The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review
Yaacov Dovid Shulman
|WINGS OF MORNING
Volume VII, Issue 14
Shabbat Channukah 5763, December 2002
Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright © 2002 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
by Yaacov Dovid Shulman
If you and I are still alive
And we shall forge a plighted bond,
And high above the city towers
So gather rosebuds while you may–
But let us all the pleasures prove
The snow is on the cherries now,
notes of a speech by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginzburgh
Yaacov was an "ish tam yoshev ohalim," "a wholehearted man dwelling in tents." These tents were the yeshivas of Shem and Ever. The word for tent, ohel, is the acronym of the phrase ohr hameir l.... "A light that shines upon"–whether upon itself or upon another.
The first tent refers to the tent of Shem, which involved iyun, inner-directed light. The second refers to the tent of Ever, which involved dibur, outer-directed light.
A person who is involved in absorbing things is unable at that moment to give out. And the opposite is true as well.
Chashmal is a shield of light around the image of God.
In our soul, it is a garment.
Divinity is silent (chash), yet at the same time it speaks (mal).
The Baal Shem Tov commented on the teaching of our sages that a person's teacher should be "like an angel of the Lord of Hosts. If not, lo tavakshu piv–do not seek [from] his mouth." Do we know what an angel is, so as to compare? asked the Baal Shem Tov. He replied that the word for angel, malach, read backwards, is k'ileim–"like a mute." If a teacher is inwardly mute and silent before speaking, or inwardly silent as he speaks, then Torah bakshu mipihu–seek Torah from his mouth. But if he speaks without silence, he is not a true master.
Divrei chachamim b'nachat nishma'im. "The words of the sages are heard in calmness." The word for calm, nachat, is a state of serenity within the words.
That is chashmal. In order to be potent, speech must have a [combination, a] marital union: chashmal.
The words ish (man) and ishah (woman) share the letters alef shin, which spell out eish: fire. The man has a yod within the word ish, and woman has a hey in the word ishah. The yod and hey together spell out the name Yah, referring to the divine Presence.
Yah is the point of inner thought and focus.
The "yod" indicates a point of inner thought and focus.
The hey indicates speech and expression.
Then fire becomes holy, leading to holy children.
But a profane fire leads to anger (which is worse than lust).
Anger is expressed in words, whereas serene speech is chashmal.
Talking manifests an inner pleasure of the soul, sweetening negative phenomena in the soul itself and in life. Talking is self-expression. Communication, on the other hand, is an intent to touch another via words.
There are male and female aspects of speech.
The male aspect is purposeful communication. The female aspect is talk. The soul needs to express itself, using both. Speech has male and female [aspects] within [the greater framework of a] female [energy]–relating to the feminine aspect of God's Divinity–the Shechinah. These two [aspects] are called Yaacov and Rachel.
Hakol kol Yaacov: "the voice is the voice of Yaacov."
K'rachel lifnei goz'zeha ne'elama–"like a sheep (Rachel) silent before those who shear it" (Isaiah). Rachel's speech is without voice, equivalent to letters without vowels. Rachel likes to talk by herself. (Leah is not so feminine. She likes to think.)
Yaacov and Rachel in our souls are the union of voice (outward directed) and speech (talk that does not necessarily communicate with others).
Vowels are the voice of the letters. That voice projects the sounds of the words. This is communication.
Israel is male with a female side. Yaacov is the male component of the female, Rachel. Yaacov is the voice that expresses the words of Rachel.
The highest union in the Torah–the love between Yaacov and Rachel–is described as love at first sight. A vector is a line, or kav–which, spelled out, is kuf vov. Add a lamed, indicating "to..."–a line going to... Then "Shechinah beineihem." God's Presence is amongst them.
When the letters comprising "Yaacov v'rachel" (Yaacov and Rachel) are written out–yod, ayin kuf beit reish chet lamed, they have the numerical value 1750. This is the same value as the phrase, "mah yafit umah n'amt, ahavah b'ta'anugim"–"how lovely and how pleasant, love with delight." That verse comprises the climax of the Song of Songs, which is a messianic revelation.
That verse corresponds to the Sh'ma. Both phrases have identical structures: six words, and twenty-five letters. They give fullest expression to the epitome of love.
1750 divided by 7 equals 250, which is the numerical equivalent of neir, light. Neir Hashem nishmat adam. "The light of God is the soul of a person."
There are seven lights on the menorah in the Beit Hamikdash, equaling 1750.
There are 7 archetypal souls of the Jewish people. Shine in word light outside.
In the Beit Hamikdash, line shone out, not in. The menorah indicates the relationship of a couple: light shining out. The Beit Hamikdash is equivalent to the Jewish home. The Kodesh kedoshim (Holy of Holies) is equivalent to the cheder hamitot, the bedroom, the marital union between God and the Jewish people.
In the Torah, speech is a euphemism for marital union. Voice gives speech potency.
Kol, voice, is a projection of the inner. Iyun (meditation) has the numerical value 136, which is equal to the numerical value of kol. The voice reflects one's meditative ability, thought's potency–a meditation that is even unconscious, on-going inner connection. [Because this meditation is on-going,] Jews are dispersed to illume the world by some act [and the meditative intent automatically accompanies that act, even unconsciously].
Everyone is unique–everyone has his own style–no two prophets have the same style. The word for prophet, navi, comes from the word niv, meaning speech.
A couple communicates openly, like a prophetic communication, that of a prophet and prophetess. Letters without vowels, on the other hand, are the opposite: an existential silence.
The Kabbalah is on words. Creation is through words. Speaking is prophecy, or even creation.
We are partners with God in Maaseh Breishit (the act of Creation) on Shabbat. L'chah Dodi–"Come, my beloved." Shabbat is the interplay of speech and silence, Jewish faith and serenity. Therefore, "the sages only reluctantly allowed speech on Shabbat, even if that speech is words of Torah."
The yod hey of ish and ishah shines on Shabbat.
A Torah scholar is considered equivalent to Shabbat during the entire week. So is a couple.
Shabbat is rectified serene communication. The miracle of Shabbat is speech with inner silence.
Moshiach is meisiach–one who causes speech.
Dibur–speaking–also means to lead: dabar echad lador, "one leader to a generation"–plus the seventy elders.
36 people receive the face of the Shechinah daily. On Chanukah, we light a total of 36 candles. The eight figure on its side is Infinity. Each candle is one of those thirty six tzaddikim.
When we look at each candle, we hear the song and story of that tzaddik.
Also, there are 36 Talmudic tractates.
R. Dovid of Lelov, a student of the Baal Shem Tov, said that in this world, we learn tractates Bava Kama and so forth. But after the Moshiach comes, people will meditate upon–iyun–the tractate of R. Dovid of Lelov.
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