• October 29, 2020
  • 11 5781, Cheshvan
  • פרשת לך־לך

Rabbinic Perspectives on the 13 Midot

Rabbinic Perspectives on the 13 Midot
Join Rabbi Yitzhak Zuriel as he learns selections from the Talmud on the thirteen attributes of divine mercy. Introduced to Moshe Rabbeinu and the Jewish People after the sin of the golden calf, the 13 Midot, as they are otherwise known, are a special formula given to us by God to ‘remind’ Him of His everlasting mercy. How did the great sages of the Gemara view the 13 Midot and how did their perspectives lay the groundwork for much of today’s Yom Kippur liturgy?
August 25, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives on the 13 Midot: Lesson
Class description

Shalom and welcome to our shiur for Elul 5780 on the topic “The 13 Middot”!  I am looking forward to learning this material together with you.

As noted in the description for this short course, we will be studying sources in the Talmud that deal with the 13 attributes of Divine mercy, that appear in the account in Shemot 34:5-7 of the experience of Moshe Rabbeinu on Mt. Sinai.

This first shiur will be an introduction in which we will discuss the entirety of the 13 Middot and the gemara on Rosh Hashanah 17b that discusses the meaning and significance of them as a whole, before we proceed in subsequent shiurim to examine them one by one.

 

August 27, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives on the 13 Midot: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we did the first part of the introduction to the 13 Middot by studying the verses in which they appear and the context of these verses in chapters 33 and 34 of Sefer Shemot. At the end we took a quick look at the two statements by amoraim in the gemara Rosh Hashanah 17b that define globally the importance and the role of the saying of the 13 Middot in our prayers.  You are welcome to review this material and if there are questions we can discuss them at the beginning of this class.

In this shiur, we will continue to the second and last part of our overall introduction to the 13 Middot, in which we will study in depth those two statements of the amoraim Rabbi Yohanan and Rav Yehuda, and try to understand them well. These two statements form the basis for the centrality of the 13 Middot in the Yom Kippur, and indeed also the selihot prayers of the month of Elul.

September 1, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives on the 13 Midot: Lesson
Class description

In this shiur we will sum up the general statements we saw about the 13 Middot, and then move on to the specific attributes, starting with “ה  ה”.   We will discuss the plain meaning of the words in the verses and the special meanings given them by our Sages in the Talmudic writings. Specifically, we will look at the Midrash Raba in two different places:  בראשית רבה פרשה ל”ג פסקא ג  and  שמות רבה פרשה ג’ פסקאות ה-ו . Following that we will discuss R.Yohanan’s explanation of those first two words/names of the 13 Middot.

September 3, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives on the 13 Midot: Lesson
Class description

We will begin this shiur with the explanation given by R.Yohanan to the first words of the 13 Middot, in the continuation of his well-known meimra with which we began studying this subject, on Rosh Hashana 17b , 14 lines down from the top of the gemara page (Vilna printing).

Then we will move on to the concept of ארך אפים. For this we will study three different Talmudic sources:
1) Eruvin 22a ,16 lines down from the top of the page –  א”ר חגי
2) Bava Kama 50a (at the bottom and continuing to the top of 50b)  – אמר ר’ חנא
3) Sanhedrin 111a (last 4 lines and continuing onto top of Sanhedrin 111b) –  וימהר משה

We will study these with the comments of Rashi and Tosafot.

September 8, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives on the 13 Midot: Lesson
Class description

In this shiur, we will continue our exploration of the Talmudic sources on the attribute ארך אפים, and learn the source from Sanhedrin (details in the notes for the previous shiur). We will also study the comments of Rashi on this passage.
Then we will move on to the next 2 attributes, רב חסד ואמת.  The concepts of חסד and אמת are very often found together as a pair in Tanach, actually in quite a number of places in the Torah. For this reason we will look at a couple of examples, together with explanations of the classical Jewish commentators, namely the Ibn Ezra and Radak on Beresheet 24:49 and Rashi on Beresheet 32:11, before turning our attention back to the Talmud. There we will encounter Beit Hillel’s well-known explanation of the attribute רב חסד expressing their disagreement with Beit Shamai about the fate of the “beinoniyim” after life in this world, found in the gemara 5 lines from the bottom of Rosh Hashana 16b (and continues on Rosh Hashana 17a).

September 10, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives on the 13 Midot: Lesson
Class description

At the beginning of this shiur, we will discuss the words of Rashi on the word “אמת” of the verse of the י”ג מידות that we saw quickly at the end of the previous shiur. Then we will go back to the gemara source in Sanhedrin that we also studied last time, to revisit the dispute between ר’ חנינא בן גמלא  and the רבנן . Then we will study the statement of אילפי on Rosh Hashanah 17b (7th line, down from the top).

Following this, we will encounter Beit Hillel’s well-known explanation of the attribute רב חסד expressing their disagreement with Beit Shamai about the fate of the “beinoniyim” after life in this world, found in the gemara 5 lines up from the bottom of Rosh Hashanah 16b (and continues on Rosh Hashana 17a).

September 15, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives on the 13 Midot: Lesson
Class description

In this shiur our focus shifts to the first half of verse 7 in Shemot 34, where our Sages have identified the remaining middot of mercy.

We will discuss Rashi’s explanation of the first part of the verse and we will then move on to see explanations from the Talmud of the phrases נושא עון ופשע וחטאה (Yoma 36b) and ונקה (Yoma 86a).

September 17, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Rabbinic Perspectives on the 13 Midot: Lesson
Class description

This is the final shiur of this minicourse.

We will complete the study of the contents of the 13 Middot with the last word of them ונקה.  We will learn Rashi’s explanation of this part of the verse, and see the midrashic source from the Talmud in Yoma 86a, 13 lines down from the top of the page.

Following this, we will look at the structure and some of the content of the Selihot prayers that we have been saying in the mornings before Rosh Hashana and which we will continue to say until Yom Kippur. We will look for where and how the views of the 13 Middot held by the sages in the Talmud have been expressed in the Selihot.

Rabbi Yitzhak Zuriel has been enjoying guiding students in how to learn and understand Talmud at WebYeshiva.org since its founding. He began his teaching career as a teacher and educational director at Michlelet Bruria in the 1980s. For over 20 years, he has been working as a software engineer in Jerusalem, and during that time has been an editor and contributor to the company NDS's Torah journal, Chiddushei Torah@NDS, that was published annually from 1996-2014 . He and his wife reside in Ma'ale Adumim and are parents to five children and have many grandchildren.