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Shabbat Parashat Vayigash 5780

Ein Ayah: Human Parenthood Raising Coarse Physicality into Spiritual Light

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:102)

[We continue with more arguments of Moshe that the angels are not fit to receive the Torah.]


Gemara: “What else is written in [the Torah]?” “Respect your father and your mother” (Shemot 20:11). “Do you have a father and a mother?”


Ein Ayah: This family connection [of parents and children] represents purification, when the spiritual and physical realms overlap with the creation of life and the chain of generations. Matters of ideals join together with natural tendencies. Matters of the lowly earth and the lofty heavens form one unit. On top of all of this, there is an imprint of the grandeur of life of a unity that is representative of Hashem’s own greatness. [Ed. note - The last sentence was shortened because I did not know how to translate it responsibly.]

This entire moral phenomenon can only be realized in such a complete way within the human family. The relationship of parents to their children and children to their parents, in the purest form, in which the finest spiritual form is connected to its physical expressions, in a way that makes the foundation of life [i.e., procreation], with its palpable coarseness, more gentle. This becomes even more holy with the existence of a commandment to honor a father and a mother. It is only within the human family that such a divine moral imperative can find expression. The relationships involved are, on the one hand, separated from the related deep physicality and, on the other hand, are not applicable to the Heavenly creatures who are full of intellectuality and know only of a life of purity. The Torah, which is designed to turn darkness into light and that which is related to death into fine life, filled with grandeur, can only be given to people, not to angels who do not have parents.



The Importance of Having Evil Inclinations to Tame

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:103)


Gemara: What else is written in [the Torah]?” “Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal.” (Shemot 20:12). “Is there jealousy or an evil inclination among you?” 


Ein Ayah: There are two types of impacts of the deeply evil. There is a directly negative power, which is a result of jealousy, which destroys things around it. There is also a “constructive” power, which builds and renews bad buildings and polluted creations. The latter is actually connected to the foundation of the greatness of creation and the strength of existence, as it demonstrates its strength to the lowest and darkest depths. When these powers find resistance from the wisdom of the Torah and are held back from their wild running forth, they turn into wonderful powers. They are able to connect the depths and darkness of evil to the loftiness of good.     

Light and goodness along with the source of life are blessed by their contact with both the upper and lower “pipes.” Jealousy is indeed as powerful as death, and it is responsible for murder and thievery. Illicit sexual urges, which pollute the soul with great intensity, can, when properly controlled, be powers that connect to the greatness of the universe. The divine light gives life to the depths and uncovers the light that is concealed among the darkness. This can only be accomplished when the light of the divine Torah is given to people who experience jealousy and an evil inclination. They can then bring the fortunate life of controlling those evil things to the creatures of the Heaven (i.e., angels).   
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