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Megillah, Daf Vav, Part 4

 

Introduction

This section contains several more statements by R. Yitzchak related to Esau and Rome.

 

ואמר רבי יצחק: מאי דכתיב +ישעיהו כ"ו+ יחן רשע בל למד צדק.

אמר יצחק לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא: רבונו של עולם, יוחן עשו!

אמר לו: רשע הוא.

אמר לו: בל למד צדק?

אמר לו: +ישעיהו כ"ו+ בארץ נכחות יעול.

אמר לו: אם כןבל יראה גאות ה‘.

 

R. Yitzchak also said: What is the meaning of what is written, "Let favor be shown to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness" (Isaiah 26:10)?

Isaac said before the Holy One, blessed be He: Master of the Universe, let mercy be shown to Esau.

He replied: He is wicked.

He said to Him: "He has not learned righteousness."

He replied: "In the land of uprightness will he deal wrongfully" (ibid).

He said: If so, "Let him not behold the majesty of the Lord" (ibid).

 

This section contains R. Yitzchak’s midrash on Isaiah 26:10. Isaac pleas for mercy (favor) for Esau. God responds that he is wicked. Isaac persists how can you judge him when he never learned righteousness. God responds that he will deal wrongfully with "the land of uprightness." Rashi interprets this to mean that Esau, in the form of his descendants in Rome, will come and destroy Jerusalem. Finally, Isaac relents, responding that such a destroyer should not see the majesty of the Lord.

 

ואמר רבי יצחק: מאי דכתיב +תהלים ק"מ+ אל תתן המאויי רשע זממו אל תפק ירומו סלה. אמר יעקב לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא: רבונו של עולם, אל תתן לעשו הרשע תאות לבו. זממו אל תפק זו גרממיא של אדום, שאלמלי הן יוצאין מחריבין כל העולם כולו.

 

R. Yitzchak also said: What is meant by the verse, "Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked man, do not further his plot, lest they exalt themselves, selah (Psalms 140:9)?

Jacob said before the Holy One, blessed be He: Master of the Universe, grant not to Esau the wicked the desire of his heart, do not further his plot: this refers to Germamia of Edom, for should they but go forth they would destroy the whole world.

 

R. Yitzchak applies this verse in Psalms to Jacob, pleading before God not to grant Esau again in the form of their descendants in Rome, the ability to carry out their wicked plans. He refers to "Germamia" which Rashi explains as the name of a kingdom, based on the following passage. Jastrow reads this as Germany, which if let out would destroy the whole world. If this reading is correct, and it seems likely that it is, I find it incredibly prescient.

 

ואמר רבי חמא בר חנינא: תלת מאה קטירי תגא איכא בגרממיא של אדום, ותלת מאה ושיתין וחמשה מרזבני איכא ברומי. ובכל יומא נפקי הני לאפי הני ומקטיל חד מינייהו, ומיטרדי לאוקמי מלכא.

 

R. Hama b. Hanina said: There are three hundred crowned heads in Germamia of Edom and three hundred and sixty-five chieftains in Rome, and every day one goes out to meet the other and one of them is killed, and they have all the trouble of appointing a king again.

 

This section does seem to refer to battles between German kingdoms and Roman chieftains. They meet daily in brutal battle. The idea of a divided Germany again seems to be support that this word should be read not as Germamia but Germany.