The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review
Yaacov Dovid Shulman
|WINGS OF MORNING
Volume VI, Issue 40
Chukat, June 2002
Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright © 2002 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (email@example.com).
*THE VISION OF THE DOVES
*A MOST EDENIC YEARNING
by Rabbi Shlomo Molcho
Now I will tell the visions that I saw in my dream.
I saw, and behold: a noble, old man with a very long beard as white as wool. He said to me, "Come with me to one of the ruins of Jerusalem." I went there with him, and considering the events that occurred, it appears that I was on the road for a long time.
On the way, I saw three trees, all of which emerged from a single root, with their branches spreading out in every direction. On the branches, I saw many white doves. In their midst were other doves that were ash-colored, more of these than the white ones. It seemed that their gray color was not their original, natural color, but that they had previously been white and had changed to the color of ash. Amongst them were black doves, which were not as numerous as the white doves.
Next to these white [doves] was a large, square field through which a great river ran. On the other side of the river was a multitude of soldiers, including horsemen riding upon horses, with a great many weapons: swords, spears, bows and brass cannon shooting brass balls with fire.
The intent of that army was to cut down the trees. I heard them say, "The trees are our deposit. So let us cut them and bring them down to the ground." They could not approach the trees to cut them down because the river was in their way. But they struck down the black and ashen doves, which immediately fell to the ground. Large birds came and ate their flesh until nothing was left of them. And I saw this great attack waged against the black and ashen doves.
At that time, people came to me and asked me, "What is going on?"
I said to them, "That group [across the river] has struck down the doves that have fallen to the earth, and now they want to strike the white doves as well." [These white doves] were very beautiful, and they filled the tree and beautified it. The people said to me, "Let us make a tall fence and wall to shield them."
I said to them, "Let us do that." We hurried over to make the [doves] a barrier of earth and planks near the river. But the soldiers did not cease striking and killing the doves. When they saw the barrier that we had made to save the [doves], they destroyed it with fiery weapons, and they also struck down some of the people who were with me. The large birds descended to eat their flesh, as they had done to the doves.
In the midst of all this, I was struck in the chest by a brass cannon ball. The ball passed out through my back. I held myself firm and strengthened myself with great effort so as not to fall to the ground, but I could not gather my strength, and I did fall. As I fell, I said, "Woe! The birds will eat my flesh as they have eaten the flesh of the people with me, and I will not be buried amongst my brothers." Nevertheless, I was calm and I saw great visions, and I said, "It is true what people said when I was alive: that a person sees greater things after his death than in his lifetime." I saw that some of the white doves in the tree turned the color of ash, and those which were ashen turned white.
The people who were with me and who had remained alive brought me a woman to heal me. People asked each other, "Who is this woman?" They gave the answer to me, "This woman is So-and-so, the wife of So-and-so." But I have not yet been given permission to reveal her name. This woman prayed to God to heal me. The people mourned over me a great deal, and the doves continued to diminish, and many of them changed their color.
As the woman prayed, I saw the vision of a man whose clothes were white as snow, and whose appearance was that of a divine being. Opposite him, I saw another man whose appearance was much more awesome than that of the first. His clothes were whiter, and precious and beautiful. In his hand was a large scale, and he was taking care to keep the scale even and not listing to one side.
The first man whom I had seen began to walk on the road. The second man, the one greater than he, began to walk in the air in his direction, until the two of them came close to me.
The first man asked the people who stood with me, "Has any bird descended upon this one?"–[meaning, me.]
They replied, "We have not allowed the birds to reach him." Immediately, he sent the men far away until not one of them could be seen in the field. The two of us remained together–I and the great man. The other man was standing over us in the air. The first man fell upon me. He placed his mouth upon my mouth, his eye upon my eye and his hands upon my hands, and in a whisper he spoke with me words in the name of our God a number of times and set me up on my feet.
He said to me, "Have you understood the meaning of the episode of these doves and the changing of their colors? And do you know what those gentiles who struck and killed them are?"
I said, "My master, your servant has not yet understood this, but I felt compassion for those doves with my fellows. I had compassion for them, and my heart ached for them. But I do not know what they are, and I do not know what their enemies are."
He said to me, "Raise your eyes and see all those armies, and understand their end, and know what the doves are."
He blew upon the gentiles and they became a heap of dust. He did not cross over the river to strike the gentiles. He was on the same side of the river as the doves. And he also blew upon the doves that had changed their colors, and all of them turned white. Amongst them, none was different than any other. And the river had much more water than it had had at first. And trees emerged upon both banks of the river, bearing all varieties of fruits.
At that time, I said to the man, "My master, tell your servant (if I have found favor in your eyes): what are these signs and miracles?"
He said to me, "You cannot know these things now, but they will not be hidden from you."
I bowed down before him, and I said to him, "May my master speak to your servant so that I will be sure to know the meaning of these things." And he blessed me.
I awoke from this vision, and I did not understand a thing. Afterwards, I saw something like the appearance of the first old man whom I had seen in my first visions, and he explained everything to me. But I still do not have permission to tell what he explained. When the Holy One, blessed be He, will bring me to the land of Edom [editor's note: Italy], I will compose a long work telling of all the visions that I have seen, accompanied by a clear explanation. And from there I will send it to those who fear God and value His name.
by Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook
Who can withhold the light of the divine, supernal love that pulses in the heart of the elite, the holy masters of piety and straight-heartedness? Like a pure wind filled with the scents of Eden, yet storming and wailing like the roaring waves of the sea, so does the soul storm as a result of the great breadth of pleasure [it receives] from the sweet, supernal radiance.
This, a most edenic yearning, increases and broadens all spiritual qualities and soulful traits, until every soul is consecrated. Whoever has [even the most] distant connection to the light of the radiance of the holy souls of these warriors of God is elevated.
All Torah, ethical instruction, commandments, deeds and learning come to clear away the road barriers, so that this eternal love can spread upon all the breadth of the valleys of life.
These are the roots of a holy love. And the many branches [that come forth from them] are all good and straight traits: particular ones as well as all-encompassing ones, individual and communal, until the [time will come that] the world is judged fairly and the nations with straightness.
Musar Avichah, Ahavah 12
by Avraham Stern
The sefer Irin Kadishin tells that the Apter rav–author of the holy sefer, Oheiv Israel–ate a great deal. If one wishes, one may find [something similar] in the Gemara: "Yochanan ben Narbai entered...and he filled his belly with the [offerings] sanctified to heaven. He used to eat three hundred calves for dessert. During the entire course of his life, there was never any left-over sacrifice meat in the Temple courtyard"(Pesachim 57a). The simple meaning is that he supported a large family of cohanim. But we may see from this that he had great meditative intentions in eating in a sanctified manner.
On the other hand, some tzaddikim eat little. Regarding this, we must say that "these and those are the words of the living God." The intent of all tzaddikim is good, each on his path in serving God. As Rav Chanan bar Rava says, "I agree with Shmuel, who said, Everything [a wise man does] is for the sake of heaven" (Kiddushin 81a).
I heard from a reliable source that when the deceased mother of the rebbe of Husyatin (may he live long) rebuked him for eating little, he replied–to be continued... Chasidishe Maasiyos
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