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Shabbat Parashat Naso 5779

Ein Ayah: Lower Wisdom Decrees Constructive Destruction

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:33)

Gemara: [One of the bold steps that Moshe decided to take without explicit divine instruction was:] Moshe shattered the Tablets.


Ein Ayah: From the perspective of the Divine Wisdom, there is no need for there to be any type of undoing and destruction in the world. When there is something that is totally good, which has the ability to spread out without end, “no bad can occur to it.” However, the Divine Wisdom lowers itself until it reaches a point that makes it ready to complement human wisdom. In that way, it can properly impact on limited worlds and creations that have desires and have limited power in comparison to the unending desire of divine goodness, which is both unlimited and unparalleled.

This meeting of the minds found that which Moshe decided, in a way that corresponded to what Hashem wanted. Moshe thought that there was significance in breaking in order to repair. The greater the qualitative significance of the breaking, the greater the much more improved state that follows will be repaired. This can be illustrated with the idea of how investment into a commercial product can be worthwhile because of the possibility of great profit.

It was specifically Moshe’s idea, which Hashem agreed to, to break the Tablets. When these awesome stones were broken, they could be reattached one to another in a manner that provided complete, eternal salvation.


Uncovering the Unspoken Divine Intention

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:34)


Gemara: Moshe added on an extra day of separation from wives – how did he arrive at this conclusion [from Hashem’s instructions that are recorded in the Torah]?


Ein Ayah: [Several commentators deal with the following apparent contradiction: If Moshe decided on the matter himself, then we should not expect for it to be included in the Torah/Hashem’s instructions. If he saw it in Hashem’s words, then it is not Moshe’s own idea. Rav Kook’s comments below are focused on this tension as well.]

Obviously, when sacred and mundane, in their lofty sense, reach the high level of each influencing the other, so that the upper and the lower wisdom becoming unified, then the human, lower wisdom rises up to the recognition that the basis of its existence is the upper wisdom, the wisdom of his Creator. The addition that Moshe’s human wisdom decided to add finds its source imbedded deep in the upper wisdom of the Torah, after the idea was revealed.

Thus, while he added a day of his own volition, to fulfill the idyllic situation that the soul of the one who thought up the idea and the “soul” of the divine influence will be unified in their fullest sense, we need a source for the content of the addition in Hashem’s wisdom, which finds expression in the Torah. That is the reason that we ask where Moshe derived the addition.


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