Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dvarim – Moses Cannot Find Men of Understanding

Moses asked the tribes, “Designate for yourselves men who are wise, understanding, and known to the tribes” , but all he found was “I selected wise and well-known men from among your tribal leaders, and appointed them as your leaders”. Why is it that he found nobody who could “understand things?” Even though they were wise?

There was a need for this in the spiritual worlds. One cannot acquire either wisdom or understanding unless he already has some of it in himself. As it says in the Torah about Betzalel, who was building the Temple, “Betzalel ... to whom God has granted the wisdom and understanding", and about his helpers, "Skilled individuals upon whom God had bestowed a natural talent.” Those who already possess wisdom and understanding can increase it, through study or prayer, and expect that they will be given more. Only adding to one's capacity is possible, but not giving it where there is none. However, these people will indeed be given in great measure, they will be “filled with the spirit of wisdom and comprehension”. Still, the Torah mentions only “comprehension” that Moses' generation had, but “understanding” was missing.

The spiritual entity of Supernal Mother was connected to “comprehension,” but it lacked “understanding”. Thus, her essence, or foundation, was not revealed in the world, and did not lead to her union with the Supernal Father. Instead, the foundation of the Supernal Father was extended and revealed, to achieve the union. That union led to the creation of the generation of Jews who were absorbed in spiritual matters in the desert for forty years. That is why they are called “Generation of Knowledge,” even though “understanding” had to be absent from the mix. Instead, this understanding was left for later, to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, his companions, and to the later students of Kabbalah.

Art: Vasily Polenov - Portrait of an Old Jewish Man

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