Pisqa’ 49

Pisqa’ 491


“Walking in all His ways” (Dt.11:22).

What are the ways of the All-Present?

“HASHEM, a compassionate and gracious God” (Ex.34:6).

And He says:

“And all who are called by2

the Name of HASHEM will be spared” (Joel 3:5).

How is it possible for a person to be called by

the Name of the All-Present?


the All-Present is called compassionate,

so you, too, must be compassionate;

the Holy One is called gracious,

so you, too, must be gracious,

for it is said:

“Gracious and compassionate is HASHEM” (Ps.145:8)—

freely offering His gifts.3

The All-Present is called righteous,

for it is said:

Righteous is HASHEM, loving righteous deeds” (Ps.11:7)—

so you, too, must be righteous.

The All-Present is called kind,

for it is said:

“I am kind, says HASHEM” (Jer.3:12)—

so you, too, must be kind.

For this reason is it said:

“And all who are called by the Name of HASHEM will be spared” (Joel 3:5)—

[to be “called by” is to “embody His qualities”].

And it says:

“Whoever is called by My honorable Name, I have created him” (Is.43:7),

And it says:

“HASHEM created everything for His purpose” (Prov.16:4).


“And clinging to Him” (Dt.11:22)—

Now, how is it possible for a person

to ascend the heights and cling to fire?

Isn’t it already stated:

“HASHEM your God is a consuming fire” (Dt.4:24)?

And, yet again, He says:

“His throne was tongues of flame” (Dan.7:9).

Rather the point is—

cling to the sages and to their disciples,

and I will consider it as if

you had ascended the heights

and captured the Torah.

And not only that you had ascended

and captured it peacefully;

but as if you had waged war

to capture it.

And, in this vein, He says:

“Ascending the heights, you took a prisoner” (Ps.65:19).


The expounders of traditional lore4 say:

So you want intimacy with

the One Who spoke the world into being?

Then master traditional lore,

for you will thereby become familiar with

the One Who spoke the world into being,

and will cling to His ways.

You did your duty;

therefore, I, too, will do My duty!5

“Then HASHEM will disinherit all those nations from before you” (Dt.11:23).

  1. H:105-106; JN1:184-165.
  2. The rendering “called by” (yiqar’ei ) departs from the masoretic vowelization, “call upon” (yiqr’a) as well as from the Septuagint at Joel 2:32 (epikalesetai to onoma kuriou), which agrees with the MT.
  3. Mechilta Ishmael, shirah 3.
  4. Heb: dorshei h/aggadot. Presumably these are specialists in the subject of cosmogonic and cosmological exegesis. A common variant is dorshei reshumot, “expounders of traces.”
  5. Cf. Pisq’a 41.9