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Shabbat Parashat Vayeilech 5780

Ein Ayah: Joined Elements that Separated in the Spiritual Fall

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:72)

Gemara: At the time that Israel said “na’aseh (we will do)” before “nishmah (we will hear),” 600,000 angels of service came, one to each member of Israel, and tied two crowns, one corresponding to na’aseh and one corresponding to nishmah. Once they sinned, 1,200,000 angels of destruction came down and removed [the crowns], as the pasuk says, “Bnei Yisrael divested themselves of their jewelry from Mt. Horeb” (Shemot 33:6).


Ein Ayah: When a person’s high light of his soul’s divine-like nature is displayed to its fullest, it “meets” the clear characteristics of an angel of service on two planes. One is with the spiritual nature of the character of the soul, which finds expression in great desire and the strength to act in all activities of sanctity to fulfill the Divine Will. The second way is that the natural completeness and desire for sanctity create a treasure house of intellect and blessed thought. 

These levels were achieved when Bnei Yisrael said “na’aseh” before “nishmah.” Then the angels did not need to lower themselves to interact with such lofty people, but met them on a straight path (explaining why in the first section, the gemara says that the angels “came,” not “came down.”) When man reaches that level, there is already a clear distinction between the natural sanctity and the flow of spiritual intellectuality, which comes from the former. They become two “crowns,” corresponding to na’aseh and nishmah, respectively.

However, when the flame of sanctity dims and the level of life goes down, the full power of the soul’s divine nature is not revealed and the intellectuality does not flow from it as in the good days of old. If there are any leftover impressions from those times in the depths of one’s life, they are separate and contradictory. In the depths of his soul, there are longings for sanctity that cannot be actualized. A bitter nature makes the person circle the hidden point of sanctity, which abandons him. The intellect, which had a connection to sanctity, is flooded with dark, crooked thoughts that leave the person to whom it had been connected. The drop becomes ever deeper.

Many spiritual elements, which used to elevate, damage the spiritually depleted being. Natural and intellectual spirituality grow apart, even before the greatest fall. The angels, who now need to destroy, cannot deal with both elements together, because they have become far apart. Thus twice the number of angels are needed. The damage in each realm has its own nature. The removed crowns are no longer connected but were taken away disjointed.       


Backtracking with the Same Concepts

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:73)


Gemara: [The crowns] were placed on them in Horeb and were removed in Horeb. They were placed, as we have said; they were removed, as the pasuk says: “Bnei Yisrael divested themselves of their jewelry from Mt. Horeb” (Shemot 33:6).


Ein Ayah: When darkness increases, after there had been spiritual light in one’s soul, the matters that darken are not different concepts. Rather, the same concepts that, at better times when a person was ready for them, played a great positive role, giving light, honor, and sanctity, turn into fearful objects at the time of spiritual weakness. Their elements of sanctity are defiled and their spiritual glow is removed internally.

At Horeb, these things were raised to the highest level man has known. “I said, ‘you are heavenly’” (Tehillim 82:6). At Horeb they were removed, with the same elements causing emptiness. The abilities turned into dark liabilities. It will remain so until the light of repentance that is “behind the wall” will come forth and heal all of mankind’s ills.

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