I was reading A Time to Laugh; A Time to Listen by Rabbi Yehoshua Kurland. On page 116 he brings down a Chazal (Medrash Tanchumah, Toldos 18) which says, "You make a small opening like one made by the point of a needle and I (Hashem) will expand that opening to the size of the entrance to a grand ballroom."

I opened a Medrash Tanchumah located Parshas Toldos and tried to find 18. However, Parshas Toldos only goes up to 14, not 18.

Does anyone know where this Chazal is located in Parshas Toldos?

  • There are two standard versions of Tanchuma. The regular one and the one called the Buber edition. They have slight discrepancies and different numberings. I'll check soon bl'n to see if its in the other one or just a different number.
    – user6591
    Commented Sep 21, 2014 at 16:36
  • I'm not aware of this in parshas Toldos in either version of the Tanhuma. However, I am aware of an idea such as this one expressed in the Midrash Rabba to Shir Hashirim 5:3 Commented Sep 21, 2014 at 17:06
  • consider marking an answer correct.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 1:46

2 Answers 2


It is indeed found in the Buber edition of the Tanchumah. In the haaros on the bottom he points to the Yalkut Shimoni in Shir Hashirim chapter 5. And as Matt pointed out its in the Rabba on Shir Hashirim 5:2 as well.


It seems to be a reference to Tanchuma Buber Toldot 18:

אמר ר' יוסי אמר הקב"ה פתחי לי פתח כחודה של מחט, ואני פותח לך [פתח] שיהו אוהלות (ובצור צירות) [וכצוצריות] נכנסין בו.

R. Jose said: The Holy One said: Make an opening for me as with the point of a needle so that I may open up [an opening] for you through which tents and {siege fortifications} [< even > a camp]73 can pass.

This is also brought in Pesikta D'Rav Kahana and Pesikta Rabbati, and in similar language in Shir Hashirim Rabbah and Yalkut Shimoni.

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