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Parsha Shemot




Hello welcome back it has been some time since I put together a blog for a Parsha but I am back and hopefully will continue doing this again for quite some time. I want to put this together as it has been something on my mind and heart for quite some time. I first encountered these ideas in a Kabbalistic work called Sefer Hagilgulim. (Book of Reincarnations) I found it interesting to find it’s ideas in Kli Yakar(Book called Precious Vessel), and Ohr Hachaim (Book called Light of the Wise) , and I also like to tie everything to P’shat (plain meaning) so I will also include Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo ben Yitzhak) as I feel it is very important to keep everything connected to the P’shat (plain meaning). The main point is to focus on what the texts and the Rabbi’s are looking to say and how that relates to the teachings and person of our Rebbe Yeshua ben Yosef. (Jesus son of Joseph) May he live long, our Master, our teacher, our redeemer, king Moshiach for ever and ever.

So let us first start with Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo ben Yitzhak) on the first text I want to discuss, Shemot (Exodus 1:12)

12But as much as they would afflict them, so did they multiply and so did they gain strength, and they were disgusted because of the children of Israel.

יבוְכַֽאֲשֶׁר֙ יְעַנּ֣וּ אֹת֔וֹ כֵּ֥ן יִרְבֶּ֖ה וְכֵ֣ן יִפְרֹ֑ץ וַיָּקֻ֕צוּ מִפְּנֵ֖י בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:

But as much as they would afflict them: In whatever [way] they set their heart to afflict [them], so was the heart of the Holy One, blessed be He, to multiply [them] and to strengthen [them].

וכאשר יענו אתו: בכל מה שהם נותנין לב לענות, כן לב הקב"ה להרבות ולהפריץ:

so did they multiply and so did they gain strength: Heb. כֵּן יִרְבֶּה וְכֵן יִפְרֹץ, lit., so will they multiply and so will they gain strength. [It means, however,] so did they multiply and so did they gain strength. Its midrashic interpretation is, however: The Holy Spirit says this: You [Pharaoh] say, Lest they multiply, but I say, So will they multiply. [From Sotah 11a]

כן ירבה: כן רבה וכן פרץ. ומדרשו רוח הקודש אומרת כן אתם אומרים פן ירבה, ואני אומר כן ירבה:

and they were disgusted: They were disgusted with their lives. (Others explain: And the Egyptians were disgusted with themselves, and it is easy to understand why.) Our Rabbis, however, interpreted it to mean that they [the Israelites] were like thorns (כקוצים) in their eyes -[from Sotah 11a].

ויקצו: קצו בחייהם. ורבותינו דרשו כקוצים היו בעיניהם:

Rashi( Rabbi Shlomo ben Yitzhak) brings out two interesting points that later commentators bring out and highlight in truly profound ways. The first is that suffering and multiplication leads to multiplication and being in the difficulties Hashem (G-d) increases the strength to endure. He also brings up the language of thorns as one of the things that causes suffering.


The Ohr HaChaim (Light of the Wise) states on this same passage the following- I will add on the notes to explain this very complex interpretation so that we can better understand Ohr HaChaim “Offers a kabbalistic insight into the connection between the affliction of the Jews and the increase of their population. It is based on the idea that even entities (people or nations) that are essentially bad contain some element of good, and even those that are essentially good contain some element of bad. Now certain types of interaction between these opposite entities (essentially good ones and essentially bad ones) create a magnet-like attraction. As a result, the good element in the bad entity escapes it and clings to the good entity, and the bad element in the good entity cling to the bad entity. The outcome is that the good entity becomes completely good, and the bad becomes completely bad. And being that every bad entity must have some good within it in order to exist, once the bad entity is emptied of all good it is subject to destruction.” I have a few notes to make of this insight- specifically that Rebbe Yeshua ben Yosef (Jesus son of Joseph) was known for befriending sinners. There are several passages where his connection to those considered to be sinners of some of the worst type- and I would argue has continued to be connected throughout history with many types of evil people and sinners of intense sin. We also know that according to 2 Corinthians 5:20 “he became sin, who knew no sin, that we might become his righteousness.” This is a very similar process as the one described above. And with that let us continue to look at the Ohr HaChaim’s (Light of the wise) continues to say about this verse and this concept. “ וכאשר יענו אותו כן ירבה וגו'. מה יערב נעימות הכתוב על פי מה שכתב בזוהר (ח''ב צ''ה:) בפסוק (קהלת ח׳:ט׳) עת אשר שלט האדם באדם לרע לו, כי באמצעות העינוי והצרות תתברר בחינת הטוב מהרע ותסמך אל חלק הטוב ותתברר בחינת הרע מחלק הטוב ותסמך אל בחינת הרע, וב' פרטים אלו רמוזים באומרו לרע לו והוא עצמו שאמר הכתוב וכאשר יענו אותו כן כשיעור העינוי היו מוציאים ומבררים חלק הטוב ומתרבה חלק הטוב וכן יפרוץ. או ירמוז וכן יפרוץ שהיה נפרץ ממנו חלק הרע שהיה דבוק בו, והוא הצירוף אשר צרף ה' אותם בכור הברזל במצרים.


וכאשר יענו אותו כן ירבה, The more they oppressed them the more they increased. There is a beautiful explanation by the Zohar second volume page 95 on Kohelet 8,9. Solomon says that "there is a time when one man rules over another to his detriment." The Zohar explains that when one has to endure persecution and troubles, the good [which may have been mixed with the evil. Ed.] is distilled from the evil joining other areas which are totally good; by the same token the evil of that mixture joins other areas of pure evil. These two details are hinted at when Solomon speaks of לרע לו. Similarly, the Torah here tells us the same thing. The more persecution the Israelites suffered the more "good" was released from what had been only a mixture of good and evil previously. With the release of that "good", i.e. good qualities, the Israelite families merited having more and more children. Hence the Torah adds the words וכן יפרץ in the sense of ופרצת ימה וקדמה, "You will burst forth to the West and to the East, etc." Alternatively, the word may mean "it achieved a breaking forth" i.e. a separation from an environment in which the good had been forced to mix with the evil. The evil was now released and separated. This resulted in the famous "iron crucible" in which the character of the Israelite people was forged in Egypt.


2

וכפי פשט הכתוב ירצה כי כשהיו המצרים מרבים לענות היה ה' מרבה את ישראל כדי שיהיו נעזרים על העבודה והיה נותן בהם כח, והוא אומרו כן ירבה לשיעור אשר יספיקו העובדים בעבודה וגם ה' נותן בהם כח לשיעור אשר יתמעט מכחם מהעינוי. וכשראו המצרים כן היו מעבידים אותם בפרך כתרגומו בקשיו:


The plain meaning of the verse is that for every unjustified act of cruelty by the Egyptians, G'd compensated the Jewish people with a commensurate increase in the number of babies that were born to them. Additional hands enabled the parents to meet the work quota imposed upon them by the Egyptians. The words כן ירבה, "so they would multiply," would then mean that the additional number of children made up for the reduced performance by their weakened parents in proportion to the emasculating effect of the hard labour. This became a vicious circle as the Egyptians kept increasing the workload. So we see of course that out of this suffering there was a great spiritual transfer if you will the sparks of good in Egypt were almost completely transferred to the Jewish nation and the evil in the Jewish nation was transferred into Egypt. But the Or Hachaim continues in Exodus 3:7 “ הנה למה שקדם לנו כי עיקר הגלות הוא לברר הניצוצות שנטמעו בנ' שערי טומאה וכמו שציינתי דבר זה כמה פעמים בזה ינוח דעת בב' השאלות כי אם היה מוציאם קודם זה היו מפסידים בירור החלק ההוא, ותדע שעם ה' השיגו בבחינת כללותם הכלול במשה שנתיחס בשם עמו השגת מ''ט שערי בינה, וטעם שלא השיג שער החמישים הוא לצד שאין המושג אלא בהשתדלות המשיג ולצד שישראל לא נכנסו בנ' שערי טומאה לברר אותו לא השיגו בחינת הקודש שכנגדו, והובטחנו כי לעתיד לבוא ישפיע בנו אל עליון תורת חיים שבשער החמשים והשגתו הוא באמצעות הגליות ובפרט גלות האחרון אנו משיגים הדבר.


In view of our premise that the principal purpose of the exile in Egypt was to salvage the souls which had been contaminated with the 50 levels of impurity at the time the forces of the קליפה "captured" some of the holy souls from Adam when the latter ate from the tree of knowledge (compare our comments on Genesis 49,9), we can understand that if G'd had redeemed the Israelites prematurely this would have aborted the plan to rescue all those lost souls. We have already explained that Moses himself was equated with the Jewish people inasmuch as Moses achieved the 49th level of בינה, intellectual insights, out of a possible total of 50 such levels. The reason that Moses never reached the ultimate level of בינה was that the achievement must parallel the effort expended on achieving the goal in question. Had the Israelites descended to the 50th level of impurity the effort at gaining the 50th level of insights would have been possible. Since Israel was never quite at the bottom of the spiritual levels, the effort to reach the top was of necessity a little less than total. Moses' achievements were directly related to the condition of the Jewish people whom he represented. We have been assured that in the future G'd Himself will influence us by means of the Torah so that we will be able to achieve the fiftieth level of בינה. We will be indebted to the cumulative exile experiences for that eventual achievement. The most important individual factor will be our present and final exile.


We see here that the lower you go the more insight you may be able to achieve, this as mentioned earlier occurs for individuals as well as for nations, and larger groups of people. Yeshua ben Yosef descended to the lowest level of impurity when he in fact died on the cross. We know from Jewish history and texts that there is almost no one who has been seen as being more impure. He is sometimes referred to as the one who is to be blotted out and forgotten, and yet as the Or HaChaim has pointed out it is in these places of impurity that we can get to the very highest levels of insight, we now have the Torah, we can now see the redemption near, and it is because Yeshua has made possible through having gone to the 50th gate of impurity that he can bring about the highest levels of righteousness we could ever imagine. As mentioned in Sefer Hagilgulim “Thus it is said, let the evil of the wicked destroy them because then all the good in the evil person is taken by the righteous person who refined his deeds, and as a result he becomes finished and completely sustained. This is what it means that he sustains the righteous as it is known” Likewise we see that the completely Tzaddik (righteous person) who is able to transform evil into good, had to become evil to take the evil to himself, and thus transfer it to good, we then took his righteousness from him being declared righteous and him a curse, we must also nullify our own wills, and give our righteousness back to him which originated in him. This is the mission of Yeshua ben Yosef- he was born a complete Tzaddik, we were Beinoni (people with both good and evil) and have become Tzaddikim who know evil, but are continually seeking to be completed Tzaddikim as Yeshua ben Yosef was and is. A tzaddik who becomes a Rasha (evil) to increase his holiness in us. This is a great mystery know it well. We as is mentioned need to befriend the Yeshua who became sin, Yeshua who is complete impurity, Yeshua who is dead on the cross and who G-d had left, and give him our sins. We then become incomplete Tzdaikkim who know sin, but are eradicating it from our lives as we continue to remove the righteousness from the one who was completely righteous, and he continues to take our sin, we continue to take his righteousness, be elevated to the highest levels of his righteousness, and receive with Torah the insights that can only be gained from encountering this level of impurity, and which only the most righteous could withstand. We look forward to the time when the world will be in a state of redemption. As the Or Hachaim hinted to at the commentary to our verse in Shemot 3:7.


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