Monday, September 17, 2007
The Meor Einayim On Teshuva and It's Relation to Din/Chesed
The Meor Einayim has an amazing explanation for why Chazel derive the nature of the aseres yemei teshuva from the pasuk, "דִּרְשׁוּ יְהוָה, בְּהִמָּצְאוֹ; קְרָאֻהוּ, בִּהְיוֹתוֹ קָרוֹב." "Seek out Hashem when He is found; call out to him when He is close." (Yeshayahu 55:6)
He quotes the Gemara's (Rosh Hashana 18a) kasha that asks, "Are there times when He is not found!?" Rather, this refers to the Aseres Yemei Teshuva. He then asks what the gemara saw in this particular pasuk to read in this remez to aseres yemei teshuva davka in this verse. Then then gave a couple of yesodos for background so that he could answer his quesiton.
One is the fact that the gemara in Menachos 29b sayt that the pasuk in Bereishis 2:4, "אֵלֶּה תוֹלְדוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ, בְּהִבָּרְאָם," says that the word, "בְּהִבָּרְאָם," teaches that, "אל תקרי בהבראם אלא בה"י בראם." This means that the gemara is saying that Hashem created the world with the letter Hei. How and why is this so?
Hashem created the whole world for the sake of mankind, that they should serve him. He first created the world with the mida of din. And then it was created with the mida of chesed. Why was it done this way (with the switch from first din to later chesed in the creation of the world)? He explains how din is the instigator or the cause for mercy. The din preceeds and gives birth to the mida of chesed. This can be seen from the letter hei, with which the gemara said Hashem created the world. The letter Hei is made up of two other letters. There is a Daled, which make up the top and right sides of the yud. And there is the vav, which is small and makes up the left side of the hei, and which is surrounded by the daled.
He says that the daled is the feminine side, the side of din. This can be seen from the fact that the word "daled" is from the word "Dal," which means "poor." Leis l'megarmei klum. This represents the feminine side which is also called leis l'megarmei klum because the female side is that of the mekabeil. That is why is is refered to as poor, or "dal." The vav within and surrounded by the daled in the letter hei is the male side, the side which is mashpia. That is because the vav is known as the "vav Ha'hamshacah." The vav which draws down hashpa'os from shamayim and is mashpia them to the female side, the daled.
This whole setup of the daled and the vav within the letter hei refer to an amazing paradigm whereby the feminine side of midas hadin surrounds and ultimately gives birth to the male side like the pasuk in Yirmiyahu 31:21 says, "נְקֵבָה תְּסוֹבֵב גָּבֶר."
How does this apply to Aseres Yemei Teshuva? Everyone's consciousness of the Yom Hadin, the day of judgement, creates in them a feeling of fear and awe. This feeling of fear and awe creates in them the motivation to do teshuva. And when people do teshuva, this fulfills the whole purpose of the world, and this "awakens" within Hashem the mida of chesed and "creates" the desire in Him to have the world continue to exist. So we are recreating and validating the creation of the world on Rosh Hashana, and the aseres Yemei teshuva when we do teshuva based on that realization of the reality of Din.
That is what it means that Hashem created the world with the letter hei. Hashem recreates the world every year on Rosh Hashana with the reawakening of chesed that comes as a result of the Din, the judgment of Rosh Hashana. And now this is how he answers up his original question of why Chazal inserted their understanding of Aseres Yemei Teshuva into the specific pasuk of, "דִּרְשׁוּ יְהוָה, בְּהִמָּצְאוֹ." Seek Hashem when "hei" "matza'oh," when the letter hei makes [the world] created. (Matza, as a shoresh, means to create or brought into existence, as in the word metzius, which means "reality" or "existance.") Seek out Hashem when the letter hei (daled/din creating/brining out chesed/vav) brings the world into existance. And looking at the pasuk from that perspective, one can understand why the ultimate time where this happens is Rosh Hashana and the aseres yemei teshuva. So it is no wonder, then, that Chazal used that pasuk, which refers to this reality of din preceeding chesed, as a reference to the aseres yemei teshuva, which mean the same thing in terms of the annual recreation of the world.
May Hashem bless us that we be conscious this time of year of the Din that is going on so that we can be zoche to do teshuva and create merit for the continued existance of the world!
(Picture courtesy of Sinai Central)