Shemini 2021 by Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron                                                           בס"ד

לשכנו תדרשו

Discover the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land

And He Washed the Innards and Legs

In parshat Vayikra we discussed the washing in the Temple in the context of washing the offering. In this parsha this washing of the offering is mentioned again, but this time in the context of the revelation of the Holy Presence on the eighth day of the Milium ceremony preceding the inauguration of the Mishkan. Therefore, here we would like to discuss the deeper aspects of washing hands, as its secrets were told as “revelations” to the Kabbalists. We mentioned before that washing with water alludes to the attribute of kindness associated with water. The Kabbalists take this matter a step further in the blessing upon washing which contains thirteen words, correlating these words to the thirteen attributes of mercy. Through these attributes of mercy, one is meant to “sweeten” five attributes of judgment associated with the five letters that change their form when placed at the end of a word: “mantzepach: mem, nun, tzadi, peh, and kaf.” These five letters are elongated mostly when appearing at the end of a word, and they appear in their shortened version in a middle of a word. These “double” versions correspond to the five fingers of the hand, having “two versions”: the right hand and the left hand. Therefore, when we take water, associated with the “water of mercy”, and wash our hands associated with these five “fingers of judgment,” we sweeten the attribute of judgment through mercy. This matter is taken to a greater level in the Temple where also the five toes, which represent an even harsher level of judgment than the fingers, are washed.
These five attributes of judgment mentioned here are also associated by the Kabbalists to a matter called “itaruta de’letata,” or “initiative from below.” We mentioned in the past that the secret of Maarat Hamachpela in Hebron is linked to a special spelling of the Tetragrammaton in which each letter is “doubled,” hence Maarat HaMachpela – the “Double Cave.” The Kabbalists tie this “double” spelling of the Tetragrammaton to the concept “itaruta de’letata,” or “initiative from below,” since this “double Tetragrammaton” represents the lowest sefira, malchut, raising spiritual flow – “initiation” – “from below.” In Hebron, we also see how this “initiation from below” is “sweetened” by the kindness of the Patriarchs of Hebron – “and He remembers the kindness of the Patriarchs and bring a Redeemer unto their descendants for His Namesake with love.”

Real Miracles: Continuation from the previous story

“The surgery was successful, and my student was cured of cancer. However, this did not change the fact that my student’s sister had sold her apartment to save her brother’s life… Although she was discouraged by real-estate agents from attempting to buy any real-estate with just $130,000, my student’s sister decided to check out apartments in Jerusalem where she had wanted to live, with trust that just as Hashem had shown His kindness in the past, He would not forsake her in the future. She entered a five-room apartment, and when she asked for the price was answered: $310,000. She then explained that she has only $130,000, and the owner laughed. Then she added that she had sold her apartment to save her brother’s life through an expensive medical operation, but, in the end, that sum was not needed. Suddenly, the owner asked: “Is your brother’s name Orel?” [my student who had cancer] When she answered in the affirmative, he answered: “I’m the cab driver [who found the suitcase]…” He immediately called me and told me: “I inherited a villa from my parents and don’t need the apartment. If you tell me to sell (for this price), I’ll listen to you.” I didn’t want to take responsibility for such a matter, so I asked that we go to Rabbi David Abuchazera (grandson of the Baba Sali) for his guidance. Rabbi Abuchazera was amazed and told the cab-driver to settle for the price offered to him, and with that he blessed him with wealth and nachas from all his offspring…” R.Z.+


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