By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron
This parsha discusses Moshe Rabeinu’s strengthening Yehoshua to conquer the Land of Israel. In this painting, which suggests the conquest of Hebron, we see seven chassidim blowing trumpets as in the conquest of Jericho by Joshua, Indeed, in the painting here, there is a motif of the conquest of Hebron as we see Rabbi Goren who was at the head of the conquest of Hebron in the Six Day War.
The theme of blowing shofars is also associated with the redemption tied to Hebron, as the Tikunei Zohar says: “At the end of the days, the land will shake and there will be blasts, that hint at three Patriarchs and “these signs will be in the Land of Israel because there is Hebron where the Patriarchs are buried.”
See also that there are seven figures – the favorite number according to the Torah and Sages and also in R. Nachshon’s paintings. Three figures above floating in the sky seem to hint at three more heavenly spheres of kindness, judgment (gevura), and glory (tiferet), while there are four figures on the earth indicating the four Kabbalistic sefirot of netzach, hod, yesod, and malchut that are more connected to “earthliness,” with Rabbi Goren being one of these figures in the land. Apparently, Rabbi Goren alludes to the seventh sefira called Malchut, which has the feature of conquest and monarchy, just as Rabbi Goren conquered Hebron.
On each side of the Torah scroll, we see five larger figures in the form of angels/birds and seven smaller figures – together, they are 24 figures that may parallel the 24 books of the Bible. Indeed, from a Kabbalistic point of view, these books are arranged for seven aspects of the sefira of Hochma/Wisdom and five aspects of the sefira of Keter/the Crown in a spiritual system called “Tikkunei Dikna” together comprised of 12 aspects, and when these are doubled for an upper Kabbalistic system and a lower Kabbalistic system, they total 24 aspects that correspond to the 24 Bible books, which also fit exactly with the motif of the Torah scroll here.
It seems that the dominance of the Torah and the Bible in this painting may teach how the redemption implied by the trumpets and also the conquest of Hebron – are all already implied in the Torah, the prophets and the Scriptures, and we must only open the Bible to see and expect the fulfillment of the prophets’ vision.
Note: Last week’s piece for Nitzavim about the word “niatzuni” actually appears in this parsha Vayelech. In many years Nitzavim and Vayelech are joined.