Skip to content

Leave my Messiah alone!

Shabbat 119
Today’s post is not about ancient times and the Tannaim and Amoraim but about the evolution of a Biblical verse, via the Gemara, to contemporary politics. In Divrei Hayamim 1 16 King David recites a song of praise when he brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. One of his lines is about God protecting His people:
אל תגעו במשיחי ובנביאי אל תרעו , do not harm My anointed ones and My prophets.
The Gemara in Shabbat uses this verse, along with many others, to explain why Jerusalem was destroyed. One of the reasons is that there was no respect given for scholars. Rabbi Judah in the name of Rav explains our verse to mean  that משיחי: אלו תינוקות של בית רבן; My anointed ones are the children who sit and study. Rashi explains that this is because it was customary to rub children with oil.
Fast forward to the twenty first century. Any time there is a protest in the Haredi world, particularly one involving education, chances are this verse will be used. For example, see the picture below from the protests over the Emmanuel schools in the summer of 2010:
Times change, interpretations change: would the Amoraim have turned out en masse for this protest?
Shulie Mishkin

Shulie Mishkin

Shulie Mishkin made Aliyah from New York with a Master's degree in Jewish History from Columbia University. After completing the Ministry of Tourism guide course in 1997, she began guiding professionally and has since taught and guided all ages, from toddlers to retirees. Her tours provide a complete picture of the land of Israel and Jewish heritage, with a strong reliance on sources ranging from the Bible to 19th century travelers' reports. Alongside her regular guide work, she teaches "tour and text" courses in the Jerusalem institutions of Pardes and Matan as wel as the Women's Bet Midrash in Efrat and provides tours for special needs students in the “Darkaynu” program. Shulie lives in Alon Shvut with her husband Jonathan and their five kids. Shulie Mishkin is now doing virtual tours online. Check out the options at
Scroll To Top

דף יומי לנשים

עם הרבנית מישל פרבר

ראשון עד שישי ב6:20 בזום