Re’eh 2023


By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron

This parsha places much emphasis on the ascent to Jerusalem and the Temple. Therefore we have chosen this painting for this parsha, which depicts an ascent by ladder in the context of the Temple. We see both hasidim and candles resembling winged angels ascending the ladder. The candles may depict a spiritual light held by these angels. Angels ascending a ladder in the context of the Temple Mount is described in the Torah in the context of Yakov’s dream when he fled from Esav. Note also that both the hasidim and the angels are numbered seven, the special Jewish number, constantly seen in R’ Nachshon’s paintings. There are seven green birds. There are also seven broshim, three to the right and four to the left. Altogether, there are four groups of seven, perhaps corresponding to the four worlds/letters of the Tetragrammaton. People/souls are Kabbalistically considered the highest world, under them are angels, under them are the birds which somewhat resemble angels in their flight/wings, but yet are lower spiritually. Under these are the more earthly trees, and the earth is associated with the lowest world of Asiah. This matter may explain why the birds are green-colored, suggesting their closer connection to the earth green landscape depicted here. Also the Temple is partially painted in green, suggesting its connection to the earth, as we have seen that the the altar is called an “altar of earth” and earth is taken from the Temple in the Sotah episode. There are also two groups of people to the right and left at the bottom of the painting.
We see twelve gateways in the painting, a matter that may hint to the idea mentioned that there are twelve gateways of prayers , one gate way for each tribe.
With the Temple there are ten rectangular gateways apparently hinting to the ten holy sefirot. Through this great sanctity and blessing comes the blessing of unity and peace as may be hinted by the two groups of figures seen at the bottom of the painting, colored in the same fashion to show the harmony, tranquility and peace between them. This is also a major theme of Hebron which is a source of unity – hibur – and peace among our People, also being a forerunner towards the building of the Temple in Jerusalem according to the Arizal (Shaar Hapsukin Shmuel II). Hebron means unity – hibur – and Jerusalem is Shalem – shalom – peace!