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Shabbat Parashat Pinchas 5779

Ein Ayah: Overlapping or Parallel Powers

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:50)

Gemara: [The gemara is trying to prove whether the Torah was given on the 6th or the 7th of Sivan]. The baraita says: “The sixth” – it was the sixth [day] of the month and the sixth [day] of the week. This is difficult according to the Rabbanan, (who said the Torah was given on the 6th of Sivan because the Torah was given on Shabbat). This baraita goes according to R. Yossi (who says the Torah was given on the 7th of Sivan).   


Ein Ayah: The way that Hashem impacts on the unseen powers of the world can be broken into two general categories, with each having a unique spiritual flow. These are the spiritual elements of Shabbat and of the month. Shabbat is the “beginning of the days of holy convocation,” and the month represents the beginning of the branching out into different special days of sanctity throughout the calendar.

Shabbat possesses the idea of the light of existence as it was beginning and serves as a testament to the world coming into existence by the word of Hashem. This is what makes Shabbat holier than any other time.

The next level of special time has to do with the way in which Hashem looks after and leads the world, and how everything in the world is arranged according to His will. Quantitatively, the way the days of the year are arranged creates many different forms of special days, each having its own unique, deep concepts. However qualitatively, the sanctity of time all stems from the lofty “lightning bolt” that came from the original creation of the world as Hashem decreed that Shabbat should be holy in a manner that surpasses anything that can be spoken.

There are also two ways in which the sacred connects to people and influences their thoughts. Sometimes they can penetrate the Jewish soul more effectively when there is a balance between the archetypes of the sanctity of Shabbat and of the month. This approach sees the providence in how matters develop as a new creation along the lines of the original creation. According to this approach, it makes sense that the same number would be attributed, in regard to the great events at hand, both to the day of the week and to the day of the month.

However, this approach is not in concert with Rabbanan’s thesis, as they posited that these elements remain separate from each other so that each can have its full impact in the broadest possible manner within man’s essence. The appearance of the new month is of a lower level but it is also ancient. It represents the light of spiritual life that comes from the aura of the order of the world. It beats in the soul that elevates itself to sanctification with all its strength. The sanctity of Shabbat is deep and rises up to the Heavens. It is loftier than anything that can be described and is revealed in the purity of the soul that gazes onto the pleasantness of Hashem, in a hidden, internal recognition. Due to these differences, Rabbanan believed that these holy elements do not connect to each other.

On the other hand, Rabbi Yossi raised the outlook on the way the world is run to the highest rung, to the point that it is part of the foundation of existence and is thus connected directly to the Torah. Therefore, he says that at the foundational moment of the giving of the Torah, the element of month and the element of Shabbat were connected. This is in line with Tehillim 19, which starts by describing the connection of the celestial bodies to Hashem, and how they proclaim His greatness, and then it moves on to the beauty of the Torah. In the End of Days, the light of the month (the moon) will be as great as the light of Shabbat, represented by the sun (based on Yeshayahu 30:26). “There will be one day – it will be known to Hashem; it will not be day or night, and towards evening there will be light” (Zecharia 14:7).

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