Vayera 2023



By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron

This parsha mentions Hebron already at its beginning, as the place Avraham received the revelation of the Divine Presence. This matter focuses our attention to Hebron not only being the roots of our People, the roots of our connection to the Land, but also being a focal point of the Divine Presence, a place that illuminates our consciousness to the Divine communication. At the depiction of Maaarat Hamachpela in this painting we see nine columns and nine apertures at the top of the building. The dominance of the number nine may hint at the nine letters of the Tetragrammaton spelled out with each letter doubled, I.e yod vav dalat, heh heh, vav vav, and heh heh. According to the Kabbalists this “double” spelling of the Name is the secret of Maarat Hamachpela, the “double” Cave. They also attach this type of spelling to the nine kings mentioned in last week’s parsha, in which Avraham leaves Hebron in order to battle four kings who defeated five kings [altogether nine kings involved.] Indeed, the Kabbalists attach the theme of kingship to this type of spelling of the Tetragrammaton. Therefore, it is not surprising that the cradle of the Davidic line began in Hebron, according to Hashem’s instruction to King David.
The heaven/sky can be depicted in the painting by the blue sky, while the earth here is primarily green due to the vegetation that grows upon it. Then, we see eight windows in this painting that are painted blue among green ferns on the buildings. The window is a symbol of the earthly building to the air/sky, and therefore it is so befitting that this window is painted blue, symbolizing the heaven, next to the green ferns, symbolizing the earth. These windows are doubled in four buildings, a matter that seems to symbolize the four holy couples buried at Maarat Hamachpela, altogether eight figures. Just as the window connects the earth to the “heavenly” sky, so too these saintly figures connect all earth to the Divine Presence and Direction.

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