Weekly Cycle

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week 6 (Book 5): the Temple, Shimon and Hamas

16. "Behold, you are comely, my beloved, yea pleasant; also our couch is leafy.
17. The beams of our houses are cedars; our corridors are cypresses."
1. "I am a rose of Sharon, a rose of the valleys."
TALMUD SHEVUOTH: Daf 6 - the Metzorah

Week 6 in the Jewish calendar is the second week of Cheshvan. The Song of Songs verses for this week again appear connected to boh main themes of Cheshvan: the Temple and the Flood.

The first two verses again are said by the Jewish people, and again they speak of Hashem resting in our midst. Below are Rashi’s comments regarding the first two verses:

yea pleasant: For You overlooked my transgression and caused Your Shechinah to rest in our midst, and this is the praise of the descent of the fire (Lev. 9:24): “and all the people saw and shouted for joy.”

also our couch is leafy: Through your pleasantness, behold our couch is leafy with our sons and with our daughters, all of whom gather to You here, as it is said (ibid. 8: 4): “and the congregation gathered [to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting].” The Tabernacle is called a bed, as it is said (below 3: 7): “Behold, the litter of Solomon,” and the Temple is called a bed, as it is said concerning Joash (II Chron. 22:11, II Kings 11:2): “in the bed chamber” which was in the “House of the Lord” (ibid. 3), because they [the Sanctuaries] are the source of Israel’s fruitfulness and procreation.

The beams of our houses are cedars: This is the praise of the Tabernacle.

The second verse also mentions structures made of cypresses, like the cypress wood used in the construction of the Ark.

The third verse, which begins a new chapter in Shir HaShirim, speaks of the rose of the valleys, Chavatzelet HaSharon. Our sages note that Chavatzelet(rose) stands for Chav Tzel, the “shade of love” constructed byBetzalel, the Temple itself.

Of the seventy souls of the Jewish people that descended to Egypt, the sixth mentioned is Shimon. Of all of Jacob’s sons, he is the one most associated with violence, such as what caused the Flood (literally, Chamas). Jacob states that the weapons of Shimon and Levi are those of “Chamas.” The name Shimon comes from Shmiah, hearing.

Daf Vav(Folio 6) of Shvuot discusses primarily the afflictions of the Metzorah; there is a debate about its color. The Metzorah represents a high degree of guilt and negative social behavior, such as Lashon Harah, evil speech (and also hearing such speech).

Chapter 6 of the Book of Jeremiah contains a similar theme to the above:

6. For so says the Lord of Hosts: Cut the trees and cast on Jerusalem a siege mound; that is the city whose sins have been visited upon her, everywhere there is oppression in its midst.
ו. כִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת כִּרְתוּ עֵצָה וְשִׁפְכוּ עַל יְרוּשָׁלִַם סֹלְלָה הִיא הָעִיר הָפְקַד כֻּלָּהּ עֹשֶׁק בְּקִרְבָּהּ:
7. As a well lets its water flow, so has she let her evil flow; violence and spoil is heard therein before Me continually; sickness and wounds.
ז. כְּהָקִיר בַּיִר מֵימֶיהָ כֵּן הֵקֵרָה רָעָתָהּ חָמָס וָשֹׁד יִשָּׁמַע בָּהּ עַל פָּנַי תָּמִיד חֳלִי וּמַכָּה:
8. Be corrected, O Jerusalem, lest My soul be alienated from you; lest I make you a desolation, a land uninhabited.
ח. הִוָּסְרִי יְרוּשָׁלִַם פֶּן תֵּקַע נַפְשִׁי מִמֵּךְ פֶּן אֲשִׂימֵךְ שְׁמָמָה אֶרֶץ לוֹא נוֹשָׁבָה:

Beyond the connection made here between Jerusalem and trees, there is also a connection between water and punishment for evil and the hearing of Hamas (violence and spoil). Repentance can save the land from desolation. In fact, the entire chapter focuses greatly on complete desolation, completely uninhabited, similar to the world after the Flood.

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