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Melachim uMilchamot – Chapter 12

4 The Sages and the prophets did not yearn for the Messianic era in order to have dominion over the entire world, to rule over the gentiles, to be exalted by the nations, or to eat, drink, and celebrate. Rather, they desired to be free to involve themselves in Torah and wisdom without any pressures or disturbances, so that they would merit the world to come, as explained in Hilchot Teshuvah.

ד לֹא נִתְאַוּוּ הַחֲכָמִים וְהַנְּבִיאִים יְמוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ. לֹא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּשְׁלְטוּ עַל כָּל הָעוֹלָם. וְלֹא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּרְדּוּ בָּעַכּוּ”ם. וְלֹא כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּנַשְּׂאוּ אוֹתָם הָעַמִּים. וְלֹא כְּדֵי לֶאֱכל וְלִשְׁתּוֹת וְלִשְׂמֹחַ. אֶלָּא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ פְּנוּיִין בַּתּוֹרָה וְחָכְמָתָהּ. וְלֹא יִהְיֶה לָהֶם נוֹגֵשׂ וּמְבַטֵּל. כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּזְכּוּ לְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא. כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת תְּשׁוּבָה:

5 In that era, there will be neither famine or war, envy or competition for good will flow in abundance and all the delights will be freely available as dust. The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know God.

Therefore, the Jews will be great sages and know the hidden matters, grasping the knowledge of their Creator according to the full extent of human potential, as Isaiah 11:9 states: ‘The world will be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the ocean bed.”

ה וּבְאוֹתוֹ הַזְּמַן לֹא יִהְיֶה שָׁם לֹא רָעָב וְלֹא מִלְחָמָה. וְלֹא קִנְאָה וְתַחֲרוּת. שֶׁהַטּוֹבָה תִּהְיֶה מֻשְׁפַּעַת הַרְבֵּה. וְכָל הַמַּעֲדַנִּים מְצוּיִין כֶּעָפָר. וְלֹא יִהְיֶה עֵסֶק כָּל הָעוֹלָם אֶלָּא לָדַעַת אֶת ה’ בִּלְבַד. וּלְפִיכָךְ יִהְיוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲכָמִים גְּדוֹלִים וְיוֹדְעִים דְּבָרִים הַסְּתוּמִים וְיַשִּׂיגוּ דַּעַת בּוֹרְאָם כְּפִי כֹּחַ הָאָדָם. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה יא, ט) “כִּי מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ דֵּעָה אֶת ה’ כַּמַּיִם לַיָּם מְכַסִּים”:

This completes Hilchot Melachim and the entire text. Blessed be He who spoke and the world came into being as a whole, with all its particulars.

This concludes the fourteenth book, the Book of Judges. It contains five Halachot and eighty one chapters.

HilchotSanhderin – 26 chapters, Hilchot Edut – 22 chapters, Hilchot Mamrim – 7 chapters, Hilchot Evel – 14 chapters, Hilchot Melachim – 12 chapters. In the entire text, there are 83 Halachot and 982 chapters. Complete and perfect with praise to God, Creator of the World

נשלמו הלכות מלכים והחבור כולו ברוך שאמר והיה העולם בפרטו ובכללו נגמר ספר ארבעה עשר והוא ספר שופטים הלכותיו חמש ופרקיו אחד ושמונים הלכות סנהדרין ששה ועשרים פרקים הלכות עדות שנים ועשרים פרקים הלכות ממרים שבעה פרקים הלכות אבל ארבעה עשר פרקים הלכות מלכים שנים עשר פרקים כל הלכות הספר בכללו שלשה ושמונים והפרקים תתקפ”ב


תם ונשלם שבח לאל בורא עולם:

The Rambam’s Introduction to the Mishneh Torah

“In the name of God, Lord of the world” (Genesis 21:33)

“Then I will not be ashamed when I gaze at all Your mitzvot” (Psalms 119:6).

The mitzvot given to Moses at Mount Sinai were all given together with their explanations, as implied by [Exodus 24:12]: “And I will give you the tablets of stone, the Torah, and the mitzvah.”

“The Torah” refers to the Written Law; “the mitzvah,” to its explanation. [God] commanded us to fulfill “the Torah” according to [the instructions of] “the mitzvah.” “The mitzvah” is called the Oral Law.

Moses, our teacher, personally transcribed the entire Torah before he died. He gave a Torah scroll to each tribe and placed another scroll in the ark as a testimonial, as [Deuteronomy 31:26] states: “Take this Torah scroll and place it [beside the ark…] and it will be there as a testimonial.”

“The mitzvah” – i.e., the explanation of the Torah – he did not transcribe. Instead, he commanded it [verbally] to the elders, to Joshua, and to the totality of Israel, as [Deuteronomy 13:1] states: “Be careful to observe everything that I prescribe to you.” For this reason, it is called the Oral Law.

Even though the Oral Law was not transcribed, Moses, our teacher, taught it in its entirety in his court to the seventy elders. Elazar, Pinchas, and Joshua received the tradition from Moses.

[In particular, Moses] transmitted the Oral Law to Joshua, who was his [primary] disciple, and instructed him regarding it.

Similarly, throughout his life Joshua taught the Oral Law. Many elders received the tradition from him. Eli received the tradition from the elders and from Pinchas. Samuel received the tradition from Eli and his court. David received the tradition from Samuel and his court.

Achiah of Shiloh was one of those who experienced the exodus from Egypt. He was a Levite and heard [teachings] from Moses. He was, however, of low stature in Moses’ age. Afterwards, he received the tradition from David and his court.

Elijah received the tradition from Achiah of Shiloh and his court. Elisha received the tradition from Elijah and his court.

Yehoyada, the priest, received the tradition from Elisha and his court. Zechariah received the tradition from Yehoyada and his court. Hoshea received the tradition from Zechariah and his court. Amos received the tradition from Hoshea and his court. Isaiah received the tradition from Amos and his court. Michah received the tradition from Isaiah and his court. Yoel received the tradition from Michah and his court. Nachum received the tradition from Yoel and his court. Chabbakuk received the tradition from Nachum and his court. Tzefaniah received the tradition from Chabbakuk and his court.

Jeremiah received the tradition from Tzefaniah and his court. Baruch ben Neriyah received the tradition from Jeremiah and his court. Ezra and his court received the tradition from Baruch and his court.

[The members of] Ezra’s court are referred to as Anshei K’nesset Hagedolah (the men of the great assembly). They included Chaggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Daniel, Chananiah, Mishael, Azariah, Nechemiah ben Chakaliah, Mordechai the linguist, Zerubavel and many other sages – 120 elders in all.

The last [surviving] member of this group was Shimon the Just. He was included among the 120 elders and received the Oral Law from all of them. He served as the High Priest after Ezra.

Antignos of Socho and his court received the tradition from Shimon the Just and his court.

Yosse ben Yo’ezer of Tzreidah and Yosef ben Yochanan of Jerusalem and their court received the tradition from Antignos and his court. Yehoshua ben Perachiah and Nittai of Arbel and their court received the tradition from Yosse ben Yo’ezer and Yosef ben Yochanan and their court. Yehudah ben Tabbai and Shimon ben Shatach and their court received the tradition from Yehoshua ben Perachiah and Nittai of Arbel and their court. Shemayah and Avtalion, who were righteous converts, and their court received the tradition from Yehudah and Shimon and their court.

Hillel and Shammai and their court received the tradition from Shemayah and Avtalion and their court. Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai and Rabbi Shimon, the son of Hillel the elder, received the tradition from Hillel [and Shammai] and his [their] court[s].

Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai had five students [who were] great sages and received the tradition from him. They were: Rabbi Eleazar the great, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Yosse the priest, Rabbi Shimon ben Netanel and Rabbi Elazar ben Arach. Rabbi Akiva ben Yosef received from Rabbi Eleazar the great. Yosef, his father, was a righteous convert.

Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Meir, a son of righteous converts, received the tradition from Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Meir and his colleagues also received the tradition from Rabbi Yishmael.

The colleagues of Rabbi Meir include Rabbi Yehudah, Rabbi Yosse, Rabbi Shimon, Rabbi Nechemiah, Rabbi Elazar ben Shamu’a, Rabbi Yochanan the shoemaker, Shimon ben Azzai, and Rabbi Chananiah ben Teradion.

Similarly, Rabbi Akiva’s colleagues also received the tradition from Rabbi Eleazar the great. Rabbi Akiva’s colleagues include Rabbi Tarfon – the teacher of Rabbi Yosse of the Galil – Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar, and Rabbi Yochanan ben Nuri.

Rabban Gamliel the elder received the tradition from Rabban Shimon, his father – the son of Hillel the elder. Rabban Shimon, his son, received the tradition from him. Rabban Gamliel, his son, received the tradition from him and Rabban Shimon, his son, received the tradition from him.

Rabbi Yehudah, the son of Rabban Shimon and referred to as Rabbenu Hakadosh (“our saintly teacher”), received the tradition from his father, from Rabbi Elazar ben Shamu’a, and from Rabban Shimon and his colleagues.

Rabbenu Hakadosh composed the Mishnah. From the days of Moses, our teacher, until Rabbenu Hakadosh, no one had composed a text for the purpose of teaching the Oral Law in public. Instead, in each generation, the head of the court or the prophet of that generation would take notes of the teachings which he received from his masters for himself, and teach them verbally in public. Similarly, according to his own potential, each individual would write notes for himself of what he heard regarding the explanation of the Torah, its laws, and the new concepts that were deduced in each generation concerning laws that were not communicated by the oral tradition, but rather deduced using one of the thirteen principles of Biblical exegesis and accepted by the high court.

This situation continued until [the age of] Rabbenu Hakadosh. He collected all the teachings, all the laws, and all the explanations and commentaries that were heard from Moses, our teacher, and which were taught by the courts in each generation concerning the entire Torah. From all these, he composed the text of the Mishnah. He taught it to the Sages in public and revealed it to the Jewish people, who all wrote it down. They spread it in all places so that the Oral Law would not be forgotten by the Jewish people.

Why did Rabbenu Hakadosh make [such an innovation] instead of perpetuating the status quo? Because he saw the students becoming fewer, new difficulties constantly arising, the Roman Empire spreading itself throughout the world and becoming more powerful, and the Jewish people wandering and becoming dispersed to the far ends of the world. [Therefore,] he composed a single text that would be available to everyone, so that it could be studied quickly and would not be forgotten. Throughout his entire life, he and his court taught the Mishnah to the masses.

These are the great Sages who were part of the court of Rabbenu Hakadosh and who received the tradition from him: His sons, Shimon and Gamliel, Rabbi Effess, Rabbi Chanina ben Chama, Rabbi Chiyya, Rav, Rabbi Yannai, bar Kafra, Shemuel, Rabbi Yochanan, Rabbi Hoshaia. Thousands and myriads of other sages received the tradition from [Rabbenu Hakadosh] together with these great sages.

Even though all of the eleven sages mentioned above received the tradition from Rabbenu Hakadosh and attended his study sessions, [there are differences between them. At that time,] Rabbi Yochanan was of lesser stature. Afterwards, he became a disciple of Rabbi Yannai and received instruction from him. Similarly, Rav received the tradition from Rabbi Yannai, and Shemuel received the tradition from Rabbi Chanina ben Chama.

Rav composed the Sifra and the Sifre to explain the sources for the Mishnah. Rabbi Chiyya composed the Tosefta to explain the subjects [discussed in] the Mishnah. Rabbi Hoshaia and bar Kafra composed baraitot to explain the matters [discussed in] the Mishnah. Rabbi Yochanan composed the Jerusalem Talmud in Eretz Yisrael approximately three hundred years after the destruction of the Temple.

Among the great sages who received the tradition from Rav and Shemuel were: Rav Huna, Rav Yehudah, Rav Nachman, and Rav Kahana. Among the great sages who received the tradition from Rabbi Yochanan were: Ravvah bar bar Channah, Rav Ami, Rav Assi, Rav Dimi, and Rav Avin.

Among the Sages who received the tradition from Rav Huna and Rav Yehudah were Rabbah and Rav Yosef. Among the sages who received the tradition from Rabbah and Rav Yosef were Abbaye and Ravva. Both of them also received the tradition from Rav Nachman. Among the Sages who received the tradition from Ravva were Rav Ashi and Ravina. Mar bar Rav Ashi received the tradition from Rav Ashi, his father, and from Ravina.

Thus, there were forty generations from Rav Ashi back to Moses, our teacher, of blessed memory. They were:

1) Rav Ashi [received the tradition] from Ravva.

2) Ravva [received the tradition] from Rabbah.

3) Rabbah [received the tradition] from Rav Huna.

4) Rav Huna [received the tradi­tion] from Rabbi Yochanan, Rav, and Shemuel.

5) Rabbi Yochanan, Rav, and She­muel [received the tradition] from Rabbenu Hakadosh.

6) Rabbenu Hakadosh [received the tradition] from Rabbi Shimon, his father.

7) Rabbi Shimon [received the tra­dition] from Rabban Gamliel, his father.

8) Rabban Gamliel [received the tradition] from Rabban Shimon, his father.

9) Rabban Shimon [received the tradition] from Rabban Gamliel, the elder, his father.

10) Rabban Gamliel, the elder, [re­ceived the tradition] from Rabban Shimon, his father.

11) Rabban Shimon [received the Tradition] from Hillel, his father, and Shammai.

12) Hillel and Shammai [received the tradition] from Shemayah and Avtalion.

13) Shemayah and Avtalion [re­ceived the tradition] from Yehudah and Shimon [ben Shatach].

14) Yehudah and Shimon [received the tradition] from Yehoshua ben Perachiah and Nittai of Arbel.

15) Yehoshua and Nittai [received the tradition] from Yosse ben Yo’ezer and Yosef ben Yochanan.

16) Yosse ben Yo’ezer and Yosef ben Yochanan [received the tradi­tion] from Antignos.

17) Antignos [received the tradi­tion] from Shimon the Just.

18) Shimon the Just [received the tradition] from Ezra.

19) Ezra [received the tradition] from Baruch.

20) Baruch [received the tradition] from Jeremiah.

21) Jeremiah [received the tradi­tion] from Tzefaniah.

22) Tzefaniah [received the tradi­tion] from Chabbakuk.

23) Chabbakuk [received the tradition] from Nachum.

24) Nachum [received the tradition] from Yoel.

25) Yoel [received the tradition] from Michah.

26) Michah [received the tradition] from Isaiah.

27) Isaiah [received the tradition] from Amos.

28) Amos [received the tradition] from Hoshea.

29) Hoshea [received the tradition] from Zechariah.

30) Zechariah [received the tradition] from Yehoyada.

31) Yehoyada [received the tradition] from Elisha.

32) Elisha [received the tradition] from Elijah.

33) Elijah [received the tradition] from Achiah.

34) Achiah [received the tradition] from David.

35) David [received the tradition] from Shemuel.

36) Shemuel [received the tradition] from Eli.

37) Eli [received the tradition] from Pinchas.

38) Pinchas [received the tradition] from Joshua.

39) Joshua [received the tradition] from Moses, our teacher.

40) Moses, our teacher, [received the tradition] from the Almighty.


Thus, [the source of] all these people’s knowledge is God, the Lord of Israel.


בַּר-יוחַאי, נִמְשַׁחְתָּ – אַשְׁרֶיךָ!

שֶׁמֶן שָׂשׂון מֵחֲבֵרֶיךָ.

1 בַּר-יוחַאי, שֶׁמֶן מִשְׁחַת קדֶשׁ

נִמְשַׁחְתָּ מִמִּדַּת הַקּדֶשׁ,

נָשָׂאתָ צִיץ נֵזֶר הַקּדֶשׁ,

חָבוּשׁ עַל ראשְׁךָ פְּאֵרֶךָ.

2 בַּר-יוחַאי, מושַׁב טוב יָשַׁבְתָּ,

יום נַסְתָּ, יום אֲשֶׁר בָּרַחְתָּ,

בִּמְעָרַת צוּרִים שֶׁעָמַדְתָּ,

קָנִיתָ הודְךָ וַהֲדָרֶךָ.

3 בַּר-יוחַאי, עֲצֵי שִׁטִּים עומְדִים,

לִמּוּדֵי ד’ הֵם לומְדִים,

אור מֻפְלָא, אור הַיְקוד הֵם יוקְדִים,

הֲלא הֵמָּה יורוּךָ מורֶךָ.

4 בַּר-יוחַאי, וְלִשְׂדֵה תַּפּוּחִים

עָלִיתָ לִלְקט בּו מֶרְקָחִים,

סוד תּורָה בְּצִיצִים וּפְרָחִים,

“נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם” נֶאֱמַר בַּעֲבוּרֶךָ.

5 בַּר-יוחַאי, נֶאֱזַרְתָּ בִּגְבוּרָה,

וּבְמִלְחֶמֶת אֵשׁ דָּת הַשַּׁעְרָה,

וְחֶרֶב הוצֵאתָ מִתַּעְרָהּ

שָׁלַפְתָּ נֶגֶד צורְרֶיךָ.

6 בַּר-יוחַאי, לִמְקום אַבְנֵי שַׁיִשׁ

הִגַּעְתָּ וּפְנֵי אַרְיֵה לַיִשׁ,

גַּם גֻּלַּת כּותֶרֶת עַל עַיִשׁ,

תָּשׁוּר וּמִי יְשׁוּרֶךָ.


7 בַּר-יוחַאי, בְּקדֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִׁים.

קַו יָרק מְחַדֵּשׁ חֳדָשִׁים,

שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתות סוד חֲמִשִּׁים

קָשַׁרְתָּ קִשְׁרֵי שִׁי”ן קְשָׁרֶיךָ.

8 בַּר-יוחַאי, יוּ”ד חָכְמָה קְדוּמָה

הִשְׁקַפְתָּ לִכְבוּדָה פְּנִימָה,

לֶ”ב נְתִיבות רֵאשִׁית תְּרוּמָה

אֵת כְּרוּב מִמְשַׁח זִיו דּורֶךָ.

9 בַּר-יוחַאי, אור מֻפְלָא רם מַעְלָה

יָרֵאתָ מִלְּהַבִּיט כִּי רַב לָהּ,

תַּעֲלוּמָה וְאַיִן קרָא לָהּ,

נַמְתָּ: עַיִן לא תְשׁוּרֶךָ.

10 בַּר-יוחַאי, אַשְׁרֵי יולַדְתֶּךָ,

אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם לומְדֶיךָ,

וְאַשְׁרֵי הָעומְדִים עַל סודֶךָ,

לובְשֵׁי חשֶׁן תֻּמֶּיךָ וְאוּרֶיךָ