fbpx

Megillah, Daf Vav, Part 2

 

Introduction

Today’s section is about another biblical city in the Galilee Kitron, which is identified with Tzippori.

 

אמר זעירא: קטרון זו צפורי, ולמה נקרא שמה ציפורישיושבת בראש ההר כצפור.

 

Zeira said: Kitron is Tzippori. And why is it called Tzippori? Because it is perched on the top of a mountain like a bird [tzippor].

 

וקטרון ציפורי היא? והא קטרון בחלקו של זבולון הואי, דכתיב +שופטים א‘+ זבולון לא הוריש את יושבי קטרון ואת יושבי נהלל. וזבולון מתרעם על מדותיו הוה, שנאמר +שופטים ה‘+ זבלון עם חרף נפשו למות, מה טעםמשום דנפתלי על מרומי שדה. אמר זבולון לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא: רבונו של עולם! לאחיי נתת להם שדות וכרמים ולי נתת הרים וגבעות, לאחיי נתת להם ארצותולי נתת ימים ונהרות. אמר לו: כולן צריכין לך על ידי חלזון, שנאמר +דברים ל"ג+ [עמים הר יקראו]… ושפני טמוני חול.

תני רב יוסף: שפניזה חלזון, טמוניזו טרית, חולזו זכוכית לבנה. אמר לפניו: רבונו של עולם מי מודיעני? אמר לו: +דברים ל"ג+ שם יזבחו זבחי צדק, סימן זה יהא לך: כל הנוטל ממך בלא דמיםאינו מועיל בפרקמטיא שלו כלום.

 

But is Kitron Tzippori? Now Kitron was in the territory of Zevulun, as it is written, "Zevulun did not inherit the inhabitants of Kitron or the inhabitants of Nahalol" (Judges 1:30). Now Zevulun complained of his portion, as it says, "Zevulun was a people which shamed his soul to death" (Judges 5:18). Why? Because "Naphtali was on the high places of the field" (ibid). Zevulun complained to the Holy One, blessed be he, saying: Master of the Universe! You gave my brothers fields and vineyards and to me you gave hills and mountains. You gave my brothers lands, and to me You gave lakes and rivers. [God] replied: They will all require you for the hilazon, as it says, "And the hidden treasures of the sand" (Deuteronomy 33:19). And R. Joseph taught: "Hidden" this is the hilazon; "treasures" this is the tunny fish; "Sand" this is white glass. Zevulun then said: Master of the Universe, who will inform me? He replied: "There they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness" (ibid). This shall be your sign: Whoever takes from you without payment will not prosper in his business.

 

This section contains an extended midrash on Judges 5:18. It is brought here because Kitron seems to be in the tribe of Zevulun. Zevulun complains that its tribe did not receive good land. Indeed, it received lakes and rivers, for it was on the coast. God responds that Zevulun will receive the hilazon, the snail that produces the dye used for making the blue in tzitzit. Zevulun complains more. They fear that people will come and take the snail without properly compensating the tribe. God further promises Zevulun that people will pay for just as they would not benefit improperly from a sacrifice, so they won’t steal the hilazon snail from Zevulun.

 

ואי סלקא דעתך קטרון זו ציפורי, אמאי מתרעם על מדותיו? והא הויא ציפורי, מילתא דעדיפא טובא! וכי תימא דלית בה זבת חלב ודבשוהאמר ריש לקיש: לדידי חזי לי זבת חלב ודבש דציפורי, והויא ששה עשר מיל על ששה עשר מיל!

וכי תימא: דלא נפישא דידיה כדאחוהוהאמר רבה בר בר חנה אמר רבי יוחנן: לדידי חזי לי זבת חלב ודבש דכל ארעא דישראל והויא כמבי כובי עד אקרא דתולבקניעשרין ותרתין פרסי אורכא, ופותיא שיתא פרסי.

אפילו הכי שדות וכרמים עדיפא ליה.

דיקא נמי, דכתיב +שופטים ה‘+ ונפתלי על מרומי שדה, שמע מינה.

 

Now if you assume that Kitron is Tzippori, why did Zevulun complain of his portion, seeing that Tzippori is an even better place?

And if you were to say that it is not "flowing with milk and honey," Resh Lakish has said: I myself have seen the flowing of milk and honey around Tzippori, and it is sixteen miles by sixteen miles.

And if you were to say that [even so] his is not as good as his brothers, Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Yohanan: I myself have seen the flowing of milk and honey of the whole land of Israel, and it extends [altogether] about as far as from Be Kubi to the Fort of Tulbanke, twenty-two parasangs in length and six parasangs in breadth?

Even so, he preferred fields and vineyards. This is also indicated by the language of the text, as it says, "Naphtali upon the high places of the field." This is a proof.

 

The problem is that if Kitron was Tzippori, then why was Zevulun complaining about its land. After all, Tzippori is excellent land. It is "flowing with milk and honey" -16 square miles of it. If you were to say that this isn’t so much, then we could respond that in all of the land of Israel there is only 22 parasangs by 6 parasangs. Since a parasang equals 4 miles, it turns out that Zevulun has about 1/8 of the milk and honey of all of Israel, more than its fair share.

The answer is that Zevulun preferred fields and vineyards over milk and honey. Thus Kitron is Tzippori, but Zevulun still complained about his lot.