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Shabbat Parashat Matot Masei 5773

Ein Ayah: Unfathomable Greatness

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:304)

Gemara: He expounded on the pasuk (Divrei Hayamim I 29:11): “To you, Hashem, are the greatness, the strength, the grandeur, the eternity, and the glory.” “To you, Hashem, is the greatness” – this refers to creation. And so the pasuk says (Iyov 9:10): “He does great things to the point that it cannot be investigated.”

 

Ein Ayah: Creation is the doing of the One, Hashem. This causes us to know that all existence in the world is one creation, even though there are numerous specific elements of it. There are countless millions of physical worlds and endless spiritual entities, with all their different elements and circumstances. Yet all of them are connected in a manner that if we could see all the great light of all of existence, it would look to us like one great entity containing physicality and spirituality. This would be if the One Master wanted us to see all the light of creation as one great and complex torch, not as a multitude of scattered sparks.

However, since we do see the world as containing many detailed parts, we say: “How great are Your actions, Hashem” (Tehillim 104:24). When saying that, we realize the wonder of each of the individual creations, and yet we know that they are in fact connected like the many body parts that form one organism. It is like an incredible machine which has seemingly endless parts. Were we to fully view all the parts as connected into one entity, we would not talk about multiple actions or creations, but we would be all the more shocked by the greatness, contemplating that one creation encompasses all. That is why the gemara says that “the greatness” refers to creation.

When a person is able to amass knowledge of a great many things about creation and even be aware of the connection between different parts, he still will not be able to solve the many mysteries about the endless wisdom that is behind creation. The more he knows, the more he will be shocked and unable to fully fathom.

The reason for this is that the full solution to the understanding of creation is to fully understand the whole, as all is indeed one great entity. However, that prospect is beyond the capabilities of any person who can think and contemplate. Whenever we say (as in the aforementioned pasuk in Iyov) that He “does great things,” we are focusing on parts of the general greatness and still we are shocked by the greatness, as it cannot be understood through investigation. We go from wonder to wonder, from recognition of one wise idea to another, and to yet higher levels.

The individual elements of creation, which start as scattered things, we view in the plural. However, they stay that way only until we look for their source. Just when we think we are able to solve some of the mysteries, even greater ones arise until we realize that we have not arrived at a complete understanding, and we need to be satisfied by the little we do fathom. That is why the pasuk says that the “great things” are up to the “point of investigation.” The great things must be attached to matters of belief, as one should believe to the point of knowledge that greatness finds expression in the unfathomable creation.

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Refuah Sheleimah

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Rabanit Itah bat Chana

Ehrenreich

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