Sunday, June 19, 2011

Shlach – It was the season when the first grapes begin to ripen

God spoke to Moses, saying, 'Send out men for yourself to explore the Canaanite territory that I am about to give the Israelites.' ... It was the season when the first grapes begin to ripen.

Why did the Torah say, “And those days were the days when grapes begin to ripen?” Why “those days were the days?” The answer is that the words “those days” refer to the special days that we already know about, the six days that correspond to the six directions in the spiritual image of Zeir Anpin, the Cosmic Man, or in some sense the Humanity. The time when he has only six spiritual components are the days of his youth and immaturity, without the influence of the intellect, which he will receive from the Supernal Father and Mother.

All the six days and the six directions were mixed in the Tree of Knowledge, with which Adam made his mistake, and this accords well with the opinion that this tree was the vine. Wine is connected to Rulership, and it was also there that Adam made his mistake – by his attempt to fix it and to take its first fruit before proper time.

Sources: Rabbi Daniel Frisch, Moshe Cordovero, Mikdash Melech, other commentators.

When the spies tried to pick up a cluster of grapes, the cluster, sensing their bad intentions, refused to be picked up. The spies then asked Joshua and Caleb to lift the cluster, which they were able to do. Being upset, the spies decided to kill Joshua and Caleb. Joshua spoke to the cluster and told it, "If you will be the cause of our death, we will not inherit the portion of the land in which you grew." The cluster then relented and allowed itself to be carried by the other spies.

Source: Meam Lo'ez.

Art: Raphaelle Peale - Still Life With Grapes And Dish

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