Gevurot 22

1 2 Rav Sha’ul said, "Anashim, Achim, Avot, listen now to my hitstaddekut (defense)."
2 And when they heard that Rav Sha’ul was addressing them in the language of the Hebrews, they were even more quiet. And Rav Sha’ul said,
3 "I am an ish Yehudi, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but having been brought up in a yeshiva in this city of Yerushalayim at the feet of Rabban Gamliel, having learned with irreproachable frumkeit according to all machmir chumra strictness the Torah of Avoteinu, and I have a kinat Hashem just as all of you do today; [MELACHIM ALEF 19:10]
4 "I brought redifah on this ‘Derech,’ even to the point of mavet, binding and delivering both anashim and nashim over to the beis hasohar,
5 "As even the Kohen Gadol and all the Zekenim of the Sanhedrin could give solemn eidus for me. For from them I also was authorized with iggrot to the Achim in Damascus, and I was going there to lead away also the ones who were there in order to bring them bound back to Yerushalayim to have them punished.
6 "And it happened to me while traveling and drawing near to Damascus, lav davka (approximately) noon, suddenly from Shomayim, a very bright ohr (light) shone around me;
7 "And I fell to the ground. Then I heard a bat kol saying to me, ‘Sha’ul, Sha’ul, why are you bringing redifah on me?'’
8 "And I answered, ‘Who are you, Adoni?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Yehoshua of Natzeret, upon whom you are bringing redifah.’
9 "And the ones with me saw the ohr (light) but they did not have real hearing (understanding) of the voice speaking to me.
10 "And I said, ‘What shall I do, Adoni?'’ And HaAdon said to me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told about everything which has been appointed for you to do.'’
11 "And because I had been blinded from the kavod (glory) of that ohr (light), I was led by the hand by the ones who were with me and who led me into Damascus.
12 "A certain man, Chananyah by name, an ehrliche Yid (a truly pious Jew), charedi according to the Torah and with a shem tov with all the Yehudim living in Damascus,
13 "Came to me and stood next to me, saying, ‘Ach b’Moshiach Sha’ul, receive your sight.’ And at that moment I looked up at him.
14 "And he said, ‘Elohei Avoteinu has chosen and appointed you to have da’as of His ratzon (will) and to see the Tzaddik [Moshiach] and to hear the kol (voice) from His mouth.
15 ‘For you will be an eidus (witness) to him to all anashim of what you have seen and heard.
16 ‘And now what do you intend to do? Get up and receive Moshiach’s tevilah of teshuva and wash away your averos (sins) by calling upon SHMO.' [VAYIKRA 8:6; TEHILLIM 51:2; YECHEZKEL 36:25; YOEL 3:5(2:32) ZECHARYAH 6:12]
17 "And it happened that after I had returned to Yerushalayim and as I was davening in the Beis Hamikdash, that I fell into a trance,
18 "And saw Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out quickly from Yerushalayim, because they will not receive your edut (testimony) concerning me.'
19 "And I said ‘Adoni, they themselves have da’as that in every shul I was imprisoning and beating the ones with emunah in you.
20 ‘And when in al kiddush ha-Shem, the dahm of your eidus (witness) Stefanos was being poured out, I myself also had been standing by and agreeing and protecting the kaftans of the ones killing him.'
21 "And Moshiach said to me, ‘Go! For I will send you out, far away to the Goyim.’'"
22 And they were listening to Rav Sha’ul up to the word "Goyim;" and then they lifted up their kol, saying, "Away with such a one from ha’aretz! He should not be allowed to live!"
23 And while they were crying out, while they were throwing off their kaftans and tossing dust into the air, [SHMUEL BAIS 16:13]
24 the Roman tribune directed him to be brought into the barracks, and ordered him to be examined by the flagellum’s scourge, that the tribune might have da’as of the reason for the mob’s shouting thus keneged (against, in opposition to) Rav Sha’ul.
25 And when the Roman soldiers stretched Rav Sha’ul out with the straps, he said to the centurion who was standing by, "If a man is a Roman citizen and uncondemned, it is lawful for you to scourge him?"
26 And having heard this, the centurion approached the tribune and reported, saying, "What are you about to do? For this man has Roman citizenship."
27 And having approached, the tribune said to Rav Sha’ul, "Tell me, are you a Roman?" And Rav Sha’ul said, "Etiam." [T.N. Latin: "Yes, certainly."]
28 And the tribune answered, "It cost me a large sum of money for me to acquire my Roman citizenship. " And Rav Sha’ul said, "But indeed I have been born a Roman citizen."
29 Ofen ort, then, the ones about to examine him drew back from Rav Sha’ul. Also the tribune did the same. For he was afraid, learning that Rav Sha’ul is a Roman and that he had bound him.
30 And on the next day, desiring to know something definite about why Rav Sha’ul was accused by the Yehudim, the tribune released him and ordered the Rashei Hakohanim and all the Sanhedrin to be assembled. Then, having brought down Rav Sha’ul, the tribune had him set before them.
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