In the Gemara, in the tractate Bava Basra - Rabbi Eliezer haggádol teaches that you ought to get up before daylight from the fifteenth of June until Pentecost when the nights are long, and then until next June you should get up in daylight, because the nights are short. The Chachámim and Scripture scholars prove this in some sayings and lamentions of Jeremiah and the story of Ruth, which, because of all the subtleties, is not discussed here.
A pious woman has to wake her husband, and the parents must wake all their children if they are over thirteen years old, and subject to the Jewish Laws, as explained in the previous chapter.
The Chachámim go on: everybody shall wake up the day and the day should not wake him, as King David said in his Psalm (57.9): Ahirah hasschachar, I will wake up the morning. The same is said about the morning prayer, which should be said at sunrise and not later, as David hammélech said in his Psalm : Jireúcha im haschemesch, they will praise you with the sun, that is, as soon as the sun rises, they should praise and honor you with their morning prayer. The Chachme hakkabálah or Kabbalists write: At the time when it becomes day, all the prayers of men are heard. They said this for their special reasons. The Prophet Jeremiah says in his songs of Lamentation (2.19): Arise and lament at night or at the beginning of the first watch, that is, at the beginning of the day. David hammélech says in his Psalm(42.9): The Lord gives by day his grace, and at night I sing to him, and pray to the living God. The scholars say: Zarizim makdimim lemítzvos, busy and serious men are working to do good, and keep God's commandments (Talmud Pesachim 4a.) Therefore it should be looked on as a precious good deed to get up before the morning, and to knot together day and night with beautiful psalms and prayers.
Therefore you should not be lazy, but fresh and quick to get up and think: If there should now somebody, a Goy or a Christian, come to pay back or to pawn a precious stone, or if I could gain something from him, or a prince or lord would call me, whereby I would receive a present or favor, or give him service - I would not wait long. How much faster should I get up to serve the King of all Kings, who gives me food and life, and protects me from my enemies!
Those who are very God-fearing should be sad and sorrowful in the morning, because of the destroyed temple in Jerusalem. Every morning he should pray that the city and the temple should be rebuilt. The one who gets up before daylight, when it is still night, and cries out because of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the lengthy captivity, God will have mercy on him and hear his prayers. In Masséches Sanhédrin the Rabbis discuss these words of the Prophet Jeremiah from his songs of lamentation (1.2): Weeping in the night, she weeps. They say: If you hear someone cry in the night, and it is so plaintive that you cannot bear it, then cry with him. Something similar happened to the wise Rabbi Gamaliel who heard a woman crying one night because her child had died, so he joined her and cried bitterly. And Rabba says in the name of Rabbi Jochanan: When someone cries in the night, the stars and planets cry with him. The Chachamim write: When you cry you should let your tears run down, because God will save them in a container. When the enemies of Israel are ready to write out orders to exterminate them, then God will remember the pious ones who cried out, and he will pour the container with the tears over the orders to blot them out, and no harm will come to the Jews. Therefore the prophet David said (Psalm 56.9): Gather my tears in your container, even in your records. By that David means that God will pour the tears over orders and records against Israel, and he will blot them out and they will be invalid. After that he says at another place (Psalm 126.5): He who sows in tears, will reap in joy. The author of the book Reschis chóchmah writes: Page 111 He heard from his elders that it is good to rub tears over your forehead, because some sins might be written on it, and they will be blotted out in this way, as the prophet says: Draw a sign on the people's forehead. The Chachme hakkabála or Kabbalists write: If you want to beg hakkadosch baruch hu, the holy and praised God, to redeem us from this long Galus or misery you have to do it at daybreak, and you have to cry and shout with all your heart, and God will hear you. At this time there is no obstacle between you and God, and there is nobody who speaks ill of Israel. The pasuk [verse] in Jeremiah reads 25.30: God growls from the height, from the dwelling of the holy he roars about his beauty, namely, God growls in the morning about his beauty, that is, about the Holy Temple at Jerusalem which he destroyed, and he desires that someone should pray to him to have it rebuilt. Therefore the prophet David says once more (Psalm 5.4): Lord, early you want to hear my voice, early will I present myself to you, and will hope. Early: that is, when day breaks. I will go into your house: however, it should not be at night. When night begins, God has all the gates to heaven closed, and the angels sit and are silent. He sends the evil spirits into the world, and whomever they happen to meet, they will damage. But after midnight, they call out in heaven to open again the gates that face the sun, so that nobody will be missed. The cocks hear that here on earth, and they start to crow so that the people wake up, and at this time the evil spirits lose their strength and cannot do any more harm. Therefore the Chachamim and wise have ordered a Bráchah or thanksgiving which is said in the morning when you hear the cock crow, and reads: Praise to you, O Lord of the world, who has given understanding to the cock to distinguish between day and night. To sum up:
Who fears his God in every way
No need to wake at break of day!
You should not get up naked in bed, or put on your shirt while sitting, but slip into it with your arms and head while lying down, so that the walls and the beams of the house should not see the shame of your naked body. In Masséches Schabbas Rabbi Jose praises himself and says (Talmud, Shabbat 118b): In all my days the beams of my house have not seen the hem of my shirt, that is to say, he never put on his shirt naked, only when he was covered in bed. And therefore the Chachámim taught that noone should put on his shirt naked. Much less should you stand or walk naked in your room, because there might be a fire or loud noise, and you might run out of the room in your fright, and how would you manage then? Much less should you urinate naked in front of the bed. Of such people the prophet Amos said (6.5): Those that sleep on ivory beds and stink in their beds (the Hebrew word Seruchim here means stink.) This is also how the Rabbis interpret Jeremiah 49.7.) Rabbi Jose, son of Chanina said: These are those who are maschtin [urinating] naked before their beds. Nobody should think it is dark, or I am locked up in my room, nobody can see me. No, the holy Schechina is everywhere, and the whole earth is full of God's glory, says the prophet Isaiah (6.3) and the darkness is like light for him, as David said (Psalm 139.12.)
You should be careful to put your shirt and clothing on the right way. Put the right shoe on first, after that the left, but tie first the left and then the right. If you have shoes without shoelaces or buckles, put the left shoe on first. At night you should take that shoe first off again, as the pious Rabbi Jochanan has taught and ordered.
When you are now dressed, come out of your room with head bowed because of the destroyed temple in Jerusalem, not bareheaded, or barefoot or without stockings like flippant people, but rather covered because of the holy Schechina which is hovering over his head, and it would be a disgrace to go in front of people with a bare body. After that he should go to Bes hakkisse, the secret place, and he should clean his body as needed, and prepare himself to come clean for the morning prayer, as it is written (Amos 4.12): O Israel, prepare yourself for God your Lord. Also, King David says (Psalm 103.1): Praise God, O my body, and let all my inward parts praise his holy name. Here the Rabbis mean that your inside should be empty and pure, because the holy name of God can only be spoken when you are clean. You should take good care of your clothing, so that it is not soiled. In all of this, you should be modest, even though you are in a locked or dark place, as it is written (Micah 6.8): You shall walk modestly before your God. The wise Rabbis referred this to the secret place. Nobody should stay there longer than needed, because this is also a sin, and besides that, it might be dangerous for your body, leading to bursting of your belly, smelly breath and similar things. You can read in the Parscha kedóschim [a sabbath lection, Leviticus chaps. 19 & 20] (Lev. 20.25): You shall not soil your body, but should be clean. This the Chachamim and wise Rabbis have interpreted regarding behavior on answering the call of nature. If you stay there unnecessarily you are unclean, and have infringed the Law. You should clean yourself with the left hand, not with the right, because with the right one points at Holy Scripture, writes holy Schemos - names of holy angels, or God's name. You should not think of God's word or his command in that place, much less should you call on God's name there. The Chachamim and wise Rabbis write that the one who calls out God's name in an unclean place finds his life shortened. Once Rabbi Sira was asked by his pupils why he had lived so long. Rabbi Sira answered: All my life I thought of nothing other than the Thorah and God's word, and I never called out God's name in an unclean place. Your face should always be turned to south or north, never towards east or west, because of the holy temple in Jerusalem to which you should always show your face, but never your back. But I would like to leave their beautiful moralisms now, and report more about their morning prayers and the washing of hands.
The Chachamim and wise Rabbis write that nobody should touch his body in the morning with unwashed hands. They say there is grave danger, because their hands are unclean, and poisoned by the unclean and evil spirits, and have to be washed in water. If one touches the eyes, he will be blind, the ears, he will be deaf, the nose, it will always be runny, the mouth, it will smell. If one hand touches the other it will be full of scabs. You should put your right hand first under the water, let the water run over it three times, after that the left also, and before that one hand should not touch the other. Do not spare the water. Rabbi Chasda said: The one who uses much water to wash his hands will be given great riches in this world. You should hold your hands high enough so that the unclean water will not spray back and make the hands unclean again. After that the mouth and face should be washed to make it more in form and figure like God's, as it is written (Gen. 1.27): And God created man in a likeness; in the very likeness of God he created him. This the Rabbis explain with the following example: An artistic master-craftsman made a beautiful vessel or object, and gave it to his good friend. When this friend saw later the master coming to visit, he washed, cleaned and polished the vessel so that he might not be angry, and think that his piece of work was kept unclean and neglected. Similarly, a Jew should go to shul every day, and stand up before God his creator, to praise him and honor him. Therefore he has to wash his panim - mouth and face - so that the master of masters should not be angry that his vessels are kept unclean. In Bereschis rabba, the great interpretation of the first book of Moses, the Chachamim quote the saying of Solomon (Prov. 11.17): The pious man does his body good. And they say: To do your body good, keep it clean. How could anyone say the name of God when his mouth is unclean and smelly?
In the morning you should always wash yourself over a container or handbasin, not over the ground. Nor should you splash water the way some people do, because others can do witchcraft with it. You should dry your face thoroughly. If you fail to do so, you will get wrinkles or ugly blisters. You should dry it on a clean towel, not on your shirt as some people do. Doing such things, say the Chachamim, makes you forgetful, and robs you of reasoning.
After that you shall recite right away your bráchah or thanksgiving and say: Praise to you our God, King of the world, who commanded us to wash our hands. In general, you always have to wash your hands after the following: every morning after you get up; after you come from the secret comfort place; after you take a bath; after you cut your nails; after you take your shoes off with your hands; after you scratch your body; after you touch a dead person, or walk between the dead; after sexual relations; after you kill a louse. If anyone omits any of these things, if he is a learned man he will forget all his knowledge, and if he is not he will finally lose his reasoning altogether. After a Jew has made himself clean and said his morning prayers there are still two things missing by which he and his prayers will be more holy. I will talk about this now so that the following will be more clearly understood.
They have a foursquare garment or cloth. Some put it on right after they get up, some later with their other clothes when they are getting ready to pray. This little garment consists of two square pieces held together with two ribbons at the top, or sewn together, with an opening large enough for their head; it is made of cloth, taffeta or silk, and both square pieces are therefore hanging from their shoulders covering back and chest. Because of the squares it is called Arba Canphos [four corners.] On each corner is a long tassel made of eight white wool threads hanging from a knot approximately four, eight or twelve fingers wide. Such tassels are called Zizis , and there are strange and wonderful things written about it, a few of which I would like to point out. Whoever wants to be very pious and holy wears this little garment every day under the long overcoat in a way that he can see the tassels. Some of them wear it under their coat, some put it on only when they pray. The tassels have to hang down in the front and back so they are surrounded by Mitzvos or Commandments (like a fool with bells.) When they put it on they say a prayer, and thank God who bade them wear the Zizis .
This is to remind them all the time of the laws of God, and to have them before their eyes and face all the time, so that they may be restrained from sin, and always reminded to keep the laws, as it is written (Num. 15.37): Tell the children of Israel and all their descendants to make tassels or fringes on the edge of their clothes. The tassels should be of purple threads, and this should serve you to look at it and to be reminded of the laws of the Lord, so that you should not go after your hearts and your eyes. Thereby you shall be reminded to do my laws. Therefore the Chachamim wrote: Ena velibba Sirsure dechattaah, that is: the eyes and heart are the mediators and undertakers of sin. Therefore the Thorah said to make Zizis, so that you may see and be reminded to keep God's laws, and stay away from sin. In Masseches Schabbas (Talmud, Shabbat, 118b) you read: Rabh said to Rabh Joseph: About which law is your father most careful? He answered: the law of the Zizis. Once he was walking down a path, and he stepped on the Zizis, with the result that one of the threads tore off, and he did not want to move from the spot until the Zizis were repaired again.
The Chachamim compare the commandment of the Zizis to the whole sum of the commandments of the Law, and hold it just as high. They write: Whoever keeps this commandment is as if he kept all the commandments. How is that? First, there are five knots on each tassel, which are compared to the five books of Moses. Add eight threads, and this makes thirteen. Now the Hebrew word Zizis has the numerical value of six hundred; added up this makes six hundred and thirteen, the same number as there are commandments of God. Ergo, whoever keeps the laws of the Zizis correctly has fully observed the six hundred and thirteen commandments to the full. The Rabbis find this proven according to good kabbalistic arithmetic.
In the same Tractate, also in the Yalkut [a popular midrash] (229.3), you can read a story about a young man who was reminded of the law and restrained from sin, and a foreign woman who was converted to the Jewish faith. It happened this way: There was a Talmid chacham, a young learned Jewish student, who was inclined to an unchaste life and immorality. When he heard of an unchaste woman in a certain town who took no less than four hundred florins for just one time, he sent all that money to her and he told her the time when to expect him. He came and he saw her sitting in a golden chair in her room, and he saw the bed, very costly and ornamented, which made him very lustful towards her. As he was taking off his clothes at the appropriate time to lie eagerly in bed with her, the Zizis or tassels, of his little garment hit him in his panim or face, and he was reminded of God's laws. He fell to the floor to restrain the Jetzer harah, his sinful lust, and he did not want to resort to the women any more. The woman said: Hey lover, what lack or deficiency did you see in me that you don't want to come to me? He answered: The Lord our God has bidden us to serve him, and he gave us a sign to see and thereby be reminded to hold off and keep away from evil doings. She said: What is your name and where do you come from? He told her, and she was silent, and sent him on his way home. Soon after that she sold her belongings, moved to the place where he lived, and came to the Bes hammedrasch [study hall] at the Jeschibha, the academy where the Talmid chacham studied, and asked for him. The Rabh, the highest Professor, asked what she wanted. She said: I want to be Megaijer (converted) to the Jewish faith, and to take the talmid or student, called N., as my husband. I have here the bed in which he would have sinned. Now let him use it in honor and self-discipline. After that she became Megaijer, the Rabbi made her a Jewess, married them, and placed them together. She had many pious children; some of them became noble Chachamim and Rabbis, and finally she died a pious Jewess. In the same manner, the Chachamim write that when the modest Ruth lay down with Boaz, he was kept from evil lust by the memory of the Zizis. Additionally, the pious Joseph wanted to do the evil Maaseh [deed] with Potiphar's wife, but was restrained by the Zizis. Rashi points this out in his comment, and you can find further proof in the Talmud, tractate Sotah Chap.1. Now one might well say that there is not much of God's commands in the Zizis, or Jewish memory-garment! But since these stories are well known among the Jews, and considered miraculous, and they are mentioned in the German-language Minhagim [books of customs in Yiddish] so that children, women, and everybody who does not understand or know the Talmud may know about them, this is why I did not wish to omit them here.
In Masseches Bava Basra, (a tractate of the Talmud) it is written: Rabbi Jochanan once saw a chest full of pearls and precious stones, and one of his pupils, called by him Bar Emorai, was tempted to steal it, and to take it away. Everything around them started to shake, and a Bas Kol, a voice from heaven, could be heard, saying: Leave it alone, Bar Emorai, the chest does not belong to you, but belongs to the wife of Rabbi Chanina ben Dusa, she will add blue wool for Zizis threads for the Tzaddikim, or the just, in the other world. From this the pious women might take a lesson that they should always keep yarn and wool in the house, so they can repair the Zizis right away as those women did, and for which they will be rewarded in the other world.
A woman does not have to wear this little recollection-garment, or Zizis, but if she wants to, she may. Thus we find that Mical, King Saul's daughter did wear a Zizis. But in the book Siphre, [a halachic midrash on Exodus] Rabbi Jehuda ben Babha says: There is a reason why our Chachamim and learned men exempted women from wearing the Zizis. If a woman shows a desire to wear it, it is counted as a sign of pride, and is a reason for mocking her, because it was only ordained for the men to wear, and not women. In sum: men who wear this at all times are free from the devil, and all the evil spirits. Probatum est.[The illustration shows Solomon Levy M.B.E., sometime president of the Gibraltar Jewish community, outside a Gibraltar synagogue, wearing the larger fringed garment and the tephillin. Photo by Dvora Nussbaum, 2000.]
Another thing follows. Just as they have a sign to remember and recall the laws of God, they also have a button on their nose to help them pray more devoutly. They spin and knot this from the words of Moses (Deut. 6.6): And these words, which I give you today shall be over your heart; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be a memorial for your eyes. The binding goes as follows. They take a small, square, black piece of calfskin, and fold it eightfold one upon the other, so that there are four double folds and compartments, in which they put four different writings on parchment namely, some sayings from the thirteenth chapter of the second book of Moses and from the sixth and eleventh chapters of the fifth book of Moses. Then they bind some washed hair of cows or calves, usually taken from the tail, around the written pieces, so that the ends are hanging out, and you can see that they are Cascher and right: then they sew the leather together with the tough cords of calf, cow, or ox sinews or strings, or, if none of these is available, they cut small strings of calfskin. After this they fasten a long black strap on it with a movable box. This thing assembled they call Tephillin - Precatoria, or prayer-bridle; and they bind it around their head so that the thick box, in which are the writings, is situated on the forehead where the hair ends, between the eyes, against their head, so that the memory of God's laws may stay in their head, and make their prayers more holy, and in compliance with the law, because Moses said: And you shall have a memorial before your eyes. After that, they make a similar prayer-box, fold it up, write a few verses in it from the second chapter of Exodus on parchment, put it in a little box the size of a thimble and then they sew it on the bigger box, fasten a long strap on it, and call it Tephillin schel jad hand-Tefillin. This they bind above the elbow on the left arm, right next to the skin, and the writings are close to their heart, so that the heart may see it, and they may be more zealous in their prayers. The long strap they wind around their arm way down to their hand, and with this they keep the commandment: These words that I have given you today, you shall keep close and above your heart, and bind them on your hand.
First they bind on the hand-Tephillin, after that the head-Tephillin, and they make a Brácha over it and say: Praise to you, God our Lord, King of the world, who has sanctified us with your commandments, and bade us put on these Tephillin. While he says this he looks up to the button on his forehead. They kiss it first and touch both eyes, so they may not go against the law, and it should never be out of their sight. In the manner of folding, sewing, buttoning and binding, they build in a mysterious and subtle way God's name, Schaddai by the three letters, Schin, Dales, and Jod. They take great care that the name is formed correctly, and each letter has its own place. This is considered to be of great sanctity, and has many secret effects and meanings.
They write very big books about these Tephillin. I would like to report just a few things.
First, concerning the writing, it has to be written with black ink, made of gall-apples, not any other writing fluid like printer's ink or what is used to dye silk-cloth, or any other color. Each letter has to be written separately, not one hanging on the other; it should be written with the right hand, not the left. On the top, bottom and sides there shall be lines, but nowhere else. It is not allowed to write on lines here: nothing shall be erased or corrected. At the beginning, and as often as the name of God is mentioned, he should explicitly state that he is writing holy Tephillin to God's honor. Because of this he will be the more eager to write. If there is one letter less or too much, or if the lines are not the same length, or uneven, then the Tephillin are unholy, and the prayers of the one who uses them are in vain, and the commandment of the Tephillin is not kept, and this will bring punishment on the writer. Therefore you need a pious, holy, god-fearing and experienced Jew to do that.
Secondly, the leather and parchment must come from a calf or other clean animal permitted by law, and the hide must have been prepared by a Jew and not by a Christian. In a case where no Jewish tanner is available, the Jew who desires to have the Tephillin must assist the Christian a little, and then they are Cascher and correct. The fact that they have to be from an animal which is permissible to eat is based on this statement of Moses (Exod. 13.9): That the Law of the Lord should be in your mouth. If the writing [of the Tephillin] is on the parchment of an animal that may be eaten, it is as though it is written on the entire [permissible] animal, and in this sense the Law comes into your mouth [just as the animal does]. On the other hand, if it is written on the parchment of an unclean animal, that you cannot eat, then it does not come into your mouth. More might be written about this, but I will leave off writing about this "meal" at this time.
The third point concerns the holiness of the Tephillin, which is very great. First of all, the body should be clean inside and out when he puts on the Tephillin, for this reason it is advisable to put the Tephillin on only when it is time to pray. Whoever drops them on the ground has to fast a whole day, together with all who saw them lying there. You are not supposed to hang them on their straps on some wall, but you should put them in a bag. They should not be left in a bedroom where husband and wife sleep together, unless they are stowed away in a threefold box or bag. You should not go to sleep while you have them on, but if unforeseen sleep overcomes you, you may give in. If something unclean happens in your sleep, you should not touch the box in which the writings are enclosed. You may undo the strap to remove the Tephillin until you have cleaned yourself, and washed your hands; then you may put them on again. There should be no Nephicha, or releasing gas from your body, while you are wearing them, or great penance has to be done. If anybody has to answer the call of nature, he should put them down and lay them four yards away, or carry them in a double bag close to the heart. Women, male or female servants, and some sick people are free from the requirement to wear Tephillin, because they cannot always keep themselves clean, or they cannot always wait long enough until the prayers are over, because they have to serve their master or mistress. We can learn from the Rabbánim that there are certain commandments, observed at specific times, from which the women are exempt. In this regard, it is written concerning the Tephillin: In order that the laws of the Lord should be in your mouth. For this reason the Rabbis teach: We learn from this that the one who is obliged to keep the Lord's laws in his mouth is required to wear Tephillin. Women are not required to study Thorah or the Laws: ergo, they are not required to wear Tephillin. However, we learn from the Chachamim that the wife of the Prophet Jonah used to wear Tephillin. However, they should restrict themselves to saying Amen to all the prayers, thereby showing that they believe in, and hope for, everything their men prayed for. About this the Prophet Isaiah said (26.2): Open up the doors, that the just people may come in Schomer œmunim, that preserve the faith, which is the same as Schomer amenim, that observed the Amens, saying Amen to everything, and believing everything said in the prayers, Amen, Selah.
Here is a summary of the matters under discussion.
All of this is Halácha Mosche mißinai, Ordinatio Mosis è monte Sinai, i.e. laws that have come to us from Moses, and were taught to him at mount Sinai, and revealed to his descendants, as you can read in the Talmud concerning this statement of Moses (Exod. 33.23): And when I take my hand from you, you will see behind me. About this R. Chamma, son of Bitzna, says (Talmud Berakot 7b): Rabbi Schimeon Chasida said: Moses teaches here that at that time God showed to him the binding and knotting of the Tephillin, etc. [which are worn behind the head.]
To remind us of our morning prayers, and to help us not to neglect them, I would like to add a believable story from the Talmud, which fits in with this material. It is about a miracle similar to the one told about the Zizis. In Masséches Schabbas in the Gemara (49a), Rabbi Janna said: The one who wants to wear Tephillin has to have a clean body, just like Elisha baal Cenaphájim, that is, Elisha with the wings. Why was he called thus? The Gemara answers: At a certain time the Roman Kingdom did not allow the Jews to wear Tephillin. If someone saw a Jew with Tefillin on his head, he had to split his head open right away. In those times, the Jews were pure and holy, and therefore wore the Tephillin on their head all day. Now this Elisha was a fearless and pious man, who was not led astray by this new law. He wore the Tephillin just the same. One day a soldier saw him. He fled, taking the Tephillin off his head and hiding them in his hand. After the soldier caught him, he asked him what he had in his hand. He answered: What should I have? I have the wings of a dove in my hand! The soldier said that he would have to show him, otherwise it could cost him his life. Now Elisha opened his hand and it was as he had said. And therefore they called him Elisha with the wings. But why did he say he had wings from a dove and not from a crow, or stork or another bird? The Gemara answers: the children of Israel are like doves. Just as a dove has all her strength in her wings, protects herself with them, defends herself with them against other birds, and not with her mouth, or feet, or any other part: so are the children of Israel, God's laws are their wings. They protect them from harm, so that no evil comes to them. An even better Peschat, or comparison: It is just like a dove's wings, which are more help and protection than any other bird's wings. A dove can rest one wing and fly with the other, but other birds have to sit on a tree or a rock to rest, or even fall to the ground: so are the Israelites too. If they are persecuted because of their law, and it is not possible for them to uphold it, they uphold the other Mitzvos, or laws, and are protected by them. Ergo, everyone should try to keep the Mitzvos and laws always, and no harm will come. He will be freed miraculously from his enemies, just as Elisha was saved from the soldier, and many old Rabbis testify to this story because they heard it from their grandmothers, and therefore it is in the Talmud.