The Middot of Hillel [Ishmael’s Thirteenth Rule] Part 8

[Ishmael #13] Shenei ketuvim hamakchishim zeh et teh as sheyavo hakatuv hashelishi veyachria beineihem

This verse allows two Biblical passages that are in conflict, to have the contradiction in question Torah4resolved by referencing a third passage.

This first example for this rule is in the first verse of the Torah. “In the beginning G-d created the Heavens and the Earth.” The verse implies the Heavens were created and the Earth was created later. However, Genesis 2:4 states, “on the day that Hashem G-d made Earth and Heavens,” implying Earth was created before the heavens. Isaiah 48:13 reconciles the two verses when Hashem says, “My hand laid the foundations of the earth and My right hand measured out the Heavens; I call to them and they stand together.” This indicates the two were created simultaneously.

The Midrash to Genesis 22:12 says that after Hashem provided a lamb for the sacrifice in the story of the Akeidah, Abraham asked for an explanation of a seeming contradiction. First, Hashem said that Isaac would produce sons for Abraham [Genesis 21:12], yet he commanded Abraham to slaughter him as an Olah[1]! Hashem explained that He told him to “place Isaac on the altar,” not to slaughter him on it.

Exodus 13:6 says we are to eat matzot for seven days, but Deuteronomy 16:8 says we’re to eat unleavened bread for six days. The contradiction can be eased using Leviticus 23:14. “You shall not eat bread, roasted kernels, or plump kernels until this very day, until you bring the offering of your G-d, etc.” Leviticus and Deuteronomy refer to consuming new produce until after the second day of Passover, which involves the waving of the sheaf and the beginning of Sefirat Haomer. Exodus 13:6 refers to matzot made from the produce of the previous year. Therefore, Exodus 13:6 states that “matzot from the previous year” can be eaten during the seven days of the holiday, but “matzot from new produce” can only be eaten the last six days of the holiday.


Here’s another explanation that reaches the same conclusion: that there is no contradiction between Exodus 13:6 and Deuteronomy 16:8. [We already learned that if a specific instance of a general rule is singled out for special treatment, whatever is postulated from this instance is applied to all instances embraced by the general rule [R’Ishmael’s Eighth Rule]. Seven days are included in Exodus 13:6 and six days are included in Deuteronomy 16:8. We also know that the first day must be included in both because eating matzah on the first day is obligatory [Exodus 12:16]. Therefore, the seven day of the holiday is included in Exodus 13:6 but excluded from Deuteronomy 16:8.

  • The General Rule is that matzah is to be eaten for seven days
  • The Specific Instance is that matzah is to be eaten for six days
  • The postulate reasons that eating matzah is optional on the Seventh day

However, since the instance is applied to all instances embraced by the General Rule, we know that eating matzah during Chag Matzot is optional except on the first day of the holiday, when eating matzah is obligatory as it is said, “In the evening, you shall eat matzah” [Exodus 12:18 and b.Pesachim 120a].


Artscroll® Schottenstein Talmud Bavli, Tractates Bava Kamma, Bava Metzia, Bechorot, Berachot, Chagigah, Chullin, Eruvin, Niddah, Pesachim, Sanhedrin, Shabbat, Shevuot, Succah, Yevamot, Yoma, ©1997-2010, Mesorah Publications Ltd, Brooklyn NY

Artscroll® Schottenstein Talmud Yerushalmi, Tractate Yoma, ©2011, Mesorah Publications Ltd, Brooklyn NY

Gutnick Edition Chumash [With Rashi’s Commentary, Targum Onkelos, and Haftoras with a Commentary anthologized from Classic Rabbinic Texts and the Works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe], Chaim Miller, ©2003-2009, Kol Menachem, Brooklyn, NY

HaMafteach, Talmud Bavli Indexed Reference Guide, The R’ Mordechai [Marcus] Retter Z’’L Edition, Daniel Retter, ©2011, 2012 Feldheim Publishers, Jerusalem/Nanuet NY

The Jewish Encyclopedia Complete in Twelve Volumes, ©1904 , Funk & Wagnalls Company, New York NY

Jewish Hermeneutics [Yeshua’s usage of Hillel’s rules of interpretation in Mathew Chapters 5-7], Barbara Mazzei, Thesis, ©May 2006, St. Petersburg, FL

Mekilta de-Rabbi Ishmael [A critical edition on the basis on the manuscripts and early editions with an English translation, introduction, and notes], Jacob Z Lauterbach, Ph.D., ©1933, 1949, Jewish Publicantion Society of America, Philadelphia, PA

Pirkei de Rabbi Eliezer [According to the test of the manuscript belonging to Abraham Epstein of Vienna], Translated and annotated with inteoruction and indices by Gerald Friedlander, ©1916, 1990 Hermon Press, New York, NY

Schocken Bible Volume 1 [The Five Books of Moses, A New Translation with Introduction, Commentary, dn Notes], Everett Fox, ©1983, 1986, 1990, 1995, Random House, New York, NY

Soncino Chumash, The [The Five Books of Moses and Haphtaroth], Edited by the Rev. Dr. A Cohen, MA, Ph.D., D.H.L., ©1947, 1964, The Soncino Press, London, England

Stone Edition Chumash [The Torah, Haftaros, and Five Megillos with a Commentary Anthologized from the Rabbinic Writings], Rabbi Noson Scherman, ©1998, 2000 Mesorah Publications, Brooklyn, NY

Stone Edition Tanach [The Torah / Prophets / Writings: The Twenty-Four Books of the Bible Newly Translated and Annotated], Rabbi Noson Scherman, ©1996, Mesorah Publications, Brooklyn, NY

[1] A wholly burnt offering

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