Wednesday, April 2, 2008
The Origin of the Phrase "Lo Yidach Mimenu Nidach" - Anything Earlier?
I was looking for the origin of the phrase, "לא ידח ממנו נידח," "[Hashem] won't let anyone be left behind." It is used to mean that Hashem is always making plans and putting off bringing the geulah, the redemption, so that he kind find a way to make it so that when the geulah does come, no Jew will be left out.
After googling around, I was able to find this reference, which I linked to in this post. The author of that article said that the phrase came from the Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh regarding Pinchas. I found that reference in the Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh at the beginning of Parshas Pinchas, Bamidbar 25:14, "וְשֵׁם אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל הַמֻּכֶּה אֲשֶׁר הֻכָּה אֶת-הַמִּדְיָנִית זִמְרִי בֶּן-סָלוּא נְשִׂיא בֵית-אָב לַשִּׁמְעֹנִי." "And the name of the Jewish man who was smitten, who was smitten with the Midianite woman, was Zimri ben Salu, prince of the tribe of Shimon."
The Ohr Hachaim is coming to explain why Zimri ben Salu is introduced with the complimentary phrase, "אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל," "The Jewish man." One explanation he shares is that the Torah uses that phrase to show that even after what he had done with the Midianiate woman, he was still an "אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל," fully part of the Jewish people. Like I referred to in this post, no matter how low a Jew has fallen, Hashem never forgets about him and is always making plans about how to return that person back to their root, the place where they belong.
In this vein, the Ohr Hachaim says, in the name of the "Mekubalim Hakadmonim," the earlier Kabbalists, that "לא ידח ממנו נידח," no Jew will be pushed aside or left behind and that every Jewish spark will be returned to its source in holiness. He says that even if a Jew is deserving of being killed, he will still br brought back.
I don't know if this idea originally comes from the Zohar or some other earlier source. But if anyone else knows, please let me know!
(Picture courtesy of pro.corbis.com)
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