He shall be called a Nazarene

Matti 2:23. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets,

[He shall be called a Nazarene.] Those things which are brought from Isaiah 11:1 concerning Netzer, the Branch; and those things also produced concerning Samson the Nazarite, a most noble type of Christ, have their weight, by no means to be despised. We add, that Matthew may be understood concerning the outward, humble, and mean condition of our Saviour. And that by the word, Nazarene, he hints his separation and estrangement from other men, as a despicable person, and unworthy of the society of men.

I. Let it be observed, that the evangelist does not cite some one of the prophets, but all:

“spoken by the prophets.” But now all the prophets, in a manner, do preach the vile and abject condition of Christ; none, that his original should be out of Nazareth.

II. David, in his person, speaks thus; I was a stranger to my brethren, Psalm 69:9.

III. If you derive the word Nazarene, which not a few do, from Nazir, a Nazirean, that word denotes not only a separation, dedicated to God, such as that of the Nazarenes was; but it signifies also the separation of a man from others, as being unworthy of their society; Genesis

49:26, “They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.” Therefore, let us digest the sense of the evangelist by this paraphrase: Joseph was to depart with Christ to Beth-lehem, the city of David, or to Jerusalem, the royal city, had not the fear of Archelaus hindered him. Therefore, by the signification of an angel, he is sent away into Galilee, a very contemptible country, and into the city Nazareth, a place of no account: whence, from this very place, and the name of it, you may observe that fulfilled to a tittle which is so often declared by the prophets, that the Messias should be Nazor, a stranger, or separate from men, as if he were a very vile person, and not worthy of their company.

Who’s Your Teacher

The Sages, seeing that his mind was clear, entered his chamber and sat down at a distance of four cubits. ‘Why have ye come?’ said he to them. ‘To study the Torah’, they replied; ‘And why did ye not come before now’, he asked? They answered, ‘We had no time’. He then said, ‘I will be surprised if these die a natural death’. R. Akiba asked him, ‘And what will my death be?’ and he answered, ‘Yours will be more cruel than theirs’. He then put his two arms over his heart, and bewailed them, saying, ‘Woe to you, two arms of mine, that have been like two Scrolls of the Law that are wrapped up. Much Torah have I studied, and much have I taught. Much Torah have I learnt, yet have I but skimmed from the knowledge of my teachers as much as a dog lapping from the sea. Much Torah have I taught, yet my disciples have only drawn from me as much as a painting stick from its tube.

Sandheden 68a

And My Master Yeshua of Nazareth is the Greatest of them all.



Sefardi Beit Sefer


XXIII. And the days of the life of Sarah were an hundred and twenty and seven years, the years of the life of Sarah. And Sarah died in Kiryath Arba, which is Hebron. [JERUSALEM. And Sarah died in the city of the giants.]

And Abraham came from the mountain of worship, and found that she was dead; and he sat to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. And Abraham rose up from the sight of the face of his dead, and spake with the sons of Hittah, saying, I am a sojourner and dweller with you; I pray sell me the inheritance of a sepulchre among you, and I will bury my dead there. And the sons of Hittah responded unto Abraham, saying to him, Attend to us, our lord. Great before the Lord art thou among us, in the best of our sepulchres bury thy…

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HAYE SARAH: חיי שרה

Sefardi Beit Sefer


והמלך דוד זקןחיי שרה
מקאם חג’אזנגונים
אתוהי כמה רברביןנשמת
רוכב עביםשועת
מרומי ברך ההודאות
נדה אני קדיש
בואי ברנה חג’אז שמחים
שמח נפשי ממצרים
שיך סלאמה חג’אזי נקדישך
אתה צורי פזמון ספר תורה

On Shabbat Haye Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18), Maqam HIJAZ, which is named after the Arabian Peninsula, is applied to the prayers according to all Aleppo sources (Damascus sources indicate to apply Maqam SABA for most sad occasions). This maqam is reserved for sadness and it is warranted here, because we read about the death of Sarah. According to Gabriel A Shrem, Maqam Bayat should be mixed in with Maqam Hijaz in order to differentiate this from Shabbat Hazon, which is viewed as much sadder. HAZZANUT (H Moshe Ashear): Semehim: Boee BeRinah (Maqam Hijaz version; page 156). MISHMARA: Haye Sarah, Judges 12-end…

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Dvar Torah – Parshas Vayera

Sefardi Beit Sefer

Parshas Vayera
Actual Angel Food
And he took cream and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and he placed [them] before them, and he was standing over them under the tree, and they ate. (Breishis 18:8)

Okay, Avraham fed some guests and they ate. What’s the big news? As it turns out, we are told, these were not regular men, rather they were angels. Their home address was 1 Heaven Avenue. They don’t need to eat. How or why did they eat! The Talmud, Bava Metzia, is troubled by this question and it offers a few approaches.

We learn from the principle that a person should not deviate from the conduct of the place where he is staying. When Moshe went to Heaven he didn’t eat bread during that 40 day period because that is not a place of eating, and when these angelic figures were visiting earth…

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Haftarah of Parshas Chukas

Sefardi Beit Sefer

BS”D KNOW YOUR BIBLE: Judges Chapters 11-12
Study Notes by Avraham ben Yaakov


* * * Judges 11:1-33 is the Haftarah of Parshas Chukas, Leviticus 19:1-22:1 * * *


Like Avimelech, Yiftach (Jepthah) son of Gil’ad, the Tenth Judge of Israel, was also the son of a PILEGESH (concubine). However, despite being rejected by his half-brothers, the sons of Gil’ad’s full wife, Yiftach did not follow the example of his blood-thirsty predecessor Avimelech but instead fled from the more “respectable” members of his family and “dwelled in the land of TOV” (=”good”, ch 11 v. 3). The commentators (Metzudos, RaDaK), explaining PSHAT, the simple, direct meaning of the text, say that Tov was the name of a man, the baron of that region (cf. Ruth 3:13, where Tov may also indicate a man’s name). Yet it is clear that our allusive Bible is here teaching…

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