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Shabbat Parashat Bamidbar 5779

Ein Ayah: The Merger of Divine and Human Wisdom

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:29)

Gemara: [To answer a question about the timing of the giving of the Torah at Sinai, the gemara posits (according to one opinion) that] Moshe added, on his own, a day of separation from wives. This is as it says in a baraita: Moshe did three things of his own volition, and Hashem agreed with him.


The Merger of Divine and Human Wisdom

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:29)


Ein Ayah: Lofty divine sanctity must merge well with sanctity that is produced by man based on his holy nature and the light of wisdom that Hashem bestowed upon him. Based on the wonderful merger of the completeness of the Torah and the completeness of human wisdom, the light of Hashem appears in the world. This enables the Torah to survive and connect strongly with the spirit of the lives that the Torah leads and everything that is connected to those lives.

Sometimes it appears that there is a contradiction between the superior light of Hashem, a great, all-encompassing light, which is as broad as the heavens from which it comes, and between the inferior light that comes from the inner parts of man’s intellect. In this case, the text of the Torah may seem to combat the product of human wisdom. However, this difficulty can actually be the source of the building of a holy and lofty edifice, in that the addition of the human wisdom can merge with the main (divine) decree and together complement each other.

If [Hashem commanded] the quicker spiritual preparation [for the giving of the Torah], as the simple, surface-level reading of the p’sukim indicates, the light of human intellect came and extended the content and increased the demand on man. Then, the light of Torah came out like the sun emerged in its great glory.

Although the pasuk (Shemot 19:10), “you shall sanctify yourselves today and tomorrow,” seems to be difficult according to the opinion that connects the mundane to the sacred [a point developed in a previous piece], the idea that Moshe added on a day changes the whole picture. This is the source that the addition of the intellect is like a room that is filled with great treasures. It is based on the ability of man to know Hashem (see Yirmiyahu 9:23). Moshe was the great leader who both led their salvation and their closeness to Hashem (see Yeshayahu 63:11-12). “Moshe will we be happy with the present that was his lot.”  


Showing or Producing

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:30)


Ein Ayah: There are two elements that demonstrate the value of the repeated manifestation of the human spirit, when it is revealed in practice. It is possible for a special action to create a lasting impact on the spirit. For example, if such an occurrence happens three times, then it is already not a matter of chance but becomes a matter of regularity. Then one’s spirit develops an innate characteristic based on the path that he paved for himself. The other possibility is that the triple occurrence is an indication that that the specific human spirit always had in its root the characteristic that the actions indicated.

In Moshe’s case, both elements are true. His lofty wisdom, which was at the root of his soul, was ready to be revealed as one that was in confluence with Hashem’s wisdom. Moshe’s lower, practical wisdom, which found expression in limited brilliance, needed to be set by repeated actions to which Hashem agreed.

In both elements there was a need for a repetition three times, which takes the matter out of the possibility of chance in two ways –by demonstrating the higher level that was already there, and by creating the lower level.

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