Friday, April 4, 2014

Week 27 (Book 4b): Faith in the Shepherd


SONG OF SONGS:
2. "My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the spice beds, to graze in the gardens and to gather roses.
3. I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine, who grazes among the roses."
4. "You are fair, my beloved, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, awesome as the bannered legions.

70 SOULS THAT DESCENDED TO EGYPT: Iob

TALMUD SHEVUOT: Daf 27 - Oaths on Bread

BOOK OF JEREMIAH: Chapter 27

Week 27 in the Jewish calendar is in the beginning of the month of Nissan, and is the week of the yahrzeit of the Rebbe Rashab. The verses of Shir HaShirim mention Hashem as a Shepherd, grazing in the gardens, among the roses. As mentioned in Book 1, these weeks of Nissan are very much related to our relationship with G-d being one of a faithful flock with its Shepherd. Nissan represents the month of Aries, symbolized by the ram.

Of the seventy souls of the Jewish people that descended to Egypt, the twenty-seventh mentioned is Iob.  Iob’s name brings to mind Job (although without the aleph). Job is closely connected to the events leading up to the Passover redemption, as the Midrash teaches that he was one of Pharaoh’s three top advisors when the decision was made to throw the Jewish male children into the Nile. Job is also very much a symbol of the need for faith and humility.

Daf Caf Zayim (Folio 27) of Shvuot discusses oaths regarding a mitzvah. It also discusses two oaths made over the same loaf of bread. Here we have a clear reference to preparing the house for Passover.

Chapter 27 of the Book of Jeremiah contains a similar theme to the above. The chapter mentions behemot (domesticated animals, as above) as well as chayot (wild animals) It has many references to Passover themes, such as “an outstretched arm,” and “God’s servant,” Nebuchadnezzar, a term usually reserved for Moses himself.

5. I made the earth, the man and the beast [behemah] that are upon the face of the earth, with My great strength and with My outstretched arm, and I gave it to him that pleased Me.  

6. And now, I have given these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and even the beasts of the field [chayot] I have given to him to serve him.

The chapter also mentions the “yoke” of Babylonian oppression, and various other aspects and impacts of this exile. As also explained in Book 1, during Nissan we re-experience various exiles we endured, and our redemption from them.


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