Sunday, June 22, 2014

Chukat – What does the letter “vav” mean

And (“vav”) this is the law of the Torah – to burn the red heifer.

To explain this, Rabbi Yose started by praising the words of the Torah and those who study them. Moses said, “Today you are becoming a nation, since you have the Torah.” But really, the Torah was given forty years ago, what did Moses mean? – Rather, this teaches that the Torah is beloved to those who learn it, every day just as the first time.

Now he could continue: the letter “vav,” which means “and,” joins subjects together: the Torah, which is symbolic of the community of Israel, and the Holy One Blessed be He, which usually denotes the Zeir Anpin, the “Supreme Man,” or the communication between God and this world. These are all united with the letter “vav.”

Those who read the daily prayers remember one of the phrases in the beginning, “All and some detail and then all again – the last 'all' includes only those things that were mentioned in the detail.” That is a rule of the understanding the Torah, but it is also a means of connecting the Knesset Israel and God – since Malchut (or Shekhinah, God's presence) is called “All,” and Beauty is called “detail,” since it “details” the six directions of Zeir Anpin. Thus one does not exist without the other, and the other does not exist without the first one.

Art: Rabbinical Students In A Classroom by Edouard Brandon

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