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21****Shimon ben Yaakov Avinu

Shimon ben Yaakov Avinu

Born: Aram Naharayim, 1568 BCE.

Died:  Egypt, 1448 BCE.                                                                     

Shimon was the Son of Jacob the Patriarch and Leah the Matriarch. He is the founder of the Tribe of Shimon.

Shimon died at the age of 120 (Yalkut Shimoni, Shemot 162).

Shimon And Levi were buried in the city of Masada. The city was given to the children of Shimon as an inheritance, and the open space surrounding the city [was given] to the children of Levi (Sefer HaYashar, end of Yehoshua).

Shimon and Levi...each took his sword (Genesis 34:25). They were 13 years old at the time (Bereishit Rabbah 80:10).

"Should he treat our sister like a harlot?" (Genesis 34:31). Shimon and Levi said, "Let it not be said that uncircumcised idolaters violated Jacob's daughter, but rather that uncircumcised idolaters were slain over Jacob's daughter. And let Shechem not sneer at us" (Targum Yonatan 34:31).

"And they said one man to his brother" (Genesis 42:21). [This refers to] Shimon and Levi, who were "brothers" in conspiracy (Targum Yonatan, Bereishit 37:19).

They cast [Joseph] into the pit (Genesis 37:24). That was done by Shimon. And when was he punished for it? [Joseph] took Shimon...and imprisoned him (Genesis 42:24) (Bereishit Rabbah 84:16).

After Joseph was placed in the pit, Shimon gave orders, and they threw big rocks [on Joseph] in order to kill him (Tanchuma, ed. Buber, Vayeshev 13).

[Joseph] took Shimon from them and imprisoned him before their eyes (Genesis 42:24), because it was he who had pushed [Joseph] into the pit. [Moreover, by so doing, Joseph] was separating [Shimon] from Levi so that [the two of them] would not conspire against him. Shimon said to his brothers [who were about to return home without him]. "This is what you did to Joseph, and this is what you wish to do to me!"   "What can we do?" they replied. "Shall members of our households die of starvation?" "Do as you wish," he said. "Now I shall see who will put me in jail." When the warriors approached him, he shouted at them, [whereupon] they fell on their faces and their teeth broke. Then Joseph ordered Menashe, who was sitting before him, "Arise!" Menashe, immediately rose, and with a single blow put [Shimon] in prison and chained him  (Bereishit Rabbah 91:6).  

As soon as the brothers had left, Joseph fed bathed and anointed Shimon (Bereishit Rabbah 91:8). 

Reuven, Shimon and Levi ruled the Israelites in Egypt. After Reuven died, the leadership was given to Shimon; after Shimon died, it was given to Levi. After Levi died, they sought to give the leadership to Judah, [but] a Heavenly Voice said, "Put aside [Judah's sovereignty] until its time comes" (Bamidbar Rabbah 13:8).

The Tribe of Shimon produced neither judge nor king because of Zimri's sin of immorality (Yalkut Shimoni, Shoftim 42).

May the merit of the tzaddik  Shimon ben Yaakov Avinu  protect us all, Amen.


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