Pisqa’ 87

Pisqa’ 871


 “If your brother, your mother’s son

—or your son or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or the kinsman dear to you—

secretly tempts you, saying:” (Dt.13:7).

The term temptation2 suggests

[that the victim was]

already corrupted.

This view accords with what is said:

“There was none like Ahab, who dedicated himself to doing evil

in the eyes of HASHEM, and who was then tempted by his wife, Jezebel” (1Ki.21:25).

Others say:

the term temptation suggest [that the victim was] provoked,3

for it is stated:

“And now, may my Lord King listen to the words of his servant—

if HASHEM has tempted you against me,

let Him be appeased by an offering” (1Sam.26:19).


Inferring from what is stated:

“The fathers shall not be put to death on account of the children” (Ezek.24:16),

we learn that

they may not testify against each other.

[in regard to temptations]

Is it possible to say that

just as they may not testify against each other,

they may not

[be charged with] tempting each other

[to violate the Torah]?

The Teaching states:

“If your brother, your mother’s son . . . secretly tempts you . . . show him no pity” (Dt.13:7-9)—

[close family members

can be charged with temptation, as follows].

“Your brother” (Dt.13:7)—this is your paternal brother;

“Your mother’s son” (Dt.13:7—this is your maternal brother;

“Or your son” (Dt.13:7)—this is your son of any marriage;

“Or your daughter” (Dt.13:7)—this is your daughter of any marriage;

“Or the wife” (Dt.13:7)—this is the betrothed one;

“Of your bosom” (Dt.13:7)—this is the married one;

“Or the kinsman” (Dt.13:7)—this is the convert;

“Dear to you”(Dt.13:7)—this is your father;


this teaches that

we repeat their words only in private

[and not in public court proceedings].

And, similarly, He says:

“In the twilight, towards the evening of the day, in the thick of night,

and in the darkness—a woman comes towards him,

dressed like a harlot for her purpose” (Prov.7:9-10).

But words of Torah are only repeated in public.

And, similarly, He says:

“Wisdom calls out in the street. . .

at the head of the squares she raises her voice” (Prov. 1:20)


“Let us go and serve other gods, whom neither you nor your ancestors have known” (Dt.13:7).

R. Yose the Galilean says:

Look—it is an insult to Israel,

that the nations of the world

do not abandon what their ancestors transmitted to them,

yet Israel

does abandon what their ancestors transmitted to them,

by serving a foreign cult!

  1. H:138-139; JN1:238-239.
  2. Heb: hasatah; root: s-w-t, “allure,” “instigate.”
  3. Heb: geirui: root: g-r-y, “instigation,’ ‘provocation”.