Parshat Behaalotecha by: Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron                                                           בס"ד

לשכנו תדרשו

Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land

Raising the Light of Good

The luminosity of a radiating object can be discovered using the Stefan–Boltzmann law, which describes the power radiated from an ideal black body, which is perfectly opaque and non-reflecting, in terms of its temperature. Specifically, the Stefan–Boltzmann law states that the total energy radiated per unit surface area of a black body across all wavelengths per unit time, j* (also known as the black-body radiant emittance), is directly proportional to the fourth power of the black body’s thermodynamic temperature T: j*= σ T4 and σ is the Stefan–Boltzmann constant, with a value of 5.670374419…×10−8 W⋅m−2⋅K−4.

This week’s Parsha begins with the commandment upon Aharon that when “raising/lighting the lamps” he must have the sidelights “face” the central light of the Menora. This commandment reflects the teaching of the Kabbalists that the holy Shabbat stands at the “center” of the week and all three days before and after it “receive” their spiritual energy from the “central” Shabbat. The Arizal says even more, that the three days whether before or after correspond to the three spiritual worlds of Briah, Yetzira, and Asiah, while Shabbat itself is the fourth highest world of Atzilut. This teaching, talking about the spiritual luminosity of the Menora and the Shabbat, may also illuminate our understanding of the Stefan–Boltzmann law above which also ties the level of luminosity to the fourth power of an object’s temperature, hinting to the four worlds we mentioned that are multiplied upon each other [in the past we have mentioned that multiplication represents unity according to the Kabbalah] to describe their luminary source emanating from the highest fourth world.
The first time light is mentioned in the Torah it says that Hashem saw that “it was good.” Therefore, also when it says that when Moshe Rabeinu was born “it was good” our Sages interpret that the entire house was illuminated by his spiritual light. The end of this week’s Parsha is also unique in praising the “goodness”/saintliness of Moshe Rabeinu.
The emphasis on “goodness” can be seen yet again in this week’s Parsha, when Moshe offers his father-in-law Yitro to come with the People of Israel on their journey to the Land of Israel so that the ‘good ‘bestowed upon Israel be also bestowed upon Yitro and his family. One matter we can learn from this episode is that the general term ‘good’ can refer to a plot in the Land of Israel, as can be strengthened by the Torah’s terminology in Dvarim (4, 21-22 and more) ‘the good Land’. Indeed, the poskim determine that there is especially more allowance to bless ‘shehiyanu’ and the fore-mentioned blessing on ‘providing good to others’ – ‘hatov vehameitiv'(if there is a benefit to others, etc.) if one purchases a house/apartment in the Land of Israel, where there is a mitzvah attached to this purchase, i.e settling the Land of Israel. In addition, the poskim add that a meal attached to praising HaShem on buying such a house in the Land of Israel is also considered a ‘seudat mitzvah’ (a ‘mitzvah meal’). In addition to the Land of Israel, another place that is called ‘good’ is the Temple Mount and the Bait HaMikdash itself, as it says ‘the good mountain’, explained by our Sages to refer to the Temple Mount. As we have shown in the past, Hebron and the Temple Mount are deeply linked, as can be seen for example in the Mishna Yoma (ch. 3) that the Kohanim on the Temple Mount on Yom Kippur would ask if dawn has reached ’till Hebron’ in order to awaken the merit of the Patriarchs. We can explain this connection by noticing the first time the term ‘good’ is used in the Torah, in the context of the light of dawn of the first day of Creation. In addition, Midrashic literature strongly links the concept ‘good’ to Torah, as it says ‘a good portion I have given you, the Torah…’, and also to the righteous figure – Moshe Rabeinu, on whom it is said ‘he is good’. The crossroads of all these inferences most naturally become apparent in Hebron. Hebron according to the Zohar is synonymous with Torah. Hebron is also the resting place of the the ‘good’ righteous figures, our Patriarchs, and also according to Midrashic literature, Moshe Rabeinu (miraculously taken from Mount Nebo). This is Hebron, Beacon of the Good Land, Gateway to the Temple Mount, the Dawn of the Redemptive Future.

Miracles from the Holy Land:

During summer 2014, it was discovered that Hamas had been using supplies given by Israel for civil projects, to build tunnels that would enable them to transport weapons and invade Israel. In the weeks before July 17th, Hamas terrorists scouted out the area which one of their tunnels would potentially end, near the farming village of Sufa. It was perfect. At the time, this was a populated area of farmers concealed by tall wheat. Israel wouldn’t stand a chance. However, the terrorists didn’t count on the apparent power of faith. In preparation for Shmitah year the farmers had to harvest all the wheat early. On July 17th, terrorists exited their completed tunnel only to find an empty open land. Without the tall wheat for cover, the terrorists were quickly spotted and intercepted by the Israeli Defense Forces. A potential massacre was avoided because of this miracle. And looking at the history of Israel, it seems there are always greater miracles to come.