Friday, July 30, 2010

Hashem's Love for the Jewish People - Reb Itchie Mayer on Eikev

Here is Reb Itchie Mayer Morgenstern's Torah on Parshas Eikev, with English excerpt and full text in Hebrew in pdf form from Reb Itchie Mayer's Torah. You can send an e-mail to this address to subscribe to receive Rav Morgenstern's Torah in your e-mail box every week.

“And it shall come to pass, because you heed these ordinances, and keep, and do them, that Hashem you G-d shall keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers.”[1]

Rashi explains: “‘And it shall come to pass, because you heed’—If you heed the little mitzvos that people tend to trample on with their heels [עקב] and do them, Hashem your G-d will keep His blessing for you, and will love you and make you numerous [which is the continuation in the next verse].”

Hashem’s Love for the Jewish People

The Arizal taught: “‘And He will love you and bless you and make you numerous’—The sages said that everything that the Jewish people eat [enjoy] in this world is from the blessing of Bilaam the wicked. But the merits of the Jewish people are kept in reserve for them for the world to come. As the verse says, ‘And Hashem your G-d will keep...’ The sages learned this from our verse here, from a parallel use of terms—here the term, ‘He will love you’ is bound to the term, ‘He will bless you.’ The verse says of Bilaam, ‘And Hashem your G-d will overturn for you the curse to a blessing, for Hashem your G-d loves you.’ In no other place in the Torah do we find blessings juxtaposed with the expression of Hashem’s love other than in connection with Bilaam. If so, the promise of Hashem to love and bless and make us numerous is the blessing of Bilaam.”[2]

In the section detailing Bilaam’s blessings the verse says, “A star has gone forth from Yaakov, and a tribe has arisen from Yisrael.”[3] The star coming forth from Yaakov refers to Moshiach.[4] The Messianic era is one that will be characterized by the total revelation of Hashem’s love for the Jewish people even to the lowest level of the world of Asiyah. This is why all of the blessings uttered by Bilaam refer to all of the blessings and abundance that reach the Jewish people in the world of Asiyah [which we call “this world”]. Its main revelation will be when Moshiach arrives.

Uplifting the Heels

The verse’s promise of Hashem’s love is really that we will merit to experience the full revelation of Hashem’s presence in the lower worlds when Moshiach arrives. But it all depends on, “If you will heed these ordinances...”—if we heed the aspect of the עקב, the heels [which is the lowermost world of Asiyah], then we will merit the arrival of Moshiach and the full expression of Hashem’s love for us.

The main blessing is that Bilaam’s curse should be transformed into a benediction; that the physicality of the world of Asiyah should be transformed into a revelation of G-dliness. Even when a person is in a lowly place and the yetzer hara challenges him, G-d forbid, even so he must make efforts to bind himself to the light of Hashem’s presence. This is the mission of the Jewish people, to reveal G-dliness in the lower places. In the ultimate future, Hashem will transform the yetzer hara into the joyful pleasure of Torah study, as the Zohar teaches. This is really the main joyful pleasure of Torah—to reveal Hashem’s presence in the lower worlds, because this is what rectifies all evil and creates a platform for the good.

[1] Devarim 7:12
[2] Sha’ar Hapesukim, Parshas Ekev
[3] Bamidbar 24:17
[4] Devarim Rabbah 1:20

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