Friday, January 31, 2014

Week 22 (Book 4b): The Test of Being Without a Head


SONG OF SONGS:
3. "I have taken off my tunic; how can I put it on? I have bathed my feet; how can I soil them?"
4. My beloved stretched forth his hand from the hole, and my insides stirred because of him.
5. I arose to open for my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, and my fingers with flowing myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.

SOULS THAT DESCENDED TO EGYPT: Hezron

TALMUD SHEVUOTH: Daf 22 - Oaths and Drinking

BOOK OF JEREMIAH: Chapter 22

Week 22 in the Jewish calendar is the week of Rosh Chodesh Adar. The verses of Shir HaShirim of this week speak of removing one’s head garment and bathing one’s feet. Removing one’s head garment appears to be a reference to the notion of letting go of the intellect, related to this month, focusing on the feet. Similarly, the Rebbe’s Ma’amar Ve’Atah Tetzaveh speaks of Mordechai, the Moshe of the generation, being the head, and the Jewish people being the “feet.” (See also Book 3, on Yaakov and Yikveta de Meshicha, being on the "heels" of the Messianic age).

The second verse in the Song of Songs is extremely reminiscent of perhaps what are the two most crucial verses in all of Megillat Esther (5:2):

And it came to pass when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she won favor in his eyes, and the king extended to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand, and Esther approached and touched the end of the scepter. 
The third verse, makes reference to myrrh, Mor in Hebrew. The Talmud states that Mordechai is hinted in the Torah in Exodus 30:23, in the verse about “pure myrrh,” Mor Dror, which in Aramaic is Mara Dachia.[1] (Chullin 139b)

Of the seventy souls of the Jewish people that descended to Egypt, the twenty-second mentioned is Hezron. (Hezron, the descendant of Reuven, has already been discussed in Week 4). Interestingly, in Book 3, this Hezron, son of Perez, can be found in week 25, also in the month of Adar. There, it is written that Hezron comes from the word chatzer, which means courtyard, or enclosure. In order to be able to carry in a courtyard, two neighbors need to set up an eruv chatzeirot.[2] Interestingly, the word Eruv comes from the same root as Arev, which means sweet. When Jews come together, and their duality serves a positive function, there is sweetness. This is also one of the themes of the month of Adar.

Daf Kaf Beit (Folio 22) of Shvuot continues to discuss different laws related to oaths, related to eating. However, the main emphasis of this daf relates to the laws of speaking, and also whether drinking should be included in the category of eating. Clearly drinking is one of the main themes of Adar. Specifically, drinking to point of not being able to know the difference between “blessed in Mordechai and cursed is Haman.” This daf begins the discussion of speaking by mentioning how someone who curses (“blesses”) Hashem by mistake must bring a sacrifice.

Chapter 22 of the Book of Jeremiah contains a similar theme to the above. It speaks of a situation of the Jewish people being left leaderless, confused, as well as of eating and drinking.

15. Shall you reign, for you compete with the cedar? Your father-did he not eat and drink and perform justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him.  (...)

22. All your shepherds shall be broken by the wind, and your lovers shall go into captivity, for then you shall be ashamed and confounded because of all your evil. (…)

29. O land, land, land, hearken to the word of the Lord. 
  
30. So said the Lord: Inscribe this man childless, a man who will not prosper in his days, for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David or ruling anymore in Judah.




[2] http://www.dailyhalacha.com/Print.asp?ClipID=1079
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