Social Links Search User Login Menu

"For Instruction shall come forth from Zion, The word of the L-rd from Jerusalem." -- Isaiah 2:3


Navigate the Excerpts Browser

Before accessing the excerpts, please review a word about copyright.

Are you more of an "I'll dive right in and figure it out" person, or a "Show Me How This Thing Works" person?  If the former, go right ahead and try the excerpts browers on the right side of this page and/or scroll through the excerpts that start below the following information -- although we still suggest reading the information first.  If you are the latter, click here for a video demonstrating the Excerpts Browser. Either way (or both), enjoy! 

This page is recommended for searches limited to specific Torah books, weekly portions (parshiot), chapters, verses, and/or sources (authors). For keyword and/or for exact phrase (including verse and source) searches of the entire excerpts database, we recommend using the Search Engine page.  For broadest results, use both pages and alternative search strategies. 

This page displays the full text of all or "sorted" (filtered) excerpts in the database.  Use the "Torah Verses" and/or "Excerpt Sources" browsers at the right to locate the excerpts associated with your desired Torah book, portion, chapter. verse, or author.  Or, simply scroll through the excerpts, using the "boxes" at the bottom of any page displaying excerpts to "jump" ahead or back. 

Also note that immediately below the chapter, verse, and keyword of each excerpt is a highlighted line comprised of multiple links.  Clicking on any of the links will limit (filter) the excerpts display to the selected category.  

Transcription of excerpts is incomplete.  For current status, please see "Transcribed Sources" on the Search Engine page.  To assist with completion, please see "Contributors" page. 

LEVITICUS — 1:1 called

(Continued from Genesis 4:9 where WAGS 119-120). The verse, "And He called to Moshe, and Hashem spoke to him" [this verse] also illustrates this principle. Why did Hashem first call Moshe and afterwords speak to him? The Torah teaches derech eretz: one must not say something to another person unless he first calls to him (Midrash). This rule appears explicitly in the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 246:12): A Rabbi should not be asked questions upon his entering the beis midrash; one may only approach him after he is settled down. The Talmud teachers, "One must first give praises to Hashem, and afterwards he may pray" (Berachos 32a). This idea can also be applied to interpersonal relationships--before making requests of another person, one should first praise him.

LEVITICUS — 1:1 saying

In Judaism, we will see that not only must a person withhold information that was specifically told in confidence, but even information that was not told "confidentially" must also not be revealed. Why, in the Talmud (Yoma 4b) after calling Moses, does G-d use the expression "saying" followed by the phrase "Speak to the children of Israel"? [this verse] It is obvious that if G-d calls Moses to speak to him and uses the phrase leimor, "saying," that this is intended for the people. Why then add the extra words, "Speak to the people"? The answer is that without the last phrase telling Moses to tell it over to the people, Moses would be prohibited from telling the Jewish people what G-d had said. Only when there is specific permission to tell information, may it then be repeated to another. Without that permission, even if not spoken in confidence, it would be forbidden to tell the facts of the conversation. Thus, in Judaism, all information is, in its essence, considered confidential. One need not say "Keep this confidential" to indicate secrecy. This concept is also discussed in detail by the Or Hachaim commentary on the first occasion (of the hundreds of occasions) where this double phraseology of "saying" and "Tell the People of Israel" is mentioned in the Torah. Rashi (commentary on Yoma 4b) then reinterprets the word leimor, "saying," to mean two other Hebrew words, lo amar, you shall not reveal. Therefore, this word tells us that no information maybe revealed to another unless explicit consent to do so is granted.

LEVITICUS — 1:1 saying

It is widely accepted that data should not be disclosed without the agreement of the subject, but there are many views regarding how much agreement is needed. Some are satisfied with an "opt–out" policy, in which all information is considered public unless the user explicitly expresses a desire to keep it private; others demand in "opt-in" policy in which service providers may collect information only once explicitly permitted by the user. Many advocates are concerned that even an opt-in policy may lack adequate consent. Perhaps the consumer does not have enough information about the policy to give truly informed consent, or perhaps there is a degree of coercion because withholding consent has negative consequences, such as limited access to service. Jewish tradition has a definite viewpoint on the consent issue. Consider the following passage from the Talmud: (Yoma 4b) "Where can we learn that anytime someone says something to his fellow it is subject to "Don't say" until the person says, "Go ahead and say"? [From the biblical verses were [it is written, "the Lord spoke to him from the tent of meeting to say." [This verse] This passage points out that in Torah, G-d explicitly tells Moses when His words are to be transmitted to the people. When G-d does not do so, Moses understands that the prophecy is intended for him alone. From this we learn that in general it is proper to refrain from repeating to others what we have been told unless the speaker explicitly consents. This source seems to support opt-in over opt-out; information should generally be considered private unless there is explicit consent to disclose.

LEVITICUS — 1:1 saying

The Prohibition against Divulging Another Person's Secret. An element of loyalty is the ability to guard a friend's secret. A person who divulges others' secret is considered a slanderer, as the verse says, "… Slanders, reveals secrets…" (Mishlei [Proverbs-AJL] 11:13). Included in this prohibition is the disclosure of any piece of information communicated by another person without receiving explicit permission from that person to share the information with others. The Talmud (Yoma 4b) says, "From where do we learn that it is prohibited to disclose another person's statement unless that person has given permission? From the verse, 'and Hashem spoke to him from the ohel moed to say (leimor)'" [this verse]. Rashi explains that the Gemara discerns a secondary, non-literal understanding of the word "leimore" -- "lo emor," literally, "do not say." This law is discussed at length in Sefer Chafetz Chaim (klal 2:7:18 and Hilchos Rechilus klal 8:5).

LEVITICUS — 1:1 spoke

We are forbidden to disclose private information. The Talmud (Yoma 4b) states that from the word saying (which denotes "say to others") we learn that a person has no right to repeat what someone tells him unless that person gives him explicit permission to do so. Below are the basic laws pertaining to secrets: 1) If someone tells you private information about his business or any personal matter, you are forbidden to disclose it to others. Your doing so could cause the person who confided in you financial loss, embarrassment, or other damage. Even if the speaker did not request that the matter remain secret, you are not allowed to repeat it. It is self-evident that the speaker does not want such information to be divulged. However, if that person related information concerning himself in the presence of three or more people and did not request secrecy, you are permitted to relate it to others. Since the speaker related it to a group of three or more people, we can assume that he does not mind if the information will be known. If, however, someone tells you about his wrongdoings, you are forbidden to try to spread that information to belittle him even if he related it in the presence of three. Although the speaker has shown that he does not mind if others know about his misbehavior, it is nonetheless forbidden for anyone to deliberately publicize his actions to embarrass him. (Chofetz Chayim, ch. 2). 2) When someone reveals to you seemingly harmless information in a manner which shows that he would like it to be kept secret, you are forbidden to repeat it to others even if he did not explicitly tell you to keep it secret. In this verse, G-d related information to Moshe in the Ohel Moaid (tent of meeting), and it was permissible for Moshe to repeat information only because G-d gave him explicit permission to do so. (B'air Mayim Chayim 2:27) 3) The Chofetz Chayim writes that it is a good habit never to repeat what people tell you unless they gave you permission to do so. In this way you will never relate information that might cause harm. (ibid.) 4) You have no right to repeat someone's secret just because you add the phrase, "Don't repeat this to anyone else." The person to whom you related to secret might follow your example and pass on the secret, also adding, "Don't repeat this to anyone else." In a very short time, the secret could become public knowledge and cause harm or embarrassment to the person who confided in you. (Pele Yoatz, section sod). 5) Husbands and wives have no right to tell each other secrets that someone told him or her in confidence. (Pele Yoatz, ibid.) 6) If you hear someone speaking r'chilus [telling one person what another said about him or her, which causes animosity], never trust him with your secrets. A person who was unable to discipline himself not to speak against others will certainly not be careful to conceal secrets. (Rabainu Yonah to Mishle 11:13).

Torah Verses

Excerpt Sources

Complete List of Source Books
Back To Top