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. (12) If you till the soil, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. You shall become a ceaseless wanderer on earth.”
2ב

(ז) וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן אֶל הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם וגו' (בראשית ד, ח), עַל מָה הָיוּ מִדַּיְּנִים, אָמְרוּ בּוֹאוּ וְנַחֲלֹק אֶת הָעוֹלָם, אֶחָד נָטַל הַקַּרְקָעוֹת וְאֶחָד נָטַל אֶת הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין, דֵּין אָמַר אַרְעָא דְּאַתְּ קָאֵם עֲלָהּ דִּידִי, וְדֵין אָמַר מַה דְּאַתְּ לָבֵישׁ דִּידִי, דֵּין אָמַר חֲלֹץ, וְדֵין אָמַר פְּרַח, מִתּוֹךְ כָּךְ (בראשית ד, ח): וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיַּהַרְגֵּהוּ, רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ דְּסִכְנִין בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי לֵוִי אָמַר שְׁנֵיהֶם נָטְלוּ אֶת הַקַּרְקָעוֹת, וּשְׁנֵיהֶן נָטְלוּ אֶת הַמִּטַּלְטַלִין, וְעַל מָה הָיוּ מִדַּיְּנִין, אֶלָּא זֶה אוֹמֵר בִּתְחוּמִי בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ נִבְנֶה וְזֶה אוֹמֵר בִּתְחוּמִי בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ נִבְנֶה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם בַּשָּׂדֶה, וְאֵין שָׂדֶה אֶלָּא בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, הֵיךְ מַה דְּאַתְּ אָמַר (מיכה ג, יב): צִיּוֹן שָׂדֶה תֵחָרֵשׁ, וּמִתּוֹךְ כָּךְ (בראשית ד, ח): וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל הֶבֶל אָחִיו וגו'. יְהוּדָה בַּר אָמֵי אָמַר עַל חַוָּה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה הָיוּ מִדַּיְּנִין, אָמַר רַבִּי אַיְבוּ חַוָּה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה חָזְרָה לַעֲפָרָהּ וְעַל מָה הָיוּ מִדַּיְּנִין, אָמַר רַבִּי הוּנָא תְּאוֹמָה יְתֵרָה נוֹלְדָה עִם הֶבֶל, זֶה אוֹמֵר אֲנִי נוֹטְלָהּ שֶׁאֲנִי בְּכוֹר, וְזֶה אוֹמֵר אֲנִי נוֹטְלָהּ שֶׁנּוֹלְדָה עִמִּי, וּמִתּוֹךְ כָּךְ וַיָּקָם קַיִן.

(7) (7) “And Cain spoke to Abel his brother, and it came to pass when they were in the field…” (Genesis 4:8) What were they arguing about? They said: come let’s divide up the world, one will take the land and one will take the moveable property. This one said: the ground you are standing on is mine. The other one said: what you are wearing is mine. This one said: take it off! The other one said: fly! Because of this “…Cain rose against his brother Abel and killed him.” (ibid.) R’ Yehoshua of Sakhnin said in the name of R’ Levi: they both took the land and the moveable property. What were they arguing about? One said: the Holy Temple will be built in my boundary. The other said: the Holy Temple will be built in my boundary. As it says “…when they were in the field…” (ibid.) and the field only refers to the Holy Temple. This is what it says “…Zion shall be plowed as a field…” (Micah 3:12) Because of this “…Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him.” Yehudah bar Ami said: they were arguing about the first Eve. R’ Ibo said: the first Eve returned to the dust. Then what were they arguing about? R’ Huna said: an extra twin sister was born with Abel. This one said: I will take her because I am the first born. The other one said: I will take her because she was born with me. Because of this “…Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him.”

3ג

(ב) אָמַר לוֹ קַיִן לְהֶבֶל, נַחֲלֹק הָעוֹלָם, טֹל אַתְּ הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין, וַאֲנִי אֶת הַשָּׂדוֹת. וְהוּא שֶׁחָשַׁב לְהוֹצִיא אוֹתוֹ מִן הָעוֹלָם. חָלְקוּ בֵּינֵיהֶם, נָטַל הֶבֶל הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין וְקַיִן הַקַּרְקָעוֹת, וְהָיָה מְהַלֵּךְ הֶבֶל בָּעוֹלָם וְקַיִן רוֹדְפוֹ וְאוֹמֵר לוֹ צֵא מִתּוֹךְ שֶׁלִּי. רָץ לֶהָרִים וְהוּא אַחֲרָיו וְאוֹמֵר זוֹ שֶׁלִּי, עַד שֶׁעָמַד עָלָיו וַהֲרָגוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ (בראשית ד, ח).

(2) Cain said to Abel:24See above, “In the Beginning,” Section 9. “Let us divide the world between us. You take the movable property, and I will take the fields.” He thought that he would thereby be able to drive him out of the world. They divided everything between them. Abel took the movable property, and Cain the fields. Thereafter, wherever Abel went, Cain ran after him, shouting: “Get off my property.” He fled to the mountains, and Cain pursued him, shouting: “This too belongs to me.” Finally he turned upon him, and killed him, as it is said: And Cain rose against Abel his brother, and slew him (ibid.).

4ד

(א)אִם כֶּסֶף תַּלְוֶה. זֶה שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב: נִבְהָל לַהוֹן אִישׁ רַע עָיִן וְלֹא יֵדַע כִּי חֶסֶר יְבֹאֶנּוּ (משלי כח, כב). אִישׁ רַע עָיִן, זֶה קַיִן, שֶׁהִבְהִיל עַצְמוֹ לִטֹּל אֶת הָעוֹלָם. כֵּיצַד? כְּשֶׁהָיוּ קַיִן וְהֶבֶל בָּעוֹלָם, מַה כְּתִיב בָּהֶן? וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם בַּשָּׂדֶה (בראשית ד, ח). עַל עִסְקֵי שָׂדֶה נֶהֱרַג הֶבֶל.

(1) If thou lend money to any of my people (Exod. 22:24). Scripture says elsewhere in reference to this verse: He that hath an evil eye hasteneth after riches, and he knoweth not that want shall come upon him (Prov. 28:22). He that hath an evil eye refers to Cain, who sought to possess the entire world. When was that? When Cain and Abel were (alone) in the world. What was written concerning them? And it came to pass, when they were in the field (Gen. 4:8), that He killed Abel because of the dispute over the field.

5ה

(א)דָּבָר אַחֵר, לֵךְ לִקְרַאת מֹשֶׁה הַמִּדְבָּרָה. זֶה שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב: מִי יִתֶּנְךָ כְּאָח לִי (שה״‎ש ח, א). יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹמְרִין לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, מִי יִתֶּנְךָ כְּאָח לִי. אַתְּ מוֹצֵא, כָּל הָאַחִים שׂוֹנְאִים זֶה לָזֶה. קַיִן שׂוֹנֵא לְהֶבֶל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל הֶבֶל אָחִיו וְגוֹ' (בראשית ד, ח). יִשְׁמָעֵאל שׂוֹנֵא לְיִצְחָק, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַתֵּרֶא שָׂרָה אֶת בֶּן הָגָר הַמִּצְרִית וְגוֹ' (בראשית כא, ט). וְאֵין מְצַחֵק אֶלָּא שֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ לְהָרְגוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: יָקוּמוּ נָא הַנְּעָרִים וִישַׂחֲקוּ (ש״‎ב ב, יד). עֵשָׂו שׂוֹנֵא לְיַעֲקֹב, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיֹּאמֶר עֵשָׂו בְּלִבּוֹ וְגוֹ' (בראשית כז, מא). הַשְּׁבָטִים, שָׂנְאוּ לְיוֹסֵף, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיִּשְׂנְאוּ אֹתוֹ (בראשית לז, ד). וּכְאֵיזֶה אָח אָמְרוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, כְּמֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: הִנֵּה מַה טּוֹב וּמַה נָּעִים שֶׁבֶת אַחִים גַּם יָחַד (תהלים קלג, א). שֶׁהָיוּ אוֹהֲבִין וּמְחַבְּבִין זֶה אֶת זֶה. שֶׁבְּשָׁעָה שֶׁנָּטַל מֹשֶׁה אֶת הַמַּלְכוּת וְאַהֲרֹן אֶת הַכְּהֻנָּה, לֹא שָׂנְאוּ זֶה אֶת זֶה, אֶלָּא הָיוּ שְׂמֵחִים זֶה בִּגְדֻלַּת זֶה וְזֶה בִּגְדֻלַּת זֶה.

(1) Another comment upon the verse And the Lord said to Aaron: “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses” (Exod. 4:27). Scripture says elsewhere in reference to this verse: O that thou wert as my brother (Song 8:1). The Israelites said to the Holy One, blessed be He:, O that thou wert as my brother, yet you find that all brothers hated each other. Cain hated Abel, as it is said: And Cain rose up against Abel his brother (Gen. 4:8). Ishmael hated Isaac, as is said: And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne unto Abraham, making sport (Gen. 21:9). Making sport implies, in this instance, that he wanted to kill him, as it is said: Let the young men, I pray thee, arise and make sport before us (II Sam. 2:14). Esau hated Jacob, as is said: And Esau said in his heart, etc. (Gen. 27:41). And the tribes hated Joseph, as it is said: And they hated him (Gen. 37:4). But in this instance the Israelites asked of the Holy One, blessed be He: Do you mean like Moses and Aaron, of whom it is said: Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity (Ps. 133:1)? They loved and cherished each other. At the time that Moses took the kingship and Aaron the priesthood, they bore no resentment toward each other. In fact, they rejoiced in each other’s exalted role.

6ו

Rabbi A.L. Scheinbaum - Peninim On the Torah

Genesis 4:4-6

God turned to Abel and to his offering. But to Cain and to his offering God did not turn; this annoyed Cain exceedingly...And God said to Cain, "Why are you annoyed?"

Hashem is questioning Kayin about the source of his depression. Does not the Torah, however, in the preceding pasuk clearly state the reason for Kayin's annoyance: Hashem's rejection of his offereings. Is that not enough reason for one to be despondent? Horav Chaim Brisker, z.l., gives a practical explanation to the query. Hashem asked Kayin, "Why are you really upset? Is it because your korban, offering, was not accepted, or is there a deeper reason, the fact that your brother's korban was accepted?" Quite possibly Kayin's dejection was not due to his own rejection by the Almighty. Perhaps the real problem was the fact that his brother's korban was accepted.

Regrettably, this has become second-nature for many. They can tolerate their own lot, as long as their neighbor does not succeed. The thought that someone else succeeds is a bitter pill for many to swallow. We tend to become so obsessed with our friend's success that we neglect doing something about our own failure. How are we to correct our own mistakes when our prime concern is our neighbor's achievment?