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Shabbat Parashat Beshalach 5779

Ein Ayah: The Purity of a Bed

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 8:33)

[The gemara continues to look at Aramaic words, looking at similarities to other words.]


Gemara: Puria (a bed) relates to the place where peru u’revu (having children) is performed.


Ein Ayah: The ideal of increasing life, which is equivalent to bringing in the light of life, is the main foundation which gives the pure value to a life of sanctity (i.e., avoiding promiscuous activities). It is the matter of life that distinguishes between sanctity and impurity and between the purity of life and its defilement.

Spiritual pleasantness emanates from a lofty holy source, from the source of the light of life. This pleasantness is revealed in a holy soul according to its level of sanctity. This level of sanctity corresponds to the degree to which the ideal divine foundation is able to purify the coarseness of animalistic tendencies. The lofty goal of building the world in a light of benevolent giving (i.e., through procreation) draws along the fundamental force of the inclination toward sexuality, and this goal is able to sanctify the inclination.

Due to the above, a bed is given the association of the place where one is focused on the goal of procreating, not on his animalistic feelings.


Looking at the Full Empty Whole of the Hole

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 8:34)


Gemara: A bor zinka (dried out water pit) represents the idea of bor zeh naki (this pit is clean).


Ein Ayah: Not always are lackings necessarily bad things. There are times that a lacking actually brings along higher levels or at least saves one from other lackings, and one should be aware of this.

One should always look with this type of positive outlook, which penetrates reality in the constant search for that which is good, even when a lacking is clear. When one expresses himself in a manner of taking this positive approach, he impacts the very concept of the search for goodness, as good speech translates into good thinking.

When a water pit is dry, it is basically a situation of lacking, and it is very understandable to just call it empty. However, a water pit is often very dear to people, as people enjoy it and drink its water. Therefore, when it ceases to pour forth its blessing, as its water has left it, we describe it in a manner that preserves its honor. We do this by finding something positive about the fact that it is empty.

Therefore, we say that the pit is clean. After all, when a water hole is full with water, there are also going to be muddiness and murkiness, and unhealthy things are likely to grow there. These things disappear when it is empty, as it can now be clean. That is an example of how the lacking can be positive, and can conjure up the idea of honor. This is appropriate according to the concept that one “should not throw unwanted things into the pit from which he drank.”

This approach need not be limited to water holes. Rather, in all parallel matters in the course of life and morality, we should see the positive impact of things that have been emptied out. When the matter was beneficial at some time in the past, we should still refer to it in positive terms.

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