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Shabbat Parashat Teruma 5779

Ein Ayah: Smoothness, Youthfulness, and Purity

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 8:42)

Gemara: Anpikinon is olive oil that did not grow to a third of its mature size. Why do women rub it on their skin? Because it removes hair and smoothens the skin.


Ein Ayah: An early state of development in the vegetable world has its impact even on the human body, because they share the characteristic of growth and therefore the former can give a style of youth to the latter. That is the reason that smearing premature olive oil on a woman’s skin will bring back youthfulness or reverse premature aging.

The purity of youth and the balance of their constitution along with the lack of “strong heat” cause hair not to grow [throughout the body]. This lack of hair is an element of true beauty, whose inner characteristic is of aesthetic adornment, which indicates proper qualities. It is proper that when one strives for such a standing, it should make its imprint in such a manner that all will sense the beauty. The internal purity of the characteristics is that which causes the skin to be smooth, including possessing a charm of spiritual fineness. This is an attribute that is well beyond the coarseness of animalism, which gives the skin a sign of moral ugliness, which is the opposite of smoothness. 


The Crucial Importance of Patience in Growth

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 8:43)


Gemara: Rav Bibi applied lime to his daughter [to remove hair] one limb at a time [and she became very attractive]. A gentile in his neighborhood applied lime to his daughter over the whole body at one time, and she died. Her father said: “Rav Bibi killed my daughter.”


Ein Ayah: The moral attribute of patience has to find its way into every element of a person’s personality. It applies to the proper pursuit of purity and making the soul unpolluted. This spiritual process of improvement resembles the acts to beautify the body and its limbs, by using special techniques. 

It is the Jewish way to build purity onto purity by practical education, specifically through the performance of common mitzvot on a daily basis. These sanctify the limbs of the body, as the 248 positive mitzvot correspond to the 248 limbs of the body. Through these mitzvot, the body becomes holy and beautiful one step at a time. This progression, “one limb at a time,” was the approach of Rav Bibi and indeed is the way Jews in general are expected to go about the path of their life.

  The gentile, when he decides to copy the Jew, goes about it in a different manner, when the grandeur of a life of morality and loftiness of the spirit appeals to him. He jumps in one step into a life of outright rejection of the physical world. This is because he is missing the education that teaches that steps should be taken methodically, and going for too much too fast can bring about death. Indeed the body can die when one is not ready to withstand such a level of purity and did not move toward it in a gradual manner – “one limb at a time.” They actually will come to be disgusted by the positive and will act diametrically opposed to purity.

The failure to properly imitate physical and moral beauty, which is at the root of Judaism, can bring gentiles to hatred of Israel. This can reach the extent that he blames Jews for his educational failure. The example of this idea is Rav Bibi’s neighbor who blamed him for the tragedy that came about when he tried to copy Rav Bibi, but with a lack of patience.

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