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Shabbat Parashat Eikev 5773

Ein Ayah: Even Minor Leaders

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:311)

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, for all that is in the heavens and the earth; to You, Hashem, is the kingdom and the supremacy over every leader.” “Over every leader” – even the head of the irrigation-ditch diggers (Rashi) was appointed from the Heavens.

 

Ein Ayah: The ultimate leadership comes about based on Hashem’s involvement and for His purposes. If Hashem did not involve Himself in the most localized element of leadership, individuals could find themselves becoming distanced from the desired goals. Then, there could be so many small leaders and factions that prevent progress in the right direction that people would not reach the ultimate goal of a unified group at a single place. Therefore, we are to understand that even the lowest level leaders are, by force, arranged according to the values that mankind needs to promote, as it takes steps toward one great dominion: “Hashem will be King over the whole world” (Zecharia 14:9). Hashem will make sure that each leadership promotes the ultimate goal, whether by directly promoting the correct things, or even by being a stumbling block that needs to be overcome. As we have explained, even such a stumbling block is ultimately for the best.

 

Grandeur of the Physical and of the Spiritual

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:313)

 

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, for all that is in the heavens and the earth; to You, Hashem, is the kingdom and the supremacy over every leader.” It was said in the name of Rabbi Akiva – “and the grandeur” – this refers to the giving of the Torah.

 

Ein Ayah: The foundation of beauty is the way in which the different elements of something or someone complement each other. When a person evaluates the physical beauty of that which he sees with his eyes, he evaluates the beauty in a superficial way.

Divine wisdom has a far more general and more profound grandeur, which corresponds to physical beauty, but in the spiritual intellectual realm. This is what governs life, enabling the proper interaction between all the spiritual powers of man: between the intellect and the emotions; between physicality and spirituality; between the past, the present, and the future; between the individual and the communal; between interpersonal obligations and one’s relationship with his Creator. The proper balance between all these different powers, needs, and relationships is determined divinely, and could only be determined in that way, as no human intellect could ever do so precisely.

Hashem can do this because all is revealed and known to Him. Therefore, He sets the balance between kindness and truth, judgment and charity, strength and power, mercy and vengeance, so that each one is implemented in its proper measure, [and this finds expression in the Torah and Hashem’s leadership of the world].

Since the living part of the world works along the lines of grandeur, as a person’s spirit is set according to values that are fitting for it, it is able to act in many ways along the lines of physical grandeur (=beauty). Then, everywhere one goes, he can act with wisdom. This is the reason that the basic grandeur stems from the giving of the Torah.

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Rabanit Itah bat Chana

Ehrenreich

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