Pisqa’ 308

Pisqa’ 3081


“Is the destruction His own? No!

The flaw lies in His children,

a crooked, twisted generation!” (Dt.32:5)—

they may well be full of blemishes,

but they are still called His children!:

Words of R. Meir:

As it is stated:

“The flaw lies in His children” (Dt.32:5).

R. Judah says:

They have no blemishes!

For it is stated:

“The flaw is not in His children” (Dt.32:5)2.


And, in this vein, He states:

“Offspring of evil-doers! Children of destroyers!” (Is.1:4)—

if [Israel is] called children

even while destructive,

all the more so should they be called children

when they are not destructive!

And, similarly:

“They are sages in doing evil” (Jer.4:22)—

now, isn’t this a simple matter of logic?

Just as when they are evil-doers they are nevertheless called sages,

all the more so,

should they be called sages when they are doing good!

And, similarly:

“They are foolish children” (Jer.4:22)—

just as when they are foolish, they are still called children,

all the more so should they be called children when they are insightful!

And similarly:

“And My people shall sit before you, . . .

and listen to your words” (Ezek.33:31).

Is it possible to say that

they shall listen and obey?3

The Teaching states:

“But they will not obey them” (Ezek.33:31).

Now, isn’t it a simple matter of logic?

Just as when they hear the Prophet, but will not obey—

they are still called My people

all the more so should they be called My people

when they listen and obey!


In the name of Abba Hadores4 they taught:

Israel has [nearly] destroyed itself by

violating all the proscriptions of the Torah.

And why belabor this point?

So as not to provide the Wicked

an argument, such as this:

Whenever we sinned against Him, the pain was our own!

Now, what is it like?

Like someone going off to be crucified,

while his father is bewailing him

and his mother is flailing about before him.

[The father] says: Woe is me!

[The mother] says: Woe is me!

But these expressions [of grief] change nothing

for the son going off to be crucified!

Thus, He states:

“Woe to their soul! For they have been repaid by evil” (Is.3:9)


A crooked, twisted generation!” (Dt.32:5)—

Said Moses to Israel:

You are deformed! You are twisted!

You are headed nowhere, but to the fire!

What is this like?

Like someone who has in his possession a bent staff.

He’ll give it to a repairman to straighten.

First, he’ll apply heat [to straighten it].

If that fails, he’ll try to straighten it

by pressing it into a form.

If that also fails,

he’ll carve it up with a knife,

and throw it into the fire!

And so does He state:

“And I will deliver you into the hands

Of inflamed men, smiths of destruction” (Ezek.21:36)

Another word:

Said Moses to Israel:

Precisely as you treated me have I treated you!

And so does He state:

“Among the pure, you feign purity;

among the crooked, you are a crook” (2Sam.22:27)—

“A crooked, twisted generation!” (Dt.32:5)

  1. H:313-314;JN2:322-323.
  2. The difficult syntax of the verse permits the dual reading.
  3. Heb: shom`im ve-`osim. Cf. Ex.24:7: na`aseh ve-nishm`a.
  4. Very little is known about this obscure tanna. See also Pisqa’ 352.1 and comments of F:347, n.10.