Parshas Bechukosai

Words in bold represent changes to the traditional translation based on the Aramaic translation/commentary attributed to Onkelos the Ger.

Parshas Bechukosai

Rishon

3. If you walk in My statutes, and observe My commandments and perform them,

4. I will give your rains in their time, and the earth will give its produce and the tree of the field will give its fruit.

5. Your threshing will reach[1] the vintage and your vintage will reach the bringing out of the seed; you will eat your bread to satiation and dwell securely in your land.

Sheini

6. I will give peace in the land; you will dwell with no one to drive (you away).[2] I will cause the land to rest from dangerous animals[3] and those who kill with a sword will not cross through your land.

7. You will pursue your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword.

8. Five of you will pursue a hundred and a hundred of you will make 10,000 flee. Your enemies will fall before you by the sword.

9. I will turn through My word to do good to you, I will make you fertile and increase you, and I will uphold My covenant with you.

Shlishi (Chamishi)

10. You will eat the oldest of the old (grain)[4] and you will clear out[5] the old from before the new.

11. I will establish My dwelling among you and My word[6] won’t reject you.

12. I will cause My presence to rest among you;[7] I will be God to you and you will be a people before Me.

13. I am Hashem your God Who brought you out from the land of Egypt from being slaves to them; I broke the yoke of the nations from you[8] and caused you to walk in freedom.[9]

14. And if you don’t accept My word[10] and don’t perform all these commandments,

15. if you despise My statutes and if your souls reject My laws so that you don’t perform all My commandments to deviate from[11] My covenant,

16. I will also do this to you: I will command terror against you—consumption and fever that cause the eyes to go dark[12] and the soul to deflate.[13] You shall plant your seed in vain and those who hate you will eat it.

17. I will set My anger[14] against you; you will be broken[15] before your enemies and those who hate you will rule over you. You will flee and no one is chasing you.

18. And if until these you do not accept My word, I will increase to chastise you seven (times) on your sins.

19. I will break the honor[16] of your strength. I will make the skies that are above you[17] hard like iron and the land beneath you[18] unyielding like copper from making fruit.

20. Your strength will be spent in vain and your land will not give its produce, and the tree of the land won’t give its fruit.

21. And if you walk contrary[19] before Me and don’t accept My word, I will increase to bring a blow upon you seven (times) according to your sins.

22. I will cause[20] animal(s) of the field against you; they will bereave you[21] and destroy your cattle. They will diminish you and your roads will be desolate.

23. And if these things don’t chastise you to My word and you walk contrary before Me,

24. I will also walk contrary to you. I will also thrash[22] you seven (times) for your sins.

25. I will bring those who kill with a sword against you to collect payment from you[23]payment for you violating the words of the Torah – and you will gather into your cities. I will cause pestilence among you and you will be delivered into the hand of the one who hates you.

26. When I break the assistance of bread[24] for you, ten women will bake your bread in one oven; they will deliver your bread by weight. You will eat and you will not be satisfied.

27. And if in this you accept My word and you walk contrary before Me,

28. I will act[25] with you in powerful fury. I will also chastise you seven (times) in your sins.

29. You will eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters you will eat.

30. I will destroy your high places[26] and cut down your sun-worship pillars. I will put your carcasses on the rubble of your errors;[27] My word will reject you.

31. I will make your cities desolation[28] and make your sanctuaries deserted; I will not accept the offerings of your assembly with favor.[29]

32. I will make the land desolate and your enemies who settle in it will be astonished by it.

33. And you I will scatter among the nations, and I will cause those who kill by the sword[30] (to go) after you. Your land will be desolate and your cities will be a ruin.

34. Then the land will be appeased for its sabbaticals[31] all the days it is desolate and you are in the land of your enemies; then the land will release[32] and be appeased[33] for its sabbaticals.

35. All the days it is desolate, it will release all that it didn’t release in your sabbaticals when you dwelled on it.

36. And those who remain of you, I will bring brokenness[34] in their hearts in the lands of those who hate them. The sound of a rustling leaf will chase them. They will flee as from before those who kill with the sword; they will fall with no pursuer.

37. A man will stumble over his brother as before those who kill with a sword and there’s no pursuer. You will not be able to stand before your enemies.

38. You will be lost in the nations, and the land of your enemies will end you.[35]

39. Those who remain of you will waste away in their sins[36] in the lands of those who hate you. Furthermore, they will waste away in the sins of their evil fathers that are clutched in their hands.[37]

40. They will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers in their falsehood[38] that they committed against Me, and also that they walked contrary before Me.

41. Also I will act contrary with them and I will bring them in the land of their enemies, or then their foolish[39] heart will be broken[40] and they will appease for their sins.

42. I remember[41] My covenant that is with Yaakov, also My covenant that is with Yitzchak, and also My covenant that is with Avraham I remember; and I remember the land.

43. And the land will be forsaken of them, appeasing its sabbaticals through its desolation of them, and they will appease for their sins; I will bring upon them curses in lieu of blessings on account of they despised My laws and their soul rejected My statutes.

44. Yet, despite this,[42] when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not abandon them[43] and I will not reject them to destroy them, to deviate from My covenant with them because I am Hashem their God.

45. I remember for them the covenant of the first ones, whom I brought them out from the land of Egypt in the eyes of the nations to God to them; I am Hashem.

46. These are the statutes, ordinances, and laws that Hashem gave, between His word and between the children of Israel, on Mount Sinai by the hand of Moshe.

Chapter 27

Revii (Shishi)

1. Hashem spoke with Moshe, saying:

2. Speak with the children of Israel and say to them: A man who utters a vow before Hashem in the valuation of souls,

3. the valuation of a male from 20 years old to 60 years old, his valuation shall be 50 silver sela[44] of the holy sela,

4. and if it is a female, her valuation is 30 shekels.

5. And if from five years old to 20 years old, the valuation of a male is 20 sela and for a female, ten sela.

6. And if from one month to five years, the valuation for a male will be five sela of silver, and for a female her valuation three sela of silver.

7. And if from 60 years old and higher, if male his valuation shall be 15 sela, and for a female, ten sela.

8. And if he is too poor for his valuation, he shall be stood before the priest and the priest will assess him; according to what the one who vows can afford[45] the priest shall assess him.

9. If an animal that is offered from it an offering before Hashem, all that he gives from it before Hashem will be holy.

10. He may not exchange it and may not substitute (for) it, (neither) good for bad or bad for good. If he does substitute an animal for an animal, it and its substitute will (both) be holy.

11. If any[46] unclean animal that is not offered from it an offering before Hashem, he shall stand the animal before the priest.

12. The priest shall evaluate it. Whether good or bad,[47] according to the assessment of the priest, so it shall be.

13. And if he indeed redeems it, he shall add its fifth to[48] its assessment.

14. And a person who consecrates his house (as) holy before Hashem, the priest shall assess it. Whether good or bad, as the priest assesses it, so it shall stand.

15. And if one who consecrated will redeem his house, he shall add a fifth of the silver of its assessment to it and it shall be his.

Chamishi (Shevii)

16. If a person consecrates before Hashem of a field of his possession,[49] its assessment will be according to its seeding – seeding a place to plant a kor[50] of barley for 50 silver sela.

17. If his field is consecrated from the jubilee year, it will stand according to its assessment.

18. And if after the jubilee he will consecrate his field, the priest shall calculate the price according to the years that are remaining until the (next) jubilee year, and it shall be reduced from its assessment.

19. And if the one who consecrated the land would redeem it, he shall add a fifth of the silver of its assessment to it and it shall be established for him.

20. And if he doesn’t redeem the field, and if the field is sold to another person, it may no longer be redeemed.

21. The field will be in its going out, in the jubilee, holy before Hashem, as a devoted[51] field; it will be to the priest his possession.

Shishi

22. If he consecrates before Hashem a field of his purchase that is not of the field of his possession,

23. the priest shall calculate for it the value of its assessment until the jubilee year; he shall give its assessment on that day, holy before Hashem.

24. In the jubilee the field will return to the one from whom it was purchased, to the one whose possession the land is.

25. And all his assessment(s) will be in the holy sela: a sela is 20 maah.[52]

26. But a firstborn that will be a firstling before Hashem of animal(s), no person can consecrate it; whether ox or whether sheep, it is Hashem’s.[53]

27. And if it is of an unclean animal, it may be ransomed in its assessment, and he shall add its fifth to it. And if it isn’t redeemed, it shall be sold in its assessment.

28. However, all devoted (property) that a person devotes before Hashem from all that he has – from man and animal and from his hereditary field – it may not be sold and it may not be redeemed. Every devoted thing, it is holy of holies before Hashem.

Shevii

29. Every condemned[54] (person) who will be condemned from man[55] may not be redeemed; he shall surely be executed.[56]

30. All tithe of the land, from seed of the land (and) from fruits[57] of the tree, it is Hashem’s; it is holy before Hashem.

31. If a person will redeem from his tithe, he shall add its fifth to it.

32. And all tithe(s) of cattle and sheep, everything that passes under the (shepherd’s) staff, (every) tenth (animal) will be holy before Hashem.

33. Do not inspect between good and bad and do not substitute for it. If one does substitute for it, then it and its substitute will (both) be holy; it can’t be redeemed.

34 These are the commandments that Hashem commanded Moshe for[58] the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.

[1] Rather than “overtake.”

[2] As opposed to “you will lie down and no one will frighten (you).”

[3] The Hebrew is literally “bad animals.”

[4] As opposed to “the old (grain that was) stored long.”

[5] Rather than “take out.”

[6] Chumash: “My soul.”

[7] As opposed to “walk among you.”

[8] Rather than “the bars of your yoke.”

[9] As opposed to “erect.”

[10] Rather than the more anthropomorphic “listen to Me.”

[11] Rather than “break.”

[12] As opposed to “pine.”

[13] Rather than “long.”

[14] Rather than the anthropomorphism “My face.”

[15] Chumash: “struck.”

[16] Rather than “pride.”

[17] Chumash: “your skies.”

[18] Rather than “your land.”

[19] According to Rashi, the meaning of the Hebrew is the Jews treat the mitzvos lightly, as something that “just happens.”

[20] As opposed to “send.”

[21] i.e., of children.

[22] i.e., repeatedly, rather than “smite” with a single blow.

[23] Chumash: “I will bring a sword of vengeance against you to avenge (for the) covenant….”

[24] Chumash: “the staff of bread.”

[25] As opposed to “walk.”

[26] Hebrew: bamos, a type of privately-owned altar.

[27] A euphemism for idols.

[28] Rather than “a ruin.”

[29] Chumash: “I will not savor your pleasing aromas.”

[30] Rather than “unsheathe the sword.”

[31] Hebrew: shemittah; as opposed to “sabbaths.”

[32] The meaning of shemittah; rather than “rest.”

[33] As opposed to “appease (Hashem).”

[34] Rather than “fear.”

[35] Rather than “consume you.”

[36] Onkelos pluralizes this word.

[37] Chumash: “(that are) with them.”

[38] Rather than “treachery.”

[39] Chumash: “uncircumcised.”

[40] As opposed to “humbled.”

[41] Rather than “will remember,” which readers might mistakenly take to suggest that Hashem doesn’t always remember.

[42] Literally, “even also.”

[43] Rather than “I will not despise them.”

[44] Rather than shekels, an equivalent denomination.

[45] Literally, “his hand is sufficient.”

[46] Literally, “every.”

[47] Literally, “between good and between bad.”

[48] Literally, “on.”

[49] i.e., his ancestral property.

[50] Chumash: “a chomer” – a unit of volume equivalent to a kor.

[51] Hebrew: cheirem.

[52] As opposed to “the shekel will be 20 geira” – equivalent denominations.

[53] Rather than “for Hashem.”

[54] Also cheirem in Hebrew.

[55] i.e., from mankind.

[56] As opposed to “he shall surely die.”

[57] Onkelos pluralizes this word.

[58] Literally, “to.”

© Copyright 2021 Rabbi Jack Abramowitz