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Friday, February 7, 2014

Week 23 (Book 4b): When Hashem and our Leaders Are Hidden


SONG OF SONGS:
6. I opened for my beloved, but my beloved had hidden and was gone; my soul went out when he spoke; I sought him, but found him not; I called him, but he did not answer me.
7. The watchmen who patrol the city found me; they smote me and wounded me; the watchmen of the walls took my jewelry off me.
8. "I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, what will you tell him? That I am lovesick."

SOULS THAT DESCENDED TO EGYPT: Hamul

TALMUD SHEVUOTH: DAF 23 – Oaths  on Drinks

BOOK OF JEREMIAH: Chapter 23

Week 23 in the Jewish calendar is the week of the seventh of Adar, the yahrzeit and birthday of Moshe RabbeinuThe verses of Shir HaShirim of this week speak of looking for Hashem and not finding Him, calling out to Hashem and not getting a response. The verses also speak of being “smitten” and wounded. These may all be references to the loss of Moshe. The verse about Hashem being “hidden” and “gone,” and our calling out to Hashem and not receiving a response is also related to the idea of Hester Panim (when Hashem's face is hidden), related to the Purim story.

Rashi’s comments regarding the third verse (verse 8), makes a direct reference to “Mordechai’s generation in the days of Haman,” that despite all the suffering the Jewish people fulfilled the Torah. This is the message of Adar and Purim. Our sages also teach us that Mordechai in his generation was like Moshe in his.

Of the seventy souls of the Jewish people that descended to Egypt, the twenty-third mentioned is Hamul. This name appears to come from the word Chemlah, which means pity, mercy. Hamul would therefore mean someone who is dealt with mercifully, such as Moshe himself at the time of his birth.

Daf Kaf Gimmel (Folio 23) of Shvuot continues to discuss whether drinking should be included in the category of eating. In fact, a great part of the discussion is about wine and intoxicating beverages. The daf also speaks of combining many oaths into one (still in large part discussing drinking) and then discusses an oath not to eat forbidden food. One of the main points of contention of the Purim story was of partaking in Achashverosh’s meal.

Chapter 23 of the Book of Jeremiah contains a similar theme to the above. It speaks of a situation of the Jewish people being left without a proper shepherd (Moshe), yet also speaks about Mashiach, who will be like Moshe. The future redemption will parallel the redemption from Egypt. Jeremiah also speaks about being like someone who is drunk: 

5. Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will set up of David a righteous shoot, and he shall reign a king and prosper, and he shall perform judgment and righteousness in the land.  
 
6. In his days, Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely, and this is his name that he shall be called, The Lord is our righteousness. 
 
7. Therefore, behold days are coming, says the Lord, when they shall no longer say, "As the Lord lives, Who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,"   

8. But, "As the Lord lives, Who brought up and Who brought the seed of the house of Israel from the northland and from all the lands where I have driven them, and they shall dwell on their land."  

9. Because of the prophets my heart is broken within me, my bones shake, I was like a drunken man and like a man whom wine has overcome, because of the Lord and because of His holy words.


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